Electric woks are handy for cooking delicious meals inside and outside the kitchen. While the wok began life in Asia, it doesn’t mean that it should be confined to solely cooking Asian dishes.
The wok is versatile and can be used in many different ways.
But how exactly can you use an electric wok?
In this post, we will describe some basics about electric wok use, and run through those little-known dishes you can also use it for.
The electric Wok – Some Basics
An electric wok is a portable cooking device that uses electricity to run. It is usually sized up to 14 inches in diameter, providing an ample cooking space. When this arrives, you get the pan and an electric device that heats the pan by sitting underneath it.
Before you use your electric wok, be sure to read the manufacturer instructions supplied thoroughly.
The most obvious benefit of an electric wok is its portability. It gives you the opportunity to cook anywhere. This means that you can take it camping with you or perhaps cook in front of the television while catching up on your latest box set on Netflix.
Usually, electric woks allow you to control the temperature with a little precision. It will heat up pretty quickly, so be careful. Most get to 500°F. More often than not, they are Teflon coated internally, so great news from a non-stick perspective. If you would like more information on where you can get this electric wok, check out Amazon’s prices here.
Use High-Heat Oils and Wooden Utensils
To protect your Teflon coating, we advise always using wooden utensils. These won’t scratch and will keep that non-stick feature alive for longer.
Bearing in mind that the device will reach 500°F, you will need to choose a cooking oil that can withstand such temperature without smoking or burning.
Avocado oil is still relatively new to the market, but it is gaining in popularity due to its very high smoke point of 520ºF. Other oils you could use are:
One other useful piece of advice would be to make sure you wear an oven glove. Sometimes the handles are not heatproof. Additionally, this will protect you when faced with the urge to touch the side of the pan.
This can often happen in this circumstance, as whenever you work with high temperature, you always need to move fast so that you do not burn your food.
Another handy hint would be to pre-prepare food whenever cooking with a wok. As you are working fast, you need your ingredients readily available. So chop, dice, weigh, measure and slice everything you need before you switch your device on.
This will prevent delays and help to ensure that you don’t burn your food. Make it so that the process of adding the next ingredient is efficient and super fast.
So that was a quick overview of some of the fundamentals of food preparation with an electric wok, as well as a few handy hints. Now for the best bit – using your wok to cook in ways other than for stir-frying!
Steam is gaining in popularity due to its health benefits, and now we will show you how steam with a wok. First off you will need a bamboo steaming basket. We prefer bamboo as they are the least likely to catch on fire.
You will also need chopped veggies, or your chosen ingredients to have already been chopped or prepared ready for cooking. Switch on your wok – it needs to be on the high heat setting.
Once piping hot, pour in a little water or chicken broth into your wok. Then fill the steaming basket with the vegetables. Place your basket inside the wok, over the hot liquid.
Ensure you keep the heat setting on high. This will generate steam and thoroughly cook your chosen ingredients.
We are going to use chicken as our roasting example. So for this, you will need a whole chicken (one that will fit inside your wok once the lid of the wok is on), cooking oil, salt, pepper, and a meat thermometer.
With your wok on the high-heat setting and hot enough for use, pour 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into the wok. Use your oven mitten to pick up the wok, and turn it until the oil is evenly distributed over the entire internal surface.
Rub the chicken surface, using your hand, with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the wok. Allow the outside of the chicken to brown, which should take 5-7 minutes on each side, namely bottom and top.
Reduce the heat setting to medium. Place a lid on your wok and shut the vent. This chicken is now roasting. Leave for 45 minutes. Check whether your chicken is done by using a meat thermometer (as a reminder, the chicken is safe to consume once the temperature has reached 165ºF).
Obviously, you can use similar principles for other meats, like a pot roast, but you could also add the vegetables in at the same time. As before, brown your chosen meat, then add any chopped veggies like carrots or potatoes. Place the lid over the wok, but this time do not close the vent!
Leave the meat roasting inside the wok until the vegetables are cooked all the way through.
We use our wok at breakfast time too. The generous size allows for many possibilities. Hash browns, fried or scrambled eggs, and delicious evenly cooked french toast are just some examples of what you can use your electric wok for.
Start by thinking of your electric wok as though it were a regular pan. But one that has added benefits. It has a larger and unique shape, and it is portable. This way, you will find the transition to using it for cooking all types of dishes more comfortable and will adapt quickly. After a while, it will become your pan of choice.
How to Maintain Your Electric Wok
Electric woks are very easy to maintain and clean – yet another benefit of this device. While it is still hot, but without burning yourself, use a clean cotton dishcloth to wipe the interior surface. If there are still food particles stuck to the surface, dampen the cloth and remove them. Because the wok is hot, cleaning while hot will provide sufficient sterilization.
If you really need to clean your wok in the sink, you must read the cleaning instructions carefully beforehand. With the device being electrical, be mindful that some parts of it may not be submerged in water safely. It is also essential to thoroughly dry all parts of the wok before you plug it back in. For safest results, you could air dry the wok overnight after regular towel drying.
By now, you will be able to see that the wok is not a stir-fry only device. It can be used in many different cooking methods, and its unique shape allows you to get creative in the kitchen while also reducing hazards.
With an electric wok, you have the added luxury of cooking anywhere – as long as you have access to an electrical outlet. So not only can you cook nearly anything in a wok, with an electric wok you can do so anywhere and at any time!