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Domed lids for stir fry: why?

Wordl8y Jan 4, 2014 05:09 PM

I'm looking at buying a wok, and I see so many have domed lids, which I never would have thought of in connection with a wok, but now I'm wondering. Can anyone share why you'd need/want one? Thanks!

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    Alan408 RE: Wordl8y Jan 4, 2014 05:29 PM

    In addition to stir fry, woks can be used for steaming

    Welcome to. Chow hound, how did you find this site?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Alan408
      Wordl8y RE: Alan408 Jan 4, 2014 05:37 PM

      So you seem to be saying that a domed lid would help in steaming, versus just stir fry; but if so, how? Thanks.

      Every time I Google a cooking question, Chowhound comes up, is how I found the site. :)

      1. re: Wordl8y
        Alan408 RE: Wordl8y Jan 4, 2014 05:49 PM

        Google, me too

    2. Chemicalkinetics RE: Wordl8y Jan 4, 2014 05:40 PM

      Alan is correct. When you are using the wok for stir frying, you don't need the lid. However, it is better to have a domed lid for steaming food.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        Becca Porter RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 4, 2014 05:57 PM

        And for deep frying something like chicken, perhaps?

        1. re: Becca Porter
          Chemicalkinetics RE: Becca Porter Jan 4, 2014 06:08 PM

          Good point too, Becca.


          Many woks are not as deep they may seem, so a domed lid allows additional space. You put sufficient amount of water in the wok. Then put the food above the water. The food can easily be above the height of the wok rim at this point:



          Another reason is that a lot of the Chinese steaming is done in a container, like a plate. It is actually more desirable to have the water NOT dip back to the plate. As such, a domed lid guides the water droplet down to the side instead of the center.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            fourunder RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 4, 2014 08:06 PM

            The domed lid is a recent development in what you can see is available in retail stores. In all the Chinese restaurants I have ever seen, the lid is tapered and raised about 3-4+ inches, then it's flat on top with a handle, not a wooden knob. The handle can be lifted by hand...but in a Wok Line kitchen, the lid would be removed with the Spatula. The older style flat tops are also more durable and not cheaply made


            The same type of lid is what My mother used dating back over 50 years....until she gifted it to my nephew.

            1. re: fourunder
              Chemicalkinetics RE: fourunder Jan 4, 2014 09:06 PM

              I have seen both styles when I was young, so I don't think it is a new invention. In addition, I should say I have seen many things in between.

              Yeah, the style that you mentioned has certain advantage. Because it more or less go up straight first and then flat, it can fit even more stuff under the lid.




              Of course, if we really have to go back to the earlier wok lid, then I think they were actually flat:


              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                Chemicalkinetics RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2014 04:14 PM

                Just realize the second link sometime does not take you to the right place. Here:

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  ellabee RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 10, 2014 01:25 PM

                  That lid, while wider and shallower than the ones the original poster is asking about, still looks somewhat domed (in stages).

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        Wordl8y RE: Wordl8y Jan 5, 2014 04:00 PM

        Thanks so much, all. Appreciate your time and the links and photos. Think I will be buying a wok with a domed lid!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Wordl8y
          Alan408 RE: Wordl8y Jan 5, 2014 04:51 PM

          Come back for usage questions

          Wok On!

        2. c oliver RE: Wordl8y Jan 7, 2014 05:24 PM

          Here's a link to The Wok Shop in San FRancisco. Even if you don't need to buy from her, you may find the site informative. I try to never miss this store when in SF.


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