Of all the kinds of pans available in the market today, you simply can’t deny the effectivity and efficiency of a fine wok. A wok is a kitchen tool that originated from China. It has been used for hundreds of years for cooking all sorts of dishes including fried rice, meat, noodles, and more.
If you feel like acquiring such a versatile cooking tool, but don’t have any clue about choosing woks, you have come to the right place.
This article contains all the information you need about choosing the right wok for your kitchen. I have also prepared a short list of woks that you can buy online. Read on and start choosing a wok for your home.
Quick Comparison: Top Carbon Steel Woks 2019
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Pros And Cons Of Using A Carbon Steel Wok
Before we get into the details as to how to choose a wok and which woks you should check out, let us first discuss the different pros and cons of using a carbon steel wok.
When it comes to the benefits of this product, I have noticed that carbon steel woks are very versatile and affordable. You can easily get a piece for less than 30 bucks. This is the cooking material to get if you are on a tight budget.
Another great thing about carbon steel woks is that they are very lightweight. This is an essential feature in my opinion because I have always found it hard to lift a wok with one hand, especially when it’s full of food. If you have issues with your hands such as arthritis or you have chronic pains that you deal with everyday, a good, lightweight wok will make your life easier.
There’s also this thing called “wok-hei” or “breath-of-the-wok.” This refers to the supposed air getting built up inside the wok that helps enhance the flavor of the ingredients being cooked in it. This is one of the reasons why the wok has been a favorite choice in Asian countries. This is also the reason why foods cooked in a wok are chock-full of flavors.
Carbon steel woks are also quite durable. With proper maintenance, you can make your carbon steel wok last for years.
How To Choose The Best Wok
The key to becoming a happy and satisfied customer is being familiar with a set of factors that you can use as a guide for determining whether a certain product meets your personal needs and preferences or not.
When it comes to choosing woks, you don’t really have to be mindful of a lot of things. But to get the best product for your home, try to look out for these following features:
Material and Build
The type of material that a wok is made of can significantly affect the cooking experience you will get upon using the wok. One of the best types of woks in the market today are made out of carbon steel.
Carbon steel woks tend to retain heat very well, be really sturdy, lightweight and doesn’t come with coatings that can easily get chipped off.
Try to choose a wok that is neither too deep nor too shallow. I highly recommend getting one that comes with a depth of 4-inches and a diameter of 14-inches for the best cooking experience.
Woks often come with round bottoms, making them somewhat incompatible with most stovetops. This is why another thing that you’d want to look for when it comes to shape is a flat bottom. This is true especially if you are using a glass top stove. Since glass top stoves are typically more slippery than gas stovetops, a flatter wok bottom would help the wok to stay on to.
Accessories and Utensils
Though I personally don’t recommend making a purchase based on the free things that come with the product, it’s always nice to end up with more than what you paid for.
If you happen to end up choosing between two products that are somewhat similar in terms of properties, you might as well go with the one that comes with accessories or other freebies such as lids, spatulas, steamer trays, burner rings, ladles, etc. Just make sure the accessories that come with the wok are durable as well. You don’t want to buy flimsy accessories that you will just throw away because they didn’t last long.
Design and Ergonomics
Woks are pretty large kitchen tools. A wok can be quite difficult to lift when designed poorly. For added ease of use, try to choose a wok that comes with multiple handles that are comfortable to grip. Doing so will ensure that you will get to toss the ingredients in the wok without much difficulty even when it’s full of heavy ingredients.
Easy Cleaning and Maintenance
The last thing you would want to consider when it comes to choosing woks is the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Try to choose a wok that you can clean in a dishwasher or one that comes with a non-stick coating for easy cleaning. Since you will be doing a lot of frying on your wok, you don’t want the ingredients to stick on the surface. Most people resort to using a steel brush to clean their wok, which can be damaging, which is why nonstick properties would be ideal.
5 Best Carbon Steel Woks You Can Buy Online
Now let's take a look at our detailed review below.
All of these woks are winners in my book so whatever you choose, you’re bound to have a wok that will work for your needs for many more years to come. But at the end of the day, it still boils down to personal preferences. What might work for you might not work for other people. We all have different cooking skills, levels and preferences, after all.
But to make it easier to find the wok that suits you perfectly, I’ll make a recommendation. The Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok is great for everyone – professional or amateur home cooks alike. It is a great choice for families with small to medium-sized cooking needs only so if you often cook for a larger crowd or you own a restaurant and you need a wok, you probably need to look for something bigger. Otherwise, this won’t fail you.
Professional cooks will like the versatility and the sturdy design of the M.V Trading 14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok with Helper Handle. It works on different types of stovetops. But even if you only need a wok for home cooking, you will still find this ideal.
Ecolution Non-Stick Carbon Steel Wok is great for people who don’t like high-maintenance and fussy woks. This wouldn’t take a lot of time or effort to clean so you won’t be stressed-out using it for your various cooking needs. If you often cook sticky foods, this is a great buy. It is also large, great for deep-frying and for cooking large portions of meals.
If aesthetics is important to you, the Joyce Chen 22-0060 Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok is a great option. It looks great, so it should be no issue if you have no storage space and you just leave your wok displayed on your countertop.
The Sur La Table Professional Carbon Steel Wok is also ideal for medium cooking needs. You can use this for just about any cooking need such as braising, boiling or frying.
Of all the different types of pans we looked at, we found out that Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok is the best carbon steel wok to buy.
Give these suggestions a go. If you still want to look for more home cooking equipment and tools, you can check out our homepage for more product reviews and suggestions.