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The style of this All-Clad wok may be traditional Chinese wok, but the technology behind it is totally 21st century.  The construction is 3-ply (stainless, aluminium, magnetic stainless). 

The interior stainless steel layer will not react with the food being cooked.  The middle aluminium layer creates fast and even heat distribution.  The external magnetic stainless surface allows this wok to work on all type of heating surfaces...from conventional gas stoves to the new induction cooktops, something not possible with a steel traditional wok. 

The handles are attached with stainless steel rivets instead of being tack welded.  It is a stronger way to attach the handle, but the handle on a traditional wok has never failed either.  The handles are high off the wok, which makes handling the wok easy.  We only wonder if the rivet be an issue when stir frying.  We'll see when we actually put it to use :-)

Deep frying is a common use for a wok.  A half screen is often used to let the fried pieces drain before placing them onto the serving plate.  We have found these screens sometimes troublesome to use because they are often made of thin wires or metal which tend to flex when loaded.

All-Clad has supplied a frying rack made of heavy gauge steel with strong hooks that are sized for the rim of the wok.  We really liked the construction of this accessory!

Because the bottom of woks are round, the All-Clad comes with a fire ring.  The purpose of the fire ring is to give the wok stability while allowing the flames to evenly heat the bottom.  It also allows the wok to be easily shifted during stir frying.

One item we wish All-Clad would add to this product is a dome cover, because without it you can't do any steaming or covered cooking (major methods of Chinese cooking).  Having a dome is essential for simmering, cooking vegetables, and preserving flavor. 

At 15" in diameter, the All-Clad wok is a few inches larger than our traditional wok.  While the steamer has no trouble sitting properly in the wok, the cover is clearly too small.  This is not too big a problem as most Chinese supermarkets carry covers of all sizes.

We have some pretty tasty dishes in mind for testing this wok :-) We'll have more to say about seasoning and cleaning once we have used it.  There are a few events planned in the coming months.  Those of you on our RainyDayEvents list, keep an eye out for the invitations. 




Round Bottom Wok

By Wan Chi Lau

Traditionally, Chinese woks are made by hand-hammering high carbon steel into shape.  Wok bottoms are round which makes stir-frying possible.  We have had our wok for over twenty years and have made countless meals using it...including our annual Chinese New Year banquets.  So you could imagine the skeptical looks and the raised eye brows when we said we were bringing a new wok into the RainyDayKitchen.

If the wok wasn't from the high-end cookware maker All-Clad, it probably wouldn't have received a second look.  If the wok didn't have the traditional "round bottom" it definitely wouldn't have been touched.  Fortunately for the wok...it had the proper "credentials" and was allowed into the kitchen:-)

In the FirstLook review, we'll give you our initial impression of this updated version of a very old piece of cooking equipment.

In the FirstUse review, we'll let you know if it lived up to our expectations.  So far, we are VERY impressed.


1. FirstLook

2. FirstUse

Review Summary:

Initial Impression- Beautiful

Usability- gas or induction

Durability- test in progress

Price- $200 (available in August 2006)


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment Group © 2006