Are Wok-Style Pans Any Better?
Over the years, we have tested traditional woks several times and reached the same conclusion: Their rounded, wobbly design is not suited for conventional, flat-topped American stoves. You're better off using a large nonstick skillet. But recently we've noticed wok-style pans that split the design differences between a skillet and a wok and wondered how they compare. To find out, we stir-fried beef and vegetables in three different wok descendants and measured the results against stir-fries cooked in a 12-inch nonstick skillet.
Although all three of the wok-style pans we tested performed ably, we're not willing to invest in a new pan just for stir-frying. The actual cooking surface on these pans measured less than 7 inches across-a full 2 inches smaller than the cooking surface on a standard 12-inch skillet. While these wok-style pans are better suited to a flat burner than is a traditional round wok, they can't beat the skillet for stir-frying.
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasn’t sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|Recommended with Reservations|
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.
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