In Asian cuisine, perhaps the single most important kitchen tool is the wok. Most people know what a wok is, and many experienced home cooks now own one. What some don’t know is that woks actually impart their own special flavor on food. It’s so special it even has its own name: “wok hei” or “breath of the wok.” Some of you may ask, “What do woks have to do with the Pizzeria Pronto?” Well, everything really – now that we’ve released the Pizza Oven Wok Kit!
If it’s one thing that stands out about the Pizzeria Pronto, it’s the fact that the oven produces an intense amount of heat. With a 14,500 BTU burner, the Pronto has almost as much power as two of your home stove burners. For this reason the oven makes a perfect new way to enjoy authentic-tasting Asian dishes in the comfort of your own backyard. In this blog we’ll take a look at how wok cooking works, our brand-new wok adapter kit, and why it could be the best new way to enjoy your favorite take-out foods without ever having to leave your house. And if you’ve got your next vacation planned, the wok kit will allow you to bring your favorite wok fired foods with you – no matter where you decide to go.
What Comes in the Kit
So what comes with the new wok kit? Well, everything you need to get started with wok cooking! The kit includes a sturdy stainless steel ring adapter and a carbon-steel Pizzacraft wok. After installing the ring adapter, the wok fits perfectly above the oven's powerful burner with enough room to tilt and move so that your ingredients cook perfectly. The kit is quite the bargain for any foodie on a budget, retailing for only $29.99.
Woks vs. Ordinary Pans
So why do woks work so well? For one thing, they’re super versatile. Not only can you sauté in a wok, but most woks are so large you can also use them to steam and fry foods as well. These capabilities allow you to cook a wide variety of dishes such as chow mein, stir fry, curries, and even fried appetizers, all with the convenience of only using one pan. The large capacity of a wok also allows you to cook bigger dishes intended to feed the whole family. In addition, woks operate at considerably higher temperatures so they also cook faster than your average pan, adding even more to the convenience factor.
Getting Out of the Kitchen
Other than the fact that the Pizzeria Pronto puts out plenty of heat, there’s another reason the pizza oven works so well for wok cooking. Higher heat means more splattering, and therefore a bigger mess when it comes to cleanup. Let’s face it – no one likes to make a mess, but if you know the dish you’re cooking may get a little messy, why not take it outside where it’ll be easier to manage? Your backyard also makes a great place to practice tossing ingredients, without the worry of anything hitting the kitchen floor!
Setting Up for First Use
Out of the box, your new wok kit will require a few simple steps to prepare it for its first use. Installing the adapted ring is easy; simply remove your oven hood and pizza stones and place the adapter onto the pizza stone mounting tabs. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to season your wok. Wash the wok with a mild soap and hot water to remove any preserving oils left from the manufacturing process. After you’ve dried the wok, you can properly season it. Seasoning is simply the process of developing a durable, shiny, non-stick coating on the surface of the wok. While there are a few variations on this process, we’ll just take a look at the most simple method:
- Place your wok into the ring adapter.
- Turn on your oven to high heat and begin the seasoning. As the wok heats up, you’ll notice it beginning to change color – this is perfectly normal.
- Move the wok around in the adapter to expose the entire surface to high heat. You’ll want the majority of the pan’s surface to change color before the next step.
- Once you’ve got most of the wok to change color, add a few tablespoons of some high-heat cooking oil. (Oils that can handle this amount of heat include canola, peanut, soybean, safflower, or avocado.)
- Tilt the pan to disperse the oil. Fold up a few paper towels into a small square and pick up the square with a pair of grill tongs. Use the tongs and paper towel to spread the oil evenly across the entire wok surface. Once the wok is coated, continue to leave the wok on high heat until all oil burns off. You’ll notice the paper towel turning black – this process should be repeated until your paper towels no longer pick up the black residue from wiping the wok.
That’s it: wok seasoning is as simple as oiling, heating, and repeating! This process should be repeated periodically, as necessary to maintain the pan’s non-stick finish. So if you haven’t already picked up your Pizza Oven Wok Kit, now is the time. There’s plenty of fun to be had learning how to cook your favorite stir fry, broccoli beef, or chow mein! Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and recipes to help get you started in the world of wok cooking.