Posted in Equipment Reviews

The Joyce Chen Wok

joyce chen wok 1

For a number of years now, I have had an induction stovetop in my kitchen. It is nice in many respects, but a traditional, round-bottomed wok will just not work properly with it. After way too long with disappointing results I purchased a flat bottomed wok in cast iron… this was a nice piece of cookware, and may have had some practical uses in other ways, but as a wok it was just too damn heavy and didn’t allow for easy heat control. Accordingly, back this past May, I purchased the Joyce Chen 14 inch flat-bottomed wok you see above. Sadly, though I have purchased quite a few Joyce Chen products that were well worth the money, this $50 item that I purchased here at Amazon, was a bit of a disappointment …

joyce chen wok 2

Here is my wok after several months of use, and, as you can see, it is beginning to build up a nice seasoning layer on the bottom. It is very light for lifting and controlling heat, but, unfortunately, it is a bit too light… You can probably make out the fact that the pan is no longer circular. Regular use has ‘warped’ it out of shape a little bit. This would probably not be much of an issue for me, but ‘warpage’, probably from heat rather than mechanical causes’, has changed the shape of the bottom and made the pan unstable. There are no worries that it will ‘capsize’ or tip over, or anything, but the fact is, the bottom is no longer fully in direct contact with the stove. Obviously this changes the way that food cooks and, on an induction stove, is most definitely a problem.

Well, $50 is not a huge amount of money these days but, to be honest, at that price I expect something a little bit more heavy-duty. I hope I am not asking for a second disappointment, but I saw that there is now a Joyce Chen Lightweight Cast Iron Wok on sale at Amazon and just purchased it. I am banking on the last wok being an isolated case of poor quality from this company (given my past satisfactions). I shall give a full report in due course …

joyce chen wok 3

Oh … this product did receive at least one favorable review …

2 thoughts on “The Joyce Chen Wok

  1. Actually with induction the pan not touching the glass is not an issue, as heat transfer from the glass top to the pan is not how it works. However, I don’t know what the maximum allowed distance is between the pan and the induction element (magnets) underneath the glass. I use a Demeyere wok that is more expensive but it is stainless steel 18/10 and so unfortunately it won’t season. I’m certainly interested if you find a work that does work well on induction.

  2. I just bought another Joyce Chen, but it is a light weight cast iron version … seems much better so far, but I will keep testing it for a while before reporting.

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