How to choose the best cast iron wok

How to choose the best cast iron wok


Hi welcome to asiangarden2table. Cast iron cookware is made from melted iron that is poured into molds or “casts.” As cookware, it has remarkable features: It has excellent heat retention and distribution, and ability to withstand high temperature, it can develop a natural non-stick surface from daily usage, it also releases iron into food which is a great source for iron supplement. Stir-frying is the most popular way to prepare food in China. It uses oil as carrier, adds in well-cut ingredients, by frequent turning and tossing, to cook the foods at high temperature in very short time. The best wok for you is the one fits on your cooktop and functions well as a wok. Majority of the cooktop in US is designed to sit a pan/pot. A flat bottom wok is very necessary. You may be suggested to use a wok ring to fit a round bottom wok on your cooktop. Then the wok will be off from heating center and you won’t get enough heat when stir-frying. Flexibility is very important for a wok to work well. It includes the flexibility to handle the wok and the flexibility to control the heat applying to the food. My first cast iron wok weighs more than 12 pounds and is impossible for me to toss or lift it up or transfer the food onto dish with one hand. It takes long time to heat up the wok. After the food is added in the wok, it quickly cools down because it takes forever for the heat to pass through the thick bottom. After in use a while, this heavy wok gets retired. Light weight cast iron wok usually weighs less than 6 pounds which is durable but still handable. To make stir-frying smooth and effortless, it is important to have a nice smooth inside curve. This one has a rough corner between the wall and bottom. When stir-frying, spatulas cannot slide over this corner smoothly. This corner is also make cleaning more difficult. Handle is the part you use to operate the wok. Steel handle might be convenient to put in oven or dish washer ,for stir-frying, or you may risk of burning your hand when cook. You will need a comfortable and heat-isolated handle. Wooden or plastic handle will work well here. A well-used and maintained cast iron should be shining and smooth on the surface. A lot of cast iron cookware masters recommend to polish your new cast iron cookware with sand, coarse salt, steel sponge or even electric polisher, to remove the rough and bumpy surface come with a new wok. A polished cast iron surface exposes its internal porous structure which make seasoning more effective. A smooth surface is much more comfortable to cook on and easier to clean well. If you are looking for a wok to use on electric cooktop, there are two additional notes here: first, get a wide flat bottom, should be at least 7” diameter, which is the size of heating area on an electric cooktop; second, thick bottom to prevent or minimize deformation when cooking at high heat on a flat surface. I have been searching for very long time in order to find a good wok to recommend to my viewers. You can refer to my suggestion above when shopping for a cast iron wok. Or you can consider our wok. This one is for gas burner, weighs about 4.5 pounds, 5.5” small flat bottom to sit on your gas cooktop directly. This second one is for electric cooktop, weighs about 5 pounds, 7” big flat bottom to fit on electric cooktop, extra thick bottom design (>2.5mm thickness). Both have nice and smooth curve, well-polished surface and pre-seasoned at high temperature. More information please visit our website at asiangarden2table.com/shop A well-seasoned and cared cast iron wok can generate a natural non-stick film which make stir-frying easier. Next video with our cast iron wok as example, I will show you how to season a new cast iron wok and how to maintain it daily. Please subscribe to our channel for more videos to come or visit our website at asiangarden2table.com for more information. See you next time.

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