A wok is traditional Chinese cookware known for its round bottom and large size. This cookware includes steaming, stir-frying, deep-frying, pan-frying, broiling, braising, poaching, searing, stewing, roasting, and smoking. Cooking with a wok requires a long spatula (chahn) or ladle (hoak) to protect yourself from high heat.
Commonly, woks are made with carbon steel and cast iron. Carbon steel is light in weight and can provide quick heat conduction. This is also forged with good durability. Cast-iron is also used, while it can be heavy for some users. However, this wok is superior in heat distribution and resistance.
Since these two materials can be seasoned, you can create your nonstick wok or purchase woks with a nonstick coating like PFA and Teflon.
Should a Wok be Non-Stick?
Woks are traditional cookware that is known for their multiple cooking advantages. Purchasing a nonstick wok can provide ease to your daily cooking. Although oils and fat help reduce friction on the pan’s surface, several food items still require a stick-proof surface to ease the cooking process.
Also, with the current trend of healthier cooking, using enormous amounts of oil should be avoidable. This is why nonstick woks promote low-fat cooking that suits the interest of most consumers. Nonstick cookware can be purchased or can be created for your home.
Pre-seasoned cookware provides convenience to your cooking. Peel off the packaging, clean the cookware, and it is ready to use. However, the pan’s seasoning wears off through numerous cooking and cleaning. This can be fixed by having common knowledge of seasoning your pan.
Nonstick cookware can also be considered, especially when PFA and PTFE coated pans are still working on the market. However, woks coated with this material can be harmful to your health. Overheating PTFE/Teflon coating can produce toxic fumes that can harm humans and animals.
How Do You Keep a Wok from Sticking?
Food sticking to your heated wok can create a terrible mess in your kitchen. This can produce a blackened, scorched exterior—which can affect the flavor of the food you’re cooking. Cleaning a scorched wok can be tiresome, most especially if it occurs daily.
The best solution to this is to create a nonstick surface for your pan. Carbon steel and cast-iron woks can be seasoned at home just by using regular cooking oil. Professional seasoning must use flaxseed oil or grapeseed oil and high-temperature inside the oven. Either way, this may give a permanent stick-proof layer to prevent sticking. Listed below are methods to prevent your food from sticking.
- Make sure that your wok is piping hot before cooking. Several materials used in wok may require different techniques to know if your pan is heated. Cast iron and carbon steel types produce visible smokes—notifying that your cookware is heated enough.
- In the case of stainless steel, the smoke may be unseen quickly. Placing droplets of water will ensure if your stainless-steel wok is hot enough. These water droplets will produce a circular, pearl-like shape to your pan. Allow the water to evaporate before using.
- Spread the oil evenly, making sure that all the wok’s surface is coating enough. Make sure that your food is thawed or at room temperature before frying. Pat your food with a paper towel to draw up excess liquids before placing it inside your wok.