Joined Aug 18, 1999
I truly fail to see how you can use a round bottomed wok on a ring on an electric stove. It just would not work. Get a genuine Chinese steel flat bottomed wok preferably 14" if you are getting only one. They are widely avaiable in NYC on the Bowery and I believe by mail order from the Broadway Panhandler. They are also available in San Francisco. Be sure to season it well before use and never use soap. If you are in the market for an All Clad they make a wonderful stainless steel wok shaped pan which I love to use even for Chinese style cooking when I need a nonreactive surface.
Check around with some of the Asian chefs in Chicago. Arun uses woks and I am sure someone in his kitchen should be able to tell you the best place to shop for what you need.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
I use a round bottom wok at home on my electric stove. I use a wok ring. It's impossible to stir fry Cantonese style using a flat bottom wok. Problem is, my round bottom wok is a Mandarin style wok with two handles. Then again you can't really toss the wok around if you're using an electric stove anyway. If you're going to get just one wok, get one with two handles and a round bottom. This will give you the flexability you need for doing most things. You probably won't need a lid if you're not going to be roasting or steaming big things in the wok. But if you DO get a lid, make sure it has adequate height.

Joined Mar 13, 2001
Ditto, Svad. Mine appears to be similar to Kuan's, Mandarin style with two handles. Round bottom with ring is the way to go.


[ June 22, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
Joined Jun 19, 2001
I've given up cooking Asian foods, I'll leave that up to the restaurants until I can afford a Nice Viking WOK Range :rolleyes:

It's almost impossible to duplicate any asian recipes without the use of high heats from gas stoves :mad: :eek:
Joined Aug 14, 2000
One of the coolest things I have ever cooked in was a cast iron wok. It has a "ring" built into the base and the inside is perfectly round. The best part is that it has all the heat retaining properties of cast iron! Lodge Manufacturing has one that is 12 3/4" across and 3 1/4" deep. It has a handle just like a regular cast iron skillet and weighs 11 lbs. The price is $41.95 on their web site and even includes a hot handle holder, which is the only bell or whistle. :)

[ June 22, 2001: Message edited by: KyleW ]
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Thanks cchiu.

Went on "woks and burners". Do you have experience with the Cast Iron Wok Stove or Stainless Steel Wok Stove? Looks great to me. Your thoughts please!

Joined Dec 30, 1999
No, sorry, haven't used one. If you already have a gas stove, I see no reason to get one unless you simply want one. If you honestly think you'd use it often enough to justify spending money on one and also have the room to store it, then by all means, try it out and let us know what you think!
Joined Dec 23, 2000
There's a wok store on Wentworth just a block or so south of Roosevelt, for the next time you get up to Chicago. It's on the west side of the street, and they've got something for every cooking style.

Joined May 6, 2001
I was in Chicago last week-end and picked up a great round bottomed wok. (at "woks and things" on Wentworth.) I've used it twice so far and love it. Thanks for all the advice. :)
Joined Feb 19, 2002
Sounds like you already found your wok but I have an amazing wok that I got from LE CREUSET. It is made out of heavy duty cast iron and the interior of the wok is tephlon. The cost was high but worth it ($117.00) as I will probably have it for the rest of my days.

Joined Oct 27, 1999
I suggest a wok with a round bottom and a ring. A flat bottom seems to me to nullify the benefits of using a wok at a all. The purpose of a wok in cooking Chinese food is to be able to sear and saute food and to push it to the sides to alter the amount of heat it is getting.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
I got one of those hand-hammered woks from the guy on the late night infomercial with the Australian accent. I know it sounds like a gimmick but the thing is incredible. (I got it years ago and haven't seen that commercial in forever.)

You want a wok that needs to be seasoned. Thin, cheap woks that don't conduct heat are not going to serve you well. Going to a "Chinatown" neighborhood is the best start. With any luck, you'll find a store clerk who speaks English and will advise you. (Not as easy at is sounds...LOL.)

No electric woks...although anyone saddled with one can use it for deep frying in a pinch. They just don't get hot enough to do real oriental dishes.
Joined Mar 3, 2002
I use my wok on the gas hob without a ring most of the time. Not when I am frying with more than a few Tbs of oil. And I wouldn't do it when children are about, either.
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