A wok is a kind of item that is used for cooking dishes that are usually stir-fry in nature. Woks originate from the East where cooking is usually done in that manner, especially for noodles, vegetables, and the like. However, there are different kinds of wok materials that can be used, which include cast iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel.
The most commonly used by chefs around the world would be the carbon steel one. Many people like it because it’s significantly lighter than regular cast iron. Both of them need to be seasoned but carbon steel is mostly for restaurant use. Stainless steel ones have been used in the past, but they may not heat up as evenly as carbon steel would.
In this article, we are going to check out the best carbon steel wok in the market and why you should try them out.
Best Carbon Steel Wok
- 1 Best Carbon Steel Wok
- 1.1 Craft Wok Carbon Steel Pow Wok
- 1.2 Joyce Chen 22-0060, Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok
- 1.3 Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok
- 1.4 M.V. Trading Carbon Steel Wok
- 1.5 Joyce Chen 21-9978, Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok
- 1.6 Eastman Outdoors 37212 Carbon Steel Wok Kit
- 1.7 Ecolution Non-Stick Carbon Steel Wok
- 1.8 Mammafong Traditional Round Bottom Wok
- 1.9 Cook Pro Carbon Steel Wok
- 2 FAQ
- 3 Conclusion
Below are our top picks for the best carbon steel wok:
As a handcrafted carbon steel wok, this one measures 14 inches and has a round bottom surface, making it great for most stoves that accept traditional wok types. Because it is hand-hammered, you will like its quality design and durable materials. If you want to heat up this wok in the oven, you can do so by removing the handle, which is made with traditional wood, to make sure it fits well.
|· Traditionally and manually made
· Commercial grade 15 gauge steel
· The wooden handle keeps hands off the heat
· The handle can be unscrewed for use in an oven
|· Not suitable for electric or flat induction cookers|
Made with a flat bottom, this chef’s wok measures 14 inches in diameter and has a 2 mm weight for its heavy gauge carbon steel. Because it has a flat bottom, you can use it even for electric stoves. It also has a stay-cool ergonomic handle for easy cooking.
|· The flat bottom is applicable for electric stoves
· Has a stay-cool handle to avoid burns
· Thicker metal has a better heat distribution
· A wok stand is not needed for most stoves
|· Could be a little more difficult to season|
Yet another carbon steel flat bottom wok, this one comes with its own lid, which also has a wooden handle, much like on the sides, to prevent your fingers from getting hot. It also measures 14 inches in diameter and it is a complete set with a stir-fry spatula and some recipes.
|· Has a wok lid
· The flat bottom works well for electric stoves
· Includes a stir-fry spatula and some recipes
· Good size for most Asian dishes and for home use
|· Not as lightweight as other carbon steel woks|
As a carbon steel wok that also has a 14-inch diameter, it has a thickness of 14-gauge steel that makes it durable. It has a flat bottom so it can be used just fine on an electric stove or even your own grill outside. The handles are made with wood to make sure it doesn’t get hot to touch and handle. As with all carbon steel material woks, it is a handwash-only item.
|· Has good depth of 4 inches
· Flat bottom goes well with grills and electric stoves
· Wood handles can help in easy handling
· Very non-stick in its quality if you season it properly
|· Not as lightweight as other carbon steel woks
· The handle may rotate sometimes when heated
The classic design of this carbon steel wok is a favorite among Asian restaurant chefs. This one has a 1.5 mm gauge carbon steel material for its whole body while the side handles are made with birch wood for durability. The 14-inch wok is good for many kinds of stir-fry recipes and it is compatible on gas, electric or induction stovetops, making it versatile.
|· Applicable for gas, electric or induction stovetops
· Heats up very fast – perfect for restaurants
· Wooden handles help keep away the heat
· Backed by a 25-year limited warranty
|· The bottom may be a bit difficult to clean up|
As a wok kit, this one comes with not just a single wok but also various other items, such as a stainless steel wok spoon, spatula, a propane gas regulator, a hose, and a propane burner with legs that you can adjust. It even has its own thermometer to make sure your wok heats up at the right temperature. Large at 22 inches, this one is big and ideal for large restaurants or for those with big family feasts or cookouts.
|· Large size for big batches of food
· Comes with everything you need to start a family cookout
· The burner’s legs are adjustable
· The setup is portable and easy to assemble
|· Adjusting the burner heat can be cumbersome in some instances|
At 14 inches, this carbon steel wok has riveted handles that are soft to touch to avoid heat. It has an elegant black finish and is perfect for home kitchens. The handle is durable and the inside is quite easy to season with olive oil.
|· PFOA-free non-stick coating
· Flat base works well with various stoves
· Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
|· You need to be careful with the coating|
If the flat bottom isn’t your thing, this is another round bottom wok we’d like to suggest. As traditionally made, it measures 14 inches and is made with carbon steel and heavy gauge body, alongside sturdy wooden handles to make it easy to handle.
|· Wood handles make it easy to grip
· The hand-hammered process makes it traditionally durable
· Evenly heats if you season it properly
· Has a protective oil to keep it from rusting
|· Not suitable for electric and induction surfaces|
Also made to be lightweight but durable, this wok has a 1.0 mm carbon steel material, measures 14 inches in diameter, and has a nonstick coat all over it to keep your food from sticking.
|· Has a wooden handle
· Applicable for induction stovetops due to the flat bottom
· Safe for metal utensils
|· The non-stick coating could come off if you’re not careful enough|
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding woks:
What is the best material for wok?
These are the most common materials that are used for making woks:
- Carbon Steel – this is considered to be the best material for cast iron. It is usually much more durable yet lightweight so chefs can use it for stir-frying noodles and anything that needs to be tossed such as vegetables, making it easy to lift to one side after cooking. Seasoning is much like seasoning a cast iron, although it requires a much different technique. The greatest benefit of carbon steel as a wok material is that it heats up evenly, making it great for stir-fry cooking without burnt parts of the food.
- Cast Iron – as a wok material, cast iron works similarly in fashion with the carbon steel albeit heavier. It has more seasoning advantages than carbon steel, making it ideal if you are often cooking oily foods such as eggs and the like. Cast iron material woks are usually heavier so they are less likely used in Asian-themed restaurants.
- Stainless Steel – stainless steel material woks are usually made with non-stick coatings such as Teflon. These can also be used for stir-frying in some cases but not all of them are ideal for heavy use. They are also not applicable for use with metal utensils, so you should consider using wooden spoons and spatulas instead (or silicone ones).
- Aluminum – this one is a less popular material for a wok because it is not very durable, but it is quite lightweight. It is good for its thermal capacity due to being a heat conductor, the only problem is that it may not last long compared to carbon steel and other steel types, so they must become aluminum alloys instead of simple aluminum. You can find aluminum woks in the market but you will most likely find wok lids that are made from such material.
How do you clean a carbon steel wok?
Hand washing is recommended for any carbon steel wok, as with other kinds of large kitchen cooking utensils. You also need to season it properly, much like with a cast iron pan. To clean your carbon steel wok, you should do the following:
- Rinse it in hot water while gently scrub the food particles using a regular scrubbing pad (not metallic).
- Dip the wok in hot water for about 5 minutes if more food particles are stuck.
- Repeat the process until the wok is free from food particles.
- Use paper towels to dry the wok inside and out.
- Put vegetable oil on your wok to keep corrosion away. You don’t need to do this, however, if it’s already seasoned.
Are stainless steel woks good?
While stainless steel woks are okay for durability purposes, they are not very good in heat distribution, as the only tend to keep one part hot and some other cold spots may appear. Also, stainless steel material woks are usually just made with non-stick coating and not seasoned normally so they may not take steel utensils very well unlike carbon steel and cast iron.
Are cast iron woks any good?
Cast iron type woks are okay for general use, but if you are going to use it for a restaurant, you may need something that is much lighter, which is carbon steel. This is because cast iron is usually heavier and is intended for larger batches or for family cookouts. If you work in a restaurant then you need to work fast and that’s why you need a lighter but still durable wok for that, which is carbon steel.
To wrap it up, carbon steel woks are great for use in the kitchen, especially if you look forward to using it for stir-fry noodles, veggies, and the like. They are flexible, easy to lift around, and can make your favorite foods taste good. We hope you enjoyed our top picks for the best carbon steel wok!