We’re here to provide you with a closer look at the 10 best carbon steel woks for your kitchen this 2020. After all, a wok is an indispensable tool for cooking your favorite recipes and treats. But getting one that isn’t suitable for the specific use cases you have in mind won’t provide you with the best experience. So we went ahead and created this list, first for ourselves, and second for our community of readers out there.
We started by knowing exactly what a wok is and how it works. This allowed us to identify the key benefits and major advantages that we can get from using the most suitable wok for our unique needs. Also, we were able to pinpoint the most important aspects to consider in a carbon steel wok carefully.
At this point, we then decided to steadily build a roundup of the 10 best carbon steel woks this year. We realized that we needed to form a test group of both beginner and expert kitchen lovers alike. That’s for vigorously testing each of these products in a variety of applications, situations and skill sets.
But even if you consider all factors, it’s still a little challenging to make sense of the carbon steel woks in the market today and the things that it can do for you. This is mainly due to the sheer number of options that you have out there. So for this reason, we have compiled the top 10 carbon steel woks for 2019. And here’s what we came up with to help you make a more informed buying decision:
Carbon Steel Woks Review Center 2020
|Image||Carbon Steel Wok||Rating|
|#1 - Tesor Pow Carbon Steel Wok||94%|
|#2 - Souped Up Flat Carbon Steel Wok||94%|
|#3 - Ieoke Carbon Steel Wok Pan||88%|
|#4 - Mauviel Black Carbon Steel Wok||88%|
|#5 - Gold Tulip Carbon Steel Wok||86%|
|#6 - Craft Wok Traditional Carbon Steel Wok||86%|
|#7 - Timoneylove Carbon Steel Wok||82%|
|#8 - ICON Carbon Steel Wok||78%|
|#9 - Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen Carbon Steel Wok||70%|
|#10 - Joyce Chen Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok||64%|
Before each of these 10 best carbon steel woks of 2020 made it to our list, we put each product through our own tests. We formed a test group of restaurant owners and home cooks. We asked them to try these products out. Also, we made sure that some of our testers had never used a wok before, so we could really see how easy they were to use.
Plus, we took the feedback from members of online communities in popular social media platforms where we regularly hang out. They generously shared their experience in using these products. We also considered the Amazon ratings of each product, along with the reviews that buyers all around the world left for each of these top 10 carbon steel woks. Overall, here are our findings:
#1 – Tesor Pow Carbon Steel Wok
We saw the words Pow Wok come up a few times. It means a hand-hammered carbon steel wok with one long handle! It’s a perfect description for this wok, aside from the extra hooked handle.
It has a 14-inch diameter with a rounded bottom. The rounded bottom isn’t suited for flat stovetops. It’s 15-gauge carbon steel with a 1.8mm thickness.
The hand-hammered interior has small indents that help the food remain at the side of the wok while you add more ingredients. The food on the side gets cooked slower. You can leave your vegetables there while the meat is cooking in the center.
With the wooden handle, you can toss the food with just the movement from your wrist. The additional metal handle makes it easy to shake the contents and carry the wok.
It only weighs 4.75lbs, so it might be a better alternative for those who can’t handle heavier woks.
Tesor Pow Woks come with a 100% money-back guarantee, just in case you aren’t happy.
What We Like About It:
This is a really good option for those on a budget or who aren’t sure if they will make the most out of their wok. It costs around the same amount as a non-stick pan so you don’t have to invest a lot of money for authentic Chinese meals.
We tried it out with a range of food, including rice dishes. It was easier to handle than other woks, and we liked the feel of the wooden handle.
The cook on the food was great. It heated up quickly and we were able to get a bit of a char on some of the meat and vegetables. The size was impressive. We cooked a meal for 4 and it didn’t reduce the tossing ability. A meal for two didn’t look lost inside it.
This is by far, one of the best woks in this price range. The materials are of good quality. It feels sturdy, and it cooks the food exactly how we expected. The seasoning was straight forward, and the clean-up was effortless.
#2 – Souped Up Flat Carbon Steel Wok
The company Souped Up has also thoroughly tested its carbon steel wok to ensure it can be used on all types of stovetops, including induction stoves. This carbon steel wok has a 12.5-inch diameter.
There’s no coating on the wok. Instead, there’s a unique printed hammered texture that makes it attractive. You need to season the wok before use. It comes with instructions and a video link to learn how to do it. The video also offers advice on how to clean and care for your wok.
The carbon steel is lightweight. This wok is just 5.25lbs. It heats up very quickly with even heat distribution. It’s only 1.4mm thick yet incredibly strong.
The handle is made of wood. It’s a very dark color that blends in well with the color of the wok. Being wood, it won’t heat up while you’re cooking.
With the wok, you will receive a natural Fir wood lid and a stainless steel spatula. All parts are tested and considered safe. You also have access to a channel where you can find online recipes.
What We Like About It:
We loved the design. The hammered texture made it feel like we were cooking with an old traditional wok. This pattern also helped to keep the oil and food against the side of the wok.
The dark wooden handle was a nice surprise because in the images you would assume it’s metal. The lid was stunning too. We felt this was a real bonus because not all woks at this price come with a lid.
Cooking was effortless. The online videos were excellent for novice wok users. We found the instructions to be clear without making us feel like idiots. The recipes were easy to follow, and the results were delicious.
The professionals had a go at other things like fresh seafood and Asian dishes. You get a good taste and texture that is very authentic.
#3 – Ieoke Carbon Steel Wok Pan
This carbon steel wok is made from high-quality wrought iron. It’s non-toxic it’s been hand-hammered with a smooth surface. It’s made for frying, cooking, and stewing.
It has a rounded bottom and a 14.4-inch diameter. The wooden handle helper is designed to prevent burns and to help you pour the food on to your plate. It also has a steel hook. This will help you handle the wok, and you can use it for hanging.
The wok is extra thick so that the pan is heated evenly. This material is an excellent heat conductor. The round bottom means you can’t use it on flat stovetops. Because it heats up so quickly, you’ll save time and gas!
There aren’t any chemicals or coatings, making it a healthy cooking option. It’s naturally non-stick once you’ve seasoned it.
You will receive a pot brush with your wok. This bamboo brush will help clean the wok after use. There’s also a 120-day money-back guarantee.
What We Like About It:
We learned that frequently using this wok may help prevent iron deficiency and anemia. This was quite interesting, and it added to the bonus that no chemicals are used.
The maintenance was really simple. The handy brush it comes with is all you need to clean it under running water. We dried it completely with a towel. Then we put a little oil on the inside of the wok to help prevent rusting. We found that with the oil, it was best to hang this wok so that it could dry out naturally.
One of the pro chefs in our test group used this wok over an open fire and had great fun with amazing meals. We really noticed the superior flavor when cooking with the open fire. The rest of us used gas, and we were still pleased with the results.
We were blown away by how good the natural non-stick surface was. Not even an egg stuck to the bottom.
It’s a well-built wok with great heat distribution. The price is rather attractive, especially with the money-back guarantee.
#4 – Mauviel Black Carbon Steel Wok
Black steel and carbon steel both contain iron. Black steel is made with non-galvanized steel. Unlike galvanized steel, it’s safe for cooking. It’s a brilliant heat conductor and can withstand high temperatures. This wok is fantastic at searing.
It’s an 11.8-inch wok. It’s extra thick, between 1.2 and 3mm. There are two handles: One is hooked, and the other is extra-long at 9 inches. Both are made from iron.
You can use the Mauviel wok on all stovetops and it’s induction compatible. It’s safe to use metal utensils without damaging the material.
When you first receive the wok, wash it with hot water. It has a coating of beeswax that prevents rusting. The beeswax also saves you time when seasoning the wok.
Don’t worry if the pan starts to darken after you have seasoned it. This is normal, and it’s naturally creating a non-stick surface.
What We Like About It:
This is a great professional wok. It’s a little bit heavy but worked wonders. The food was cooked quickly and well. It’s also good that it can be used on high heats.
It’s not to have a wok that you don’t need to molly-coddle. It’s solid and great for those who are a little messy in the kitchen. It’s nice and deep so you can have fun tossing food without throwing it everywhere.
The extra-long handle makes you feel like a real professional, and the additional handle makes it easier to maneuver.
Once it has been correctly seasoned, the food slides off like it would any coated pan. It’s easy to clean with warm water. It’s also a great looking wok that you will want to leave out on display.
It’s quite expensive but many Amazon reviewers have said that it’s built to last for years, if not, generations.
#5 – Gold Tulip Carbon Steel Wok
With its flat bottom, the Gold Tulip can be used on flat stovetops. It’s particularly good for gas stoves. It’s 14 inches in diameter. The carbon steel is 1.2mm, and the wok weighs 3.3lbs.
It’s been hand-hammered in China from high-quality materials and meeting high-quality standards. Each piece is individual and has been handmade. It’s incredibly durable and strong. The handles are attached with 4 and 3 rivets.
The handle is made of wooden. It’s long so it’s easy to toss the food. It won’t heat up while you are cooking, making it safe too.
It’s a traditional Canton style wok. It’s deep, and the sides slope gradually to keep the food over the heat.
Once you season the wok, it’ll have a natural non-stick finish and it’ll be rust-resistant. It comes with instructions on how to season it and take care of it.
What We Like About It:
We understand that professionals like a heavier wok. That being said, we thought that this was a good lightweight option for people who struggle with handling heavier woks.
It’s a little thinner. This wok seemed easier when it came to temperature and did a great job on stir-fries. Vegetarian testers had good fun making tofu dishes. The tofu absorbed plenty of flavors and had a lovely golden brown color.
When tossing the food, we felt the wok sturdy and well built. The third rivet joining the handle gave us extra confidence. The helper handle makes it easier to hold when cooking.
Gold Tulip said this is the ideal wok for professional and amateur cooks. Overall, we agree. It’s a great size for feeding the family or if you have friends around. Once seasoned, it’s easy to clean and has a traditional look. Finally, we felt the price was right.
#6 – Craft Wok Traditional Carbon Steel Wok
This is one of the cases where you’re likely to appreciate a product made in China greatly! The Craft Wok has been hand-hammered by Chinese professionals and favored by many professional Chinese chefs. It’s 100% authentic traditional 15-gauge carbon steel.
It’s mainly used for stir-fries. This is because of the heat that’s provided is excellent for fast frying. However, it can also be used for soups and deep-frying. You can use it as a steamer or smoker too.
The diameter is 14 inches. Because of the rounded bottom, it can’t be used on flat electric stoves or flat induction stoves. It’s brilliant for using on open fires.
The handle is made from steel and joined by three rivets for extra strength. The end of the handle is wooden and hygroscopic. It’s not slippery and easy to grip.
You must season the wok first. Instructions can be found online and in the box. You can also call customer service, and they will guide you through the process. Once it’s seasoned, it will be non-stick and easy to clean.
What We Like About It:
We thought we would test out the customer service and Craft Wok was true to their word. The rep was friendly and knew how to provide the necessary instructions. It was actually easy to season.
This is definitely a heavy-duty wok that is going to last a long time. Even when people use it 2 or three times a week it remains non-stick. We appreciated the work that has gone into hand-making the wok.
The chefs used stronger flavored ingredients first like ginger and garlic. This helped flavor the wok before adding in the main ingredients. First-time wok users tried eggs and mushrooms, and nothing stuck to the sides.
Overall, it’s priced very well for the effort that goes into it. As long as you season this carbon steel wok properly, you won’t have to repurchase another wok.
#7 – Timoneylove Carbon Steel Wok
The great thing about this carbon steel wok is that it’s already seasoned. This saves you time, and you know it’s been done correctly. It has a round bottom and a 14inch diameter
It has been hand-hammered and hand-welded. It’s a one-piece wok. Even the handles are welded. The wooden part of the handle comes from Red Eucalyptus and makes the wok look more traditional. It’s comfortable and won’t prevent burns.
The wok has been cold forged making it denser. Although it’s denser, it has an average thickness of 1.8mm and weighs 4.25lbs. It has enough weight for the technique without being too heavy. The depth of the wok is approximately 4 inches.
As it’s already been seasoned, this wok is non-stick from the minute it arrives. Nevertheless, it still needs looking after. Make sure it’s completely dried after use. This will make the wok last longer and prevent rust.
What We Like About It:
The main advantage is that it’s pre-seasoned. The testers with more experience didn’t find this much of a positive as they knew exactly how to season pans. It was very beneficial for first-time carbon steel wok owners.
This wok was much better at cooking than others. It heated up well and left our vegetables with a nice sear. We also noticed that there was less smoke coming off the pan compared with others.
It was easy to clean. We found that if we wiped it off with a paper towel after cleaning it stayed in better condition.
The handle is nice and sturdy. We thought the wooden insert would wobble a little inside the welded iron, but it was secured tightly. It was nice to hold in your hand too.
We were surprised by the price. It’s around the same price as a good quality wok but you have the advantage of not having to season it yourself. It’s fun to use and the food is cooked evenly and with flavor.
#8 – ICON Carbon Steel Wok
This is a serious wok that has every detail carefully thought about. ICON has a range of pots, pans, and griddles, all of which are carbon steel and pre-seasoned. There’re also stainless steel lids to accompany your pan. We selected the 14-inch wok.
ICON stands for Iron, Carbon, Oxygen, and Nitrogen. This combination of these elements makes the wok nine times harder than steel.
98% of this wok is iron core. This makes it 30% lighter than traditional cast iron. However, because of the size, it still weighs 6lbs.
It has incredibly high heat retention. It can be used in temperatures of up to 800F. You can use it on all stovetops, including induction. It has a large flat bottom.
With the deep-sloped sides, there’ll be plenty of room the keep food cooking around the outside while you use the center for high intense heat. It’s naturally non- stick and won’t leave any unnatural tastes.
You’ll also receive a 1oz bottle of sunflower oil, which is recommended for additional seasoning. There’s a set of instructions to show you how to do this. Furthermore, the ICON wok comes with a 5-year commercial warranty and a 25-year consumer warranty.
What We Like About It:
We absolutely loved the design. There was something about the dark carbon steel, smooth finish and contrasting stainless steel handles that really made this wok stand out.
It was really easy to clean. You can even use a metal spatula to remove leftover food. You can put it in the dishwasher, but it’ll have to be re-seasoned before you use it again. We felt it was much easier just to wash it by hand.
This wok can go in the oven too. This made from some amazing tasting meat and not just from the professionals. Because it can withstand such high temperatures, we were able to broil food too. It’s a very versatile wok.
Looking after the ICON wok was much so simple. It was made easier because you can put it in the oven. We learned that if you rub some oil into the pan and then put it in the oven to dry, it was all done. Even the little bottle of oil was a nice touch.
This is an expensive pan. We all agreed that it was worth the investment and it’s not just for professional chefs. But, if you are new to looking after carbon steel woks you should really follow the instructions.
#9 – Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Carbon Steel Wok
Helen Chen’s Carbon Steel range includes the natural on-stick options and the Excalibur woks that come with a non-stick coating. Our choice was the Carbon Steel with a lid. It’s 14 inches in diameter and has a 1.6mm thickness.
The more it is used the more it collects a non-stick coating for better performance. The carbon steel spreads the heat evenly and heats quickly for better cooking results.
It has a flat bottom, so it’ll safely sit on any stovetop. You can use it with gas or electric, and it’s induction compatible. The inside is lined with concentric grooves to enhance the cooking process.
For a 14-inch wok it’s lightweight at 5lbs. This and the long bamboo handle make it easy to toss the food. To help serve the food there’s also a carry handle with matching bamboo. These handles won’t heat up, so they are safe to touch.
This is a great wok for traditional Asian dishes like Pad Thai, fried rice and stir-fries. It’s an ideal size for deep-frying too.
It comes with a 13-inch bamboo spatula and a recipe booklet. There’s a lifetime warranty against any manufacture’s defects.
What We Like About It:
The design was absolutely stunning and the bamboo features really looked good against the carbon steel. We also found the weight to be just right. It was heavy enough to please the chefs and light enough for others to use confidently.
The online reviewers were equally happy with their purchase. Most of the people commented on the exceptional value for money, particularly as it comes with a lid and a spatula.
Everybody (testers and online reviewers) agreed that it was a great quality wok. The bamboo gave it a really authentic look and the thick bottom gave it all of the cooking ability of more expensive wok.
#10 – Joyce Chen Classic Series Carbon Steel Wok
The final carbon steel wok on our list is another set with excellent value for money. It’s a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok. It’s designed for electric and gas cookers. The thickness is 1.5mm.
The design of this wok allows for less oil use, which is great for people who are trying to stay healthier. You can use it for various cooking styles but it’s best suited for stir-fries and traditional Asian dishes.
The handles are made from Birchwood; There are a long handle and a helper handle for carrying or serving food. Both are heat-resistant for added safety and ease of use.
It comes with a large dome-shaped lid with a non-stick coating. It’s great for locking in moisture and protecting you from splashes. As it’s non-stick, it’s easy to wash off with warm soapy water, The knob on the lid is Birchwood, so it’s heat-resistant too.
The box includes a 12-inch bamboo spatula and a recipe booklet. It comes gift-wrapped, and so it’s an ideal gift.
What We Like About It:
We had positive feelings as soon as we opened the box. Everything was nicely wrapped, and the recipe book gave us some ideas. We appreciated the fact that the recipe book was included and not an online link.
It also came with the seasoning instructions, which was useful for everyone. A handy tip we found online was to sauté ginger, green onions, and bacon in the pan first. This will get rid of any possible smell from seasoning.
None of the food that we cooked in the wok stuck. We tried shrimp, eggs, and rice, and each time, they washed off brilliantly.
It’s great value for money for the wok, lid, spatula, and recipe booklet and gift-wrapped. It might not be a wok that gets passed down through the generations but it will certainly last a long time.
So that’s our roundup of the 10 best carbon steel woks for your kitchen this 2020. Also, it’s worth mentioning that a lot of the negative reviews we read are likely due to not seasoning the wok properly. Even if you have done it before or have your own method, it’s worth reading the instructions for the best results.
While we did pay close attention to online reviews and feedback, ultimately, our list was compiled from the results of our thorough tests and extensive research. We listened to everything our testers had to say about the design and function. With all of this information, we were able to create the top 10 list of carbon steel woks for this year.
What is a Carbon Steel Wok?
Many of us still incorrectly assume that a wok is only good for stir-fries. In reality, they’re highly versatile and can be used for steaming, soups, deep-frying, and even for popcorn.
But many of the woks out there today are quite heavy. And this is among the main reasons why some manufacturers decided to create carbon steel woks. Just as strong and durable, this material provides these products with a lightweight form factor. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy cooking your favorite recipes and meals without feeling too exhausted afterwards. This is also food-grade material, which means your food won’t come in contact with chemicals and other elements that are likely to be harmful to your health.
How Does a Carbon Steel Wok Work?
Generally, a carbon steel wok is much like a frying pan. It’s shaped like one and also has a handle. But the main difference between a wok and a frying pan is its deeper form factor. It can be used for recipes with soup and liquids. This is unlike standard pans that can only accommodate food for frying and other similar cooking methods.
Also, a wok often has a lid that securely latches on its top and locks in place. This isn’t normally found in most frying pans. Plus, woks are generally thicker, more durable, and often a bit heavier than standard pans.
But that’s the main difference between a traditional wok and a carbon steel one. The latter is lighter, though, as strong and durable as thicker and heavier traditional woks. More so, a carbon steel wok is designed for an even cook as this material is equipped with optimum heat distribution properties.
So now let’s move on to the most crucial factors that you should keep in mind while you’re going through our list of the 10 best carbon steel woks this 2020. And here they are:
Considerations When Looking for Carbon Steel Woks
- Size & Capacity — The serving that a carbon steel wok can accommodate is among the most important factors that you should look closer at as you go through our list. After all, you wouldn’t want to prepare and cook your recipes and meals multiple times just to accommodate the usual group of people that you serve.
On the contrary, you surely wouldn’t want to use a carbon steel wok that’s meant to serve big groups of people even if you only need to regularly prepare and cook meals for a small family or a few guests every now and then. Besides, you should also consider the size of a carbon steel wok for its space-saving benefits. That’s so you won’t find it difficult to store your wok after every use, and it won’t also be an obtrusive tool that’s cluttering your kitchen;
- Strength & Durability — A carbon steel wok might be designed primarily for its lightweight benefit and even heat distribution properties, but you should also keep in mind that sturdiness and durability are vital factors that you should consider. After all, you wouldn’t want the handle of a wok to break down on you as you’re using it, right? This is likely to cause accidental burns and other injuries. Plus, you surely wouldn’t want to keep on replacing your wok then and again as this is an awful waste of time, energy and money, no?;
- Food-Grade Design & Other Features — Carbon steel woks are generally made out of food-grade materials, though you still need to confirm this. That’s because you wouldn’t want to endanger your family, friends and other loved ones to the health risks of harmful chemicals and other toxins. Some woks are also equipped with other useful features, such as a cooking surface that’s designed to enable you to use its sides where you can place food that you want to cook much slower than the other ingredients of your recipe;
- Warranty & Guarantees — What a manufacturer bundles as guarantees with their products can really make a difference in your cooking experience while using a carbon steel wok. For example, if they guarantee that their products are approved by the FDA and do not contain any harmful chemical, then you can rest assured that you won’t be risking the health of your family and loved ones. Meanwhile, if another of their guarantees is much better heat distribution, then you can expect to get an optimized even cook for your food.
As for the warranties that they provide, this is often a testament to the trust and confidence of manufacturers in their products. But this isn’t something that they just draw from thin air. Instead, these warranties are based on the results of their thorough tests. For example, if a manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee and a 2-year warranty for their carbon steel wok, then this likely means their test results indicate that their product can withstand prolonged heavy use for two years or more; and
- Overall Value & Price — The benefits that you can get from the features that are equipped into a carbon steel wok are indicators of its overall value for you as a buyer and a user of the product. Meanwhile, knowing its unique advantages over other similar products can help you identify the products in our list that can give you more beneficial returns.
On the other hand, its price is a major aspect that you shouldn’t take for granted. After all, you’re looking for the best deal at the moment, right? So you should obviously spend just the right amount of money for the overall value that the product can offer you. No more, no less. Just keep in mind to also look for freebies and other stuff that can give you value-added advantages. Many manufacturers, distributors and retailers offer these promotional incentives.
Do You Need a Carbon Steel Wok?
If you regularly prepare and cook recipes that are ideal for a wok, then the quickest answer to this question is yes. That’s because you’ll be able to benefit from the lightweight form factor design and the even heat distribution properties of these carbon steel woks.
And even if you don’t usually cook recipes that are ideally cooked in a wok, then wouldn’t you want to have it as a handy option just in case? After all, choosing one out of the 10 best carbon steel woks of 2020 that’s in our list doesn’t cost a fortune anyway, especially when we’re talking about the value that you can get for your time, energy and money. So keep this in mind while you’re going through our roundup of the 10 best carbon steel woks for your kitchen this 2020.