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A wok is a great kitchen implement to have around. While mostly used for stir fry, you can use a wok for a number of other cooking tasks that you might not expect; steaming, deep frying, fresh popcorn making, and any number of other weird uses you can think of to put a large bowl to.
So let’s take a quick look over what’s available on the market right now, and what might make each individual one so good, shall we?
Here are the best woks for your kitchen that you can buy:
- Best Overall - Craft Wok Traditional Carbon Steel Pow Wok
- Runner Up - Bayou Classic Cast Iron Wok
- Best Power Burner Wok - Coyote Stainless Steel Wok
- Best Full Set Wok - Imperial Home Nonstick Wok Set
- Best Induction Ready Wok - SPT Induction Ready Stainless Steel Wok
- Best Nonstick Wok - Mainstays Nonstick Wok
- Best Stainless Steel Wok - Master Pan 3-Ply Stainless Steel Nonstick Wok
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
9 Best Woks Reviews in 2020
1. Best Overall - Craft Wok Traditional Carbon Steel Pow Wok
Extremely well made construction hand hammered and strongly riveted
Non Slip and heat resistant handle
Very nice appearance to hang on your wall
Rounded bottom is not compatible with flat stoves or induction stoves
- Materials: 15 gauge carbon steel (body), wood (handle)
- Style: round bottom (not induction compatible)
- Dimensions: 22.5” x 14” x 6”
- Total weight: 4.55 lbs.
This is a very nice wok made of high quality materials. Hand hammered of carbon steel, this wok is powerfully built, with the perfect 1.8 mm thickness. It heats up quickly and hits a very high max temperature for quickly stir frying a wide variety of foods.
The handles are well placed, with the main wood handle being a very nice color and more importantly both slip and heat resistant for easy, comfortable gripping. The rivets are strong and the overall construction is pretty much perfect.
A 14 inch diameter is likewise perfect for a wok, small enough to keep things close together for cooking, and large enough to make flipping everything inside of it simple and easy.
As woks go this is top notch. It doesn’t have a ton of extra little accoutrements like some other options on this list will, but it doesn’t really need them. All it needs is to be an impeccably constructed and quite nice looking wok, which it is. It doesn’t hurt that the price (especially given the quality of the handmade craftsmanship) isn’t half bad either.
2. Runner Up - Bayou Classic Cast Iron Wok
Great cast iron construction is sturdy enough to last a lifetime
Interesting properties make cooking with this different from other woks
Good price for the quality
Works on most types of burner
A bit finicky to work with
- Material: cast iron (total)
- Capacity: 16 quarts
- Dimensions: 12.5” diameter, 6” depth
- Total weight: 12 lbs.
This is an interesting take on the classic wok, being made from cast iron rather than steel, as is traditional.
Cast iron has significantly different properties from steel, even high carbon steels, and it really changes how you use the thing. One of the most notable differences is in construction: a single lump of solid iron rather than a few pieces of steel riveted together. This makes it even more durably constructed than most other options on this list, with fewer obvious points of failure.
The heating properties are quite different as well. Cast iron doesn’t quite hit the immense heat thresholds that steel can get to, but it retains that heat much better. This makes cast iron better for slower cooking purposes as well as “passive cooking”. You can get cast iron ripping hot and then put some stuff in it and completely remove it from the heat not long after; it will continue sizzling for quite a while afterwards. This makes it way easier to manage than steel, in a lot of ways.
This particular model is good for most burners, with a flat bottom that means it can be used on power burners, induction stoves, or even in an oven.
Better yet, the price is quite good. If you can get used to the strange quirks of a cast iron wok (it needs to be used very differently from a steel one to produce comparable, but different results) it’s well worth picking up.
3. Best Power Burner Wok - Coyote Stainless Steel Wok
Well made of 304 grade stainless steel
Includes a lid for steaming and warming purposes
Works great on power burners and other gas burners
Well constructed with strong rivets
Very expensive for a single wok
Specialized for power burners and doesn’t really work on other cooking surfaces
- Material: stainless steel (total)
- Kit includes: wok, lid.
This is a great stainless steel wok, with solid 304 grade construction. It’s riveted well and should hold up to a lot of abuse. The shape is good, and makes it usable on most gas burners, though it’s specialized primarily for power burners.
This means it’s meant to be used for very high heat frying, and is built to stand up against even the hottest temperatures around, as you might expect from steel. Unlike the carbon steel wok above, this one is a lot easier to keep in tip top shape as well. While stainless steel isn’t as good for a lot of purposes as carbon steel (for a wok, rather than a knife, the added hardness is pretty much nothing but upside, and it boasts faster heating as well), it also doesn’t rust or corrode, which makes it a lot more user friendly, especially if you live in a high humidity environment.
The addition of a nice lid for steaming things out or keeping your food warm for short periods is also nice, and adds a lot compared to woks that lack an added lid.
The only issue is the price. While quite well made, it’s way too expensive to really be considered for purchase at full price. Especially as it’s specialized for power burners, and is difficult to use on other cooking surfaces.
4. Best Full Set Wok - Imperial Home Nonstick Wok Set
Non Stick surface for easy cooking and cleaning
Comes with everything you need to make great stir fry
Comfortable grip and handle
Great low price
Fairly cheaply constructed, so will likely need to be replaced fairly quickly
- Materials: carbon steel, nonstick coating, bamboo (utensils)
- Kit includes: wok, lid, spatula, tongs, spoon
- Dimensions: 12” diameter
This is a good stir frying starter set, that comes with everything you need to get started stir frying delicious meals at home.
The construction is of course mediocre at best. It’s a standard nonstick frying pan with a handier wok shape. But that’s good enough to get the job done, and at the fairly low price this is a great buy.
The comfortable handles don’t hurt, with a nice slip resistant and heat resistant handle on either end that makes this comfortable to hold.
The included wooden spatula, spoon, and tongs are the perfect thing to us with it, as their softer, gentler construction means it’s hard to scratch the nonstick surface with them than harsher metal utensils might.
While this is by no means a top of the line stir fry wok, it’s an option to consider when picking out what you’ll go with.
5. Best Induction Ready Wok - SPT Induction Ready Stainless Steel Wok
Dual side handle design enables deft control over such a large wok
Strong rivets and overall construction
Solid stainless steel design
Induction stove compatible
A bit expensive for the quality
- Material: stainless steel (total)
- Dimensions: 18” diameter, 4.75” depth
- Maximum safe temperature: 480 degrees Fahrenheit
This is a simplistic design, but quite well made. The best part is that it works on standard stoves as well as induction stoves, making it a versatile option that can be used in any kitchen. Rather than being designed to be held at arm’s length it has a deeper construction that keeps the side handles further from the heat. What sacrifice you pay in distance from the heat source, you gain in control over the wok, being able to flip and twist it around however you want to properly season, sauce, and fry your vegetables and meat all the way through.
It has an immense size compared to most woks on this list, with an 18 inch diameter and very deep bowl to give you a lot of capacity to work with.
The construction is likewise quite nice, with a sturdy stainless steel design that is simple but powerful and strongly riveted. It’s also dishwasher safe, unlike most woks made of carbon steel or with a nonstick surface.
The only real drawback is the price. It isn’t exorbitant, particularly given the size, but it is a bit higher than I’d like. Worth it if you REALLY need such a huge wok, but otherwise you might want to wait for a sale.
6. Best Nonstick Wok - Mainstays Nonstick Wok
Comfortable design on the handles
Looks quite nice for such a cheap wok
Easy to use
Nonstick surface for easy cleanup
Like all PTFE coatings, it is flimsy and potentially dangerous. The coating is a major failure point that will reduce the longevity of this wok
- Materials: carbon steel (core), PTFE non stick coating, wood (handles)
- Dimensions: 21.45” x 14.17” x 3.78”
This little wok isn’t the biggest, and isn’t the best made, but it’s certainly the cheapest on this list, and that alone is a potential selling point. The construction is pretty good for what it is, though the rivets are fairly small and likely to wiggle free eventually. This is easily fixed, but the bigger issue is the nonstick PTFE coating. The carbon steel interior is nice, but it’s really not a particularly large improvement over aluminum in the grand scheme; the issue with nonstick PTFE coatings is that the coating itself tends to wear out, not the pan. The same is true here.
I like the arrangement of handles. Both are easy to grip and are made of a nice looking wood.
All in all you can do a whole lot worse for the price here; the ingredients you’ll be putting into the wok will likely be twice the price of the wok itself, so you could even say it pays for itself after a single usage, and guarantees you even more value than that.
7. Best Stainless Steel Wok - Master Pan 3-Ply Stainless Steel Nonstick Wok
Sturdy 3 ply construction
Easy to use shallow and small design
Compatible with pretty much any heat source
Low maximum heat threshold
- Materials: stainless steel (exterior and interior layer), aluminum (core), nonstick coating (non- PFOA), glass (lid)
- Dimensions: 11” diameter, 3.7” depth
- Maximum heat: 350 degrees Fahrenheit
This model from Master Pan is a bit weird, but in a good way. It’s a very sturdy 3 ply stainless steel wok; an exterior layer of stainless steel, followed by a core of aluminum, and capped off with an interior of stainless steel.
This is a tried and true method of constructing good stainless steel cookware. The aluminum core lets the wok heat up a lot faster than a pure steel pan would, while still achieving those heights of temperature that steel; is known for.
The weird part comes in that this is also a nonstick pan. Having a nonstick surface is basically unheard of among steel cookware, so it’s weird to see here. It’s also an extra sturdy coating that is metal utensil safe. I’d still be careful with it, but it’s definitely safer to use than a standard PTFE coating.
The rest of the wok is pretty humdrum from there. It’s very wide but shallow, and is compatible with pretty much any cooktop out there, including induction stoves. For the price you pay, it’s all more than fair, and this should serve you well as a reliable wok for a long time.
8. Best Ceramic Wok - Ozeri Green Earth Smooth Ceramic Wok
Great ceramic nonstick coating
Solid die cast aluminum construction
Nice green coloring
- Materials: die cast aluminum (body), ceramic coating, bakelite plastic (handle)
- Dimensions: 14.5” x 5” x 21”
- Total weight: 3.79 lbs.
A different kind of nonstick this time, Ozeri Green Earth Wok a good die cast aluminum wok with a ceramic nonstick coating on the inside.
Ceramic is an excellent nonstick surface, both highly effective as well as much more durable than a standard PTFE coating. Die cast aluminum is likewise quite a good material. Very sturdy (almost as much so as steel) and lightweight, with all the ice properties of aluminum like faster heating.
The handles are the weak link here. Plastic at the back, while slip and heat resistant, is a big point of failure compared to a steel or wooden handle.
That combined with the high price makes this an iffy recommendation. It’s potentially worth picking up on sale, as it performs well and has a nice green color (though this may not fit in many kitchens), but never at full price.
9. Best Electric Wok - Aroma Housewares 5 quart Electric Wok
Easy to use
Provides a wok that can be used without an external heat source
Well made and sturdy
Nonstick and easy to clean
Lower performance than another wok would be
- Materials: cast aluminum (body), nonstick coating, plastic (handles)
- Capacity: 5 quarts
- Dimensions: 14.2” x 15.5” x 8”
- Total weight: 10 lbs.
One final interesting option: Aroma 5 quart Electric Wok, a fully electric wok. Utensils like this are not my first pick, but they’re always worth considering especially for people with limited options for heating. This provides a useful, independently usable wok for everything you need to make delicious stir fried food.
The construction is good for an appliance like this. Most electric skillets and similar options feel very flimsy overall, but this one has a nice tight feel to it; nothing feels loose or ready to pull apart, save for the things that are meant to.
If you have more counter space than heating space (common in a lot of apartments and smaller homes in my experience), this is something that can help you out a ton.
I like all of these woks in different ways and it’s hard to choose an absolute best. The Craft Wok option at the top though takes the cake, with impeccable construction and a comfortable design, while also looking nice. The others though bring a lot to the table, each having their own quirks and advantages that would change the results of your cooking, which is what you really like to see in a cooking implement; if all of them are just the same as another in terms of results, there’s no need to look beyond the surface.
How Do I Choose the Perfect Wok?
With any kind of cookware, the most important thing to note is the material, which is the biggest determiner of what kind of results and longevity you’re getting out of it.
The traditional material for a wok is carbon steel, which is still one of the more popular materials around, for both the high and low end options here. For that reason I’d say it’s the standard by which you should judge other options. It isn’t necessarily inherently better than other materials, but it will give you the results you want from a wok in the most straightforward way.
Carbon steel is hard and can take extreme temperatures some other materials can’t, so as a result you can get it to ripping hot temperatures and sear your vegetables and meat with minimal effort. Carbon steel is also one of those nice materials that can last a long time, but has to be taken care of very well.
Stainless steel is the cheaper alternative and while easier to take care of, has a much lower maximum temperature, so your stir fry is likely to end up a bit “wetter” for longer.
Cast iron is an interesting option that shares similar properties to high carbon steel, as well as its drawbacks of having finicky methods of taking care of it. The main difference between the two is that cast iron STAYS hot much longer and heats a bit more evenly. This lets you do some fun stuff like cooking your feed after it’s been taken off the fire, just working with what heat has been retained for a good while afterward.
Aluminum is the final material, and it’s one you don’t see very often in woks as opposed to other cookware, save as only partial construction. 3 ply cookware is a good example (two layers of stainless steel sandwiching a layer of aluminum). The only woks I know of that are typically made from aluminum are electric models.
The other main factor for a wok is its design: how is it shaped?
The standard wok design is a wide, shallow-ish bowl with a long handle on one end and a shorter handle on the other. The latter is mostly used just to hang it from a rack, while the former is for flipping things while cooking.
However, you have a few other options. You could get a wok with two smaller handles, for example. These tend to be much larger and specifically much DEEPER than standard models, and can be used to toss and fry huge amounts of food; the catch is that you need a heat source that’s up to the task.
Finally, there are electric woks. These are usually shallower but broader than most normal woks, and have their own internal heating source. These are great for when you don’t have a great cooking surface to use a wok on, or have some other lack of space.
Cookware is always tricky to price. Generally you’re looking at under $125, but that’s the only real rule. You can get some good models for very cheap, or better ones for prices that seem exorbitant, while some are better even than those, but less expensive. Like with a lot of cookware you sometimes pay for brand over construction, and woks especially fall prey to a pricing structure that seems to have little rhyme or reason.
I’ll mention pricing when it’s well out of whack (for good or ill) of the norm, but usually won’t talk about it in this case.