Why buy a wok pan?
Once you have a wok, you may not know how to live without one ever again. This is mainly because woks are so versatile. A wok has both a wide and deep cooking area, marrying a traditional pot and pan together. They quickly cook meats and vegetables so that you can have your meals ready in a flash. Today’s wok pans are made from a variety of materials that either have nonstick qualities or can be easily seasoned. You can cook just about anything in a wok, so they’re a worthy investment for most busy kitchens.
What should you consider in a wok pan?
- Weight: Lighter wok pans can be used to toss food vigorously without using a spoon or spatula. Heavier wok pans season well and will last for ages. If you have strength issues in your wrists or arms, go for a lighter wok.
- Cooking Surface: Traditional wok pans have a rounded bottom and may not work on an electric or induction-style stove. Some modern woks have a wider, flatter bottom surface so that they can be used with any kind of cooking surface. Electric woks are great if you have a tight kitchen.
- Durability: More than likely, a traditional wok will last much longer in the home than in a restaurant because it likely won’t be used quite as heavily. The durability of a wok also depends on its materials. If you know how to care for cast iron, a cast iron wok will stand the test of time. However, if you neglect it, it will rust. Nonstick woks also require careful cleaning and maintenance. When it comes to a wok, durability is about care as much as it is about vigorous usage.
What can you cook in a wok pan?
Think about your wok as a pot and a pan combined. Therefore, it’s the ultimate one-pot meal maker. You can cook breakfast like eggs and fried potatoes, hearty soups, stir-fries, and just about any dinner under the sun. You can cook things like popcorn, burgers, or french fries in a wok.
Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Wok
This professional and traditional wok is made with care to cook delicious authentic meals.
Pros: This traditional wok is heavy-duty and sturdy carbon steel, weighing as much as its cast iron counterpart. It’s durable as long as it’s properly cared for. It’s hand hammered and commercial grade. The cleanup process is easier than some others.
Cons: A traditional wok won’t work on an electric or induction-style stovetop. You must season this wok well for the best results.
Bottom Line: This is an excellent traditional wok. You can have tons of fun perfecting the “wok toss” with the convenient handle. Plus, it cooks well both indoors and out. Campfire stir-fry, anyone?
Willow & Everett Wok Pan
This extra-large wok is tough as nails and dishwasher safe.
Pros: The dome lid that comes with this wok is a great touch, and it’s the perfect height to fit a steam basket underneath. Once your wok is properly seasoned (add oil, toss it about as it comes to the smoke point, then drain it out), it should be nonstick and good to go. This is a great lighter wok option.
Cons: The lid is on the thin side, and the included spatula isn’t of great quality.
Bottom Line: Lightweight but sturdy, this wok is a winner. It cooks meals perfectly over medium heat, and it works on most cooking surfaces.
Aroma Housewares Electric Wok
If you have limited space and still want to cook fabulous meals, this electric wok pan has you covered.
Pros: This electric wok has a wide, deep cooking surface for making your favorite meals. It heats up quickly, so you can get cooking right away. Plus, it comes with extra cooking accessories for fried foods.
Cons: Be careful how many appliances you have plugged in because this electric wok uses a lot of power.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a nonstick electric wok that will last, this may be a great purchase for you. It has multiple heat settings and an adjustable lid for letting out steam. Plus, this electric wok is surprisingly easy to clean.
Jim Beam Heavy-Duty Cast Iron Grilling Wok
Made from heavy-duty cast iron, this affordable wok pan will last for years if properly cared for.
Pros: This 12-inch cast iron pan is a heavy-duty and reliable option. It’s great for outdoor use, even over an open flame. It will last you years if you care for it properly. Plus, it’s really affordable.
Cons: This pan doesn’t have a handle, so you’ll need potholders to remove it from the stove and move it around.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a solid cast iron wok, try this one. It comes pre-seasoned, is easy to cook in, and works well. Plus, this wok is lighter than many other cast iron woks, allowing it to heat more quickly and evenly.
COOKLOVER PFOA Free Induction Wok pan with Lid
This nonstick wok pan is made from environmentally-friendly materials to cook using fewer oils and fats.
Pros: This is an excellent wok for quick stir-frying because it heats quickly and evenly. It’s heavier and sturdier than many other nonstick woks, and the tools and accessories that are included don’t disappoint. It’s a really pretty wok and lid with wooden handles. It comes in black or white.
Cons: The nonstick coating doesn’t last as long as some would prefer.
Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a nonstick wok that’s easy to use and looks great, this is an excellent choice. It makes quick meals a breeze on busy weekdays, and it can work on just about any cooking surface.
Woks have been used to make traditional, regional Chinese cuisine for hundreds of years, but they’re certainly not limited to that. Woks are impressively versatile cookware, and our suggestions should serve you well in the kitchen.