Many people receive electric woks as gifts; these items often stay in their boxes or in cabinets for years, unused. They are actually quite easy to use and can be used to your advantage. The basics of using an electric wok are simple.
- Turn the heat setting on the electric wok on high and allow it to heat up.
- Put about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into the hot wok. Pick up the wok with a gloved hand and rotate the electric wok so the oil evenly coats the bottom and sides.
- Add the meat called for in your recipe to your wok, and cook it on high until the meat is browned.
- Add the vegetables next, with the heat still on high. Add stir-fry sauces at this point for added flavor. Make sure you get your electric wok as hot as possible before your start cooking. This is the secret to a great stir-fry.
You can slow roast a whole chicken slowly in your wok. Brown the outside of a whole chicken and reduce the heat in the wok to medium. Before replacing the cover, make sure that the vent on the cover is closed also. Roast the chicken for about 45 minutes per pound.
Making a pot roast in your electric wok is also easy. Brown the meat, then add potatoes and carrots. Place the cover on the wok and reduce the heat to medium, but leave the wok vent open. You can add a cup or so of wine or beef broth to enhance the flavors and make a delicious gravy.
Your electric wok can also be used as a steamer. Get a bamboo steaming basket and place it in the wok (do not worry - it won't burn) and fill it with rice or vegetables. Turn the wok on high and place a small amount of water in the bottom of the wok. You can use chicken or beef broth in place of water for added flavor.
The shape of an electric wok also works well for fondues and for deep-frying. Being able to control the temperature is another nice feature of the electric wok. For example, cheese fondue recipes melt best at a low heat - but when deep frying, you want a high heat. If you're only making a small amount of food use just enough oil to cover the food, don't fill up the wok.
An electric wok is also great for slowly cooking casseroles and stews. Before adding your vegetables or pastas, brown your meat on a high setting; then adjust the temperature down to a slow simmer.
An electric wok really pays for itself. They are easy and fun to use and the money you'll save on take out alone covers the cost of the wok.