Break out your chahns and hoaks, because it’s time to talk about woks! The Wok is arguably the most versatile pan to be found in the kitchen because they can be used for a plethora of techniques such as:
- Stir frying
- Pan frying
- Deep frying
- Roasting nuts
- Indoor and outdoor smoking
- Making soup
- How do you know which type of wok the most suitable for you?
Consider the Material
Since most of the methods of cooking using a wok requires cooking at high temperatures, woks lined with Teflon aren’t recommended. Teflon is easily scratched, it breaks down chemically at temperatures above 450 degrees.
OK, so which material is best for you?
Cast iron woks that are too thin are fragile and prone to shattering if dropped. They can be slow-heating and slow-cooking, but food is less likely to stick to them.
Carbon steels woks are difficult to season and food is more likely to stick to the carbonized coating is prone to sticking because it is easily removed. However, they heat up quickly and easily, are durable, inexpensive, and will maintain a nonstick surface when properly cared for.
Clad stainless steel woks contain a thick layer of aluminum between two sheets of stainless steel. The aluminum core allows the wok to heat and cook food at optimum temperatures without any harmful leftover chemicals or residue. Plus, since it has a stainless steel finish, it is very durable and extremely easy to clean!
Shape and Handles
When it comes to handles, there are two very different choices to consider:
Cantonese-style woks have two handles on either side, so when you flip you simply hold each handle and flip!
Northern-style woks have both a long and small handle, on opposite sides of the wok. This type of wok is typically most preferred because the longer handle aids in flipping and stir-frying, and the shorter handle makes the wok easier to lift.
Top 10 Best Woks
Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless-Steel 13-Inch Wok with Dome Lid
Cook’s Standard Stainless Steel Wok is silver in color and its diameter is the desired thirteen inches for optimal space when stir-frying. The tight-fitting stainless-steel dome lid traps in heat and moisture to perfectly steam your rice or vegetables.
This wok is dishwasher and oven safe (up to five-hundred degrees), and comes with a lifetime warranty! The handles are the Northern-style, with one longer and one shorter on either side, making it easier to handle and maneuver.
The alloy aluminum core that is fitted in between an outer layer of stainless steel runs throughout the entire wok for full coverage, allowing the wok to heat quicker and evenly distribute heat.
Finally, this wok is an ideal choice because of its ‘stay-cool handles and air-flow technology.’ The handle formed into a v-shape with an open space in between that allows air to flow through and around the handle to keep it cooler and easier to hold while cooking on the stovetop.
Although this wok’s handles stay cooler than others, it is still recommended to use a pot holder while handling the wok.
T-fal Specialty Jumbo Wok Cookware – Size 14-Inch and comes in Black
The T-fal wok is a fourteen inch non-stick durable aluminum wok. You’ll be cooking your most favorite Asian-inspired meals in no time, because this wok is complete with the desired northern-style handle for easy flipping, and a soft curve, wide top and narrow base to heat quicker and cook more evenly.
It is made with PFOA-free nonstick (both inside and outside) material, which means there’s no need to use oil while cooking! It also offers a quicker clean-up time, and is dishwasher safe. The stay-cool handle keeps your hands burn free, and has a hole in the end to hang for storage.
14 inch Lodge P14W3 Seasoned Cast Iron Wok
The Lodge Cast Iron Wok features a modern style, a fourteen inch diameter for an abundance of cooking room, and Cantonese-style handles. Made from cast iron, this wok provides pinnacle heat retention while allowing food to cook evenly throughout the wok. Feel free to use an electric or gas range without a ring to hold the wok steady, because this wok features a flat bottom for an easier cooking experience.
Cast iron woks are a wonderful investment because they can last for several decades, but they must be seasoned properly. No, we’re not talking about salt and pepper! Seasoning your pan is simple; it will add years to the life of your cast iron wok, and it provides exceptional taste to your completed Asian dishes.
To season your pan (must be done after every use):
- Hand was wok and dry immediately
- Rub a light coat of vegetable oil (just enough to provide a shine)
- That’s it!
The Joyce Chen Pro Chef Wok is a great choice if you’re looking to purchase a wok, because it comes with a ten piece cook set. This exceptionally made wok is made from heavy gauge two millimeter carbon steel, features an Excalibur premium nonstick surface and is safe for use with metal utensils. Feel comfortable in this purchase, because it comes with a twenty-five year warranty!
This wok features maple wood Northern-style handles in addition to a lid, tempura rack, twelve inch bamboo spatula, bamboo cooking chopsticks, six pair bamboo table chopstick, steaming rack, twelve inch bamboo tongs, bamboo rice paddle and a recipe-instructions booklet!
However, this wok is not dishwasher safe, so it must be hand washed. If food gets stuck to the pan and won’t come off with light scrubbing and detergent, apply a paste of two tablespoons baking soda and one tablespoon bleach to the area and allow sitting for fifteen minutes, then gently scrubbing and rinsing with warm water. Dry immediately.
14 Inch Joyce Chen Pro Chef Wok – This version is a flat bottom wok and made from uncoated carbon steel
This Joyce Chen carbon steel wok features a coveted fourteen-inch diameter flat bottom for ease of use on any gas or electric ranges. It is made of durable heavy gauge carbon steel (two millimeter professional weight. The northern-style ergonomic stay-cool phenolic handles are easy to handle and don’t retain heat. Also find a loop on the end of the handle for easy storage.
Before using this wok, the protective coating must be removed. Fill the wok with half to two-thirds cup of water and boil for five to seven minutes. Scrub the wok vigorously inside and out, then dry immediately for best results. Then, season the interior and exterior of your wok with vegetable oil and place over heat. Rotate wok to heat all areas, repeat three or four times. This wok is not dishwasher safe.
The Calphalon Contemporary wok is made with heavy-gauge aluminum allowing even heating. It is hard-anodized for durability, so it is dishwasher safe and safe in the oven. The interior lining consists of three layers of nonstick coating. Two of the layers increase the longevity of the product and the third layer provides easy release performance.
A single, long, brushes stainless steel handle is made to stay cool while cooking. The wok and cover are oven safe. The flat-bottom offers a wide cooking surface that is ideal for cooking on a gas or electric range stovetop, and the domed cover is great for creating your favorite soups or steaming the perfect batch of sticky rice. As if all of these features weren’t good enough already, this wok comes with Calphalon’s full lifetime warranty!
Calphalons Triply Stainless Steel wok features an aluminum core sandwiched between two stainless steel layers. This setup makes for easy heating and exceptional browning and control of the process of cooking. Since this wok is made with stainless steel, it is non-porous and is safe for use with any type of utensil.
Make cooking fun and easy again because this wok can go from stove, to the oven, then straight to the table! Its mirrored cook surface allows you to monitor your foods more easily as they cook, and the clear tempered-glass lid allows you to monitor your food even while its in the oven!
The flat-bottom cooking surface means there’s no problem if you’ll be cooking on a traditional gas or electric range. Complete with northern-style handles for easy handling and a domed lid to create yummy rice or delectable soup, you’re sure to love this wok. And, no worries, because it comes with Calphalon’s full lifetime warranty!
Feel the difference when you cook with the Bruntmor Cast Iron Wok. It features a flat, sturdy base that can be used with gas, electric or induction cooking stoves, and it can also be used in the oven. Featuring large loop Cantonese-style handles, this wok is easily lifted off of the stove or out of the oven.
This wok comes pre-seasoned for your immediate use after purchase, and it is hand wash only. Cast iron woks are known for their superior heat retention, allowing your food to cook evenly and completely. After each use, wash your wok with warm water and soap, then apply vegetable oil to the outside until it is just moist. Taking proper care of your cast iron wok can make it last more than a lifetime!
Celphalon’s Signature Hard Anodized Wok features it’s signature Sear nonstick interior PFOA-free coating, and its designed to perform as meritoriously as stainless steel. Feel free to use any type of cooking utensil while using this wok!
For added strength, this wok is made from heavy-gauge hard-anodized aluminum. It’s brushed stainless steel northern-style handles are ideal for maneuvering, and it features stay cool technology to keep the handle cooler while cooking. The tempered glass cover makes monitoring your food while it’s cooking much easier, and it is safe to use in the oven.
This Calphalon wok’s twelve inch flat bottom allows you to cook on any gas or electric range stove. Shaped in the traditional style of high, sloped sides for tossing foods and made with Sear Nonstick interior, this wok is ideal to evenly sauté, sear, brown, steam, or boil any type of food!
From TeChef comes the art pan collection which features five leayers of nonstick surface with heavy gauge aluminum. The flat, steel base aids in distributing heat evenly throughout the wok and is safe to use on any cooktop, including induction.
The pattern on the inside of the pan acts as a guide to help you use the correct (and healthier) amount of oil. The Teflon coating is PFOA-free, and the wok doesn’t contain any cadmium or lead. Because this wok is from TeChef’s art pan collection, it is Aubergine Purple which signifies glory, splendor, and pure joy of life.
If you’re interested in saving left over stir fries or storing fresh meat properly, then head over to my best vacuum sealer guide to get some ideas.