- Skeptical about overpriced kitchenware, I never saw the point in investing in a good pan or wok or the effect it would have on my cooking.
- I tested the HexClad Wok out on a peanut sauce I made for my family one night and used it every day since then for everything from melting chocolate to meal prepping curries and marinara sauce.
- It doesn't just heat up food quickly — its sleek surface blends sauces seamlessly, and even melted chocolate didn't stick to the surface so clean-up was easier than ever before.
Since I could warm up hot dogs, cut them up, and stick toothpicks in them, I've always considered myself a chef. A couple of decades of classes and watching my mother in the kitchen later, I've graduated to sauces, curries, pastas, and the occasional meat dish.
During a blissful period of my life in which I lived in Thailand, I (happily) ate guay tiew reua (noodle soup) and gaeng ped gai (red curry) nearly every single day, oftentimes multiple times a day, for several years. When it came time for me to pack my bags and retreat to the Western world, I rushed to take as many cooking classes as possible.
I knew I'd never be able to make dishes that tasted remotely like anything I'd eaten made by the hands of someone with ancestral Thai roots, but there's no way I was going to be able to go back to the old spot I used to get takeout from. In the class, the most important things I learned were that as long as you can make a good curry paste and have a fast-heating wok, the rest is all about mixing your ingredients of choice together on top of them, and no matter what they are, they will taste fantastic.
Of course, I came back to America with a false sense of confidence that I had everything I needed. It was totally unnecessary to follow the ingredients or directions I'd learned abroad. For a couple of years, I went on with life blissfully unaware of what I was missing out on as I cooked curries, sauces, and fried rices for my friends out of my $20 saucepan. How could the surface you're cooking on actually have any effect on how good the food actually tastes?
My opinion completely changed the second I used the HexClad and the red curry I've been making for years tasted infinitely better.
How I Use It
I realize now that when I was using saucepans of lower quality, the oils and herbs I were using were sticking to one another, and sometimes even evaporating rather than staying in the pan and blending seamlessly with the rest of the ingredients I was using. In fact, I found that in a couple of recipes, like the vodka sauce and peanut sauce I make, I've cut down on the amount of oil I use.
When I mix ingredients to make a paste in Indian or Thai cooking, it usually takes me about thirty minutes to blend the ingredients together and let them simmer. With the HexClad wok, I was able to make red curry paste in less than 10 minutes.
I also used the wok for baking. I made a dessert the other day that required a layer of melted chocolate. Usually, I would boil a pot of water and put a bowl of chocolate over it. But, I thought I'd put the wok to the test, and it passed with flying colors. I broke up a dark chocolate bar, and it melted within two minutes without burning or sticking to the pan.
How I Care For It
I make sure to use a plastic or wood spoon with the wok to ensure I'm not scratching or damaging the steel, but other than that, this has been the lowest maintenance item in my kitchen. My mother raves about how easy it is to clean to her friends and recommends it to anyone who cooks, wants to cook, or even just owns a kitchen.
Before using it the first time, make sure to season it. Coat it in oil so that it prevents sticking even more. You really only need to season it that once, and after that you're set to go for life — and, I mean that literally. The pan has a lifetime warranty so if the price tag of $180 scares you, don't be afraid to try it out, or even test out one of the smaller models just to see if you like the feel.
For anyone who cooks regularly, its an investment you're sure not to regret and that I have already recommended to every single one of my friends.
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