How to Choose a Wok: The Chinese Pan in Your Kitchen

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A wok is a unique frying pan that came to us from China. Thanks to its conical shape and small bottom, it heats up quickly, evenly, and keeps heat well. This allows to reduce the cooking time and oil consumption, which means that the products are quickly and efficiently cooked, retain useful substances, and contain a minimum of fat. Before highlighting the main points of how to choose a wok, let’s take a closer look at how a regular person uses it.

When Do People Use a Wok?

In wok pans available nowadays, one can not only fry and stew but also boil or steam, which makes it a multifunctional kitchen utensil. However, it is frequently used for the following purposes:

  • To fry at high heat, constantly stirring and shaking: the ingredients are pre-cut into small pieces, gradually added to a heated frying pan, and greased with oil.
  • If you are a deep-fryer, a wok is for you too: many woks come with a semicircular grate to be worn over the skillet. Pieces of meat or vegetables are put into hot oil and carefully cooked.
  • Lightly fried slices can be cooked in some water. Depending on the food used and the desired result, the wok is covered or left open to allow the water to evaporate.
  • Cooking soup in a pan seems illogical, but in a wok, it is not only possible due to the depth, but also very convenient due to its properties described above.
  • Steam cooking of any food is another purpose of the wok. A little water is poured at the bottom, then you need to put food in it, cover it with a lid, and enjoy healthy food.

You can cook whatever your heart desires! However, this tool is not intended for baking in the oven. The basic rule: cook over high heat and prepare the ingredients ahead of time, chopping them finely.

chef using chinese wok

Which Wok to Choose?

There are many types of the wok in the market, so the answer to the question of how to choose this pan depends on how you are going to use it:

1. Materials

Like other pans, woks are offered in steel, cast iron, and other materials. It can be supplied with all kinds of non-stick coatings, including Teflon and ceramics. The authentic Chinese model is made from carbon steel and is perhaps the best choice.

2. Size

The diameter of a standard wok is 20-70 cm, but for a regular kitchen, a 30-35 cm model is sufficient. It makes sense to take a larger one for cooking for a large company.

3. Bottom

The bottom of the wok is rounded or flat. The traditional Chinese model has a rounded bottom, while the European one is flat. To fix the rounded wok on the stove, a special ring is provided.

So, choose the option according to your tastes and enjoy the extremely delicious Asian cuisine.