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You don’t have to buy a professional wok to prepare Chinese cuisine, but owning a well-made carbon steel wok will undoubtedly make your life simpler and provide some additional advantages (source).
Most significantly, these machines provide equal heat distribution and use less oil when deep frying meals.
Simply simply, a wok will make cooking Asian cuisine much simpler (source).
A wok is used in an increasing number of meals (source), not to mention its ease for preparing foods from various cultures.
Choosing the proper unit requires careful thinking if you want to get all of its advantages.
There are other factors to consider, since you will most likely locate numerous identical units for free.
They obviously also provide nothing.
Apart from the primary elements, there are little details that may distinguish between a random unit and a professional work.
Fortunately, we’ve already done the legwork for you.
We examined some of the most popular models on the market, as well as the secrets behind their success.
Of course, this purchase should be done with your needs in mind, but having the best-selling things on hand will be beneficial.
- 5 Carbon Steel Wok Reviews for 2022
- When Purchasing a Carbon Steel Wok, What to Look For
- The Decision
5 Carbon Steel Wok Reviews for 2022
1 – Joyce Chen 22-0060, Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok
Joyce Chen’s carbon steel wok is intended to offer professional standards to your home kitchen.
It is 14 inches in diameter and can fit most stoves.
It is appropriate for both small and big households, as well as any kind of electric or gas stove.
It is constructed of thick gauge carbon steel. Because of its 2mm thickness, we found it to be quite solid and durable.
It’s circular and meets the basic needs of a wok, yet the bottom is flat for added ease. Nevertheless, it must be hand cleaned for upkeep, so do not put it in the dishwasher.
Safety has also not been disregarded by the maker. The ergonomic phenolic handle keeps cool no matter how often you use the wok.
There’s a good distance between the handle and the center of the wok, so cooking on high heat won’t cause any harm.
We were very pleased by the manufacturer’s attention to detail. On the opposite side of the main handle is a little assistance handle.
It has the same properties, so it will keep cool and provide simple and steady transportation. There’s also a loop on the handle so you can hang the wok.
- It comes with multiple features for convenience, such as the extra handle.
- It comes in a standard size to support both small and large meals.
- The handle stays cool no matter how long you use the wok for.
- The flat bottom allows more versatility when cooking sophisticated meals.
- The extra thickness makes this wok heavier than other units.
- Handles don’t feel sturdy enough if the wok is overfilled.
2 – KEN HOM Nonstick Carbon Steel Wok
This carbon steel wok by Ken Hom is available in a few different sizes, the most common of which is 14.5 inches.
Its normal size makes the wok suitable for both residential users and solo chefs with families.
Because of its robust build, it also comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The wok is composed of induction-safe carbon steel.
Additionally, it has a thick nonstick coating layer on it. There is no need to be afraid since the coating is PFOA-free.
Cooking and cleaning are both straightforward. The coating eliminates the need to scratch, much alone corrode, the wok.
The flat bottom prevents heat from being reflected back to the meal. You may avoid scorching the food in the center this way.
Also, with further heat, the bottom will not shake. The wok is dishwasher safe in terms of care.
Nonetheless, the company suggests hand cleaning it for added longevity.
The riveted handles were one of our favorite minor details. They’re always cool as long as the wokis are properly positioned on the burner.
They also limit heat transmission, but they also contribute to your balance while shifting the meal.
- It’s extremely simple to clean this wok due to the non-stick coating, even if you do it manually.
- The flat design maintains its shape overtime.
- The extra handle provides extra safety and balance when moving the wok around.
- The non-stick coating is safe and PFOA free.
- The extra handle feels unstable when moving an overfilled wok.
- Although it’s dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing it.
3 – Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
The top carbon steel wok from Craft Wok, available in a standard and traditional form, is certain to bring Chinese elegance into your kitchen.
It is a traditional unit with no bells and whistles, but just the essentials, which explains its appeal among professional Chinese cooks.
This wok, like many others on the market, must be seasoned before use. It has a long handle and an assistance handle for support and balance.
The steel assist handle will not burn you even if you use the wok on high heat.
It does, however, become heated at times.
The wok has a strong 1.8mm thickness for durability and efficiency. It costs a little more than comparable works in this category, but it will stand the test of time.
It features a classic spherical bottom, yet if positioned correctly, it will not wobble. Nevertheless, it is not suitable for flat or induction cooktops.
- It’s hand hammered by Chinese professionals, so it’s as close as possible to the traditional wok.
- It’s thicker than other woks for a top-notch durability.
- It has an extra handle for stability, while the main handle can be unscrewed for maintenance and oven seasoning.
- Its size is ideal for both couples and large families.
- Given the round bottom, it can’t be used on flat tops.
- It must be professionally tempered before use, which requires special procedures.
4 – Joyce Chen 21-9978, Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok
Joyce Chens wok, available in a basic size of 14 inches and a few more variations, attempts to take simplicity to a new level.
There are no cutting-edge technology or fancy features in its design, so you’ll just find the essentials suitable for both novice and professional chefs.
It is constructed of natural carbon steel. It is 1.5mm thick and will last for years. There is no chance of warping regardless of how you cook.
Birch wood is used for the handle. It’s strong and long-lasting. But, if you want to overheat this wok, you should do it before screwing on the handle.
Apart from that, it features a side handle. It is said to be cool and give a wonderful balance. It may get hot after cooking for many hours, so use care.
The bottom is level. This wok did not wobble when tested on various surfaces (including electric flat tops).
- The flat bottom makes it suitable to all kinds of stoves.
- The extra handle provides more stability when moving the wok.
- Made of birch wood, handles are both durable and good looking.
- It comes with an excellent heat distribution.
- Seasoning can be tricky, so do some research.
- Non-stick coating could’ve added to its versatility.
5 – Wok Shop 14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok
This wok is perfect for all types of burners, including flat surfaces, and comes in a standard 14-inch size with a flat bottom.
It must be seasoned before use and well maintained. It should never be washed in a dishwasher, but rather by hand and promptly dried to preserve the flavor.
Its durability is directly attributed to the hefty 14 gauge carbon steel. Because of its thickness, it warms up quickly and spreads heat evenly (source).
It also enables excellent stir frying by moving meals to the edges and adding other ingredients in the center.
We appreciated the fact that both handles are made of wood. The extra handle is tall and never gets hot, even while cooking over high heat.
We tested it for a few hours and it kept an ideal temperature without the need for kitchen towels to move the wok.
With a depth of 4 inches, this wok can accommodate enough food for a typical family.
- It comes with detailed instructions on oven seasoning, despite the wooden handles.
- It’s deep and wide enough to allow cooking for large families too.
- The 14 gauge carbon steel is the standard size for a perfect heat distribution.
- The flat bottom makes it suitable for flat surfaces too.
- It doesn’t feel like a complete set without a lid, so you’ll have to purchase one separately.
- It’s way heavier than other woks in this segment.
When Purchasing a Carbon Steel Wok, What to Look For
There are a few factors that might mean the difference between a good and a bad buy.
There are three methods to make a wok.
The hand hammered ones are more adaptable since the food may be moved about to create place for additional components in the center.
They’re simple, but getting a professional wok with a flat bottom may be difficult.
The stamped woks are pressed by machine. They’re fairly smooth, so food can’t be moved about too readily without falling into the centre.
Lastly, the spinning technique includes concentric circles along the bottom, allowing you to employ both the center and the edges. They generally have flat bottoms.
Considerations at the Bottom
While purchasing a wok, you must decide between flat and round bottoms.
We discovered that the greatest woks were a combination. Some are entirely spherical, while others have a flat surface in the center.
Round bottoms cook food quicker, while flat bottoms may also be used on flat burners.
We suggest a large size if you require a wok for a restaurant.
Most individuals, however, need a wok for domestic purposes, therefore it is mainly a question of personal choice.
If you have a big family, you may need a larger apartment. The size is also determined by the size of your stove, so take into account all of the relevant factors.
Nonstick properties are important since they may avoid a variety of unforeseen scenarios.
Another key advice is to have a cover, however some models do not come with one.
The purpose of a lid is not to protect oneself, but to facilitate the cooking process; certain items just need to simmer.
Finally, you don’t have to be an expert Chinese cook to use a wok in your kitchen. Modern woks are also especially intended for use in domestic kitchens.
They do need an initial treatment as well as regular upkeep, but they are likely to bring originality to your dishes.
Choosing the best carbon steel wok might be difficult with so many comparable models available, but we’ve already narrowed it down for you.
We strongly advise choosing a well-selling item from a well-established manufacturer over a new random firm.
Joyce Chens 22-0060 Pro Chef Wok was deemed the best balanced unit in its category by our experts. It is designed with Asian food in mind. It doesn’t feature any unnecessary frills, just the essentials for a creative and diverse supper.