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best woks

The Best Woks in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

The wok is a special pan that can be used to create Asian specialties. For our list of the best woks, our team has checked countless tests on the Internet. 

Helen's Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok

Helen's Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok
2,149 Reviews
Helen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok
  • Helen’s Asian Kitchen Carbon Steel Wok for stir frying,…
  • Made from 1.6-millimeter carbon steel with heat-resistant…
  • Carbon steel distributes heat quickly so foods cook evenly;…
  • Flat bottom sits securely on any stovetop; works with gas,…
  • Easy to season and maintain; includes 13-inch bamboo…

Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok

Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
5,006 Reviews
Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
  • Heavy 15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel, commercial grade….
  • Traditional chinese wok pan with round bottom: not suitable…
  • Hand hammered by Chinese professionals in Guangzhou. This…
  • Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over…
  • Craft Wok – Love Wok! We are a team of professionals drawn…

Bielmeier Wok Pan 12.5"

Bielmeier Wok Pan 12.5 Inch
1,067 Reviews
Bielmeier Wok Pan 12.5 Inch
  • What You Get:12.5-inch carbon steel pan, wooden lid, wok…
  • Easy to use: Compared with cast iron pan and stainless steel…
  • It’s Durable: There is no chemical coating and PFOA.So it…
  • Suitable For All Stoves: The flat base makes sure this…
  • Some detailed designs: The wok set is a good gift. The step…

Carbon Steel Wok for Electric, Induction and Gas Stoves

 Our Pick
Carbon Steel Wok for Electric, Induction and Gas Stoves
3,722 Reviews
Carbon Steel Wok for Electric, Induction and Gas Stoves
  • 12.5″ DIAMETER W/ FLAT BOTTOM – Tested thoroughly and works…
  • CARBON STEEL – Is the best and most common material for woks…
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED – Includes a gorgeous wooden lid and a…
  • VIDEO USER GUIDE + VIRAL TAKEOUT RECIPES – Over 800,000…
  • CAST IRON AND STAINLESS STEEL ALTERNATIVE – Carbon steel…

COUNER Traditional Carbon Steel Wok, Hand Hammered Wok Pan

COUNER Traditional Carbon Steel Wok, Hand Hammered Wok Pan
255 Reviews
COUNER Traditional Carbon Steel Wok, Hand Hammered Wok Pan
  • Heavy duty wok – Traditional wok used by professional chefs,…
  • Premium carbon steel and heavy gauge body ensure fast heat…
  • Extra deep shape allows the chef to easily fold meals when…
  • Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over…
  • Return Policy-If it is damaged(even very unlikely) when…

Jim Beam 12'' Pre Seasoned Heavy Duty Construction Cast Iron Grilling Wok

 Our Pick
Jim Beam 12 Inch Pre Seasoned Heavy Duty Construction Cast Iron Grilling Wok
1,668 Reviews
Jim Beam 12 Inch Pre Seasoned Heavy Duty Construction Cast Iron Grilling Wok
  • Item Shape: Round
  • The Package length of the product is 14.2 inches
  • The Package width of the product is 32.8 inches
  • The Package height of the product is 39.0 inches
  • Handwash

T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok

T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok
3,934 Reviews
T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok
  • Large capacity for cooking family size meals
  • Superior nonstick interior and exterior make it easy to cook…
  • Aluminum construction for fast and even heat distribution
  • Dishwasher safe; Oven safe upto 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Wok Pan

 Our Pick
Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Wok Pan
1,201 Reviews
Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Wok Pan
  • GENUINE TASTE: Discover the rich, authentic flavors of…
  • PRE-SEASONED: Our carbon steel wok is pre-seasoned at high…
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS: This large wok pan is made from…
  • VERSATILITY: In addition to stir-frying, with the Yosukata…
  • EASY HANDLING and STORAGE: Our steel wok is convenient to…

Joyce Chen , Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok Set

Joyce Chen , Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok Set
2,112 Reviews
Joyce Chen , Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok Set
  • Wok set includes 14-inch wok, dome lid, 12-inch bamboo…
  • Made of 1-1/2 mm gauge carbon steel for fast, even heating;…
  • Birch-wood stay-cool handles – one long and an opposite…
  • Nonstick steel dome lid with knob helps keep in heat,…
  • Safe for use on either gas or electric cooktops; hand wash

Frequently Asked Questions: Woks

How does a Wok work?

But what should be considered when cooking with a wok? Before cutting all ingredients should be thoroughly washed and then dried. If you put them wet into the oil, it will simply splash too much. First, it is important to cut the ingredients appropriately small so that they fit into the pan. Once the desired temperature is reached (you’ll notice this when the oil starts to sizzle), you’ll barely have time to cut the vegetables, because now you’ll have to stir the food constantly.

Cut meat and poultry into strips that are as evenly wide as possible, as this will fry them particularly uniformly. Now you should first sear the ingredients that require the longest cooking time. Meat and firm vegetables such as carrots, but also potatoes take longer than mushrooms, broccoli or cauliflower, for example.

Basically, you should never put the ingredients in the cold wok, but heat the oil in it strongly first. Especially heat-resistant oils such as soybean, peanut or coconut oil are well suited for the wok. The oil should only be added to the wok when it is heated strongly enough. Of course, you can also stir the individual ingredients together in the wok as usual, but real pros just toss them. Furthermore, note that you season the dish only at the end. Add salt and pepper as well as soy sauce, which is so popular for Asian dishes, only when the vegetables and meat are almost completely cooked. Pre-cooked rice or noodles should also be added only at the end of the cooking time.

In Asian countries, by the way, a wok is only used over an open fire. The flames flaring up on the sides of the wok are what give traditional wok dishes their typical aroma. Even with a gas stove, you can hardly get these roasted flavors true to the original.

Advantages of Woks

Probably the biggest advantage of a wok is that the ingredients are cooked particularly quickly in it, because a wok works with high heat. This allows for vitamin-preserving cooking at the same time. Likewise, you save some calories, because in the wok much less oil is needed than in the conventional pan. Another advantage of the wok is the high edge. This is primarily to temporarily store food that is already cooked here. However, this is not easily possible with non-stick models.

In a good wok, different types of preparation are possible. Especially frying works very well in it. Because you only need very little oil in the wok, you can not only sauté vegetables and meat in a health-conscious and low-fat way, but also preserve the vitamins in the wok in the best possible way. However, quick cooking in a wok, as the Chinese have been doing for several hundred years, preserves not only the vitamins, but also the color of the food.

In addition to sautéing all kinds of food, steaming and steaming are also well possible in a wok. Likewise, with a little practice, you can even cook rice in it and also prepare soups and sauces of all kinds.

Types of Woks

Basically, a wok is distinguished by the type of material used. Simple models, which are quite inexpensive to buy, are made of aluminum. These woks are cheap to buy, but there is a risk that they will deform quite quickly. Rust also sets in very quickly; moreover, woks made of aluminum are usually not suitable for the oven.

Therefore, a wok made of stainless steel or cast iron is more recommendable, which at best is provided with a Teflon coating. This is to prevent the ingredients from burning; however, this is not the case with high-quality models even without a coating.

Cast iron woks have the disadvantage of being quite heavy, but the advantage is that the heat is distributed as evenly as possible. With a cast iron wok, you have to wait a little longer before the maximum temperature is reached. Carbon steel woks are also quite recommendable; compared to the cast iron wok, they are much lighter and therefore easier to handle. Carbon steel also conducts heat very well and also stores it well; carbon steel models are also relatively inexpensive to purchase. Both cast iron woks and carbon steel models require baking before first use; aluminum or stainless steel models do not require this step.

In the wok test, it was noticed that woks made of stainless steel not only have poor heat conductivity, but can also distort the taste of the food; the comparison winner is therefore clearly the cast iron wok. The most expensive material used for a wok, on the other hand, is Silargan steel. This material is not only particularly resistant, but also energy-saving and tasteless.

Furthermore, a distinction is made between the classic wok with two handles on the side and the wok pan, which is equipped with a handle. If you often prepare vegetables or similar in the wok and want to swirl it, a handle can be quite useful.

In addition to woks that operate on the stove, there are now even electric woks. The electric wok is not only a good alternative to the classic wok when camping and on vacation, it is also great for fondues or raclettes.

How are Woks tested?

In the wok test, we have placed a particularly high value on the criteria mentioned below:

Material

Hardly any purchase criterion influences the quality of the wok as much as the material used. Woks made of aluminum are quite inexpensive and also pleasantly light, but they usually do not last very long. For beginners, on the other hand, woks made of aluminum or stainless steel are well suited; when buying, make sure that they have a coating.

Carbon steel or cast iron, on the other hand, are the traditional materials for a wok, which fully convince in the wok test. Silargan steel also has consistently positive properties. Cast iron can reach a thickness of up to ten centimeters and is therefore very heavy. Therefore, when swinging the wok, you may have problems; however, you should definitely choose this high-quality material.

In such a wok, the heat is not only distributed particularly evenly, but also stored for a very long time. If you choose a cast iron wok, you may need to burn it in before using it for the first time; how this works is explained in detail below. You should oil a cast iron wok after each use, so a little maintenance is required here.

Accessories

In order to be able to work sensibly with a wok, the necessary accessories are also of crucial importance. A lid is indispensable; most woks come with one. A lid made of glass makes sense, so that you always have a good view of the food. Other useful accessories include a steamer insert and a draining rack. The latter is important for depositing already cooked food on it. Since frying in a wok is much faster than in a frying pan, the ingredients must be removed particularly quickly.

In order not to destroy the delicate coating in a wok, you should turn the ingredients only with a wooden spoon or a wooden turner. Such a turner is therefore also an accessory that you should definitely purchase.

Handling

To make cooking with a wok fun and not an ordeal, it should be as easy as possible to use and clean after cooking. For beginners, a cast iron model is therefore only recommended to a limited extent, as it is very heavy. Both swirling the food in the wok and serving it becomes quite difficult if the wok weighs more than five kilograms. Handles that do not heat up or only slightly during cooking are also very important for user-friendliness. In the wok test, therefore, particular emphasis is placed on ergonomically shaped handles that become lukewarm at most and that can be comfortably touched.

Positive in the test were, of course, the models that can be easily put in the dishwasher after use. However, woks that have been baked on before first use should never be cleaned with dishwashing liquid; these models usually have to be cleaned by hand after cooking. This can be quite inconvenient if the ingredients are heavily burnt – so make sure you have a good non-stick coating when you buy them, which will prevent them from burning.

Frying Characteristics

One of the most important frying characteristics is, first and foremost, the frying speed. How long do the ingredients need before they are cooked? With good models, meat is nice and crispy on the outside, but still very tender on the inside. You will hardly achieve this result with an inferior wok. The wok test also examined how quickly the wok heats up and how well it distributes the heat – this can be tested particularly well with the help of a thermal imaging camera.

What should I look for when buying a wok?

When buying a wok, you should consider a few things to avoid any unpleasant surprises when cooking. Above all, the weight plays a decisive role in a wok. When buying, make sure that it is not too heavy, so that you can manage it well when cooking.

Models made of cast iron may well weigh between five and seven kilograms. Aluminum, on the other hand, is a rather light material, which, however, does not conduct heat as well.

If you want to use the wok on an induction hob, you should make sure that it has an iron layer. You can use a simple trick to determine whether the wok is also suitable for the induction hob: simply hold a magnet to the bottom; if it sticks, the wok is also suitable for the induction hob.

The diameter of a wok seems a bit oversized at first glance: Here you read specifications of up to 36 centimeters. However, you should know that this always means the upper edge. Since the wok tapers towards the bottom, the diameter at the bottom edge is much smaller and usually fits all conventional types of stove with a diameter between 14 and 22 centimeters. Nevertheless, a wok usually has a much larger capacity than a conventional pan.

It is still recommended that you purchase a wok with a matching lid. Only with a lid you can cook in the most energy-efficient way.

Wok Accessories

Probably the most important accessory for the wok is the matching lid. A glass lid is especially recommended because it allows you to always have a good view of the food without having to lift the lid every time. On the one hand, this saves energy and at the same time is much more convenient.

If possible, you should also buy a storage rack for your wok. This is useful for depositing already fried food on it.

Indispensable for working with the wok is a wooden turner. This is essential in order not to damage the delicate non-stick coating in the woks.

If you want to steam food in your wok as well as sauté it, you will need a steamer insert.

Do you love to eat Chinese food? Then you should do it traditionally and get chopsticks as accessories for your wok. True Asia fans swear that the food then tastes even better.

Countless wok sets are available in stores, which already contain a variety of accessories mentioned above.

Wok Alternatives

Probably the best known alternative to the wok is the conventional pan. There are also pans with a very high rim; these are therefore not dissimilar to the wok. The disadvantage of a pan, on the other hand, is that it can never reach such high temperatures as in a wok. The relatively short searing, which largely preserves the vitamins and ensures a great crust for meat, is only possible to a limited extent in a pan.

A good alternative to the classic wok for the stove is the electrically operated wok. Here a particularly worthwhile model is the table wok WO3000. This has a decent power of 1,200 watts – however, this is not enough to achieve a similarly high temperature as in a conventional wok. With a purchase price of about US$75, this wok is relatively inexpensive; it is very well made and also impresses with a good non-stick coating.

Another recommended model is the Domo DO8705 electric wok with thermostat. You do not need a stove for this wok either, just a power connection. With a volume of 5.5 liters, this wok is large enough to conjure up sumptuous pan dishes; even for deep frying, this model is well suited. Ergonomically shaped handles and a high-quality non-stick coating are further advantages of the Domo wok.

Last product update on 2021-03-08 | Source: Amazon Affiliate