Best Carbon Steel Woks

The 7 Best Carbon Steel Woks in 2018

Carbon steel Woks have been around for years, and the benefits of using them are incomparable to none. A carbon cooking pan is one of the essential kitchenware for every home. Though they are an excellent choice for your stir-fries, they can be used in the kitchen for other cooking purposes. Whether stir-frying, steaming, smoking, deep frying, or even baking, a carbon steel pan will help you add fun to your cooking while adding flavor to your food at the same time.

 Frying requires high temperatures and carbons is one of the best material to use due to its even conduction and non-stick nature. However, not all carbon cooking pans in the market today will give you optimal cooking experience. To ensure you add fun to your cooking, we have selected the best carbon steel wok for you to choose from.

​Best Pick

Joyce Chen 22-0060, Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok Uncoated Carbon Steel, 14-inch

​Joyce Chen 22-0060, Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok Uncoated Carbon Steel has a flat bottom, professional weight and phenolic handles which are designed to make your cooking experience a breeze, making it Our Best Pick.

​Budget Pick

​14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok with Helper Handle

​Wok Shop 14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok with Helper Handle is affordable with a spool handle which gives you full control of your Wok making it Our Best Budget Pick.


1. ​Joyce Chen 22-0060, Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok Uncoated Carbon Steel, 14-inch ​

Are you a stir-fry enthusiast and looking for the best 14" carbon steel flat-bottomed wok? Then this pan from Joyce Chen can be a great choice for you. Chen 22-0060 is designed using superior quality carbon. It features a flat bottom with a 14” diameter with a 2.0mm thickness for rapid and even heat transfer.

To add fun to your cooking, the Wok has an ergonomic phenolic handle which stays cool and fits well in your hands allowing you to toss your food and take control of your pan.

With its additional handle helper, you can maintain the stability of the pan and transport it with ease. Aside from having an ergonomic handle, the pan is easy to store, thanks to the loop on its handle. One thing we love about this pan is its ability to save energy regardless of whether you are using gas or electricity.

However, like any other carbon steel pan, you will be required to season it before using for optimal cooking experience.

Highlighted Features

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    ​Easy to maintain
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    ​Energy efficient
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    ​Designed using a heavy-duty carbon steel
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    ​Has an ergonomic handle
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    ​Easy to transport
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    ​Easy to store

2. ​14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok with Helper Handle ​

Looking for a cooking pan which can sit well on a grill or an electric stove? Then this pan from Wok-Shop may be a great choice for your cooking needs.

The pan is made using unseasoned heavy carbon steel which allows for speedy, even distribution of heat when preparing your meals. Its wooded handle, blond, side spool handle, and design, makes your cooking a breeze and fun.

Not forgetting the negligible small spot in the middle which prevents the pan from completely sitting on a flat surface making it more stable. The flattened diameter approximates to 6” and allows even distribution of heat on the induction range.

​One feature which adds a plus to this pan is its ability to not only allow even distribution of heat but also even cooling. Seasoning is required prior using the pan to give it mileage and prevent rusting.

Highlighted Features

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    ​Has flat bottom which sits well on gas or an electric stove
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    ​14” thick
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    ​Made using unseasoned carbon steel
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    ​Allows even heating and cooling
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    ​Stable
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    ​Easy to store
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    ​Easy to use and clean
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    Requires seasoning before use

3. Big 16 Inch Heavy Canton Style Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Wok ​

If you are looking for the best hand-hammered carbon steel wok, then this pan from CraftWok could be a good choice for your kitchen. The pan features a traditional canton style with a small diameter rounded bottom. Craft Wok is designed to be used on the open fire.

With Craft pan, you can prepare your Chinese dishes, do your deep fries, steam, smoke, as well as preparing different types of soups.

Like any other carbon steel wok, the pan requires seasoning before use. Due to its round bottom, the pan will not work on an electric stove top. Another challenge is that it does not come with a manual. However, you can access it through the internet.

Highlighted Features

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    ​Heavy and big
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    ​Can be used on an open fire
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    ​Has a 15-gauge carbon steel
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    ​Has a small diameter
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    ​Round bottom
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    ​Easy to use

4. Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok, Carbon Steel with Lid and Stir Fry Spatula, Recipes Included

Are you looking for a quality carbon steel wok with a lid? Then this pan from Helen Chen's may be a perfect choice for you. Chen’s Wok is made using heavy-duty carbon steel to give you years of stress-free cooking. The pan features a traditional wok material which adds fun to your cooking by providing superior cooking performance.

Chen's Wok also boasts of beautiful long lasting handles which promote easy transportation. Aside from being made using heavy-duty carbon material, the pan is lightweight allowing for easy lifting of your pan when cooking. For even heat distribution, the pan is made using a 16mm gauge carbon. Its handles are made of heat-resistant natural wood. With its generous size, you can quickly prepare your meals without much hassle.

Storage of the pan is easy thanks to the loop on the handle, which allows you to hang it when not in use. Aside from having a lid, the pan also comes along with stir-fry spatula, and a recipe booklet, making it stand out.

Chen’s pan is recommended for use with electric stove and gas. The Concentric grooves provide fast, consistent heat distribution and speedy heat recovery for better cooking. With this Wok, you don't have to worry about its maintenance. The pan only requires simple cleaning. However, seasoning is required before using.

Highlighted Features

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    ​Comes with a high dome lid, recipe booklet, and a 13” bamboo spatula
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    ​Heat-resistant handles
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    ​Has helper handle for easy lifting
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    ​Easy to use and clean
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    ​Durable
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    ​Evenly distributes heat
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    ​Ideal for gas and electric stove
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    Lightweight
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    5” diameter

5. Sur La Table Professional Carbon Steel Wok 21-9969

Sur La Table Wok is designed for high heat cooking. The pan features 14” traditional carbon steel design which allows even heat distribution. The Wok is lightweight and easy to maneuver.

For optimal results on different cooking surfaces, the pan maple handle allows you to stir, and flip easily adding fun to your cooking. Whether you are deep-frying tempura, stir-frying meat or veggies or steaming with bamboo inserts, La Table 21-9969 will help you achieve this much faster.

One thing we love about this Wok is its design which is compatible with electric, ceramic, gas, and induction stovetops. The pan is also recommended for use with metal utensils. Like any other carbon steel wok, the pan requires proper seasoning and safe storage to prevent rust.

Highlighted Features

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    ​Ideal for high heat cooking
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    ​Lightweight
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    ​Allows even heat distribution
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    ​Recommended for electric, ceramic, gas and induction stovetops
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    ​Ideal for use with metal utensils
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    Sturdy wood handle

6. Traditional Oriental Chef Carbon Steel Wok with Detailed Wooden Handle & Wooden Helper Handle by Regent

This pan from Regent is an easy to maneuver wok with exceptional conduction for optimal cooking performance. It features a flat bottom which works best on different cooking surfaces such as electric stoves, induction stovetops, gas, and ceramic.

The pan is designed using superior carbon which gives you optimal cooking experience. The handle is heat resistant with a wooden helper which provides users with safe stirring and minimizes any chances of flipping.

Highlighted Features

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    ​Durable
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    ​Handy
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    ​Designed to fit different cooking surfaces
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    ​Provides safe stirring
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    ​Features a 13.3” diameter
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    Has maple handle with a cool and comfy helper handle
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    The material allows even heat transfer

7. Keilen China Village Natural Carbon-Steel 14-Inch Wok

Keilen wok features a bowl shape with a flat bottom which stabilizes well on different cooking surfaces. The pan has a plastic handle and a metal hanging ring for easy storage.

For better cooking experience, the carbon steel material offers a rapid, even conduction and excellent temperature retentiveness. This feature allows you to prepare high-heat Asian dishes without any challenges.

Its carbon steel material does not require a lot of maintenance due to its natural non-stick feature. If you may be in need of a cooking pan for everyday use at home, then this Keilen Wok can be a good choice for you.

Highlighted Features

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    ​Handy
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    ​Allows even distribution of heat
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    ​Hanging ring for easy storage
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    ​Boasts of a flat bottom which can be used on different cooking surfaces
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    ​Easy to maintain

Reasons Why You Should Use a Carbon Steel Wok

Safe

Almost all cooking methods require a lot of heat. When some metals like Aluminum are heated, they release toxins posing a health threat to human life. Carbon steel is non-stick and does not release any toxins even when heated on high temperatures making it safe for cooking.

Lightweight

Compared to cast iron, the carbon material is light. This gives you the freedom to toss your food and transport the pan without much strain.

Even Conduction

Unlike stainless steel pans, carbon wok allows for even and rapid heat distribution. Its ability to transfer heat faster helps you prepare your food faster while saving energy.

Better Control

Carbon steel heats up fast. The material does not only allow even heating but also even cooling. This feature gives you greater control when cooking food that requires medium-low temperatures by regulating your temperatures when they go to the extreme.

Affordable

Carbon cooking pans are non-stick and inexpensive.  This gives you the freedom to prepare your healthy and tasty meals without breaking the banks.

Easy to Clean and Season

Cleaning and seasoning a carbon steel wok is easy compared to cast iron. This helps save time and hassles.

Durable

Cooking pans made of carbon steel are durable. The material is chip and crack-resistant which makes it stand out from other pans.

However, when proper care is not given, it may rust affecting its durability. Seasoning your pan can help give it good mileage and promote healthy cooking.

Factors to Consider When Buying Carbon Steel Wok

The market offers varied types of carbon steel Woks to choose from. Each cooking pan is designed differently, and before spending on one, you need to look at some of the critical factors to ensure you have made the right choice. Check out your cooking pan shopping guide.

Size

Carbon Woks come in varied sizes to choose from. Though this may depend on the purpose of the pan, for home use, a 14” wok is highly recommended. A smaller pan will always stress you since it cannot accommodate your ingredients while a Bigger one will overwhelm your kitchen for nothing. Large cooking pans are recommended for commercial purposes.

Design

Carbons steel pans are either flat bottomed or round bottomed. However, not all these shapes will be compatible with your cooking surface. A flat-bottomed wok is best on induction ranges, electric stoves, and flat grills while round bottoms are ideal for gas stovetops.

Always read your manufacturers description to get to know the preferred cooking surface. Choosing a pan that is compatible with varied cooking surfaces gives you the freedom to choose your preferred way of cooking.

Construction Method

Woks are made using hammering, spinning and stamping methods. The stamping methods involve bending a piece of metal. Most cooking pans made using stamping method have smooth sides.

Woks with smooth sides do not hold food and are not the best.

The spinning method produces cooking pans with granular sides. Spun woks are made using lathes and have concentric circles down the pan.

These concentric circles allow you to place food on the sides without sliding. This feature helps you take full control of how different food cooks.

Hammered Woks have small indentations or divots produced by each hammer blow. This can be noticed when you come close and have a keen look on the interior side. The edges are pretty rough and hold your food in place.

Both spun and hammered Woks are affordable and a great choice for your cooking needs.

Thickness

A good wok should allow even distribution of heat. The best pan thickness ranges from 1.5mm to 2mm. Since carbon heats up fast and also cools down faster, regulating heat is easy.

Handles

While every carbon wok has a handle, the way these handles are designed will determine your cooking experience. One important feature to look at is the handle design. Wok handles are not created the same. Some are long while others are shot.

Longer handles allow you to toss your food without losing better control of your pan making your cooking a breeze.

Another feature is the material used. Modern wok handles are designed using natural wood, phenolic or plastic. All these materials are bad conductors of heat which means your handle remain cool and safe to hold even when using high temperatures.

Phenolic handles have one benefit over wood and plastics in that they are resistant to both high temperatures and solvent cleaners.

However, heat resistant and ergonomic handles are a plus feature for a better cooking experience.

Weight

Weight is a fundamental feature which is overlooked by most people. The weight of your pan will determine the ease of transportation. Though modern Woks come with helper handle for easy lifting, a heavy pan will require more energy to lift or transport it.

Make your life easy by choosing a pan that is not too bulky for you to carry around.

Other Accessories

Some cooking pans come as a one piece set while others come with lids and even recipe booklet. All these accessories make your cooking easy and manageable.

Simmering food promotes even cooking and buying a Wok that comes along with a lid can save you time and money. A recipe booklet is also a plus for learning new tips and tricks that you have never used before.

Storage

Carbon steel material is prone to rusting especially when proper storage measures are not taken into account. Modern Woks have loops on the handle or metal hanging ring which provide better and easy storage. Also, read and understand the Wok manual and ensure all the storage instructions have been adhered to.

How to Season a Carbon Steel Wok

Before using your Wok, you will be required to season it. Seasoning is one of the critical steps that help make your pan non-stick and enhances its looks. Besides, adding flavor to your pan, seasoning your wok add taste to your food, makes it easy to clean and prevents rusting.

In case you feel that your Wok does not make your food tasty anymore or it's non-stick, you can always season it to make it more efficient. And here is step by step guide on how to season your Wok.

  • Clean your wok with hot water using a small quantity of liquid detergent and stainless steel or pad. Scrub gently without using excessive force.
  • Using an abrasive cleaner and a scrubber, scrub the exterior part of your Wok to remove any dirt and oil. Avoid using an abrasive cleaner on the interior of your pan.
  • Rinse off your pan and dry it thoroughly
  • Place your pan on high heat. Move and tilt it up to the rim and back till the metal turns into a blueish-yellowish color.
  • Remove your pan from the heat source
  • Put 1 1/2 teaspoon of oil in your Wok. Using a paper towel, rub it over the surface.
  • Turn your heat to medium-low. Place your Wok on the heat source and heat it for 10 minutes. Be careful, heated oils and Wok can cause serious burns or fire.
  • Using another paper towel, wipe off the oil.
  • Repeat the same procedure from number 6 to 8 until no black residue is left on the towel.
  • Your cooking pan is now ready for use.

What is the Best Carbon Steel Wok?

All the above seven carbon Woks are best buys under the right circumstances. If you have a big family of over 12 members, you can consider a 16” hand hammered Wok. For smaller families of about 12 people or less, the 14” will allow you to toss your ingredients and optimize your cooking experience.

With proper care, all these Woks can last long giving you years of fun and healthy cooking. How to do that? Ensure you season your Wok properly before use.

Once you are through with cooking, clean your pan and dry it thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of oil before storing it to prevent rusting.

Final Verdict

Compared to other types of cooking pans, cooking with a carbon steel Wok is easy, healthy, fast and energy efficient. It's evident that nothing can beat the cooking experience with a carbon steel wok. The pans are crafted to suit all cooking needs.

However, all cooking pans are not made equal. To get the best carbon steel wok, you need to factor in your personal preferences, quality, design, maintenance and the cooking methods the pan is recommended for.

The 7 Best Carbon Steel Woks in 2018
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