To create some great Chinese or Thai cuisine, a wok is a very important vessel. Actually, you can make food in any pan, but there is a lot of difference in the taste of the food. The bowl-shaped wok has various benefits and it is perfect for cooking Southeast Asian cuisine. You have cast iron wok, stainless steel wok, carbon steel wok and even woks made of aluminum.
Advantages of a wok - Since a wok is bowl-shaped, it distributes heat uniformly in the food. Due to this, the food cooks fast and turns crispy as well. This vessel can take very high temperatures needed for stir-fry. If deep-frying, then there is no need to add excess oil in a wok. You could easily toss the food. The high sides of a wok and the fact that it does not fall outside ensure it.
Different kinds of wok - A cast iron wok is great for cooking but it is very heavy to handle. You have to season it else; the cast iron wok might rust. A stainless steel wok is lighter but it gets hot very quickly. Moreover, food sticks to a stainless steel wok and it could burn at some places. Due to this, there is no uniform spreading of heat and it is cumbersome to clean it. The ideal wok is one made from carbon steel. Let us discuss the reasons I am saying so:
1) Inexpensive - Wok made out of carbon steel is not very expensive and at the same time it can take extremely high temperatures like the cast iron wok. It is rather reasonable and should be a part of every kitchen.
2) Light - Carbon steel wok is much lighter if you compare it with a cast iron wok. Therefore, it is easier to work on and you can handle it well. You could even transfer from one place to other without too much strain.
3) Even Cooking - Unlike the stainless steel wok that is unable to spread heat evenly, wok made out of carbon steel enables even distribution of heat, thereby making some delicious food.
4) No Rust -The cast iron wok can rust as it ages and it requires occasional seasoning. A Wok made of carbon steel does not have any such issues.
5) Food does not stick - Unlike the problem with a Carbon steel fry pan usa stainless steel wok; food made in a wok made of carbon steel does not stick to the walls. In fact, now there are even non-stick woks made from carbon steel.
Maintenance - Ideally, you must season the wok before you use it the first time. This will remove all the oils used by the maker to prevent rust. For this you need to heat some oil in it a couple of times and wash it away very well. Then dry it off and it is fit for use. It is important to clean your wok after every use. Planning to buy a wok, go for a carbon steel wok and then make some finger-licking Chinese food for your loved ones!