The wok is a highly versatile cooking tool, commonly used in a stir-fry but also capable of searing meat, stewing, and steaming fish.
While woks can be made from various materials, professional chefs prefer those made from carbon steel. This is because carbon steel heats up quickly and retains heat well, making it ideal for searing foods.
Its ability to quickly and evenly distribute heat also makes it well-suited for use on both gas and induction burners. In addition, when properly seasoned, a carbon steel wok will have a virtually nonstick surface.
In this review, we will focus specifically on carbon steel woks and provide tips on choosing the best one for your kitchen.
Types of Carbon Steel Woks
Carbon Steel woks can have two sizes, round and flat. The shape of the stove must be chosen according to the type of heat source used for the cooking.
Round Bottom Wok
The standard steel wok has rounded bottoms for durability. They are geared towards traditional Asian food, prepared over open flames. A round rim pulls food towards a place where the steel heats up, making meat and vegetables cooked quickly and a light smokey flavor.
Its round bottom is resistant to warping in incredibly hot conditions. Unlike traditional wok stoves and electric ovens, these stovetops do not work on electric or induction stovetops either. Some woks are fitted with wok rings that hold up the level in an electric stove.
Flat Bottom Wok
Modern stovetops led to an evolution in wok flat bottoms. The bottom of this stove has a flat surface and is an easy choice when used on electric, ceramic, or induction cooktops.
The low bottom has relatively little evaporating heat concentrating around the center of the wok. Therefore, a flat-bottom wok may be a great option for those new to wok cooking since there will be nothing you have to add to it.
Best Carbon Steel Wok
- Brand – Craft Wok
- Material – Carbon Steel
- Special Feature – Gas Stovetop Compatible
- Color – Steel
- Compatible Devices – Gas
The Craft Wok has been handmade in China by skilled craftspeople for the highest quality of workmanship. Its durable and sturdy products perform well as traditional wok products. Even though it is rounded-bottomed, it is believed to have excellent balance.
This wok is medium-heavy and easily tossable. Its wood grip is easily movable by two-hand, and the traditional rectangular bottom quickly heats up and adjusts to changes.
Before use, it must also be well seasoned. When properly dried, the dish works beautifully and is durable. A handcrafted wok is going to last a lifetime.
This black carbon steel wok has a small lip on one side for resting a spatula, which is included with the wok. It also comes with a wooden lid that is great for boiling water and adds a nice touch to the wok’s appearance.
The main handle is detachable and easy to attach by screwing it in, but the wok does not have a side handle. It is recommended to remove the plastic part before seasoning the wok.
At 12.5 inches in diameter, this wok may be too small for cooking for a large family, but it is suitable for stir-frying or deep frying. It is a flat bottom wok, making it ideal for use on induction or electric stoves. It can also be used on gas stoves, but a round bottom wok may be a better choice.
The Yosukata Carbon Steel Wok is a good choice for an ideal wok. The wok is heated exceptionally easily and uniformly. In addition, it has rounded corners that allow for easy stirring without wok rings.
It’s a sturdy, versatile wok, perfect for daily usage. A great feature is that they use joints that do not loosen. The Yosukata Wok features wood handles to give a comfortable grip. Its relatively small diameter makes it a good option for transport and storage.
The wok needs some extra seasonings in preparation for your first recipes. Featuring lightweight to moderate weight, this wok provides easy movement if tossed with bare hands. However, it requires seasoning with oil, as with all Chinese woks.
A Flat Top Wok ideal for electric stoves Joyce Chen woks. It is constructed from high-carbon steel and features an ergonomic handle that stays cooler and an additional helper handle that helps stabilize the wheels and facilitates movement.
Woks need seasoning before they can go into the dishwasher unless seasoned. It can also be used in the oven, and the handle needs removal and the handle must be removed immediately.
The Joyce Chen Wok is heavy and feels strong but does not withstand knocks. The thickness also stops woks moving throughout the cooking surface. It guarantees uniform temperature, but its construction is less dense than cast-iron woks.
The KYTD wok received favorable praise for its lighter and more comfortable handling. The flat bottom can easily fit on most stovetops, and the hole in the handles provides security and storage.
The KYTD wok is coated with a nonstick material like fish scales that enhances the thickness and balances the hardness and beauty of this wok. Its heavy body allows for quick heat transfer as well as prolonged use.
The handles and the bottom of the wok are riveted, ensuring a secure grip, and the bottom has flat rims. In addition, this wok has its own tempered glass cover that allows you to watch food while cooking.
Fish-scale patterns on black carbon steel resist scratches. The starter set comes equipped with a wok cover for heat retention and a wok spatula. Easily accessible to any new user of wok.
The Yosukata blue carbon forged wok is a stamped wok pre-finished with an attractive blue/white surface. This quick, heat-resistant pan performs well in most test tests.
As the smallest gauge model in the line, the Yosukata exhibited an impressive heating speed of almost every model. It also features an assist handle that allows for more flexibility when handling large volumes.
Bielmeier Wok offers a carbon-steel wok that easily lifts and warms quickly. Several cooking methods include frying, brazing, boiling steam, deep-frying, and boiling. It has a heavier weight and is very rapidly heated.
This flat base makes woks suitable for almost all kinds of stovetops, including gas cookers and other heating equipment. This wok is packaged as a set and includes an ebonized lid and a removable handle.
Similarly, the spout lip was designed to pour water. However, when cooked, it is easily cleaned and becomes completely nonstick.
A new line has been created that aims in part at traditional Asian cooking and primarily focuses on accessible and convenient home cooks. This flat-bottom ware is suitable for cooking, stewing, steaming, braising, baking, and deep frying Asian or other recipes.
Its carbon steel handles contain heat-resistant bamboo swivel handles and a swiveling handle. The flatbed base makes this wok easily installed on any stove and can be used on gas, electric, or induction stoves. In addition, it has a large opening which keeps it warm and prevents spills from happening.
This Carbon Steel Wok has the signature beeswax finish to protect against oxidation. In addition, wok has authentic French handles and guarantees excellent French quality. De Buyer carbon steel wok becomes nonslip and is designed for long-lasting performance.
They’ll expand and contract similarly, and the product will be retained. It features an elongation that enables savoring, stirring, or turning the handle. Because of its smaller size, this room fits most people.
- Brand – Chef’s Medal
- Material – Alloy Steel, Carbon Steel, Metal
- Capacity – 4 Pounds
- Has Nonstick Coating – Yes
A similar Traditional Handhammed Wok that can pass down through generations is the Chef medal wok made in Guangzhou, China. As with most traditional Woks instruction, tell us to season the dishes until they become nonstick and are rustproof if necessary.
During the heating process, the metal also produces lovely blue colors, making it a wonderful kitchen décor. The wok has bamboo handles to ensure the right hold. The handles have holes that allow for storage.
Even though seasoning can seem quite overwhelming to the homeowner, it’s a very easy task with instructions being abided to.
The Criteria: What We Look for in a Wok
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a carbon steel wok.
Size and Shape
When selecting a wok, it is important to consider the size and shape. For this review, we preferred woks that were at least 12 inches in diameter but not larger than 14 inches. The shape of the wok is also important, as it can affect the cooking process.
Therefore, in addition to round and flat bottoms, we looked at the diameter of the base, the height of the sides, and the slope of the sides when considering the unique shape of each wok.
There are three major types of nonstick coatings: polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon (PTFE), silicone, and sol-gel. PTFE, also known as Teflon, is the most well-known of the coatings and is commonly used on cookware that is used at high temperatures, such as woks.
Of the three types, PTFE is considered the safest for high-temperature cooking. Some carbon steel woks may also have a nonstick coating, which can make them easier to use and clean.
Stainless steel woks are becoming increasingly popular because they are able to evenly distribute and retain heat. They also do not require seasoning, which can be a major advantage for those who are new to woks.
However, it is not possible to create a nonstick surface through seasoning with a stainless steel wok, so there is a risk that some foods may stick to the surface.
Some modern stoves are not designed to accommodate the shape of a traditional round bottom wok, and may require the use of a wok ring or a stove with a wok top. To avoid the need for additional accessories, many home cooks prefer to use flat-bottom woks.
However, some wok traditionalists argue that flat-bottom woks have a smaller surface area and do not allow for tossing food in the same way that round-bottom woks do. In addition, flat bottom woks are generally more stable when used with a wok ring, as the flat part of the bottom is relatively small.
Basic wok accessories
If you choose to use a round bottom wok, a wok ring may be necessary to fully utilize the wok’s capabilities on your stove. Wok lids are also an important accessory if you want to use your wok for steaming.
While most of the test woks may come with a lid, a few may not. Lids can be purchased online or in stores if needed. It is important to have the necessary accessories to fully utilize the capabilities of your wok and to ensure that you have the right tools for the type of cooking you want to do.
Pre-seasoning a wok involves heating it up and sometimes coating it with a thin layer of oil to speed up the seasoning process. In some cases, carbon steel woks may undergo a process called bluing, in which the surfaces are coated with compounds and heated until magnetite is produced.
This process creates a rustproof, corrosion-resistant surface that is generally nonstick. In other cases, metal may be coated with oil to protect against corrosion. In addition, pre-seasoning or coating a wok helps to improve its performance and extend its lifespan.
Maintaining a wok is important to ensure that it performs at its best. Here are some tips for preparing a wok: Season the wok, clean it after each use, dry it thoroughly, and store it properly. Seasoning a wok helps to create a nonstick surface and protect it from rust.
Cleaning it after each use prevents the build-up of stains and odors. Drying the wok thoroughly prevents rust from forming, and storing it in a dry place away from moisture helps to prevent rust. If the wok is going to be stored for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to coat the surface with a thin layer of oil to protect it from rust.
Other Woks We Tested
Continue reading to find out more about our competitive market.
While our test focused on the carbon steel wok we discovered that the stainless steel varieties retained high temperatures. So the solution will help people who want to avoid seasoning.
The cast iron skillets were unable to adapt to cold temperatures. Despite this, it’d be a good choice to prepare meals outside the house. Lodge Cast Iron Wok performs well, but a wok spatula is a must when using cast iron because it’s too heavy to toss around.
A flat base wok can fit on almost any cooking surface. However, it had a narrow handle and was difficult and uncomfortable to use. Blue Carbon Steel Wok flat bottom sits nicely on any stovetop. However, the uncomfortable, wide handle and the heavy weight of the wok made it awkward and difficult to use.
How We Tested Each Wok
Our choice was carbon steel woks because they’re durable, heat adaptable, and nonstick, forming the seasoning. We look for several important characteristics.
What is the best material for woks?
For our testing, we selected carbon steel woks, as it is the traditional material that makes woks. Therefore, learning all the different kinds of Woks is extremely important. Carbon steels are the traditional materials used for making woks, and they are also the more popular choice among wok enthusiasts.
It is cheap, lightweight, durable, and, more importantly, it heats very quickly and equally. This was one reason why we selected to focus the test on steelware.
Round Bottom Wok vs Flat Bottom Wok
Woks are generally shaped with round bases so that they are closer to fire. However, many modern ovens do not conform to the form of traditional round bottom woks and require a wok rings or stoves with tops of the wok for operation.
Many cooks opt for flat-top ovens as they do not need supplementary equipment. In addition, traditionalists argue that flat-bottom woks restrict surface area so that you cannot toss food like you would with round-bottom woks.
Why carbon steel?
Wok comes in virtually every material. For this evaluation, we chose a steel wok. Carbon steel heating is quick and evenly; it is exceptionally responsive to the heat source and holds this heat relatively well; it is both durable and inexpensive; it is typically suited to gas or electric fire engines; and when properly seasoned, it can have virtually no stickiness to it.
Carbon Steel Wok for electric, induction, and gas stoves
A carbon steel wok has a flat bottom and works well in electric and rotary cookers, gas ovens, and other heating equipment. The wok includes a sturdy hand grip and spout to ensure clean pouring, a wooden lid, a spatula, and a thorough guide.
It’s excellent, durable, and completely nonslip when properly seasoned. This product can withstand a small amount of food, and the wooden handles do not pose any problems even at very hot temperatures since they are removable. When seasoned, the wok turns completely nonstick and is suitable for cooking all sorts of meals.
Why should you trust us?
It was my first culinary experience. I found it a very helpful kitchen appliance. I believe our parents used the old Cantonese wok. Its handles are three- or 4-time replacements, and the seasonings are jet black and about 2 mm thick.
I am a full-time cooking enthusiast and have many years of experience, so this review will allow me to revisit a piece of equipment I have used in my cooking journey.
Our Top Picks
The Craft Wok is a traditional hand-forged carbon steel wok with classic designs and contemporary handles. It is made of 15 gauge commercial-grade carbon steel and is handcrafted into a traditional square bottom shape, which heats up quickly.
The wok measures 13 inches wide and is suitable for cooking for 3 to 5 people. It is made in two parts, one with a metal handle and the other with a wood handle, allowing food to be easily transferred from one hand to the other. The wok is durable and long-lasting.
Making The Final Decision
Craft Wok traditional handmade carbon steel hammer woven wok offers a perfect combination of craftsmanship and functionality in a traditional wok. Hand-hammed with an irregular bottom, envelop your dish with the right temperature.
Souped Up Recipes Carbon Steel Wok also offers excellent value for money. This wok makes delicious meals and includes accessories that will expand its use and dishes that are possible to make.
Frequently Asked Questions
Different types of woks include carbon steel, cast iron, and aluminum, each with its own characteristics and benefits. Carbon steel woks are popular for their quick heating and even heat distribution, while cast iron woks are durable and excellent at retaining heat.
Aluminum woks are lightweight but not as durable or effective at distributing heat. The best type of wok depends on the stovetop, desired dishes, and budget.
Carbon steel is a good material for woks due to its quick heating and even heat distribution, making it suitable for high-heat cooking techniques.
It is also responsive to heat, durable, affordable, and able to be used on various stovetops when properly seasoned.
Carbon steel woks are popular due to their quick heating and even heat distribution, making them suitable for high-heat cooking techniques such as stir-frying. They are also responsive to heat, durable, affordable, and able to be used on various stovetops when properly seasoned.
Carbon steel woks are good at conducting heat and are durable, while nonstick woks have lower heat conductivity and may release harmful chemicals when heated.
Nonstick woks are easier to use, but carbon steel woks require proper care and seasoning to prevent food from sticking. Consider the types of dishes to be cooked, the stovetop, and the budget when deciding between the two.