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Good flat-bottomed wok ?

LotusRapper Sep 20, 2010 03:38 PM

A friend with a new gas range asked if I know where to get one. I listed my usual suspects to him:

• Ming Wo (23 E. Pender, Chinatown)
• Russell Food Equip (1255 Venables)
• Dunlevy Food Equip (60 W.7th Ave)
• Genesis Food Equip (1990 Powell)
• Paragon food Equip (760 E. Hastings)
• Vancouver Used Food Equip Warehouse (193 W. 3rd Ave)

Although I'm not up-to-date on who sells what. Any particular stores and/or model of flat-bottom wok you would recommend ? My friend is not planning to spend more than $60.

(I strongly recommended him a round-bottom work, btw)

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  1. Sam Salmon RE: LotusRapper Sep 20, 2010 04:16 PM

    If it's a flat bottomed model he wants I strongly suggest he check out the various models of 'Kadai' sold in Little India-cheap sturdy and well built.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sam Salmon
      LotusRapper RE: Sam Salmon Sep 20, 2010 06:45 PM

      Thanks Sam, I'll pass on the info !

      1. re: LotusRapper
        À
        À la carte RE: LotusRapper Sep 20, 2010 08:14 PM

        Kadai are great, depending on what your friend wants to use them for. I am not so sure that they'd work well for Chinese-type stir frying -- at least, most of the ones I have from India don't, but I haven't checked out the ones sold here. Just something to think about before spending $$.

        For Chinese woks, your list sounds pretty good, unless your friend wants to try mail order from the Wok Shop in SF.

    2. fmed RE: LotusRapper Sep 20, 2010 09:50 PM

      I would add Tinland (Chinatown). Great selection of woks - but I don't recall seeing flat-bottomed ones...though I'm sure they must have them.

      On that note, I used to think that woks are a necessity for Chinese cooking at home...however, not even the hottest semi-pro stoves get close to what you need to achieve "wok hei". Woks generally waste too much heat (the sides act as a heat sink which tend to cool down the cooking process.)

      I now recommend a smaller slope sided carbon steel pan - like this de Buyer http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc... and just cook in batches. These blue steel pans get very hot. Hot enough for "wok" cooking.

      17 Replies
      1. re: fmed
        LotusRapper RE: fmed Sep 20, 2010 10:21 PM

        Excellent suggestion, Fmed. I think I'll get one myself (price is right too), the 12.5" version.

        I ditched my non-stick wok last year after deciding my family (esp. kid) would no longer eat foods that risk being contaminated by PFOA/PTFE. Since then I've been "wokking" with a faux Le Creuset enamel castiron saucier pan (actually sears decently if pre-heated properly). But man, it's freaking heavy .........

        1. re: LotusRapper
          fmed RE: LotusRapper Sep 20, 2010 10:27 PM

          If you can't get it at a local W-S, I know a source. PM me if you need this info.

          1. re: fmed
            LotusRapper RE: fmed Sep 20, 2010 10:36 PM

            Will do :-)

            Arghhhhh, W-S Canada doesn't have online catalogue, WTH !

            1. re: LotusRapper
              grayelf RE: LotusRapper Sep 20, 2010 10:48 PM

              Isn't there one on Granville around 12th, LR? You could check it and Cookworks out at the same time. And then have lunch at Lin's :-).

              1. re: grayelf
                LotusRapper RE: grayelf Sep 20, 2010 10:52 PM

                Marvelous idea !

                1. re: LotusRapper
                  grayelf RE: LotusRapper Sep 20, 2010 10:53 PM

                  Don't forget to hit Lin's early to get the XLB :-).

            2. re: fmed
              grayelf RE: fmed Sep 20, 2010 10:43 PM

              I was at Cookworks tonight and they have some blue steel frypans and I think they are on sale, though not sure. Might be worth a call...

              You will scoff, but I love my 12" hard anodized aluminum flat-bottomed Calphalon wok that I got as a wedding prezzy ten years ago. It has a nice long ergonomic handle and works well for me, retaining the heat evenly. More than $60, I fear...

              I just realized I have not cooked Chinese since we got our DCS stove installed in July (I do use my wok for lotsa other stuff like pad thai, pancit and pilaf... and other things that don't begin with P). I wonder if I could get a little wok hei out of it. It is about a billion BTUs. I've never had it above medium for fear of incinerating things...

              1. re: fmed
                LotusRapper RE: fmed Sep 21, 2010 11:22 PM

                Checked with W-S today. They have it for C$114 (12.5"), quite a difference from the US$55 on the US W-S site price. I may wait 'til a Xmas sale or see what Cookworks has to offer, like Grayelf said.

                1. re: LotusRapper
                  grayelf RE: LotusRapper Sep 23, 2010 05:57 PM

                  Cookworks has a 10" Calphalon 1 anodized flat bottomed wok similar to mine (but with a metal long handle instead of the ergonomic covering on the one I have) on sale for $79, reg $139....

                  1. re: grayelf
                    LotusRapper RE: grayelf Sep 23, 2010 07:07 PM

                    Thanks GE !

                  2. re: LotusRapper
                    b
                    bdachow RE: LotusRapper Oct 19, 2010 09:42 AM

                    Just got an e-mail. Williams Sonoma is having a 20% off all cookware sale until this Sunday. In store and in Canada only.

                    Rats...missing it by a day...love just wandering around and drooling on the pots.

                    1. re: bdachow
                      LotusRapper RE: bdachow Oct 19, 2010 04:03 PM

                      Hey Fmed - any news on your discount sourcing ?

                      1. re: LotusRapper
                        fmed RE: LotusRapper Oct 19, 2010 09:47 PM

                        Let me get back on it! (See you in vanchow...)

              2. re: fmed
                rosetown RE: fmed Sep 26, 2010 07:10 PM

                For those that might be interested. I'm in Calgary and mail ordered 3 'Lyon style' blue/black skillets from City Chef Kitchenware, a Vancouver company. As fmed said they do get hot.
                Link to the page featuring these skillets:
                http://citychef.ca/xcart/customer/pro...

                -----
                City Chef
                12500 Horseshoe Way #150, Richmond, BC V7A, CA

                1. re: rosetown
                  LotusRapper RE: rosetown Sep 26, 2010 07:43 PM

                  Thanks Rosetown. That looks pretty good. As for myself, since I'm on electric range so the better they conduct heat (and evenly) the better :-)

                  1. re: rosetown
                    fmed RE: rosetown Sep 26, 2010 08:12 PM

                    Rosetown! Long time no see. Yes these will work well too. They are slightly thinner than du Buyer but that is a minor quibble.

                    LR - The last time I checked City Chef, they only had the low sided ones (1.5") for "pancakes" - you might double check if they have the high-side ones (2.5")

                    1. re: fmed
                      rosetown RE: fmed Sep 26, 2010 08:42 PM

                      Greetings Fmed - Busy summer - major renos - you forced me to bring out the measuring tape. :)
                      12 1/2 inch diameter - 2 1/4 inch depth
                      9 1/2 inch diameter - 1 7/8 inch depth
                      7 7/8 inch diameter - 1 5/8 inch depth
                      6 1/4 inch diameter - 1 1/2 inch depth

                      So on my order, depth increased as diameter increased. They are thinner than du Buyer and they came with a Paderno label. Though I very much doubt that they are manufactured by Paderno.

                2. elvisahmed RE: LotusRapper Oct 4, 2010 12:50 AM

                  I saw a flat bottomed wok at Costco Downtown. I am sure its a good value as its the trusty old Costco we are talking about. Didn't catch the brand but I think it was 80$. Also You might want to check out cook works on broadway as they had special on wok's as well calphalon anodized one was also 80$ if I recall.

                  1. 1
                    12pines RE: LotusRapper Oct 18, 2010 05:56 PM

                    I know this is going to sound crazy, but IKEA. Really. It will do everything you need it to do and will take a good beating, all for $7.99.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: 12pines
                      LotusRapper RE: 12pines Oct 18, 2010 10:12 PM

                      Interesting option (esp. for 8 bucks).

                      But it's nonstick-coated :-/

                      http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/pro...

                    2. h
                      hamsup RE: LotusRapper Oct 19, 2010 10:41 AM

                      I've found some pretty cheap flat bottom woks at homeware (Fraser St. and 45th Ave). They are always on sale so you can check their website.

                      1. m
                        minimumharm RE: LotusRapper Nov 2, 2010 11:15 PM

                        Obviously a little late here, just wanted to mention that Cookshop—in City Square mall on Cambie carries DeBuyer carbon steel frying pans for a reasonable price—though perhaps for more than $60. http://www.cookshop.ca/store/ . . .
                        And, while all of these recommendations are great, and many of the kitchen-supply stores in Chinatown may have woks for less, I know I'd send any of my friends, or my Mom, to buy a wok at Ming Wo. Staff there are incredibly patient in explaining seasoning and finding a wok for each customer.

                        Last I was there they had some new, thicker-walled carbon steel woks. . .

                        Really, if your friend is adamant about a flat bottom, I'd say that it makes most sense to go to cast iron, where she/he might have their cake and eat it too. Flat bottomed curved interior matte enamelled woks seem to start around $90 these days, while she/he could surely find a raw cast iron for less than $40 if they hunted around Chinatown a bit.

                        I purchased an enamelled Bodum one for $65 last month as a gift, which has been well received.

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