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Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I agree! That's a Hancock you pictured, from the UK market. And those handles they put on those woks are rock steady, the wood is lightweight, and the rivets never budge or loosen, even from intense heat. Great handle! Though the Hancok woks are made from way too thin carbon steel.

Aug 08, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

It's a good lid, Joan, and cleans easily. I've been using it a lot lately to make chicken wings--I brown/braise them on a lower heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes, turning them a lot, then when they are done, I remove the lid and toss in a sauce mixture pf Hoisin, Oyster, little brown sugar, and other things, and turn the heat up just till they start to caramelize. They are delicious (the wok adds so much flavor to meats) and it's always fun to use the lid on the wok, something I don't do much.

Aug 07, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I'd like to help create a niche market here for a handmade product such as the Cen Lian Gen woks. I really think it's a GORGEOUS product that preforms as well. I was sad to see E-woks go belly up. And it's nice that Williams Sonoma has had them for sale--but it's been ONE size in ONE style--NO options.

I truly appreciate a world full of variety and options. And besides fancy enameled French woks in day-glow colors, we don't have too many high end wok options in the United States.

So I'll reiterate--even if you already have a high end Cen Lian Gen wok, but agree with me that it would be nice to have a more permanent supplier for a variety of completely handmade woks here in the US, then please take the time to let Ms. Young--a potential marketer--know that the public is interested in having such products available for sale.

Aug 06, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

If you want Grace to sell these woks here in the US, SPEAK UP! graceyoung.com has links to her Facebook and Twitter accounts, and you can also leave a comment on her graceyoung.com shop page.

Let her know that we want these woks in the US--particular with the options that E-woks used to offer: long northern style POW handles and flat bottoms!

Aug 06, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Wow, maybe there is a chance I could get a Cen Lian Gen wok with a long northern style handle! POW! I have been regretting never buying one from e-woks. Hope is abound!

Not to mention I would also like one of their flat bottomed woks, which haven't been available for some time. And I know Grace is a big flat bottom fan, so fingers crossed...!

Aug 06, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Yeah, I like the Asian Chef's choice for my Global knives. But honestly, I don't use them or the sharpener much anymore since discovering KIwi knives from Thailand. A good Kiwi cleaver or vegetable knife costs between $5-$9, stays RAZOR sharp for 2 years, after which I toss it out or donate it, and simply buy a new Kiwi. They have a special edge that does sharpen in the Chef's choice Asian sharpener, but they are much sharper with their factory edge. So forking out $5 every 2 years, and giving the old one to Goodwill, is worth it for a perpetually sharp knife in my stir fry haven.

Kiwi's have an almost cult following because of this. I get them locally at an Asian kitchen supply store, but I know that the Wok Shop and others sell them online for only a buck or two more than my cheap local store...

I do miss my pretty Global knives, but the Kiwis have just worked out SO WELL, with zilch maintenance, I have just gone with them and tried not to look back my $700 collection of Global knives (which do look nice magnetized to the kitchen wall)...

Aug 05, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

What's the diameter of your lid? Wok lids are classically small--for a 14" wok the lid is normally 12"...

There should be a large gap of wok around the lid. They should never fit too much at the top, or sit on the top of the wok like we are used to in western pans and skillets...

Aug 04, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Ha,ha! I just found my favorite flat wok lid at Williams Sonoma and they call it a "Williams-Sonoma exclusive"...! It's also $5.00 more than at the Wok Shop...

Tell you though that Williams really does recognize quality.

Aug 04, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

The best wok lids I have found are from the Wok Shop, and are made right here in the USA (California) by the former Atlas Spinning company. They are HEAVY thick aluminum with a great larger decorative wooden handle and never dent or disfigure (and I don't know why, but I always seem to be dropping or banding the wok lid!) They make them in a killion sizes too--even for commercial woks...

Found Here: http://wokshop.stores.yahoo.net/flatl...

On the other hand if you drop or band one of the Joyce Chen domed lids, they made large dents and bangs. Those things just don't hold up...

Aug 04, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Chinese chives are ideal if you have access to them. But if not, scallions and ginger work as well...

Just do one or the other to get rid of that oily, or often metallic, taste of the freshly seasoned steel..!

Aug 03, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I like the bamboo brush okay--can be kinda harsh for newly established seasoning though...

The best brush I have found is OXO Good Grips Grill Pan Brush. It has a soft squeegee on the end that is gentle, but can really do a job on gunk spots. The brush is gentle, but durable and it lasts and lasts...!

http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-...

As mentioned by others earlier, the chain mail scrubber for the hardest spots.

Aug 02, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I'm with Duffy on the chain mail scrubber for tough spots! I use to use oil and kosher salt for them, but the chain mail is much better and milder...!

Aug 02, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Gorgeous! Man, that is so great looking! It's not that you have to continue with Crisco, but until the wok gets a little darker, I highly recommend doing so--but only for seasoning work. Stir fry with peanut oil for sure...

The thing is that Crisco seasoning has a tendency to flake on carbon steel (due to the hydrogenation. Almost all commercial lard is hydrogenated too, and will easily flake early in a wok's life too--which is a real shame as lard makes the most wonderful, rich, glossy and tasty seasoning!) This flaking can happen with all fats, but with hydrogenated ones in particular, and can get more pronounced if you applied fairly heavy layers of fat while seasoning (which I always did early on!)

If you layer the peanut oil carbon over the Crisco, you might do a HOT stir fry early on and then it starts flaking, and yecch... When I have done Crisco only seasoning it's been less problematic if you stick with Crisco only for seasoning work (but again do use peanut oil for stir fries) until the bottom of the wok turns a rich mahogany, signaling the beginning of the carbonization stage. This might take some people a week (such as a Chinese family that is using their wok3X a day), or it might take another person 5 years (the type that only uses the wok a few times per year).

Aug 01, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Yeah, bacon will help! For what it's worth my dad loves off-the-beaten track popcorns (kettlecorn, parmesan cheese corn), and he loved the wok popcorn! So go figure...! To each his own!

Aug 01, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I read about Grace Young and her popcorn seasoning--I tried it and it certainly can't hurt your wok, but it was no seasoning miracle. Plus I had to toss the popcorn out--it tasted just awful--kinda old oily, kinda onion-ee with a touch of ginger. Yeach, I hated it.

Stir frying an onion till black to me is tenfold more effective for seasoning even batches and batches of popcorn. But then I am a super-taster and don't like savory flavors on popcorn. I like mine popped in stainless with coconut oil and fine, fine salt, haha...!

Aug 01, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

So the do the recipe and use 2 TBL's of oil. When new, be liberal with the oil in your wok, You need to get layer after layer after layer after layer of oil on your wok that these layers will then slowly carbonize, turning dark brown and eventually black. Then, after this happens, and it's really truly seasoned well, you'd be surprised how little oil you need.

But NOT at the beginning! And meats add great flavor to your seasoning, use them! Ground pork is ideal!

Aug 01, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Great advice! A beater wok is great, paticularily for any dishes with vinegar...

Aug 01, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I usually do a pound of bacon, chopped, until it's charred black (unedible). Little pricy, but use cheap bacon. I smash the back and run into every square inch of the wok to penetrate the seasoning with it. After tossing the bacon out, I heat the remaining bacon grease until it SMOKIN'.

Adds so much flavor to the seasoning beyond the veggies and NO CALORIES!

Aug 01, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Gorgeous, and I mean GORGEOUS seasoning job! That's just how a new wok should look when initially seasoned. Boy, those hand made woks are so beautiful!

Jul 31, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Better test than eggs is diced white meat chicken! IME, chicken breast takes a crap load of oil to not stick--particularly on new woks--at anything less than 25K BTU's....!

Jul 30, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Yeah, stamped carbon steel (shiny, smooth) takes the longest to season, it's so smooth and slippery. The common "hand hammered" adds a few more marks to help the smooth spun surface, but nothing like these woks you guys have, the true hand hammered..

Spun woks (many concentric circles) season better because of the texture provided by the circles left from the spun manufacturing process. Luckily they are the most common sold wok, which gives carbons steel newbies a head start...

Interesting how these hand made woks color up differently. I hope you guys will post some pics after you work at the seasoning some more; I'd like to see how it develops...

Jul 30, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Looks good. Those woks are so gorgeous. That initial coat will turn much darker tomorrow over the coals. Be sure to then swipe on a few more coats, as it smokes like hell...!

Jul 30, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Crisco works well for seasoning (particularly on cast iron which seasons easier and absorbs fat much better), but with steel I have found it can make a more delicate initial seasoning layer, so be careful with it for a few weeks--not too hot. Crisco-ized seasoning on steel has a tendency to flake off in layers IME, requiring touch-ups over the first couple of months (and bacon drippings do this really bad as well!) I'm convinced it's because of their lower smoking points and the hotter temps woks can get up to.

Once the wok starts to turn dark mahogany, you're usually good to go.

And don't try to "correct it" by seasoning over the initial Crisco layers with peanut oil seasoning, as I have found this to actually accelerate the flaking if the wok gets too hot. Just stir fry and season ala naturally over time over the initial Crisco layers.

Jul 30, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware
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Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

This seems to be the case with true hand hammered woks--they season more quickly as the very irregular surface snags and holds onto more of the carbonizing fat. I've also heard that the pounding out changes the steel too, so that it turns darker when heated...?

Jul 30, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Mmmm, WOW! Awesome wok and great wok burner! I would keep that one for sure! Get some good heat protection (my favorite is Eleanor Hoh's magnetized wok mitt) for your hand (s) as I posted above, and have fun!

Jul 30, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware
1

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

I've tossed and POW'd with this traditional style elephant eared handle wok a lot--even over my HOT outdoor wok burner. It's easy and fun and works, HOWEVER you must pay attention to protecting your hand from the heat--this means oven mitts, silicon pot holders or my favorite is Eleanor Hoh's magnetized wok mitt, which really works well (except on very high heat sources) and comes in some great patterns and colors (I like her classic masculine blue dragon pattern). You can find the Wok Mitt here:

http://eleanorhoh.com/wok-mitt/

Once you have something to protect you hands, tossing and powing the short wok handles is easy. I admit it's a small PITA to hunt down the Wok Mitt every time, right before I stir fry, and so I normally use my longer handled woks. BUT, my oldest and most seasoned wok is a classic elephant eared Cantonese style wok (pressed wok with a few decorator hand hammered marks, $12 in most Chinatowns), which gives me incredible wok hei and it always cheers me up seeing the attractive blue dragon patterned fabric on the wok mitt...!

Jul 30, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware
1

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Ha, ha so true! I used to start my stir fries with the classic method of adding the ginger and/or garlic to the oil before the food--but on high heat, that just DUN'T work!

Now with high, high heat, I add the ginger, and particularly garlic, almost at the very end--it's the only way to get the flavor without incinerating the ginger and gariic for sure...!

Jul 29, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Another great site (better than any recipe book) where I learned a LOT about Chinese cooking at home is Tigers & Strawberries. Barbara the woman who made the site no longer updates it or contributes new recipes, but it's still all up and her recipes are archived. I highly recommend it to learn a lot of Chinese cooking basics. She covers so many things for newbies to learn--ranging from marinating meat in Shaoxing, to making sure you hunt down Koon Chun brand sauces (their Ground Bean is phenomenal, and their Thick Soy Sauce is essential for making 1950's style fried rice for baby boomers!) And of course she introduced me to Chinkiang vinegar--Gold Plum brand, the best, in particular.

And I still think Barbara's Kung Pao sauce recipe is the best I have ever used...!

You can find Barbara's site at:

http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com/

Jul 29, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Ha! That's what got me started on this path some 7 years or so ago--bought a new carbon steel wok, and then stir fried and my beautiful shiny silver wok was all dirty and I scrubbed and scrubbed, but it was still sorta dirty... I struggled with that first wok and then threw it away, embarrassed and bought a new non-stick one that made terrible tasting food even with expensive (and sugary) bottled sauce!

Ha,ha! I knew I was doing something wrong, so decided to investigate, and then learned and learned. And I agree that this site has been so helpful... Once you get a well seasoned wok and learn some Chinese basic, it's so wonderful (and healthy) to make tasty dishes all on your own!

Jul 29, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

From what I have read, these totally hand manufactured woks were never a big deal for home cooks in China--the market for these truly hand hammered woks were the restaurant cooks, who sweat by their durability; some would last up to 6 months they claim, whereas the spun and stamped woks sometimes are shot (deformed, thin on the bottom) after only a couple of months.

Those intense jets of fire and massively high BTU's really take a fast, hard toil on carbon steel.

Why even the restaurants have stopped buying these hand made woks, their biggest buyers, I don't know...?

Jul 28, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware