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What to look for in lightweight stir-fry pans

Instead of a heavy-gauge—and expensive—pan, look for a mid-range one that’s light enough to pick up easily, even when full of food.

Fine Cooking Issue 88
Photo: Scott Phillips
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In many of our stir-fry recipes, we call for a 12-inch skillet or a stir-fry pan. Why not a traditional wok? Well, a classic round-bottom wok is designed to sit directly in the cooking flames. When that style is used on a western stovetop, with a ring, the result is largely unsatisfactory for stir-frying—only the very bottom of the pan gets hot enough. If your stove is one of the few with a special high-powered wok burner, then by all means use it with a traditional wok for stir-fry recipes. For the rest of us, a stir-fry pan is a better solution. The Circulon Total open stir-fry pan, pictured here, is $40 at Amazon.com.

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