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    The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Wok

    The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Wok

    Cooking with a wok can be quite an experience. The food flipping, the flames leaping. For some, a wok can seem daunting. And yet, a wok is about the simplest piece of cookware imaginable. It’s just a big ole bowl that cooks up a yummy heap of veggies and meats. Not quite so daunting, is it?

    Though if this is your first time deciding what’s the best wok to buy, deciphering the different types of woks can seem a bit overwhelming. In this handy buying guide, we break down the best material for a wok, explain the benefits of cast iron or carbon steel woks, talk nonstick and uncoated surfaces, get into how to use and how to season a wok, and a whole lot more.

    What’s the Best Material for a Wok?

    In many culinary circles, a debate has raged over this very question. The two primary answers tend to be either a cast iron or carbon steel wok. And now, as the dust has settled on the debate, the definitive answer seems to be: it depends.

    Advantages of Both Cast Iron and Carbon Steel:

    1. They both get hot and retains heat.
    2. They put on an unmatched sear on steaks, char on veggies, and complex carmelizations throughout.
    3. They build up a practically nonstick surface when seasoned with regular use and care.
    4. They develop a character that is all their own.

    Ok, so maybe our “it depends” is a bit of a cop-out. But you can see now how it’s totally true! The best material for a wok really does depend what kind of home cook you are and what kind of expectations you have from your cookware for its performance and care.

    So What’s the Best Wok to Buy for Me?

    Here are some handy recommendations for the best wok to buy, based on the different types of home cooks we encounter the most:

    If you’re a home chef looking to take it to the next level...

    Buy the Joyce Chen Professional Series 14-Inch Carbon Steel Wok with Phenolic Handles

     Joyce Chen wok with phenolic handles

    This is a large traditional wok made with 1.8mm heavy-duty carbon steel. It’s an uncoated surface, which over time with regular use and care, will develop that complex seasoning pro chef’s covet (check out our how-to-season-a-wok video).


    If you’re a purist looking for an authentic experience…

    Buy the Joyce Chen Classic Series 14-Inch Round Bottom Carbon Steel Wok with Birch Handles (and don’t forget the wok ring!)

    joyce chen round bottom 14-inch carbon steel wok with birch handles

    The round bottom wok has hundreds of years of incredible cooking behind it. Plus, the carbon steel will develop a beautiful coating with a custom character all its own with regular use and care.


    If you’re shopping for an impressive holiday or housewarming gift...

    Buy the Joyce Chen Classic Series Carbon Steel Nonstick Wok Set with Lid and Birch Handles, 4 Pieces

    joyce chen 4-piece nonstick carbon steel wok set with birch handles

    Not only is this a great starter set for anyone with a hankering for stir fry, but it’s also a no-fuss option, thanks to the nonstick wok surface and lid.


    If you just can’t make up your mind…

    Buy the Joyce Chen Professional Series 12-Inch Carbon Steel Excalibur Nonstick Stir Fry Pan with Phenolic Handle

    Joyce Chen Professional Series 12-Inch Carbon Steel Excalibur Nonstick Stir Fry Pan with Phenolic Handle

    This pan can do it all since it whips up so many dishes beyond stir-fry—from sauteed veggies to scrambled eggs. And the nonstick coating makes cleanup a cinch.

    So there you have it. Hopefully you (or your gift-ee) can identify with one of the above so you can make sure your wok is the perfect fit.



    7 Tips For Organizing Holiday Decorations

    7 Tips For Organizing Holiday Decorations

    It’s hard to pretend putting away holiday decorations is as fun as setting them up. Standing up the tree, watching strands of lights twinkle, rediscovering a special ornament: it’s magical. That said, packing up and storing decorations doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. With the right organization tactics (and mindset!), taking down decorations can both be a breeze and a bonding experience. Below are some of our best ideas and tips to save time and have some fun moving Christmas and holiday decorations into storage. 

    1. Upgrade the Ornament Storage

    red storage box

    Old newspaper. Recycled wrapping paper. Lightbulb boxes. Big empty bins. We’ve tried all the DIY ideas, and nothing comes close to this storage box specially made for ornaments. A huge time-saver when the tree has to come down.

    Buy the 120-Ornament Storage Box, Red ($45.99)

    *currently on sale for $39.09




    2. Reserve a Special Space for the Christmas Tree

    holiday tree storage bag

    It’s the king of all holiday decorations, so why not give it a palatial storage solution for the off-season? A dedicated Christmas tree storage bag doesn’t just protect branches, it keeps them all together to save time next year not having to hunt for a missing bough.


    Buy the Deluxe 7.5-Foot Christmas Tree Storage Bag, Navy ($69.99)

    *currently on sale for $59.09





    3. Keep The Kids Busy

    toy storage

    If kids aren’t loving the Christmas clean-up, try giving them ownership over organizing their playthings. With this toy storage organizer, they’ll feel in charge designating special places for their special things. Blocks can go in one bin, bricks in another, and only princess dolls with pretty purple dresses in THIS one.


    Buy the Kids Toy Storage Organizer with 12 Bins, Natural ($49.99)




    4. Keep the Wrapping Paper Supplies All Together in One Place

    gift wrapping storage box

    They say a perfectly wrapped present only requires three pieces of tape. And that’s fine, unless you can’t find the tape. Call off the hunt for a missing tape dispenser by storing it (plus ribbons, bows, and other gift-wrap accessories) with the wrapping paper rolls in one single container.

    Buy the Wrapping Paper Storage Container with Compartments and Pockets, Red ($24.99)

    *currently on sale for $21.24




    5. Commit to Giving Thoughtful Gifts Year-Round

    craft storage cart

    Birthdays, anniversaries, or national pancake day? No matter the pretense, a beautifully wrapped present with crisp creases, a satiny bow, and curlicued ribbons brightens anyone’s day. And a rolling wrapping paper storage cart makes those thoughtful, perfect presents all the more within reach.

    Buy the Wrapping Paper Storage and Rolling Craft Cart with Drawers, White ($118.99)

    *currently on sale for $101.14




    6. Think of Wreaths as a Seasonal Design Element

    holiday wreath storage bag

    Wreaths are up on our doors all year. After the holidays, we swap evergreen boughs for something wintry, minimalist, and twiggy. In spring, the wreath is fresh and floral. And when winter rolls around again, our holiday wreath is primed for a return after a slumber in this handy (and very merry) storage bag.

    Buy the 36-Inch Wreath Storage with Clear View Panel, Very Merry Plaid ($26.99)

    *currently on sale for $22.94




    7. Have a Catch-All Bin at the Ready

    holiday storage box

    Oddly shaped decorations, random wintry trinkets, the novelty light-up red reindeer nose you’re not quite ready to part ways with? This is the box to toss it all into.

    Buy the Deluxe Holiday Storage Box ($24.99)

    *currently on sale for $21.24




    Shop 15%-off our entire holiday decorations storage assortment.

    Storage Carts: Organization On Wheels

    Storage Carts: Organization On Wheels

    Storage carts bring flexibility and functionality to your space that is unparalleled. No matter the room in your home, there is a storage cart that can help you organize it better so you can move on to checking off items on your bucket list.

    Read more