Frying Pan vs Wok: Difference and Comparison

Cooking is a skill that is required in everyone’s lives. Different dishes require different utensils to be cooked.

There may be a lot of cooking utensils that look very similar but are different, or are different but may serve the same purpose. Of two utensils are a Frypan and a Wok.

Key Takeaways

  1. Frying pans have a flat bottom and shallow sides, while woks have a round bottom and high, sloping sides.
  2. Frying pans are suitable for various cooking methods like sautéing, frying, and browning, while woks excel at stir-frying and deep-frying.
  3. Woks distribute heat more evenly and allow faster cooking than frying pans due to their shape and high heat capacity.

Frying pan vs Wok

A frying pan, is a flat-bottomed pan with slightly sloping sides and a long handle. It is commonly used for frying, sautéing, and searing foods. A wok is a deep, rounded cooking vessel with high, sloping sides and a small flat bottom. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine for stir-frying.

Frying pan vs Wok

Frying pans are made up of stainless steel. The material is known for its durability and versatility.

It is an excellent material for heating as well. Stainless steel of high quality can last for ages without causing any trouble.

It is safe for ovens and great for cooking meats.

A wok is made up of Cast iron, it heats up much faster.

This is a time saver as it can cook the food much faster, plus it can cook a large amount of food at one going.

The wok works by heating as well as preparing dishes quickly due to its own steeply sloping edges.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonFrying panWok
Structure of the vessel.The frying pan is a flat bottom cooking utensil.The wok is a round bottom cooking utensil.
Sloping WallsFrying pans have fewer deep sloping walls.Woks have deeper sloping walls.
Material UsedFrying pans are made of Carbon steel which is not oven safe but does not react to the food of acidic nature.Woks are made of stainless steel which is oven safe and might react to foods acidic in nature.
Oil-distributionThe distribution of oil Oil is evenly distributed on the surface.Oil accumulates to the bottom of the utensil.
Heat retention capacityThey have a very high heat retention capacity.They have comparatively lesser heat retention capacity.
WeightWeight Frying pans are comparatively heavier.Woks are comparatively lighter.
Cooking SpeedCooking speed is comparatively slowerCooking speed is comparatively faster.
UsageIt is best for stir-frying vegetables.It is best for cooking meat.

What is a Frying pan?

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A frying pan is in short, alternatively known as a frypan. It is a cooking utensil that has a flat bottom and is about a size of around 20 inches in circumference.

A frying pan can be available in various forms. Like there are frying, most are used on gas stoves but there are also frypans that can be used for induction cooking.

The circumference of the frypan rises about an inch or two from the bottom of the surface and has a long handle to hold to the pan. In earlier days, fry pans were made of cast iron.

However cast iron frypans are much heavier, so present copper, stainless steel, and fry pans constructed of other materials are available in the market.

The fry pan was invented by George Beauchamp and when it was launched in the market it was an instant success.

When contrasted to subgrade frying, this method is distinguished by the use of very little cooking oil, only enough to moisten the surface.

Within the instance of a fatty item like spam, no additional grease or cholesterol may be required.

This technique depends on added fat as a heat flow channel, and also the proper heating rate to avoid overcooking or burning the meal. Items like meats and shellfish can benefit from pan-frying to keep their dampness.

There are two different kinds of “frying pans.”

Ancient Cycladic is one of them as such “Kampos types,” with just a single edge ornamented by carved bars enclosing swirls, and a square grip having a crossbar, as well as a primary round area, adorned with carved revolving coils around with a galactic center.

A “Syros type” has a hollow unornamented edge and a double grip; the central circular area is adorned with imprinted circular patterns or swirls, many with embossed pictures of sailing ships.

frying pan

What is a Wok?

A Wok is a traditional Chinese cooking utensil, originally and majorly is used in China.

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A wok is a huge round bottom vessel used for cooking almost everything, beginning from frying, to making soup or to any other dish.

The handle of a wok is pretty long which prevents the person cooking to get injured from the cooking heat. Authentic Chinese Cuisines only use a wok.

The form of Wok has become the most significant indication. The bottom of a traditional wok is rounded.

Because of being molded, hand-hammered woks are occasionally spun inside, providing it a subtle curve to the border which helps to slide material up the edges.

Woks produced in Developed nations occasionally have flat bases, making these more like a frypan.

A conventional circular paddle or ladle can pretty much scoop massive amounts of stuff there at the base of a wok then swirl it about in a round-bottom wok; this is impossible with a flat-bottom wok.

A wok is made of cast iron and is pretty heavy.

A wok will produce incredibly reliable and effective outcomes if one simply cuts and shred the vegetables equally while stir-frying.

Whenever it comes to weight management cooking in a wok is a very good option as the Foos rarely gets into touch directly with grease on rare occasions because the ingredients of the wok are continuously stirred while cooking. 

Main Differences Between Frying pan and Wok

  • A frying pan has flat bottom while a wok has a round bottom.
  • Due to the structural difference, the frying pan allows the oil to be evenly distributed around the surface while in wok it is concentrated on the center only.
  • Frying pans have fewer deeper sloping walls than in a wok.
  • The most common material used for making frying pans is stainless steel, whereas in the case of a wok is carbon steel.
  • In a frying pan, cooking is relatively slower than in a wok.
  • Frying pans are great for meat cooking while woks are best for stir-frying vegetables.
  • Frying pans have a higher heat retention capacity than woks because of the material used.
  • Frying pans are heavier than woks.
Difference Between Frying Pan and Wok
References
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/302979.303113
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001141

Last Updated : 16 July, 2023

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