What Is a Wok Stand?

A. Leverkuhn

A wok stand is a simple accessory for cooking. This basic element, which is usually made out of hard metal, helps to support the wok, a traditional large bowl-shaped pan that cooks often use for stir-fries and various Asian dishes. The wok stand is a specific kitchen utensil that may or may not be part of a restaurant or home kitchen, depending on the kind of cuisine that is usually cooked there. Although some claim that woks are only meant to be used over fire pits and not over kitchen ranges, many cooks do prefer them to flat pans, and use a combination of a wok and a stand to get more diverse results for frying.

A wok stand bolsters the wok itself when cooking Asian-inspired dishes.
A wok stand bolsters the wok itself when cooking Asian-inspired dishes.

The popularity of wok stands have grown in both domestic and commercial kitchens because the wok is a relatively unstable cooking tool. The shape of the pan makes it easy for these items to fall over if set on a flat surface. The wok stand provides additional stability for safety.

As durable, simply shaped items, wok stands are typically made of stainless steel or some type of metal alloy. These round stands often have holes in order to provide air ventilation. Without these vent holes, air might build up between the bottom of the wok stand and the range top, causing excessive heat or pressure.

While many wok stand models for electric ranges may be only several inches tall, models designed for gas burning stoves may be a bit taller. Specific designs apply to either of these uses, though some models may be used for both electric and gas ranges. Wok stands may also need to be chosen depending on the size of the burner that will be used.

One challenge with the wok stand is that many cooks like to use the wok to shake the contents, and move them around inside the bowl. When the cook picks up the wok off of the stand and shakes it, the bottom of the pan has to go back down into the stand or holder. The best wok stands allow for this kind of transition, while some low quality models may not effectively serve this function.

The wok stand can be an effective safety tool in the kitchen. It’s important to read the complete owner’s manual for this accessory to recognize the best and most practical uses for this tool. Always take proper precautions to prevent burns from range tops, hot food, or boiling liquids.

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