Craft Wok 731W88 Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok, 14-Inch
Last updated date: July 1, 2020
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In our analysis of 198 expert reviews, the Craft Wok Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok, 14-Inch placed 6th when we looked at the top 14 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note July 2, 2020:
Checkout The Best Wok for a detailed review of all the top woks.
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From The Manufacturer
15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel, commercial grade. Original design by Craft Wok since 2014, proven quality over the years. Traditional chinese wok pan with round bottom: not suitable for flat electric or flat induction stove. Do not forget to season it before use! Instructions for easy seasoning are included with the wok. Our customer service is ready to guide through the process whenever you need it. Hand hammered by Chinese professionals in Guangzhou. This wok is the proven choice of many professional Chinese chefs. Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over high heat, also helpful for hanging the wok for storage. Wooden handle has special hygroscopic not slippery surface for tight grip when you stir-fry.
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An Overview On Woks
The wok is one of the most useful pieces of kitchen equipment for both professional chefs and home cooks. It has been used in Chinese kitchens for centuries and is now a staple in many kitchens around the world.
“There’s a reason why the wok is the single most important tool in the Asian kitchen: its incredible versatility,” says our resident culinary expert Julie Chernoff, a long-time food journalist and dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. “Stir fry, deep fry, steam, blanch… the wok can do it all.”
In order to use the wok effectively, you need to first have very high heat. This results in meals that cook in a short amount of time. Because of the high heat, it’s important to use the right amount of oil so that the ingredients don’t stick to the pan. In many recipes, the ingredients, such as chicken, beef, pork or fish, plus vegetables like carrots or cabbage, are seared on the high heat in the wok, before being used in a different cooking method in the same pan. The wok can be used to boil ingredients in a liquid or steam them by using the lid.
Don’t overfill the wok. If this happens, the ingredients will cook too slowly and you won’t get the proper amount of heat. Before putting any ingredients in the pan, it’s critical to prepare all of your ingredients by washing, cutting and setting them out. This mise en place technique ensures that you can add the right ingredient to the wok at the right time.
One of the most common ways a wok is used is to make a stir fry.
“The key to a great stir fry is to cut up each ingredient to similar size so that they cook in the same amount of time (meaning equal-size chunks of protein, or all ¼-inch thick carrot coins, etc.), and to know what order to add them to the wok,” Chernoff explains. “Aromatics are added first, then ingredients in order of length of cooking time, from longest to shortest.”
DWYM Fun Fact
Ever wonder why some woks have round bottoms while others have flat ones? Their unique design actually dictates what kind of stove they are best for.
“Round-bottom woks will come with a metal collar/ring to keep them steady over a gas flame; flat-bottom woks are best for electric stovetops, but can also be used over gas,” explains Chernoff.
The classic wok has a rounded bottom as it was used on a traditional charcoal fire. On a gas stove, however, the metal ring provides stability so that the pan can be used safely. If you have a round-bottom wok and an electric stove, you will find that the pan doesn’t sit properly on the cooking element. However, there are wok add-ons available that make it easier to use your round-bottom wok on an electric element.
The Wok Buying Guide
- An important element to consider when selecting your wok is the material it’s made out of. “While there are many expensive Westernized versions available — made of copper, stainless steel, or even with nonstick surfaces — it’s hard to beat the classic carbon steel,” Chernoff says. “Although the carbon steel must be seasoned before first use, and cleaned thoroughly after each use and reoiled, the extra care and time are well worth it for the final product.” The Calphalon Flat-Bottom Wok is made out of hard-anodized aluminum, while the Lodge Cast Iron Loop Handle Mini Wok, 9-Inch is 100% cast iron and comes seasoned. The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Wok, 14-Inch has an aluminum core between two stainless steel layers. Other woks are made of heavy gauge carbon steel.
- If you want to avoid using excess oil in your cooking, you may want to pay attention to the non-stick coating on your work. The Calphalon Flat-Bottom Wok has three layers of non-stick coating, while the Lodge Cast Iron Loop Handle Mini Wok, 9-Inch has been seasoned with 100% vegetable oil. The seasoning improves as the pan is used.
- The way your wok retains heat and distributes heat can affect the outcome of your recipe. The Calphalon Flat-Bottom Wok ensures even heating with its aluminum construction. However, the Lodge Cast Iron Loop Handle Mini Wok, 9-Inch boasts better heat retention than any other material. The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Wok, 14-Inch provides even heating for excellent browning and searing and gives cooks full control of the cooking process.
- Because the wok is operated on such high heat, it’s important that the handles on the wok enable the cook to move it around safely, without having to touch the pan. “Look for a wok with a long wooden handle on one side and a helping handle opposite it for handling and moving the wok,” directs Chernoff.
- The Calphalon Flat-Bottom Wok has one long, brushed stainless steel handle that stays cool on the stovetop. On the other hand, the Lodge Cast Iron Loop Handle Mini Wok, 9-Inch has two assist loop handles for a safe and secure grip. However, they do heat up while cooking and can only be held using an oven mitt to avoid injury. The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Wok, 14-Inch has one long, brushed stainless steel handle and one assist loop handle. Other woks have a long ergonomic phenolic handle and a small assist handle, which stays cool while cooking.
- If you’re interested in exploring the versatility of the wok, then “look for a wok with a lid,” as Chernoff guides. This “helps with steaming and simmering ingredients during cooking.” The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Wok, 14-Inch comes with a clear tempered glass lid, while the Calphalon Flat-Bottom Wok and the Lodge Cast Iron Loop Handle Mini Wok, 9-Inch don’t come with a lid.
- Whether you’re routinely cooking for a crowd or just for your family will dictate the size of wok you need. “You’re not going to need a gigantic wok (like the ones used in Asian restaurants), and you want to make sure that it will fit over one burner on your stovetop,” explains Chernoff. The Calphalon Flat-Bottom Wok is 10 inches, while the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Wok, 14-Inch is 14 inches. The Lodge Cast Iron Loop Handle Mini Wok, 9-Inch is on the smaller side at just 9 inches.