You’ve likely heard the saying, “The wok is the soul of cooking.” Well, it’s true. Not only can a wok make your favorite dish taste better than ever before, but they also make deep-frying and stir-frying food fast and easy.
No other cookware has the same depth or sloping sides that allow for an even frying surface. And with so many different types of woks on the market today (carbon steel, cast iron, stainless steel), there’s no reason not to take advantage of this fabulous kitchen tool.
For those ready to invest in their first nonstick woks set or want to replace one that has seen better days with something new, here are the features to consider when choosing the best nonstick wok.
The best woks are forged from carbon steel or stainless steel. Cast iron is a great alternative, but it’s heavier and requires pre-seasoning to prevent food from sticking. So if you’re going to be cooking many dishes with fried oil (such as stir-fry), it’s wise to invest in one that won’t warp or scratch easily.
Since the wok is designed to be held over high heat, it’s essential that the handle can withstand that kind of abuse without breaking or becoming loose. Also, if you’re cooking with someone else, you both will have to be able to lift and carry the wok safely when it’s time to serve your meal.
Easy to Clean
Unless you’re using a cast iron wok, you’ll want one that’s easy to clean. Not only is it more sanitary, but it also helps cut back on cooking time to have a nonstick surface. There are many different types of nonstick coatings available today. Some use inferior nonstick materials that wear off or become damaged over time, but many are very durable. Also, look for PFOA-free one to ensure you’re not ingesting any potentially harmful chemicals when cooking with your wok.
Lid and Pan Holder
Finally, you’ll want a lid and pan holder that can be securely attached to the wok. Not all lids and holders are created equal, so make sure you find one that secures tightly to your wok’s handle without fear of it falling off while cooking or when carrying it from the stovetop to the table.
Handles differ from wok to wok but usually consist of a long stick coming out of either end. Handles should be made from either wood or metal. The wooden handle allows you to grip the wok easily and prevent your hand from getting too hot as you cook. Metal handles are typically long and can help insulate the heat and provide an easy gripping point for those who prefer our tools easy to hold on to.
The wok should be made from either carbon steel or stainless steel. Cast iron is also a viable option, but it’s typically heavier and requires pre-seasoning to prevent sticking.
Nonstick coatings are applied to the wok to help food release once it has finished cooking. However, many manufacturers are using ceramic-coated or Teflon coatings that are both affordable and scratch-resistant.
A wok’s depth and sloping sides make the best frying surface for deep-frying, which is why they come in handy when making your favorite dishes. In this article, we’ll explore the various types of woks available on the market and what they have to offer you.
Size can vary greatly, so it’s essential to find one that fits your needs. For example, if you only have the space for a small wok, be sure you know exactly what you’ll be using it for before spending any money. On the other hand, if you have lots of room but don’t cook much or are short on storage space, opt for a giant wok.
The best nonstick coatings are PFOA-free to ensure you’re not ingesting any harmful chemicals while cooking with your wok. Instead, look for ceramic coating or Teflon, both of which will last a long time and provide easy clean-up after each use.
Some woks also come unfinished, and you will need to season it yourself. This means oiling each layer of the wok and letting it burn in over high heat for about an hour before cooking with it.
What is PFOA?
PFOA is a chemical found in nonstick coatings that can be dangerous to the environment and human health. As a result, many manufacturers now produce PFOA-free layers to cut back on the harmful effects of using products containing this chemical.
How should I season a wok?
Smaller woks can be seasoned by rubbing the inside surface with cooking oil, placing it over high heat for about an hour. Larger models are best seasoned in a commercial oven or another heating device. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results.
Are nonstick woks safe?
Many manufacturers are now producing nonstick pans that are PFOA-free. If you want to deep-fry with your wok, look for one with a durable nonstick coating that won’t peel or become damaged after repeated uses.
What kind of wok do Chinese chefs use?
Most Chinese chefs cook with a carbon steel wok, which requires pre-seasoning to prevent sticking. Wooden handles allow you to grip the wok with ease and prevent your hand from getting too hot as you cook.
What type of nonstick coating should I use?
PFOA is a dangerous chemical found in nonstick coatings that can leak into your food and cause health problems. Instead, look for ceramic coating or Teflon, both of which are PFOA-free and offer easy clean-up after each use.