Why choose a Professional Steel stir wok?
Material. Most cooking experts agree that because of its suitable weight, thermal properties and other benefits for stir fry cooking, carbon steel is the most appropriate material for a stir wok. In the market place today other types of metal substrates are used for stir woks, however they all have drawbacks for this type of cookware item. These include:
- Cast iron – Long pre-heat times and is very cumbersome to lift, which is essential for proper flipping
- Stainless steel – Doesn’t conduct heat very quickly, and especially not to the centre of the pan, where it is most needed for a stir wok.
Thickness. A lot of uncoated stir woks are sold with a thin gauge, at either 0.8mm or 1.0mm, which can make a wok light and very price competitive. However, Professional Steel doesn’t do any stir woks at this thickness. Generally Professional Steel does stir woks at either a 1.5mm or 2.0mm gauge. This ensures a strong construction, even heating and a high heating effect for all of our stir woks.
Induction safe. Although carbon steel is magnetic and so suitable for induction use, if the gauge is too thin then the pan will warp or disfigure very easily if used on this type of cooking top surface. Induction transmits heat very efficiently, however with a Professional Steel stir wok, the thick gauge will disperse the heat much better and therefore not impair the quality of the pan. Moreover, for improved use on induction stove the Professional Steel Stable Concave design can be added to the stir wok. This highly innovative concave shape keeps cooking oil in the centre of the pan and reduces the possibility of warping.
Professional Steel Stir Wok Shapes
Flat bottom. This design has a wide base, and is particular suitable for consumers that don’t have a gas stove but who still want to enjoy the experience of stir fry cooking.
Oriental style. Although not actually commonly used in the East, to a western consumer this design, with a short bottom and a high edge, appears to have a deeply, authentic oriental feeling about it.
Traditional Round Bottom. Traditional woks have a deep bowl shape designed to fit into a circular opening directly over the hearth. A round bottom wok enables the traditional round spatula or ladle to pick all the food up at the bottom of the wok and toss it around easily. With a gas hob, or traditional pit stove, the bottom of a round wok can get hot very quickly, which is good for stir frying.
Professional Steel Material Options
Patina Non-Stick Grey Steel. “Patina” is a culinary term for the acquired change in the appearance of a cooking vessel’s surface. With a Professional Grey Steel pan, a patina develops when fat comes into contact with the surface of the metal. The fat penetrates the material and in doing so, transforms it from a dull and dry surface into a slick and supple one. Nonstick vessels don’t grow and mature with the cook. The surface comes ready from the factory and can only get worse over time. A patina on the other hand is an organic, dynamic surface that is sensitive to its surroundings. When a steel pan is seasoned enough to acquire one, the patina becomes virtually nonstick. With an easy-to-remove coating, this type of stir wok performs outstandingly well at high temperatures to quickly seal in vitamins and nutrients.
Pre-Seasoned Black Steel. This material itself is not new; it has been used as a stir wok in the Far East since the 19th century. Even today in Japan and Taiwan, black carbon steel is a commonly used metal by professional chefs to stir fry numerous famous dishes, such as ‘Gold over Silver’, amongst many others. Black carbon steel has a thin layer of oxidized iron on the outer surface. This layer is created at high temperatures, forming a durable layer requiring no further treatment or coating. This black iron oxide coating acts as a barrier to keep oxygen from the iron below. With this anti-rust protection a black steel pan can be kept in a cupboard and taken out for use with very little, if any rust, on it to remove. Professional Black Steel is pre-seasoned, meaning the consumer can start using it straight away for stir frying. The rough surface of the steel is perfect for re-seasoning, as it allows oil to rest between the ‘valleys’ of the steel for a better, longer lasting natural non-stick effect.
Northern style. Northern-style woks have a single long handle and, if over 30cm, a smaller helper-handle on the opposite side. The large handle facilitates flipping and stir-frying, while the short handle makes it easy to lift.
Cantonese style. Cooks needing to hold the wok to toss the food in cooking do so by using a dual handle wok. Cooking with the tossing action in loop-handled woks requires a large amount of hand, arm and wrist strength. Therefore, having a handle on either side is ideal for large woks, where the amount of food contained will be too heavy to lift without the other handle.
Handle Designs and Material
Riveted. This gives the pan and the handle a strong construction appearance.
Welded. With no rivets the interior of the pan is easier to clean and some consider it makes the pan more attractive.
Detachable. With this type of handle the pan uses less storage space. It is also very simple for the consumer to attach and detach themselves.
Natural wood. This type of handle does not conduct heat easily, so it is safe for the consumer to hold and use during cooking. Its appearance also matches quite well with the design of most stir woks. The type of wooden handle below can be self-attached, so it is particular suitable to be sold with colour box packaging.
Professional & Forged. Either polished or brushed stainless steel handles are often seen as a signal that the pan is of a high quality. If well designed, such as the Zurich handle below, then the handle will not transmit heat very efficiently for easier and safer cooking.
Soft-grip. Our Bakelite handles can have soft-touch coating added to them to make them highly comfortable to use and cook with. Another soft-grip option is to use silicone handles, if the customer is interested in a trendy, and eye-catching handle then our Lollipop handle (as seen below) could be a good possibility.
Stir Wok accessories
A stir wok is a great product to use in colour box packaging. Not only does it have a suitable shape for a box, but the stir wok is a cooking utensil that is often used or associated with numerous other cooking accessories. Some of these are regularly included in Professional Steel stir wok box sets, these include:
- Bamboo chopsticks.
- Wooden spatulas.
- Stainless steel tempera rack.
- Plastic bowls.
Various kinds of lids with materials such as stainless steel, coated metal, aluminum, and glass.