Has anyone used the new All Clad semi-round wok? If so, do you like it and is it worth the $$?
I have never used it, so my advice may be all wrong. It seems to me that wok cooking is necessarily high heat cooking, whereas All-Clad always instructs its users to use low to medium heat. My experience with All-Clad is that very hot oil turns into varnish in the pans, and it is difficult to remove. If you want to do high heat cooking, I don't see why you would want a low heat pot. Also, my 30-year-old steel wok and my Lodge cast iron wok both work fabulously, so I can't see the need for an "elegant" one.
I already have a number of All Clad pieces and think they're great (even though pricey). No issues with using high heat (I have a gas rangetop with high BTU burners) and also no issues with oil creating a residue in the pans. I was hoping to find someone that had actually tried out the new wok to see if they liked it.
I have mostly All-Clad in my kitchen, but would never consider a stainless steel wok of any brand.
Another vote for the Lodge Cast iron one. It's relatively inexpensive, and you don need to take a few minutes to preheat it (I turn mine on before I start chopping veg and meat), but once it's hot, it stays hot--which is the point of wok cooking, and stainless tends to lose too much heat when food is added to the pan. I had a number of other woks, before I got the Lodge (some authentic ones from Chinatown), and believe me, NONE came close to being as effective as the cast iron is.
I don't have the Lodge cast iron wok, but do have the All Clad wok as well as an authentic carbon steel one. The carbon steel wok is far better than the All Clad. Since it's seasoned, nothing sticks, and it heats up and cooks beautifully. Besides, it's way less expensive and comes in a myriad of sizes and handles. (the wok shop.com folks are great to work with)
I've used All Clad almost exclusively for nearly 20 years, and love it but have to hand the wok honors to good old Chinatown. I use a 16" wok.
Which wok is this? They have a fully round bottom one with a ring, and a 14" one with a flat bottom and one long handle, a 10" stir fry pan, and a chefs pan that can be used as a wok. I'm not aware of another one. Can you describe this one?
Sorry-- I should have been more definitive. I have the fully round bottom All Clad wok as well as the 14" one with a flat bottom and one long handle. The woks I prefer are not All Clad-- they're 16" carbon steel round-bottom woks-- one with a detachable handle and one side handle and one with 2 loop handles. I have a Blue star rangetop so the wok sits down in the burner well and doesn't need a wok ring. Hope this is more descriptive.
Thanks for the information. I think I'll order a carbon steel wok from The Wok Shop. Any recommendation as to wood loop handles vs. steel loop handles? I'm running out of storage space in my cabinets so I'll probably skip the long handle.
Glad to hear you're going for the "real deal!"
My everyday wok is a 16" round carbon steel with metal ears from a local Chinese grocer. I've had a variety of woks in the past & I prefer the small ear versus the long handle because:
-- I don't pick up the wok with one hand (many do) therefore...
-- ...I find the long unused handle a nuisance
-- I like to hang the wok next to the stove by its ear
-- I'm squeamish about wood near my big gas flames (I use a wok on a 22K gas burner, the wok rests in the fire)
I prefer the 16 over the 14 for everyday use as I use a lot of veggies & I'm a slob tossing in a small wok. But since storage is an issue I'd be careful choosing the size. You'll want a good fit with your heat source & your appetite but as a veteran of many small kitchens (inc current!) I'd consider storage carefully.
The carbon steel heats up fast. I have every single ingredient chopped & lined up before I approach the range as it's smoking in seconds. (YMMV)
Remember....a big smokin' hot wok requires a hood that really sucks!!
Linda and athomein, I agree with all you've said. I, too. prefer the metal loop handles, and the bigger wok. The long wood handle unscrews for storage, but is somewhat inconvenient to mess with, so I usually leave it off if I'm using that wok. And a really efficient hood is important!!
I have 32,000 BTU burners on the stove on which I use the wok. I have never even tried a wood-handled one, as it sounds too dangerous. I use a 16" carbon steel one (35 years now?) from Chinatown in L.A. Also, I have a custom engineered 72" indistrial strength hood. Lately, I have also used the big Lodge wok and I like it as much as my old steel one!