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Does the wok ring serve any other purpose other than stability?

JenniferLopez Apr 25, 2013 12:58 PM

I just bought an artisan hammered wok from Williams-Sonoma after reading here that its made by Cen Lian Gen (the "wok man" in Grace Young's books) and it came with a wok ring. I placed it on my stove without the ring and its very stable and doesn't wobble. Should I still use the ring? Some believe it acts as a heat trap and concentrates the heat to the bottom of the pan but I feel that it would do the opposite and elevate the pan too high off of the heat source. Your thoughts?

And just one little question about seasoning the wok. Grace Young mentions scouring off the seasoning on the outside of the wok but never mentions reapplying oil to the outside when you season it yourself. Do I need to season the outside? Or is this avoided due to the flames?

  1. Chemicalkinetics Apr 26, 2013 02:56 PM

    <I placed it on my stove without the ring and its very stable and doesn't wobble.>

    Lucky you.

    <Some believe it acts as a heat trap and concentrates the heat to the bottom of the pan but I feel that it would do the opposite and elevate the pan too high off of the heat source.>

    It does acts as a heat trap, so that is not incorrect, but you may not need the heat trap afterall. Another thing to notice is that the wok ring can be worked in two modes. The larger size up or the smaller size up. Try both.

    <Grace Young mentions scouring off the seasoning on the outside of the wok>

    ??? What?

    <Do I need to season the outside? Or is this avoided due to the flames?>

    In short, you don't have to season the outside for two reasons. First, the cooking surface (inside) is the most important part because you want the seasoned surface to prevent rust and prevent food sticking. Second, the outside surface will eventually get seasoned (even if you do not intentionally do it). The cooking oil will get out, and the outside will get seasoned in a matter of weeks or months.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
      JenniferLopez Apr 30, 2013 07:13 PM

      <Grace Young mentions scouring off the seasoning on the outside of the wok>
      Grace Young states in her book, Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge that before you season your new wok you must wash and "scour the inside of the wok several times and also scour the outside at least once" to remove the oil/grease applied by the factory to prevent rusting. Just wasn't sure if the outside needed to be seasoned since there was a coating that I was scrubbing off. But you pretty much answered my question anyways. :)

      I decided I wont use the wok ring. Hoping to one day get a Robert Yick wok stove anyways.

      1. re: JenniferLopez
        Chemicalkinetics Apr 30, 2013 10:25 PM

        Taco-flavor kisses. Most woks are coated with machine oil and should be thoroughly clean before. Few are lacquered which are even more difficult to remove. Have fun.

    2. s
      Scootboy Apr 30, 2013 11:13 PM

      You do not want the fire directly on your Wok. The whole point of a Wok is to disperse heat evenly. The ring helps keep the fire and metal at a proper distance.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Scootboy
        a
        acgold7 May 1, 2013 11:56 PM

        No, that is not the whole point of a wok. That is the opposite of the point of a wok.

        1. re: Scootboy
          Chemicalkinetics May 2, 2013 01:09 AM

          I agree with acgold. The purpose of a wok is not to disperse heat evenly. Moreover, if you are correct, than some of the wok rings actually concentrate/focus the heat.

          http://www.instructables.com/files/de...

        2. d
          DavidACarlson Apr 7, 2014 05:16 PM

          If you use any cast iron cook ware, I would suggest seasoning both the outside and inside. This is what my father taught me about cast iron cookware. Especially if you dry it the way he did, which was to place the wet item over a flame. After which, he would use Crisco and a paper towel to evenly spread the Crisco over the entire surface. He would then use the paper towel to remove any excess. I prefer to use vegetable oil. I would suggest seasoning both the inside and outside if it is cast iron.

          3 Replies
          1. re: DavidACarlson
            h
            Hobbert Apr 7, 2014 05:33 PM

            Do you use a cast iron wok? That seems so heavy and unwieldy to me.

            1. re: Hobbert
              kaleokahu Apr 7, 2014 06:02 PM

              The traditional cast iron woks are very thin, so it's less of a weight problem and more a brittleness/breakage problem.

              1. re: kaleokahu
                h
                Hobbert Apr 7, 2014 06:20 PM

                Interesting, thanks.

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