If you know your way around the kitchen then you’re probably familiar with what a wok is. It’s a cooking appliance used to stir-fry vegetables and mostly used in Asian cuisine. It’s been around for years and every professional chef has one in their kitchens.
So if the wok is used for stir-frying, you might be wondering why many prefer using it over a regular frying pan. Does cooking in a wok provide you with a more delicious dish as compared to any other pan? In this article, we’ll help you understand what a wok is and the recommended high-quality woks you can look out for.
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What Is A Wok?
There are different frying pans for different dishes. For instance, the cast iron skillets are great for cooking up steaks and chicken. A sauté pan is ideal for deep-frying or searing food. A wok, on the other hand, is the best appliance for most of the cooking styles you can think of.
You read that right. A wok isn’t just used for stir-frying. It can be used to deep fry dishes, sauté, boil, braise, and even steam food. It’s considered an all-around cooking pan which is the reason why it’s popular in every chef’s kitchen.
The design is mostly to thank. The pan has a round bottom and high walls that allow you to move your food around without spilling it over the sides. The heat gathers at the bottom as well so you know your food is cooked evenly. This is also the reason why using a wok provides a shorter cooking time.
Woks are large that they might be intimidating at first. But they can be a useful appliance once you get the hang of working with it.
Buying Guide: What Should You Look For In A Wok?
Traditional woks are made from cast iron but these days, different materials have begun to emerge such as carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Carbon steel is the usual go-to wok since it has an excellent induction capability. Also, when seasoned right, carbon steel woks can be non-stick. This allows you to use less oil which in turn is healthier.
Since woks are large, you’d also need to check if you can carry it. Some woks have a handle on the side so you can lift it properly without causing any injuries to yourself. A wooden handle is also ideal since it doesn’t get too hot easily.
One other important thing to note before buying a wok is to check your stove. Round bottom woks will not work on a flat electric or induction stove. Aluminum woks will not work on an induction stove as well. However, gas stoves with small burners are recommended.
What Can You Cook In A Wok?
Most Asian dishes can be cooked in a wok. But to name a few, you can cook:
How Do You Clean A Wok?
A wok that is cared for can last until the next generation of your family. The proper way to take care of it is to clean it after use. To do so, you may follow these tips:
What Is The Best Wok Brand?
You’ll be happy to know that there are a lot of competitive wok brands on the market. The top-rated ones on Amazon are T-fal and Craft Wok but there are others that are just as reliable and useful. Just be sure to read the details regarding flat bottom woks or round bottom woks, material, and stove compatibilities so you don’t make a mistake on your purchase.
So does cooking in a wok provide you with a better-tasting food as compared to using other pans? No, they don’t. But they are useful and can deliver a healthier and faster cooking time than other pans.
There is no single wok that’s best for you. You would have to try out different ones for your ease of use. Some prefer round bottom woks while others prefer flat bottoms. There are also some that do not prefer woks at all. There’s a cooking style to it that takes a bit of practice for one to get used to. But don’t be discouraged in using one since woks indeed get the job done.