In search for the carbon steel wok? We hear you! There are some kitchen duties that only a carbon steel wok will do, and since you know this too, we’ll be showing you some of the best carbon steel wok options in the market now so you can add this handy and useful kitchen item to your arsenal.
If you are a fan of Asian cuisine, then you’ll need the best carbon steel wok you can find. Carbon steel woks are used for cooking traditional dishes; and have been used for over two hundred years in Chinese cooking.
As you can see, works are the utilitarian backbone of any home chef attempting to recreate the dishes of their favorite Chinese place. But with so many models it may sound a bit challenging knowing where to start. Below you’ll find a list with some of the best carbon steel woks alternatives that will surely give your cooking the umph it’s been waiting for.
Carbon Steel Wok FAQ’s
Is carbon steel good for woks?
Suitable for cooking any foods quickly at high temperatures, woks come in cast iron, stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and nonstick, but many professionals say the best woks are made of carbon steel. Carbon steel heats quickly and retains that heat, so it’s great for searing ingredients.
Is carbon steel wok toxic?
No, carbon steel is very safe to use because it is made from carbon and iron which is a safe cooking material. Carbon steel cookware doesn’t contain toxic substances like other modern nonstick cookware.
Is a carbon steel wok better than a nonstick?
Traditional carbon steel woks are durable, lightweight, and inexpensive. They provide rapid heat conduction to quickly sear food, which is essential for stir-frying. Non-stick coatings have developed over the years to withstand the higher temperatures needed for stir-frying.
What is the best metal for a wok?
Carbon steel is the most traditional material used for making woks, and it also tends to be the most recommended by wok enthusiasts. It’s inexpensive, lightweight, durable, and most importantly, it heats up quickly and evenly.
What kind of wok do Chinese chefs use?
Chinese restaurant chefs exclusively use carbon steel woks and swear by them. Different styles and sizes may be used depending upon the task at hand.
Traditionally, woks are made with a round bottom, allowing them to get closer to the flame. Most of today’s stoves don’t accommodate the shape of a traditional round-bottom wok, and require the use of a wok ring or a stove equipped with a wok top.
Many home cooks prefer to use flat bottom woks, as they don’t require any additional accessories. However, wok traditionalists argue that flat bottom woks limit the surface area and don’t allow you to toss food as you would in a round bottom wok.
How to choose a carbon steel wok?
- Thickness. If the wok is thick, it will take more time to heat up. However, once heated, a thick wok will preserve heat for much longer and distribute it more evenly.
- Size. The best of wok depends on the purpose for which you want to use it. If you are cooking for a small family, choose a 12-inch wok.
- Size of the handle. Some types of wok have long handles, similar to frying pans. These work best when cooking at high temperatures, as the handle makes it more comfortable when standing close to the heat. But long-handled woks are difficult to maneuver, as the weight isn’t evenly distributed.
How to care for a wok?
- Clean your wok. Hand washes your wok using dish soap, warm water, and a sponge.
- Heat your wok. Fire up the stove and heat your wok on high heat for about 10 minutes. Rotate the wok to ensure all sides are evenly heated.
- Oil your wok. While your wok is still hot, use a paper towel or rag to apply a small amount of high-smoke point oil, such as vegetable oil. Cover the entire surface area of the wok with the oil. Then use a rag or paper towel to wipe away as much of the oil as you can.
- Keep your wok hot. Allow the wok to sit on high heat for an additional five minutes. You’ll notice the color of the wok will begin to change once again, and this is a good sign. Go ahead and turn off the burner and let it cool. Your wok is seasoned and ready to use.
Carbon Steel Wok Options
Round Bottom Heavy 14 Inch 15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel wok, commercial grade.Not suitable for flat electric or flat induction stove.
Hand-hammered by Chinese professionals. This wok is the proven choice of many professional Chinese chefs. Wok weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg). Heavy and sturdy.
Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over high heat, also helpful for hanging the wok for storage. The wooden handle has a special hygroscopic not slippery surface for tight grip when you stir-fry.
- Round Bottom
- Steel helper handle
- Tight grip
Round Carbon Steel Wok Ideal for Stir-Frying Ideal for all cooktops including induction sits straight on all cooktops.
No wok ring needed; heavy quality steel coated with beeswax Riveted handle curved in French-style Made in France.
Its signature beeswax finish protects against oxidation and has natural nonstick once seasoned.
- Signature beeswax finish
- Alloy Steel
- 11 Inches
This wok is pre-seasoned for immediate use; ideal for sizzling stir fry, crispy deep fry, pan-searing to perfection; while also able to make soups and stews.
Works on electric stoves, induction stoves, gas ranges, and other heat sources.
- Carbon steel stainless steel wood
- Immediate use
- Flat bottom wok
Fashioned with a handsome profile and a rugged build, this Asian Kitchen carbon steel lidded wok provides a smart-performing traditional tool for high-heat cooking.
The 13.5-inch piece is crafted from heavy-gauge 1.6 mm carbon steel for speedy conduction. As opposed to nonstick pans, this material does require seasoning but with a little initial help from the cook provides an optimum surface for searing and stir-frying.
Flat-bottomed for stability, this wok features deeply sloped sides and dual heat-resistant handles made of wood. A high-domed lid allows for steaming and accommodates bamboo steam baskets comfortably.
- Heat-resistant bamboo handle
- Flat bottom
- High-domed lid
Large traditional wok with lightweight composition and helper handle for better maneuverability.
Heats evenly to prevent scorching and cook stir fry evenly.
A 1.8mm heavy-duty carbon steel gauge can handle high temps up to 500 degrees. It is also oven safe up to 350 degrees with the removable resin handles attached. If you are looking for spoons that won’t ruin your wok, then we suggest you look for a wooden spoon.
- Flat bottom
- Ergonomic Phenolic handle
- Loop on handle for hanging storage