A Food and drink forum. FoodBanter.com

Welcome to FoodBanter.com forums which provide access to the finest food and drink related newsgroups.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most newsgroup discussions and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics to the food related newsgroups, communicate privately with other FoodBanter.com members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact support.

Go Back   Home » FoodBanter.com forum » Food and Cooking » Asian Cooking
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Asian Cooking (alt.food.asian) A newsgroup for the discussion of recipes, ingredients, equipment and techniques used specifically in the preparation of Asian foods.

Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel



 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-02-2004, 08:24 PM
[email protected]
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

People in this group seem quite knowledgeable and I truly appreciate any
help they've ever given me. I don't want to start world war 3 but I
would really like to hear from those of you who have ever used one of
the (I think are fairly new on the market) cast iron woks I have seen
advertised on the internet lately. They are supposed to give superior
cooking results! I have read that the chinese used this wok before they
started using the hand hammered, high carbon steel ones. I've tried to
read all of the customer reviews they had on them and 2 or 3 of them
were very negative!!! These folks claim they love to cook with cast iron
and own several different types of cast iron cookware but they came
right out and said that the cast iron woks were terrible for stir
frying!!! One man said his took too long to heat up and it stayed hot
for too long after he was done cooking and the vegetables turned to
mush!!! I don't see why they would if you remove them as soon as they're
done cooking. I remove the food I cook in my carbon steel wok as soon as
it's done and never have mush! I'm hoping those of you who have ever
used them will give me your honest opinions! I have searched the area I
live in high and low and I finally found a camping store that has just 1
left in stock. It's only $30 but I hate to throw money away that could
better be used on something else and while we're on the subject of woks,
how about the aluminum anodized ones that cost anywhere from $50 to
$150.What kind of results do they produce ???? All opinions and any
advice is very much welcomed! Thanks again folks!!!!!
Niki

Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2004, 12:52 AM
Lorena
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

I personally don't have a cast iron one, but yes, that is what the Chinese
originally used before carbon steel became more popular. For an all-purpose
wok, I think the carbon steel one is much more versatile, but I would think
the cast-iron wok one would be absolutely fantastic for deep frying due to
the weight and ability to hold onto heat.

One man said his took too long to heat up and it stayed hot
for too long after he was done cooking and the vegetables turned to
mush!!!


My problem with a cast-iron wok is too EVEN cooking (I would think). The
way I stirfry is, I use the hotspot at the bottom of my wok, then when I'm
ready for the next ingredient, I push the food up towards the sides of my
wok where it's nice and cool, then stir it back in when I'm ready for it
again. Maybe that's what that man had a problem with. With a cast iron
wok, you would have to take everything out of the wok to prevent
overcooking. And since it's so heavy, it would be a pain to lift the wok.

how about the aluminum anodized ones that cost anywhere from $50 to
$150.What kind of results do they produce ????


I had a fancy Calphalon hard anodized aluminum wok prior to the carbon steel
wok one that I have now, and the results are decent, but you would get about
the same type or problem that the cast-iron would get - too even cooking.
Also, you don't get that "wok chi" flavor in your food! I got a traditional
carbon steel wok after a friend of mine completely scorched food at the
bottom of my Calphalon wok (and it was too difficult to clean it) and I've
never had regrets about the carbon wok. Like you, I also did a lot of
research on wok materials prior to buying it, and I'm completely happy with
my purchase. The only thing that I think the Calphalon is better for is
steaming, but only because you wouldn't need to worry about the seasoning.


  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2004, 01:10 AM
Chef!
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is lighter and can be shaken and tossed thus is more versatile
in the finished effect of the dish. Cast iron on the other hand is the
choice for 'old hands' and is particularly good for cooking large quantities
of similar food, as the wok doen't need to be cleaned in between and retains
heat better. It's also the choice of a lot of households in China where
there is a wood burner around.


wrote in message
...
People in this group seem quite knowledgeable and I truly appreciate any
help they've ever given me. I don't want to start world war 3 but I
would really like to hear from those of you who have ever used one of
the (I think are fairly new on the market) cast iron woks I have seen
advertised on the internet lately. They are supposed to give superior
cooking results! I have read that the chinese used this wok before they
started using the hand hammered, high carbon steel ones. I've tried to
read all of the customer reviews they had on them and 2 or 3 of them
were very negative!!! These folks claim they love to cook with cast iron
and own several different types of cast iron cookware but they came
right out and said that the cast iron woks were terrible for stir
frying!!! One man said his took too long to heat up and it stayed hot
for too long after he was done cooking and the vegetables turned to
mush!!! I don't see why they would if you remove them as soon as they're
done cooking. I remove the food I cook in my carbon steel wok as soon as
it's done and never have mush! I'm hoping those of you who have ever
used them will give me your honest opinions! I have searched the area I
live in high and low and I finally found a camping store that has just 1
left in stock. It's only $30 but I hate to throw money away that could
better be used on something else and while we're on the subject of woks,
how about the aluminum anodized ones that cost anywhere from $50 to
$150.What kind of results do they produce ???? All opinions and any
advice is very much welcomed! Thanks again folks!!!!!
Niki



  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2004, 03:24 AM
Peter Dy
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel


wrote in message
...
[...]
These folks claim they love to cook with cast iron
and own several different types of cast iron cookware but they came
right out and said that the cast iron woks were terrible for stir
frying!!! One man said his took too long to heat up and it stayed hot
for too long after he was done cooking and the vegetables turned to
mush!!! I don't see why they would if you remove them as soon as they're
done cooking. I remove the food I cook in my carbon steel wok as soon as
it's done and never have mush!



I think you are right. I think one might just have to adjust one's
stir-frying technique, just like one would have to do if switching from an
electric stove to a high-powered, restaurant quality gas stove.

Otherwise, I've never used a cast iron wok, so I have no personal
experiences to relate.


I'm hoping those of you who have ever
used them will give me your honest opinions! I have searched the area I
live in high and low and I finally found a camping store that has just 1
left in stock. It's only $30 but I hate to throw money away that could
better be used on something else



At Asian stores, they go for only US$10 or so. The 13-inch cast iron wok
they have on Amazon goes for $9.95.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...83130?v=glance


and while we're on the subject of woks,
how about the aluminum anodized ones that cost anywhere from $50 to
$150.What kind of results do they produce ????



I don't like them, mostly cause you don't season them. Food sticks easily,
and I don't like the interaction between the food and the metal--it doesn't
seem smooth.

Peter


  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2004, 03:32 AM
Peter Dy
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel


"Peter Dy" wrote in message
om...
[...]
I don't like them, mostly cause you don't season them. Food sticks

easily,
and I don't like the interaction between the food and the metal--it

doesn't
seem smooth.



BTW, I recently got two non-non-stick aluminum frying pans, Western style,
one large, one small. I love them! Way cheaper than the fancy non-stick
pans. They need to be seasoned. I really like how the food interacts with
the metal--things brown very nicely if you want them to, but the brown bits
come off easily. I don't like how food browns in non-stick pans. I've had
similar problems making these very thin, brittle Dutch cookies, called
Kletskoppen, in non-stick baking sheets--the cookies didn't properly
interact with the teflon and never got properly dry and brittle.

Peter


  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2004, 09:22 AM
[email protected]
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

On Tue, 3 Feb 2004 15:24:13 -0500 (EST), wrote:

People in this group seem quite knowledgeable and I truly appreciate any
help they've ever given me. I don't want to start world war 3 but I
would really like to hear from those of you who have ever used one of
the (I think are fairly new on the market) cast iron woks I have seen
advertised on the internet lately. They are supposed to give superior
cooking results! I have read that the chinese used this wok before they
started using the hand hammered, high carbon steel ones. I've tried to
read all of the customer reviews they had on them and 2 or 3 of them
were very negative!!! These folks claim they love to cook with cast iron
and own several different types of cast iron cookware but they came
right out and said that the cast iron woks were terrible for stir
frying!!! One man said his took too long to heat up and it stayed hot
for too long after he was done cooking and the vegetables turned to
mush!!! I don't see why they would if you remove them as soon as they're
done cooking. I remove the food I cook in my carbon steel wok as soon as
it's done and never have mush! I'm hoping those of you who have ever
used them will give me your honest opinions! I have searched the area I
live in high and low and I finally found a camping store that has just 1
left in stock. It's only $30 but I hate to throw money away that could
better be used on something else and while we're on the subject of woks,
how about the aluminum anodized ones that cost anywhere from $50 to
$150.What kind of results do they produce ???? All opinions and any
advice is very much welcomed! Thanks again folks!!!!!



There is some truth that a bad wok will mean that your rice may not
turn out the way you want it to be, but it is also true that even the
best wok in the hands of a bad cook will also result in a bad result.
The high carbon steel and the anodized aluminuim woks work fine. But
the most important thing to do after buying a brand new wok, is to
season it. And also, never give up trying

SIAOGU

The husband is the head of the house. The wife is the neck. And the neck turns the head.
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2004, 12:34 PM
LeeBat
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

David Wright wrote:

I bought one when we moved into our all-electric house, almost three
years ago. Mine has a flat bottom, plus a flange that helps cover the
area of the burner. It takes a while to heat up, but once it's hot it
works well for me -- especially since I have no practical alternative.
Once I got it seasoned, it was as easy to clean as my old carbon steel
version.


I have something similar. Mine is dished on the inside with a flat
bottom flange. Got it in NYC's Chinatown about 15 years ago.

Only drawback I found was the weight. Once I developed a handling
technique, I gave away my carbon steel wok.

Never detected an iota difference in food flavor. I like the fact I
can let the heat build up, as it permits cooking at very high temps.

My cooking technique is to fry the meat first, then remove it. Then I
do whatever veggies, adding them in the order of their respective
cooking times. Meat back in and then make gravy.

Works for me.

Also find it great for frying noodles.

LeeBat


  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2004, 06:11 AM
Clarence
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

Niki,

My problem with my steel wok is in using it with a conventional gas stove
burner with a ring of fire. The bottom of the wok at the center never gets
hot enough.

I have noticed that the wok stoves at Asian restaurants have only a single
large flame under the center of the wok. The flame then spreads over the
bottom by the curve of the wok with the hottest point at the center. Thus
cooked food can be pushed to the relatively cooler sides while cooking
sauces or other things in the middle.

I have been thinking of removing a burner ring from my stove, then lighting
the gas jet which points straight up. Has anyone tried it?

Best, Clarence

wrote in message
...
People in this group seem quite knowledgeable and I truly appreciate any
help they've ever given me. I don't want to start world war 3 but I
would really like to hear from those of you who have ever used one of
the (I think are fairly new on the market) cast iron woks I have seen
advertised on the internet lately. They are supposed to give superior
cooking results! I have read that the chinese used this wok before they
started using the hand hammered, high carbon steel ones. I've tried to
read all of the customer reviews they had on them and 2 or 3 of them
were very negative!!! These folks claim they love to cook with cast iron
and own several different types of cast iron cookware but they came
right out and said that the cast iron woks were terrible for stir
frying!!! One man said his took too long to heat up and it stayed hot
for too long after he was done cooking and the vegetables turned to
mush!!! I don't see why they would if you remove them as soon as they're
done cooking. I remove the food I cook in my carbon steel wok as soon as
it's done and never have mush! I'm hoping those of you who have ever
used them will give me your honest opinions! I have searched the area I
live in high and low and I finally found a camping store that has just 1
left in stock. It's only $30 but I hate to throw money away that could
better be used on something else and while we're on the subject of woks,
how about the aluminum anodized ones that cost anywhere from $50 to
$150.What kind of results do they produce ???? All opinions and any
advice is very much welcomed! Thanks again folks!!!!!
Niki



  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2004, 11:04 AM
Chef!
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

There are round stainless steel trivets you can buy for the wokes. They sit
on top of your burners or bars and raise the wok ny a couple of inches.


"Clarence" wrote in message
hlink.net...
Niki,

My problem with my steel wok is in using it with a conventional gas stove
burner with a ring of fire. The bottom of the wok at the center never

gets
hot enough.

I have noticed that the wok stoves at Asian restaurants have only a single
large flame under the center of the wok. The flame then spreads over the
bottom by the curve of the wok with the hottest point at the center. Thus
cooked food can be pushed to the relatively cooler sides while cooking
sauces or other things in the middle.

I have been thinking of removing a burner ring from my stove, then

lighting
the gas jet which points straight up. Has anyone tried it?

Best, Clarence

wrote in message
...
People in this group seem quite knowledgeable and I truly appreciate any
help they've ever given me. I don't want to start world war 3 but I
would really like to hear from those of you who have ever used one of
the (I think are fairly new on the market) cast iron woks I have seen
advertised on the internet lately. They are supposed to give superior
cooking results! I have read that the chinese used this wok before they
started using the hand hammered, high carbon steel ones. I've tried to
read all of the customer reviews they had on them and 2 or 3 of them
were very negative!!! These folks claim they love to cook with cast iron
and own several different types of cast iron cookware but they came
right out and said that the cast iron woks were terrible for stir
frying!!! One man said his took too long to heat up and it stayed hot
for too long after he was done cooking and the vegetables turned to
mush!!! I don't see why they would if you remove them as soon as they're
done cooking. I remove the food I cook in my carbon steel wok as soon as
it's done and never have mush! I'm hoping those of you who have ever
used them will give me your honest opinions! I have searched the area I
live in high and low and I finally found a camping store that has just 1
left in stock. It's only $30 but I hate to throw money away that could
better be used on something else and while we're on the subject of woks,
how about the aluminum anodized ones that cost anywhere from $50 to
$150.What kind of results do they produce ???? All opinions and any
advice is very much welcomed! Thanks again folks!!!!!
Niki





  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2004, 03:35 PM
Cape Cod Bob
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 06:11:37 GMT, "Clarence"
wrote:

Niki,

My problem with my steel wok is in using it with a conventional gas stove
burner with a ring of fire. The bottom of the wok at the center never gets
hot enough.


I am getting one of these when we redo our kitchen this spring:
http://www.vikingrange.com/cooking/cooking_main.html

That's a gloat in case you didn't notice. ;-)
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2004, 10:38 AM
[email protected]
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 06:11:37 GMT, "Clarence"
wrote:

Niki,

My problem with my steel wok is in using it with a conventional gas stove
burner with a ring of fire. The bottom of the wok at the center never gets
hot enough.


If your gas stove has only single ring burners then you are gonna have
that problem as there is no fire in the middle. You need a three ring
burner for a wok


SIAOGU

The husband is the head of the house. The wife is the neck. And the neck turns the head.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 10-02-2004, 10:59 PM
KWR
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

Peter Dy wrote:

"Peter Dy" wrote in message
om...
[...]

I don't like them, mostly cause you don't season them. Food sticks


easily,

and I don't like the interaction between the food and the metal--it


doesn't

seem smooth.




BTW, I recently got two non-non-stick aluminum frying pans, Western style,
one large, one small. I love them! Way cheaper than the fancy non-stick
pans. They need to be seasoned. I really like how the food interacts with
the metal--things brown very nicely if you want them to, but the brown bits
come off easily. I don't like how food browns in non-stick pans. I've had
similar problems making these very thin, brittle Dutch cookies, called
Kletskoppen, in non-stick baking sheets--the cookies didn't properly
interact with the teflon and never got properly dry and brittle.

Peter



My biggest issue with coated non-stick frying pans is the way the
surface starts to send off fumes when it reaches cooking temperature. I
had a small rectangular frypan once (japanese omelette) which I was
giddily pleased to have purchased, until I found it was a worst offender
on that count. I couldn't take the plasticy odor and think I got rid of
the pan. I'm given to understand now that vapors from burning teflon
compounds will take out small pet birds.

Best - krnntp
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 13-02-2004, 06:12 AM
Chris
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

I have a carbon steel wok and a cast iron wok. Frankly I prefer the cast
iron wok over the carbon steel for most stir frying. Yes the carbon
steel is lighter but the cast iron one can build up heat in the center
while the side stay relatively cool and food can stay warm when placed on
the upper sided of the wok. The problem I had with the carbon steel wok
is that the seasoning just won't stay on even when I treat it very
delicately, never use soap, and highly acidic foods or liguids. I still
get the seasoning peeling off and I have to re-season. The cast iron wok
never seems to have that problem.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 13-02-2004, 09:24 AM
[email protected]
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel

On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 22:59:57 GMT, KWR wrote:


My biggest issue with coated non-stick frying pans is the way the
surface starts to send off fumes when it reaches cooking temperature. I
had a small rectangular frypan once (japanese omelette) which I was
giddily pleased to have purchased, until I found it was a worst offender
on that count. I couldn't take the plasticy odor and think I got rid of
the pan. I'm given to understand now that vapors from burning teflon
compounds will take out small pet birds.


Teflon is made from a compound called PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene),
which, when heated beyond a certain temperature (I can't recall the
figure), will give off toxic fumes.


Best - krnntp


SIAOGU

The husband is the head of the house. The wife is the neck. And the neck turns the head.
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 13-02-2004, 11:40 AM
Peter Dy
Usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cast Iron vs Carbon Steel


wrote in message
...
On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 22:59:57 GMT, KWR wrote:


My biggest issue with coated non-stick frying pans is the way the
surface starts to send off fumes when it reaches cooking temperature. I
had a small rectangular frypan once (japanese omelette) which I was
giddily pleased to have purchased, until I found it was a worst offender
on that count. I couldn't take the plasticy odor and think I got rid of
the pan. I'm given to understand now that vapors from burning teflon
compounds will take out small pet birds.


Teflon is made from a compound called PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene),
which, when heated beyond a certain temperature (I can't recall the
figure), will give off toxic fumes.



Yeah. That's the funny thing. The directions on the pan usually say not to
use it on high heat, but TV cooking personalities all say it is fine. Never
understood that. I'll stick with my pure aluminum pans, no pun intended.


Peter


 




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PING John Coleman: when was your cholesterol ever over 400?!] pearl Vegan 13 22-05-2004 05:25 PM
stainless steel vs. porcelain cast iron Nova Barbecue 4 24-03-2004 09:29 PM
Yet another cast iron thread... Deepak Saxena General Cooking 4 07-01-2004 04:28 AM
Alton Brown Is An Imbecile The Wolf General Cooking 101 27-12-2003 02:47 AM
OLD cast iron? Bob Myers General Cooking 35 01-10-2003 02:10 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.SEO by vBSEO 3.2.0
Copyright 2004-2014 FoodBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.