Wok vs. Frying Pan: Which Should You Use?
You may have asked several times yourself: should I use a wok or a frying pan? Or is there any difference between them? Choosing cookware is sometimes challenging because there are certain things to consider.
Typically, woks can do a little more than frying pans when considering the number of dishes you can prepare with them. This post lets you know everything that concerns wok vs. frying pan usage. That way, you can decide for yourself which one is best suited for your needs. So, read on to find out more.
1. What Are Woks?
Woks are cooking utensils with high, sloping walls and rounded bottoms. Besides, they have one big handle, and two side handles. Because of the high, sloping walls of woks, you can easily toss food.
In addition, it is perfect for stir-frying and allows the ingredients to mix easily, and cooks the food evenly throughout. Also, the rounded bottom makes the heat concentrated at the center where the ingredients for the food are located.
Whereas the high walls help retain that heat, resulting in a lightning-fast cooking time. Check out this 12.6” hammered Imarku wok with a unique finish to help prevent food from sticking. Besides, it has excellent heat distribution ad adds a variety to your stir-fry recipes.
The non-coating, stick-proof material helps you cook delicious food with less oil. Another interesting aspect about this cookware is its ability to clean. Hand wash the utensil with hot water and dry it. It makes a wonderful addition to our kitchen with proper weight, perfect size, and ergonomic handle design.
2. What is it made of?
Most woks you find around are made of carbon steel, a highly conductive and lightweight material. In addition, you can find cast iron or stainless steel woks as well.
Carbon steel, which works like cast iron, can retain heat; when you season them properly, the surface becomes similar to non-stick cookware.
3. What Are Woks Used For?
Woks are primarily used for stir-frying. Their high walls make them perfect for retaining food while tossing and stirring a breeze. In addition, the rounded shape conducts heat faster. That way, it is perfect for effectively cooking flash-fried vegetables and seared meats.
Another greatest benefit of using woks is that you can use them for preparing a large amount of food. You can make fried rice, deep fry chicken, steam dumplings, and many more.
4. Pros & Cons of Woks
Pros of woks –
- Because woks have high sloped walls, they allow you to cook different types of food compared to frying pans
- Woks are best suited for steaming, braising, deep-frying, shallow frying, stir-frying, and many more.
- The best part about woks is that they help you cook food in less time. When you add food, the woks generate enough heat so that you complete cooking in no time.
- Woks work over an induction, gas, or electric stove with ease. While round-bottomed woks are best suited for gas stovetops, the flat-bottomed woks work best with induction and electric stoves.
- When you cook in woks, the food contacts with their surface each time, because the food is always moving around, they get an even cook at high temperature.
- Because you toss and flip food around when cooking on woks, the food contacts the oil in the bottom. You don’t have to coat the entire pan with oil. One to two tablespoons are sufficient.
Cons of woks –
- If you aren’t careful when cooking food in woks, chances are that you may burn food.
- While seasoned woks are more durable than a non-stick coating, they eventually deteriorate. Besides, acidic food tends to wear them slowly.
- Seasoning is important for woks to perform better. Or else food gets stuck at the bottom and makes stir-frying almost impossible.
- You should be careful when tossing or flipping food on woks. That’s because the pan becomes too hot. Depending on the smoke point of the oil you are using, the heat can rise to 700 degrees Celsius.
1. What Are Frying Pans?
When it comes to browning, frying, and searing, frying pans are the most sought-after utensils that people prefer to choose often. Otherwise referred to as a skillet, frying pans comes with flared sides and a flat bottom.
Most people use frying pans when they need high-heat searing, stirring, flipping food, or grilling meat at higher temperatures. The low walls of the pan allow evaporation of heat more quickly.
As a result, the cooking time becomes a bit slow compared to woks. Additionally, the flat bottom allows both heat and oil spread out throughout the surface evenly.
When it comes to wok vs. skillet difference, frying pans work similarly to the latter. They have greater heat retention and natural non-stick ability. Perhaps, it is worth checking out this 12” non-stick stainless steel frying pan from Imarku.
The honeycomb texture in this pan protects the non-sticky layer and prevents it from falling too easily. Another remarkable feature of this pan is that it is made of an aluminum core of the highest quality and bonded with two layers of stainless steel.
As such, it conducts heat faster with even distribution, shortens cooking time, reduces fumes, and improves durability. Apart from that, it is oven and dishwasher safe. The ergonomic handle of this innovative skillet is anti-scalding, heat-resistant, stylish, and comfortable to use.
2. What is it made of?
In general, most frying pans are available in stainless steel and aluminum. But you can find pans built with cast iron and carbon steel. Apart from that, non-sticky and stainless steel options are available as well.
Not only do frying pans combine some of the qualities of cast iron skillet with a non-stick surface and great heat retention, but they also take some of the qualities of stainless steel. Besides, they are lightweight and heat up quickly to provide faster cooks.
3. What Are Frying Pans Used For?
With frying pans, you can have a variety of cooking techniques such as shallow frying, sautéing, or searing. In short, you can cook almost anything from fruit for dessert to eggs for breakfast.
4. Pros & Cons of frying pans
Pros of frying pans –
- If you are looking forward to cooking fragile cuts of meat, frying pans give you the right texture to cook the food. Besides, they aren’t too hot, which might result in the meat breaking apart.
- Most frying pans come with a non-stick coating that helps you easily clean the pan. Also, you don’t have to struggle prying the meat off them. If you don’t use a non-stick pan, the meat could burn when you try to flip it.
- When you use frying pans, you don’t have to do a lot of tossing or flipping to stir-frying your dishes. Although some supervision is needed, it is less than working with woks.
- Frying pans effortlessly work with induction, electric, and gas stoves. In short, there are frying pans for each kind of stove of every size.
Cons of frying pans –
- Compared to round-bottomed woks, frying pans require a lot of time to heat up and cook food
- Moreover, frying pans don’t retain heat for a longer time compared to woks.
- Frying pans require more oil because you won’t move food as much as you can with woks. The oil covers the whole bottom of the area where the food sits.
- Non-stick coatings on frying pans are heat-resistant but aren’t heatproof. Because they can retain heat up to 500 degrees Celsius, chances are that the coatings would wear off after some time.
What is the difference between woks and frying pans?
The major difference between them is geometry. Woks have steep sloping sides and rounded bottom, whereas frying pans have slightly angled sides and flat bases. Woks allow food to gather at the center where heat is concentrated, making it perfect for stir-frying.
Moreover, the sloping sides give you easy tossing. On the other hand, frying pans allow sauces, oils, and other liquids to distribute evenly across the flat bottom. It provides the right surface for searing meats or cooking steaks.
Which Should You Use?
Choosing between woks and frying pans depends on what purpose you intend to use them. If you try making stir fry on frying pans, you can find that it is not perfect. You can’t sear steaks in woks and deep fry using frying pans.
Therefore, when it comes to choosing between the two, it depends on what you would cook. Neither cookware is good for everything to cook unless it comes to cooking specific dishes. However, if you have both in your kitchen, you can create many amazing dishes.