If you love the flavor and simplicity of a stew, having a wok will facilitate the necessary quick frying and the wonderful flavors that come from it.
But in today’s market, there is a lot of variety to choose from. There are traditional woks that require seasoning and develop their taste with each use, and there are some of a more contemporary character, suitable for those who prefer to clean their pots after each use, or appreciates the aesthetics of a polished collection of kitchen utensils.
So to help with the decision process, let’s take a brief look at the history of the wok and its features. Next, we’ll look at some product reviews, covering both the traditional and modern versions of this excellent frying pan.
Our Top Pick
Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 10 Best Carbon Steel Wok To Buy In 2021
Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10 Best Carbon Steel Wok Review
- [Wok Set & Cookwares] - KAQINU 14 piece wok pan set includes wok pan with lid, wok spatula, wok brush, wok ring, drain oil rack, chopstick, slotted spatula, spaghetti spoon, slotted spoon, rice spoon, soup ladle, carving fork and apron. Owning this all-in-one Chinese wok pan, make cooking easier, faster and more efficient, then your cooking life will be handier.
- [Suitable Size & Versatile Dishes] - With perfect size: 12.6"W and 3.7"D, KAQINU stir frying wok can serve at least 3-5 people of food portions which is ideal for entire family use or a small friend-gathering. It is excellent for you to get ready to enjoy all sorts of Asian cooking tasks including stir-frying, searing meat, deep-frying, braising, and steaming. Besides, the flat-bottom carbon steel wok pan is suitable for all types of stoves: gas, electric, halogen stove & induction.
- [Health, Durable & Fast Heat] - Made with high-quality black carbon steel, which develops ultra-durable and best-ever natural non-stick coating properties. Featured with non-chemical coating ensure a healthy diet. We adopt nitriding craftsmanship to avoid rusting so it more durable than the coated pan. The woks & stir-fry pans are light in weight and extremely fast in heating speed. The surface has a honeycomb design to reduce scratches and maintain the beauty of the wok.
- [Some Well-designed Details] - The exquisite packing wok set is a perfect gift. The step design made the wooden lid to match the pot, the V-shape soup mouth design is easy to pour soup, the detachable handle is easy to save, also easy to use in the oven. The ergonomic detachable handle is engineered solid wood anti-scalding design, can resist high temperature cooking, safe and comfortable to use. The hanging ring on the handle is designed for hanging storage, easy to dry, saving kitchen space.
- [Customer Service & Maintenance Tips] - For cooking lovers, We know how important to get a good wok pan. Therefore, we are willing to listen to every customer's comments and suggestions on our wok pan. Please refer to the user manual before use and cleaning in time and keep it dry after using iron wok to prevent the iron pan from rusting, It is best to coat with cooking oil after cleaning.
- Round Bottom Heavy 14 Inch 15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel wok, commercial grade. Original design by Craft Wok since 2014, proven quality over the years. Traditional chinese wok pan with round bottom.
- Not suitable for flat electric or flat induction stove. Carbon steel wok may rust. Do not forget to season it before use! Instructions for easy seasoning are included with the wok. Our customer service is ready to guide through the process whenever you need it.
- Hand hammered by Chinese professionals in Guangzhou. This wok is the proven choice of many professional Chinese chefs. Wok weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg). Heavy and sturdy.
- Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over high heat, also helpful for hanging the wok for storage. Wooden handle has special hygroscopic not slippery surface for tight grip when you stir-fry.
- Craft Wok - Love Wok! We are a team of professionals drawn together by our passion for the carbon steel wok. Our mission is to bring you as much pleasure from Stir-frying in a wok, as chefs get in restaurants across China. To do this, we have found the best manufacturers in China. Our range of branded products is 100% authentic traditional carbon steel woks, 8 years on market.
- PRE-SEASONED & NONSTICK: Carbon steel is the best wok material because it has a natural nonstick surface once seasoned. Our carbon steel wok is no chemical coating and is pre-seasoned at high temperatures over 1000F using nitrogen treatment for excellent wear resistance, fatigue resistance, corrosion resistance and high temperature resistance.
- GENUINE TASTE: Our large wok pan reacts quickly to heat adjustments and is specially designed to lock the juice and flavor inside the ingredients. With its greater curve and higher walls, heat is less concentrated on the flat bottom and better distributed up the walls. The high curvature results in a broader base for maximum area of heat transfer, allowing the burner flames to visibly hug the pow wok.
- VERSATILITY: Flat-bottomed wok is better suited for home use because it does not require a wok ring to sit well on any stovetop such as electric stoves, induction stoves, gas stoves, and other heat sources. In addition to stir-frying, with the Todlabe cooking wok, you can cook healthy meals using various traditional cooking techniques like pan-frying, braising, and deep-frying.
- COMFORTABLE HANDLE: The ergonomic design of the wooden handle ensures a comfortable grip and protection against burns. The wok body weighs 3.15 pounds and is 13 inches wide and 3.9 inches deep, and can serve at least 3-6 people food portions, which is ideal for the whole family or small gatherings.
- VERTICAL LID: The vertical lid design is more suitable for comfortable grip. You can make it “stand up” instead of lying on the countertop. Besides, Our Asian Cookware wok set also contains a stainless steel spatula.
- 【11PCS WOK SET】You not only have quality 12.8 inch carbon steel pan and wooden lid, but also get 10 accessories include slotted turner, ladle, spatula, skimmer, solid spoon, slotted spoon, egg whisk, wok brush, wok ring and pasta server. The step design wooden lid to precise match the pot and accelerate to your cooking, the soup mouth design is easy to pour soup, the detachable wooden handle is not hot and easy to save, also easy use in the oven.
- 【HONEYCOMB CARBON STEEL CONSTRUCTION DESIGN】Wok pan made of QUALITY black carbon steel and uses no chemical coating, so it SUPERB PERFORMANCE and DURABILITY for lifetime using. The wok lightweight and responds to heat changes quickly evenly, convenient for women to lift which can also sustain super high temperatures without damage. And also it surface has a honeycomb design which reduce food sticking to the pan, reduces scratches and maintains the beauty of the wok.
- 【SAFETY AND DURABLE WOK】The wok pan has been passed several safety tests,the flat base makes sure that it sits securely on for any stovetop, like electric stoves, induction stoves, gas ranges and other heat sources. We adopt nitriding craftsmanship to avoid rusting so it more durable than the coated pan.
- 【DIVERSE DAILY COOKING WAYS 】This wok pan is equipped with superior performance on heating and heat transfer. The carbon steel wok can be used in various cooking methods, like stir-frying food, searing meat pan-frying, braising, boiling, steaming, deep-frying and so on.
- 【WARM TIPS】Please refer to user manual before use and cleaning in time and keeping it dry after using iron wok to prevent the iron pan from rusting.
- Note: This is an iron wok. It is normal to be rust. Cleaning in time and keeping it dry can reduce rust. But it is best to coat with cooking oil after cleaning.
- What You Get：12.5-inch carbon steel pan, wooden lid, wok spatula, 12.5-inch cooking chopsticks, and Loofah pot brush.Worry-free 12-month warranty, and friendly customer service.
- Easy to use: Carbon steel is a commonly used material in wok nowadays. Compared with cast iron pans and stainless steel pans, it is light in weight and extremely fast in heating speed, and can be used in various cooking methods, such as frying, stir-frying, stewing, steaming, and so on.
- It's Durable: These woks are made of carbon steel, the surface is nitrided, no PFOA.So it more durable than the coated pan. Although it is not a non-stick pan, it will become more and more non-stick during the seasoning process.
- Suitable For All Stoves: The flat base makes sure it fits securely on any stovetop. Including electric stoves, induction stoves, gas ranges, and other heat sources. The removable wooden handle allows you to easily put it in the oven, oven safe to 450F.
- Light weight and Commercial Grade-Flat Bottom light weight 11 Inch cast iron wok, commercial grade. The flat bottom and light weight make handle easier and cook better. Flat base is sturdy and safer. Best choice Asian Food wok pan and Chinese wok pan. It is more affordable compared to stainless steel or even enameled cast iron, and will last forever due to its durable nature. It is best cooking pan, grill pan, cast iron cooker.
- It is suitable for electric, induction stove, and gas stove. Can be used as wok pan, cast iron pan, Cast iron skillet, pan for cooking, cast iron cookware, easy cookware, wok and stir fry pan, nonstick frying pan, non stick wok, flat bottom wok, induction wok.
- Nonstick and Rust Proof- It is pre-seasoned and ready to use. So not only do you get the superior taste from a pre-seasoned wok, but you also get the correct feel while making the food. It is Nonstick Wok Stir-Fry Pan, non stick pan, wok cookware.
- Wooden handle can support tight gripping and keep the handle cool when you stir-fry. It is great tool for stir fry, it is stir fry cookware, stir fry pan, stir fry pot, woks & stir-fry pans, deep frying pan, deep frying wok, iron pot, non stick fry pan, non-stick frying pan.
- Iron Material–The material of this wok is iron. It is healthy cookware, and eco-friendly. It is iron wok, iron pan, iron cookware, iron skillet, stir fying pan, stir egg pan, stir skillet, large roasting pan, steel pan, deep fryer pot, and this is making stir fry easy.
- 【Wok Set】13 pcs useful utensils are included in the package. Among them are 1 x Wok, 1 x Cover lid, 1 x Wok brush, 1 x Chopstick and 9 pcs stainless steel utensils. There are 1 x Rice spoon, 1 x Wok spatula, 1 x Slotted spatula, 1 x Slotted spoon, 1 x Spaghetti spoon, 1 x Soup ladle, 1 x Carving fork, 1 x Wok ring, 1 x Drain oil rack separately.
- 【Multifunctional Wok Pan】The wok pan can be utilized for a variety of cooking methods due to its very fast heating speed. Such as pan-frying, deep-fried, boiling, steaming etc. Besides, the carbon steel wok can be used on the induction stoves, electric stoves, gas ranges and other stoves.
- 【Carbon Steel Construction】The frying pan is made of high quality carbon steel, which is more durable than ordinary pans. This carbon steel wok heats up evenly and very quickly, and can also be used at extremely high temperatures without damage.
- 【Wooden Handle & Lid】 The heat-resistant wooden handle not only allows you to easily hold the wok, but the textured handle can effectively prevent slippage. In additions, the wooden lid can allow you to accelerate cooking soups, sauces and vegetables conveniently.
- 【Tips】The wok needs to be cleaned in time and kept dry to avoid rust, and it is best to apply a layer of cooking oil after cleaning.
- ✅Perfect Size and Various Dishes: The Eleulife carbon steel wok measures 13 inches wide and 3.9 inches deep, and can serve at least 3-6 people food portions, which is ideal for the whole family or small gatherings. This wok is specially designed to lock in the juices and flavors of the foods, you can study and taste authentic Chinese and other Asian cuisines in your home, suitable for various cooking tasks including stir-frying, searing meat, deep-frying, boiling, and steaming.
- ✅Premium Material and Fast Heating: The wok pan with lid is made of high-quality black carbon steel material, forged at high temperatures, and produced by traditional production technology. The carbon steel wok weighs 4.39lb, and the inner walls are thickened to make it stronger for superior performance and durability, allowing the wok pan to heat up faster and dissipate heat more evenly, which can save more cooking time and achieve optimal cooking performance.
- ✅Non-stick and Healthy Cooking: Compared to coated wok pan, the surface of this carbon steel pan is nitrided for non-stick, non-rust, and scratch-resistant, easy-to-clean properties. The nonstick wok help you cook healthier meals with less oil, and keep more nutrients and flavor. The wok pan with lid ensures that there is no chemical coating, so you don't have to worry about toxic substances and coating falling off, making your cooking healthier and more secure.
- ✅Comfortable Handle and Flat Bottom Design: The carbon steel pan handle use solid wood anti-scalding design, which provides safe stir-fry and comfortable grip at high temperatures. The handle can be detached or hung for storage to save space. The wok is designed with a flat bottom to make sure that it sits securely on any stovetop, like electric stoves, induction stoves, gas stoves, and other heat sources. Cooking is easier, faster, and more efficient with this Chinese wok.
- ✅No Pre-seasoned and Excellent Service: Our wok has been patented in the United States. The woks and stir-fry pans has been pre-seasoned before it leaves the factory, which help you avoid complicated steps. Our wok set contains a carbon steel wok, a carbon steel lid, and a stainless steel spatula. The nonstick wok comes with lifetime quality assurance. If you have any problems, please reach out to us. Add to your cart and start a new chapter in your cooking life.
- ✅No Need Pre-seasoned and Genuine Taste: The Eleulife carbon steel wok has been patented in the USA. Unlike unseasoned other woks, our wok has been pre-seasoned at high temperatures over 600F using unique hydraulic technology before it leaves the factory, which let you avoid complicated seasoned steps. The wok pan with lid will help you cook healthier meals with less oil, and lock in the nutrients and flavor of the foods.
- ✅Nonstick and No Chemical Coating: Compared to coated wok pan, the surface of this carbon steel wok is nitrided for non-stick, non-rust, and easy-to-clean, scratch-resistant properties. The nonstick wok ensures that there is no chemical coating, so you don't have to worry about toxic substances and coating falling off, making your cooking healthier and more secure.
- ✅Excellent Material and Even Heating: This woks & stir-fry pans is an ideal choice for professional chefs. The carbon steel pan is made of high-quality black carbon steel material, forged at high temperatures, and produced by traditional production technology. The inner walls of the wok pan are thickened to make it stronger for superior sturdiness and durability, allowing the flat bottom wok to heat up faster and more evenly for achieving optimal cooking performance.
- ✅Suitable Size and Versatile Dishes: The wok pan with lid weighs 4.39lb, measures 13 inches wide and 3.9 inches deep, and can serve at least 3-6 people food portions, which is great for the whole family or small gatherings. This induction wok is suitable for various cooking tasks, such as stir-frying, frying, deep-frying, boiling, steaming and so on, you can study and taste authentic Chinese and other Asian cuisines in your home. Our cooking wok set contains a carbon steel wok, a glass lid, and a stainless steel spatula. Saving you money！
- ✅Comfortable Handle and Flat Bottom Design: The nonstick wok use solid wooden handle to prevent scalding, which provides safe stir-fry and comfortable grip at high temperatures. The handle can be detached or hung for storage to save space. The wok pan is designed with a flat bottom to make sure that it sits securely on any stovetop, like induction cooktops, gas stoves, electric stoves, and other heat sources. Cooking is easier, faster, and more efficient with this Chinese wok.
- HEATS QUICKLY & EVENLY: Adapted from a traditional round-bottom stainless steel Chinese wok, our 13-inch large pan offers a wide and deep nonstick surface that is ideal for stir fry, steaming, deep frying, boiling, and searing.
- HEAVY DUTY DESIGN: The 3-layer woks are made of rust-resistant stainless steel for gas, induction or electric cooktop use. Built with an ergonomic handle and aluminum core that forms a scratch-resistant, nonstick surface. Dishwasher and oven safe.
- INCLUDES DOME LID & BAMBOO SPATULA: Along with this 13-inch, 4 lb stainless steel wok come 2 bonus items to complete the set: 1 stainless steel dome cover lid, and 1 stainless steel bamboo handle spatula. Great induction cookware!
- MASTER THE HEALTHY ONE-PAN DINNER: Woks and stir fry pans help make healthy cooking easier, faster and more efficient! This oversized wok lets you cook large servings and transition them to the dining table without ever dirtying another pan.
- A HOUSEWARMING PRESENT: Birthdays and holidays aren’t the only times to give gifts. Know someone moving into a new apartment or who just bought a house? This nonstick wok with lid makes for a perfect contribution to the new chapter in their life.
Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The wok is considered to be one of the most versatile cooking pans, perfect for stir frying and to use in recipes like our lemon chicken quinoa bowls. A fairly recent development in cookware, its use can be verified in China some 2,000 years ago. However, historians and metallurgists can’t agree if it was invented there, or if the wok is a utensil originally borrowed from other cultures.
Regardless of its country of origin, it is one of the most common cooking pans used today throughout Asia, and is now well known and loved in the western hemisphere as well.
The earliest evidence of woks were pottery models in found in Chinese tombs equipped with ovens for the afterlife, and archeology records the first metal woks as dating from the Han Dynasty, circa 200 BC-200 AD.
As pans of a similar shape and size were used in in India and Southeast Asia as well, archeologists speculate that the Chinese wok is an idea that was adopted from neighboring regions. These people used metal buckets turned upside down to serve as braziers for the quick frying of foods – the origins of stir frying.
Its first purpose was for drying grains, and much later farmers adapted it for the spreading and drying of tea leaves. Evidence of the thin slicing of foods, a preparation technique used in stir frying, is first found in the mid-1200s.
It was during the 13th century that tribes of central Asian nomads were expanding their territories.
Most were very open to adopting and adapting the technologies of the surrounding cultures that they traveled through.
Among these nomads were the Mongols, who were unifying these divergent, migrating clans and their cooking methods. For the Mongols, cooking utensils needed to be lightweight and easily transported to suit their nomadic lifestyle, and the wok fit the bill perfectly.
For the traveler, the wok heated fast and food could be cooked quickly, requiring very little cooking oil or fuel for heating. And, being steel, it could be transported with little damage and needed even less maintenance.
As these nomads conquered and expanded their territory, the wok was introduced to many more cultures and its popularity grew in new realms – particularly in regions of harsh geography and uncertain political climates. In his book, The Food of China, author and anthropologist E. N. Anderson makes this intriguing observation:
The wok was the ideal cooking pot for these times and circumstances.
What is a Carbon Steel Wok?
Carbon steel woks are the newer sleeker version of the original cast-iron wok. Made from a blend of carbon and steel, they are light and easy to handle, which is important when creating stir-fry meals. In addition, the blending of these 2 materials allows for quicker and more uniform heating and durability.
They will not break if you drop one, are relatively inexpensive, and if you use them correctly they will form a natural non-stick surface.
WHAT IS A FLAT BOTTOM WOK?
When it comes to choosing a wok, there are a couple of options. Flat bottom woks work well in conventional kitchens. Since most kitchens cannot accommodate open flame gas ranges stove tops or outdoor wok burners, flat bottom woks allow you to cook your favorite Asian cuisines on a Western electric range cooker without the use of a wok ring.
However, the only caveat is that electric range cookers tend to not get as hot as open flame gas range stoves. So, be sure to check what recipes you are cooking and make sure they don’t require high heats for cooking.
WHY CARBON STEEL?
Woks can come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are made from stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron. However, the most commonly used and worn by professionals is carbon steel.
Carbon steel is extremely sturdy yet very light in weight making it easy to move about when cooking. Plus, it is easy to clean and season and doesn’t deteriorate or oxidize like other metals. Also, carbon steel is a very effective conductor, meaning it heats up very quickly and stays hot while cooking.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR WORK
When using a brand new wok, it is very important you clean it properly before its first use. Here are some easy steps to clean your new carbon steel wok before seasoning:
- Fill wok 2/3 full of water.
- Place on stove and boil water for 8-10 minutes.
- Pour out water and run under cold water.
- Using a strong scrub pad, scrub vigorously to remove the factory protective coat.
- Rinse the wok immediately with water and wipe dry
After you finish these steps, you are ready to season your wok!
Features to Consider When Choosing a Carbon Steel Work for Gas Stove
Carbon steel is the most popular choice of woks because it heats up quickly, transfers heat evenly, produces its own nonstick coating and is affordable. However, there are factors to consider when choosing a wok.
The Shape : ( flat-bottomed or rounded-bottomed)
If you use a gas stovetop, either a rounded bottom or flat-bottomed wok will perform well. However, if your cooker is electric or an induction range, you should go for the flat-bottomed style because it will sit comfortably on top of it without wobbling.
Size and Height
The height and diameter of the product should be considered. Also, check its concave properties. If you get one that is too deep, the heat will be retained in the bottom and the transfer of heat to the sides will not be adequate and result in uneven cooking.
On the other hand, if it is too shallow you will not be able to move and toss foods up the sides. The ideal diameter should be a 14-inch pan with a minimum of 5 inches for the flat-bottomed ones, and a depth of 4 inches.
Woks come with different handles: some have a long handle on one side and a loop handle on the other side, some come with two small loop handles opposite each other, while others simply have only one long handle. All the handles serve the same purpose: to lift the wok up. Choose your wok based on your preference and technique.
Accessories and Utensils
Some woks are sold individually while others come in a set that consists of a lid, ladle, burner rings steamer tray, spatula, etc.
Decide what you will use the wok for before you choose one. Besides stir-frying, there are other options like steaming, smoking, deep frying and all these will require extra pieces for successful cooking.
These pans sustain a lot of wear and tear, and although they should last longer than 10 years it is recommended that they should be replaced every decade.
Benefits of Owning a Carbon-Steel Wok
Every kitchen should have a wok. Whether you are steaming, stir frying, stewing or deep frying this cooking pan has several benefits.
- It can be used as a frying pan as well. Woks are also perfect for deep frying
- they are generally affordable.
- last long
- Tossing foods during stir-frying easily land back in the pan. If you use any other pan that is not a wok to stir-fry tossing foods will be almost impossible
- Lightweight which makes it easy to lift and toss food. Carbon steel woks are generally lightweight lifting up your pan while cooking is easy with carbon steel woks.
Types of Carbon Steel Woks
This design has a flat bottom that sits well on either a gas stove top or an electric stove top
This design will only sit comfortably on a gas stove top. If used on an electric stove top it will tip.
Carbon Steel Wok Buying Tips
Before you buy any of these great models from our list, there are some things you need to consider:
- Who are you buying for? Is this a gift for a single relative or coworker or a mom of four kids? Who is using it will determine the size of the wok. There are many sizes to choose from and getting the right one is important; if its too small they’ll spend too much time cooking multiple servings and if it’s too big you may pay more when you don’t have to.
- What does it come with? Many brands come with recipe books, utensils or extras like a steaming plate or deep fry rack. You may get a better value for your money and the extras can help make cooking easier. For instance, some come with a special whisk for cleaning.
- Flat or round bottom? What you cook on is the best way to determine if you get a flat or round bottom. Round bottoms can reflect heat, so they are not recommended for electric stoves. Flat bottoms are good for electric and gas so check if you are giving one as a gift.
Seasoning a Wok
Carbon steel woks need to be seasoned before you use them and will become non-stick over time. All new woks are coated with a factory oil to protect them, so the first thing you need to do is thoroughly wash it; then you can season. Here’s how:
- Wash your wok with soap and water and scrub thoroughly; then place it over a flame and let it get hot. To test it flick it with water- if the water evaporates it’s ready to go.
- Once it is heated take it off the flame, let it cool a moment and then add a little oil (maybe a tablespoon); swirl it to coat all the sides.
- Now place it back on the stove and add some seasonings; I recommended some scallions and ginger.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let them cook 15-50 minutes, being sure to move them all around the sides too; when the color of the wok changes from silver to yellow/brown (there can also be hints of blue, black or bright yellow) it’s seasoned.
- Take it off the heat and let it cool, removing whatever aromatics you chose; wash with hot water only- no sponge
- Put it back over the flame and let dry for a minute or 2. If there is any residue use paper towels to remove.
What to Cook with this Kitchen Utensil
For those new to the world of woks, here are some different cooking styles you can use it with:
- Deep-Fry: If you use a larger wok you can deep fry dumplings or chicken wings without any oil splashing.
- Smoking: Place a rack in the wok and put smoking material under it to make tasty smoked meats or nuts.
- Roasting: Using dry heat and a lid you can roast food such as chestnuts or other tasty treats.
- Braising: You can create excellent sauces, reducing liquids as you make meals such as sesame chicken or other delightful concoctions.
- Stir-Frying: Most people think of stir-fry when they hear wok, as it is what it is most commonly used for. You can make lo-mein, fried rice and other succulent meals using this technique.
Different Types of Woks for Gas Stove
In order for you to understand the beauty of a carbon steel wok, it helps to know what other styles are available and how they compare; let’s take a look:
There are 2 styles of cast iron: Chinese and American. Chinese models are much thinner than the American models, but both develop excellent seasoning so food doesn’t stick.
In addition, cast iron is known for retaining heat, so once it gets hot it will maintain it’s temperature for longer. It can be used with metal or wood utensils and you can sear, crown, sautee or biol liquids in it. Plus, allows for quick cooking time.
On the downside, Chinese cast iron is quite brittle and can easily chip or break. Also, since cast iron heats quickly it is easy to have food overheat, so you must be vigilant.
Usually made of steel, this type of wok is sprayed, baked, or coated with a non-stick material such as Teflon so food won’t get caked on or burn. Non-stick, for the most part, is not worth the hassle. To begin, since they do not contain carbon or cast iron they do not become seasoned so food lacks complex flavors you usually find when using a wok.
Also, since foods won’t stick, they also won’t brown or sear, so you can’t get a crisp outside on meats. While this allows for food to stay tender and juicy, it minimizes textures. Finally, the non-stick material can chip or flake over time, so you must be careful and only use plastic or other soft utensils. Factor in that non-stick woks cost more than carbon steel and cast iron, you are better off with one of the other styles.
Aluminum is great for spreading heat evenly, but due to its internal properties, it also has a tendency to lose heat quickly. Aluminum is usually thin and can easily become damaged. Anodized aluminum is stronger and holds heat longer, but still can’t compare to carbon or cast iron.
Wok Care and Maintenance
- These woks should be seasoned before use.
- It should also be hand washed and dried properly with a towel before storage.
- Avoid using soap to wash. Never use detergent or soap to wash a wok. It should be washed in hot water and a sponge can be used to remove burnt on particles
- The wok should be oiled with a paper towel after washing and drying. Woks have the tendency of developing rust spots. When it is oiled and stored, it is protected from rust.
How to Remove Rust from a Steel Wok
Occasionally, steel woks will accumulate rust on their surface, especially as they begin to age. However, you can easily remove rust with some steel wool, and a little bit of soap. Rigorously scrub the affected area, careful not to scratch pristine parts of the surface.
The rust should come off over time.
Woks Buyer’s Guide
When the craving for tantalizing Asian-style cuisine hits and you want to satisfy your appetite, there is at least one restaurant that pops into mind, right? It could be the popular Chinese restaurant across town that you would be willing to go through hell and high water to get to, or maybe it’s the inviting warmth of the small, family-run Thai location that, without reservations, you may need to camp-out in front of the night before just to be seated. I myself, tend to crave the ever-so-scrumptious Mexican-style cuisine, that also employs the wok (or “disco” in this case) as the primary cooking tool to make dishes like discada and other northwestern grilling greats. Whatever tempts your taste buds, there is a very good reason we are so willing to go to great lengths for such delicious food—a simple explanation of why we always prefer the flavors of a one location over another. It is because of something commonly referred to “wok hei,” the breath or essence of a wok.
The wok is a universal cooking vessel, that could be used to fry, boil, braise, poach, sear, smoke, stew and roast. If seasoned and properly maintained, a wok can be a long-lasting, resourceful tool that can help you become the flavor master of Asian or Mexican-style cuisine in your very own kitchen. Instead of taking on hell and high water, or camping out overnight to eat at restaurant, why not become the chef whose food you crave? But first, you must select your wok.
Everything surrounding the wok experience is simplistic, quick and easy. Its name, its functionality. So when you see or hear reference to “round bottom” and “flat bottom” woks, they are exactly as they are called. A flat bottom wok can be placed on flat surfaces for cooking, while a round bottom wok can not safely stand on its own, and requires what is called a “wok ring,” to steady it in place. A round bottom wok is perfect for executing the chef’s toss—a quick flip-of-the-wrist action to bounce the food ingredients off the wok’s walls, as opposed to stirring.
Woks can be finished in either carbon steel, cast iron or aluminum and are designed to cook food quickly, under extremely high temperatures. Not all woks can withstand the wear-and-tear throughout the test of time, and they all require proper maintenance and storage. If not properly cared for, some woks can misshape or deform—some can even shatter!
For some, the “non-stick” feature is of great importance because they would much rather have an easy clean-up job after slaving away in the kitchen. While others, who don’t mind a little food sticking every once in a while, are willing to put in time to scrub, if it means not compromising wok hei; a distinct flavor that can only develop over time.
Let’s not forget those who cherish the kitchen aesthetics—the sometimes hard-core, exclusive buyers of stainless steel, who work hard to keep their kitchen’s appearance in shimmering uniform. Needless to say, no matter who the chef is, all finishes can ultimately get the job done. However, we know that you have a choice when selecting what’s best, no matter what your buying situation is.
The following table will serve as your buyer’s guide to inform you of the benefits and fall-backs to cookware finishes.
Finish/Coating Description Pros Cons Carbon Steel Carbonized steel (machine or hand-hammered, or spun) Can be used under all heating sources, enhances flavor of food, traditional Harder to season Cast Iron Carbonized wrought iron Non-stick, superior heat distribution, enhances flavor of food, can be used under all heating sources Heavy, slow to heat and cool, overcooks food if not removed immediately Aluminum Anodized aluminum alloys Superb heat conduction, can stand up to constant use, mostly used for lids Inferior thermal capacity, loses heat fast, thinner than its counterparts, damages easily Iron-Clad Stainless Steel Alloy steel that is immune to rusting and ordinary corrosion Attractive, long-lasting, thermal shock-resistant Slower to heat, non-traditional, heavy Non-Stick Chemical coatings (i.e. PFA and Teflon) designed to protect cookware Easy-to-clean, durable Peels or chips, can not be used with metal utensils, lacks aroma and flavor, slower to heat Ceramic Heated clay Non-metallic, easy to clean Fragile
Handles, with Care:
Woks come with two handle types: stick and loop. A stick handle is a long, single handle that can either be an extension of the wok’s finish, or it can be wooden or plastic. Loop handles, are exactly that, and are mounted on opposite sides for secure handling.
When the wok’s design incorporates a long stick handle with a single loop handle, then the loop handle is referred to as a “helper handle.”
…About the Heat:
During our research, we found that most buyers weren’t sure about whether a wok ring was needed or not. We would like to put the baby to bed for you this instant: wok rings are only needed for round bottom woks. However, some round bottom woks used for outdoor cooking may not require a ring. For instance, a pole or a spit can be put through the loop handles to place over an open flame, or a fire can be built around the wok. Again, the need depends entirely upon the circumstances, and we have gladly supplied you with all you need to know. Here are the different sources of heat, and a brief description for your consideration:
Type Description Gas Stovetop gas flames Electric Stovetop electric heat coils Induction Heat Cooktop Electric Concave Induction Heat Caved Cooktop Electric Coal/Wood Log Outdoor charcoal, wood logs, smoker or chips Open Fire Outdoor flames Propane Gas Outdoor gas flames Microwave Oven radiating electromagnetic waves
Exercise extreme caution when using a wok, as temperatures are typically above 400-degrees. The element of danger is always present when working with any heating source. Having a bucket of water or a small multi-purpose fire extinguisher handy, wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Whatever have you, please be alert, be careful and be safe.Pro Tips #6: For pesky stains, or you would like to restore an old wok, we recommend using Easy-Off oven cleaner and/or “Barkeeper’s Friend.” Use only as instructed. Be sure to wear gloves, and properly ventilate your kitchen or cleaning space. If using a basic kitchen scrubber, be sure to discard it when you are done.
Ready for Seasoning:
So, you’ve selected your wok, torn open the packaging and now it’s time to get down to business: the initial use. Most woks require what is called, “seasoning” before they can be used. Seasoning is the tempering process of treating your wok with cooking oil and exposing it to high heat (475 degrees or higher). This procedure allows your wok to lock in flavor, and eliminate any impurities that may affect the taste of food. Be advised that seasoning is an ongoing process, that is directly responsible for wok hei. (Note: never use olive or sesame oil for seasoning your wok).
Some woks can be purchased “pre-seasoned” which means you can start cooking on it right away. If the wok you’ve purchased isn’t already pre-seasoned, then it’s up to you to get it started—and that’s a good thing. What better way to personalize your wok, than by seasoning it yourself? You can truly make it your own.
You will need to season your wok before and after use or cleaning, and/or according to manufacturer’s specifications. It may sound like a lot of work, but it isn’t. Think of it as a long-term relationship that you are nurturing, and the best parts: not only does this relationship comes with instructions, it gets better over time! Thumbs up.
After having a belly filled to capacity with fresh stir-fry, there are two things I am most certain of. One being, that this list will rival any list you can find online. Two, it will be a long, long while before I “wok” into a restaurant and order stir-fry. That’s for sure.
All jokes aside, compiling this list has turned out to be an absolutely unforgettable experience. There were highlights and lowlights, obstacles and triumphs, but none greater than the pride I feel for my team, for having put in the time, money, energy and effort it took to bring you our very best picks. When all seems lost, count on us to narrow-down your endless options, and assist you with making an informed decision before you make a purchase.
Please use our tips and findings wisely—and don’t just get one for yourself, consider a wok as a gift for a loved one. After all, we are in the midst of the season of giving. It’s a good time to be “wok-ing” in the winter holiday season. Um, scratch that—an obvious side-effect of my stir-fry food coma.
How Should I Wash Carbon Steel wok?
Don’t soak the pan in water; it can cause rust and reduce your cookware’s lifespan. Instead, take a little bit of warm water and scrub your wok or pan very gently. Use a brush that has soft bristles, so you don’t accidentally damage the surface. Read More!
What Can I Not Cook In A Carbon Steel wok?
When cooking in unseasoned carbon steel, stay away from acidic food, like tomatoes, for example. It can merge with the contents of your pan and make your dish taste metallic. However, if you have already seasoned your wok, you might be able to get away with it. Just don’t cook it for long! Moreover, avoid brazing or boiling food in carbon steel cookware. Steer clear of starchy food as well, or remember to use a bit more oil when cooking such dishes.
Is Carbon Steel Bad For Health?
Woks made of carbon steel do not have toxic substances on the surface. It is a common fear among people who use non-stick cookware, but you don’t have to worry about it with a carbon steel wok.
Is Carbon Steel Better Than Teflon?
Generally, Teflon is considered a better option compared to carbon steel. However, if taken care of, a carbon steel wok can be a brilliant competition to Teflon. For this, you must keep the former well seasoned at all times.
Is Carbon Steel Better Than Stainless Steel?
Even though stainless steel woks have good heat distribution, they take a while to heat up. Plus, they’re heavy, and their response time to changing temperature is slow. Professional chefs usually prefer using a carbon steel wok. The reason for this preference is that it heats up faster and reduces cooking time. In terms of durability, carbon steel wins again. It’s stronger and lasts longer than stainless steel.
Is Carbon Steel Wok Suitable For Cooking Food?
Unlike non-stick pans, the best carbon steel wok can withstand very high temperatures. These pans heat up quickly and evenly. Plus, the wok holds the temperature for a long time, so your food doesn’t go cold.
What type of carbon steel wok is best to use on an electric stove?
The best type of wok that you can use on an electric stove is a flat bottom wok. Because of the flat bottom, the wok will stay at its place and it will be easier to cook in it.
In in the above list of Best carbon steel wok, please check out the Mammafong Wok Review which is our top of the list highly recommended flat bottom wok that you can consider.
What is the best flat bottom carbon steel wok in 2021?
Mammafong flat bottom wok is our top recommendation for the best flat bottom carbon steel wok in 2021.
- You should properly season it two or three times for excellent nonstick performance.
- After use, hand wash it and immediately dry it.
The maple handle gives you excellent nonslip grip.
The handle is triple riveted for strength and durability.
With the inclusion of support handle on the other side makes it easy to carry when the wok is food heavy.
What is the best wok spatula for carbon steel wok?
Paderno World Cuisine is a 14inch long perforated wok spatually that is equally best wok spatula for carbon steel wok.
It is made of PA+ composite which is actually the blend of nylon and fiberglass which makes it very suitable to used on carbon steel wok.
Due to its construction, this professional quality spatula is dishwasher safe.
If you are looking to have best wok spatula for carbon steel wok, then Paderno World Cuisine is our best recommendation.
How to season a carbon steel wok the right way?
Not every type of wok need seasoning. But if you have just purchased a new Carbon steel or cast iron wok, you need to preseason it to make it nonstick.
Most of the time we end up having a failure in seasoning the wok. So here is the right way to do it properly and correctly.