"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-10-2003, 11:22 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1
Best woks?

Hi all. Can anyone recommend a really good wok please, one that will last a long time? Thanks!

spocks2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2003, 10:25 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
Well....... The good woks really don't cost that much. I bought mine at my local Asian market for around $22.00. Here's what to look for though -
- a handle on both sides (mine has one long handle and then a small one to help moving it around.

- one with a lid is always nice (I don't have that)

- and one with some of the gadgets like the screen that fits on the side to put the cooked food on such as tempura

- you want a gold strainer and a long-handled wooden spoon

Does anyone have anything else to add??

Be sure a take proper care of it and it will last. When you do wash it be sure and dry it thoroughly (really, really thoroughly) and coat sparingly with some oil.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2003, 06:03 AM   #3
Executive Chef
 
ironchef's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The SPAM eating capital of the world.
Posts: 3,557
You forgot to add that he should get a Wok made out of Carbon Steel
ironchef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2003, 11:03 AM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
Oops, I did forget that - thanks ironchef.

I also forgot to mention to get a traditional shape i.e., round bottom, not the ones with a small flat surface on the bottom.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2004, 03:24 PM   #5
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,509
I would disagree about the shape, unless the user has a commercial stove that puts out a lot of heat. The round bottom traditional woks are designed to be used over a different type of heat source than a US stove. They are made for massive amounts of heat which you will not get from a US home stove.

I would recommend the flat bottom style because this will give you more contact with the flame or heating element (just like a regular fry pan) and will help you get as much heat as possible into the wok.

Next time you go to a Chinese restaurant, ask if you can take a peek in the kitchen. You will see the wok burners they use. Flames will be shooting out all over the place. They are seriously intense!
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2004, 10:00 AM   #6
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 10
Re: Best woks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spocks2
Hi all. Can anyone recommend a really good wok please, one that will last a long time? Thanks!
here is your answer
check this link www.linkremoved
plasma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2004, 11:51 PM   #7
Master Chef
 
Michael in FtW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,592
The sad truth is - American home stoves are not hot enough to use a "real" carbon steel wok on. And, the "woks" you can generally find are a waste of money. Check out: http://www.americastestkitchen.com and do a search on "wok" and read the 3 reviews.

I have used a wok on a wood fire - cooked totally differently than on an electric or gas stove. Arrghhh!!!
Michael in FtW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 06:08 PM   #8
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 843
The cheaper the better.

In the case of woks, the cheapest are definitely the best. Regular old carbon steel woks are always what's used in commercial Chinese kitchens.

As others have suggested, you may do well to find a flat bottomed wok. These work particularly well on electric burners.

Contrary to what they show on the infomercials, you do not want to use a round bottomed wok on an electric burner. Electric burners are designed to work with a pan in direct contact with the burner. Without that direct contact, many burners will overheat and will prematurely fail.

When it comes to smaller woks, I prefer the single handled woks. They're a lot easier to handle than the woks with two D-ring handles. That's just my personal preference.

When you cook, never put food in it until the wok starts to smoke and never overload the wok otherwise, instead of stir frying, you'll be stir STEAMING. The normal kitchen doesn't have a 100,000+ btu burner like a chinese restaurant has or a wood fired cooker like the old chinese home kitchens had. The typical home range has little over 1/10th the ideal wok heat. Most homes have burners with 12,000 to perhaps 15,000 btus. So, you can see you'll need more preheating time and reduced ingredient quantitites to keep from cooling the wok too much.
Psiguyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 07:01 PM   #9
Sous Chef
 
PolishedTopaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: East End of Long Island
Posts: 915
:D Hi....


I bought one last X-Mas from Le Cruset. It is made of the same material as all their other stuff, with the 2 handles, a lid, and a small flat bottom so it sits on the grates of my stove. I got it for 114.00 at an outlet store near me. Becase it is made of enamal coated cast iron it holds the heat great and the lifetime warranty is nice too. Plus, it has what appears to be a non-stick cooking surface {which is bad for a wok} but it isn't, however it cleans up like it is non-stick. I hold firm in my belief to buy the best that you can afford to avoid repurchasing in the future.
__________________
Just because someone tells you that you can't do something doesn't mean you have to listen.
PolishedTopaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2004, 07:05 PM   #10
Sous Chef
 
masteraznchefjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: UCLA
Posts: 785
Send a message via AIM to masteraznchefjr
i have a commerical chinese kitchen at my house it was built by my dad and everything was bought in asia during vacation then brought to america. yes flames do shoot out i got burned. my mom got burned a couple times already.
masteraznchefjr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2004, 10:26 PM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5
I'll add that my wok, which is carbon steel good quality, does NOT work on my electric burner. I love my electric, ceramic-top stove. It's clean, white, gorgeous.

But it is not a stove for serious cooking.

We don't have gas around here, so I can't get a gas stove. Sigh.

But that's another topic.

In any case, just wanted to throw in my 2 cents here. My wonderful wok simply doesn't work on my electric stove. Just won't get hot enough. Might as well just use a saute pan, and saute foods the Western way. :(

Liza
lizamay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2004, 07:29 AM   #12
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 973
I have a ceramic stove top and didn't want to risk scratching it when stir-frying so I bought an electric. Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook) was the first cooking show I ever watched, so I bought one of his. It was expensive, and in my opinion, it doen't get hot enough even at the highest setting. I have to make really small batches to get a result remotely approximating what it should be.
Otter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2004, 05:07 PM   #13
Sous Chef
 
subfuscpersona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 562
I'm sure there are lots of Asian-American home cooks in the US who manage to cook delicious meals in their native cuisine using woks. I'd like to get tips from them but I'd bet they use ordinary stoves and have learned to adjust to the lower heat source of home stoves just fine.

One tip if you have a gas stove and a round-bottom wok: turn the removable stove ring upsidedown - it will stabalize your wok without placing it too far from the heat source.
subfuscpersona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2004, 06:44 AM   #14
Head Chef
 
Audeo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Texas
Posts: 1,871
I have an old and large cast iron wok with a flat bottom and LONG handle that I picked up at a garage sale maybe 15 years ago. The thing weighs a short ton and works great on my ceramic cooktop. (I keep it perfectly still, for obvious reasons.) Preheating is the key here, and my cooktop gets pretty warm. I've even taken the thing camping, along with my other cast iron stuff, and it is fabulous over an open fire. However, you do get some "looks" from passersby who note the smell of ginger and know darned well you're not cooking chili...! There is nothing as warming on a 40-degree night than a bowl of Mapo-Tofu in hand as you sit around a campfire trading stories! And leftovers may be scattered around the camp perimeter as a deterrent to all wildlife.

Hmmm....I believe I digressed from the original question here....
__________________
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional.
Audeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2004, 03:58 AM   #15
 
choclatechef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by PolishedTopaz
:D Hi....


I bought one last X-Mas from Le Cruset. It is made of the same material as all their other stuff, with the 2 handles, a lid, and a small flat bottom so it sits on the grates of my stove. I got it for 114.00 at an outlet store near me. Becase it is made of enamal coated cast iron it holds the heat great and the lifetime warranty is nice too. Plus, it has what appears to be a non-stick cooking surface {which is bad for a wok} but it isn't, however it cleans up like it is non-stick. I hold firm in my belief to buy the best that you can afford to avoid repurchasing in the future.
This is the wok I have. I originally had a carbon steel round bottom one, but, as was mentioned. It did not get hot enough.
choclatechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 07:29 PM   #16
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 211
Send a message via Yahoo to pst1can
Best Woks...Word of Warning

One word of warning...had a customer that bought a carbon steel wok from us that sits on the ring over the burner....The wok held the heat down to much for their new stove and it actually made the surface of the stove peel and chip off. Thankfully it was covered under warranty and the company was seriously thinking of getting this warning added to their "care and handling" section of their instrution manuel. I had never heard of this happening before but we now warn all customers. The solution was to use the wok directly on the burner. Pst 8)
pst1can is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2004, 03:12 AM   #17
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 825
I have no trouble at all using my round bottom wok on a hotplate. Just buy a wok ring from your Chinese grocery store. The ring fits over the hotplate and distributes the heat all around the sides like a gas wok burner would. Maybe not 100% as good but a good result is obtained. I find with the flat bottomed ones it is far easier to burn food on the flat surface particularly when using cornflour and thickeners with sauces etc.
Another 2 implements are the large stainless steel ladle and a stainless steel frying spoon for stir frying. A lot of Chinese chefs use the ladle as a universal tool and dispense with the frying spoon. With the frying spoon I find the 2 straight edges are good for scraping and cutting as you cook as well.

WayneT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2004, 10:14 PM   #18
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,361
I have a flat bottome high-carbon steel wok made by Atlas. It has a long handle on one side and a shorther handle on the other. It is a large wok. I have used it for everything from making omellets, to stir-frying sliced beef, to deep-frying egg-rolls. I have a Crowley gas stove that puts out enough heat to catch the grease in the wok on fire. If that isn't hot enough, I just don't know what to tell ya.

This wok has served me well for about 12 years now. It is well seasoned (the key to good wok cooking in my opinion) and has handled every cooking chore I have asked of it very well. The flat bottom allows the primary cooking surface to get very hot. It then takes a rounded almost conical shape up to the rim. It has an aluminum lid. And my family, extended family, and neighbors will vouch for the egg-rolls that come from that wok. All of the veggies, meats, and sides are cooked in that one pan.

I am proof that good food can come from a wok in U.S. kitchens. And my wok cost me about $60, twelve years back.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cooking Cakes in Woks WayneT Cakes & Cupcakes 0 09-28-2004 05:41 AM



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.