For a restaurant-quality stir-fry at home, choose a wok or stir-fry pan. These traditional Chinese pans allow for even and quick cooking at high temperatures. What's the difference between a stir-fry pan and a wok? A traditional wok features a large, rounded bottom and tall sides, whereas a stir-fry pan has a flat bottom.
How Woks Work
Stir-fry and wok pans cook food in a specific way. The deep design of the pans mean you can push foods up the sides, while the bottom gets extremely hot. Easily sear meats and vegetables, and then push them aside before they burn.
When cooking, use as high a heat as possible for the best results. A stir-fry pan or wok with a lid helps speed up the cooking process. They’re also great for steaming veggies.
Caring for Your Wok
Stir-fry pans and wok cooking pans are available in a wide range of materials, many of which require seasoning prior to use. Seasoning a traditional stovetop wok prevents moisture from seeping into the metal and rusting it. To season a stir-fry pan or wok, heat it up and pour oil in it, then rub the oil off with a paper towel. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to get the proper steps for the pan you choose.
• A traditional carbon steel wok
is highly durable, lightweight and heats up easily.
• A copper wok pan also heats up quickly due to the conductive nature of the material.
• Cast-iron woks
provide a nonstick surface for food and can go easily from stovetop to oven.
• Stainless steel woks
and stir-fry pans are durable and long-lasting.
• Non-stick woks and stir-fry pans offer easy cleanup post cooking.
No matter which type you choose, these pans are perfect for entertaining or simply making quick, healthy, delicious meals that will have your family and friends raving about your chef-quality creations.