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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. 




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