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Wok, cast iron or carbon steel? Login/Join 
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Picture of lastmanstanding
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I had a wok years ago and then lost track of it. Must have lost it in a move or borrowed it out and never returned. So I decided it's time to get another. I'm familiar with cooking in one but it's been awhile. I'm very familiar with caring for and cooking with cast iron so the Lodge cast iron wok is a strong candidate. It has a ring on the bottom so it will sit on any surface. We have a glass top stove and it would sit on that without use of a ring.

The carbon steel woks interest me as well as this was what my original one was years ago and I don't recall any problems seasoning or cooking in it. Although these wok would require the additional ring to be use on our glass top.
I also ran across the Discada which looks good and is made by a veteran owned company in the U.S. The Discada is 18" vs the 14" of the Lodge and other carbon discs out there.

So what are the SF wok users here cooking with?


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Posts: 7460 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
chickenshit
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I have a Discada but found it was really too heavy for me to use as a true wok.

I found a cheap-o carbon steel wok that was already seasoned. It was under $50 and I think it may have been under $30. That thing works like a champ and is nice and light.

I still use my Discada to fry things. Honestly though my other cast iron would work...I just like to justify having the Discada.

I have found that a decent spider and a proper wok spatula (two really) make ALL the difference in my wok-ing.


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Posts: 7576 | Location: East Central FL | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a carbon steel wok that I have used for so many years that I do not remember where it came from or who made it.I would recommend a quality carbon steel one,because mine has worked and held up nicely.Looks good , works well, and easy clean up. I would also be interested in a cast iron one,but it would be very heavy.Good luck with your quest for the perfect wok and post what you end up with.
 
Posts: 562 | Location: NW OHIO | Registered: December 31, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mrs. Sig Marine says the answer you seek is carbon steel. Cooking in a wok requires fast/high heat and the ability to change temperatures quickly. She explained to me that cast iron retains heat too well thus making the temperature changes more difficult with some ingredients.

We bought ours 20 years ago at a Chinese restaurant supply and it has served us well. They season just like a cast iron pan.


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Posts: 664 | Location: CA | Registered: February 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What is your heat source?


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Posts: 6165 | Location: NC | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
chickenshit
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Sig4eva makes a good point the heat source is important. I use a propane burner that really cranks out the heat. I never had much luck over my electric range.


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Posts: 7576 | Location: East Central FL | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SIG4EVA:
What is your heat source?

It would be used in all sorts of heat configurations. Glass top stove, propane burner or even hot coals. The discada I linked to does not have as steep of sides and I think would hold the cooked food up towards the top better than the 14" woks I'm also looking at. But 18" takes up a lot of room on the stove and to store. Weight is no issue as I use cast iron a lot. As a matter of fact I like heavier cast iron pans because you can move things around in the pan without holding on to the handle and not have the pan move around on the stove top.


"Fixed fortifications are monuments to mans stupidity" - George S. Patton
 
Posts: 7460 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another vote for carbon steel. I have a flat bottom carbon steel wok that we use pretty often on our glass top stove. I use cast iron frequently as well, but for me it's just too much weight for wok cooking.
 
Posts: 951 | Location: Georgia | Registered: September 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use an electric one as I've got one of the glass stovetops and don't want to scratch it up.

 
Posts: 6369 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bryanZ06:
Another vote for carbon steel. I have a flat bottom carbon steel wok that we use pretty often on our glass top stove. I use cast iron frequently as well, but for me it's just too much weight for wok cooking.

Is it flat on the outside and still round on the bottom inside? If it's flat on the inside is it still considered a authentic wok style? The carbon steel one I'm considering and most others state in their description they are not suitable for induction or glass top stoves. The cast iron one is flat bottomed on the outside and still rounded bottom on the inside and can be used on all surfaces. When I think of all the applications I will be using it in glass top, camp stove and hot coals it seems better suited to my needs.


"Fixed fortifications are monuments to mans stupidity" - George S. Patton
 
Posts: 7460 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 24887 | Registered: March 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alienator
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quote:
Originally posted by lastmanstanding:
quote:
Originally posted by SIG4EVA:
What is your heat source?

It would be used in all sorts of heat configurations. Glass top stove, propane burner or even hot coals. The discada I linked to does not have as steep of sides and I think would hold the cooked food up towards the top better than the 14" woks I'm also looking at. But 18" takes up a lot of room on the stove and to store. Weight is no issue as I use cast iron a lot. As a matter of fact I like heavier cast iron pans because you can move things around in the pan without holding on to the handle and not have the pan move around on the stove top.


A traditional wok is carbon steel, seasoned, with round bottom and meant for use on gas tops. I have a ceramic electric top, so I have a carbon steel with flat bottom which works decently.


SIG556 Classic
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P938 SAS

Psalm 118:24 "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it"
 
Posts: 6165 | Location: NC | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
A man of few words
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quote:
Originally posted by lastmanstanding:
quote:
Originally posted by bryanZ06:
Another vote for carbon steel. I have a flat bottom carbon steel wok that we use pretty often on our glass top stove. I use cast iron frequently as well, but for me it's just too much weight for wok cooking.

Is it flat on the outside and still round on the bottom inside? If it's flat on the inside is it still considered a authentic wok style? The carbon steel one I'm considering and most others state in their description they are not suitable for induction or glass top stoves. The cast iron one is flat bottomed on the outside and still rounded bottom on the inside and can be used on all surfaces. When I think of all the applications I will be using it in glass top, camp stove and hot coals it seems better suited to my needs.


Flat inside and outside. It probably doesn't fit the true definition of a wok, but for my uses it has been good to go.

I'd be worried about one that has a flat bottom and rounded inside not heating evenly.
 
Posts: 951 | Location: Georgia | Registered: September 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 5093 | Location: SML & OBX | Registered: February 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Carbon steel is what I use.

The resurgence of cast iron is great for skillets and dutch ovens but, for a wok, I find too heavy. Sure cast iron is old/traditional tech but, the reality is you want a wok that you can manipulate and not be a physical challenge. Woks are already a challenge technique-wise for most Western users so, why increase the difficulty with more weight.

 
Posts: 11348 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Carbon steel is the way to go.

You want your wok to be light so that you can tilt it in combination with your spatula and ladle. I can't even imagine using a cast iron wok to toss the ingredients. Cast iron would also retain heat when you are trying to wary temperatures

I'm pretty old school and learned to cook with a wok on a gas stove/burner. I tried a flat bottomed wok on a glass cooktop and I was always afraid I'd scratch/break to top.

For an electric kitchen, I'd highly recommend an induction burner




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Posts: 13641 | Location: northern california | Registered: February 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well against the conventional wisdom here all roads seem to be leading to cast iron due to my varied applications. Cast iron is the honey badger of cookware as long as you abide by a few simple rules of care and I know them well. I know it's heavy and I understand the heat retention aspects and know how to control it. Thanks 46and2 for the link. I reached out to them and explained my varied applications and asked for their recommendation. I got a non but informative answer really and they leaned towards buying 2 woks. One flat bottomed for the glass top and one conventional for other applications. So I guess Lodge cast iron works will get my fifty bucks. I'd rather not buy it on Amazon so I will go the the local Fleet store later and see if they stock them as they carry a good inventory of Lodge products.

They also have stock of Federal 9mm at $14.99 a box Wink


"Fixed fortifications are monuments to mans stupidity" - George S. Patton
 
Posts: 7460 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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