Can something as simple as a Chinese Wok go high tech? All Clad thinks so. They have created a stainless steel version of the wok with some very impressive specs. This wok should be available in stores starting in August.
We did the FirstLook of the All Clad's Stainless Steel Wok at the beginning of the Summer. This past weekend, we had a few folks over to the RainyDayKitchen and gave the All Clad Wok a full workout (steaming, stir-frying, etc...).
The general concensus is the All Clad Wok heats up evenly and retains heat a lot longer compared to the traditional iron wok. This made it great for stir-frying and steaming.
Due to the wok's stainless steel multi-ply construction it is also a lot heavier than the traditional wok. The extra weight made the wok a bit harder to maneuver. The handles do get hot and an oven mitt was definitely required when stir-frying.
The wok's longer heat retention took a little getting used to, especially when making several dishes with clean up required between each one. We are used to cooling the wok with cold water and quickly scrubbing it clean for the next dish. The All Clad stayed hot a lot longer under the cold running water. We suggest a scrubber with a handle if you need to clean it before it has a chance to cool.
The even heating quality of this wok really showed when we made the Kung Pao Chicken dish. It is easy to burn the Kung Pao sauce, but we had no trouble making the dish in the All Clad Wok. The photo above showed no burnt sauce when we were done. We must have made this dish at least 30 times before...we think this was the first time that the sauce wasn't even a little bit burnt!
The Shrimp dumplings steamed up easily because the wok was able to hold a large amount of water. The Tofu and Broccoli in Oyster Sauce dish was also easily handled by the wok.
Overall, we were quite impressed with the performance of this All Clad Stainless Steel Wok. The next time we use the wok we'll have to plan ahead and arrange all the steaming together to take advantage of the heat retention property of this wok. We'll also have to get a scrubber with a handle so it will be easier to clean the wok even when it is hot. We'll try making a few more dishes and will have an InTheWild update after Chinese New Year.