Best Carbon Steel Wok for Your Needs

Best Carbon Steel Wok for Your Needs

Do you and your family love Asian cuisine? Are you always ordering take-out from your neighbourhood Chinese or Thai restaurant? Are you telling yourself that you need to start cooking Asian cuisine at home?

If you answer yes to these questions, then without doubt one of the first things you will need to invest in is a sturdy good quality Wok.

A carbon steel Wok is preferred over woks of other materials as it helps to distribute the heat evenly and cooks much faster. We reviewed six different woks on the market to help us determine the best carbon steel wok for your needs.

The following carbon steel wok review will help you to make the right decision while buying a carbon steel wok.

6 Best Carbon Steel Wok On the Market

1. Joyce ChenPro: 14-inch Chef Flat Bottom Wok Uncoated Carbon Steel

This Flat bottom uncoated carbon steel wok from Joyce Chenpro is usually used by professionals. This Wok is highly durable and is made of standard quality. Once seasoned, this wok will give you ultimate cooking experience. The phenolic handle remains cool to touch during the cooking and the helper handle makes the transfer of food from the wok to the container easy. The flat bottom of the wok is 14-inch in diameter and works great on gas and electric stoves respectively.

Remove the protective coat on the Wok before the first use by filling the wok with hot water until half full and then boiling the water for around 7 minutes. Then remove the water and scrub the wok with soap and sponge before rinsing it off  with clean water.

For seasoning, take 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and rub it all over the interior surface and heat the wok on medium flame for about 10 minutes. Spread the oil all over the interior surface using a paper towel and turn the work upside down over the flame. Make sure all the sides and the bottom of the wok heats up to finish the seasoning.

Pros

  • Works perfectly on all types of stoves
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Gives uniform heating and responds well to the change in the heat levels while cooking

Cons

  • The aluminium rivets that attach the handles to the wok needs to be tightened regularly
  • Handle can sometime be an hindrance when trying to transfer the food from the wok

 

2. MV Trading 14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok

This heavy duty 14 gauge carbon steel wok from MV Trading can be used both for commercial and domestic purposes. The handles on this wok make it look like a Chinese traditional wok. The bottom of the wok is flat which makes it apt for use both on electric and gas cook tops. The wok is 4 inches deep and you can buy this wok in different sizes ranging from 12 inches, 14 inches to 16 inches as per your requirement. And for commercial purposes this Wok is specially made in 18 inches, 20 inches, 22 inches, 26, 28 and 30 inches.

The wok is made from high quality steel which makes it sturdy and durable. Seasoning of the wok before the first use is pretty easy if you follow the instructions. Once the seasoning is done, you are good to cook.

Pros:

  • Comes in versatile sizes both for commercial and domestic purposes.
  • The flat bottom makes the wok easy to use on electric or gas stove
  • The flat bottom of the wok make is usable on grill too

Cons

  • The wok is a bit heavier to hold
  • Heat distribution is not even and needs constant stirring of food
  • The wok doesn’t work on glass cook tops

 

3. Joyce Chen 21-9972, 14-Inch Charcoal, 4-Piece, Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok Set

This classic series steel wok  from Joyce Chen is made with high quality material that makes your cooking comfortable and convenient. This 14 inch wok is great for cooking tofu, vegetables and especially to make stir fries like Szechwan beef, vegetable stir fry or Broccoli stir fry.

The long handle and the short helper of this Wok are made from Birchwood. The short helper comes in an ergonomic design that not only makes lifting the wok easier but also keeps it completely cool to touch during and after the cooking session.

The curved interior and the carbon steel bottom of this wok evenly distribute the heat on the cooking surface and makes tossing and stirring easy. The narrow bottom also allows you to cook with little oil. The wok also comes with a non-stick steel lid that locks the moisture, heat and nutrients inside while cooking. The wok can be used both on electric cooktop as well as the gas stove. However, the wok cannot be placed in a dishwasher. And it should be cleaned gently by hand.

Pros

  • The wok heat up pretty quickly and distributes the heat evenly
  • Allows frying with little oil
  • Very easy to season

Cons:

  • Shows rusting after every use
  • The Teflon coating comes off after the first few uses.

 

4. Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen 14-inch, 4 Piece Set, Flat Bottom Wok, Carbon Steel with Lid and Stir Fry Spatula, Recipes Included

 

Helen Chen is a well-known cook, instructor, author and developer of cookware. This carbon steel flat bottomed wok is from her cookware collection and comes with 1.6mm durable carbon steel bottom that is sturdy and heats up pretty quickly. This Wok is compatible with both electric and gas stoves. This Wok is perfect to cook authentic Asian recipes.

The heavy gauge carbon steel make doesn’t make it heavy for you to lift. The Wok is very light to lift while cooking.  With good and proper care this Wok can last for a lifetime. Make sure you clean the wok with hot water and a sponge to keep the inside safe from scratches. The concentric grooves in this steel wok gives consistent heating and fast heat recovery. The handles are made specifically with bamboo making them heat resistant. And you can lift the wok without using pot holders and be assured of not burning your fingers. The initial seasoning of the wok is very simple and it makes the surface optimum for searing, braising, steaming, deep frying and stir frying. The wok comes with a high domed lid that retains moisture and heat.

Pros

  • Easy to maintain
  • Works great on induction cooktop
  • Very sturdy and durable

Cons

  • Turns rusty in few uses
  • Handles break off after consistent use

 

5. Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok (14 Inch, Round Bottom) / 731W88 with Wooden and Steel Helper Handle

Craft wok is known for making durable carbon steel Woks. They make authentic woks that totally resemble the woks made in China. The Craft woks come with traditional design and round bottom.

This traditional hand hammered carbon steel Pow Wok from Craft with wooden and steel helper hand was first made in Guangzhou by a professional Chef who was highly trained and experienced. Making Wok hand hammered is the traditional Chinese way of making Wok.

Hand hammered woks are great to make stir fries and cook meat. The wok heats up quickly and distributes the heat evenly all around the surface. This wok can not only maintain the temperature but can also withstand the frequent changes in the temperature setting. The wooden handles not only add look to the wok but they also remain cool to touch while cooking. You can unscrew the handles and place the wok in oven.

Even though the wok is structured with 1.8 mm, 15 gauge carbon steel, you will not feel that it is heavy to lift. This Wok is designed for domestic use and can be used on any cooktops like gas, induction, electric or on open fire.

Pros:

  • Durable and long lasting with proper care
  • Consistent performance
  • Traditional Chinese design

Cons:

  • Gets rusted easily

 

6. Carbon Steel Hand Hammered Wok -16 inch (wok ring not included)

This 16 inch size hand hammered carbon steel wok with round bottom is designed to work ideally on all types of stoves like gas, electric and induction. This Wok is not machine made and is made in the traditional Chinese way by hammering with hand. If you give this wok a closer look you can definitely see the hammering marks. The wok gets better and darker with use. You need to make sure you clean it carefully. After seasoning you need to make sure you do not clean it with soap. If you use soap, you need to season it again. And it is also not be put in a dishwasher.

You can buy the wok ring along with the wok if you are planning to use it on flat surfaces. You can season this wok as per the manufacturer’s instructions in three different methods. The wok is good for a large family of 5 or more. On any given day you can make great Asian dishes in this wok.

Pros

  • Deep and wide to make food for a large family
  • Comes with detailed instruction from the manufacturer making it easy to prepare the wok for the first use
  • Works beautifully on all cooktops

Cons

  • Comes with a stubborn coat of machine oil that takes time to scrub off
  • Doesn’t come with the Wok ring

Things To Know before buying 

Wok is a round or flat bottomed utensil that originated in China. Wok is widely used to make different types of Chinese or Asian dishes. You don’t have to be a professional chef to own a wok. If you are passionate about cooking different cuisines for your family you can buy a carbon steel wok for your kitchen.

From Stir frying to deep frying, braising, steaming, boiling, stewing, pan frying, poaching to roasting, you can do all types of cooking with a wok. The traditional woks were round bottomed because they were used to cook on gas stoves. But the modern carbon steel Woks that are being sold today can be used to cook on gas, electric and also on induction cooktops.

How to use the carbon steel wok

The Carbon steel woks need to be seasoned before the very first use. If you do not season it before the first use, the metals used in making the carbon steel wok will absorb the water and rust.

Seasoning the wok before the first use will not only make it rust free but also make the food flavourful. Seasoned wok is also easy to clean.

How to buy a carbon steel wok

Before buying a carbon steel wok, you need to know how to pick the right one for your cooking.

  • Procedures: Woks are basically made in three different procedures; hand hammered, machine pressed and spun procedure. Hand hammered ones are authentic and it’s easy to move food around in the hand hammered wok. Machine made ones have smooth finish and moving food in the wok can be a little difficult. And the spun woks come with flat bottoms and concentric circles.
  • Bottom type: Round bottom wok can be used only on the gas stove. But, if you have an electric stove or induction cooktop, then it advisable to go for a flat bottom
  • Size: Woks come in different sizes ranging from 14 inches to 30 inches. Depending on the size of your family and your requirements, you can choose a size.
  • Other Features: Other features like lid to cover the food while cooking and wooden handles to hold the wok while cooking also matters while buying the wok.

Conclusion

After going through the reviews of best carbon steel Woks, we have found that the 14 inch flat bottom uncoated carbon steel wok from Joyce Chen is the clear winner. Made from high standard carbon steel this Wok is sturdy and durable. It is made to cook Chinese cuisine to perfection. And the next front runner in this segment is the 14 inch carbon steel wok sold by MV Trading. This wok comes in different sizes for both domestic and commercial requirements making it reliable.