I have owned Ikea's Pyra wok for around 7 years and it's still going strong today. I remember buying it because I liked the idea of stir fried food as a healthy tea but, as with most things with me, I didn't want to spend much on the equipment as it would potentially be a one week wonder and I'd move onto other things. I can't remember the exact price that I purchased the wok for with it being so long ago, but I'm sure it was around £3. Unfortunately, it no longer seems to be available on their website but sometimes pops up on Amazon for a similar price.
With that small price tag, I have very little to complain about with this wok. I am not a huge chef so I can only comment on my use for basic stir fry recipes and not much more but this wok has been great for my uses. It's main material is metal and covers a large surface area (it's 35cm in diameter) and is also quite deep (I'd say around 12cm) so when stirring it's contents fast, I've very rarely found that I've lost any over the sides which I used to with a similar meal in my standard frying pan. I usually buy one large pre packed stir fry vegetable bag and a similar sized pack of egg noodles - with those and two chicken breasts the wok only ends up two thirds full!
It comes with a long handle on one side that's quite smooth to touch but is easy to hold onto. It's made from wood so is hand friendly - I don't have asbestos hands so it's a big thing for me! The handle also features a small metal loop that means it can be hung up if desired. There's a small wooden handle on the other side of the pan that allows it to be picked up on each side to shake the contents if you'd rather do that than stir them. It comes with a non stick coating covering the whole pan area which has been fantastic - I very rarely find that the food sticks to the pan if I stir the contents around a few times just to help it alongside a little bit of olive oil. The coating has also not come off the pan at all in all the time I've used it. It still looks in pretty good condition and I feel I'll be able to get a couple more years from it at least.
The only small issue that doesn't really bother me but may bother others is the wok's weight. It is a very weighty thing compared to a smaller frying pan and some may find it a little hard to handle, especially if you want to keep lifting it up to shake the contents around. Obviously the other smaller handle helps with this, but I very rarely do and instead use a spatula to stir everything to save me picking it up. With it's weighty feel, the wok is sturdy and robust.
It's large size has caused me a few issues of storage in the kitchen too - if you have a small kitchen it might not be the best option unless you can think of a designated space to keep it. Ours is fairly small but I've managed to find a shelf for it now and keep other pans stored on top of it inside. It does take up the whole of one shelf though! Because of it's large size, I tend to wash it in the sink rather than place it in the dishwasher so I'm not sure how it would get on in there. I did go to place it in there once but found it took up most of the bottom rack so decided to continue to hand wash it. It washes easily with very little problems. Again due to the size, I find it best to dry it straight away so it's not taking up loads of room on the drainer.
I would recommend this wok if you can find one, although I've taken a star off due to it's weight. I don't think it's fair to take another off for it's bulkiness because that really is the point of the wok compared to a frying pan. Four stars is appropriate and if mine gives up, I would definitely repurchase it, availability allowing.
Thanks for reading :o)
Ikea is hell on earth as far as I am concerned, you need to make your way round the maze that is their store in order to pick up the one item you wanted to buy and always end up with loads of impulse buys en route. The Pyra wok was one of those unplanned purchases as I thought that I couldn't go far wrong at just £3 and it has turned out to be a brilliant buy.
Woks are far preferable to frying pans when it comes to stir frying food due to the way that the heat is distributed and also the fact that there is plenty of room to toss the ingredients around without them flying outside the pan. The large size of the Pyra wok makes it ideal for cooing a meal for the whole family although it can also cope well with a smaller meal for one. As far as I can tell, the heat seems to be evenly distributed around the pan meaning there are no hot spots where food gets burned.
The wok is coated in a non stick surface which you need to take care not to scratch during cooking by only using plastic and metal utensils. I seasoned the Wok before first use by heating up really hot oil to seal the surface and I don't know if it makes a difference but in the couple of years I have owned the wok (although I do tend to use it infrequently) the surface looks as good as new. Because of the surface, you can only wash in the sink and not the dishwasher but due to the large size I doubt it would fit into an appliance anyway.
As well as using the wok for stir fries, I have ended up using it as an extra saucepan on occasion for things like pasta sauces which I am making in bulk. It works well for that, the food has never stuck to the pan or burnt.
The one downside of the wok is the fact that with the large handle on one side and a smaller handle on the other then it is huge and takes up a huge amount of cupboard space. The long wooden handle does make it easier to use when cooking than the traditional smaller handles on a wok, just be aware that you need a lot of room to store it.
The Ikea Pyra wok has proved to be a great buy, extremely cheap and great quality.
I like to do a bit of cooking in the kitchen... I tried it in the bathroom but I couldn't get the cooker to work... and when I'm cooking I like to try my hand at almost anything, with-in reason of course.
But, as with anything in life, if you want a job doing properly then it's best to have the right tools, which is especially right when it comes to creating certain dishes, such stir fries, when a good sized wok is needed rather than a frying pan.
* Why a wok then, instead of a frying pan? I can hear you asking.
Well, when it comes to a mass input of such items as noodles, vegetables, bean sprouts and what ever else you want to throw into your stir fry, the larger the heated surface the better, which is where a wok works best.
Allow me to explain.
With a frying pan most of the heat needed is on the bottom of the pan. The section when the pan touches the heat source, be that a flame from the gas or a plate from the electric. So the main cooking heat is on the bottom of the pan with the sides of the pan only being there to keep the food from slopping over the edges.
A wok, however, is designed to heat up all over, not just on the base a the heat source, but also up the sides as well, with the whole 'pan' heating up enough to use as a cooking source.
Are you still with me...?
So, with the sides and the base of the wok now being able to be used as the cooking area then the entire contents can be cooked quickly at the same time instead of only the part of the foodstuff that is touching the bottom of the pan.
And that is what a wok does. It heats up all over so that you can cook your stir fry, using the entire 'pan', quicker without burning parts of it whilst other parts stay raw.
So when it comes to woks a lot of people will always opt for the one that cost more. Maybe heading for the shelves that house those 'celebrity' branded woks tha are supposed to be the best on the market.
I've done it myself. I have been using a 'celebrity' branded wok for a while, believing that you get what you pay for and, as I don't like to ruin food, I tend to pay a little extra when it comes to kitchen 'bits and bobs'.
How wrong was I? and, more to the point. How wrong is the pricing of these so called 'top of the range' woks?
What I mean by that is that a while back a friend of mine told me about a wok he had been using. One which he was quite impressed with, more so because of the ridiculously low price that he had managed to get this wok for.
A few days later, when I was in a particular store that he had bought the wok from, with me being there to get something else, I saw the same wok there at the price he had claimed.
So, on impulse, I bought the wok and added it to my shopping basket, soon getting it home and trying it out on a stir fry of anything I could get my hands on in the fridge and veg cupboard.
And how pleased was I...? I was so impressed I no longer use my celebrity endorsed wok and just have that on show to make my kitchen look good.
The wok I am so impressed with is on fact a wok from Ikea, who also sell other things too, with this wok being the Ikea Pyra Wok...
* So what does it look like..?
It looks a bit like an upside down German helmet from WWI, sort of.
The body is made of a thin yet strong metal, with the wok itself being a good size.
The top rim has a diameter of about 350mm and is about 100mm deep, sort of tapering inwards to a 150mm base that sits on the heat source.
It has two handles in total, one at the front, sort of, or the main handle, which is made of a single piece of wood that is about 170mm long and about 30mm in diameter at its middle section. Right on the end of this handle there is a steel hook so that this wok can be hung up in the kitchen.
Then there's the second handle, which is opposite the main one and is 'grip' handle than a holding handle, a little like a handle on a suit case, if you will.
The entire length of the pan, from the edge of the main handles hook to the end of the 'suitcase' handle, is about 550mm, roughly.
Both the handles have the same style wooden covering so they don't hold any heat which could burn fingers and hands.
The handles are attached to the metal of the wok by strong rivets that are filed down to a smooth finish so that they don't pose a danger to fingers of food.
* Is it easy to use..?
It's a wok...! Or a posh pan.
All you have to do is lightly 'grease' the inner surface, heat up the wok on your hob/light, then, when things are beginning to hiss and spit, throw in your bits and bobs in what ever order you have to and stir until everything is cooked.
At the end of the day it's a posh pan with a larger cooking surface really.
* Does it work..?
It works a lot better than a Jeremy Kyle show fan without a doubt. But then again, what doesn't work better than that..?
As the entire 'pan' of the wok heats up at the same temperature as the bottom of the pan the cooking time is a lot less than if you use a normal frying pan.
As long as you do a bit of stirring then you shouldn't be left with any burnt bits in your stir fry.
* What about cleaning...?
This again is as easy as wiping out a metal bowl... well, in normal circumstances anyway. I mean, if you burn your food then you will have to scrap a bit, with a wooded or plastic device, not a metal one as this will cause damage to the wok. Or you could leave it to soak in hot soapy water, loosening the burn stuff, and then give it a bit of a rub down.
But if you don't burn food then, as long as you've greased up properly, a simple wipe over should suffice.
* And what do I think..?
This is a cracking pan, or wok, to give it it's proper name, and I have used it over and over again without any real troubles at all.
It's a lovely weight, even when loaded with noodles, bean sprouts and other stir fry ingredients and even if things do get a little on the heavier side then, due to the two handles on this wok, you can carry this from the cooker to the work top without breaking your wrist or burning your hands.
As for the handles, these are well attached to the main 'pan' by a couple of sturdy rivets that don't seem to want to move, even if I wanted them too. Then there's the hook on the main handle is slotted into the wood in such a way that there's very little danger of that coming out in a hurry, even if it does turn around a little bit, which does help when it comes to hanging it up on a hook in the kitchen.
I have, shall I say, 'over cooked' food on it a few times, I mean, who has never 'over cooked' food when trying a bit too hard? Those that say they have never burnt food are either liars or they live on sandwiches and pot noodles, (other 'lumpy' food in a plastic tub is available). But I've never had an issues when it comes to cleaning anything off it, using the good old soaking method for those stubborn bits that just don't want to let go.
The black covering of the metal does scratch away easy, even if you use 'softer' materials in it such as would and plastic, but it's not really a problem as it doesn't stop the wok from doing what it does. Plus, as long as you give it a good cleaning, maybe even before use, then there's no hassles with food hygiene either.
So now my wok does look a little bit on the 'worn out' side but I like to think that it is more 'well used' rather than 'scruffy', and it still does exactly what it is supposed to do, it woks around the clock, or more woks when I want a stir fry or even a curry dish as this sort of dish cooks just as well in this wok
* So what about the price of this wok..?
This is the good part. This wok sells for no more than a few quid... yes, this wok sells for £3.00.
* Would I recommend this wok...?
Yes I would, especially if you don't want to spend that much money on something that you may not use that often. Or, even if you plan on living off stir fries for ever, then this will do the job and should last you quite some time.
When I first moved into my own place, way back a few years ago now I remember sitting in an empty place wondering how the heck I was going to get everything I felt that I needed on a tight budget. I found myself constantly looking for the cheapest of the cheap things and Ikea was a Godsend along with Argos and Primark to get my bits and bobs from.
This I bought (4 years ago now) from Ikea and I bought it for £2.50 at the time and even now it only retails at £2.99, still cheap for a large wok me thinks!
What attracted me in the first place was actually not only that it looked nice but that when I picked it up it was rather lightweight, none stick coated and really big.
In design it looks really nice and really great quality and its suitable for using on gas or electric cookers and on high heats too.
The main of the wok is made up of the large bowl area of course. It has high/deep sides and is black in colour and like I said earlier is none stick coated and then to one end of the wok bowl you have a wooden handle which is stubby and then the main handle is made of the same light wood with a silver hook to the end of it for hanging it up should you want to do so.
However this isn't the best quality item of course you can buy, as the initial outlay cost suggests. I had mine only a couple of months of using it often to whip up stir-fries in, in the main and it got scratched although I only used wooden and plastic utensils in it and took care to wash it just with a cloth or sponge and not only that although I dried it thoroughly after using it, it started to rust and had to go in the bin.
However before it went to rubbish I could really cook alot of food within this cos the wok is so deep and I liked the fact that, that there were two handles to it for ease of lifting it and cos they were wood they never got too hot to handle so i never got burnt hands or fingers!
You could shove this in a dishwasher but like I have stated earlier the quality of this really isn't great and you get no more than what you pay for but its ok if your on a budget, only want to to use it occasionally and are mega careful using it but even then it won't last long but for less that £3.00 it isn't awful considering and least you can use it a while!
Only available from Ikea stores.
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
I bought this wok when I realised I'd left my old wok at my old house when I'd moved out. It cost less than £3 so I wasn't expecting it to be particularly good quality, but as I didn't use my old wok too often, I wasn't too bothered and didn't want to splash out on a really expensive one. I've now had the wok for about a year and probably only a few times each month.
The good things about this wok are the low price and the fact it's got a big capacity so you can cook a lot of food in it all in one go and feed a lot of people. The wok looks nice with a dark grey colour and 2 big wooden handles on either side. In my opinion, it looks nicer than some of the more expensive woks you can buy! The heat proof handles make it really easy to carry the wok to the table when it's full of food. The handles also feel very sturdy and it's shown no sign of wanting to break at all.
The downside is, after about 6 or 7 months, the non-stick coating started to come off and the metal underneath started to rust. I've been careful with it and not used metal utensils so am surprised this has happened so quickly. However, as it was so cheap, I'll probably buy another to replace it rather than buy something expensive!