Le Creuset Wok is a modern take on the traditional wok. The flat base and the two loop handle makes it easy to cook on a stove top. Where as traditional wok uses a round bottom and are more suited for a jet like stove. Since our home kitchen cant generate as much heat, a heavy cast iron wok can work around this issue. This ultimately lets you get a better sear and develop more flavor. This review will take a closer look at Le Creuset Wok. We will see what makes Le Creuset Wok different.
|Categories||Le Creuset Wok|
|Colors||Wide Range of Color|
|Brand Awareness||World Famous|
|Handle||Two Loop Handle|
|Country of Manufacturer||France|
|Thoughts||Le Creuset wok is designed for the modern home kitchen. The flat bottom lets it generate more heat than a round bottom wok. However, the biggest issue is the nonstick ability and glass lid. If you can look past that, its a pretty good wok.|
|Reviewed Cookware||Le Creuset LS2508-3267S Signature Enameled Cast Iron Wok, 5-Quart, Cerise|
Why Use a Wok?
In recent years, The wok has been gaining popularity. Stir Frying and Chinese food is taking America by waves. As such, we need a pan that will give ample room to toss and turn food. Modern skillets are generally flat and small in space. This makes it difficult to toss food and coat it in sauce.
Another popular way of using wok is steaming food. Chinese chef will often put water at its base and then use bamboo basket in the center. They cover it with a lid and then steam food. Deep frying and stewing is also a lot easier because of the wide rim.
Le Creuset Wok Design
This section will discuss the design and features of Le Creuset Wok. We will go over handle, shape and general performance.
The most common woks are those with a long handle. However, in southern china, the two loop handle is more common. Since they generally get hotter, a towel is often used when cooking with it. Le Creuset wok is no different and a towel or glove is generally recommended. You might wonder why a long handle is not used? The reason is that the wok is simply too heavy. You cannot toss food like those Chinese professional chef. The heavy cast iron construction simply wont let you do that.
The benefit of the two handle design is that it makes things easier to transport. They also flow more to a kitchen table. You can use it as a serving dish and a cooking vessel.
Because these woks are made for the home kitchen. The bottom of the wok needs to be flat. A flat bottom will have better contact with the heat making it better for searing food. If you have a round bottom, a smaller area will be hot and the other will stay cool. This will prevent it from searing food properly. There are some review online that say that this design is not a traditional wok. Unless they have a huge flame, they will not benefit at all from a round wok.
The other benefit is stability. Try balancing a round bowl on a cast iron trivet. It will rock back and forth. Cooking like this is downright dangerous and should be avoided. A wok ring is needed to keep it stable.
Le Creuset uses a cast iron construction. While they are slightly thinner than some of the other cast iron model. They are no where as thin as a traditional Wok. For a traditional wok, where you have a big flame source, thin is better. You have better heat control. But because our stove range is generally pretty weak, heavy cast iron is better. If you cannot control the heat fast, its better to have high heat. The heavy cast iron construction will maintain the heat throughout cooking and let you caramelize food and develop flavor. You can also uses the wok as a serving bowl.
One notable issue is the lack of tossing ability. Since cast iron is simply too heavy, you wont develop true wok hei. Wok Hei is where you toss the point to the peak of the wok. Apparently it develops more flavor. However, I question that this isnt true at all.
To me Wok Hei is actually the ignition of oil vapor. You can actually do this by tilting the wok towards the heat. As long as you have enough oil vapor, you should be able to see and smell the ignition of the oil vapor. Its quite a distinct aroma.
This is the biggest issue with Le Creuset Wok. The Construction is a enamel cast iron construction. They do not develop seasoning as well as bare cast iron. As such, you might have some difficulty stir frying noodle. You can get around this by adding liquid before noodles.
For things like vegetables and other protein, stir frying those thing should pose little to no challenge. Just be sure to add the sauce in the correct interval.
The glass lid is an issue. I dont know why they did not take the extra step and develop a cast iron one. The glass lid is simply too fragile. If you hit it wrong or subject it with thermal shock, it can shatter. If anything, you need to find a separate universal lid in case it fails.
Le Creuset Wok Thoughts
Overall, Le Creuset Wok is pretty good for a modern kitchen. The biggest issue is the nonstick ability and the glass lid. However, if you can look past those thing, the wok is designed for a modern home kitchen. Unless you have a true wok burner, a traditional style wok will never work for you.
I hope you like this Le Creuset Wok review, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.