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Best Carbon Steel Wok Buying Guide

There are some kitchen items that need no introduction as everybody knows just how versatile and durable they are. The wok is one such item that has been used for centuries before us and will undoubtedly be used well into the future. When it comes to shopping for one, though, people often struggle to find the right one.

One of the most popular
 types of wok is a carbon steel wok and knowing where to buy one that’s worthy of your kitchen can be a challenge. There are plenty of great brands out there making some amazing woks so knowing the best carbon steel wok to buy will make it a lot easier to navigate the market.
Yourcookingcarbon steel woks
Although these cooking vessels are relatively easy to use, there’s quite a lot to look at when it comes to features. People often wonder whether cast iron or carbon steel wok is better, but for those who prefer the authentic way of cooking the answer is usually the latter.

Therefore, finding a high carbon steel wok is important in terms of quality, so there’s even more to consider before you purchase. This buying guide has been compiled to make your search a little easier and we’ve spent time going through all of the carbon steel wok reviews to find the perfect one.

Once you’re done, you’ll know exactly what to look for when shopping for your own wok and some recommendations for the best on the market so you can get straight into the kitchen and begin cooking with yours.

Product Name                              Our Rating


Best Carbon Steel Wok

If you’re wondering where to buy carbon steel wok these days, most of the superior brands can be found online. We’ve read through every best carbon steel wok review and narrowed down the search to just a few of our top picks so that you don’t have to spend hours trying to find the best around.
 


Winner: Craft Wok Carbon Steel Wok

For those who like to create the most authentic tasting cuisine in the kitchen, it’s important for them to have the most authentic utensils and cookware to do it with. When you want the absolute best and a wok that most closely resembles the original styles of these Asian cooking vessels, you can’t go past the Craft Wok Carbon Steel Wok.

This wok has been beautifully hand hammered which only vouches further for its high quality. Compared to other stamped woks that are made of cheaper materials and with less effort on their craftsmanship, this is truly one of the best on the market.

Price around mid-range you actually get quite a lot of value for this wok and it works and looks like something that should certainly cost a lot more. The only downfall is that Craft Wok doesn’t offer a warranty or guarantee on their products so you really have to take the word of the other online reviewers that it’s as good as they say.

 
Yourcookingcarbon steel wok 1
The Craft Wok features a wooden steel handle that makes it easy to cook with, and you can flip and toss your stir-fries without ever worrying about burning your hand. Although it’s definitely a handy feature it means that this wok won’t be able to go into the oven, so keep that in mind if you planned on roasting anything with your new piece cookware.

This is a traditional style of wok and it’s one that professional chefs prefer to use. However, even if you’ve never cooked in a wok before and are looking to buy your very first one, the Craft Wok couldn’t be easier to learn and capable of bringing out the best flavors from your food. You might even like to try your hand at techniques like 
wok hei now that you have a professional vessel to cook with.

Made from 15 gauge carbon steel and with a thickness of around 1.8mm, you’ll find the Craft Wok heats up exceptionally fast and manages to keep the entire wok at the optimal temperature. Everything about this wok has been carefully designed to make cooking at home more enjoyable, and it’s the perfect conversation piece for your kitchen.

 
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Runner-Up: Bruntmor Cast Iron Wok

When you’re looking for the easiest cast iron wok on the market, it has to be the Bruntmor.

This wok has been pre-seasoned so that you don’t have to do anything else to cook with it. Compared to other woks that require seasoning this one is already done, which could save you hours of time over the life of the wok.

There are plenty of other great features in the Bruntmor Cast Iron Wok including its sturdy flat base. If you’ve ever tried cooking with a rounded bottom before you know it can be hard to keep it on the stovetop which can be dangerous while using hot oil, so this is one of the safest woks on the market.

If you like your cooking supplies to have more than just one purpose then you’ll love the Bruntmor Cast Iron Wok. This is one of the only woks around that can be used on all types of cooktops including gas and induction, and it’s even capable of going straight into the oven and being used for baking.

 
Yourcookingcast iron wok
Another great thing about this wok from Bruntmor is the large loop handles on either side, making it easy to toss your meals and keep your hands from burning. However, if you do decide to place it into the oven you’ll need to be protected, and possibly even wearing oven mitts while cooking otherwise the handles could heat up a bit.

This is one of the best 14-inch wok options around and it’s extremely durable in its design. Some of the reviews even commented that this wok was too heavy or thick and it took a long time to heat up, but others prefer the durability of it. Depending on your preference as a chef this could be a pro or a con for you.
In terms of affordability, it’s definitely great for the price.

Bruntmor has managed to make an authentic looking and feeling wok that seems as if it will serve you well in the kitchen for years, so there’s really not much else you can look for in a carbon steel wok.

 
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Alternative: Joyce Chen Wok

Joyce Chen is a company that specializes in eastern cookware for the western world, and their flat-bottomed carbon steel wok is a great example of this. This is a seriously heavy duty wok that’s been made to model authentic Asian woks, so if you’re someone who takes authenticity seriously then this is a great choice.

As soon as you feel the weight and strength of this wok you’ll know just how good the quality is. Like an authentic Asian wok, there’s a lot of thickness to it which helps the heat distribute evenly through the whole thing. This means your meals will cook faster and more evenly with little work from you, so it’s a great feature to have in a wok.

Some reviews have mentioned the coating initially found on the wok being an annoyance. There were a few comments that said they couldn’t remove it and others who said they got there eventually but not without a lot of work. Keep this in mind when yours arrives so that you’re not thrown off by how hard it seems to remove.
Yourcookinguncoated carbon steel
One of the coolest things about this wok is the ergonomic phenolic handle which stays cool as you cook. This means no more burning yourself or wearing oven mitts just to make dinner. The helper handle on the other side helps in the cooking process too, and makes it easier to carry the wok around if you need to.

This is not a wok that you can simply rinse off and leave for later to clean, so don’t buy it if you’re looking for something low maintenance. The Joyce Chen Wok needs to be instantly washed after use and can’t just be left out or thrown in the dishwasher like you might find with other brands. You have to be prepared to put in extra work if you own it but it will return the favor with superior cooking.

For those who want an authentic wok and don’t have an issue spending a little time setting it up or washing if when you’re done, the Joyce Chen Wok is a great choice. This wok will even distribute the heat and stay stable while you cook, so it will make a great addition to the kitchen.
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2nd Alternative: Lodge Cast Iron Wok

 
If you’re a home chef who is happy to spend more to get more, then Lodge Cast Iron Wok might be right up your alley. This expensive piece of cookware has been expertly made to give you everything you need in the kitchen, but its price tag might make it well out of reach for many.

Made in the USA, you might be a little hesitant about its Asian authenticity, but there’s no need to be concerned. According to reviews it handles itself very well in the kitchen and has an amazingly flat and sturdy base that makes it perfect for cooking.

This is one of the more versatile styles of wok around because you’re able to cook with it on just about any type of stove top. You can use gas, 
electric or induction and even pop it into the oven for more ways of cooking. This means the types of meals you create will be more diverse than ever and all with just one piece of cookware.

 
Yourcookingseasoned cast iron wok
If you’re someone who is put off by having to season their wok before use and this has steered you away from the carbon steel style, the Lodge Cast Iron Wok has the solution. This wok has been pre-seasoned with oil and has a natural, easy release system that improves over time.

Some of the reviews have found this wok to be far too heavy and bulky, so keep this in mind if you have size restraints. There were people who couldn’t fit the wok into their kitchen sink to clean it and others who found it too heavy to work with in the kitchen, so it might not be ideal for everyone.

The Lodge Cast Iron Wok certainly has a higher price tag than the others but it’s extremely well made and durable. If you’re looking for a wok that’s likely going to last for decades then this is probably the one, provided you’ve got enough room for it in your sink and a strong enough arm to lift it onto the stovetop.

 
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3rd Alternative: Eastman Outdoors Wok Kit

When you’re looking for something unique from your carbon steel wok, you might want to consider one of these complete kits from Eastman Outdoors. This is no ordinary wok as it comes with a Big Kahuna propane burner on legs, so you can take your wok cooking outdoors and enjoy it on a completely different level.

The wok itself is a massive one, measuring 22 inches in diameter. This is for seriously large family cook-ups or hosting events in your backyard, and gives your guests something a little different from the usual barbecue setup that most have.

Sitting atop a propane gas burner with adjustable legs, you’ll find this a serious piece of cookware. The burner will keep the wok alight and the heat distributed evenly which it does with a 12-inch Accu-Zone thermometer. This means no more uncooked meats or vegetables because you’ll always be able to keep an eye on things.

 
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When compared to other woks around, you’ll find this carbon steel one feels a lot lighter. Although it does help with the portability of such a device, it also means the product’s lifespan will be less than others on the market. Depending on what you’re getting it for, this will need to be factored in.

Another issue is that some people thought the burner didn’t put out enough BTUs to heat a wok of this size, but this didn’t seem to be a problem for all users. You likely won’t need to manipulate the wok a lot like you do with smaller ones but using some utensils will probably come in handy to make sure the heat is spreading around.

This is a great choice for wok for backyard get-togethers or picnics down at the park because it’s completely portable and easy to set up wherever you go. In terms of quality, though, there are probably others that have been built to last longer, so it’s more of a short-term investment rather than a lifelong piece of cookware.

 
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Why Should You Opt For A Carbon Steel Wok?

After seeing exactly what’s on offer with these special kinds of woks, you’ve probably begun to understand what makes them so popular. Most importantly, people believe that nothing quite beats the flavors that you’re able to create when cooking on carbon steel as it’s the closest material you’ll get to an authentic cooking utensil.

When compared to others in terms of price, the carbon steel wok might cost a little more initially. However, these are more like investments for the kitchen as the durability of this material means it will last for years and years. Although the initial cost might be more, you’ll end up spending less over its lifespan as there’ll be no need to replace it.

 
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One of the most important things about cooking with a wok is getting an even distribution of heat through the whole device. Carbon steel allows this to happen because it’s usually a little thicker which means it can spread evenly. This even cooking style is why the wok was first invented so if you want something authentic then it’s the perfect choice of material.

Finally, carbon steel is quite versatile and durable, so many of these devices will allow you to cook with them on all types of cooktops and even in the oven. Carbon steel is known for being lightweight but heavy duty, so you’ll need a little more muscle to move them but once you get the hang of it it’ll be easy to maneuver.

 


Why Should You Opt For A Carbon Steel Wok?


With literally hundreds of options out there for carbon steel woks, it can be hard to know exactly what features make one worthwhile. Here are a few things you consider when purchasing your next wok and how it can affect the overall performance.

Size

The standard size for these woks is around 14 inches in diameter, but this can vary to a degree. There are larger woks intended for entertaining or cooking for large crowds that reach around 22 inches in diameter and smaller woks designed for cooking for one. Smaller woks might also be easier to clean, however, they won’t be capable of fitting much food within.

Quality

The easiest way to tell the quality of a wok is by looking at its materials, how it was made, and whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty on their product. There are different styles of carbon steel woks including hand-forged which are better quality and stamped woks that are cheaper and not as durable
.

Handles

The handles on a wok usually come down to personal preference, with some people preferring a cooler material that won’t heat up and others wanting their wok to be made from the same material. Usually, a wok that has carbon steel handles is more versatile with how it can be used, including being safe for the oven.

Is It Preseasoned?

Quality woks need to be seasoned before use and this is especially true for carbon steel styles. This is a fact that puts many people off so if this sounds like too much work you might benefit from one that has been pre-seasoned with oil.

Cleaning


Carbon steel is a unique type of material and buying a wok made from it means you should be committed to cleaning it. These usually can’t just be placed in the dishwasher nor can they be left for hours without cleaning. You’ll need to wash it with hot water and a sponge immediately after use, so keep this in mind when buying one.
 
Yourcookingcarbon steel wok cleaning


An Important Piece Of Cookware

 
Investing in a new wok is a serious decision to make for your kitchen as they’re one piece of cookware that will probably get the most use. Although traditionally made for Asian cuisine, there are plenty of things you can do with your wok and when you get one of the better quality ones made from carbon steel you’ll be able to enjoy it for years.

Carbon steel woks are the perfect choice for the home chef who wants the authentic eastern cooking experience, and they’ll help you bring out flavors and tastes that other styles of cookware just can’t. Provided you’re willing to put in the extra time to 
cleaning and maintenance, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best kitchen utensils you’ve ever owned.

There are a few must-have features that every good wok should have, so as long as you’re able to tick these off then you’ll find yourself a quality piece of cookware. With the right wok in your kitchen you’ll be able to create healthy and 
delicious meals for the whole family, and without needing the experience of a professional chef.