During the Han Dynasty in China, cast iron was smelted into a distinctive shape with a curved bottom and wide sides to hold heat and materials. It was called wok. Wok means “cooking pot” in Cantonese, its native language. Maybe not specific, but its uses are. With its multi-cooking capabilities, the wok’s design is that of a workhorse.
A wok can do it everything, but only a wok can make stir-fry the right way: with brilliant, gloriously blistered veggies, tender-crisp meat, and meals with minimal oil but lots of naturally extruded flavor.
In addition to its towering sides, a wok’s sloping sides capture heat in a blossoming pattern, generating multiple zones. You burn where the flames hug the bowl; you stay toasty and dry up on the edge.
Top 5 Bestseller Wok
For example, several worldwide manufacturers now provide flat bottomed woks in a variety of diameters that fit securely and balance well on gas, electric, glass top or induction burners, as well as outdoor barbecues.
The 10 Best Wok Wirecutter Reviews
Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick Cookware
The nonstick surface of this model makes it a great starting point for individuals who want to learn how to cook in a wok. If you’re looking for the familiarity, convenience, and quality of hard-anodized cookware, go no further than this model from Calphalon!
Because of its triple-layer inside, which is an improvement over its previous lines, this nonstick pan can withstand metal spatulas, whisks, and spoon (but not knife or fork) use, which is normally frowned upon. With a specifically textured surface meant to sear, this wok can replicate the wok hei effect of food that has been char-grilled.
Additionally, this wok’s compact flat bottom and 13-inch overall diameter make it an excellent choice for preparing food in a traditional manner. You’ll be less likely to have your food sit at the bottom and burn, or pile up and steam, gathering crisp-killing moisture, as a result of this rapid expansion.
You won’t have to worry about your vegetables being saturated from the bottom because you’ll have plenty of counter space for cooking. The low-profile tempered glass cover, on the other hand, allows you to peep without losing any heat during steaming. In addition to a long, ergonomically riveted handle, this 6.5-pound pan is easy to throw around if you’re feeling really showy.
- No seasoning or special maintenance required
- Specially textured surface for searing
- Triple-coated nonstick finish
- Oven-safe to 500 degrees
- Not compatible with induction cooktops
- Helper handle can get very hot
T-fal Nonstick PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok Cookware
As a beginner, you can’t go wrong with this purchase. We were amazed at the nonstick interior’s ability to remove “even the most difficult ingredients—like finely sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, and grated garlic—without leaving any residue or burn scars.”
As well as being made of lightweight aluminum, this feature might provide home cooks the confidence they need to confidently stir, flip, and steam their food without fear.
This wok’s huge 14-inch diameter allows you to cook many dishes at once, according to our reviewer. Another reliable feature is the long handle and stay-cool silicone assist loop, and the flat base means it can be used on any gas or electric burner.
- Large capacity
- Handles stay cool to the touch
- Reasonably priced
- Dishwasher safe
- May be too large for small living spaces
- Only oven-safe to 350 degrees
ZhenSanHuan HandHammered Iron Wok
Hand-forged and hand-hammered, there’s little doubt this wok is real. For their heirloom-quality, smooth-surfaced woks, the artisans at ZhenSanHuan employ 100% iron, 36,000 hammer blows, and a total of 12 crucial stages to create them.
Nonstick coating is not applied to this product; rather, it is a result of the product’s original seasoning, which you may continue to build upon with regular usage and oil treatment. The use of classic metal wok spatulas will have no effect on its ability to retain heat, as would other metal tools.
When it comes to weight, this thinly-beaten metal weighs less than 5 pounds. Because of its seasoning, attractive wood handle that will keep cooler for longer, iron assist handle, and a flat bottom that can be used on any cooktop (even induction), this type is rated among the best of the range.
- Made by traditional methods
- Metal, wood, and silicone utensil-safe
- Suitable for induction cooktops
- Comes pre-seasoned
- Not dishwasher safe or submergible
Joyce Chen Excalibur Non-Stick Wok Set
With a new set of accessories, the Joyce Chen wok has gone above and beyond its previous model’s capabilities. There are tempura utensils, bamboo utensils, chopsticks, and a steaming rack included in this set.
There is also a rice paddle, bamboo tongs, and a heat-retaining solid metal cover. Carbon steel is the preferred material for wok cooking pros, and the wok is no exception. China Live San Francisco’s creator and chief chef George Chen states, “[Carbon steel] is sturdy, swiftly distributes heat and evenly”.
It’s hefty and strong, yet it also has a delicate side to it. Although it must be washed by hand, the nonstick coating means that metal utensils may be used. However, if you don’t want to use the brand’s 25-year nonstick surface warranty, the accompanying bamboo tools are a must.
- Included accessories go beyond bare basics
- Pre-seasoned, naturally nonstick carbon steel
- 25-year warranty on the nonstick coating
- Not dishwasher safe
- Handle attachments need regular tightening
ZWILLING Spirit Stainless Steel Cookware Set
It is the weakness of most nonstick pans that the delicate coatings flake off at the slightest touch of a metal cooking implement. With this one, however, the suggested silicone wok spatula, which has a distinctive form that fits the curvature of the wok’s walls, does not come included.
Its five-layer enhanced nonstick coating has been tested and found to be 20 times more durable than normal nonstick finishes and 60 percent longer lasting, according to the producer of the cookware.
For one thing, it uses less oil than its competitors, increasing cooking speed on any stove type—even induction. Keep your meals in check with its somewhat reduced size. And when you’re done, you can just throw it in the dishwasher without a second thought. The wok may be purchased without the turner option if you choose.
- Cold-forged aluminum body heats up quickly
- Metal utensil-safe
- Includes a wok turner/spatula
- Dishwasher safe
- Food can get stuck on exposed rivets
Anolon Triply Clad Stainless Steel Stir Fry Wok Pan
Stainless steel is adored for a variety of reasons, including its resistance to stains and damage, the capacity to tolerate metal instruments, and the ease of maintenance. Three-ply construction surrounding an aluminum core gives this smaller flat-bottomed (for gas, electric, or induction burners) stir-fry pan the rapid heat conductivity you desire in a wok.
For a smaller wok, such as this one, high heat-retaining walls are even more critical to keep your vegetables from escaping. The slanted sides and flat bottom of this container’s 4.75-inch height are more than adequate to house your next supper.
- Very high rims
- Broiler- and oven-safe to 500 degrees
- Lifetime warranty
- Need to use more cooking oil to avoid sticking
- Discolors over time
Mammafong Pre Seasoned Blue Carbon Steel Flat Bottom Wok
It takes a long time to season a brand-new, freshly forged carbon steel wok. As a result of a lengthy seasoning procedure, this wok is ready to use right out of the box. Instead of spray-coating, Mammafong seals in natural oils at an extreme heat only attainable in industrial ovens, baking in the oil that provides the well-polished surface a smooth, nonstick characteristic that won’t peel off.
Using 16-gauge carbon steel is another method they ensure quality. Finally, because of its flat-bottom shape and extremely sensitive material, it may be used on any cooking range.
No soap is required to keep your carbon steel wok clean according to Chen, who recommends simply washing, rinsing and heating it. Despite the fact that it requires stovetop drying and oil rubbing after every use, this painstaking maintenance ensures that it continues to become better with usage.
- Double-baked oil seasoning
- Lightweight at only 3 pounds
- Can use metal utensils
- Improves with use and age
- Requires stovetop drying and oil rubbing
- Cannot use soap to clean
Breville Hot Wok Pro
The brilliance of wok cooking is in the flames that lick up the pan’s sides. Enter this electric wok with a butterfly-shaped heating pattern. This 1800 watt powerhouse is a great stand-alone alternative for individuals unhappy with the unevenness of electric cooktop cooking.
This appliance’s 15 heat settings make it as versatile as a wok over a fire. With the tempered glass lid’s adjustable vent, you can easily preheat, slow cook, deep fry, or steam.
This Pro version of the Breville Hot Wok cooks hotter and quicker than the normal model. Best of all, the 8-quart volume of this die-cast wok allows for bulk cooking. Cooking, steaming, and stir-frying were all suggested. Plus, it makes a lot of wings.
With its 15-inch diameter and cool-grip handles, this contemporary wok evokes its ancient forebears’ tribal cooking There are also lots of modern improvements. The aluminum bowl’s QuanTanium coating is nonstick, robust, and scratch-resistant. Dishwasher safe after the bowl is released by a one-touch sliding bar.
- Gets hot enough for searing
- Large enough for family meals
- Steaming rack
- Takes up a lot of storage space
- Heat cycles on and off at lower temps
Bruntmor, Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok
If you’re working with cast iron, you’re unlikely to flip anything. When it comes to heavy-duty batch cooking, this loop-handled device, which is also our top recommendation, is the best option because you don’t need the long handle and you can’t use it with anything this heavy and cumbersome.
The more you use it, the more nonstick it gets, just like any cast iron cookware. A well-cared-for grill will keep its heat for a long period, producing food that is blistered and charred to an exquisite degree.
With its extra-wide handles and flat-bottomed, but slightly curved, base, Bruntmor’s pre-seasoned big wok goes above and beyond the basic design. Wok spatula and ladle set are required since the wok will not be liftable when cooking, and the curved shape of the turner will be adequate to make up for it.
- Oven- and grill-safe
- Oversized for heavy-duty, big batch cooking
- Cast iron will last forever with care
- Very heavy at over 13 pounds
- Short handles can get very hot
Lodge Pro-Logic Wok with Flat Base and Loop Handles
Although the Lodge wok is pre-seasoned, it is recommended to season the pan once more in the packing. In the same manner, we would season a cast-iron skillet, we seasoned the pan. Due to the weight of cast iron, the design is remarkably similar to a bigger carbon steel wok with two little assist handles on each side.
A “foot” or flat bottom on the exterior of the wok allows it to lay on the burner without the need for a wok ring, allowing the wok to be placed directly on the burner. Once the wok has been heated to 420 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 7-8 minutes), it will remain so for the duration of the cooking process.
There were some brown areas on the chicken when we cooked it in a teriyaki sauce, but it didn’t stick. The veggies were very nice. This wok, which weighs 11.5 pounds, is not meant to be tossed by hand.
It was quite easy to clean up the wok afterward, with the exception of a small amount of sauce that remained after the dish was transferred to a plate. It was necessary to coat the wok with a protective coating after we removed the sauce that had clung to it.
What to Consider When Choosing Woks
Carbon steel, an iron-carbon alloy, is the traditional material used to manufacture woks in the old school. It has a lot in common with cast iron, including its ability to retain heat, the fact that it can be used on any type of cooktop (even induction), and its durability. Carbon steel is lighter, less brittle, and more sensitive to temperature changes than cast iron.
Compared to cast iron pans, carbon steel pans are easier to shape and press, making the surface of a carbon steel pan smoother than the rougher cast iron surface. Raw carbon steel, on the other hand, necessitates extensive seasoning, and all carbon steel requires more regular hand washing, drying, and lubrication than other metals.
As a result of its great heat retention, this heavy-duty material is the best choice for searing and deep frying, as well as keeping meals warm for an extended period of time. Even though proper maintenance for cast-iron cookware is required to keep it in good condition, this material has a long lifespan and can be used on a wide variety of cooktops. A wok made of this material is ideal for making large batches of stir-fries, but its hot handles and hefty weight make it incompatible with tossing.
Nonstick woks, like nonstick skillets, are easy to clean because of their slippery coating, which makes it easy to remove any food residue. From cutting-edge ceramics to hard-anodized metal, nonstick coatings are available in a variety of forms.
As a result of this, nonstick coatings can be scratched or flaked more easily than uncoated metals and traditionally cannot be used with metal or sharp implements. Nonstick pans often have a lower maximum cooking temperature than other materials, so if you want the char that a regular wok provides, you may want to choose a different model.
Quality cookware should be made of stainless steel since it is long-lasting and abrasion-resistant. This type of wok has an aluminum core that conducts heat and is encased in 18/10 stainless steel layers, giving it bulk and thickness. In addition to being visually appealing, these pans can withstand sharp or metal cutlery without being damaged. In addition, they are often simple to maintain.
Small 8-inch woks are perfect for one-person households, while larger 36-inch models are ideal for serving a large group. If you have a regular stove, a 12- or 14-inch wok is a nice size that can feed three to four people depending on how hungry they are. With ample area, you won’t have to worry about accidentally tossing part of your food out of the pan.
Round or Flat Bottom
Round-bottomed woks can only be used on special stoves that have burners specifically designed to hold woks. Using this method, the bottom of the wok is kept hot while the edges of the wok are heated, allowing for a smooth scooping action while stirring ingredients.
However, you’ll need a specific burner ring and a gas stove if you use a round-bottomed wok to get restaurant-quality results. For those who don’t want to deal with the bother, choose a flat-bottomed wok, which can be placed directly on a stovetop and doesn’t require additional space.
Traditional carbon steel woks are more than capable of withstanding the maximum heat on your range, even in restaurants that specialize in wok cuisine. Check with the manufacturer to see if your wok can tolerate high temperatures before using it for the first time. If you want a restaurant-quality stir-fry, you’ll need a pan with a higher heat tolerance than a nonstick pan.
Woks, like many other types of cookware, can range widely in price. Despite the fact that woks are a specialized pan that not all manufacturers produce, there are several excellent budget-friendly solutions in cast iron and carbon steel that should not be missed.
For example, Calphalon and T-fal woks often come with a guarantee that protects you from any problems in craftsmanship or material that could arise. In other cases, warranties may be limited to a set period of time and may not cover regular wear and tear or inappropriate usage. Make careful to check the manufacturer’s warranty before you buy anything.
To retain the seasoning of a traditional carbon steel wok, follow these instructions for cleaning it with a paper towel and a non-abrasive scrubber. Double-check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure your stainless steel wok can be washed in the dishwasher. Using a nylon scrubber and a moderate dishwashing solution is the best way to clean nonstick woks, and you should avoid using metal utensils or sharp objects.
The Breville Hot Wok Pro, which comes with a whole kit, is the best option for a wok-cooking experience that’s as realistic as possible, and it’s less expensive than our Best Overall selection, the Calphalon Premier Nonstick Wok. When it comes to the simple function above form, the T-fal Easy Care Jumbo Wok is an excellent choice for those who aren’t looking to spend too much money.