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Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Chemicalkinetics Feb 20, 2012 08:53 PM

Sternbean and I have recently bought a couple of hand-hammered woks from e-wok:

http://e-woks.com/
http://stores.ebay.com/taost/Hammered-Iron-Kitchenware-/_i.html?_fsub=1535017018&_sid=4990568&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

Sternbean’s post can be found here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8318...

Here are some of the photos I have taken for this hand hammered wok. The first photo is the wok after the initial scrubbing/cleaning. The second photo is the wok after the baked out, first seasoning and oiling. The third and the fourth are close-up photos which show the hand hammered marks. The fifth and final photo shows my stir fried rice (salted fish with chicken fried rice).

This is a true authentic hand-hammered wok, and it is by far the best wok I have ever had. Nothing comes remotely close, and I have used and seasoned a few woks. I am very impressed. I am not saying this because it is a good looking wok, which it is. I am saying this, because it is truly a high performance wok. The thickness is just right. The shape is of the classic Peking (Northern) pow wok. It seasoned very easily. I only seasoned it once, and I was able to make fried rice with no sticking. As you could see from the photo, the fried rice came out fluffy without sticking to each other and forming crumbs. In contrast, I have used the Williams Sonoma wok for two weeks and foods still stick to it slightly. This hand hammered wok is also better than the USA made carbon steel woks from wokshop. Those are good woks, but cannot be compared to this one.

These hand hammered woks are $44 or so. Unfortunately, the shipping and handling cost quite a bit. I ended up paying for $72. It took almost two weeks to arrive. If you are in the market for a good quality hand hammered wok, then you should consider this one.

 
 
 
 
 
  1. p
    pabboy Feb 20, 2012 09:03 PM

    What's your heat source? I would love to make fried rice like that!

    18 Replies
    1. re: pabboy
      Chemicalkinetics Feb 20, 2012 09:13 PM

      "What's your heat source?"

      Thanks. Believe it or not. I used the worst of worst: electric (I am renting an apartment). It is possible to make decent fried rice even on an electric stove. It just takes a bit more patience and practice. I can not wait to use this wok on a gas stove and see it kicks asses.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        p
        pabboy Feb 21, 2012 08:51 AM

        Now I'm totally befuddled.

        A round bottom wok on an electric stove? Are you using a wok ring? Does anything come in contact with the heating element?

        Before I was impressed with your fried rice. Now totally amazed!

        1. re: pabboy
          Chemicalkinetics Feb 21, 2012 11:28 AM

          Yes, a wok ring. No, it does not come in contact of the heating element, but it gets very close.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            c
            cacruden Oct 31, 2012 02:04 AM

            I was in a similar situation. I found one supplier of home induction wok hotplates here in Thailand (found it at a very large Robinsons) - probably from a Chinese source. It did not support a Thai style (one handed wok) since the base was not shallow enough, but it supported the two handed chinese style woks. I was in a similar situation because my building has very poor electric hobs. I just turned the hob off at the fuse-panel then but the induction hotplate on top of the electric hob..... it has been good enough for now. So somewhere out there there is at least one manufacturer building induction hotplates that support round bottom woks - don't know of a north american supplier but there must be one. Local cost is between $150 and $200. Not perfect but it does heat up very hot very quickly. I have seen professional induction drop in woks for condo's or professional kitchens but could not afford it (plus it would require changing my rental property).

            1. re: cacruden
              t
              toddster63 Oct 31, 2012 07:40 AM

              cacruden, does your unit look something like the one pictured below? This is of a Adcraft unit available here in the states for around $250 or so...

               
              1. re: toddster63
                c
                cacruden Oct 31, 2012 06:43 PM

                Looks like a little higher quality make actually (also your wok looks in better shape - but mine works great anyways). It gets up to 2000watts of power which is much better than most (average priced/common) kitchen ranges (non-induction). The electric burners (underneath) took probably 2 minutes to heat up (very slow) - induction almost immediate. Not having an oven though -- induction made it almost impossible to dewax/season.... had to bring it out to a friends place in the country side originally to do that (without liquid in it it heats up until it glows and the safety heat sensor kicks the unit off).

                 
                1. re: cacruden
                  t
                  toddster63 Oct 31, 2012 06:56 PM

                  That's not my unit, it's of another online woker's setup—and I don't like the silly "hammer" pattern on the wok, and it's way too new and UN-seasoned. Your wok looks great, cacruden. Nicely seasoned and used! Thanks for sharing—your unit looks great. I'm not surprised you have such nice wok induction units at reasonable prices in Thailand with all the woking there...!

                  1. re: toddster63
                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 31, 2012 07:11 PM

                    You guys are really getting me interested in an induction wok unit. I will buy a house one day, and I would love to have a wok unit. A gas stove wok unit or an induction wok unit? I can see advantages for either. Gas is more conventional and is a proven technology, and will work very well even if the wok is routinely lifted (for tossing). Induction will be much cleaner, and require a smaller ventilation system. Less heat in the kitchen, and possibly less noise (tough to say on this one).

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      c
                      cacruden Oct 31, 2012 07:21 PM

                      Gas is always better for woks. Can't have gas in my unit, and hob is poor at best so this was the best option I had available. I never toss my wok on this unit. Induction will not be "much" cleaner and the ventilation system would have to be the same - though the heat itself would likely be lesser. When cooking on a high power wok you are "vaporizing" a lot of oil, and that is what the ventilation system has to be able to handle (you will notice it much more if you toss chilies into hot oil - it will sometimes feel like you are getting hit with a wall of mace)...

                      1. re: cacruden
                        t
                        toddster63 Oct 31, 2012 07:33 PM

                        I agree. I've been woking outdoors with a propane burner for 3 years now, doing stir-fries at up to 50K BTU's. Lately I have been really attracted to stir-frying indoors, and have been re-examing flat bottoms on my electric stove and considering the induction wok burner too...

                        But so far it's been hard. When you get your wok up to almost 700F, and stir-fries are done in 60-90 seconds, (and your wok turns inky black within 6 months) you really get hooked. But then again, it's a PITA to haul everything—veggies, marinating meat, sauce, garlic, ginger—outside and get it all inline and organized...!

                        But then, over the stove with a flat-bottom, a stir-fry takes like 5 minutes to complete and tastes a little bit more "stewed" for lack of a better adjective...

                        1. re: toddster63
                          Chemicalkinetics Oct 31, 2012 07:47 PM

                          <it's a PITA to haul everything—veggies, marinating meat, sauce, garlic, ginger—outside and get it all inline and organized...!>

                          No kidding. I cannot imagine cooking outdoor all the time. I have to prep everything before hand? and not to forget anything? Man, you should see how I cook. I always forget garlic here, ginger there... and I would often start cutting while the wok was cooking something else. :P

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            c
                            cacruden Oct 31, 2012 07:55 PM

                            In a warm climate (as in here), I could and would cook outdoors all the time here if I had the outdoor area. I would just setup a stainless steel countertop near the wok and put a fridge outside near it. It would have some shelter over but open, and I would have a small LCD tv outside as well, as well as a picnic table for eating. Inside I would keep a separate drink fridge.

                            1. re: cacruden
                              c
                              cacruden Oct 31, 2012 07:57 PM

                              The problem occurs when you have half a kitchen in one area, and half in another area :p

                              1. re: cacruden
                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 31, 2012 07:59 PM

                                Now, just imagine people with two wives (two separate families). :P

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  c
                                  cacruden Oct 31, 2012 08:03 PM

                                  Fairly common here as well.... but not two full wives, one full wife and "minor wives". Personally, I find one (none right now) more than enough I would find having more than one (at the same time) to be way to complicating.... :p

                                  1. re: cacruden
                                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 31, 2012 09:43 PM

                                    < Personally, I find one (none right now) more than enough>

                                    Agree. :P (Male bonding -- you and me)

                              2. re: cacruden
                                SWISSAIRE Mar 21, 2014 08:06 PM

                                Hu cacruden -

                                This is exactly what we have done, sans Fridge.

                                Years ago I gave my parents our BBQ cooking island, which was tiled to my wife's specifications, had a side burner, and two double stainless doors for equipment.

                                The ne noticed that our BBQ with two wings and a side burner was becoming too small.

                                We cook outdoors today quite often (weather permitting) and bought and assembled a small stainless table with a shelf below. This was purchased from a Chef's supply firm nearby. It accommodates BBQ items, a Pizza Oven (gas fired), and when the Pizza oven is stored below, a surface for Wok prep and cooking on the gas side burner.

                                Bringing prep bowls of wok items is not a problem, considering that the main benefit is the odors and cooking smoke stays outside the house. As in fish, shrimp, chili, and hot oil. We also invert the wok ring on the side burner to bring it closer to the gas on a cold Winter's day and to control the wok more from moving around.

                                A glass of something in hand, perhaps a bit of music playing, with all your tools, prep items and wok sizzling away is enjoyable.

                          2. re: cacruden
                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 31, 2012 07:45 PM

                            <When cooking on a high power wok you are "vaporizing" a lot of oil, and that is what the ventilation system has to be able to handle >

                            Excellent point. You are correct.

        2. rosetown Feb 21, 2012 09:23 AM

          Congrats Chem - looks beautiful - enjoy!!

          It looks solid - all the mass produced carbon steel woks, northern or southern style, I have seen in the stores that I haunt are very thin - they flex - what about yours??

          12 Replies
          1. re: rosetown
            Chemicalkinetics Feb 21, 2012 11:31 AM

            This one is thick enough that it does not easily flex. Well, if I push it hard, I can flex it, but it does not flex under normal operation or cleaning in the sink.

            It is much stiffer than the so called US made carbon steel wok from the wokshop and the Williams Sonoma wok.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              t
              tanvir Mar 24, 2014 02:54 PM

              Do you mean Wokshop hand hammered wok? (They have two. One is listed has Wokshop hand hammered wok which very regular pattern and other is just listed as hand hammered). I received the following wok today.

              http://wokshop.stores.yahoo.net/wok2s...

              A 14 inch flat bottom wok from 14 gauge steel is quite stiff which is close to 2mm thick. I will think a 1.5 mm wok will be less stiff unless made with harden able steel.

              1. re: tanvir
                Chemicalkinetics Mar 24, 2014 03:47 PM

                I have had a couple of woks from the Wokshop which were advertized to be 14 gauge. You would think they should be closer to 2 mm, but they were definitely closer to 1.5 mm. Let me know if yours is different.

                Its so called hand hammered wok is actually pretty thick. I just don't like it for other reasons.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  t
                  tanvir Mar 24, 2014 04:07 PM

                  I took out the micrometer and stand corrected. The wok is 1.5mm +- few hundredths. I feel it appears to be stiffer than round bottom is because of six inch or so flat surface. The arc of the parabola will be larger on the round bottom and the hands has greater leverage.

                  You are right, I just assumed that 14 gauge means =~ 2mm thickness.

                  1. re: tanvir
                    Chemicalkinetics Mar 24, 2014 04:13 PM

                    Sound good. As long as the wok is stiff, then you are fine. A lighter wok is easier to maneuver, so it is good. Thanks for the update.

                    1. re: tanvir
                      t
                      toddster63 Mar 24, 2014 05:50 PM

                      The gauge of the steel really is kinda dependent on your heat source. Those thicker 14 gauge woks from the Wok Shop (made in the USA), have a thick padding of steel on the bottom that really holds heat, and for weaker electrical stoves, it can really make all the difference. I tried to use a Ken Hom flat bottom wok that was not thicker with padded steel on the bottom (it was stamped from one uniform sheet of 1.5mm steel), and I was shocked at how fast it cooled down when moderately loaded on my electrical coil stove--much weaker performance the the thick padded bottomed USA made woks the Wok Shop sells...!

                      1. re: toddster63
                        SWISSAIRE Mar 24, 2014 07:01 PM

                        We enjoyed Kenneth Hom on BBC when I worked in London, and living on a budget as an engineer there, his style of cooking appealed to us being thrifty with meals and food budgets. His emphasis, then as now, centered on a wok that heated & cooled quickly.

                        I did buy one of his early woks, and it did heat up and cool down quickly. Heading back to Switzerland I found it cooled down too quickly for Winters there. I had been looking for an alternative ever since.

                        Along comes a stint in Southern California, where I saw a stainless steel wok being used for the first time by Wolfgang Puck. Glass lid, large, and alu core, it heated about the same time up, but kept our meal warmer longer. It was packed back home too.

                        That was followed by the large Rösle 35cm wok, and the 21 cm AEG, both which are stainless, induction compliant and the heaviest of the group. They clean well, do not stick, and the Rösle is the BBQ / Induction unit for a large dinner with guests.

                        Remarkably, all of our woks are still being used at one time or another, including the one from the UK. I say this as they do hold up with care, and the first was probably purchased before Jeremy Pang, who we also like to watch, had even been born.

                        1. re: SWISSAIRE
                          t
                          toddster63 Mar 24, 2014 08:14 PM

                          Yes, I'm a big Hom fan too... Not too many Americans are familiar with him, which is a shame. His documentary of modern China and it's changing cuisine from a few years ago with Ching-He Huang was truly as they called it a culinary adventure. I don't think PBS ever showed it in the US, but you can watch it on YouTube... We are more familar with Ching-He Huang and her shows on Cooking Channel here in the US, and I greatly enjoy her as well. She has the same up attitude as Hom and just makes me smile...!

                          I love my stainless wok for steaming (mainly to make Chow Fun noodles from scratch), but I could never stir fry in it--the extra flavor (or wok hei) that the carbonized surface of seasoned steel/iron has just become too crucial to my taste buds. I even fry exclusively in my DeBuyer steel skillets now--eggs, fish... The stainless is good to steam rice in, though, or make oatmeal...

                          1. re: toddster63
                            SWISSAIRE Mar 25, 2014 03:01 AM

                            I have one of Kenneth Hom's books in German, circa 1999, which he autographed, entitled " Kochen mit der Wok. " Really a nice chap, with OBE no less.

                            The word "fusion" is used liberally throughout. We have tried every one of the recipes in it at least once, most being a success. To my knowledge he remains popular in the UK and Germany, but is not well known in France. Perhaps owning a home in the South of France he wishes to reside there " under the radar, " when he is not in Thailand.

                            His BBC show on Exploring China we much admired, but having been to Kashgar years ago, I think he took a bit of a chance going there. This is the kind of trip you do when you are young !

                             
                          2. re: SWISSAIRE
                            DuffyH Mar 26, 2014 10:04 PM

                            Swissaire,

                            I'm less than thrilled with my cheap steel stir fry pan (I warped it during seasoning, all my fault) and given my longtime love for stainless, I wouldn't mind a stainless wok, except for all the people who say it's a terrible pan for stir fry.

                            Would you mind describing how you use your various stainless woks? What kind of heat, etc... how easily do they clean? I'm concerned about cooked-on oil on the walls, which can be a bear to remove. Do you prefer your stainless woks over the others?

                            Thanks! I'll be your best friend and take you to the circus. :)

                            1. re: DuffyH
                              SWISSAIRE Mar 27, 2014 01:28 AM

                              Morgen DuffyH-

                              Stainless Steel Woks:

                              1. Rösle Multi-layer, alu core, 35 cm, induction, round bottom, heavy. Not seasoned.

                              2. AEG Fusion, multi, alu,core, 21 cm, induction, round bottom, light. Not seasoned.

                              3. Bistro-tek, multi, not induction, 28 cm, light, flat bottom, glass lid. It may actually be a Tramontina from Brasil. Not seasoned.

                              The first two were purchased in Germany, the second was a gift. The Rösle and the Bistro-tek are used for large meals with guests, while the AEG is used primarily for 1-2 people.

                              Medium to Medium High Heat setting, to sizzle. The AEG cooktop is that efficient. Gaz on the outdoor side-burner is turned on high.

                              Observations:

                              1. The first two woks sit on an induction-compatible trivet, very sculptural, that conducts the induction energy through the trivet to the side walls of the wok to heat.

                              Note that the bottom of both woks never actually touch the induction cooktop. We first saw the AEG trivet demonstrated at the Frankfurt trade show, or Messe, and was an eye opener. And as it remains cool, both the wok and trivet can be taken off the cooktop, and placed on a dining table, if you want to serve directly there.

                              2. My experience is that although the Stainless woks heat up a bit slower, they remain hotter, keeping the food warm. Up here this is important. I rarely have to remove food from the woks unless I do not want it to overcook.

                              3. OIL: We used what is called pressed nut oil, similar to peanut oil. I am not sure if it is 100% peanut oil, but following Kenneth Hom's advice, we keep the amount of oil used to the minimum, and again, these woks require no seasoning.

                              There is no burning, nor brown or black marks on the inside of any of the woks after cooking. Only get the wok heated, add the oil on the side walls of the wok, and add items to be cooked in stages. Our overhead exhaust fan is always on when we cook, so most airborne lipoids are drawn out.

                              4. OIL USE: Clearly the flat bottom wok uses more oil than a round bottom wok

                              5. SPLATTER: Only once interestingly enough, when we used a large jar of very moist garlic paste from Migros, instead of mincing garlic as we normally do. Little white spots on the wok and cooktop, but easily cleaned up. Only minced aromatics are used now in our wok cooking.

                              6. STEAMING: Unless it is something small such as rice paper wrapped fish, we do not use the woks to steam. For that we use a Rösle Brater or stainless roasting pan with a Steam insert, or Dämpfeinsatz.

                              7. CLEAN-UP: When the stainless cools, the woks are rinsed in the sink, and later hand washed. If something burned inside, the soaking lifts it, and it cleans with a soap sponge or a small brush, and then hung to dry.

                              The big 35 cm is used out on the BBQ side burner often. That is gaz fired using a wok ring, and a year later there are a few scratches but no burning or dis-colouring whatsoever.

                              We do not use abrasives including Bar Tenders K on the woks, as there is no need. After washing, a drop of oil is rubbed in to the interior, and the woks are stored away, one on top of each other, separated by a paper towel. The wok hanging to dry in the photo is 1 year + old.

                              Yes, they could be cleaned in a dish washer, but aren't

                              I think you would find that induction cooktop can heat a suitable wok very well and quickly. Our selection of round bottomed woks might look like the wrong decision with induction, but we like the efficiency and found a way to use them.

                              Do I prefer German Terra Cotta, or Stainless Steel ? If it is good quality 18/10, then Guilty as charged.

                              I hope this is helpful.

                               
                               
                               
                              1. re: SWISSAIRE
                                DuffyH Mar 27, 2014 01:20 PM

                                <After washing, a drop of oil is rubbed in to the interior, and the woks are stored away,...>

                                Thank you, Swissair. I'm a fan of seasoning my stainless steel, just never thought to apply it to stir fry. I appreciate the timely reminder.

                                I'll perfect my technique in my Vollrath Tribute saucier. It's only 2 qts, so too small for a proper one pan stir fry, but just about right for batch cooking. It's got a wicked thick aluminum layer, making it very forgiving. It should prove an ideal practice pan. Sadly, neither the AEG nor Rosle pans seem to be available in the USA. But I've got time, others will come along.

                                <If it is good quality 18/10, then Guilty as charged.>

                                This is me, as well. I've got some carbon steel, but they're mostly used for breakfast items, grilled sandwiches and shallow frying. I've got a pair of cast iron pans that I hardly ever use. I'm thinking of making pizza in them, just to see if I can't find a good use for them.

                                For my every day cooking, from searing to sauces, it's the stainless steel that I'm most comfortable with, and it's what I reach for. It never disappoints, no matter what I ask of it.

                                You are ever helpful, thanks. :)

              2. Zeldog Feb 21, 2012 08:27 PM

                I was going to buy a 12" pow wok at $48 but the shipping would have been another $32. That's just obscene. Apparently they are shipping from China one wok at a time. No thanks, E-woks. Let me know when you have an outlet in the US.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Zeldog
                  Chemicalkinetics Feb 21, 2012 09:13 PM

                  The shipping fee is a lot in comparison, but it is probably more meaningful to look at the final price vs final performance.

                  ~$80 for a hand made hand hammered high quality wok is not a lot. People easily spend >$200 for a Le Cresuset Dutch Oven or an All Clad saute pan.

                  Certainly this $80 hand hammered wok beats the heck out of this $350 copper wok in term of price and of performance -- despite the "free shipping" offer for the copper wok:

                  http://www.amazon.com/Mauviel-MHerita...

                  1. re: Zeldog
                    kaleokahu Jun 9, 2012 08:19 AM

                    Hi, Zeldog:

                    Let me try to make you feel better. Try buying copper from sellers in France--shipping typically adds $60-80.

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                  2. o
                    o_pinon Mar 8, 2012 01:34 PM

                    Excellent - just the kind of info I was looking for. I ordered one (one handle style) today (seller taost on Ebay). I was going to get the pow wok from the Wok Shop but this one looks like the real deal -- not a bunch of dimples hammered into after manufacture.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: o_pinon
                      Chemicalkinetics Mar 8, 2012 01:43 PM

                      "Excellent - just the kind of info I was looking for. I ordered one (one handle style) today (seller taost on Ebay). I was going to get the pow wok from the Wok Shop but this one looks like the real deal -- not a bunch of dimples hammered into after manufacture."

                      I don't know if I mentioned this. The ebay seller taost is the same person responsible for the e-wok. They are selling the same things from the same group.

                      I actually have the Wokshop hammered wok as well. This hand hammered wok from Shanghai China is better. Not only it is more traditional, but it has better geometry and everything.

                      I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Let us know your experience.

                    2. a
                      affodil Apr 16, 2012 03:10 PM

                      I just bought one of these for a friend.

                      Just curious, did yours have a few "duller" spots where it seems a shiny coating has been scraped off? I'm hoping this is just some kind of coating that's meant to protect the wok during shipping and handling, but I've never owned a wok myself so I really don't know.

                      I'm happy to say I've had a good experience with the seller so far... I don't want meant to discourage anyone from buying or imply that there's anything wrong. I just want to make sure the wok is ok before I give it to my friend!

                       
                       
                       
                      10 Replies
                      1. re: affodil
                        Chemicalkinetics Apr 16, 2012 03:17 PM

                        I have definitely seen a couple spots closed to your photo #3 especially on the exterior of the wok. I have not seen the case for photo #1. It really does not matter much in the big picture because I ended up scrubbing and cleaning the wok before seasoning, and I think your friend should too.

                        My first uploaded photo is the wok after it has been scrubbed clean.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          a
                          affodil Apr 16, 2012 03:25 PM

                          Thanks. That helps me put my mind at ease. May I ask what you scrubbed yours with? Ewoks says not to use anything abrasive but over here (http://www.culinate.com/articles/feat...) Grace Young is using something like steel wool! :O

                          1. re: affodil
                            Chemicalkinetics Apr 16, 2012 03:30 PM

                            I used steel wool just because I have one, but I do agree that anything abrasive work too, like those green pads may work as well.

                            http://www.theyhaveit.com/catalog/pad...

                            Steel wool is just easier if you have them because they won't fall apart like the green pads do sometime. Since this is a gift for your friend, you probably should let your friend scrubs it, not yourself.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              a
                              affodil Apr 16, 2012 03:34 PM

                              Good advice! Thanks.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                c
                                cacruden Oct 31, 2012 02:07 AM

                                I have seen bamboo wok cleaners that are used.... look very good for that use, but I find that I don't have anything too sticky that a cloth will not remove.... so have not bought one (probably sold in Chinese stores in America).

                                1. re: cacruden
                                  Chemicalkinetics Oct 31, 2012 07:51 AM

                                  It is just a little nice to have if foods stick to the wok. An pastry scraper also work too. Like you said, you can always buy a bamboo brush in an Asian supermarket or a Chinese restaurant supply store.

                          2. re: affodil
                            a
                            affodil Apr 16, 2012 07:51 PM

                            I wanted to follow up to say that the seller (taost on ebay) just got back to me and he (or she, not sure) agrees that once it's cleaned and seasoned the wok should be fine. :)

                            1. re: affodil
                              Chemicalkinetics Apr 16, 2012 08:00 PM

                              :) I think it is a dude, but I could be wrong.

                              Yes, once it is cleaned and seasoned then it should be fine. That shiny surface you see does not matter in the long run because in the long run, it is the seasoning surface which is to protect and enhanced the cooking performance. Afterall, we are supposed to scrap that surface off anyway before the seasoning process.

                              Is your friend a dedicated cook? If so, he/she should like this wok. It is actually a well made wok with with dimension. On top, it is a hand-hammered wok, which gives it a very artistic twist.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                a
                                affodil Apr 16, 2012 08:16 PM

                                Yes, he is. And the hand-hammerd part is what made me choose it. I looked all over the internet and couldn't find anything quite like it. Thanks for the review!

                                1. re: affodil
                                  Chemicalkinetics Apr 16, 2012 08:37 PM

                                  My pleasure. I hope he finds as much joy as I did with this wok. If he is experienced with carbon steel or cast iron cookware, then he should find no time in adapting this cookware. If no, then there are plenty good videos on youtube and elsewhere regarding the seasoning process. Good luck.

                          3. p
                            Papabearak Jun 9, 2012 01:13 AM

                            I recently purchased a 16" southern China style wok from e-woks. To make a long story short, It is exactly what I had searched two years for. The wok is sturdy and quite deep. It is truly a hand made item, not just finished by hand. I use an outdoor burner for this, and every wok I use. A stove just can't put out the heat needed. To season, I used flax seed oil. I applied about 8 thin coats and baked each one at a time in a 450 degree oven. The coats were allowed to bake 30-45 minutes followed by a cooling period. After it was cool, it was washed with a copper scrubber. The resulting seasoning coat looks like black lacquer and gave a great base to start cooking with. Prior to seasoning, I scrubbed the wok with a stainless scrubber and hot soapy water, and then with Chinese garlic chives to remove the metallic taste from a new wok.

                            All in all, this wok is absolutely beautiful and a fine example of the dying art of a hand-made wok. These woks are not cheap and the freight is not cheap, but if you want an authentic artisan made wok, these are it.

                            1. i
                              iyc_nyc Jun 9, 2012 03:57 AM

                              Hi Chem, did you get your wok via the eBay link above or straight from e-woks?

                              Also, what do you think of the chopping blocks from e-woks? I know you got one from the SF wok shop.. but wondering if you have impressions of the e-woks ones.

                              Thanks so much!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: iyc_nyc
                                Chemicalkinetics Jun 9, 2012 08:13 AM

                                HI iyc,

                                I got my hand made wok from eBay store because it is slightly cheaper. The eBay store and the e-woks site are owned by the same people.

                                I have not used the e-wok chopping blocks, but theirs are very different from the one I got. The one I got from the SF wokshop is made out of pine wood. It is a soft wood chopping block. Soft chopping blocks are often used in Chinese barbecue shops.

                                The ones offered from the e-woks store are Tiliaceae tree cutting blocks, which is also called ironwood. These cutting boards are very dense and hard. They would feel heavier than they look.

                                https://www.google.com/search?um=1&am...

                                Since you live in NYC, you can probably go to your local Chinatown and see which one you like better.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  i
                                  iyc_nyc Jun 9, 2012 08:53 AM

                                  Thanks so much, Chem! Re: the chopping blocks -- do you think the e-woks ones are too hard .. i..e., might be tough on knives? What are some other considerations (beyond look/feel) to decide b/w the soft vs. hard chopping blocks?

                                  If I have more chopping-block qs after this, I'll start a new thread. Sorry! :-)

                                  1. re: iyc_nyc
                                    Chemicalkinetics Jun 9, 2012 01:44 PM

                                    <do you think the e-woks ones are too hard>

                                    I don't know -- to be honest. I have used an ironwood cutting board when I was in my graduate school, but that was before I know much about knives. In addition, I don't know if my ironwood is the same kind of ironwood as theirs. There are many "ironwood".

                                    In theory, a very hard wood can dull knives, but I think in practice, that difference is very small.

                                    <What are some other considerations (beyond look/feel) to decide b/w the soft vs. hard chopping blocks?>

                                    Well, Chinese barbecue shops prefer soft wood chopping blocks because they often swing knives in heavy and large motions. So a softer wood chopping block is gentler. In addition, if you notice, most Chinese barbecue shops use pure up-and-down chopping motion instead of slicing motion. A softer wood block is not only gentler for the knives, but it allows the knives to cut in deeper and therefore allows the foods to be cleanly cut through. If you have ever used a glass cutting board, then you would realize that it is difficult to cleanly cut and separate foods especially meats, because the glass cutting board does not allow the knife edge to cut through.

                                    For regular home cooks, the difference between the soft and hard cutting boards may not be significant. Another difference is that hard chopping blocks weigh more than soft chopping blocks for the same given size.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                      i
                                      iyc_nyc Jun 9, 2012 01:55 PM

                                      Super helpful as usual -- thanks so much!

                              2. w
                                wabi Jun 9, 2012 10:15 AM

                                I just have to throw my 2 cents in here as well. I ordered 2 woks from these guys about a year ago...and love them. My only complaint is that while they used to offer a flat bottomed wok, they don't any longer. I wanted to get some other sizes. I also am burdened with an electric stove. These are the best woks I have ever found.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: wabi
                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 9, 2012 01:33 PM

                                  <My only complaint is that while they used to offer a flat bottomed wok>

                                  The flat bottom woks are shown on their websites. Are you saying that they are not really there?

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    w
                                    wabi Jun 10, 2012 12:24 PM

                                    Correct...they told me in an email that they stopped making them..unless enough folks asked for them and they are making them again. If they are...I want a few more of them!

                                    1. re: wabi
                                      w
                                      wabi Jun 10, 2012 09:07 PM

                                      I just sent them an email, and they replied pretty promptly...they no longer make flat bottom woks.

                                      1. re: wabi
                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 10, 2012 09:37 PM

                                        Got it. Thanks for letting us know. I wish they would just remove the flat bottom woks from their websites. You said you ordered 2 woks about a year ago. Were they flat bottom?

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          w
                                          wabi Jun 11, 2012 06:57 PM

                                          Yes...I have 2 flat bottom woks from them. A mid sized and a larger one. I wanted to get a small one and one of their largest sized ones. It's a shame they don't make them any more...these are the best woks I have ever owned.

                                          1. re: wabi
                                            Chemicalkinetics Jun 11, 2012 07:40 PM

                                            <Yes...I have 2 flat bottom woks from them>

                                            Awesome. At least you got two.

                                            <these are the best woks I have ever owned>

                                            Same here. Mine is most definitely the best wok I have ever owned, and I have had quiet a few carbon steel woks (~7). These are not counting the aluminum and the triply stainless and the nonstick Teflon woks.

                                2. i
                                  iyc_nyc Oct 24, 2012 08:32 PM

                                  Chem, based on your glowing review and the review of others, I'm thinking about getting this wok for myself and possible a friend, and have a few questions (for you and anyone else who has experience with this wok).

                                  What size wok did you get, and do you recommend that size for standard home cooking?

                                  I currently have a rental standard-issue gas stove. Is the round-bottomed wok best for this type of stove, and in general?

                                  Are you still as happy as you were with the wok -- and with the long/one-handled version?

                                  Finally (for now..), I can't seem to find e-wok/taost on ebay anymore. Do you know if he might still be on there, under another name? Otherwise I might purchase direct from the e-wok site -- is this the wok you got: http://e-woks.com/index.php?main_page...

                                  Thanks so much in advance!

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: iyc_nyc
                                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 25, 2012 12:09 AM

                                    <What size wok did you get>

                                    I got a 14" wok. In term of size, it depends what your need and your stove. If you have a powerful stove, then a larger wok can take advantage of it and cook more food. A smaller wok, on the other hand, is more maneuverable. For home cooks, you are looking between 12" to 16". I think 14" is a good balance.

                                    <I currently have a rental standard-issue gas stove. Is the round-bottomed wok best for this type of stove, and in general?>

                                    For a gas stove, a round bottom wok is better. For an electric stove, it is more complicated. On an electric stove, a round bottom wok is better for handling the food in the wok, but a flat bottom wok absorb heat faster and better.

                                    <Are you still as happy as you were with the wok -- and with the long/one-handled version?>

                                    Yep, I am still very happy. The long single handle wok is better for tossing foods, and I do frequently toss my foods as I cook. Many people prefer the two short handles version. Due to the fact of being more balanced and easily to move the entire wok -- when necessary.

                                    <I can't seem to find e-wok/taost on ebay anymore>

                                    You are right. I cannot find taost neither. However, I have found the same woks sold by a different store: HwaMart. Same photos, even same city in China (Shanghai). You can contact him and see what's up.

                                    http://stores.ebay.com/HwaMart/100-Hand-Hammered-Wok-/_i.html?_fsub=5304551015&_sid=1100326685&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

                                    <is this the wok you got: http://e-woks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_2&products_id=21>

                                    Yes. Your link is correct.

                                    ***

                                    I have recently found out from another poster (ictown775) that Williams Sonoma is currently carrying a real hand hammered carbon steel wok made by Cen Lian Gen.

                                    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/artisan-hammered-carbon-steel-round-bottom-wok-with-ring/?pkey=e|Artisan%2BHammered|1|best|0|1|24||1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

                                    Cen Lian Gen is made famous in the West because his wok was used as a cover shot for Grace Young's book: Breath of a Wok:

                                    http://backyardbushman.com/wp-content...

                                    So there is another option for you.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                      i
                                      iyc_nyc Oct 25, 2012 05:27 PM

                                      Chem, thanks so much for this. Do you have an opinion re: the WS one vs the eWok one?

                                      Also, if I went with e-Wok, I'd likely get the long one-handled version. If so, do you recommend getting an extra loop handle on the opposite side -- I tk there is a choice for that (?).

                                      For my friend I'd likely get the two-loop version since I tk she's a newer cook hence might not be trying to wok toss any time soon!

                                      Thanks again,

                                      Iris

                                      1. re: iyc_nyc
                                        Chemicalkinetics Oct 25, 2012 06:12 PM

                                        <Do you have an opinion re: the WS one vs the eWok one?>

                                        I think both of them are very good choices. I have used the eWok one and others here have also. We think eWok's woks are good -- real hand made products. The WS one is said to be made by Cen Lian Gen who has a great reputation.

                                        http://backyardbushman.com/?p=715

                                        My guess is that the eWok one will be cheaper (even including shipping) for you, and allows more options. The WS one will allow you to check it in-person and give you a better return policy -- in case you later regret. In addition, you won't have to wait for shipping. If you have a WS nearby, then you may as well just call to see if it has one. If it does, then just take a look.

                                        <If so, do you recommend getting an extra loop handle on the opposite side>

                                        I bought it from taost from ebay. I actually did NOT ask for one, but it came with one nonetheless -- not that I complain about it. The advantages of having an extra loop handle are that it is easier to transport a heavy wok filled with food, and you can hang it on the wall. The disadvantages are that you have one more component to clean and wipe, and it costs an addition $2 I think. If you are not sure, then I say get it.

                                        One last thing. The eWok woks as well as many other woks are sold with only a short hollow steel handle. The reason they do this is to allow you to have the option of (1) simply using it as it is, or (2) install a wooden handle on your own.

                                        http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/1/9/...

                                        The eWok handle is long enough to use it as it is.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          i
                                          iyc_nyc Oct 25, 2012 07:04 PM

                                          Awesome, thanks as always -- your judgment is always gold!. Btw, quick q -- how is the korean stone pot treating you? (quick because otherwise i should really start a new thread :-)) I really love mine!

                                          1. re: iyc_nyc
                                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 25, 2012 07:20 PM

                                            Mine works fine. It is pretty cool. However, I have not been using it much, not because it does not work, but because I don't make Korean dishes as often I thought I would. I only used it 2 or 3 times. Thanks for the earlier H-Mart advices on the stone pot.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              i
                                              iyc_nyc Oct 30, 2012 05:59 PM

                                              Chem, a belated thanks for this. Love my stone pot (and Korean food) but it's been relegated to the shelf for now while I get acquainted with my clay pot and pressure cooker. :-)

                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        emily Apr 25, 2013 06:21 AM

                                        WS sent out a 15% coupon w/ FS, so I ordered the hand hammered wok. I already have a cast iron one from the Wok Shop that I like very much, but thought it would be helpful to have 2 when cooking large meals. Will report back if I have anything interesting to say about it!

                                        1. re: emily
                                          Chemicalkinetics Apr 25, 2013 06:50 AM

                                          <WS sent out a 15% coupon w/ FS, so I ordered the hand hammered wok. >

                                          Williams Sonoma? Which one? It has an inexpensive mass production hand hammered wok which I find to be a bit too thin:

                                          http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/hammered-14-inch-wok/?cm_src=AutoRel

                                          and it has a true hand hammered wok:

                                          http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            i
                                            iyc_nyc Apr 25, 2013 10:27 AM

                                            Hi Chem, WS no longer mentions the wok's affiliation with Cen Lian Gen. Any theories as to why not - do you think this is still the same wok?

                                            1. re: iyc_nyc
                                              Chemicalkinetics Apr 25, 2013 11:20 AM

                                              :P I don't know. Sorry.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                i
                                                iyc_nyc Apr 25, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                Ok.. thanks.

                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              emily Apr 25, 2013 02:50 PM

                                              The hand hammered wok (second link). Assumed it was still Cen Lian Gen's (as I never saw the original affiliation listed on the WS website).

                                              1. re: emily
                                                Chemicalkinetics Apr 25, 2013 02:54 PM

                                                Based on my memory, I don't remember ever seeing Cen Lian Gen's name listed on WS website. I think the information was only mentioned by others on the internet. They claim that these woks are made by him and that Williams Sonoma salepersonal have confirmed that. Still, I have not read it on the website.

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8629...

                                                On the other hand, it isn't like most people know who "Cen Lian Gen" is. Putting his name on the link could be confusing for potential customers.

                                      3. w
                                        wabi Oct 25, 2012 11:24 PM

                                        I need to reply to this thread as a whole...
                                        I have 2 woks that i got from Ewoks in China that are flat bottomed woks. I have an electric stove...
                                        I love them. I wanted some smaller and larger woks but Ewoks are no longer making them... So my search went on. I talked with Lane Chan at The Wok Shop, and found out she was selling some flat bottomed, steel handled woks that were made in the USA.

                                        The woks are here: http://wokshop.stores.yahoo.net/flbopowwokwi.html

                                        I just received them. I seasoned them using the Flax Seed oil method..and I used my Weber Grill as the "oven" as my oven was too small for the larger wok (16 inches).

                                        I used 5 cycles or coatings of flax seed to season my woks. I used the first one tonight to stir fry some Brussel's Sprouts with Lap Choeng... The wok performed flawlessly on my electric stove. Great heat

                                        absorption, even heating, and it cleaned up easily with just an abrasive scrubber and no soap in the sink. This was both a testimony to the wok and to the seasoning method.

                                        I have nothing but good things to say about the woks from www.wokshop.com.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: wabi
                                          t
                                          toddster63 Oct 30, 2012 08:19 AM

                                          Wabi, would you be interested in selling one of your flat bottomed e-woks at a premium price...?

                                          1. re: toddster63
                                            w
                                            wabi Oct 30, 2012 12:23 PM

                                            Toddster....I appreciate your kind offer, but my e-woks are my go to woks. I love them.

                                            1. re: wabi
                                              t
                                              toddster63 Oct 30, 2012 02:19 PM

                                              Yeah, I figured you would never part with them—but I am trying with any and everyone that has one of these God-awufully rare FB e-woks...!

                                              I have the new USA POW wok you mentioned, and it's nice enough, but I really wanted one of those flat bottomed e-woks. On the other hand, if they are all hand made (to order), why not just make the flat bottomed as people order them? They produce fine woks, but this flat bottom fiasco has made me really wonder about their "hand made to order" claim...?

                                              I mean, again, if they are made to order entirely by hand, why not just make a flat bottom for the clients as they want them..?!

                                              I wish they would at least remove the flat bottom picks and ordering pages from their website...!

                                              Can you tell I'm developing a chip on my shoulder regarding this? Ha!

                                        2. t
                                          toddster63 Oct 30, 2012 03:49 PM

                                          If anyone wants to email the e-wok people and request that they start back in production with the flat bottomed hand hammered woks, please contact them at:

                                          customerservice@e-woks.com

                                          Thanks, all the help given is most appreciated...!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: toddster63
                                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 30, 2012 06:19 PM

                                            Yep, I have have already emailed e-wok a few hours ago just to ask if they are really giving up flat bottom woks for good.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              w
                                              wabi Oct 30, 2012 07:32 PM

                                              I emailed them just several weeks ago before I bought the new flat bottomed woks from the Wok Shop. I think it would be worth it for anyone reading this thread who has even the smallest interest in a flat bottomed hand hammered wok to email the e-wok folks. Perhaps they will hear our cry.

                                              All that said the fit and finish of the new Wok Shop flat bottom peking pans are better...but true to my name, I like the wabi of the e-wok woks.

                                              1. re: wabi
                                                t
                                                toddster63 Oct 30, 2012 10:11 PM

                                                The thing that annoys me about the new USA Peking style woks is that the company stopped making them with a nice thick "pad" at the base. I have their classic Cantonese model with two elephant ear handles, bought it from Tane three years ago (but they have made this thick heavy model for decades), and it has a much thicker base that holds more heat and makes the wok noticeably heavier than the newer models. My new Peking style is the same exact bowl design (which is the best of all the flat bottoms in terms of preserving the fluid motion of cooking in a rounded wok), but much lighter—I'm talking it weighs a full pound less than my older Cantonese style. I really wanted the same heavy wok with a metal handle and was disappointed when it came much thinner than my older model...

                                          2. t
                                            toddster63 Oct 30, 2012 09:59 PM

                                            The thing though about real hand hammered woks (not the half-ass Cantonese "hand hammered" export that is just a pressed wok that is then artfully touched by hammer here and there) is the all over rougher texture left by the hammering. The tiny pits and valleys and bumps and craters holds seasoning better and deeper than a more uniform machined surface, and tends to build up seasoning faster (akin to cast iron) as food and oil molecules get snagged by the irregular patterns and makes a surface that is un-even and slick—making it hard for food to stick to (I mean Chem, the starter of this thread made fried rice in a newly seasoned baby of this sort and NO sticking! Un-heard of! I never make fried rice until a wok is at least 6 months old or STICK-EREENO!)

                                            Combined with the "lumps" of seasoning—well, these woks make for the best woks in terms of non-stick and for the flavor, or what I think is the real secret of wok-hei, that the seasoning brings...! Cantonese home cooks know too that high temps alone can't give you wok hei—that a well seasoned wok is the real secret (and many of them swear by the traditional thin Chinese cast iron woks that also have a very irregular "bumpy" surface.

                                            The person that taught me much of my Chinese cookery had one of these entirely hand made woks from 1960's that had 30+ years of seasoning and use and MY GOD the flavor of anything out of the wok really was incredible...!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: toddster63
                                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 30, 2012 10:36 PM

                                              <The tiny pits and valleys holds seasoning better and deeper than a more uniform surface>

                                              If that is the major beneficial difference, then both a real hand hammered wok and a spun wok finished with hammered marks can provide you the rough surface. Tane Chan offers those, but they look superficial and frankly unattractive -- when look closely:

                                              http://www.chow.com/photos/721488

                                              Ultimately, I think both hand hammered and machine spun woks can produce good results. Afterall, most restaurants do not just buy hand hammered woks. The reason I liked the hand hammered woks from e-wok are really two folds. First, they are simply great woks with good dimensions. Mine is reasonably thick, but not too thick. It is thick enough that I cannot easily bend the wok, unlike the thin wok I got from Williams Sonoma. That WS wok is light and thin.

                                              http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                              The e-wok is yet not too thick that I cannot use it to toss foods. The curvature is exactly how I like it. Second, it is a hand made product which truly has an artistic to it -- especially this is becoming a dying art.

                                              I have just received email from e-wok (Hua Sunn) an hour ago. He has confirmed that they no longer carry the flat bottom wok. I wrote back and told him that he should really consider removing these flat bottom wok options from the website.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                w
                                                wabi Oct 31, 2012 10:27 PM

                                                In order to keep to keep up the public demand, I just sent them an email asking that they continue to keep making flat bottom woks. In all honesty...I would most likely buy another small and large hand hammered wok from them if they offered them.

                                                1. re: wabi
                                                  t
                                                  toddster63 Oct 31, 2012 11:07 PM

                                                  Hey Wabi—what is the diameter of the flat area on your most average (14"?) e-wok? Also how tall is the bowl? Thanks...!

                                            2. u
                                              UncleRon Jan 18, 2013 02:06 PM

                                              Does anyone know if e-woks is still in business? Have been trying to order a wok and have not had any luck. Tried to email them but did not get a reply.

                                              30 Replies
                                              1. re: UncleRon
                                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 18, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                I don't know for sure. I contacted them last Oct, and they were still in business back then. Its ebay shop (as far as I know) updated since middle of last Nov. When did you email them? I would email them again if it has been >3 days. Sometime emails get lost.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                  u
                                                  UncleRon Jan 18, 2013 02:51 PM

                                                  It was only last night. What worries me is all the errors I keep getting when I try to check out at the end of the order. Then when I try to create an account I get more errors. This is my first wok and I wanted to get it right the first time. Maybe I aimed too high and I should just get a stamped out Model-T instead of a Lamborghini.

                                                  1. re: UncleRon
                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jan 18, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                    :) Well, there are some ebay ones too.

                                                    eWok at one point has a eBay shop and I actually bought my wok through the eBay shop (because it was cheaper that way). How did I know? Because I emailed eWok and then the eBay shop and they were confirmed to the same shop. That eBay store has since closed for a long while.

                                                    HwaHart has the same woks listed, so you can ask if their are from the same as eWok. The account appears to be active as people are still writing feedbacks.

                                                    <Maybe I aimed too high and I should just get a stamped out Model-T instead of a Lamborghini.>

                                                    Many machine stamped woks will work well too. I just wanted something slightly nicer and something hand made, but there is no reason why a machine wok won't be nearly as good or just as good for cooking. Good luck.

                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                      u
                                                      UncleRon Jan 18, 2013 03:54 PM

                                                      "Many machine stamped woks will work well too. I just wanted something slightly nicer and something hand made"

                                                      I too appreciate the look of the hand made hammered wok. So few useful objects are made by hand these days. The ebay storefront has the 14" Peking style but I need the extra loop for the pot rack. I will be patient and try again in a few days.

                                                      1. re: UncleRon
                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jan 18, 2013 04:29 PM

                                                        <The ebay storefront has the 14" Peking style but I need the extra loop for the pot rack. I will be patient and try again in a few days.>

                                                        I understand. When I bought my hand hammered wok, I didn't want the extra loop handle. Guess what? Mine came in with a loop handle regardless. I really didn't care one way or the other. My point is that the seller may have one with a loop handle. Write the eBay seller an email. Whoever first able to get the product you want, you can buy the wok from it. Good luck.

                                                        I agree with toddster. e-woks usually takes about 2 days to reply.

                                                2. re: UncleRon
                                                  t
                                                  toddster63 Jan 18, 2013 04:17 PM

                                                  E-woks takes a few days to reply to emails. I would not trust that WWW site as they are still selling flat bottomed woks, and they do NOT manufacture nor sell flat bottom woks anymore—but they will take your money for them on their site...?

                                                  You can buy them through a seller on ebay (search for hand hammered wok). I think that would be a safer bet...! I would hold off on paying for it until you contact them through ebay about the additional helper handle being added...

                                                  1. re: UncleRon
                                                    i
                                                    iyc_nyc Jan 19, 2013 04:57 PM

                                                    I've been trying to order a wok from them for a while now too and had the same web site issues (returning an error message); and have not gotten any response to the 2-3 emails I sent them at least 1-2 months ago. Please keep us posted re: whether they respond to you!

                                                    1. re: iyc_nyc
                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 19, 2013 05:00 PM

                                                      OK, maybe I will email them as well. :)

                                                      1. re: iyc_nyc
                                                        u
                                                        UncleRon Jan 19, 2013 05:25 PM

                                                        I emailed the ebay vendor yesterday about a loop being available. I would rather have the e-wok hand hammered but may just get an inexpensive one from the Web Restaurant Store.

                                                        http://www.webstaurantstore.com/town-...

                                                        Since this is my first wok maybe that is what I should get. Would hate to ruin a nice wok.

                                                        1. re: UncleRon
                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jan 19, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                          <Since this is my first wok maybe that is what I should get. Would hate to ruin a nice wok.>

                                                          Getting an inexpensive wok is certainly a good starting point. However, this particular one maybe a bit too cheap, and I don't mean the price. It is a 18 gauge steel, which means it is about 1mm thick. If possible, look for something thicker, like 16 or 14 gauge -- something closer to but not necessary exceed 2 mm. Good luck.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            u
                                                            UncleRon Jan 21, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                            The ebay store hwamart replied to my email about the extra loop. Says no problem! So it's ordered and my journey begins! Hand hammered in the traditional manner, 14" round bottom Pow Wok with extra loop. Now to learn how to cook in it. :-)

                                                            Just want to send a big Thank You! to all the posters here for sharing your knowledge. It is much appreciated.

                                                            1. re: UncleRon
                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jan 21, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                              :) Thanks for letting us know. I emailed e-wok and Hwamart as well. I am sure they are the same person. Why do I say that? Because they both told me that they are pregnant and feeling sick. :P

                                                              From e-Wok

                                                              "So sorry for such delay. I am pregnant and I feel so much sick all the time...."

                                                              From Hwamart:

                                                              "sorry, i am pregrent so i got limited energy to answer all the emails....."

                                                              You got the 14" Pow Wok? That is the same I have order too. Well, really, they often in centimeter, and there are two size which comes close to 14". The 34 cm (13.4") and the 36 cm (14.2"). I have the 36 cm diameter one. Good luck.

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                i
                                                                iyc_nyc Jan 21, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                Chem, which ems did you use for each of them? So odd that I have yet to get a response. I was asking about putting in an order for several woks, and my emails were brief and to the point (?!).

                                                                1. re: iyc_nyc
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jan 21, 2013 08:05 PM

                                                                  I didn't use anything special. For e-wok, I used the "contact us" page, which I assume you probably did. Shoot them another email.

                                                                  http://e-woks.com/index.php?main_page...

                                                                  It is possible that this lady is working her email mailbox backward (from the latest to the earliest) or that she simply lost your mail. It is also my belief that the eBay store is connect to the same people. Good luck.

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                    l
                                                                    Luckymama Apr 25, 2013 05:58 AM

                                                                    I want to get the wok from E wok. It's been two days and no one reply my email. Are they still in business?

                                                                    1. re: Luckymama
                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Apr 25, 2013 06:12 AM

                                                                      Well, sometime it takes awhile for them to write back. Last time it has something to do with baby and pregnancy. I don't know if they are in business, but I would shot another email. I think it is a very one-man or one-woman operation.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                        l
                                                                        Luckymama Apr 28, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                        I got a reply yesterday and they will be sending me a 14" wok on May 2. It will take a month since I'm in NYC. I also ordered the chopping board and wok accessories and they don't sell it any more so I got a refund for that.

                                                                        1. re: Luckymama
                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Apr 28, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                                          Oh thank you so much for letting us know. Yes, the shipping takes awhile. Please let us know how the wok turns out for you. When I got it, it has a little rust on the handle. Not deep rust, but I had to use papertowel to clean it a bit. Nothing like sandpaper.

                                                                          As for the shopping board and wok accessories, you can find some good one in NYC for sure. I am sure you can get one of these chopping blocks. Assuming if you really want one:

                                                                          http://www.chow.com/photos/532856

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                            l
                                                                            Luckymama Apr 28, 2013 12:17 PM

                                                                            I'll let everyone know next month.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              l
                                                                              Luckymama Apr 28, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                              Where did you buy this chopping block? How big is it?

                                                                              1. re: Luckymama
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Apr 28, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                Mine is 14" in diameter. 5" thick. You can find these in major Chinatowns. I have seen them in SF Chinatown. I bought mine from the Wokshop

                                                                                http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/cleavers/chopping-block.html

                                                                                http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/cleavers/ironwood-chopping-block.html

                                                                                the shipping fee will be more than the product price.

                                                                                Did you say that you live in NY? You can definitely find them in NY Manhattan Chinatown. If you don't know where to look, just ask one of those Chinese BBQ shops where they get theirs.

                                                                                These whole wood blocks are specialized tools. You need to properly handle the or they will split.

                                                                                There are something close:

                                                                                http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Walnut-End-Grain-18-inch-Round-Chopping-Block/4306734/product.html

                                                                                http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/...

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                  l
                                                                                  Luckymama May 22, 2013 05:27 AM

                                                                                  Hi, I received my wok from ewok yesterday. It's really a good looking hand made wok. It came only in bubble wrap with one handle sticking out. They claimed that this is an iron handhammered wok. Is it really iron or is it carbon steel?

                                                                                  What's the best way to season the wok? I'm thinking of just following the instructions on seasoning on their website.

                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                  1. re: Luckymama
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    toddster63 May 22, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                                                    Looks gorgeous, Lucky...

                                                                                    They often refer to carbon steel as iron in China, and often their "alloy recipes": have a tad more iron in them. But it is essentially carbon steel. Carbon steel is essentially a steel recipe with a touch more iron in it...

                                                                                    1. re: Luckymama
                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics May 22, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                                                      Hey. Nice photos. I have asked the them the same question. Despite the fact that they call these "iron" woks, they are carbon steel woks in term of composition. The reason is more of a language thing. The Chinese classify their steel a little bit different.

                                                                                      <What's the best way to season the wok? I'm thinking of just following the instructions on seasoning on their website.>

                                                                                      I did not know there are instructions on their website. In the most general term, I seasoned my wok on the stovetop, not in the oven.

                                                          2. re: UncleRon
                                                            j
                                                            jessicatok Jan 20, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                            E-Woks is still in business.

                                                            I bought a wok on Nov 27th, asked a question about it, and got a response by Dec 2nd.

                                                            47 days later (!), I e-mailed to ask where my wok was, given that they told me that it would ship out on Dec 2nd, and they responded one day later, stating that it hadn't shipped until Dec. 23rd.

                                                            I just got it on Jan 17th, and it was mailed in bubble wrap only, which had torn around the handles. Subsequently, there was a split rivet in one of the handles. Although the wok itself (minus the split rivet) is beautiful, I am quite irritated over the whole process.

                                                            If you buy one, be prepared to wait, and maybe be prepared to accept flaws. Here are a few alternate e-mail addresses for them (customerservice@e-woks.com or hua.sunn@gmail.com).

                                                            1. re: jessicatok
                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jan 20, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                              The shipping is definitely slow. I am sorry to hear about the split rivet. Is that a rivet within the handle or a rivet between the handle and the wok? For those who want a two handles wok, Williams Sonoma sells 14" hand hammered woks made by a famous wok maker.

                                                              http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                j
                                                                jessicatok Jan 20, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                Unfortunately, it's the rivet between the handle and the wok. It's not the *worst* split, but at the same time, I am hoping to season the heck out of this thing and then keep it forever, and anything that raises a question as to its durability gives me pause.

                                                                I saw the Cen Lian Gen wok from WS, per your thread with another Chowhounder (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/862973), but another $100 ante isn't in the cards right now. However, many thanks for memorializing the link to the WS wok -- this way I won't have to remember the name and location, which will be a plus if this e-wok wok shells out after a few years.

                                                                In the meantime, I spent four hours seasoning the new wok in the oven at 500 degrees, then my husband and I spent some time rotating it around on our 17,000 btu burner, which filled our poor house with smoke, but gave the thing a pretty fair coat of seasoning.

                                                                The picture below is the light brown color of the oven seasoning, but we didn't get a good picture of the blackened wok.

                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                 
                                                                1. re: jessicatok
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jan 20, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                  Phew. It does not look too bad at all. :) I won't worry too much about it. It looks more of a cosmetic fault than a real structural problem.

                                                                  Moreover, you have the so called Cantonese style wok which most people do not rely the handle for tossing and flipping food. As you can see from this original post, mine is a the so called Peking style wok. The rivets on the long handle will be important because the wok will be constantly use to toss food. I tried to use the Cantonese woks a few times and I even have two of them with me now, but I just have problem using them to toss foods. It really hurt my thumb. Yes, thumb -- where it locks on the handle. :)

                                                                  <if this e-wok wok shells out after a few years.>

                                                                  It will be fine. :)

                                                                  <In the meantime, I spent four hours seasoning the new wok in the oven at 500 degrees>

                                                                  Did you just get the wok?

                                                                  <The picture below is the light brown color of the oven seasoning, but we didn't get a good picture of the blackened wok.>

                                                                  Nah, I think the last photo is really good.

                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                    j
                                                                    jessicatok Jan 20, 2013 11:50 PM

                                                                    <It does not look too bad at all>
                                                                    Thank goodness! My husband said that if it came out, he'd figure out how to re-rivet it, so not to worry.

                                                                    <Did you just get the wok?>
                                                                    Yep, Thursday. Luckily, I had a long weekend to goof around with it.

                                                                    <...Cantonese style wok...>
                                                                    Of course! I was happily set on getting the Cantonese wok instead of the Peking/Pow -- my family is southern Chinese. I can't easily toss foods, so I just "chaun" a lot instead.

                                                                    1. re: jessicatok
                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jan 21, 2013 09:10 AM

                                                                      <my family is southern Chinese>

                                                                      My too, which is why I tried hard to use the Cantonese style wok, but at the end, the single handle wok works better for me. Good luck and have fun. Please let us know if it works/not works for you.

                                                          3. w
                                                            wabi Jan 19, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                            Just to add my 2 cents...I found that those guys take about 2 days to reply as well..but were very nice. I agree, their website sucks. When I bought my flat bottom woks several years ago, I could not get Paypal to work through their website. After several emails were exchanged, I got a correct Paypal address and forwarded them the funds. The woks arrived safely in the mail. I really do like their flat bottomed wok, and will surely use it forever.

                                                            That said, the flat bottom Pow woks now offered from the Wok Shop are VERY comparable and a great bargain. They can be found here:

                                                            http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...

                                                            I bought 2 of them, a 12 and a 14 inch, and have been using them as well.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: wabi
                                                              t
                                                              toddster63 Jan 19, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                              I agree that the new USA made POW wok is a nice wok. However I own this wok and the more classic wooden handled model from the same manufacturer, each bought from Tane at the Wok shop, and I gotta say I prefer this one:

                                                              http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...

                                                              It the "classic" wood handled model, but has a thicker "pad" of steel around the bottom flat area than the new POW model. It truly does cook hotter and preform better on my electric stove than the new one metal handled POW wok.

                                                              I talked to Tane about this, and she says it isn't so, that they are made to same standards at this US manufacturer; however I have had several friends (including an automotive engineer) witness and agree that the more classical wooden handled model does indeed have a thicker more steel padded bottom area. And I can testify that it does hold more heat, and so gets hotter and therefore cooks better on my electric coil stove.

                                                              I also have an older "Cantonese" style wok by this manufacturer (with the same round bowl shape), with the two metal elephant ear handles, and it too has the nice heavy padded bottom area. It seems to be only the new POW wok model that does not have the thicker padded bottom.

                                                              My .02 cents of experience...

                                                              1. re: toddster63
                                                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 19, 2013 04:50 PM

                                                                I have used all three sizes of the US made carbon steel with helper handle from Tane. 16", 14" and 12". I started wit 16", and then 14" and finally 12". They are reasonably good wok, but I personally still find this hand made wok to be better. No, it is not because it is hand made. As mentioned in my original post, it just seem to have the curvature I prefer and the thickness

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                  t
                                                                  Tom34 Jan 19, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                  A little off the wok subject, but a friend found an old 2 ft x 2 ft cast iron table for next to nothing and mounted a cheap ($50) 50,000 plus BTU burner on it. Burner had a wok ring. He uses it outside with propane & it screams fire to the point of being scary. Need an oven mitt. All the smoke and mess blow away in the wind.

                                                                  1. re: Tom34
                                                                    u
                                                                    UncleRon Jan 19, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                    That sounds really good! How about a picture? Would love to see that.

                                                                    1. re: UncleRon
                                                                      t
                                                                      Tom34 Jan 19, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                      It will be a while before I see him to take a picture, but the burners are can be had/seen online. Bayou Classic & Alpha are 2 I have researched.

                                                                      Planning to build an outdoor kitchen....galv metal Studs, thin masonry board followed by light weight stick-um cultured stones & granite tile top.

                                                                      My old Big Green Egg....med gas grill like a 3 burner Cal Flame....high BTU side burner like above. Figure on leaving a cut out under the burner and lining it with cheap 1/2 thickness fire brick. Same will radiate heat up & can be replaced easily/cheaply is stuff is spilled.

                                                                      My project is pretty ambitious, but these super high BTU burners also come with legs and look pretty reasonable & portable.

                                                                      1. re: Tom34
                                                                        u
                                                                        UncleRon Jan 19, 2013 06:56 PM

                                                                        Looked up the Bayou Classic at Walmart. What caught my eye is " Cooks at 185,000 BTUs ". That is Hot!

                                                                        1. re: UncleRon
                                                                          t
                                                                          Tom34 Jan 20, 2013 03:49 AM

                                                                          That will season your Wok! There was one that was stainless and would probably tolerate being left outside with with some type of cover. The ones with legs could be stored in a shed. It obviously could be used for many things but it looks perfect for "serious" wok cooking and a 1/4 the price of a 15K BTU side burner from say Cal Flame.

                                                                    2. re: Tom34
                                                                      t
                                                                      toddster63 Jan 20, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                      In my experience over the last 3 years with about 5 different outdoor wok burners, the American cast iron burners (anything from Bayou) are really over-rated in fire power. Yes, they are HOT, no doubt, but 185K, well NO, it just isn't so. And you just don't need this much heat anyway. Chinese restaurants use this much heat, but it's very sporadically; the heat is turned on and off with either the cook's feet or knees. The food is rarely over this much direct heat for long—otherwise it would burn and the wok's seasoning would vaporize and leave bare carbon steel. You can see this on many YouTube videos of professional Chinese cooks.

                                                                      The best high temp outdoor wok burner I have used is the one I got from an Asian kitchen supply store for $59 (it's also sold all over the internet, including Ebay, for almost double this price). It supposedly is rated at 119K tops, who knows—but I can tell you that turned all the way up it's just too hot and I can't cook on max for more than about twenty seconds or so at a time—which was not true for the 185K Bayou I used. The Bayou could take more like a full minute before burning and damaging my beloved woks, not to mention charred food.

                                                                      I like to use this Taiwanese burner at about half of it's power, and even then I need to remove the wok from the burner (usually while tossing the food) about every 30 seconds or so, or the food will start to char too much and my seasoning gets too jeopardized. Using this burner at high is just out of the question, unless you only keep the food over the burner for no longer than 20 seconds or so, and then you still really have to watch it. The wok sits very low to the flame on these wok burners, and they are very powerful.

                                                                      These Taiwanese wok burners are inexpensive, have an automatic igniter, and are fairly easy to adjust the temp/flame (though not ideal—the knob takes a little finesse if you want to go medium-low.) But it is by far the best outdoor woking solution I have found, and at $59 it was a bargain too (the same store had great woks for $7-$12!)

                                                                      I set this burner up on a $20 wire table from Home Depot, and it works great. I zip tied the propane cord along the back of the wire table for neatness, and it looks great and tidy. I love it!

                                                                      Here are some pics:

                                                                       
                                                                       
                                                                      1. re: toddster63
                                                                        t
                                                                        Tom34 Jan 21, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                                        Looks great! Any chance of seeing a few pictures of it burning at diff temps?

                                                                        For my outdoor kitchen, I am considering a good commercial star burner for normal stove top cooking & a flame thrower for a wok or big stock pot.

                                                                        If properly supported, do you think your burner would be stable enough for a large stock pot and would the flame pattern match up ok with a big pot?

                                                                    3. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                      t
                                                                      toddster63 Jan 20, 2013 11:21 AM

                                                                      <<"...but I personally still find this hand made wok to be better. No, it is not because it is hand made. As mentioned in my original post, it just seem to have the curvature I prefer and the thickness...">>

                                                                      Yeah, it really sucks that the flat bottomed ewoks are are no longer available! Would LOVE to have one....!

                                                                      1. re: toddster63
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jan 20, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                        I am sure someone out there makes it. Just have to hunt down the makers.

                                                                2. j
                                                                  jp96 Feb 10, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                  Do you like having the extra loop?

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: jp96
                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Feb 10, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                    In some cases, it is nice to have the extra loop handle to move the wok around (when it is full). However, it is not necessary most of the time.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                      j
                                                                      jp96 Feb 11, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                      Thanks. Any idea if taoist is still around on Ebay? Your link above is not working and I searched Ebay.

                                                                      1. re: jp96
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Feb 11, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                        I know taoist the store is no longer around on eBay. Instead a new eBay store: Hwamart was opened and carried the same hand hammered woks. However, the woks are no longer carried there.

                                                                        It was less than a month ago that hwamart was carrying the woks:

                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/834821#7842866

                                                                        If you are really interested, then you should contact hwamart email as well as eWok email address. It usually takes about 2 days before you get a reply, and since the lady said she is preganent, you may even get a slower reply than usual.

                                                                        http://e-woks.com/index.php?main_page...

                                                                        Now, if the price is not too high for you, and if you are interested, then you should really getting one. Keep in mind that this is very much an artistic work by a skilled artist, and it is somewhat a dying art. They are not mass produced like All Clad or Le Creuset or Calphalon. It is not the kind of cookware which you can say "Hmmm, maybe I should come back and get this wok a year from now". A year from now, they may not sell it anymore.

                                                                  2. a
                                                                    althalius Nov 11, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                                    Since e-woks is no longer producing flat-bottomed woks, I'm curious if anyone has purchased a ROUND-bottom wok from them?

                                                                    Can you use the round-bottom wok on a gas stove? Can you use it on the gas stove without a wok ring?

                                                                    Thanks in advance!

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: althalius
                                                                      c
                                                                      citizenc3 Nov 11, 2013 07:19 PM

                                                                      I bought a round-bottom wok with the extra loop. I use a wok ring because I feel like it's a little bit more secure, but I think it would depend on the size of your grates. Because of the weight of the handle, my wok doesn't sit flat like a flat bottom wok. It just kind of rests in a tilted position. It's secure enough for stir fry, but I don't think I could brave deep frying in it as it is.

                                                                      1. re: althalius
                                                                        t
                                                                        toddster63 Nov 11, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                                        Round bottom woks work great on gas stoves. But as to wether you need a wok ring or not--that is very dependent on your stove configuration. Some stoves have great burner grates that fit round bottomed woks just fine and no ring required. Other stoves, NO--the burner grate makes the wok too wobbly and you need a wok ring for sure. It's very variable. Some stove manufacturers recognize this and make optional accessory specialized wok burner grates made for round bottomed woks on their stoves.

                                                                        1. re: althalius
                                                                          w
                                                                          wabi Nov 11, 2013 09:16 PM

                                                                          I feel lucky to have purchased 2 of their flat bottomed woks before they stopped making them. I use them and they are my "go to" woks.

                                                                          That said, I was anxious to try the Wok Shops US made Pow Wok, so I purchased one...

                                                                          I like it a lot! It's a sturdy wok, that now seasoned, is virtually identical to my e-wok hand hammered wok. I think it's a good deal and a good wok.

                                                                          They can be found here: http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...

                                                                        2. i
                                                                          iliria Nov 30, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                          May I ask, is e-wok's shipping time still a long one?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: iliria
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Nov 30, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                            I don't know. I assume it is, but your should email e-wok to be sure.

                                                                          2. i
                                                                            iliria Dec 28, 2013 09:59 AM

                                                                            I ordered my roud bottom wok (with two loop handles) from them and it arrived within 2 weeks (which is quite fast considering that it was over Christmas period). I am really happy with the quality of craftmanship and how nice the wok looks. Does anyone have any instructions/advice how to season the wok please? I have heard that there are two options: on the stove and in the oven? Also once you have cooked with the wok I assume that you wash it with sponge and washing up liquid and then season it again? Or do you just coat the inside and outside with a layer of oil?

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: iliria
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Dec 28, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                              <I ordered my roud bottom wok (with two loop handles) from them and it arrived within 2 weeks>

                                                                              That is really quick for them. I got mine in 4 weeks, and many other people as well.

                                                                              <Does anyone have any instructions/advice how to season the wok please?>

                                                                              I roughly scrubbed the wok with steel wok. Then, I filled the wok with water (80-90% full) and bought it to a boil and keep it boiling for a couple of minutes. Then, carefully pour the hot water out and scrubbed the wok again. Washed and rinsed one more time.

                                                                              After the cleaning, then I started to season.

                                                                              < I have heard that there are two options: on the stove and in the oven?>

                                                                              Yes. I usually do most of my seasoning on the stovetop, but I often include one iteration (just one) in the oven. For example, I may do one quick oven seasoning first. Then proceed the 2-3 repeat seasoning on the stove.

                                                                              <Also once you have cooked with the wok I assume that you wash it with sponge and washing up liquid and then season it again? >

                                                                              You can wash it with soft brush or a sponge with water. Try to avoid heavy detergent in the first week while the seasoning process is still building. After each cooking session, you "can" do a quick mini-seasoning or hot oil coating when the wok is relatively, but it is definitely not required. In other words, you don't need to do a full blown seasoning each time. Either you don't do it at all, or if you do it, do a very quick one: heat up the wok, pour in 2-tablespoon of oil, swirl the oil around, toss the oil.

                                                                              In the long term, you should NOT need to season the wok after each use.

                                                                              <Or do you just coat the inside and outside with a layer of oil?>

                                                                              Just inside. The outside may get seasoned overtime just from cooking, but you don't need to intentionally season the outside.

                                                                              1. re: iliria
                                                                                p
                                                                                Papabearak Dec 28, 2013 01:34 PM

                                                                                Avoid soap after seasoning. I use a copper scrubber (not stainless) on tough cleanup. Coarse salt and a little oil also make a nice scrub for carbonized food remains.

                                                                                I used the oven method from a tip by America's Test Kitchen. I used flax seed oil, available from natural foods stores. You only need a small amount, so buy the smallest bottle you can find . Keep it cold in the fridge. The flax oil creates a lacquer-like smooth seasoning layer. I used about 8 baked on very thin layers. Search for flax oil and seasoning on the net for cast iron.

                                                                                All new seasonings are fragile. Avoid acidic foods and soap. Re-season as needed. Over time, the seasoning will strengthen with regular use and good care.

                                                                              2. i
                                                                                iliria Jan 4, 2014 05:44 AM

                                                                                Here are some pics of the wok before and during being seasoned.

                                                                                Edit: For some reason it only lets me upload one photo.

                                                                                 
                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: iliria
                                                                                  i
                                                                                  iliria Jan 4, 2014 05:57 AM

                                                                                  Here's before:

                                                                                   
                                                                                  1. re: iliria
                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Jan 4, 2014 07:20 AM

                                                                                    Thanks for the photos. Any problem thus far? Or is the wok working alright?

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                      i
                                                                                      iliria Jan 4, 2014 06:22 PM

                                                                                      You're welcome. I use a gas stove and the wok rests fine on it without the need for a wok ring. There is some small degree of wobbliness however i dont deep fry so that is not a problem.

                                                                                      I used both methods of seasoning (oven and stove). I bought "Stirfrying to the sky's edge" book in which Grace Young provides quite a thorough explanation on how to season the wok. First I seasoned in the oven for an hour (3x20min intervals) and then I stirfried some ginger on the stove. This provided a good initial seasoning.

                                                                                      The wok heats up really fast and perfectly (at 13500 BTU). I cooked some sprouting broccoli with chinese bacon and chicken and then some egg fried rice. It's the first time that I have managed to cook a decent egg fried rice. And most importantly nothing stuck to the pan.

                                                                                      1. re: iliria
                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jan 4, 2014 06:33 PM

                                                                                        Good to hear. I have a few carbon steel woks before this. I have 3-4 carbon steel from the Wokshop. Two so called hand hammered woks from Williams Sonoma and the Wokshop respectively.

                                                                                        This wok from e-Wok is by far the best I have had. It was easy to season and it has the thickness I like. Of course, being real hand made is a plus too.

                                                                                2. t
                                                                                  tanvir Mar 21, 2014 03:19 PM

                                                                                  What is the thickness of the wok. Now the e-woks.com is gone, I am curious how does the Artisan Wok measure against the e-wok you have.

                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: tanvir
                                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Mar 21, 2014 03:56 PM

                                                                                    Around 1.5 mm or slightly more.

                                                                                    Artisan hand hammered woks from Williams Sonoma should be just as good. They are all fully hand hammered.

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                      t
                                                                                      toddster63 Mar 21, 2014 04:05 PM

                                                                                      ...and they are out of stock until June of this year (2014)

                                                                                      (Williams Sonoma Artisan Wok)

                                                                                      1. re: toddster63
                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Mar 21, 2014 04:09 PM

                                                                                        Ah, I didn't know this. Thanks.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                          t
                                                                                          tanvir Mar 21, 2014 07:30 PM

                                                                                          Thank you for your response. I have one on its way from the Wokshop from 14 gauge sheet.

                                                                                          It is too bad that e-woks.com is out of business. It is a beautiful wok you have reviewed along with other persons who have posted pictures of their e-woks.

                                                                                          1. re: tanvir
                                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Mar 21, 2014 08:15 PM

                                                                                            I suggest you to buy the next hand hammered wok which you can get hold of. I know so many people keep waiting and waiting, and pondering and pondering. Hand hammered wok is a dying art. these woks aren't even that expensive. A true hand hammered wok is about $40-80, which is cheap when comparing to many cookware.

                                                                                            < I have one on its way from the Wokshop from 14 gauge sheet. >

                                                                                            I know Tane Chan fairly well. I used to shop in her real store when I lived in SF, and I bought so many tools from her after leaving SF. She has some nice woks, but her hand hammered woks are not real hand hammered woks. Frankly, of all the product I bought from her, this is the one dislike the most:

                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8318...

                                                                                            Most of the so called hand hammered woks are not real. Just want to clarify any confusion.

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                              t
                                                                                              tanvir Mar 21, 2014 08:25 PM

                                                                                              I ordered this one.

                                                                                              http://wokshop.stores.yahoo.net/wok2s...

                                                                                              What I gathered is that there are 4 or 5 different models of the same wok with different handles. I ordered the one with two metal ear handles.

                                                                                              1. re: tanvir
                                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Mar 21, 2014 08:32 PM

                                                                                                Ah, these ones should be pretty good. I have their cousins of the single long handle ones.

                                                                                                1. re: tanvir
                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                  toddster63 Mar 21, 2014 09:06 PM

                                                                                                  Good wok you bought--very thick steel, holds the heat.

                                                                                                  I recommend investing in an Ove Glove, or a good oven mitt, as those "elephant ear" handles can get HOT!

                                                                                                  I love my well seasoned cantonese wok, with the large "hammer marks" and elephant ears--it looks the part SO well, but I hate having to find the glove to touch it when cooking or serving...!

                                                                                                  My primary wok has become the Wok Shop one you ordered, in the heavy steel, with the classic "American" long wooden handle and helper wooden handle on the other side. The flat bottom has become warped (probably due to being used outside on the high temp propane burner), but it still does an admirable job on the electric coil stove (probably because the coils are warped-ish themselves!). All in all, a very versatile wok.

                                                                                                  The bowl design on this wok, with any of it's different handle configurations, has been around for some time, and I think they are still making them right here in the Bay area--Oakland, maybe? I really like the "feel" of this wok's design--just high enough, and even with the perfect sized flat bottom on the flat bottom model, this wok is a pleasure to toss food around in; it feels just about right, fluid like a wok should. I've used some flat bottom woks that lost this feel--that magical dance of the food that is so prevalent in round bottom woks--but this wok's design in the flat bottom model really preserves so much of a wok's fluid moving magic...

                                                                                                  1. re: toddster63
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    tanvir Mar 22, 2014 02:31 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks for the info. Actually I first ordered the one with a long handle but later asked Tane to change the order with two ear'ed wok. Reason being that I have a limited space. I can almost fit two eared wok's (14 inch in my case) unstacked in the same space as one Wok with long handle. Actually for long handle version of the wok I have ordered it is even less economical in space usage because the handle ends higher than the woke (it is upward slopping). It need more vertical space too.

                                                                                                    I could have ordered one with two short wood handle version of this wok but the wood handle is only on the top of the the handle and the sides of the handle is without insulation. Fingers can accidently touch the bare part of the handle.

                                                                                                    What I am planning to do is to wrap the entire handle in heat resistant fiberglass cloth or silicone tape and the dip the handle in liquid rubber. Hopefully that will take care of the need for glove. At least for minor movements.

                                                                                                    I think I am over thinking the whole thing :-)

                                                                                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              jp96 Mar 22, 2014 06:48 AM

                                                                                              Has anyone tried out the WS hand hammered flat bottom wok? It is $29.95. The artisan wok only seems to be available with the round bottom.

                                                                                              1. re: jp96
                                                                                                t
                                                                                                toddster63 Mar 22, 2014 07:41 AM

                                                                                                It's a decent stamped and then pounded a few times for artistic effect kinda wok--what we used to call hand hammered before artisians like e-woks should us what TRUE hand hammered woks were like...

                                                                                                What I never liked about the $30 WS flat bottom is the flat bottom is SO SMALL! Like 3"-4"! It would do okay over gas, but forget this one on electric, induction or halogen stoves...!

                                                                                                1. re: toddster63
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jp96 Mar 22, 2014 07:56 AM

                                                                                                  I wish the artisan WS came in a flat bottom also...

                                                                                                  1. re: jp96
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    toddster63 Mar 22, 2014 11:49 AM

                                                                                                    Boy, that makes two of us! Still drives me nuts that I never got one of the flat bottomed E-Woks--those were great and so unique. The closest I have found to them are the Yamada woks from Japan, hand made/hammered and very flat (more like a Peking pan really), but pricey ($100) and hard to find...

                                                                                                    1. re: toddster63
                                                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Mar 22, 2014 11:54 AM

                                                                                                      <but pricey ($100) and hard to find>

                                                                                                      Not any more pricey than any All Clad cookware. I think it comes down to if you think you will one often. If you do, get it. It is actually cheap by comparison. $100 for a top notch cookware is actually very cheap. If you do not use a wok often, then don't bother.

                                                                                                2. re: jp96
                                                                                                  Chemicalkinetics Mar 22, 2014 11:51 AM

                                                                                                  <Has anyone tried out the WS hand hammered flat bottom wok?>

                                                                                                  Yes. It was in the link I have just two posts above:

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8318...

                                                                                                  It is a stamped wok really, and you can get one like that in any Chinese cookware store. Nothing special, not true hand hammered.

                                                                                                  Moreever, I find it too thin.

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