A quality wok can make a great stir fry dish, and cast iron is a reliable choice. When shopping for a wok, one of the choices that buyers have to make is their preferred material. However, since they can also be used for steaming, deep-frying, roasting, and more, cast iron woks are often preferred by chefs.
Cast Iron Woks by Lodge
There are many choices when reviewing woks. These are a few of the decisions that cooks will have to review.
The size of a wok ranges from 9-18 inches, but the majority are 14″, which is preferred. The size of a wok means its diameter is measured at the widest part. This means you’ll end up with less cooking space than you might think.
Lodge Pro-Logic Wok With Flat Base and Loop Handles, 14-inch, Black
This 14-inch cast iron wok is made by Lodge and can be found here at Amazon. I have one of these woks and absolutely love it. The workmanship on this wok is second to none.
All the edges around the circumference of the wok and around the helper handles have been rounded with no sharp edges.
Once you put this wok on your stove it will NOT move around when you stir-fry your food. This wok is heavy and will stay where you put it.
Woks shouldn’t be packed full when stir-frying to avoid steaming them instead, so choose your size based on the number of servings you’re typically cooking. For example, 12-inches is ideal for two servings, while 14-inches is best for two to four people.
Below is the Cuisinart 10 Inch Cast Iron Mini Wok w/ Loop Handles.
If you need a smaller wok to prepare your meals then I would take a serious look at this 10-inch wok by Cuisinart. This wok like the one above is pre-seasoned and the inside of the wok is round while the base is flat. This flat-based wok will sit firmly on any gas, electric, or induction stove. You can buy this Cuisinart wok here on Amazon.
When it comes to purchasing a traditional wok, it comes with a round bottom. While great for cooking and flipping foods, it may not be practical for a modern cooktop. Cast iron woks tend to have flat bottoms though, which makes them easier to use on a standard stove.
The seasoning on a pan refers to the coating that prevents food from sticking and provides a barrier to prevent rust. Seasoned lodge cast iron woks are available, so these are an easy choice. You can also purchase your wok and season it yourself, but pre-seasoning is a good option that takes some of the initial work out of cooking.
Over time, you’ll continue to season the wok, which will add to your cooking’s richness. If you purchase an unseasoned wok, you’ll want to season it before you start cooking.
The thickness of a cast iron wok gives you information about its quality. The standard thickness is 9 mm or about 0.35 of an inch. Much thinner than this, and you may end up burning foods while a thicker side can make it hard to toss and use the wok practically.
5. Handle Type
When it comes to the handles on the wok, you only have one choice. All the handles on Lodge woks are cast at the same time the wok is cast. All cast iron woks have short helper handles, this helps when it comes time to store your wok.
Best Cast Iron Woks
Here are a few of the best cast iron woks I recommend.
|Iwachu Cast Iron Wok, Large, Black||Buy on Amazon|
|Klee Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok with 2 Handles and Wooden Wok Lid, 14-inch||Buy on Amazon|
|Bruntmor, Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok, Black, 14-inch w/Large Loop Handles & Flat Base (14" Wok)||Buy on Amazon|
|Lodge Pro-Logic Wok With Flat Base and Loop Handles, 14-inch, Black||Buy on Amazon|
Care must be taken so that you do not burn yourself when handling your cast iron wok. I recommend that you use oven mittens when the wok handles are hot. Check these out at Amazon.
Pros and Cons of Cast Iron Woks
When it comes to making the best choice, you may want to consider some of the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of wok. Depending on your cooking style and preferences, a cast iron wok may not be your best choice or may end up being the most-used pan in your kitchen.
- Cast iron is durable and naturally non-stick when seasoned properly
- Cast iron distributes heat evenly and also retains it well
- Can be used for both sauteing foods but also works well for long browning and simmering cooking
- With proper care, can be used for generations
- Can be used in the oven as well as stovetop if no plastic or metal parts on the handle
- Cast iron is reactive and doesn’t take well to acidic foods, although they can be used after fully seasoned
- Fairly heavy type of metal and may be difficult for some to use easily
- It takes a longer time to heat up
- Cast iron heats more evenly than some other metals
- Cast iron takes more effort to clean and maintain
Using a Cast Iron Wok
Cooking enthusiasts often swear by the results they get from their wok, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for every cook. Read through this description to learn more. With a little extra time and attention, a cast-iron wok is an excellent investment to make various dishes.