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I need a non stick wok for my Frigidaire electric induction cook top. What do you think of the the copycat technique? Why don't I just buy the type of wok used by Chinese restaurant chefs?

  1. But what type of wok do Chinese restaurants use? Carbon steel? Cast iron?

  2. How often do these chefs season their woks? But will this work for me at home? I've never seasoned a wok before! I'm afraid I can't maintain and preserve these woks like these Cantonese restaurant chefs can. What if I don't have enough time to season?

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    Woks used by commercial chefs will not be non-stick, and they do not use induction hobs. Induction is difficult to use with a wok because of the curved bottom, so your priority should be making sure what you buy actually be usable on your cook top.
    – dbmag9
    May 3, 2021 at 8:46
  • "Woks used by commercial chefs will not be non-stick". Can you elaborate pls? Then won't food stick to these Chinese restaurants' woks? I watched Youtube videos of these Chinese restaurant chefs using these woks, and no food stuck to their woks!
    – user91594
    May 3, 2021 at 9:00
  • "non-stick" is defined as a coating provided by the manufacturer - used to always be 'teflon' but newer, more durable surface coatings are now available. "Non-stick" doesn't actually relate to how 'sticky' the surface is. A well-used, well-seasoned wok will be just as "not sticky" as a 'non-stick' wok...
    – unlisted
    May 3, 2021 at 9:02
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    'Non-stick' refers to a specific chemical coating (see my answer here for example: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/115427/…). At the high temperatures used in a commercial Chinese kitchen the non-stick coating would degrade. A competent cook can make sure food does not stick through various methods (using oil, moving it around regularly, controlling the temperature etc.) and a well-seasoned pan will also help with this. (Note that seasoning is only done for bare metal, not for non-stick surfaces.)
    – dbmag9
    May 3, 2021 at 9:05
  • There's no point in buying a wok if you don't have a gas stove with pretty high heat. Chinese stir-fry is all about the flames. Just buy a large pan, preferably non-stick. And don't really expect your stir-fry would be as good as one cooked on a gas stove...
    – xuq01
    May 12, 2021 at 19:03

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You don't buy a wok like a Chinese restaurant uses because you can't use a round-bottom wok on an induction hob.
You can buy induction hobs specifically for woks, but they're a bit specialist, as are those colossal burners in the picture above.

Generally speaking, for a wok you want as much of it heated as possible. Induction [or any electric hob] will only ever heat the flat surface in contact with the ring. Domestic gas is better, & you can tilt the wok to aid ingredient distribution rather than having to leave it flat on the ring all the time.
Home-cooked Chinese-style food must necessarily adopt a different technique because you simply cannot generate the same amount of heat as a commercial kitchen.

If you don't have time/skill/patience to season a wok & keep it seasoned, then get a non-stick. Just don't get a cheap one, or it will peel off in three months.

My own wok is one of these - Masterclass - and has withstood everything I can throw at it for over two years, without showing any sign of scratching, burning, evaporating or anything else detrimental to the surface. I treat it with little respect, though I only use wooden or plastic utensils for all my pans, & wash it in regular washing-up liquid (dish soap) with the same brush I use for everything else. The outside is scuffed & scratched, but the inside still looks as new.
And it only cost 30 quid [bucks/euros].

When you're throwing food around in this, you will quickly realise why you don't want a cast iron one… the weight.

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  • Experienced Chinese cooks (amateur or professional) generally prefer cast iron because it retains heat better. But yes, weight is a concern, although I guess I'm just used to it...
    – xuq01
    May 12, 2021 at 19:07

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