Imagine cooking your favorite food only to find that it didn’t turn out as it should? Reason being that you used the wrong cooking appliance, resulting in either overcooked or undercooked food. What if you can avoid such misfortune?
Welcome to the use of wok. A Chinese invented cooking utensil with users all over the world.
This pan is made of either carbon steel or cast iron. By using a wok, you will get your will never go wrong with your cooking.
Want to learn more about the advantages of using a wok? Keep reading this article. But, first things first, let’s learn about different types of the wok with kitchenviva.
Types of wok
There are different types of wok in the market for your choosing. Woks are categorized based on base type, manufacturing techniques, material type, and handle type. The types are as follows:
- Round Bottom wok- this wok has a round bottom and it’s deep for increased volume.
- Flat Bottom Wok- this wok has the same features as the round-bottomed wok except for its flat lower surface.
- Pow Wok- this is a carbon-steel wok with a 6-8 inches long handle, originally used in northern China.
- Cantonese Wok- this wok has a distinctive feature of two U-shaped handles on both sides.
- Mandarin wok- this wok has wooden or metallic handles on both sides. Mainly found on smaller woks.
- Non-stick Coated wok- this wok has a Teflon coating on its inner surface.
- Aluminum wok- this wok is made of anodized aluminum alloys.
- Hand Hammered wok- this is made by hand hammering a single sheet of material.
- Ceramic wok- this is made from ceramic which makes it nonstick.
- Carbon Steel wok- this wok is made from durable Carbon steel that has great heat distribution.
- Hardened steel wok- this is a non-responsive wok suitable for making acidic nourishments or vinegary. They are relatively light and don’t rust.
- Cast Iron Wok- this wok is made from iron which makes it lightweight and easy to clean.
The above-listed woks come with different specifications and as a user you might ask, are woks worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. In the next section, we are going to see the advantages of using a wok.
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Advantages of Using a Wok
The following are the benefits of using wok:
- Faster preparation
When using a wok, you will cook fast. Fast meal preparation comes from two factors. The first being, mix fried food takes short time to cook. You will fry briefly in oil or sauces and also offer as soon as possible.
The second factor comes from the design. The wok’s shape ensures an even distribution of heat throughout the pan. In turn, even heating leads to faster food preparation.
- Uniform cooking
The even distribution of heat on the wok’s surface also ensures uniform cooking. With woks, you will find that you can stir your food and if necessary, you can flip it. This feature makes having a wok in your kitchen essential.
- Extra quantities
If you intend to prepare a lot of food then a wok is your to-go-to cooking tool. When using a wok, you can cook tougher meat or harder vegetable in the same wok at the same time.
All you will have to do is put the harder food at the bottom where the is hot cooking oil, then when half done, add other ingredients such as tender seafood.
Wok also minimizes food spillage compared to normal pans; this is due to woks depth. In turn, you will maintain cleanliness in your cooking area.
- Healthy options
As we move to the healthy side of life, we need cooking tools that help us with that. When using woks, you will use less oil in your food. This makes your food healthier and digestible.
The shape in which woks are made ensures even distribution of heat also enables even cooking hence retained the crispy texture of food. This is due to less cooking time and less cooking oil usage.
- Limited nutrient loss
Long cooking time leads to immense loss of natural nutrients. However, with woks, you can avoid the loss. When you quickly stir fry vegetables you will save them from the loss of Vitamin C and B Vitamin thiamine.
Unlike grilling, baking, or roasting, stir-frying in a wok retains nutrients despite the heat. So, if you want to eat your vegetable with its nutrients intact, opt for woks.
- Less costly
Imagine you are preparing meat and vegetables using various techniques. You will require additional pots and pans. These can turn out costly. To save you from the cost, use a wok.
When using a wok, you can deep fry, boil, steam, or sautѐ. The wok’s structure enables you to cook both meat and vegetables in one pot without overcooking the other.
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Wok’s buyer’s guide
With the various types of wok and wide array of advantages, you can find it difficult to choose which one to go for. To help you with that, here is a quick overview of what can help you in choosing.
As we saw earlier in this article, there are woks with flat bottoms and round-bottomed ones. The choice you go for entirely depends on your cooking range. If you go for a flat bottomed one while you have an electric stove, you will need a wok ring to ease your cooking.
Woks differ in size, as a user, you should buy a wok that will comfortably accommodate the food amount you intend to cook without undercooking or spillage.
Non-stick woks are not only easy to clean but also offer enthusiasm for healthy cooking and low fat. However, consider that non-stick don’t function well on carbon steel. With that in mind, you will weigh if to go for carbon steeled one or aluminum that is non-stick.
Woks are made from different materials ranging from iron, aluminum, and carbon steel. Each material comes with a different heating rate. So, your choice should consider how fast you want to cook.
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Some woks come with lids. These are the best when you intend to cook Chinese food. A wok with a lid will ease your cooking.
With these advantages, you can see that a wok is worth it. Having a wok in your kitchen not only eases your cooking but also offers healthy cooking. To top it up, it reduced the number of pots and pans you will possess. Get your wok now and enjoy the advantages now.