If you love spicy stir fry recipes, smoked chicken wings, or steamed dumplings, a wok is a must-have kitchen tool. You can also use it to prepare your favorite fried wontons, curry rice, bacon, and steaks.
However, because of its unique shape, you can only use it with a gas stove. You see, electric stoves don’t generate enough heat since the wok needs high heat.
The good news is that cooking in a wok is easy if you master the basics. But for a person who has never used this appliance before, it can be daunting.
Discuss the Steps on How to Cook With a Wok On a Gas Stove
So, in this article, we’re going to show the different steps to cook with a wok. Keep reading to learn more.
Step 1: Choose the Right Wok
Woks come in two designs, including flat-bottom and round-bottom. So, you need to pay attention to the bottom of this kitchen tool.
Generally, round-bottom woks are the most popular and the best type for gas stoves. This design helps distribute heat better compared to the flat-bottom. It also makes it easy to flip the food.
Flat-bottom units, on the other hand, are best suited for induction stoves. This is because they can make complete contact with the burner.
Step 2: Consider the Size
Next up, you will need to consider the size of the wok. You want a unit that is no larger than 16inches and no smaller than 14-inches.
If you’ve got a big family or you enjoy cooking for friends and family, a 16-inch model would be the best. But if you’re only going to use it to only prepare your food, a 12-inch unit should be enough.
On the other hand, we recommend getting a 14-inch wok if you plan to use a residential gas stove.
Step 3: Select the Right Material
These kitchen appliances are made out of a wide range of materials such as carbon steel, cast iron, and stainless steel.
Generally, carbon steel units are the best because the material heats evenly and is durable. On top of that, it is not expensive as other materials.
Cast iron is relatively better, although it can be fragile and takes a longer time to heat. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is very heavy and does not heat up fast. Also, it takes longer to cool and food tends to stick to the surface.
Step 4: Wash & Season the Wok
Now that you already have the right wok, the next step should be to wash and then season the cookware. You should use dish soap, hot water, and a steel wool scrubber to thoroughly clean the appliance.
Next, dry it before moving on to the seasoning process. To season the wok, apply a thin layer of oil on the surface of the appliance while it’s still warm. Seasoning helps create a naturally non-stick surface, thereby allowing food to glide easily when cooking.
However, it’s advisable to avoid using some types of oils because they tend to leave a sticky coating. These include:
* Sunflower oil
* Fish oil
* Flax oil
* Safflower oil
How to Stir Fry with a Wok on a Gas Stove
Like we’ve mentioned before, you can use the wok to prepare different types of foods. However, this kitchen tool is commonly used to make stir fry recipes. And below is how to use the cookware for stir-frying.
1: Start by Preparing the Food
Stir-frying is very quick. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients ready before you start cooking.
So, make sure to chop and slice all the vegetables, aromatics, and protein before you heat the wok. For best results, you should cut all the food into the same bite-size pieces. This way, they will cook at almost the same time.
2: Preheat the Wok
Once the ingredients are ready, place the wok on the gas stove and heat it for several minutes on high. Nest, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil down the side of the appliance. You can use oils like peanut, sesame, or light refined olive for the best results.
3: Toss the Food
Some ingredients make take longer than others to cook. For this reason, you should not add all the food at once. Start by adding the aromatic ingredients and when they are lightly browned, toss the protein of your choice.
Stir fry the protein until slightly cooked and then place them in a bowl together with the aromatics. Next, cook the vegetables starting with the hard, dense options like broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.
4: Put Back the Protein and Aromatics
When the vegetables become tender, toss the aromatics and the protein back to the wok. Then, drizzle a liquid of your choice down the sides to deglaze the food.
Always make sure you are using a metal spatula and moving the ingredients constantly for even cooking.
How to Deep Fry with a Wok on a Gas Stove
Besides stir-frying, you can also deep fry using a wok. Thanks to its concave shape, it is very easy to use this tool for deep frying. Here is how to go about it.
1: Add Oil
Start by adding at least 2-inches of oil to the wok. You should use flavorless oil with a high smoke point such as peanut, safflower, and canola. Just make sure the oil does not fill the wok more than halfway.
2: Heat Up the Oil
Before adding your food, ensure the oil is at the right temperature for deep frying. Generally, the proper temperature depends on what you’re deep frying. So, use a thermometer to check the temperature.
3: Add the Food
Immediately the oil is properly heated, carefully toss the food into the wok one at a time. More importantly, keep moving the food around to ensure it stays at a consistent temperature.
4: Remove the Food
Once the food achieves a light golden-brown shade, remove it from the wok and place it on a paper towel. You can use a metal strainer or a slotted spoon so you can scoop several pieces at once.
Now that you know how to cook with a wok on a gas stove, always remember that high heat is essential. Therefore, it’s important to use a gas stove rather than an electric burner for optimal results.