How many woks do you own?
- Candy Aug 8, 2006 11:13 PM
My DH suggested this and I told him to post it but have gone ahead with the question.
How many do you own, what type and do you use them for more than Asian food?
The question arose when I asked him to get my large round bottomed wok out to fry chicken wings for hot wings tonight. I also have two stick handled woks in 14" and 12" sizes. All 3 are carbon steel. How about you?
Candy, I have had a very large restaurant wok for over twenty-five years and it has cooked everything imaginable. I used it on a sailboat for many years as my main cooking vessel because its small (flat) bottom would fit inside the burner fences (designed to keep hot pots from sliding) unlike large diameter pans. Chicken Cacciatore for 20 is probably the largest amount for a single on-the-water gathering. Another huge bonus for this wok is the "helper" handle directly across from the long stick handle. I used to tie a long line through this and drag it behind the boat for cleaning because it was much too large to fit in my Ken & Barbie-sized sink!
I'd grab my "Big Beauty" in case of a fire. It is a workhorse. I also use a smaller 12" wok for everyday, at-home cooking for the two of us.
My wife cooks Chinese food exclusively has exactly ONE wok. Her cuisine (Shanghainese) leans more toward braising, steaming and stewing than actual stir-frying, and she's taken to Western-style fry pans and stock pots for those techniques. Stir-frying is a hands-on technique anyway, and she can only stir-fry one thing at a time. And because of the tapered shape of a traditional wok, size is more or less irrelevant as long as you have the biggest wok you care to handle.
On the other hand, "wok" is just Cantonese for "guo" which can refer to any kind of cooking pot, so I suppose you can say she has several "woks."
I have three in the inventory - two round bottomed with double handles, one larger than the other (maybe 14 and 12 inches, I'm not sure), and one flat-bottomed (and yes, I know a flat-bottomed wok is an oxymoron) acquired through marriage, with a stick handle. All carbon steel, all more-or-less seasoned OK. I don't use them for anything other than Asian food, and sometimes not even then - my 15,000 BTU burners are about an order of magnitude too anemic for real wok cooking and a large frypan often does a better job, but I enjoy using them anyway, so I usually do.
Two- one 14" and one 10", both carbon steel. I actually probably shouldn't take credit for these... they're my fiance's, but I bought the first one for him. I'd say we use them equally for Asian food and equally for other things. We use the larger one if we are going to fry anything usually. The larger one has a removable handle and the smaller one has the two metal handles on the sides. Actually, this is the larger one that we have: http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...
I have two, both anodized aluminum. I used to have 2 carbon steel woks and got tired of dealing with the rust so I gave them away. Mine are about 16" and 18", used mostly for Asian cooking especially Asian vegetables which I do several times a week. I also use them when I want to cook large quantities of food over high heat. I also use a wok for steaming big items like whole fish, dumplings or Chinese steamed sponge cake.
According to my parents, my grandfather who died when I was a baby, was an excellent cook who used woks exclusively. He would fry a single egg in the giant cast iron wok he used all the time.