How to choose a wok for stir frying — Material

Welcome to asiangarden2table. A wok is a versatile cooking vessel, originating from China. Every household in China must have at least a wok for cooking and more than 80% of the food is cooked in a wok. A good wok can be a family heirloom passed on from generation to generation. If you are serious about adding healthy Asian cooking in your daily diet, start from choosing the right and good wok. A wok can be made of several materials: copper, Aluminum, steel. Copper has superior heat conductivity but copper cookware is expensive, difficult to maintain, and easy to be worn out. Also Copper may interact with foods and release toxic Copper products. Aluminum also has excellent heat conductivity, and at the same time, lightweight, very affordable. But it has similar problem with copper: Aluminum products from interacting with food could cause health problem. Anodized aluminum is safer and harder at the same time still has great heat conductivity and light weight which make it a good material for cookware. But once the oxidized Aluminum film is damaged, the risk from the exposed Aluminum under the film is still a concern to your health. Aluminum cookware can also be coated with a non-stick plastic film. The biggest advantage for this kind of cookware is non-stickiness. But it is not a good option for a wok. Cooking in a wok usually requires high temperature and intense stirring. The non-stick film is easily peeled off. Both the film fragments and exposed Aluminum body can cause health concern. The most popular material for a wok is steel: stainless steel, carbon steel and Cast iron. So it goes no wrong if you choose any of these three. Stainless steel cookware is non-interactive with food, heavy, durable, dishwasher-safe and inexpensive most of the time. But compared to other materials we talk about here, stainless steel has poorer heat conductivity. An expensive stainless steel wok with a copper/aluminum inner core improves the heat conductivity. So it is good option for you to consider. Carbon steel wok is inexpensive, light weight and has great heat conductivity. With good care and well seasoning, carbon steel wok can generate a natural non-stick film which makes stir-frying easier. It can be used at high temperature with intense stirring. It is also believed that iron released from cooking with carbon steel cookware is a great source for iron supplement in your body. The down side for carbon steel wok is it requires good maintenance and no-acid food in cooking or it will easily get rusty. Because carbon steel wok is usually light and thin, when used on an electric or induction cooktop, it is easy to deform and difficult to control the heat applied to your food. Cast iron shares a lot of features with carbon steel except it is heavier and has bigger pores in its micro structure. Compared to carbon steel wok, a cast iron wok is easier to generate a non-stick result and performs better on an electric or induction cooktop. A good piece of cast iron wok can last very long time. The more and longer you use it, the better it works. A well cared cast iron wok can be a valuable treasure to you and your family. And that is my number one recommendation to you. To be continued, I will share with you more about choosing a cast iron wok Thank you for watching. I will see you next time.

12 comments on “How to choose a wok for stir frying — Material”

  1. melovescoffee says:

    Still hunting for one! I have a non stick one called a greenpan with a glass lid for the vegetable garden because it's easy to clean and i only have an electric cooker there anyway. For at home i'm still looking for a big steel one. Thank you for the excellent information. Now i know what i'm looking for.. Have a wonderful day, Regine!

  2. Lily Davis says:

    Thanks for another great video

  3. Fernando Vieira says:

    Nice tips!

  4. Janice B says:

    This is an excellent, informative video. I have an electric wok, I've been using for many years. It is non-stick coated aluminum, and just now getting worn out. I have loved it! But, since nonstick is getting damaged (after many years of regular use) I'm in the market to replace it. With the information you provided here, I feel prepared to make a smart selection. I will go with cast iron, since I have electric stove, and don't want it to wear out, or cause health risk. Thanks again Regine.

  5. Patricia McCrea says:

    What brand cast iron wok would be your first choice?
    Can you put a link to it here?
    Thank you.
    I am enjoying your videos since i recently found you on here. Love to grow asian food. And love the long beans!!

  6. clip012 says:

    Spot on food safety information! Great video.

  7. Declan Stark says:

    This was a good overview, thank you

  8. neonia hazelwood says:

    Thank you.

  9. livingsouljourney says:

    Thank you

  10. Douglas Barrow says:

    Cast Iron does seem to be the best alternative for me. Thank you for the information.

  11. OnK ao says:

    Steel and Carbon Steel Wok is same material ?

  12. Rajcoomaree Sowamber says:

    Cast iron wok is no longer available in my country.

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