What are the Best Woks?
The best Woks offer a quick frying action needed for a tasty, nicely flavored meal with a simple stir-fry feature.
If you don’t know what a wok pan is then let me give you a simplified explanation.
A wok is a pan with a hemispherical shape that allows for easy distribution of heat.
Woks help to preserve the taste of food and it essentially needs only very little oil.
The Chinese kitchen favors this beautiful skillet so much and it comes with a lot of history.
We think the Lodge P14W3is the best Wok for most people.
Apart from the fact that Woks perform exceptionally well for boiling liquids, poaching, brazing tough cuts of meat, smoking food, and deep-frying fried foods.
One of the major hallmarks of a Wok is that it usually has a totally hot cooking surface. This is important for quick frying and inducing flavor of the seasoned woks.
Therefore, if you have bought your Woks before coming across this post, just pack it up, set it aside and read this guide to know if you have the right cookware.
But if you are reading this with the intent of getting a Wok, you are so lucky. Just read through carefully and pick one of the best Woks recommended below.
Best Woks to Buy
Best Overall – Craft Wok Traditional Carbon Steel Pow Wok
- Materials: 15 gauge carbon steel (body), wood (handle)
- Style: round bottom (not induction compatible)
- Dimensions: 22.5” x 14” x 6”
- Total weight: 4.55 lbs.
This is a very nice wok made of high quality materials. Hand hammered of carbon steel, this wok is powerfully built, with the perfect 1.8 mm thickness. It heats up quickly and hits a very high max temperature for quickly stir frying a wide variety of foods.
The handles are well placed, with the main wood handle being a very nice color and more importantly both slip and heat resistant for easy, comfortable gripping. The rivets are strong and the overall construction is pretty much perfect.
A 14 inch diameter is likewise perfect for a wok, small enough to keep things close together for cooking, and large enough to make flipping everything inside of it simple and easy.
As woks go this is top notch. It doesn’t have a ton of extra little accoutrements like some other options on this list will, but it doesn’t really need them. All it needs is to be an impeccably constructed and quite nice looking wok, which it is. It doesn’t hurt that the price (especially given the quality of the handmade craftsmanship) isn’t half bad either.
- Extremely well made construction hand hammered and strongly riveted
- Great size
- Non Slip and heat resistant handle
- Very nice appearance to hang on your wall
- Rounded bottom is not compatible with flat stoves or induction stoves
Runner Up – Bayou Classic Cast Iron Wok
- Material: cast iron (total)
- Capacity: 16 quarts
- Dimensions: 12.5” diameter, 6” depth
- Total weight: 12 lbs.
This is an interesting take on the classic wok, being made from cast iron rather than steel, as is traditional.
Cast iron has significantly different properties from steel, even high carbon steels, and it really changes how you use the thing. One of the most notable differences is in construction: a single lump of solid iron rather than a few pieces of steel riveted together. This makes it even more durably constructed than most other options on this list, with fewer obvious points of failure.
The heating properties are quite different as well. Cast iron doesn’t quite hit the immense heat thresholds that steel can get to, but it retains that heat much better. This makes cast iron better for slower cooking purposes as well as “passive cooking”. You can get cast iron ripping hot and then put some stuff in it and completely remove it from the heat not long after; it will continue sizzling for quite a while afterwards. This makes it way easier to manage than steel, in a lot of ways.
This particular model is good for most burners, with a flat bottom that means it can be used on power burners, induction stoves, or even in an oven.
Better yet, the price is quite good. If you can get used to the strange quirks of a cast iron wok (it needs to be used very differently from a steel one to produce comparable, but different results) it’s well worth picking up.
- Great cast iron construction is sturdy enough to last a lifetime
- Interesting properties make cooking with this different from other woks
- Good price for the quality
- Works on most types of burner
- A bit finicky to work with
Best Power Burner Wok – Coyote Stainless Steel Wok
- Material: stainless steel (total)
- Kit includes: wok, lid.
This is a great stainless steel wok, with solid 304 grade construction. It’s riveted well and should hold up to a lot of abuse. The shape is good, and makes it usable on most gas burners, though it’s specialized primarily for power burners.
This means it’s meant to be used for very high heat frying, and is built to stand up against even the hottest temperatures around, as you might expect from steel. Unlike the carbon steel wok above, this one is a lot easier to keep in tip top shape as well. While stainless steel isn’t as good for a lot of purposes as carbon steel (for a wok, rather than a knife, the added hardness is pretty much nothing but upside, and it boasts faster heating as well), it also doesn’t rust or corrode, which makes it a lot more user friendly, especially if you live in a high humidity environment.
The addition of a nice lid for steaming things out or keeping your food warm for short periods is also nice, and adds a lot compared to woks that lack an added lid.
The only issue is the price. While quite well made, it’s way too expensive to really be considered for purchase at full price. Especially as it’s specialized for power burners, and is difficult to use on other cooking surfaces.
- Well made of 304 grade stainless steel
- Includes a lid for steaming and warming purposes
- Works great on power burners and other gas burners
- Well constructed with strong rivets
- Very expensive for a single wok
- Specialized for power burners and doesn’t really work on other cooking surfaces
T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Jumbo Wok Cookware, 14-Inch, Black
The very first on our list of the best Wok to buy is the T-fal A80789 specialty jumbo wok. This large family size woks feature a nonstick coating which makes cooking easy.
The wok distributes heat evenly when cooking because of its aluminum construction.
The T-fal wok is affordable, easy to use, requires little oil and perfect for family use.
Hence, if you are cooking for the family on special occasions like Thanksgiving Day The best Woks for you is the T-fal wok.
- It has a large capacity for cooking family size meals
- The Wok features superior nonstick interior and exterior which makes it easy to cook and clean. Healthy cooking results with minimal oils or fat
- Aluminum construction for fast and even heat distribution
- Also, it is ishwasher safe; Oven safe up to 350 degrees F
- Slides around on a glass cooktop
Cuisinart 726-38H Chef’s Classic Stainless 14-Inch Stir-Fry Pan
The Cuisinart brand holds a good place in the heart of a lot of consumers when it comes to their kitchen gadgets.
Therefore, if you are looking for one of the best Woks, Cuisinart 726-38H Chef’s Classic Stainless wok is a good choice.
Unlike the T-fal Wok, Cuisinart woks can be used for stir-frying in homes or restaurant.
This cookware features a stainless steel body hence it heats up very fast and distributes heat evenly.
It comes with a cool touch handle and a see-through glass cover which makes it very classy.
Therefore, if you are looking at adding style and class to your kitchen, this efficient Wok is perfect for you. It comes with a good design, material, and perfect size all at an affordable price.
- 14-inch stir-fry pan made of 18/10 stainless steel with an encapsulated aluminum core
- Stay-cool riveted handle and opposite helper handle for a secure hold
- See-through glass cover with loop handle and stainless-steel rim
- Dishwasher-safe for quick cleanup; oven-safe up to 550 degrees F
- The Wok does not work on Induction Stove
Joyce Chen 21-9972, Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok Set, 4-Piece
Our best woks list won’t be complete without the Joyce Chen 21-9972.
This Wok is very durable and lasts very long because of its rust and corrosion resistant material. It heats up very fast and evenly.
Furthermore, it comes with two stay-cool wood handles to avoid burns while cooking.
In addition to the awesome features of the Woks are a dome lid, a recipe book, and a 12-inch bamboo spatula.
This Wok can be used for both personal and commercial purpose.
Therefore, if you are looking at preparing meals for an outdoor event once in a while, the Joyce Chen 21-9972 is a perfect choice for you.
- Made of 1-1/2 mm gauge carbon steel for fast, even heating
- Requires seasoning before use
- Birch-wood stay-cool handles
- Nonstick steel dome lid with knob
- Safe for use on either gas or electric cooktops
- Carbon steel for strength and excellent heat distribution
- Wide top and narrow bottom allow for frying with less oil
- Hand wash
- Customers complain about the wok rusting after few months of use
Aroma Housewares AEW-305 Electric Wok, Black
The Aroma Housewares AEW-305 electric Wok has a classic dome shape that makes it a practical choice for your stir-frying adventures.
With these Woks, the base and handle stay cool no matter how hot the wok gets when in use.
Also, it comes with a non-stick coating that heats up consistently and fast.
Its temperature control and impressive 7-quart capacity make it one of the best electric Woks on the market
- The cookware has a Large 7 quart capacity with high domed lid
- Rapid heat-up with consistent heat retention
- Full-range temperature control
- Durable nonstick coating
- Cool-touch base and handles
- Customers complained it’s not easy to clean because it is not detachable from its electric unit.
Lodge P14W3 Seasoned Cast Iron Wok, 14 inch
If you’re one of those who prefers Woks that have been seasoned before purchase, you would really be impressed at how seasoned this Wok is. It comes with a flat base and a 14-inch diameter to help it stay in place on the stove.
The lodge P14W3 seasoned Cast Iron Wok has top notch heat retention and can be used in any electric, gas or induction stove.
Because the Lodge is made from cast iron it can take a lot of beating and yet remain intact.
If you are looking at frying, searing, and braizing, this is the best Wok for you. It’s worth the price.
- 14-inch diameter Cast Iron Wok
- Sturdy flat base keeps wok stationary on the stovetop
- Use on Electric, Gas or Induction stove top.
- Seasoned with oil for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use
- It is heavy
3 Best woks recipe
We have taken our time to go through expert food and recipes blog like Seriouseats.com and foodnetwork.com and we are able to come up with the best Woks recipe.
Stir-frying is a technique that’s easy and so adaptable to a wide range of food ingredients. When it comes to stir-frying with your Wok, getting the best flavors and tasty meals comes with simply knowing the order of operations.
To stir-fry, the most you need to do is blend a simple sauce, chop vegetables and meat, and stir and toss it in a well-heated wok while frying.
Cashew Chicken Dings
Most Chinese dings make use of a mixture of vegetables and chicken cubes with some crunchy additions. This recipe is a variation of the usual Chinese dings and you’re bound to be tied to this recipe for quite a long time.
Ingredients: Bell pepper, mushrooms, jicama, celery. You are bound to be tied to this recipe for long when you stir-fry the mixture.
Kung Pao Chicken
If you love Kung Pao Chicken like a lot of us do, then this recipe is a take-out version and you’re sure really like it. Just with about 20 minutes of stir-frying, you have a very tasty meal ready to be devoured. Simple and straightforward.
Ingredients: celery, roasted peanuts, bell peppers and diced chicken
This majorly is a Singapore recipe but of course, can be enjoyed by just anyone and anywhere. Stir-frying for just over 15 minutes gives you a meal you’ll always want to go back to. Just make sure not to overcrowd the wok.
Ingredients: Shrimp, dried chilies, peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, and cilantro. You can choose to garnish with noodles to your taste.
Buying Guide for Cheap Woks
Whether you are one of those that prefer the contemporary Woks because you love to clean your pans after each use or those who like the traditional Woks that develop its own flavor after each use. Here are the best Woks for you. To help you make this probably overwhelming decision, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
The most common type of materials used in the making of Woks includes cast iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel.
Although stainless steel Woks tend to be generally cheap, it has a surface that allows sticking of food when cooking.
While Cast iron Woks retain heat well and relatively more durable but they’re usually quite heavy. When it comes to cheap price and heating up evenly and quickly, then carbon steel Wok is the best Wok.
Type of Surface
The type of surface is an important consideration. And nonstick surfaces most times are more recommended as against surfaces that might stick. Although, the decision depends on your preference.
The woks with nonstick surfaces require less oil and are easy to clean while one disadvantage is that it the surfaces do not generally promote browning.
This is an important point when buying the best Wok for your family dishes. Therefore, you have to ensure you’re able to cook different types of food with the type of Wok you are buying.
Safety is paramount when sourcing for your kitchen gadgets. Consider the best Wok with safety in mind. For those that feel nonstick materials are not good for their health then go for a sticky surface irrespective of the price.
Maintaining Your Woks
Buying the best Woks won’t be enough if it’s not well maintained. To get the best value from your Woks and ensure that it lasts for a very long time, here are few tips to help you ensure you’re treating your wok pan fine.
- It’s always advisable to wash your Wok with hot water and a sponge after use.
- Don’t worry if the Wok is a bit oily after washing as this prevents it from rusting and even helps to season it.
- Make sure to never use scouring powder to wash your Wok. Whenever you notice your Wok starts getting sticky, crack and beat about four eggs in the Wok. The fat in the egg is a natural lubricant so make sure to Twirl the beaten eggs and allow it to cover as much of the surface of the Wok as possible.
- Ensure you never scrub your Wok with an abrasive cleaner no matter how much food sticks to it, else you damage the seasoned surface.
- Whenever you use a detergent in cleaning a wok, ensure you re-season it as the detergent would have removed the seasoning.
- Except manufacturers indicate a wok is dishwasher safe, do not put it in a dishwasher.
- Lastly, make sure to re-season your Wok as frequently as once in two months of consistent use.