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Skillet or Dutch Oven instead of a Wok

bxgirl Jan 9, 2011 03:47 AM

I know there has been some discusssion about buying a wok, or not, to use for this month's COTM.
I also know that Grace Young recommends a skillet as a "wok alternative."
So, for those of you who are participating in this month's COTM, and are not using a wok, are you using a skillet or a dutch oven (I have both) and how is it working?
Is one preferable to the other?

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  1. m
    morwen RE: bxgirl Jan 9, 2011 06:32 AM

    If you don't have a gas stove a heavy flat bottomed vessel will work better than a wok.

    2 Replies
    1. re: morwen
      John E. RE: morwen Jan 9, 2011 09:29 AM

      I agree. A family member recently bought a flat-bottomed non-stick wok at Ikea. It's worthless because our electric ceramic stove doesn't get hot enough and with a small cooking area that's not blazing hot like wok cooking should be it just doesn't work well. A 12" nonstick skillet is the way to go for us.

      1. re: John E.
        yfunk3 RE: John E. Jan 9, 2011 03:59 PM

        My IKEA wok works just fine on my tiny electric stove. I use the biggest electric coil, the same one I use for my 12" and 10" skillets. I just keep it on high and make sure everything gets smoking hot before I even think of putting any food in to cook. Then it's just a matter of keeping an eye on everything.

    2. todao RE: bxgirl Jan 9, 2011 11:05 AM

      Using a Wok requires high heat; and lots of it. Unless you've got a stove that puts out BTU's in the five figure range, a typical Wok wouldn't be my first recommendation. However, because cast iron heats slowly but holds an incredible amount of heat for a long time, a cast iron Wok would (IMO) work fairly well on even an electric range.

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