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Old 08-28-2006, 08:44 PM   #1
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Pan vs wok

If I were to make something like stirfry, does it really matter if I use a pan or a wok? Does it make any difference? Also, does depth matter? I thought that as long as they're all getting cooked, it will turn out fine


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Old 08-28-2006, 09:40 PM   #2
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You can cook stir-fry type dishes in a skillet or saute pan. It's easier to get great results with a wok because they're made for stit-frys.

When cooking a S-F, you should be using a very hot pan with hot oil. The food goes in and is cooked in small batches over high heat while kept in consant motion (thus the name stir-fry).

The shape of the wok with a curved bottom, facilitates that action.

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Old 08-29-2006, 04:15 AM   #3
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I used to use the cast-iron skillet for this until I got a cast-iron wok for this purpose.

I think cast-iron is better. Reason being is because it holds heat better and longer than other material.

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Old 08-29-2006, 09:14 AM   #4
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Currently we don't have a wok but a large skillet works just fine. It needs to be well heated, as Andy pointed out, also another important point is that the vessel needs to be big enough so the ingredients can be freely tossed around in order to cook them evenly and quickly.

I used to have a cheap non stick wok but the coating came off too easily, also I tried electric one too and I didn't care for it, I don't think the temperature gets high enough for the food to get cooked efficiently.
If I were to get a new wok, I would like a cast iron one...
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Old 08-29-2006, 09:19 AM   #5
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the wok shape is ideal for stir fry, and you will spill less out the sides in a good size wok. Carbon steel is the material...heats fast and evenly, and heat is the issue...sear the food, hold in juice and tenderness without over cooking.
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Old 08-29-2006, 09:25 AM   #6
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Another benefit of the carbon steel wok is that the sides of the wok get cooler as they move up toward the top. This means that as your foods cook, you can push them up the sides of the wok to keep them warm, but not overcook them. This is not something you can't do with a cast iron wok.

Can you stir fry in a skillet? Yes you sure can. Stir frys were designed to be made in woks though so it is probably a bit more efficient to use a wok. An excellent stir fry can be made in a skillet though so no need to buy a wok unless you really want one.
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:42 AM   #7
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You can also TOSS the veggies or meat with the carbon steel wok as it cooks with the high heat in the bottom half - something that you can't do with the cast-iron wok, simply because it is much to heavy to perform that culinary manuever.

Also, please temporarily disconnect the battery in your smoke alarm while you are heating up the pan for stir-frying, because it won't stop beeping when the pan is hot and you are about to add the oil to it!!

I returned to my friend's apartment last week and had cooked some bacon and eggs for him because he was too drunk to do it himself. I begged him to just "sleep it off" until I returned. He did what I asked him to do. But when I
heated the pan to cook the eggs, and added the butter, the pan began to smoke and it set off the very sensitive alarm and the strobe light started flashing!!

Drunk as he was, my quick-thinking friend Daquan started "fanning" the alarm with a newspaper to stop it from beeping and flashing, while I turned on the electric fan, and it worked!!!

So please, make sure that you don't set off your smoke alarm while stir-frying. Disarm it temporarily if you can until you are done stir-frying. Thank you.


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