The Must-have Chinese Kitchen Equipment for the Home Cook

When it comes to cooking Chinese cuisine, having the right Chinese kitchen equipment is essential. From woks to cleavers, there are a variety of tools that can make preparing and cooking your favorite dishes easier and more efficient. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the essential Chinese kitchen equipment that no home cook should be without.


A wok is a versatile piece of kitchen equipment that has been used in Chinese cooking for centuries. The unique shape of the wok allows it to be heated quickly and evenly, making it ideal for high-heat stir-frying, deep-frying, braising, and steaming. When shopping for a wok, it’s important to look for one made of carbon steel or cast iron. These materials retain heat well and create a better non-stick surface than other types of metal. Carbon steel is the most traditional and economical choice, while cast iron is a great option if you want a wok that will last a lifetime. If you plan on using your wok often, make sure to season it regularly with oil to maintain its non-stick properties.


When it comes to Chinese kitchen equipment, the cleaver is an absolute must-have. A cleaver is a large knife that looks like a hatchet with a sharpened rectangular blade. It can be used for a variety of tasks such as chopping, slicing, and mincing.

The weight of the cleaver can make it challenging to use at first, but as you become more experienced you will learn to appreciate its versatility and how it can make many kitchen tasks easier. The cleaver can also be used to cut through bones, making it an ideal choice for preparing meat dishes.

When shopping for a cleaver, look for one with a sharp blade that is made from high-quality steel. It should be thick enough to take the abuse of repeated cutting, but thin enough to allow you to easily slice through food. It’s also important to find a cleaver that fits comfortably in your hand so that you have good control while using it.

With proper care and maintenance, a cleaver can last you a lifetime. Make sure you keep the blade sharpened and properly oiled. This will help prevent rust and ensure that your cleaver continues to perform well for years to come.

Steamer baskets

One of the most essential pieces of Chinese kitchen equipment is a steamer basket. These bamboo baskets, which sit atop a wok, are a great way to steam vegetables and meats, creating deliciously flavorful dishes with minimal fat or oil. Steaming has long been a traditional cooking method in China, as it preserves the freshness and nutrition of ingredients while creating tender and delicious results.

When selecting a steamer basket for your kitchen, look for one made of bamboo. Bamboo is lightweight and resistant to heat, so it won’t warp or change shape over time. It also gives an authentic flavor to steamed dishes. Look for baskets with tight lids that seal in moisture and heat.

Using a steamer basket is easy: First, fill the wok with a few inches of water and bring it to a rolling boil. Place the steamer basket on top of the wok and add ingredients such as vegetables, chicken, fish, or dumplings. Cover the basket with its lid and let the food steam until it is cooked through. Once it is done, use tongs to remove the steamer basket and serve the food right away.

When not in use, store your steamer basket in a dry location. To keep it clean, brush off any crumbs or food particles after each use. Regularly wipe down the steamer basket with a damp cloth, and avoid cleaning it with soap or detergents.

With a good quality steamer basket, you can enjoy many delicious Chinese dishes that are full of flavor and nutrition. From steamed buns and dumplings to fish and vegetables, your meals will be healthy and delicious.

Rice cookers

Rice cookers are a must-have in any Chinese kitchen. They can help you prepare perfect rice every single time, with minimal effort. Rice cookers are incredibly versatile, as they can be used to cook other grains like barley and oats, as well as legumes like lentils and split peas.

There are two main types of rice cookers: electric and stovetop. Electric models use a heating element to keep the rice at a constant temperature, while stovetop models rely on boiling water to heat the grains. Both will produce perfectly cooked rice, but electric models are usually more convenient and require less monitoring.

When buying a rice cooker, look for one with an adjustable timer, allowing you to set the machine to start cooking at a predetermined time. Also, look for one with a “keep warm” feature, so you can enjoy freshly cooked rice even if you’re not around when it finishes cooking.

Some models also have additional features such as brown rice settings, steam baskets for steaming vegetables, and even slow-cooker functions. If you’re looking for something more advanced, you might want to check out induction rice cookers, which are considered the most efficient and precise models available.


Chinese kitchen equipment is an essential part of cooking delicious Chinese meals. With the right equipment, you can create a wide range of dishes with ease. Woks, cleavers, steamer baskets, and rice cookers are all staples in a Chinese kitchen, allowing you to stir-fry, chop and steam your favorite dishes with ease. Whether you’re a professional chef or just a home cook, having the right Chinese kitchen equipment is key to creating great-tasting meals. Invest in quality pieces and take care of them and you’ll be able to enjoy delicious Chinese food for years to come.

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