Wok means Cooking pot. Over 2000-years ago, wok was introduced in China during the Han Dynasty. Now wok has become an integral part of the Asian and west kitchen.
Usually, people in the USA use a wok for Stir-frying. Although wok is not an expensive kitchen utensil, you need the right Wok for getting the maximum taste of your cuisine.
According to the Master Chefs, the Pow Wok is the Best Wok for Home kitchen and Professionals. Pow Woks are made from carbon steel so It’s suitable for stir-frying at high temperatures. We found the Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok is the best.
In this article, I will cover everything about the wok like the type and material of wok, answer the common questions regarding wok cooking and review some of the best Woks in every category. without further ado, let’s get started.
Comparison Table for Best Wok
- 1500 watt wok
- 14 inches diameter
- 6 qt capacity
- 12-inch flat-bottom hard-anodized aluminum wok
- Tempered glass lid
- 3 layer non-stick surface
- 14 inches aluminum Hard Anodized wok
- Toxicity-free Titanium cotation
- Dishwasher safe
- 14 inches hand Hammered wok
- 15 Gauge carbon steel
- Weight: 2.1 Kg (4.6 pounds)
- 12.5-inch diameter
- Package includes wok lid and spatula
- 13 inches stainless steel wok
- Thickness: 2 mm
- Weight: 4 lbs
- 14 inches large pres seasoned cast iron wok
- Wooden cover
Types of Wok
The types mainly depend on the handle, shape, and material.
Based on the handle, woks are mainly two types.
Cantonese wok comes with two U-shaped metal handles on both sides. This type of wok is good for serving a large quantity of food for a group of people.
The main problem of this Cantonese wok is you can not easily flip the food while cooking.
Mandarin woks are round bottom shaped and come with a single long wooden or metal handle.
Mandarin Woks are the most popular wok for stir-frying.
You can easily flip the food while cooking with the Mandarin wok.
Here you can also cook small to a large amount of food and serving for a group of people.
Based on the shape, woks are 2 types.
Round Bottom woks are perfect for gas stoves. If you are an outdoor cooking lover, you can consider the round bottom wok.
You could also use the wok rings for using the round bottom wok for your induction or electric stove.
Flat bottom wok
The flat bottom wok is perfect for electric or glass top induction. Since most of us use the electric or induction cooker, flat bottom woks are perfect for home use.
Based on the material, woks are mainly 4 types.
Carbon steel wok is the most popular choice for the home kitchen and restaurant.
Whether you are looking for a small Pow Wok (single-handled) or double-handled wok, Carbon steel is the first preference to us.
Carbon steel woks are lighter than the cast iron wok and very easy to handle.
Carbon steel woks are inexpensive and long-lasting. You can use a carbon steel wok for decades without any hassle by proper seasoning and care.
The only disadvantage of the carbon steel woks that it needs seasoning and a proper handle. You may need at least 30 minutes to create a shiny patina to get the non-stick characteristics.
Another common problem of the carbon steel wok is the food gets sticky with the surface of the wok.
You can easily get rid of this sticky problem by proper seasoning and create a nonstick coating on the surface.
The manufacturer doesn’t recommend using the dishwasher for cleaning it. Anyway, many of the users use a small amount of dishwasher after proper seasoning.
- Perfect for stir-frying
- Perfect for Wok Hei
- The wok gets the nonstick features after a perfect seasoning
- Very lightweight and easy to flip
- Seasoning needs a long time. it is a bit time-consuming process.
- Carbon steel is prone to rust.
- Cleaning is not easy here
Stainless steel wok
Probably, Stainless steel wok is the least popular wok type in the market. Stainless steel cookware is conducive to health and there is no chance of toxicity here.
Stainless steel wok looks elegant and gorgeous. I like the stainless steel wok because it is easy to use and there is no hassle of seasoning here.
Stainless steel woks are expensive comparing the carbon steel woks.
Most of us have a common misconception about the nonstick coating (known as Patina) for the wok. Yes, Patina is helpful in cooking but it is not mandatory.
- Stainless steel woks don’t need to seasoning
- Very easy to clean
- Long-lasting and rustproof
- Comparatively expensive than the carbon steel wok
- You may face a Sticking problem while cooking but you can overcome it by using a stainless steel spatula. This is a temporary problem. As time passing, your wok will get the nonstick characteristics.
Cast iron wok is the oldest wok type. Usually, two types of cast iron wok are available.
One is the heavy thick cast iron and another is light cast iron.
Like the carbon steel wok, you need to seasoning the cast iron wok to prevent sticking food on the surface.
Patina is crucial for cast iron wok.
Cast iron woks are heavy and it is hard to handle while flipping the food.
Another problem with the cast iron is the cleaning and it is prone to rust.
You could consider the light cast iron for your home kitchen to get the aesthetic taste of cooking in a cast iron wok.
- Cast iron woks are less expensive
- Heat retention capacity is the highest than any other woks type
- Perfect for cooking in high heat for a long time
- Cast iron woks need seasoning and extra care
- Cleaning process is not easy
- It needs a long time to heat the surface and cool down to the surface
- It is quite impossible to flip the food when the wok is full of food
Non-Stick or Teflon Coated
Non-stick or the Teflon coated woks are the most beginner-friendly wok in the market. There is no chance of rust or sticking food on the surface here.
Teflon coated woks are very easy to clean and don’t need seasoning.
If you are a beginner in wok cooking, you could consider the Teflon coated wok.
- Non-stick Woks are very easy to clean
- No chance of sticking food with the wok surface
- Non-stick woks are not perfect for stir-frying, Because it is not for use in the high heat
- The non-stick coating may contain a chemical that is not good for the health
What is the Best Type of Wok to Buy?
Well, let us discuss the best wok to buy. Here I have made a list of different types of wok beyond the signature types. I have chosen the product based on the real user experience.
If you are looking for a hand-hammered carbon steel wok for stir-frying, you could consider this Craft Wok.
From my point of view, this is one is the best carbon steel Pow wok for stir-frying.
This is a heavy-duty hand-hammered wok made from 15 gauge commercial steel. With a 4.6 pounds (2.1 KG) weight, this is a bit heavy to use.
This traditional round bottom wok is hand-hammered in Guangzhou, China by professionals. A large number of Chinese chefs use this wok for their restaurant kitchen.
You can stir fry with this wok in high heat. Even you can easily handle this wok in 500-degree Fahrenheit or more. So, this one is good for getting the Wok Hei.
- Traditional Hand Hammered wok for professional and home use
- Perfect for cooking in high heat and Wok Hei
- Large enough for serving a group of people
- 100% authentic carbon steel
- Durable Wooden handle for easy flipping
- Seasoning is mandatory before using
- It is not dishwasher safe. Dishwasher will create rust on the surface
- Not perfect for using on the induction or stovetop since it is a round bottom deep wok. You could use a wok ring for using on the flat surface
Electric woks are a great solution for outdoor and indoor cooking indeed. many of us have a misconception about the safety of the electric wok. But electric woks are completely safe indeed.
This Breville BEW600XL comes with stainless steel base and the bowl is made of cast iron.
This is a 14 inches family-size electric wok. This wok is based on the 1500 watt heating surface.
The bowl and lid are dishwasher safe. So the cleaning is very easy here
You can cook up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with this powerful electric wok.
- Dishwasher safe lid and bowl
- Perfect for stir-frying and authentic Asian style cooking
- Quick temperature control
- Need a little or no oil for cooking
- It is a bit difficult to put back the bowl after cleaning separately
If you are a newbie in wok cooking, you could consider this T-fal hard anodized wok.
This one is completely made from hard-anodized aluminum. Also, it is coated with a non-stick surface to prevent rust.
Don’t worry about the safety of using this wok. Because it is coated with toxic-free hard Titanium that prevents the acidic reaction.
Also, it retains the heat and the surface will not be damaged even after everyday use.
Unlike the traditional wok, it comes with a reverted silicone handle and a support handle.
Anyway, this wok is not perfect for the stir fry because you can use this wok to the max. 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, this one is not for cooking on the induction cooktop.
- Perfect for using daily life for the beginner
- No hassle in cleaning because this is a Dishwasher safe wok
- Large enough for cooking for family
- Not perfect for stir-frying (not perfect for using over 400-degree Fahrenheit)
- Not for cooking on induction
If you are looking for the best carbon steel wok in the budget, you could consider this Souped Up Recipes wok. This one is one of the most popular carbon steel woks in the market for ease of use.
This is a 14.5 inches wok, so this one is easy to wash and handle. You will get a spatula and wok lid with this package that is incredible in this budget segment.
You can use this wok on every cooking surface including gas, induction and electric cooktop.
This one is perfect for stir-frying because it is made from 100% carbon steel.
- Perfect for stir-frying
- Fit on every cooking surface including gas, induction and electric cooktop
- Lighter than the cast iron and stainless steel wok
- Very easy to clean
- Need seasoning before use some of the users can’t season perfectly. But you can do it by following the video instruction
Stainless steel woks are elegant and safe for health. Most professional cooks advise using stainless steel cookware for daily life.
Anyway. If you are looking for the best stainless steel wok in the market, you could consider this one.
This is a 13 inches wok and it comes with a spatula and wok lid.
This one is very easy to use because this stainless steel wok is oven and dishwasher safe.
This deep wok is perfect for stir-frying, boiling, deep frying and searing. You can use this wok on the both gas stove and induction top.
Most importantly, this wok comes with a non-stick coating layer. And you can use this wok in high heat up to 500-degree Fahrenheit for stir-frying.
- Dishwasher and Oven save
- Non-stick coated wok
- Perfect for Boiling, deep-frying, stir-frying and searing
- Ergonomic handle for easy flipping
- In the beginning, the food will get stuck and burnt since it is made of stainless steel
- The lid produce sound while cooking because of the stainless steel material
Are you looking for a compact hard-anodized non-stick wok for daily use? well, you could consider this Calphalon Signature.
This is a 12-inch flat-bottomed wok. So the heat distribution is very good here for cooking on a flat surface.
This one is made from Hard anodized aluminum. Since it comes with a non-stick coating, it is safe for dishwashers. So the cleaning process is easy indeed.
This Calphalon Signature is fit for up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it is not perfect for the traditional wok hay, you can work in the high temperature.
- Metal utensils safe, so there is no chance of scratch here
- Very easy to cleaning because it is dishwasher safe
- Non-toxic non-stick coating
- Not perfect for wok hei and stir-frying
Are you looking for a cast iron wok for everyday use? well, you could consider this Klee Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok. This is a 14 inches wok and the capacity is quarts here.
This is flat bottomed pre-seasoned cast iron wok. You can smoothly use this wok both for the indoor and outdoor kitchen.
This cast iron wok is not perfect for flipping food while cooking because of the hand position.
This cast iron wok is pre-seasoned. So, you don’t need to season it before the first use. the non-stick coating prevents rust.
It is not dishwasher safe, so beware of the dishwasher.
- Need times to heat the wok
- Need proper care
So, Who is the Winner?
If you are a beginner in Wok Cooking, I suggest you buy the T-Fal Hard Anodized Wok. On the other hand, If you are looking for an electric WOK, you could consider the Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok.
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What should you consider when choosing your wok?
If you are beginning in wok cooking, then you could consider the following points. Otherwise, you will not get the maximum performance from your wok.
What is the right size?
14 inches wok is the right choice for the family. Another size like 12 inches is perfect for 2 people or an individual.
What shape should I buy?
If you are looking for a wok for indoor cooking on a flat surface, then you could consider the flat bottomed wok.
For outdoor or professional cooking the round-bottomed woks are perfect.
What kind of Wok handle is convenient?
The mandarin woks are perfect for flipping food during cooking. So, you could consider the long-handled wok for more convenience.
Do I need a wok with a lid?
If your intention is using the wok for multipurpose use like boiling, steaming, then the wol lid is crucial. Otherwise, you don’t need the wok lid.
What is the best stove for wok cooking?
Obviously, the gas stove is the best for wok cooking. To get the traditional restaurant flavor you need the gas stove and hand-hammered carbon steel wok.
What Is The Best Wok To Buy For Your Recipes?
If you love the Asian cooking or Chinese cooking style, then you could buy the carbon steel wok. Carbon steel wok is the best for Chinese recipes.
What is the healthiest wok to use?
Stainless steel woks are the healthiest wok to use. although the carbon steel and cast iron wok are healthy, you need the proper maintenance here.
Now non-stick coated Teflon woks don’t include the toxic chemical. So you could consider them also.
Which is better carbon steel or cast iron wok?
The carbon steel wok. Because carbon steel wok is lighter and easy to handle. But both of them needed to be seasoned before using.
Do Woks work on electric stoves?
Yes, you can use a wok on the electric stove. For an electric stove, the flat bottom woks are perfect.
Do I Need A Wok Ring?
For using the round-bottomed woks on the flat surface the wok rings are mandatory.
I believe you have got the elementary knowledge on the Wok after reading this article.
You should choose the wok based on your demand. Thanks for being with me.