In the wake of lifestyle diseases, many people are opting for healthy living. I bet you are too. As much as you take caution and do things right for your health, you might be missing some. For example, the cookware you use might contain harmful substances that the manufacture doesn’t disclose or you aren’t aware of.
The nonstick wok is a classic case. Some manufactures use Teflon to coat woks. Teflon is a harmful synthetic resin used to coat nonstick cookware. So, is wok cooking healthy? The general answer is yes. Although, some woks aren’t fit for cooking. And to get the facts right, read this article to the end.
How healthy is wok cooking?
When you cook using a wok, it comes with health benefits. These benefits come from:
Use of less fat
Cooking with a lot of fats pose health risks. Luckily, when using a wok, you won’t need much fat to prepare your meal. The curved shape ensures that the little fat evenly gets to the food, and you can remove the excess fat by pushing the food on the wok sides and draining it.
High heat retention
Woks have high heat retention, which is essential to cooking. The high heat retention helps faster cooking and achieves the desired result while maintaining the food’s crispiness.
When cooking with a wok, you shouldn’t worry about unevenly cooked food. Your food will evenly cook due to the woks curved feature that enables heat distribution. Furthermore, the woks can hold a lot of food and evenly cook. Furthermore, its features
Minimalizes nutrients loss
The sole purpose of cooking is to ready the food for consumption while maintaining the nutrients in it. Thanks to woks, you can achieve that.
Consuming too much sodium increases the risk of heart diseases and high blood pressure. To avoid such pitfalls, you can use a wok to prepare your meal. You can consider sodium use because, in wok cooking, it isn’t a must you use high sodium sources such as chicken broth. You can wine vinegar, chilies, or garlic sources.
Despite the health benefits that come with cooking in a wok, some woks are unsafe to use in your cooking.
Which woks are safe to use?
As we mentioned earlier, some nonstick wok has Teflon coating. What is Teflon? Teflon is a chemical coating—polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Teflon is used for cookware coating and to insulate electric cables, strain-resistant clothing, or carpets. This material is used for coating purposes owing to its corrosive-resistant nature.
Originally made in the 1930s, its primary health concern originates from the chemical used to make it – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Manufacturers used PFOA to make Teflon until 2013 after scientific research found it dangerous to humans and other animals.
Teflon itself is harmless. However, when heat a Teflon-coated nonstick wok beyond 660®F, the chemical reacts and emits dangerous fumes. These fumes can cause fever, sore throat, or coughing. Note that despite replacing PFOA, there is still a concern over a chemical replacement called GenX.
So, which wok types should you use? The ones you can’t doubt their health effects.
Carbon steel wok
Carbon steel wok is made by hand -hammering a single piece of a high-quality steel sheet. It is the most traditional of woks and a Chinese Chefs’ preferential. It is healthy owing to the absence of any chemical coating.
Cast iron wok
To make this wok, smiths pour a mixture of molten pig iron, steel, and other materials into a sand mold. The wok takes the shape of the mold as the molten materials cool. After cooling, smiths break the molds for the made wok. This wok is also safe for your cooking.
Hard anodized aluminum wok
Aluminum on its own is corrosive and can leach into your food. However, anodizing solves the problem. The hard anodized wok comes from immersing aluminum in an electrolytic compound for oxidation. The process makes it safe for cooking acidic ingredients.
Stainless steel wok
Stainless steel wok makes it to this list owing to its nature. Present in modern kitchens, this wok is rust and scratch-resistant. A 3-ply or 5-ply construction goes into making the stainless-steel wok. It would help if you didn’t worry about any health issues while using this wok.
Also in this category of healthy woks is the ceramic wok. To make this wok, the manufacturers apply a ceramic coating on a metallic wok . Ceramic is Teflon-free, and it makes the wok nonstick. This feature makes it safe for your cooking.
This wok is a brainchild of Williams Sonoma and Scanpan. The wok has a copper exterior that is a high heat conductor. Other than that, the wok is safe as it doesn’t react with food or on extensive heating.
For making your purchase easy, some wok list are given below:
|SL||Product Name||Weight||Check Price|
|#1||Carbon steel wok||5.74 pounds||Check Price|
|#2||Cast iron wok||8.51 pounds||Check Price|
|#3||Hard anodized aluminum wok||2.64 pounds||Check Price|
|#4||Stainless steel wok||8 pounds||Check Price|
|#5||Ceramic wok||3.04 pounds||Check Price|
|#6||Copper wok||4.96 pounds||Check Price|
When shopping for a wok that won’t pose any health risk to you or your family, there are factors to consider.
Factors to consider when buying a wok for healthy cooking
These factors are:
The material used to make a wok determines how healthy it will serve you as a cook. Some materials heat faster but can’t withstand high heat. For better results, choose a wok material that will prepare your food to a satisfactory level without burning or wok warping.
The materials such as coatings for nonstick woks should also be a factor to consider. Settle for safe coatings such as ceramic.
The size of wok determines if your food will evenly cook. It also determines if the food will cook without losing its nutrients. Small-sized wok might unevenly cook your food if you overcrowd it.
The size will come in handy when draining excess fat from your food too. Draining the fat in a small wok might be hand to handle.
Time to cook in wok
As you have found, wok cooking is generally healthy. Save for the dangerous material used to make some woks. However, note that wok cooking can be hazardous, and you must take caution. To prevent burns from hot cast iron woks, use a towel or insulated gloves when handling them.
Remember that while cooking in a wok, some methods such as deep-frying can produce vapor if you don’t handle it well.
It,s clear to your mind that, wok cooking is healthy. Now you can cook your food by your wok without any doubt. But you don,t know that,what kind of cooking possible in your wok beside stir-fry. To clear your concept about this issue, check out our another post on “What Can You Cook in a Wok Besides Stir-fry”