stoompotAllready 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty ​​potter Yang Li in Jianshui made a steam trap with a hollow tube in the middle. Similar to a pottery cake tin (with a hole or chimney in the middle).
In it was “qiguoji" or "chicken steam trap” made ​​, still a well-known culinary specialty in Yunnan Province.

The bottom of the pot is a little tapered, so it always fits on another vessel (containing water).

Benefits compared to other known contemporary boilers
they are easier to maintain because there is only one central opening instead of dozens of little holes,
taste (herbs) and nutritional value of the food is better because it does not leak through the many holes in the bottom or basket,
You can also steam soups, sauces, fruit or stew in it.

Unlike baking and roasting in steaming is no oil or grease needed, and
less energy is needed, because only a small amount of water is brought to boil, and cooks the food at a relatively low temperature (<100° C).
You can also defrost or warm food in it without it’s drying.

The French-American potter Laurent Merchant rediscovered the pot and produces him again.

A Dutch company sells a similar aluminum version (as wonder pan) with the glass lid that makes it a furnace to bake cake and bread (in turban form). You can bake without oven on a stove or fire. The heat rises through the central ‘chimney ‘and is held by the lid of the pot.
(The same idea as in the volcano boiler (kettle).)

A wok is a thin-walled steel pan with the shape of a half- ball, it is used for stir-frying. The shape fits every fireplace opening (with or without rings, directly on the fire). But not on flat or electric stoves. You can cook economically with them by the thickness and shape: a relatively small fire with little fuel heats the small bottom quickly and requires little cooking oil. But you have to keep stirring and / or tossing. The upper parts are less hot areas.
Vegetables and meat are cut into small pieces that quickly and evenly cook. Also by making all the ingredients in one pan ready you save fuel.
The original Chinese users were nomads, the pan had to be light. And is therefore fast heated. Another story says that soldiers used their helmet creative and double.
Due to the short preparation time, the vegetables remain crisp and retain many vitamins and minerals.

A new wok is thoroughly washed and rinsed, then burned, rub with oil, again briefly burned , scrubbed with hot water, onions (or anything else) fried and discarded and brush again with hot water. Then never use detergent anymore.
(In our region pans never were washed. Shame to rinse away the fat. Rarely was scrubbed with hot water, which was then still usedin the pig food.)
Since the steel wok must never be defatted there will be a thin layer of carbon on the surface that has typical anti -stick properties. ("The blacker the wok the better the cook.) The preparation technique and this layer provide characteristic wok flavor and aroma.

A wok has a long wooden handle and is of hammered steel (knocked into spherical shape). The similar thicker wall wadjan of Indonesian cuisine has two handles or ears.

Who bothers to cook TV dinners? I suck them frozen. (Woody Allen)