In my home, we use 2 types of pans most of the time when cooking, apart from our rice pot and some other equipment, I don't know what to call it. These pans are a big wok, and 3 non-stick pans, small to large. We usually use the large pan since we're family.

I'm asking this question since this is something that came to my mind in case I have to cook for myself when I grow up. If I have to chose any of the 2 types, in which cases do I have to use one of them?

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    By the time you're cooking for yourself, you'll probably own more than two pans. Personally, I own 45.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 23:51
  • @FuzzyChef does this count ones you no longer use? Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 1:20
  • Nope. Those are in boxes waiting to go to charity. I mean, that includes a lot of specialized cookware; I have two crepe pans, for example. But there's also some basics. Like I have two 3qt pots because that's actually a really useful size, and sometimes I need more than one at the same time.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 6:09
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    @FuzzyChef then 3 or 4 pans might do in my college life. Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 6:11
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    Yes. I had around 7 when I was in college, and as a strict vegetarian I cooked more than most college students. Keep the wok, though! Stir-fries are cheap, and scale easily for eating with 3 friends.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


The wok is a single-purpose tool. Use it for stir frying. You may find some creative ways to repurpose it on case-by-case basis, although it won't be what it was designed for.

The non-stick pans are versatile, use them for anything that requires low- bis middle temperatures. The size choice is related to the size of the batch you are making. Some foods are more sensitive to the total thickness of the layer in the pan than others, but it is impossible to list them all, learning about them is a part of learning to cook.

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    what's wokking? I can't seem to search it. Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 8:08
  • @DerrickWilliams thanks for catching that. It appears that English doesn't use "to wok" as a verb, the proper term for the technique to use with a wok is "stir frying". I corrected the answer.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 8:34
  • A wok is also very useful for deep frying, as the tapered sides contribute to greater safety for home cooking....so, maybe dual-purpose.
    – moscafj
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 10:44
  • @moscafj OK, I added that it can be repurposed, there probably are more such cases than one can count. I am a bit surprised by the deep frying suggestion, why do the tapered walls give greater safety? And the shape seems rather unsuited when it comes to optimal heat transfer - for a fixed volume of oil, we should get better results in a straight-sided vessel than in a wok.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 11:32
  • that's good enough. :) Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 12:13

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