How Do I Choose the Best Commercial Wok?

D. Nelson

Woks are metal pans with round bottoms that commonly are used for cooking dishes such as stir-fry, in which a number of different vegetables and sometimes noodles or rice are fried together in the same pan. To choose the best commercial wok, it is important first to know which size you might need, as well as which kind of metal you prefer. If you are unsure as to which type of metal is best for your needs, you should find a primer that can introduce you to the benefits of using a cast iron wok, for example, as opposed to a stainless steel wok. When choosing the best commercial wok, it also is a good idea to consider the amount you want to spend on this kitchen tool and which level of quality you might expect for that price.

Commercial and other woks are ideal for stir-fries, thanks to their wide rim and deep sides.
Commercial and other woks are ideal for stir-fries, thanks to their wide rim and deep sides.

It is common for a commercial wok to be much larger than a regular consumer wok since it probably is used most often to serve larger amounts of people. Commercial woks also have features that are different from those of conventional consumer woks. Some people use commercial woks called wok ranges. These are woks that are attached to their own gas heat sources and which heat up incredibly quickly.

To choose the best commercial wok, you should figure out which size and type of metal is best. You should learn the dimensions of the space set aside in your kitchen for a wok. In a smaller kitchen or in a kitchen where a wok might not be as commonly used, it is possible to need only a wok that is similar to a consumer wok, except that it might be slightly larger. Restaurants that specialize in stir-fry and other similar dishes, on the other hand, might benefit more from larger woks that are more like appliances.

Many culinary experts believe that the type of metal from which a wok is made can impact factors such as how effective this tool is for cooking or how easy it is to clean. Some features that many people prefer about cast iron woks, for example, is that they seem to retain flavor better than other woks and also distribute heat evenly. Some potential downsides of a cast iron commercial wok, however, include that it can take a long time to preheat and that it might rust more easily than a carbon steel wok.

If you are lacking significant firsthand experience using a commercial wok, you can use cooking magazines, websites, and television shows to learn about which models have the best reputation. By pricing woks in several different resources, you can learn about which retailers offer the best values. It also is a good idea to familiarize yourself with return policies, warranties, and support and maintenance services.

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