Cookware 24

Hammered iron woks....

dave_in_gva | Jan 27, 201205:42 AM

I'm mulling over a wok and given the relatively cheap price I am quite seriously considering a hand hammered wok.

I know there are lots of so called hand hammered woks that are not hammered by hand, but what I am looking at is indeed something pounded out of a sheet of metal by hand.

The description of these is that they are "iron woks". I have seen discussions here about cast iron versus carbon steel and I was more inclined to try and find a carbon steel wok. Now I am no metallurgist by any means but my understanding is that cast iron and carbon steel both come from firing iron ore in a blast furnace. Cast iron is basically the relatively impure molten product coming out of the blast furnace and has about 4% carbon. Carbon steel also comes from this molten product but is further purified and ends up containing between 0.3 - 2% carbon.

So....both cast iron and any kind of carbon steel still contain predominantly iron.

My understanding is cast iron is meant to be quite brittle....which for me suggests it is unlikely to be a metal that could be hand hammered.

So my question is....the so called "iron woks" that I am looking at ....are they likely to behave like carbon steel woks or cast iron woks? I realize this is most likely splitting hairs etc. but I just want to know what the deal would be here.

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