how to choose the best woks

Best Wok Wirecutter Consumer Reports Reviews

Wok or skillet? Perhaps, you fell into the confusion of not knowing how to distinguish between them. You can even mistake it for a specific dish, for the best wok wirecutter to box (freshly cooked food packed in takeout boxes). This is not surprising, since the wok is an ancient utensil present in all Asian food stores.

Now, you can have a wok at home to prepare mythical oriental dishes. From the rice noodles woks to the vegetable and chicken wok. A new world of preparations has opened on the internet to make those dishes at home that you could only eat in restaurants.

Keep reading if you want to know more.

List of Wireless Chargers: Wirecutter & Consumer Reports Reviews

​​If you are looking for consumer products, wirecutter is the best source. Fortunately, the wirecutter tested and recommended one product only at work. We listed this as 1st and some other popular models on the list.

The Best Woks On The Market: Our Favorites

1. Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel

Sale

Tramontina 80114/535DS Professional Aluminum Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan, 10", NSF-Certified

9.2 ✔

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Highlighted Features

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • High-performance reinforced PFOA-free nonstick, dishwasher-safe
  • Works with gas, electric and ceramic glass, oven-safe (400 F / 204 C)
  • Tramontina Item # 80114/535DS - UPC 16017041318
  • NSF-Certified commercial-grade 3004 heavy-gauge aluminum

Editorial Scoring Index

  • Value For Money: 87 /100
  • Tech Support: 84 /100
  • Easy To Use: 89 /100
  • Durability: 96 /100

Tramontina’s PRO Series Restaurant Fry Pans are designed and manufactured to withstand the rigors of a professional kitchen, and easily adapt to home and non-commercial use. Ideal for frying, scrambling, sautéing, and searing your favorite recipes, the fry pans’ commercial-grade, heavy-gauge aluminum construction distributes heat quickly and evenly, while the reinforced nonstick interior allows food to easily release from the pan for effortless cooking and cleanup.

The cast stainless steel handle is riveted for added support and features a versatile removable, silicone, soft-grip. This cookware is NSF certified, compatible with gas, electric, and ceramic glass cooktops, and can be used in the oven up to 400 F / 204 C. This cookware is part of the Tramontina Professional collection–designed and crafted to optimize performance in both restaurant and gourmet kitchens. Design, material, finishes, and fixtures are carefully selected to match the expectations of professional chefs.

Easy-release Reinforced Nonstick Cooking Surface

PFOA-Free high-performance nonstick allows food to be easily released from the pan – providing effortless cooking and cleanup.
Cast Stainless Steel Handle with Removable Silicone Grip

Riveted handle provides added support and the removable, silicone grip is versatile for use in and out of the oven.
Three Solid Rivets

Cast stainless steel handle is secured with three solid rivets for added support.
NSF Certified

Made of heavy-gauge aluminum and certified per the same rigorous standards used for cookware found in professional kitchens.

2. Lodge Pro-Logic Wok with Flat Base and Loop Handles

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Lodge Pro-Logic Wok with Flat Base and Loop Handles, 14-inch, Black
  • Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
  • Large handles and flat base for easier handling
  • One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok
  • Great for induction cooktops
  • Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil

3. Carbon Steel Wok For Electric

Carbon Steel Wok For Electric, Induction and Gas Stoves (Lid, Spatula and User Guide Video Included)
  • VIDEO AND WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS - Had problems with other carbon steel woks getting rusty? We have very simple care instructions, so you'll be cooking like a pro!
  • SOUPED UP RECIPES CARBON STEEL WOK - Manufactured and imported by popular Youtuber, Souped Up Recipes.
  • VIRAL TAKEOUT RECIPES - Over 900,000 subscribers trust her recipes... and we'll also include a link to over 200 video recipes in the box, many that can be made this wok.
  • THE ORIGINAL FLAT BOTTOM WOK - Works on electric stoves, induction stoves, gas ranges and other heat sources.
  • PRE-SEASONED FOR IMMEDIATE USE - Sizzling stir frys, crispy deep frys, pan-searing to perfection.... while also able to make soups and stews!

4. Aroma Housewares AEW-306 Electric Wok 

Aroma Housewares AEW-306 Electric Wok with Tempered Glass Lid Easy Clean Nonstick, Cooking Chopsticks, Tempura and Steaming Racks, Professional Model, Black
  • LARGE SIZE & QUICK HEAT UP: This large 5-Quart capacity wok gives you all the space you need to make anything you have in mind. It’s made to handle high temperatures, heat up rapidly and maintain the heat so you can make cooking delicious meals faster and easier
  • DURABLE & NONSTICK: Our stir fry pan is made using durable and heavy-duty cast aluminum that can handle daily use in the long run which coupled with the nonstick coating provides you with a simple way to cook even the messiest of dishes without worrying about lengthy cleanups
  • EASY TO HANDLE & CLEAN: The cool-touch base and handles make it easier and safer to use the wok while keeping you in control. The entire wok can easily be disassembled and detached from the base to be cleaned in the dishwasher or hand-washed in the sink
  • THE COMPLETE WOK KIT: Our wok pan comes with everything you need to cook authentic Asian and modern dishes. Each pack comes with an AEW-306 wok, high domed tempered glass lid, extra-long chopsticks to help you cook along with a steaming rack and a tempura rack. Power Consumption : 120V 60Hz 1500W
  • COOK LIKE A PRO: The wok with lid is designed with a temperature probe that allows you to maintain a consistent temperature for even cooking. The lid is designed with a steam vent that allows you to control the moisture when cooking or steaming giving you the freedom to make stir fry, soups, fajitas, fried tempura, and much more

5. Lodge 9 Inch Cast Iron Mini Wok

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Lodge 9 Inch Cast Iron Mini Wok w/ Loop Handles
  • 9 INCH CAST IRON MINI WOK W/ LOOP HANDLES. This mini server is seasoned and ready to use. For exotic cuisines or home spun favorites, the Lodge Cast Iron Mini Wok retains heat well, making short work of any dish
  • FAMILY-OWNED. Lodge is more than just a business; it’s a family. The Lodge family founded the company in 1896, and they still own it today. From environmental responsibility to community development, their heads and hearts are rooted in America
  • MADE IN THE USA. Lodge has been making cast iron cookware in South Pittsburg, Tennessee (pop. 3,300) since 1896. With over 120 years of experience, their cast iron is known for its high quality design, lifetime durability, and cooking versatility
  • MAKE EVERY MEAL A MEMORY. Lodge knows that cooking is about more than just the food; it’s about the memories. This dynamic skillet can be used for both hot and cold presentations and has superior heat retention from the oven to the table
  • PRE-SEASONED COOKWARE. A good seasoning makes all the difference. Lodge provides pre-seasoned cookware with no synthetic chemicals; just soy based vegetable oil. The more you use your iron, the better the seasoning becomes

6. Jim Beam 12” Pre Seasoned Heavy Duty Construction

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Jim Beam 12'' Pre Seasoned Heavy Duty Construction Cast Iron Grilling Wok, Griddle and Stir Fry Pan
  • PRE SEASONED - Cast iron has superior heat retention for even cooking, restaurant quality searing and comes pre-seasoned, non-stick cooking surface when used with a thin layer of oil. It's also ridiculously strong and rugged
  • EASY TO USE - Curved wide base for even heat retention, tested and built for stability. Use with confidence on all cooking surfaces. Jim Beam cast iron wok has greater retention and distribution of heat.
  • CAST IRON COOKING BENEFITS - cooking with cast iron skillets proves to beneficial to you, both health wise as well as to your kitchen, This skillet would last you years to come If used properly. All Jim Beam BBQ tools are made of the highest quality, and the line boasts a variety of items, all catering to your BBQ and kitchen needs
  • HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION - Large handles and curved base for easier handling. Unparalleled heat retention and even heating. Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill. Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire. Seasoned for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use

7. Yosukata Carbon Steel Wok Pan

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YOSUKATA Carbon Steel Wok Pan - 14 “ Woks and Stir Fry Pans - Chinese Wok with Round Bottom Wok - Traditional Chinese Japanese Woks - Black Steel Wok
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS: This large wok pan is made from heavy-duty, black carbon steel. The ergonomic design of the wooden handle ensures a comfy grip when you use this cooking wok
  • GENUINE TASTE: Discover the rich, authentic flavors of Chinese and other Asian cuisines in your own home. The Yosukata 14 inch wok with round bottom is specially designed to lock the juice and flavor inside ingredients
  • PRE-SEASONED: Our carbon steel wok is pre-seasoned at high temperatures over 600F using special technics unlike unseasoned woks and stir fry pans. Still require full seasoning with oil like any Chinese wok
  • VERSATILITY: In addition to stir-frying, with the Yosukata 14'' pow wok, you can cook healthy meals using various traditional cooking techniques like pan-frying, braising, deep-frying, etc.
  • EASY HANDLING and STORAGE: Our steel wok is convenient to carry and easy to store

8. Yosukata Carbon Steel Wok Pan

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YOSUKATA Carbon Steel Wok Pan – 13,5 “ Woks and Stir Fry Pans - Chinese Wok with Flat Bottom Pow Wok - Traditional Chinese Japanese Woks - Black Steel Wok
  • PRE-SEASONED: Our carbon steel wok is pre-seasoned at high temperatures over 600F using special technics unlike unseasoned woks and stir fry pans. Still require full seasoning with oil like any Chinese wok
  • VERSATILITY: In addition to stir-frying, with the Yosukata carbon wok pan, you can cook healthy meals using various traditional cooking techniques like pan-frying, braising and deep-frying
  • EASY HANDLING and STORAGE: Our steel wok is convenient to carry and easy to store
  • GENUINE TASTE: Discover the rich, authentic flavors of Chinese and other Asian cuisines in your own home. The Yosukata 13,5 inch wok with flat bottom is specially designed to lock the juice and flavor inside ingredients
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS: This large wok pan is made from heavy-duty, black carbon steel. The ergonomic design of the wooden handle ensures a comfy grip when you use this pow wok

9. Wok Pan with Lid & Spatula

10. Craft Wok Flat Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok

Sale
Craft Wok Flat Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok with Wooden and Steel Helper Handle (14 Inch, Flat Bottom) / 731W316
  • Chinese wok pan with flattened bottom: suitable for flat electric and flat induction stove. Not 100% flat - bottom has flat bubble which sets up. Do not forget to season it before use! Instructions for easy seasoning are included with the wok. Our customer service is ready to guide through the process whenever you need it.
  • Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over high heat, also helpful for hanging the wok for storage. Wooden handle has special hygroscopic not slippery surface for tight grip when you stir-fry.
  • Flat Bottom Heavy 14 Inch 15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel wok, commercial grade. Original design by Craft Wok since 2014, proven quality over the years. Traditional chinese wok pan with flat bottom for electric stoves.
  • Hand hammered by Chinese professionals in Guangzhou. This wok is the proven choice of many professional Chinese chefs. Wok weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg). Heavy and sturdy. The flat part of the bottom is not 100% flat: it has a flat bubble that sets up. This is due to the real hammering method of production. It does not affect the cooking process.
  • Craft Wok - Love Wok! We are a team of professionals drawn together by our passion for the carbon steel wok. Our mission is to bring you as much pleasure from Stir-frying in a wok, as chefs get in restaurants across China. To do this, we have found the best manufacturers in China. Our range of branded products is 100% authentic traditional carbon steel woks, 7 years on market.

The Most Important

  • The wok is an oriental utensil that is more than 2000 years old. Similar to a frying pan, it is deep and round at the base. Its shape allows food to be cooked at high temperatures, enhancing its flavors by sealing it and preserving its juices.
  • There are several types of works, such as the traditional and the cast iron. These have greater durability, although they must be cured. On the other hand, there are modern non-stick aluminum works that do not need special treatment. However, they do not reach the same temperatures.
  • When choosing a wok, the material should be taken into account as the main deciding factor. On the other hand, the round base is ideal, but it is not compatible with all kitchens. Also, it should have a handle for added versatility.

Purchase Criteria

Best Wok Wirecutter
Wok

When choosing a wok you will find several characteristics that make it different from the others. It is important that you know what these influences are when using them as they are:

  • Type of stove or heat source to use
  • Material
  • Non-stick
  • Size
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Number of handles
  • Base shape

Type of stove or heat source to use

Depending on the type of kitchen or the heat source you use, we can differentiate which wok is most appropriate. In this way they will absorb as much heat as possible, getting the maximum potential in the kitchen:

Gas and electric stoves. These types of kitchens are the most common. They generate heat through fire or resistance and the utensils absorb it when they come into contact with them. The wok to be used must be able to absorb heat, therefore, anyone can be used it without a problem.

Induction cookers. Induction cookers have a different system from traditional ones. They do not generate heat through fire or resistance. They heat using magnetic waves, which means that the wok must be made of a conductive material. The most appropriate are those made of iron and vitrified steel as they have better heat distribution or have a steel base that transmits the heat to the rest of the wok. In the market, you can easily identify them since they tell you if they are suitable for induction cookers.

Material

The oriental wok is traditionally made of cast iron or carbon steel, being the preferred material in professional kitchens and restaurants. Although new materials began to be used aimed at home cooks who require less care. In total we can get the following types of work depending on the material:

  • Carbon Steel Wok: Lightweight and heats up fast. It is preferred by professional chefs for the manageability it offers. It is used over high heat. It should be cured before first use and after washing. It rusts if it is not properly cared for.
  • Vitrified Steel Wok: The enameling process gives it a non-stick coating. It is not necessary to cure. It has a better heat distribution. It does not need special care.
  • Cast iron wok: It is the most used in restaurants. Iron takes longer to heat up and also to cool down. It reaches higher temperatures. It is heavy so it can hinder mobility. It must be cured. It can rust, but if it is properly cared for, it is one of the most durable materials.
  • Aluminum wok: It is coated with non-stick. It reaches lower temperatures compared to the others. It does not require special care. It has less durability. It’s economical.

Non-stick

Today we can find modern woks that are coated with non-stick. By wearing this coating it is no longer necessary to cure the wok as it was traditionally done and both cleaning and care become less laborious. However, it is important to know that depending on the non-stick its characteristics vary:

  • Teflon non-stick: Despite being the most used, it has a component called PFOA that is used to adhere the Teflon to the utensil. PFOA is toxic to people and small amounts can be released if Teflon is heated to high temperatures. Just what you want with the wok. In recent years the big brands stopped using it because it was banned, but it is important to check if the wok is free of PFOA because some may remain on the market.
  • Ceramic non-stick: A new alternative to Teflon. Ceramic nonstick is preferable for cooking at high temperatures. They do not release toxic components. Although compared to Teflon they are less non-stick and do not look very good after several uses.

Size

The size to choose will depend on the portions of food you want to cook at the same time. Starting from 28 cm as a medium portion and easy to handle. And on the other hand, 32 cm is a large-scale portion. The normal thing is that the sizes oscillate between 28 cm to 32 cm in diameter.

Although other less usual sizes can be obtained. Like 24 cm for individual portions and 35 cm for restaurant kitchens.

Dishwasher safe

As we mentioned earlier, there are certain materials that cannot be washed in a dishwasher. Iron and carbon steel rust easily so they cannot be washed in the dishwasher. Likewise, the wok with Teflon can damage the non-stick.

But we cannot close ourselves to the idea that the wok can be easily washed. We can find a wok with non-stick ceramic and vitrified steel that is dishwasher safe. We just have to check its characteristics.

Number of handles

The handles are a key factor when it comes to the mobility of the wok. If we want to easily sauté to make a vegetable wok, it is essential that it has a mango. On the other hand, if we are looking to fry or make a noodle wok, we can leave the handle aside and opt for handles.

If your case is that you want a wok that you can use for everything you want to cook, there is also a wok with a handle and a handle. It is the one that offers the greatest versatility. Offering the ease of sautéing without stirring and the support of the handle to move the wok from one place to another with greater comfort. As with the heavy cast iron wok, this combination makes the job easier.

Base shape

The base can vary between two forms:

  • The traditional circular base allows greater movement and transition of stir-fry foods. The drawback of the circular base is that it cannot be left to rest in the kitchen unless the stove allows it with a hollow shape in the center.
  • The flat base was suitable for modern kitchens. This shape provides greater comfort because we can support it on any surface. Be it a stove with burners or flat as in the vitroceramic and induction cookers.

FAQ: What You Should Know About The Wok

In recent years you have surely come across a new style of cuisine that serves dishes called woks. There’s even a new trend in wok-to-walk restaurants, which are sauteed and packaged meals to eat on the go. It can be said that the presence of the wok in Western gastronomy has increased, but the truth is that the wok is far from being something recent. However, when we say wok we are not referring to the food, we are referring to the utensil where it has been made.

What is the wok and what advantages does it have?

The simplest way to explain what a wok is would be “It’s a deep, round pan.” But the wok is more than that, it is a utensil with more than 2000 years originating from the West. Its deep, round shape was created to absorb as much heat as possible at the base. Allowing you to cook food faster, using less oil (or shortening) and fuel for the fire.

Why should you cook with a wok?

If you were not convinced by the versatility that the wok provides when cooking and cooking time, surely this is. The high cooking temperatures seal the food instantly, keeping the juices and properties within them. The ingredients brown quickly in the transition between the hot base and the walls.

What types of wok are there?

The wok has undergone several modifications to date. The materials, the shape of the base, even the number of handles have changed. Despite everything, three types have remained: the traditional wok or Chinese wok, the cast iron wok, and the modern wok. They differ mainly by the material that drastically influences the characteristics at the time of cooking.

How is the wok used for the first time?

Before jumping into the kitchen as soon as you have a wok in front of you, you should know certain things about it. Make sure you know what type of wok you have. If it has a non-stick coating, you should not worry if you are going to cook in it for the first time.

How do you cure a wok?

The cast iron and traditional woks do not come with a non-stick coating, the metal is in direct contact with the food. This causes food to stick to the surface of the wok, making it impossible to cook. They are also exposed to moisture that rusts the metal rendering it useless for cooking.

Summary

The wok is undoubtedly an incredible culinary utensil. Its versatility allows it to adapt to any type of cuisine and gastronomy. It was for a long time one of the best-kept secrets of professional chefs and Asian restaurants to elaborate exquisite dishes enhancing the flavor and aroma of the ingredients.

But its use has already spread widely, allowing homes to have this utensil of different materials, sizes, and shapes. Having several versions that meet the requirements sought by everyday cooks.