electric woks

rhome410April 17, 2006

(Forgive me if it is bad to post a question on 2 forums, since I asked this question on Appliances, but thought there might be a different crowd to consult here, and I wasn't sure which was the right forum to ask anyway.) I recently saw Breville and Cuisinart electric woks and wondered if they were good, or a waste of money. I have been trying to stir fry on my electric range...in a saute pan...with, of course, soggy results. I am considering getting induction cooktops for our new house, because of the ability to stir fry, but if I can stir fry well in a portable appliance, I could stay better within my appliance budget. Does anyone have one of these and like or dislike it? Amazon reviews rave about it, but the couple of responses on the appliance forum strongly advise against buying one. I don't want to seem at all unappreciative of their feedback, just looking for a few more opinions. Thanks!

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Hi, I have owned to electric woks and I have burned them up. They work ok for a little while. However the temperature gauge was hard to control. Clean up was challenging because of the mounted heat source base.

Too be honest I ditched them and purchased the Professional Stir-Fry Skillet with a lifetime guarantee. I love it. The non-stick coating is a dream for clean-up. The Slopes to the skillet are deeper for less messes too.

Oh I was able to master the shake and flip like those TV chefs as well. My kids love to watch. They get a kick out of it too.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 5:06PM
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In my experience, 110v electric woks are similar to 110v electric grills and other such like. Woks, like grills, need high heat to perform like they're supposed to. 110v really doesn't have enough poop to do the job. They look nice and seem like good idea -- but aren't.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 7:23PM
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An electric wok is not worth any money you might spend on it.....serious cooks use non electric woks, because the electric doesn't have the ability to recover the heat fast enough after you add food.
My suggestion would be to buy a gas range if at all possible.
I also would be wary of any cooking appliance with a non stick coating for use with high heat, they emit toxic fumes at high heat.
Non stick for "gentle" cooking like eggs and custards, cast iron and carbon steel for high heat.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 8:47PM
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Gas is not available where we are, so a gas range is not an option.

SBurkhart, I'm assuming the pro stir fry skillet is something you use on the cook top, not something that stands alone?

Thank you all for your input.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 10:57PM
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I received an electric wok for a wedding gift 28 years ago. I used it for a number of years for stir-frying and found it more than adequate. High heat and a carbon steel wok are ideal, but not necessary.

Stir-frying is a quick process over high heat and you can easily do that in an electric wok where heat recovery is almost a moot point when you're talking about a matter of minutes.

You can also accomplish the same thing in a large stovetop skillet.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 11:34PM
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Yes Rhome410, That skillet I was talking about is for the cooktop. It is safe for gas, electric, glass, ceramic top ranges. With the type of stir fry skillet I have,,,,I only need to use medium heat, it conducts heat very well... I don't not worry about "those" fumes that people worry about with non-stick coating, which by the way is caused by using high heat levels. If your "cookware" is good quality no need to spike the dial. The heat should conduct throughout the entire piece. I'd be happy to email you a picture of my if you'd like to see it.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:09AM
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SBurkhart, if your skillet is the Pampered Chef, I found it with an internet search...Thanks for the offer, though, and thanks for pointing out things about heat level, and for the info you offered,too, Harper. Maybe I just need to try smaller batches with the stovetop pans I have.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 2:49PM
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"Small batches" is one secret of wok cooking -- or approximating wok-cooking in a skillet.

For those that wonder why all the items you order in a chinese restaurant are served dish-at-a-time in about the same quantities -- that's why. Those servings are how much goes in their wok at one time.

My stir-frying friends typically do skillet-fulls with the result that the dishes are more-or-less steamed. Wok cooking is fast and hot. Small batches is part of what makes it work.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 4:59PM
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Small batches and the shape of the wok....concentrates the food in the bottom where is gets the high heat and browns on the outside without turning to mush.
Saying you can "stir fry" at medium heat in an electric skillet is like saying you can grill a steak in the microwave.
Yeah it'll cook and be edible, but not really a "grilled steak" But if that's the only way you have to cook that piece of meat.....why go for it! Better than raw!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 12:45AM
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