My personal experience says that Asian food is really delicious as I have seen people cooking luscious dishes in big handle utensils while my visit to Asia. As there is a variety of food available to choose from, Traditional Asian recipes and meals are the tastiest among all.
It begins from the cookware. The major reason for Asian dishes being so delicious is that they are prepared in carbon steel cooking pans which lend a unique aroma to the cuisine. It is the steel cookware that helps to create the irresistible smoky flavour.
As we talk about, I researched the utensils & cookware used in preparing such meals. To my surprise, I found these below mentioned carbon steel woks or pans which are designed specifically for traditional stir-frying over high heat.
Yes, they do require proper seasoning before you use them because the food will be burnt if not seasoned properly. If you want to give your taste buds a heavenly feel, pick one of these high quality carbon steel woks and make curries, do boiling, stewing, searing, steaming, frying and smoking food etc. Here is the list of the best carbon steel wok available in the market today:
Table of Contents
- Comparison on 10 Best Carbon Steel Woks
- 10 Best Carbon Steel Woks in 2020 Reviews
- 1. Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok: Best Hand Hammered Wok
- 2. Joyce Chen 22-0060: Best Flat Bottom Wok
- 3. IEOKE Wok Pan: Best Cast Iron Wok
- 4. Lodge CRS12: Best Carbon Steel Skillet
- 5. Helen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok: Best Non-Stick Wok with Lid
- 6. Joyce Chen 21-9978: Carbon Steel Wok
- 7. M.V. Trading 14-Inches Carbon Steel Wok
- 8. Sur La Table Professional Carbon Steel Wok
- 9. Eastman Outdoors 37212 Outdoor Gourmet Wok
- 10. Wok Shop 16-inch Carbon Steel Hand Hammered Wok
- How to buy the Best Carbon Steel Wok?
- How To Season A Carbon Steel Wok?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Comparison on 10 Best Carbon Steel Woks
15 gauge (1.8mm) Carbon steel
2.0 mm Carbon steel
12 gauge Carbon steel
1.6 mm Carbon steel
1.5 mm gauge Carbon Steel
14 gauge Carbon steel
10 Best Carbon Steel Woks in 2020 Reviews
1. Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok: Best Hand Hammered Wok
Meet this traditional best hand hammered steel wok that is specifically designed to enhance your kitchen experience. It is made of 15-gauge carbon steel that goes well with every type of cooking.
Plus, it has around the bottom of a small diameter to make stir fry easily for you. As you have to season it before you start cooking, you can make a variety of dishes with utmost comfort.
This carbon steel wok has been manufactured by Chinese professionals who are skilled and expert in cooking which is why they have infused an amazing technology in this Wok. This pan can be used for deep hot oil frying, soup making, and smoker etc.
Other than that, you can also use it for open fire while you go out on camping or else with your friends. Make luscious Chinese dishes using this Wok pan and don’t worry about the dishes getting burnt over high heat like other ordinary pans.
Since this Wok pan enjoys a good customer rating and unbelievable price, you should never miss on it.
2. Joyce Chen 22-0060: Best Flat Bottom Wok
Joyce is a renowned brand in Chinese cookware products and this best flat bottom wok is one of its kinds. With 14-inch diameter, this wok performs well on all types of gas or electric cooktops.
You can cook whatever you want as it is designed of heavy gauge carbon steel that doesn’t let your food burn on high heat. Plus, this wok has an ergonomic phenolic handle to fit your palm easily and comfortably while staying cool.
To maintain stability, this wok is equipped with an additional helper handle. Other than that, there is a loop to hang it for storage purposes. When it comes to cleaning, you should first remove the protective coating and then fill it with water. Boil for few minutes and pour the water out. Next, scrub with hot soapy water and scouring pad, rinse and wipe dry.
Furthermore, you also need to season it with cooking oil to make cooking easy. For that, take a paper towel and distribute the oil inside of the wok after putting it over medium heat. As it is easy to use and take care of, you can really consider buying it and expect it to serve you for long years.
3. IEOKE Wok Pan: Best Cast Iron Wok
Made of high-quality wrought iron, this wok pan is the ultimate choice of professional chefs. Designed to perfection, this wok pan is the best carbon steel wok to buy at such an unbelievable price.
Plus, it has uniform density with no air bubbles. Talking about the non-stick factor, this pan because manufactured with high-quality iron has a smooth surface without any coating makes it best non-stick wok. And due to that, it gives a non-stick and relaxing feeling while you are cooking something.
Equipped with a thick bottom and thin wall structure, this steel wok heats evenly which is why your food gets cooked uniformly. Other than that, it features great thermal conductivity that transfers a good amount of heat to the food and makes sure to prepare luscious food while saving you energy.Since it is designed of wrought iron, it is capable of fulfilling your iron elements needed by the body to make you feel healthy and active. Want to fry or cook or stew? Buy this wok pan and get a perfectly cooked food over a medium or high flame.
4. Lodge CRS12: Best Carbon Steel Skillet
Meet Lodge carbon steel pre-seasoned skillet that has been specially designed to fulfill your cooking goals. This skillet works on high heat for perfect browning and because it is made of 1-gauge carbon steel, it heats quickly and delivers evenly cooked food. Plus, it is an amazing addition for professional, home or camp use where you are all ready to cook without any seasoning, unlike other models.
The steel riveted handle makes it easy to cook and is also robust for extended use. As it is pre-seasoned with natural soybean oil, you can expect uniform cooking when the heavy gauge carbon steel maintains the perfect temperature.
This is the best carbon steel wok for induction, gas, electric, open fire or outdoor grilling. Want to take it along with while on the road? No worries, get it and enjoy your camping trip with friends or family.
Since it has excellent heating properties, you can expect the pan to cook your food really fast and even. Coming to the washing or cleaning of this skillet, it needs easy care. Wash it with hands and dry it immediately to retain the natural seasoning. For added benefit, you should rub it with cooking oil and it will last for a longer time.
5. Helen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok: Best Non-Stick Wok with Lid
Helen Chen brings you this Best flat bottom wok that is crafted from 1.6mm carbon steel. Featured with durable and impressive wooden handles, this flat bottom wok can accommodate both electric and gas stoves.
While you cook, you need a spatula which is already included unlike other products mentioned above in the list. Plus, the company offers domed metal lid, recipe manual, and 13-inch bamboo spatula, as already told.
To take your cooking experience to the next level, this 14-inch wok has been crafted keeping in mind your comfort. Since it is lightweight, easy to use and equipped with quick conduction, you can expect really incredible results. It provides constant heating to the food being prepared and is also durable to last a lifetime.To start with, it needs simple seasoning to maintain the non-stick surface and ensure optimum cooking experience. Once done with cooking, soak the wok in hot water for 5 minutes and remove the inside with a soft sponge. Never use soap or any other detergent as it can lose its shine and performance.
6. Joyce Chen 21-9978: Carbon Steel Wok
Once again, Joyce Chen has managed to appear in my list of best carbon steel wok to buy. This one is from the classic series of Joyce which is crafted with 1.5mm gauge carbon steel body to deliver nice cooking performance.
As it is natural carbon steel wok, you can expect good results even after years of usage. Plus, it has 14-inch diameter with birch wood handles which look highly attractive. Coming to the suitability with different cooktops, it works well on electric, gas and induction stovetops quite flawlessly.
Want to eat something nice? Put it on the stove and prepare your favorite dishes like vegetable fry, broccoli stir fry or Szechwan beef and satisfy your taste buds. While the birch handles stay cool to touch when the pan is hot, it is comfortable and convenient to use. The only downside is that the spatula is not included and you have to buy it separately.
Coming to the cleaning part, it needs to be hand washed and then dried thoroughly before using for cooking. If you want to gift it to someone special, go for it as it comes packed nicely in a gift box, isn’t it amazing?
This carbon steel wok is brought to you to enhance your cooking experience. It is a 14-inch wok which has been designed to sit directly on electric stove or grills as it has a flat bottom. Since this is easy and fun to use, you will enjoy cooking to a great level. Plus, this one has a wooden side spool handle allowing you to cook by having complete control over it.
Because it has flat bottom, the heat gets distributed evenly with high heat. Also, it performs very well on an electric stove and if you want to cook on gas stove, this same wok is available in round bottom to make cooking efficient.
It measures 4 inch in depth but there are more sizes available like 12” for up to 5 people and 16” for over 12. Other than that, you need to do proper seasoning to make it perform really better. To clean it, use your hands and dry it immediately.
Sur la brings you the professional carbon steel wok of the era. This brand has always promised to launch functional and impressive products and this wok is the right example. It is a professional product designed specifically for stir frying veggies, meats, steaming with bamboo inserts, deep frying tempura and much more.
Its carbon steel construction makes sure to deliver efficient and quick heating. Also, it transfers heat perfectly whilst providing easy maneuvering to the pan. Other than that, it has a maple handle that looks beautiful and also safe to stir and flip while working with flat bottomed wok.
To ensure it delivers awesome performance, the company has designed it with extreme precision. You can use it with metal utensils and carbon steel will rust if not taken care of properly. Featuring 14” diameter, this carbon steel wok provides even results on different types of cooking surfaces.
Meet Eastman Outdoors wok which has been designed beautifully to uplift the whole decor of your kitchen. As it boasts 22 inch, it is a perfect choice when you got to cook for more people.
Other than that, it is featured with a big kahuna propane burner with adjustable legs to give you an ultimate cooking experience.The adjustable legs perform great for boiling water in large pots and also this is a whole kit including spatulas.
Want to prepare an Asian dish? Go for this carbon steel wok kit and up your cooking game. Moreover, it is equipped with 12 inch accuzone thermometer in order to maintain right temperature for efficient cooking.
As it has a deep concave, you can fry fish, French fries, shrimp, chicken and much more items. Plus, if you want to boil large batches of anything, this wok is an excellent choice as it can accommodate good amount of food in one go.
Last in my list is this 16 inch carbon steel hand hammered wok that suits well to traditional kitchens. It has two loop handles which are easy to lift while cooking and the round bottom makes it a good choice for gas stove. Because it features hand hammered surface, you can expect the food to be cooked evenly from every side.
When it comes to cleaning, it is easy to clean with hands and then dry after washing. But like all the above woks, this one also needs to be seasoned before you start cooking.
How to buy the Best Carbon Steel Wok?
Buying any product demands a lot of efforts and carbon steel wok also requires you to do proper research before you jump into investing in any wok. Let us discuss few points which you should keep in mind:
Shape of the wok is the most important thing to consider because most of them are designed with round bottoms. Such woks don’t get proper heat so try to look for flat bottomed wok as heat will be transferred evenly. A wok with 4-5” flat bottom is suggested with 13” of sloping sides.
Never go for stainless steel wok and choose carbon steel for better performance and efficiency. Stainless steel wok is not good because they are heavy and create a hindrance in lifting up. Plus, they are capable of distributing heat properly and also they don’t respond to temperature changes effectively. Other than that, it is hard to do seasoning as compared to the carbon steel wok.
It is suggested not to buy a non stick wok because it is not necessary. As you get to season the wok before cooking, you have to remove the manufacturer’s protective coating.
After seasoning with oil, the wok automatically creates a polymer layer that is naturally non stick. Moreover, to produce non stick pans, seasoning method is used widely without Teflon in order to bring natural non stick effect.
Plus, non stick pans are not long lasting and they tend to lose their stickiness with time after continuous stirring. Because woks are specially for stir frying, non stick utensils are definitely not suggested. Also, non stick utensils fail to perform on high heat and because stir frying is done on high heat, it is not a good idea.
The choice of handle depends on your cooking style and preference. As there are two types of handles i.e. northern style and Cantonese style, you can choose according to your requirement. Basically, Cantonese style wok has two handles for easy lifting whereas the northern style has a long handle. If you are a professional chef who likes to move the wok while cooking, northern style wok will be the best choice for you.
How To Season A Carbon Steel Wok?
Seasoning a carbon steel wok is really significant for optimum and quality cooking. While you wash the wok before use, here are the steps to season it as well. Let’s take a look:
- Take a stainless steel pad and put some liquid detergent in hot water to wash the wok
- Scrub the exteriors with an abrasive cleanser to remove impurities
- Rinse it and dry immediately
- Now turn on the flame and place the wok on high heat
- Turn and tilt it until the inside turns blue-yellow color
- Turn down the heat to medium low and remove the wok
- Now sprinkle a thin layer of oil either with a paper towel or basting brush or any heat proof brush. You can choose any of these according to the availability.
- Now heat the wok on medium low heat for about 10-12 minutes
- Once done, wipe off the oil with a paper towel. You will see black residue and to remove that, repeat above 2 steps about 3 times
- Voila, the wok is ready to use!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does carbon steel wok work on an induction cooktop?
Yes, carbon steel wok can be used on an induction cooktop based on the surface of both the wok and the oven. Flat bottom woks such as a skillet would go well with a flat cooktop. Such as the Lodge CRS12. Similarly round bottom wok performs well with a higher oven top.
2. Is carbon steel cookware safe?
Yes, they are. The substances used to make carbon steel cookware are not toxic. Iron is a safe material for cookware and carbon has similar properties. The components are natural with no harmful coatings. So you don’t need to think twice about safety issues before buying a carbon steel wok.
3. Does carbon steel wok rust?
A carbon steel wok might get rusted if it isn’t taken care of properly. But don’t panic if your carbon steel wok gets rusted. You can easily get it back to its previous stage with some easy steps.
Woks are used for a long period of time so while buying, durability must be the major factor to keep in mind. As you are going to spend a good amount of money, it is recommended to think about your requirements properly and then read this detailed review to find out the best one that suits you.
Since every product has different set of specifications, the product that suits me might not suit you. But to give an honest opinion, Joyce Chen is an excellent brand offering a diverse range of carbon steel woks. All you need to do is keep cooking and this brand will never let you down. Happy cooking!
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