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Mar 24, 2007 08:06 PM

Best Wok Brand

I have a crappy electric wok and want to buy a wok to start cooking. None of that non-stick crap, I want the real deal. But I don't know what brand to buy. Any suggestions?

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  1. I love the roomy Calphalon hard-anodized wok I've had for years courtesy of my in-laws. I made spinach & goat cheese risotto in it last night.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MsDiPesto

      OMG....I Love that, how did it turn out??

    2. Go to any number of Chinese restaurant supply shops in the SF Bay Area where you're located and pick the wok that suits you. I'd recommend carbon steel, nothing fancy and find one with the handle style and balance that works for you.

      1. Unless you have an industrial-strength gas jet range, I think you are bound to be disappointed with wok cooking at home. There is a reason Chinese restaurant kitchens use those double-ring gas jet heat sources that look like jet fighter engine flames. Woks are thin metal, and rounded at that, so they do not retain heat well at all. A normal kitchen's gas stove won't deliver the necessary heat for correct stir-fry cooking, which depends on an immediate sear on the food. And an electric range, with only a fraction of the wok surface in contact -- forget it.

        You will get far superior results at home by using your heaviest cast iron skillet, letting it preheat on the stove for three to five minutes, and then cooking in small batches. Preheating allows the heat to build up, and the heft of the cast iron helps retain the heat. And cooking at extremely high heat is a secret to good stirfry, along with uniform cutting of the inredients and using tons of garlic and ginger in the cooking oil.

        1. Go to it is a S.F. website...I have purchased several woks there. Carbon steel is what you want.....check it out

          3 Replies
          1. re: nyfoodjoe

            I second the recommendation. Lots of good information there, too.

            1. re: nyfoodjoe

              I would tell anyone in the USA to go to the wokshop website, and for a poster who is already in the SF Bay Area, it's a no-brainer. Go to SF Chinatown, and Tane Chan and her staff will set you up with the best thing for you at a great price. I know I sound like an advertisement, but the place is that good.

              While I second nosh's point that wide cast iron is a legitimate alternative for many recipes, I disagree that disappointment is inevitable with home wok cookery. You can find cookbooks like "Breath of the Wok" which capably adapt recipes to home conditions.

              That said, I do agree that high heat is better if you can get it, which is why I have an outdoor propane burner for such purposes. Wok Shop can sell you that equipment, too, and it's not super-pricey.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                Another recommendation for I have a round bottom carbon steel from there.

                I haven't been disappointed with wok cooking on my home gas burners and do the same as bada bing when I want really high heat (rarely find it necessary) or want to keep the house clean or odor free - go outdoors and use the propane burner.

            2. See this thread too:

              while it's true you won't be able to get quite the same heat, we've had pretty good luck at home with a round bottomed carbon steel wok over a wok ring - the wok ring lets the wok get pretty close to the flame.

              1 Reply
              1. re: will47

                If you have a chance, go to a chinese store, I bought mine 25 years ago, its stainless steel with a copper bottom, really works great, aprox 50 dollars now

                Not true that you cannot cook a good meal without gaz powered range, its just practice