What sort of wok to buy? Page 1 / 2

beechee51, Apr 3, 5:47am
I have decided to purchase a wok and had a look at the zip ones which are non stick but are made of aluminium, there are more expensive Tefal ones which also contain aluminium and there are carbon steel ones which may rust.
Any ideas on what to get?

moggie57, Apr 3, 6:04am
I have a sunbeam electric wok, its great really hot too. love it

davidt4, Apr 3, 6:05am
A Chinese carbon steel one is the best; they are very cheap and lightweight enough to enable you to toss the food around so that it cooks evenly.It won't rust if you season it before you use it and always dry it properly after washing.My present wok is about 20 years old and has such a good patina that it behaves like a non-stick pan.

Non-stick is no good for a wok because it won't take the high temperature that is necessary for wok cooking.

lilyfield, Apr 3, 6:10am
ditto davidt4

winnie15, Apr 3, 7:05am
i bought a non-stick electrical wok and hate it .. i never use it.

davidt .. do you use your wok on an electric element or gas ring?

cookessentials, Apr 3, 7:51am
The carbon steel wont rust if looked after. They need to be seasoned and stored properly.

kinna54, Apr 3, 7:51am
Moggie57 I have the sunbeam electric one too! I won it in a raffle! It's awesome, wouldn't be without it.

allurs, Apr 3, 7:58am
please give advice on how to season and look after thanks

uli, Apr 3, 8:51am
Definitely go for a real wok and not some non-stick western version. I have several Chinese carbon steel ones and they are all very nice and non-stick too if treated properly.

uli, Apr 3, 8:53am
You have to clean them thoroughly after buying as they are covered in commercial grease - which is not edible, but prevents rust until sold.

After scrubbing you can either oil them all over and then bake them in an oven or do the same on a flame - gas or wood or bbq.

Then wash with hot water only - no soap - and dry and hang somewhere on the wall, so they don't rust.

davidt4, Apr 3, 8:55am
Gas.My hob has one large double-circle burner that gets incredibly hot n about 20 seconds.The main purpose of a wok is to cook food over a large surface on very high heat so that the liquids are evaporated almost instantly - the food doesn't stew.You need to toss it constantly, but most things take only a minute or so.

winnie15, Apr 3, 6:38pm
will it work as well on an electrical stove element?

cookessentials, Apr 3, 9:50pm
To season , thoroughly scrub it inside and out with soap and a steel wool scouring pad to remove the manufacturer's protective coating.Rinse thoroughly with hot water. Set the clean wok over high heat. Heat until a few drops of water sprinkled into the wok turn into jumping beads. While the pan is heating, it will change from shinygrey to blue, purple, red and, finally, black.

Using folded paper towels, dip into peanut or corn oil and wipe the oil on the entire inside surface of the wok (be very careful as it is very very hot). Reduce heat to low and let the wok sit over the heat for 15 minutes to absorb the oil - the colour changes will continue and the bottom of the wok should darken. With frequent use the entire wok will turn black. If the surface looks dry, wipe with another thin film of oil. Remove wok from the burner and let it cool.

cookessentials, Apr 3, 9:53pm
Yes, you can do this on an electric element. Also, for a beginner, buy yourself a wok ring which will hold your wok in place over the stove top, or better still, get one with the flat base which is better if you have an electric element as opposed to a gas ring. You want about a medium concave wok, otherwise if it's too concave all the heat is concentrated on the bottom of the wok.

beechee51, Apr 3, 9:59pm
Thanks cookessentials I wil get one and season it like you suggest. The reply earlier suggested putting it into the oven and I was concerned about the wooden handles burning.

winnie15, Apr 3, 9:59pm
thanks cookess

cookessentials, Apr 3, 10:39pm
Better on the stove top. in the oven is better for paella pans.

winnie15, Apr 4, 9:46pm
will a wok cook food as well on a electric element as a gas hobb?

cookessentials, Apr 4, 10:25pm
For what you want, yes. Get a flat bottom one for the element.

uli, Apr 5, 12:19am
A real wok won't - as it is not designed for anything but an open flame.
But one of the fake ones will - ask cooks for those.

cookessentials, Apr 5, 1:00am
what is a fake wok? Goes to show you nothing about them. You can get a carbon steel wok with a flat bottom. winnie, it will be perfectly fine, ulli knows very little apart from how to cause lots of dissent on threads...its her specialty.

cookessentials, Apr 6, 5:02am
Did you manage to find yourself a good wok beechee51?

beechee51, Apr 7, 3:41am
I am going to pick up a carbon steel one from Stevens tomorrow, for about $29 so hope its ok, thanks cookessentials

winnie15, Apr 7, 4:30am
good one _ will have a look at stevens when i go to hamilton at end of the monthtoo..

cookessentials, Apr 7, 4:54am
only if it's not a Steven's own brand. A carbon steel wok is not overly expensive...get a better one than a Stevens branded product.

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