The classic wok pan is a thin-walled metal cauldron with a conical shape and a convex bottom. The thin walls and rounded bottom of this cookware allow you to cook food quickly over high heat. When choosing a suitable wok, you should evaluate the main parameters that affect the functionality and comfort of using it in the kitchen.
In the standard wok, the bottom is convex. It was originally conceived because this cookware was created for cooking on an open fire. Manufacturers offer woks with both convex and flat bottoms. For example, Yosukata professional wok which can be found at https://yosukata.com/ has both options. Modern models usually have a flat bottom and are adapted for use on gas, electric, glass-ceramic, and induction hobs. For gas units, you can use either option.
Not all materials can interact with induction or glass-ceramic hob, so when purchasing a wok, it is necessary to study the information for which hobs a particular pan is intended.
- Aluminum frying pans instantly heat up, have a minimum weight, but the dish burns quickly without constant stirring. You can use such utensils on gas and electric stoves.
- Steel woks are the most popular. But keep in mind that steel can also be different. Manufacturers offer pans made of carbon or stainless steel and in combination with other metals (aluminum, copper, nickel, chromium).
- A cast-iron pan, on the one hand, has excellent non-stick properties. And on the other — heaviness and fragility. A wok with a wall thickness of 3 mm will heat up faster, but it can crack at any time. The thick-walled 9 mm wok is much heavier but more durable. It will slowly heat up but retain heat longer due to smooth cooling. In a thin-walled skillet, it is easier to prepare traditional Asian food by shaking. It is inconvenient to do this in heavy cast-iron dishes.
The typical diameter of woks in the East is 36 cm, but there are options from 20 cm to 2 m. Small pans are used for preparing a quick snack, and large ones are intended for public kitchens. A frying pan with a diameter of more than 30 cm is heavy and inconvenient: it will take up a lot of space in a regular kitchen. The optimal size for home use is 28 cm.
Thus, buying a wok is not an easy task. Cast iron and aluminum pans are the most popular. The advantages of the first are obvious: reliability and durability, it is not afraid of either high temperature or scratches. However, everyone knows that cast-iron pans are heavy, and you are unlikely to be able to operate such dishes with one hand. That is why you can look at lighter aluminum or steel options.