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As somebody whose kitchen is also her living room (you've got to love cramped New York City apartments), finding ways to cut back on unnecessary items that clutter my cabinets is a crucial yet difficult feat. But I found an unusual path to success with my latest kitchen addition: a stainless steel wok.
If you're familiar with woks, that last sentence might have you pondering how, exactly, a large, dome-shaped pan has saved me room. I understand your confusion and would be right there with you, but here's the reason why: This Wok can be used on the stove or in the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and it helps cook dishes-from eggs to steaks-precisely and evenly each time. It's such an asset that I use it for practically every meal. Thus, I've been able to eliminate other pans and baking sheets that it's taken the place of.
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Another standout feature: its ability to distribute heat effectively and evenly. I'm used to waiting a few minutes for my pots and pans to heat up (usually to be disappointed by their uneven warmth distribution), but this stainless steel wok gets hot in basically no time. Mere seconds after I place it on the burner, it's ready to be used. And unlike some baking sheets that I've owned for years, this wok doesn't char up veggies or meats when I use it in the oven.
Perhaps it works so well because it's designed to have these versatile capabilities. According to the brand, this wok can be used for everything from deep frying to boiling to steaming-on both gas and electric stovetops. The non-stick surface makes cleaning up after whatever endeavor you choose a breeze. And boy, pouring leftovers into storage containers is so much easier when it slides out of the pan on its own. I'm not the only fan, either. It has nearly 1,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating. Shoppers have gone so far as calling it the "best wok I have ever used." And its multiple uses are game changers for others, too.
"I have used it about four or five times a week for the last couple of months," wrote one reviewer. "The size is perfect for our family."
Along with the actual wok, this Willow and Everett set comes with a large bamboo-handled spatula and a dome stainless steel lid. These additions come in handy for large meals where frying or boiling is necessary.
The wok's not terribly heavy, either. I don't have any issue picking up the four-pound pan from the top of my cabinets and bringing it down to stove height. While it certainly isn't small by any means, the fact that it has so many uses has really helped me save space in my kitchen. I've been able to get rid of other cooking tools since I can use this one for practically everything.
Below, shop the use-it-for-anything kitchen pan for a small discount.
To buy: $48 (was $55); amazon.com.