The Best Carbon Steel Woks – An Ultimate Guide
The humble wok is one of the most versatile and useful pieces of cookware to have in your kitchen, so it really makes sense to invest in a quality item, especially when you consider the amount of use it’s likely to get if you’re the kind of person who loves Asian cooking!
One of the best materials used to make a wok is carbon steel, thanks to its affordability, performance, and ability to last for a very long time (just as long as you care for it, of course).
In this guide, we’re going to share some of our favorite carbon steel woks that provide you with excellent value for your money, along with the exceptional quality you’ll need if you’re going to pick a carbon steel wok that’ll last for several years or more. So let’s begin.
In a hurry? Here’s the top 5:
A fantastic, high-quality wok made from commercial grade materials and works well on any cooking surface. The long iron handle also makes it a popular wok for many, too.
A very stylish wok that comes in several sizes and gives a great performance. Features a European design and a three-layer ferno ceramic construction that'll last for a very long time.
Joyce Chen Wok Set
A wonderful wok set that makes for a great beginner set for any keen chef. The wok uses 2.0mm heavy gauge carbon steel and features a generous 25-year warranty.
A well made, hard-working and incredibly durable wok from a trusted brand that's unlikely to let you down, making it a reliable workhouse for any kitchen.
A decent traditional Chinese wok that uses a 1.8mm carbon steel gauge, and it's even hand hammered in China, giving it a great finish and excellent versatility.
If you’re looking for a luxurious, high-end carbon steel wok then this creation from Mauviel is an impeccable solution that you’re sure to love.
It’s made exclusively in France, and it’s constructed from extra thick black/carbon steel, so it’s sure to last you a long time (just as long as you look after it), and it’s also fantastic at maintaining an even temperature throughout its cooking surface.
Additionally, it’s designed for commercial-grade use, so it’s perfect for heating to high temperatures, preheating, and it gives you wonderful searing potential, too.
It gradually builds up its own non-stick properties over time, and it can be safely used on a broad range of stove tops including gas, electric, halogen, and induction. Of course, it can also be used in the oven as well!
The product comes with a generous guarantee that protects it for life against any manufacturing defects, so if you take the time to look after it, you can rest assured that you’ll have a quality wok that will last you for decades.
As you’d expect, the buyer reviews on Amazon are very positive indeed, with an average score of 4.5 out of 5.0 at the time of writing.
Here’s another fantastic wok that comes in three different sizes, and is part of the Master Class Professional line that generally receives great reviews.
Of course, this product costs a little more than many of the woks in our guide, but it’s certainly one of the best in terms of quality.
It’s a very versatile wok that can actually be used in the dishwasher, as well as the fridge, freezer, or oven – and the wok comes with a full 10-year guarantee to back up the quality that’s on offer.
At the time of writing, there’s very little in the way of buyer reviews on Amazon, but the reviews that are available tend to be highly positive.
Overall, this wok manages to heat up very quickly and evenly, and it feels like a very well-built item that should last you for a long time and won’t let you down.
This fantastic wok gives you a 14-inch diameter, along with birch wood handles and a 1.5 mm gauge carbon steel body that’s very hard wearing, as well as being suitable for induction, gas, or electric stove tops.
It heats up a little slower than some thinner woks (due to the 1.5 mm thickness), but it’ll heat very evenly – which is always a big advantage – so it works well with anything that you’ll be cooking for a while.
Overall, this wok offers exceptional quality and promises to be a good addition to any kitchen. The thickness allows you to heat your food evenly, and the birch wood handles go a long way towards keeping your hands safe and cool while cooking.
The buyer reviews are generally quite positive on Amazon, with the majority of reviewers leaving a full 5-star review at the time of writing.
This wok set provides you with a 14-inch work, 13-inch spatula, and a domed metal lid, along with a few useful recipes to get you started for those who are new to Asian cooking.
It’s constructed from 1.6 mm carbon steel which makes for a comfortable and highly durable weight, as well as a sturdy pair of wooden handles that feel very secure in the hands, and allow your handles to stay cool when you’re carrying or moving the wok while cooking.
Altogether, the wok weighs around 4 pounds even with the lid attached. Fortunately, the lid is very light so heaviness doesn’t become a problem.
The lid and strong handles make for excellent features compared to a standard wok, so it’s generally a great buy if you’re looking for an affordable flat bottomed wok.
Here’s a gorgeous nonstick carbon steel wok from the Ken Hom brand, and it’s a versatile option that’s definitely a very nice item to own.
It’s one of the few carbon steel woks that can be safely used in the dishwasher, and it’s also suitable for use with metal tools as well, which is always a nice bonus.
The wok features a quality non-stick coating that works very well, and it can be used on virtually any stovetop including induction.
In general, this is a highly versatile and adaptable carbon steel wok that’s built to last, and it comes from a respected brand that should give you confidence in the quality on offer.
The buyer reviews over at Amazon are mostly favorable, with an average rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, albeit based on a relatively low number of individual reviews at the time of writing.
Here’s a lovely high-quality wok made by Berghoff, and it comes in a range of sizes including 11.75 inch, 12.5 inch, and 13.5 inch – each of which offer you fantastic quality overall.
It comes with a three layer ferno ceramic coating, and the bulk of the wok is made from cast iron with a stainless steel and silicone handle – which incidentally is supremely comfortable to hold and use while cooking.
The wok comes with a fairly decent 5-year limited warranty, but you can rest assured that it should last for quite some time if it’s well looked after.
At the time of writing, the Amazon reviews are very positive indeed, with an average rating of 5.0 out of 5.0, albeit based on a low number of individual reviews. Many reviewers comment on the impeccable quality of this wok, with several people saying it’s the best wok they’ve ever owned.
Here’s a popular wok from Joyce Chen, which features an even, heavy gauge of carbon steel at 2.0 mm, as well as a comfortable phenolic handle that’s designed to stay cool even when the wok is in use (and it seems to function well with this task).
Of course, the extra weight means it’s harder to flip the contents while you’re cooking your food, but it’s great for holding heat and reaching high temperatures – and this is indeed one of its strongest features.
It also gives you an extra helper handle for stability and easy movement of the wok, plus an additional loop on the handle which allows you to hang the wok on the wall for even more convenience.
In summary, this is a reasonably good wok that comes at a generous price, and it gives you a nice starter-to-intermediate wok for any budding chef.
This four-piece wok set from Joyce Chen is another popular seller, and it gives you a 14-inch wok and a dome lid, along with a 12-inch spatula and recipe book, making it a nice gift package for any Asian cooking enthusiast.
The gauge of 1.5 mm carbon steel means this wok heats up fairly quickly, so it’s ideal for fast preparation times. Additionally, the dome lid helps to seal in the heat, moisture, and flavor, so it’s another great feature for this affordable wok to come with.
Of course, it’s important to make sure this one is seasoned before use (as you should ensure with any carbon steel wok) – and it’s compatible with either electric of gas cooktops. In terms of cleaning, it’s best to hand wash this one.
If you’re looking for something traditional and large, then this wok will be ideal for you. Rather than being made by machine, this one is genuinely hand hammered, and it comes with metal handles, too.
The carbon steel construction makes it fairly light despite its large size, which makes it ideal for noodles, vegetables, and other fast-cooking items – and it does a fantastic job of heating up evenly, which is always a key feature to look for in a quality wok.
What’s more, it’s a very easy wok to season which is certainly convenient, because it’s a process that cannot be skipped when it comes to carbon steel woks.
Lastly, the buyer reviews on Amazon are largely positive, and it boasts an average review score of 4.2 out of 5.0 at the time of writing.
Next, we have this affordable option from Sur La Table. It’s a versatile option that can cope with any kind of stovetop including electric, gas, induction, and ceramic – and the 14-inch size gives you plenty of room to work with.
The material is made from carbon steel and it’s manufactured exclusively in Taiwan. Additionally, the wooden handles are a nice feature, as they help to keep the temperature somewhat cooler for your hands.
The buyer reviews on Amazon are very positive at the time of writing, although there is a fairly low number of individual reviews available.
Overall, this is a lovely wok that comes at a very generous price, so it’s certainly a worthy option if you like the look of this particular wok.
Here’s another great wok from Wok Shop, which is hand hammered for an authentic feel, and it’s also surprisingly affordable, so it’s a top choice if you’re on a limited budget.
It has a round bottom along with a single metal handle for convenience, although you’ll have to be careful because it will get hot if it’s kept on the heat for a long time.
However, the handle is hollow which means it’ll stay cool for longer than you may think.
The design makes it ideal for tossing those vegetables over a high flame, and it’s also nice and light, which is another useful benefit.
The buyer reviews over on Amazon are mostly enthusiastic about this wok, and the average review score currently rests at 4.2 out of 5.0 at the time of writing.
For those people who prefer a traditional hand hammered wok, this design from Craft Wok is a great option that’s definitely worth a closer look.
Even those it’s a little costlier than the budget woks, you’ll be reassured by the exceptional quality on offer here, and it’s also nice to know that it’s authentically made in Guangzhou, China.
The handle is very comfortable to use, and the steel helper handle is a nice addition that helps you keep the wok solid and steady during use – and it can also withstand the higher temperatures generated when you’re cooking over a high heat.
As you’d expect, the buyer reviews on Amazon are very happy with this wok, and it holds an average score of 4.4 out of 5.0 based on around 30 customer reviews at the time of writing.
Here’s another great wok that comes from Wok Shop, and it costs a few more dollars than the budget options but it gives you excellent quality and versatility.
It is a larger 16-inch model that features a convenient wooden helper handle, and a nice flat bottom that’s fantastic for quick and even heat transfer.
The smooth surface also lends to the adaptability and fast heating potential of this wok, and the 2mm thickness means it holds heat very well indeed.
As always, this quality carbon steel wok will require some light maintenance to keep it in great shape, and if you take the time to look after it, you can expect it to give you many, many years of loyal service.
The buyer reviews also echo this thought, and the Amazon average rating currently rests at 4.3 out of 5.0 at the time of writing.
This particular wok happens to be a very popular seller on Amazon, and it comes in a range of different styles and sizes that are all based on the same core design.
It uses a traditional carbon steel design that’s crafted from 1.8 mm carbon steel, which of course allows for very fast and efficient heating and cool down.
The wok comes with a stylish helper handle, and the main handle is very comfy in the hands thanks to the bamboo construction. It also uses a flat-bottomed design that makes it compatible for both gas and electric stoves.
As always, it’s best to wash this wok by hand, and it’ll need some light seasoning to keep it in top shape between uses.
# 15 – Ken Hom Carbon Steel Wok
Next, we have this interesting design from Ken Hom, and although it receives somewhat mixed reviews on Amazon, we still consider it to be a wok that’s worth looking at in closer detail.
It comes in either 12.5-inch or 13.5-inch sizes, and the use of a heavy 1.8 mm gauge allows for excellent heat transfer in most instances.
The flat bottom is very stable to cook on, and you’ll find that it doesn’t wobble or move very much at all, even when you’re using high heats – which goes a long way towards maintaining a stable heat, too.
The beech handles are riveted, and they do a great job of minimizing heat transfer into the handle, so it’ll stay cool to the touch most of the time.
What’s more, the wok comes with a generous 10-year guarantee, so it should certainly last you for quite some time. Of course, it’s still important to season before use and only wash the wok by hand.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous wok set, perhaps for a special gift (or even just to treat yourself!) then this wok set from Wok Shop is worthy of your consideration.
It comes with a nice selection of essential items for wok cooking, including a quality wok, an aluminum lid, a 14″ wok spatula, a ladle, a cleaning whisk, a steaming plate, a brass skimmer, and a steaming plate.
While the set costs a little extra compared to simply buying a wok by itself, all of the extras are useful items to have if you’re beginning an adventure into Asian cooking, and you’ll often find them coming in useful whenever you’re cooking.
The buyer reviews on Amazon are largely positive, with an average score of 4.1 out of 5.0 at the time of writing, albeit based on a fairly low number of unique reviews.
Here’s a very affordable carbon steel nonstick wok from a company called Ecolution, and it comes in three different sizes – either 8 inch, 12 inch, or 14 inch.
The non-stick coating is provided by a PFOA-Free formula that should make it very safe to use for your cooking, and it makes it very convenient for a wide range of Asian cooking styles.
It can deliver very high heat transfer with no trouble at all, and it’s also compatible with most types of stove top including gas, electric, ceramic, and glass.
What’s more, it’s nice to know that the wok comes with a limited lifetime warranty, but if you pay it due care, you should find that it lasts for quite some time.
Finally, the buyer reviews are generally quite positive, with an average score of 4.0 out of 5.0 on Amazon at the time of writing.
Here’s another excellent wok set from Wok Shop, which is very similar to the other wok sets from the same manufacturer – with the main difference being that this set comes with a round bottom wok.
The 14-inch wok is certainly of a very high quality, and the wide range of accessories that come with the set are very beneficial for a beginner to Asian cooking. In fact, you’ll quickly discover how useful all of these accessories can be!
In the set, you’ll receive an aluminum lid, a spatula, a ladle, a brass skimmer, a bamboo cleaning whisk, a steaming plate, and a tempura rack.
The buyer reviews on Amazon are very positive overall, with an average score of 4.6 out of 5.0 at the time of writing – making it one of the top-rated wok sets available right now.
For people who prefer a hand-hammered finish, this carbon steel wok by Wok Shop is a great choice, which is also backed up by very positive reviews on Amazon.
It features a sturdy metal handle that gives the wok plenty of strength when flipping or mixing your ingredients, and the round bottom design also makes it useful for a variety of Asian cooking styles. As you’d expect, this makes it fantastic for tossing your vegetables over a high flame.
Of course, you must season this wok to keep it in great shape, just like most quality carbon steel woks require. It’s also worth noting that the handle is hollow in the middle, so even though it’s constructed from metal, it manages to stay relatively cool for quick stir fry sessions.
Here’s a rugged and hard wearing Japanese style wok offered by Sunrise Kitchen Supply, which is a very nice wok indeed, but keep in mind that it’s recommended primarily for restaurant or commercial use.
It comes in a nice 1.2 mm thickness, and the welded joints make it very secure overall. The round bottom makes it appropriate for many Asian styles of cooking, too.
The buyer reviews are generally very positive on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5.0, albeit based on a fairly low number of individual reviews at the time of writing.
Many reviews praise the wok for its quality, although it’s important to note that it’s best suited for restaurant use, as the protective coating can be difficult to burn off on a conventional home stove unless you have a lot of patience to work it down.
But if you’re a professional chef working in a restaurant kitchen, then there’s a good chance you’ll be thrilled by what this wok can offer.
There’s no denying that buying a wok set is a great gift or starter pack for someone who wants to try their hand at some Asian cooking.
This particular set from Joyce Chen is very affordable indeed, and it comes with all of the basics you need, like a wok, a 12-inch bamboo spatula, and a small recipe booklet to get you started.
The handles are made from a lovely birch wood which ensures the handle stays nice and cool during the cooking process, and the helper handle on the other side makes it very easy to move the wok around when you’re practicing your chef skills.
The dome lid is also a nice addition, and it does a great job of sealing in the heat, moisture, and nutrients of your cooking.
Finally, you can use this wok on either an electric or gas cooktop – so it’s very convenient in this regard. Additionally, it’s only suitable for hand washing.
Now, if you’re looking for more of a comprehensive wok set, then this kit from Joyce Chen is a decent choice that won’t disappoint you.
It comes with a heavy gauge 2 mm carbon steel work that does a great job of holding heat, and the wide array of accessories it comes with mean you’ll have everything you need to get started with a new adventure into Asian cooking.
Of course, the comprehensive nature of the set makes it a great starter gift for someone who’s keen to get started, and the key pieces come with a generous 25-year warranty – which just goes to show that the kit is built to last.
The buyer review scores on Amazon are very positive, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 at the time of writing, based on just under 100 reviews.
The Ecolution brand is well known for making quality affordable woks and many of their items happen to be bestsellers on Amazon these days.
This particular item comes in three different sizes, either 8-inch, 12-inch, or 14-inch, and each of them features an effective nonstick coating that works very well.
It’s certainly a highly versatile option that can be used on very high heats while maintaining an even temperature throughout. What’s more, it is suitable for practically any kind of stovetop, from electric and gas to glass and ceramic.
The wok comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and the buyer reviews over on Amazon are largely positive, with an average score of 4.0 out of 5.0 based on rough 130 customer reviews at the time of writing.
The Joyce Chen woks tend to be very popular sellers in general, and they certainly provide a great blend of quality and affordability.
This particular model comes with a round bottom, as well as a wooden grip and helper handle which are very nice on the hands and tend to stay remarkably cool during short cooking sessions.
In general, the design focuses on rapid heating and cooling, but it manages to maintain a pretty even temperature overall, too.
Of course, the item is hand wash only, and it will require some seasoning when you first get it.
The buyer reviews on Amazon are largely enthusiastic about this model, and the majority of buyers have scored it with positive ratings at the time of writing.