A kitchen without a wok is never complete. If you love freshly cooked Asian food especially Gong Bao chicken or spring rolls then it is very important that you purchase a wok. A carbon steel wok is an important staple in our kitchens, and we have personally used most of the woks introduced here. The Smith family has been a long time fan of various Asian cuisines, and stir-frying is a family favorite way of cooking.
Having worked at an upscale Japanese restaurant, Madison is well versed with the wok, and is glad to share her expertise with you. We have owned over 5 woks in our cooking history, and our oldest wok bought in Taiwan is still going strong. Indeed, we love wok cooking as a healthy alternative to the regular oily pan fried dishes as a simple drizzle of the olive oil via a olive oil sprayer imparts enough taste.
Here, we review the best carbon steel woks available for purchase in the market for you.
Top Selling Carbon Steel Woks
Table of Contents
The use of woks became popular 100 years ago and it comes with many advantages.
- A wok uses comparatively less oil than any other pans due to the concave design
- Best useful to prepare fried non-veg and vegetable dishes
- Woks come with comparatively larger cooking space that enables the cooking of different ingredients at the same time
- A round bottom wok is good for sautéing, deep frying, and steaming
However, not all woks are the same. It is very important that you consider buying a wok that could spread the heat evenly all over the surface and at the same time made of high-quality metal or alloy that does not rust or warp.
If you lack the basic knowledge on how to select a wok, then, it’s best recommended that you purchase one from a reputed brand.
Best Buy Carbon Steel Wok Reviews 2020
Here is the list of best rated carbon steel woks available today.
1. Joyce Chen 21-9978, Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok, 14-inch
The Joyce Chen 21-9978 carbon steel wok comes with a 14-inch diameter. This product comes incorporated with attractive birch wooden handles. One of the notable things about this product is that it could be used on gas or electric induction stove-tops. This wok is made of 1.5mm gauge carbon steel, and is thick enough for cooking food that requires constant stirring.
- The Joyce Chen 21-9978 wok comes with a wide top and narrow bottom that requires less use of cooking oil.
- The whole product comes in an attractive gift packing making it a suitable gift option for you.
- The wok is designed to heat quickly and evenly.
2. Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok with Lid, 14-inch
his carbon steel wok comes from the traditional wok-manufacturing brand Helen’s Asian Kitchen. This carbon steel wok comes with a diameter of 14-Inches. One of the notable things about this wok is that it comes with an attractive lid, a bamboo made spatula, and a cookbook.
- The whole product is made of 1.6mm thick carbon steel, therefore the product is durable and reliable.
- This wok has two durable wooden handles.
- This wok is compatible to be used on both gas stove and electric stoves.
- The manufacturer recommends that this product be hand-washed and not dishwasher-washed.
3. 14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok(Flat Bottom), 14 Gauge Thickness
This carbon steel wok comes from the brand M.V Trading and is made of 14-gauge carbon steel. As the product name suggests, it is made of 14-gauge carbon steel and comes with a flat bottom. Since the product is made of 14-gauge carbon steel it is highly durable and reliable. This product is made of unseasoned carbon steel and therefore could be used for rapid heating. It also cools rapidly.
- This product could be used on both gas and electric stoves.
- This wok has a depth of 4’’.
- One of the notable things about this wok is that it comes with a long handle on one side and a short rectangular one on the other side. Both the handles are made of wood.
4. Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
This Craft Wok markets one of the best unseasoned carbon steel woks. This carbon steel wok is made of 15-gauge and is more than enough to make a wok strong to resist any warping at high temperature. This is one of the traditionally designed woks available today.
- This product comes with a long handle on one side and steel helper handle on the other side.
- This wok could be used for steaming and smoking food.
- One of the important features of this wok is that it could be used for open fire cooking with ease.
5. Ecolution Non-Stick Carbon Steel Wok, 12″,Black
The 12” Ecolution manufactures and markets carbon steel woks which are not like any other carbon steel woks listed above. This carbon steel wok comes with non-stick coating in its interior surface. The non-stick coating on this product is free of PFOA, a cancerous chemical. The product comes with a flat base that allows it to sit directly on the burner, therefore, allowing heating the wok with maximum efficiency.
- This carbon steel wok is best recommended for any cooking that ranges from stir-frying to deep-frying.
- This carbon steel wok comes with a lifetime warranty.
- This product is compatible to be used on gas, electric, and glass ceramic stove tops.
6. 14 Inches Carbon Steel wok, 14 Gauge Thickness
This carbon steel wok comes from the brand M.V Trading that has a reputation for marketing top-quality woks. This carbon steel wok is made of 14-gauge carbon steel. It has a flat bottom that enables it to sit directly on a gas or electric stove.
- This carbon steel wok comes with two side ears.
- The product is made of heavy carbon steel that could heat easily and spread the heat evenly all over the product surface.
- This product is designed for rapid heating and cooling.
7. 16 inch Carbon Steel Hand Hammered Wok
This carbon steel wok comes from the brand Wok Shop and is one of the best carbon steel woks available. It has two loop handles that makes carrying this wok easy. This carbon steel wok has a round bottom that makes it highly suitable and efficient to be used on gas stoves.
- One of the notable things about this wok is that it comes with a hand-hammered surface and therefore it transfers heat evenly.
- The manufacturer offers a wok ring with this product.
- The manufacturer has avoided using any sophisticated machinery to manufacture this product and has used hand hammering method to increase the efficiency of the wok.
8. KEN HOM Nonstick Carbon Steel Wok, 14.25″, Black
Unlike most of the carbon steel woks listed above, this carbon steel wok comes with high quality non-stick coating. One of the notable features of this product is that it comes with non-stick coating certified to be free of PFOA. This wok has a unique flat bottom that enhances the heat distribution capacity of this product.
- This wok comes with a riveted handle to make carrying the wok easier.
- The manufacturer offers a 2-year warranty on this product.
- It is best recommended that you hand wash this wok.
- Unlike any other non-stick coating, this coating is resistant to rusting and scratches.
This carbon steel wok from the brand Wok Shop comes with a flat bottom and is made of high quality material. It is made of 14-gauge carbon steel and comes with a long handle and a loop handle.
- This wok has wooden handles.
- This wok has a depth of 4-Inches.
10. KEN HOM Carbon Steel Wok – Asian Stir Fry Pan- 12.25″, Silver
This is an Asian stir fry pan from the brand Ken Hom and is one of the induction compatible carbon steel woks. Unlike any other products listed above, this carbon steel wok comes seasoned. The non-stick coating used in this wok is of high-quality and it ensures easy cleaning.
- The manufacturer offers a 10-year warranty on this product.
- One of the notable features o this product is that it comes with a unique shape long handle on one side and a loop handle on the other side.
- The handles are riveted and are covered with wood for good insulation.
- This product is designed in such a way that heat transfers evenly over the surface of the wok with ease.
How To Choose The Best Carbon Steel Wok
Are you considering purchasing a top quality carbon steel wok? Then, here is the guide that could help you choose the best carbon steel wok in the market today. Note that a carbon steel wok is different from a cast iron wok, and despite the name, a carbon steel wok actually has less carbon than a cast iron wok. A common misconception in novice cooks is that cast iron cookware have better heat conductivity, but in fact carbon steel has a better conductivity for high heat cooking.
The shape – Carbon steel woks come in different shapes. This could be flat-bottomed or round-bottomed. Each type of carbon steel wok has its own advantages; if you are using a gas stove-top, then you could use either one of the carbon steel woks as both of them are suitable on a gas stove-top. If you need an electric or induction compatible carbon steel wok, then purchase only the flat-bottomed wok.
Size and height – The size and height of the carbon steel wok are very important. If the wok is too deep then the heat will be more at the bottom and at the same time the heat will not be efficiently transferred to the sides of the wok, so, as a result, the cooking will be uneven. However, we recommend that you purchase a carbon steel wok with a 14-inch diameter and a height of 5 inches. The height could also vary between 4-inches and 5-inches.
Handles – Woks come with different handles. Carbon steel woks come with handles made of different materials and of different shapes. They could be small loop handles placed at opposite sides or they could be straight long handles made of metal and insulated with Teflon or silicone, wood or other insulating material.
Price – Not all people consider the price of a product seriously, but the majority of the customers do. High-quality products come with a comparatively higher price tag. This does not mean that every product with a higher price tag is a good quality product. However if the product comes from a reputed brand and the price is comparatively higher than other products, it is certainly normal.
Heat distribution – If you are a customer who does know about the metals and materials used, then you should understand this factor. Carbon steel could be of different types, low, medium, and high quality. How do we differentiate it based on the heat distribution capacity? However, it is not a practical thing to test a product before purchasing it. This is why we recommend that you purchase the product from top brands that offer their products with a warranty and easy return policy. If you find the product worthless, don’t hesitate to return the product and get your refund.
Carbon Steel Wok Cleaning & Caring Instructions
Cleaning a carbon steel wok is as important as using it. Cleaning a carbon steel wok is an easy process. You do not require any special detergents to do so. Here is how to clean your carbon steel wok easily.
Step 1: Dip the wok in warm water for 10 minutes after use.
Step 2: With a soft plastic scrubber or cloth, scrub off the food particles sticking on the surface of the wok.
Step 3: If the food is firmly stuck to the surface, dip the wok in warm water again for a few minutes and then scrub it again.
Step 4: Once you are done scrubbing and the food particles are removed, dry the entire wok.
Step 5: Drying should be done by wiping off the moisture or water using a paper towel.
Step 6: Now, place the wok on a stove-top and heat the wok with a medium heat.
Step 7: Take a paper towel and then dip the paper towel in vegetable oil just enough to slightly wet the wok.
Step 8: With the paper towel, wipe the interior of the wok.
PS: You need to do this only if you are not planning to use the wok for a few days, weeks or months.
Once you are done doing this, store the carbon steel wok somewhere with almost no moisture.
There is one thing you should always remember; never use a hard or sharp material to scrub the carbon steel wok as it could damage the seasoning. At the same time never use any sort of dishwasher soap on a carbon steel wok.
How to Season a Carbon Steel Wok
It is a very simple procedure, and will not take you long. Seasoning (开锅 in Chinese) a carbon steel cookware is important as it creates a protective patina or surface, and it keeps your new wok naturally non-sticking without extra chemicals.
- Wash the wok in hot water with some detergents along with a scrubber to clean it thoroughly.
- If required you can scrub the exterior part of the wok with a scrubber or an abrasive cleaner. But never use the scrubber inside the wok.
- Then rinse the wok thoroughly and dry it.
- Next place the wok on the stove with medium heat.
- You can move the wok, turning it and tilting it up to the sides until the metal turns yellowish or blueish in color.
- Remove the wok from the heat after it turns yellowish or bluish.
- Then add a thin coating of oil over the entire surface of the wok. Dip a paper towel in some oil and rub the whole surface with it. Use tongs to hold the paper towel tightly. Another convenient way is to use a brush that is heat-proof on the oil.
- Again, heat the wok on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Wipe away all the oil on the wok surface by using another paper towel. You will get to see some black residue on the paper towel.
- You should repeat the process of oiling on the wok surface at least three times or until the black residue comes off totally. When it is done, the wok is ready to use.
- You can start cooking on the wok.
A carbon steel wok is not that hard to find on the market today. There are thousands of models available on the market from different brands.
However, not all products are the same, but to help you, we have listed the top and best products. Consider purchasing the above-mentioned list of products and enjoy cooking your Chinese dishes. Please do also check out our comparison on the differences of carbon steel wok and electric wok if you’re still confused.
Editor’s Note: Article was updated for clarity and accuracy on February, 2020.
Editor’s Note 2: Article was updated for clarity and accuracy on March, 2020.
Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API