Three Steps to Buying the Best Wok

6 Nov

Choosing the best wok for you

Buying a wok is overwhelming because of the huge range of options. By having a clear idea of the purpose it will serve, businesses can choose the best wok in three simple steps.

1. Choose the Material

Stainless Steel– Stainless steel gets very hot, but the heat transfer takes a relatively long time.

Cast Iron– similarly to stainless, steel, cast iron gets extremely hot, but also takes a long time to heat up. The metal is considered reactive, which can give acidic foods a metallic taste. Cast iron woks also tend to be heavy, making it hard to toss around the contents of the pan.

Carbon Steel– Carbon steel woks are relatively lightweight, distribute heat evenly, and are non-stick, making them (usually) the best option for sautéing.

All in all, since stainless steel and cast iron woks tend to take longer to heat up and distribute heat less evenly, they are less ideal for busy service in restaurants compared to carbon steel woks. Having lightweight woks makes quickly sautéing and tossing ingredients easy for chefs, since they won’t get tired out very quickly and will be able to make sure that the pan contents get cooked evenly.

2. Choose the Shape and Size

Shallow vs. Deep– A shallow wok that is large enough to allow liquids to evaporate will leave the ingredients relatively crunchy. A deeper pan will give foods a more “steamed” texture compared to shallow woks.

Big vs. Small– Caterers may consider buying bigger woks in order to cook larger volumes at once, while restaurant may choose to purchase smaller woks, to make it easy for cooks to quickly toss and sauté multiple dishes during service.

3. Know Your Budget and Shop Around

When considering purchasing any piece of kitchen equipment, it is important for businesses to shop around in order to get an idea about typical pricing for the item. Once a general price range is known, purchasers can find the highest quality equipment for the best price.

Making educated purchasing decisions can make work easier for cooks and save businesses money and hassle. Woks are a versatile kitchen tool that can be used for mixing pasta with sauces, sautéing, smoking foods indoors, and more. By making sure the type of wok purchased is compatible with the desired use, food preparation can be made easier and the prepared dishes can be better.

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