For the unfamiliar, a wok is deep, round-bottomed, Asian cooking pan — think frying pan meets satellite dish — that's great for everything from stir fry to soup to steaming. Get the most wok for your money with this buying guide.
Like any other kitchen implement there are cheap woks, sturdy and economical woks, and the price point where you're just paying a premium for fancy styling and brand names. Over at the culinary blog Serious Eats they've put together a guide to purchasing a wok to help you get the best wok for your money. They explain wok shapes and handle configurations, material used for woks, and why you want to buy a spun or hand-hammered wok over a stamped one — the texture of the hammered and spun woks is critical to good stir-frying.
While we'd recommend reading the entire article— it's extremely informative, especially if you're a wok novice! — for the impatient among you here's the wok Serious Eats recommends:
There are a number of woks that match these criteria, but the The Joyce Chen Flat-Bottomed Wok (14 inches) ($29.95) is our favourite. It features heavy gauge carbon steel, a riveted heat-resistant phenolic-plastic Northern-style handle with a helper handle, and is extremely inexpensive.
Have a cooking tip or trick to share? A clever use for a wok? Let's hear about it in the comments.