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Wok accessories sizing? For 14in wok

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tubaroo

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What are good size accessories for use with 14in woks:

  • Ladle/hoak: length and cup diameter. I'm thinking 16in long and 4.25in diameter? Also what's a good handle angle on these things, 45deg or closer to horizontal?
    I have a generic soup ladle that's 13in long, 3.5in diameter and I'm finding it too small, it doesn't move stuff inside the wok well.

  • Spatula/chuan: length and scoop width. I also have a spatula that I found to be too short. Sanded the edges nice and smooth since it was tearing up inside of my wok when scraping.

  • Stainless steel skimmer: diameter. I see 9, 10, 11 and 12in sizes. Is 10in too small? I'm worried going too large may mean I won't be able to scoop from inside the wok.
    By skimmer I mean these ones stainless steel perforated with the short handles:
    71-gpLhP6pL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

I was thinking of getting a wok lid, but have never had a need to use one so far. I do all my steaming/soups in another pot on the electric stove top, because I use a portable butane stove for wokking and it's just not cost efficient to burn through the butane canisters for those tasks.


14inch woks, flat bottom Helen Chen off Amazon, and a thinner round bottom 14in myland brand just bought a couple days ago from the local Asian supermarket ($14)
Picture taken before myland was seasoned.
IMG_4255.jpg

Picture of halfway through initial burning off of factory finish (some black lacquer? visible on the right half) before seasoning. Lots of smoke, did it outside the house. I find this one easier to pick up and toss because it's lighter and uses thinner gage steel.
IMG_4256.jpg
 

boomchakabowwow

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I got a smaller strainer. I usually pick things out of the hot oil with chop sticks and put them into the strainer.
my other two tools are about 16” long. The spoon has a nice angle. Not quite 45 deg tho.
 

tubaroo

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I use this for skimming the bits out of the oil when deep frying:

And I know it's not traditional but this is my favorite wok spatula:
I actually have both of those. My bamboo spatula is also my most used right now. I can really scrape at the inside of the wok without worrying about the spatula flexing or scratching up the wok.
My oil skimmer is smaller at 3in wide.


IMG_4273.jpg
 

tubaroo

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Here's what I have.

The metal spatula is 4in wide, 14in long. It feels a little short. I avoided using it and favoured the bamboo because it was also scratching up the wok badly. Scraping against the wok just felt wrong and unpleasant. I just sanded the edge 2to alleviate that yesterday, haven't had a chance to use the wok yet.

The ladle is 3.5in wide, 14 in long. I tried using it with the wok but it doesn't feel right, maybe the bowl part is too small and it's too short overall. It's now exclusively used for soup only.

IMG_4272.jpg
 

Paraffin

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I was thinking of getting a wok lid, but have never had a need to use one so far. I do all my steaming/soups in another pot on the electric stove top, because I use a portable butane stove for wokking and it's just not cost efficient to burn through the butane canisters for those tasks.
I have several different size woks and don't use 'em for steaming either. I prefer bamboo or aluminum stacked Asian-style steamers for that.

I do have a lid for the largest wok size, and the one thing I've used it for is smoking, for things like "tea smoked duck".

The method involves lining the wok with a double layer of aluminum foil with excess around the edges, doing the same with the lid, and crimping a seal around the edge, leaving a thin port for the smoke to exit. You want to dedicate a separate wok for this (which can be your steaming wok) because it's not good for the seasoning. You also need serious ventilation if you're doing this indoors.

I've only done that a few times, and now I just use a new grill/smoker on the deck outside because it's less hassle. Anyway, just wanted to mention it, because one thing people don't often think about using a wok for, is smoking.
 

aboynamedsuita

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I have a yamada 36cm (approx. 14”) Wok, and recently got the smaller 27cm wok too.

the hoak I have is 12cm diameter and the bowl diameter is more parallel to the handle length of that makes any sense (I find soup ladles are usually more angled 45-90°).

the chuan is also a 12cm width, I don’t use it much compared to the hoak. One thing I noticed is the curvature of the chuan may not work well with certain round bottom wok depending on how you predominately use. For example, the 12cm I have works good for “handle to front“ and “left to right” and similar motions, but the curvature Doesn’t work so well whentrying to go clockwise/counterclockwise around the side of the wok (There’s a bit of a gap where there’s no contact, but not a huge problem).

both hoak/chuan are the yamada ones, kinda difficult to find as only a couple places I’ve seen sell them (one place in USA and another in japan). I had custom olivewood burl handles made for them lol.
23055E41-044D-452E-8525-3BFE8BD4048F.jpeg


I also have the 21cm strainer. Small enough that I can use it in some of my other cookware too if I want, but will still fit across a 8” pot. Got it “just because” I wanted a complete set, hopefully I can start using it more. Spider strainer can be nice too (I have 10cm and 15cm). here is an older pic before I rehandled the hoak and chuan
17BEABD8-3AED-4F97-85AA-646DE4089087.jpeg


I don’t really use a wok lid, but made one with a stainless steel prep bowl, wood screw and olivewood knob. I’ve seen videos of wok fires on even the small but powerful iwatani 35fw so if nothing else could help suffocate a fire haha. Here’s a pic before i re-rehandled the hoak with olivewood to match the lid (previous was walnut but I wanted olivewood to match)
3C64AFBA-494F-4A08-B557-128CF75590DF.jpeg

I’ve used the iwatani 35fw before and for the most part it was OK with the 36cm wok. It’s still plenty for the smaller 27cm wok, but recently got a 65k BTU outdoor propane burner. What a game changer.
 

tubaroo

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Huh. Looks like for the ladles you two have, the bowl is almost parallel to the handle. Would you say that feels more suitable for wok use rather than having the handle off at an angle close to 45deg?
 

boomchakabowwow

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no, its the pic. they are not perfectly inline. i will get you a better pic tonight. or measure it. whatever it is, it is similar to the one my stepdad used for decades at his restaurants. hell, i think my first one i took from his stockroom. whatever it is, i am super familiar with it. i love using the back side to swirl hot oil up the sides..as i get more wok-saavy, i find i use the spoon more than the spatula.


Huh. Looks like for the ladles you two have, the bowl is almost parallel to the handle. Would you say that feels more suitable for wok use rather than having the handle off at an angle close to 45deg?
 

boomchakabowwow

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on a side note, i use that spoon for a lot. it is my canning spoon..it damn near will fill a jar with one scoop. serving big groups of soup, it will fill a bowl with one scoop for sure. saves me a lot of movement.
 

aboynamedsuita

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Those are nice wok tools! I think mine cost $19 for the pair on Clement St in San Francisco.
these were maybe $20 each (strainer Was a lot more though, about 2x?) but then there was shipping, and the olivewood handles, I had to buy a big expensive bag of the copper nails and only use 2 of them, but worth it lol
BA482CF7-56CC-412E-BB47-DE24A5A5DBCB.jpeg


Huh. Looks like for the ladles you two have, the bowl is almost parallel to the handle. Would you say that feels more suitable for wok use rather than having the handle off at an angle close to 45deg?
I’d say the bowl is more inline with the handle, not quite 0°/180° but nothing like a soup ladle which seem to be about 45-90° to facilitate getting a ladle full in a deep pot. This looks to be about 20°. I’ve never tried a soup ladle, but I imagine trying to have the open end of the bowl pointing forward… the handle and hand position would be so awkward.
D98715E0-B1BC-4E55-B411-9917AF408DBD.jpeg
 

aboynamedsuita

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no, its the pic. they are not perfectly inline. i will get you a better pic tonight. or measure it. whatever it is, it is similar to the one my stepdad used for decades at his restaurants. hell, i think my first one i took from his stockroom. whatever it is, i am super familiar with it. i love using the back side to swirl hot oil up the sides..as i get more wok-saavy, i find i use the spoon more than the spatula.
Add me to the list for using the hoak more than the chuan
 

boomchakabowwow

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I’m a nerdy civil engineer. The angle is 32 degrees. :). Dint make me convert that into radian for you. Haha. Great thread!

B75A8689-853C-4B79-B49D-553AA38D2DAD.jpeg
 

boomchakabowwow

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these were maybe $20 each (strainer Was a lot more though, about 2x?) but then there was shipping, and the olivewood handles, I had to buy a big expensive bag of the copper nails and only use 2 of them, but worth it lol
View attachment 89988



I’d say the bowl is more inline with the handle, not quite 0°/180° but nothing like a soup ladle which seem to be about 45-90° to facilitate getting a ladle full in a deep pot. This looks to be about 20°. I’ve never tried a soup ladle, but I imagine trying to have the open end of the bowl pointing forward… the handle and hand position would be so awkward.
View attachment 89989
Stop posting pics please. :D You’re killing me with those wonderful tools. Next time I’m in Japan......
 

tubaroo

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I was able to find some at 2 different restaurant supply stores in Chinatown. Yeah, I can clearly see the difference in the hoak vs a typical soup ladle. Other than the bowl to handle angle being more inline as discussed, the bowl part is more shallow.


I’m a nerdy civil engineer.
Grabbed a 14in wok while in store to compare size and handling with the hoak. A 17in long hoak with a 4.25-4.5 size bowl felt about right. i brought a tape measure, I'm an enginerd too hahaha.



Also spotted some CCK knives, a little pricey, had to pass.

IMG_4334.jpg
 

tubaroo

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All the hoak/chuan I saw had press fit wood into the metal handle, some had the screw/pin holes but do not come with fasteners. Though I suppose it's not hard to add one later.

aboynamedsuita's tools definitely spoiled my eyes, all the ones I saw in store look rough compared to his.
 

btbyrd

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I really don't understand why wok tools often come with the wooden handles unattached. What's up with that?
 

tubaroo

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The wood bits are just friction fit, no fasteners/pins. The store also separately sold spare wood handles for very cheap, so I guess people replace them when needed. It fits pretty well and feels secure, maybe pound it a couple times with a mallet, or add a drop or 2 of super glue.

One of them has a small hole to potentially put a pin in, but the other one has none.

IMG_4404.jpg
 

btbyrd

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I have a wok strainer with this kind of construction and I hate it. Looks cheap, feels cheap, and the design makes no sense. Why would you have a friction fit handle? Especially for something you're going to be jerking around. I never would have purchased it if I had seen and held it in person first. Calling it "friction fit" is generous; the handle would come out at the slightest provocation, so I hit it with a mallet and the wood split a bit where it made contact with the metal.
 
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boomchakabowwow

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I’d put a pin in it and move on with my life. Mine are loose; a tiny bit. But for cheap tools, I don’t sweat the details.

my wok handle is similar. I put in longer stainless screws and locked it in.
 
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