IN the US, the best wok is usually associated with stir-frying. However, you can utilize them for a variety of tasks that require a centralized heating source and a large cooking area. That means woks can be used for steaming, braising, deep-frying, poaching, making soups, sauces, pan-frying, stewing, searing, smoking, roasting, and much more. Just thinking about it is watering my mouth. Yum! For this article, I have rounded up the best wok to buy on the basis of user reviewers, features, durability, and ease of use. I have also added a few of my personal favorites in the mix so that this write-up caters to every type of chef from beginner and home user to the professionals. So without further ado, let’s begin.
- 1 Our Recommendations
- 1.1 Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
- 1.2 Lodge P14W3 Pro-Logic Cast Iron Wok
- 1.3 T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Jumbo Wok
- 1.4 Calphalon Triply Stainless Steel Wok
- 1.5 Cooks Standard 02591 Flat Bottom With Lid China wok
- 1.6 Carbon Steel Wok by Souped Up Recipes
- 1.7 Hand-hammered 731W138 Pow Wok by Craft Wok
- 1.8 Cooks Standard NC-00233 Stainless Steel Stir Fry Pan
- 1.9 MICHELANGELO 5 Quart Nonstick Woks and Stir Fry Pans With Lid
- 1.10 Cooklover’s Diecasting Aluminum China Wok
- 2 Best Wok – Buyer’s Guide
With hard anodized aluminum construction that heats up evenly and prevents hot spots and a tempered glass lid this wok provides excellenet value for the money spent.Check on Amazon
- Dimensions: 22.5 x 14 x 6 inches
- Weight: 4.39 lbs
- Material: Steel
- Size: Medium (14 inches)
- Color: Silver
- Hand-hammered by Chinese professionals so if you are a sucker for traditional Chinese woks this is the closest to the originals
- Can be used for open fire cooking
- Has an extra helper handle
- You can unscrew the main handle for maintenance
- It is not electric stove friendly
This traditional Chinese wok brings Chinese style into your kitchen – and I hope some Chinese flavor as well. Available in both standard and classic design, this hand-hammered carbon steel wok is very basic (round bottom, wide surface area) and lacks any bells and whistles.
While other pow woks are hard to maneuver because of their single handle, this model is different. It has a long wooden handle and small steel loop helper handle to provide the necessary balance and support while cooking. It is sturdy enough, but make sure to use support while taking your wok off the fire.
Cooking with this model is a delight. It seasons well, promotes even heat distribution and sears just as masterfully. What’s more, Carbon steel woks become non-stick when they approach very high temperatures.
- Dimensions: 16.7 x 15 x 4.7 inches
- Weight: 10.98 pounds
- Material: Cast Iron
- Size: 14 inches
- Color: Black
- Cooking versatility and lifetime durability
- Has a Large surface area, so it eliminates the need to buy multiple skillets
- Oven safe
- Made in the USA
- Has a rough interior
- Hand wash only
Like other cast iron products by Lodge, the wok comes pre-seasoned and ready for heat – after a quick coating of cooking oil. You know the routine with cast iron cookware. Right?
Its one-piece construction is not as glass smooth as a typical steel wok, but it does have the classic Lodge finish for a sturdy appearance. The two-loop handles make it comfortable & secure to hold and oven safe. At the same time, a flat bottom is stovetop friendly – no matter electric or otherwise. Due to cast iron construction, it retains the heat very well and for an extended period.
Overall, this is cookware for making a generous amount of meals and gets considerably better with age. Just take necessary care while working with cast iron, and this model will definitely last a generation.
- Non-stick coating
- Prepares food quickly
- Suitable for all heat sources
- Economic option
- Easy storage
My favorite T-fal A80789 is a high performance, all-purpose, dishwasher safe wok that heats up quickly, cooks ingredients uniformly, and is very easy to clean. Though it’s size may not be suitable for people who are short on space.
The traditionally shaped aluminum pan has a non-stick surface that requires little to no oil or fat used for cooking. This lead-free, PFOA free, and the cadmium-free coating is remarkably non-stick. In addition, it cooks very quickly. I was able to brown carrots in under ten minutes. Besides, the aluminum is oven safe up to 350F and suitable for all of the heat sources – including electric.
All in all, this is an ideal option for people who often need to prepare more than one portion like extended families and frequent party hosts. Otherwise, you should rather opt for a smaller wok that needs less space in your cabinet.
- Dimensions: 22.9 x 14.5 x 4.8 inches
- Weight: 4.41 lbs
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Size: 12 inches
- Color: Silver
- Aluminum core sandwiched between two stainless steel seams produce consistent and even heat
- Clear glass lid makes the entire cooking process easy to monitor
- Flat bottomed, so it fits snug on all oven tops
- Durable versatile and corrosion-resistant
- Dishwasher safe
- Stainless steel polish degrades when washed with abrasive soaps and dishwashers
- A little pricey
This flat bottom 12 inches wok mimics a traditional shape to produce a variety of tasty meals. Its stay-cool handles offer seamless maneuvers while the see-through glass lid always keeps the party under your watchful eyes. The domed cover is also perfect for simmering or steaming.
Besides, the heavy gauged aluminum core sandwiched between two stainless steel seems to blend uniform heating property of aluminum with corrosion-resistant and high tensile features of steel for a neat design. Besides, it is dishwasher, safe, and corrosion-resistant.
That said, this versatile wok can work with a wide array of Chinese cooking techniques such as braising meats, steaming, stir-frying, deep-frying, brewing, roasting and steaming, etc. Thus, this elegant little pan can add a contemporary posh to your dining and kitchen.
- Versatile and durable
- Quality construction
- Very easy to clean
- Tempered glass lid to view the food
- Excellent value for money
- Not induction safe
- Heavy – so it’s not very maneuverable
The Cooks Standard 02591 has a hard-anodized durable surface that heats up evenly and prevents hot spots during the cooking process. It has a flat bottom while the body is deep and wide to hold food for the entire party.
Moreover, the aluminum construction is harder than steel and weighs considerably more than any other model in this size range. It is also pretty thick and chip resistant. This non-stick pan is oven safe up to 450F. While cooking, the long riveted handle stays cool and comfortable to hold. At the same time, you can view the insides of pan thanks to the glass lid cover. It also features a steam vent that protects it from turning into a steam cooker.
Overall, considering the cost of this model, metal quality, and features, it provides excellent value for money. That is why it is among my most recommended best wok to buy.
- Package dimensions: 13.5 x 13.2 x 4.9 inches
- Weight: 5.25 pounds
- Material: carbon steel, stainless_steel, glass, wood
- Size: 12.5 inches
- Color: Black
- Unique and stylish hammered texture
- Comes with additional accessories to help with cooking
- The instruction manual is actually helpful
- Long handle for a comfortable hold
- Initial seasoning process is a hassle
- The natural fir wood lid has a minor smell
The carbon steel woks are suitable for all direct heat sources, that’s why I prefer this model for any high heat cooking. But that’s not the only reason why I like it. The foremost reason is its printed hammered texture, which is very unique and looks absolutely gorgeous.
A flat bottom is relatively easy to deal with over the stove. Also, 12.5 inches size is suitable for most small homes and apartment kitchens. Furthermore, it has a long wood handle to help with a comfortable hold. However, a wooden handle is susceptible to cracks.
The package includes a wooden lid, a gorgeous metal spatula, and a 15-minute user video guide to understand the seasoning process and how to keep the pan in optimum condition.
- Hand-hammered by Chinese professionals
- Heats up very evenly
- Versatile and Durable
- Very easy to clean even after open fire cooking
- Reasonable price
- Handle comes a little loose, but it can be fixed with a simple screwdriver
Ever noticed the kind of wok in an Asian restaurant? This is it. This is yet another hand-hammered wok – though the hammers are less evident in its style, and it looks rather dull when compared with carbon steel wok by Souped Up Recipes. Both these models come in the same price range, though.
Season it before using, which is a very straightforward process if you are familiar with carbon steel cookware. When it comes to capacity, this is a big wok. 16 inches size is suitable for parties and a dozen people. It is also heavy due to 15 gauge Carbon material construction. So don’t expect as much maneuverability as you would, otherwise, expect from a wok.
In general, this steel wok is ideal for open fire pit. You can take it along on a trip and surprise your friends with freshly brewed Chinese recipes. I wouldn’t recommend it for small families.
- Dimensions: 23 x 13.5 x 5 inches
- Weight: 8 pounds
- Material: Stainless steel
- Size: 13 inches
- Color: Silver
- Can use it on all stovetops
- Dishwasher and oven safe
- Tall dome-shaped cover provides enough room to trap large amount of steam
- Limited lifetime warranty
- The insides get stained often
A professional indoor wok for every household, the cooks Standard NC 00233 is a 13 inches pan with a premium 18/10 stainless steel construction. The aluminum-clad disk bottom heats up quickly and distributes heats more evenly. In part, the dome-shaped lid also helps trap the heat.
You don’t even have to worry about the mess because the cleanup is a very easy process. If the insides of this wok get stained, simply use boiling water. However, if you use hard water, you may need the help of citric acid to remove the stains. Moreover, the V-shaped stainless riveted handles stay cool due to constant airflow, so you can take it off the stove without a helper (though I wouldn’t recommend it). It is also dishwasher and oven safe up to 500F.
With a limited lifetime warranty and a reasonable price, I don’t think anything can go wrong with this purchase.
- Dimensions: 22.2 x 12 x 4.6 inches
- Weight: 4.9 pounds
- Material: Aluminum
- Size: 11 inches
- Color: Black outside, orange inside
- Excellent value for money
- Stylish design for every modern kitchen
- Very lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Sticky inside after few times of use
- Though the manufacturer’s claim is induction safe, in my experience, it is not.
In case you are a cooking enthusiast, you require an all in one multipurpose cookware set like MICHELANGELO’s 5 Quart package. It includes an 11 inches non-stick wok with a shatterproof lid, deep frying basket, and a roasting steaming rack – everything you need to prepare delicious Chinese meals in a healthy way.
A versatile pan like Michelangelo’s model can be used for a variety of cooking techniques, including but not limited to Chinese and Indian. It is also oven safe, so you can start off at the stove and finish in the oven. It’s ceramic, and titanium interior is scratch resistant as well as non-stick. So you can conveniently clean it by hand or hand it over to the dishwasher.
Its downside? This pan starts sticking meals after a few times. Considering its low price, I wasn’t expecting much durability either. All in all, this stylish and versatile cookware set can be a valuable gift to all Chinese food lovers though not a very durable one.
- Attractive and stylish marbled ceramic appearance
- Excellent heat distribution
- Has a removable handle which makes it easy to store
- very easy to clean as it is dishwasher safe
- Not oven safe
- The steam vent lid isn’t very effective
Yet another aluminum option on my list is Cooklover China Wok. But unlike the others utilizing the most common non-stick surface like Teflon, it uses a POFA free ceramic marble coating. The 4.65 pounds product comes with a wooden spatula and a glass lid. The long wooden handle is convenient to hold and makes working with heat a breeze – no matter how hot your wok gets. Besides, you can also remove the handle for easy storage.
Its bottom stays stable on the stovetop and has the best heat distribution of any other model that I have reviewed previously. You can use it on any stove surface on medium heat, but unfortunately, it is not oven safe.
Cleaning it is also convenient as it is non-stick. If some food is left on its inside, you can put it in the dishwasher for quick cleansing.
Best Wok – Buyer’s Guide
A wok is the heart of a good Chinese kitchen, so it’s essential that you chose one that best fits your personal preferences. In the following paragraphs, I have compiled some facts with my personal opinion to help you make a well-informed purchase. Read on!
Best Woks are available in a variety of options when it comes to wok material. Each has its strengths and shortcomings.
The most common are non-stick or (mostly) Teflon coated woks. Their main attraction is easy cleansing and no seasoning requirements. However, Teflon isn’t made for heat. Any heat above 500 degrees is just pushing the limits. Therefore deep frying isn’t recommended in a non-stick wok.
The Stainless steel versions, on the other hand, are non-reactive. That means they are suitable for making acidic foods. They are also lightweight and rust-resistant. Generally, they do not require any seasoning before use. Their disadvantage (which may feel like an advantage to some) is that they transmit heat rather quickly. So you have to be careful about not scorching your food.
Then there are cast iron woks. Cast Iron is one of the ancient cookware materials; that’s why many professional Chinese chefs prefer Cast Iron pans. They are mostly bulky, like the Lodge P14W3 Pro-Logic model mentioned in my list. Their downside? Highly susceptible to rust – unless you take proper care with seasoning.
Finally, the most popular ones are made of Carbon Steel. Used by professionals and popular Chinese restaurants, the Carbon steel woks are reasonably lightweight and inexpensive when compared with Cast Iron woks. After washing, they require seasoning to protect against rust. But they season slowly over time. If you want a restaurant flavor in your Chinese dish, then I would recommend using a Carbon Steel Wok.
In the USA, sizes vary from 10 to 20 inches. I would recommend any size between 11 to 14 inches. As you must have noticed, all of the products mentioned in my reviews are in this size range. But of course, you should choose one depending on the size of your cooking range and how much meal you want to cook at a time.
Traditional woks come with round bottoms. This is because round bottoms help with cooking over firestops. Chinese restaurants use unique stoves with a round opening to cradle a round bottom wok perfectly. Rounded bottoms also facilitate superheated sides to create wok hay. However, most households don’t have a rounded bottom stove, so I would recommend opting for a flat bottom pan instead.
A flat bottom lays flush on the stovetop. Now, this is a significant plus, as it makes for a safer, much more manageable cooking experience—particularly for beginner cooks who don’t have the bravery (or dexterity) to promptly manipulate the screaming-hot food ingredients.
Or you can also use an additional ring in case you desperately need that traditional wok experience. Just be careful about keeping the wok balanced and stable while cooking.
Because most traditional woks used to be large and heavy, they were accompanied by two small metal handles on opposite ends. Nowadays, single handle woks are the norm. They assist with stir-frying. For instance, you can toss ingredients in “Pow Woks” while creating wok hay. On the other hand, double handled woks are utilized for cooking larger quantities or steaming
Not all woks need a cover. Especially if you are stir-frying. Yet steaming, braising, and stewing require a lid. Therefore you should spring for a model that has a lid in that case. Metal lids are the norm in the industry. But many modern woks are starting to adopt glass lids. This is because a glass lid is a nice feature to witness the party inside.
If you are big on Chinese food and wok cooking, then you need a mechanism to vent the weird smells and smoke. Investing in a good kitchen hood will keep your kitchen grease-free, living room livable, and life comfortable due to fewer cleanups.
Best Wok – Closing Thoughts
All said and done, in today’s fast-paced world, nobody has time or patience for long cooking sessions. A wok thus becomes necessary for every household. I hope after reading the reviews of top products and my buyer’s guide, you can make an informed decision about your purchase. These items provide the best cooking experience and are versatile enough to accommodate a variety of cooking techniques. Therefore, I always say, folks! Ditch the frying pans. Get yourself a good wok if you don’t have one already.