A great wok is a cook’s best friend. Perfect for stir fry dishes, they’re just as good for any number of one-pot meals. Give us just one piece of cookware to take to a desert island, and it would be the wok. (As long as that desert island had a decent cooktop, obviously!)
But for such an apparently simple pan, there are a whole host of options available. If you’re feeling bemused, don’t worry – we’re here to help. We’ve found ten of the best woks out there, and we’re going to take you through what they have to offer.
So let’s get started!
1. T-fal 14 Inch Specialty Non-Stick Jumbo Wok
If you’re in the market for a large wok, they don’t come much bigger than T-fal’s A80789 jumbo version. Measuring 14 inches in diameter across the rim, it’s big enough for one-pot meals for the largest households. But note that if you’re using it to deep fry food, the wide diameter will require a lot of oil.
Both the interior and exterior of the wok have a non-stick coating. That coating is free from PFOA, so you can be confident it’s non-toxic. Keep it in good condition by using silicone or wooden utensils. Metal versions can scratch the surface.
The aluminum core will heat up fast and there are no hot spots. It’s not particularly heavy – but given the size, that’s probably a good thing. A weightier pan full of food could become unmanageable. There’s a long stay-cool handle, with a second helper handle to make lifting easy.
This one won’t work on induction cooktops. But the flat-bottomed design will be fine for gas, electric and ceramic versions. There’s no lid, but it’s safe to go into the oven to keep food warm. It will handle temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s rated dishwasher safe, but cleaning by hand is very easy and will better protect the non-stick coating. Leave it to cool, then just wipe over with warm soapy water and a soft sponge. Food and oil will disappear without any scrubbing required.
- Big enough for the largest households
- Effective non-stick coating on both the interior and exterior
- Dishwasher safe
- No lid with this one
- Won’t work with induction cooktops.
2. Jim Beam 12 Inch Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Grilling Wok
If you’re looking for a wok to last for years, this cast iron version from Jim Beam could be the one for you.
It’s a flat-bottomed design and is intended to be used in an oven or on a grill outdoors. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s great. But you won’t be able to use it for stir fries on your cooktop.
It measures 4 ½ inches in diameter at the base and 12 inches at the rim. At just 3 inches, it’s not the deepest wok out there, but you’ll still have plenty of surface area.
If you’ve ever been put off cast iron cookware because of the weight, then it’s worth reconsidering. This pan isn’t as heavy as you might expect – about six pounds. But it’s still robust enough to be used right on top of the charcoal if you’re cooking outdoors.
Two loop handles, one on either side of the wok, make lifting it easy. And because there’s no long handle, it won’t take up much storage space.
As with any cast iron cookware, you’ll need to take care of it by seasoning it from time to time. Clean with warm water and a stiff brush. Avoid soap and detergent, and don’t even consider putting it in a dishwasher!
There’s no lid with this one. But if you need one, you’ll find it fairly easy to find one separately to fit.
- Solid cast iron construction that’s still light enough for ease of use
- Great for outdoor grilling
- Two loop handles make storage easier
- Not designed for use on a cooktop
- No lid
3. Souped Up Recipes 12.5 Inch Carbon Steel Wok
If you want to be able to use your wok on a cooktop, check out this one from Souped Up Recipes. It can be used on gas, electric or induction stoves.
It’s a good-looking wok marrying traditional design with a flat bottom, so it will sit steady on your cooktop. It comes with a beautiful wooden lid and you’ll also get a metal spatula as part of the package.
It’s made from carbon steel, so it’s tough but lightweight enough to lift easily, even when full. It heats up very quickly too.
You will need to pre-season it before use. And after cooking, wash it with warm water and a stiff nylon brush. Avoid using soap or detergent. That way, you’ll build up a new coat of oil on the pan each time you cook. That’s what will give it a non-stick surface.
The diameter at the rim is 12.5 inches. It’s a decent size, but there are bigger woks out there if you want to use it for large meals. On the plus side, this will be more manageable in a smaller kitchen. And you’ll be able to use it without covering up other burners on your stovetop.
There’s a useful pouring lip on the side, and a long wooden handle that will stay cool during cooking. Just take care when using on a gas cooktop that you don’t char the wood! There’s no second “helper” handle with this one. Fortunately, though, it’s pretty light.
- Suitable for use on all kinds of cooktops
- Manageable size for a smaller kitchen
- Comes with an attractive wooden lid and metal spatula
- You’ll need to pre-season this before the first use
- No helper handle
4. Craft Wok 14 Inch Traditional Pow Wok
This beautiful wok from Craft Wok is perfect for anyone looking for an authentic Chinese cooking experience.
It’s a pow wok, meaning it has a rounded bottom. If you have a gas cooktop, you’ll be able to use it as is with a little care. But for more a secure cooking experience, or if using an electric cooktop, purchase a ring to sit it on.
The wok is made from heavy gauge carbon steel that’s been hammered by hand for an attractive finish. There’s a steel handle which extends into wood so it’s comfortable to hold and won’t get hot.
While the thick gauge is great for heat distribution and longevity, though, this is a heavy wok. There’s a secondary helper handle, making it easier to maneuver when full. But it still requires some heft to move it around. If you’re not strong or have arthritic hands, there will be better options for you.
You’ll need to season the wok before the first use. Take your time doing it to make sure the whole surface is covered in oil. Done properly, the process can take a couple of hours.
When it’s time to clean it, simply wash with warm water and a stiff-bristled brush. Make sure it’s thoroughly dried, or it may rust.
The wok will repay your care and maintenance with years of trouble-free use. And because you’re effectively creating the non-stick surface yourself, it will just get better over time. You’ll also have the reassurance of knowing that no chemicals have gone into creating the non-stick coating.
- Beautifully made and completely authentic
- Heavy gauge steel and round bottom distributes heat very effectively
- With proper care, this will last a lifetime
- You’ll need to spend time seasoning it before the first use
- It’s heavy
5. Cooks Standard 11 Inch Anodized Non-Stick Wok
If you don’t want the bother of seasoning your wok, this non-stick version from Cooks Standard is a great option. It comes with a non-stick coating that’s completely effective from the first use.
This one is 11 inches in diameter at the rim. It’s a good choice for kitchens where space is at a premium, or for one or two person households. But if you’re looking for a wok to make meals for a larger family, you may prefer a different option.
It has nice, deep sides, so you can toss stir fries without losing veggies over the edge of the pan. And there’s a tempered glass lid with steam hole. Use it to increase the internal temperature while still seeing what you’re doing as you cook.
The anodized surface is durable and heats up fast. The wok itself is oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The lid will cope with temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This pan will work on gas, electric or ceramic hobs. But if you have an induction cooktop, it won’t register its presence. You can address that with an induction disc – but there are plenty of induction-friendly woks that will be better options.
This is another wok with a single long handle, and no secondary helper handle. The wok is lightweight, though, so that’s not too much of a problem.
- Effective non-stick surface
- Nice deep sides are great for tossing and stir frying
- Comes with a tempered glass lid so you can see what’s going on during cooking
- Not big enough for larger households
- Not suitable for induction cooktops
6. Calphalon 10 Inch Nonstick Wok
Calphalon’s wok is available in two sizes. They’re marketed as 10 inches or 12 inches in diameter. In fact, though, both are slightly larger at the rim – more like 11 and 13 inches.
They’re made of heavy gauge, anodized aluminum, so they’re hard-wearing and heat up fast and evenly. They can also go into the dishwasher. If easy clean-up is important to you, they should make your shortlist.
The interior of the wok has three layers of non-stick coating for maximum durability. There’s no need to season it before use. It has a flat bottom too, so it will sit comfortably on all kinds of cooktop. But note that it isn’t suitable for induction cooking.
It can go into the oven at temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s a single stainless steel handle with the 10-inch wok. The 12-inch version also has a helper handle.
There’s no lid, but Calphalon makes compatible lids which you can purchase separately if you wish.
Both woks come with a lifetime warranty. But make sure you use them with wooden or silicone utensils. If you don’t, any claim against deterioration of the non-stick coating is unlikely to be successful.
- Heats up quickly and evenly
- Hard-wearing non-stick coating
- Dishwasher friendly
- Not suitable for induction cooktops
- You’ll need to buy the lids separately if you want them
7. Authentic 14 Inch Hand Hammered Wok
Mammafong’s pow – or round-bottomed – wok is a great choice for anyone looking for a traditional Chinese wok. It shares several features with the Craft Wok model reviewed earlier, and it’s just as good.
The body of the wok is made from 16-gauge carbon steel that’s light yet strong. The shape of the wok is made by hammering the steel by hand, and the quality shows.
There’s a long handle, steel at the bottom and attached to the wok with three rivets for security. The top two thirds of the handle are wood, so it’s comfortable to hold and stays cool. There’s a second loop handle on the opposite side, secured by another four rivets.
The rounded bottom distributes heat exceptionally well, but it’s best used on gas cooktops. If your cooktop is electric, you’ll need to purchase a ring to stand it on.
The wok comes with a first coat of vegetable oil applied to season it. When you get it, you’ll need to wash, dry and season it again before the first use.
It can take a while to complete the process properly, but it’s worth it. The seasoning gives the pan a non-stick surface which will get better every time it’s used.
But you will need to take care of it properly. Wash it only in warm water without soap or detergent. If any food has stuck to the surface, use a silicone spatula to scrape it off. Then rinse it, wipe it dry, and place back on the cooktop on a low heat to ensure all the moisture has gone.
Finally, give it another thin coat of oil before storing.
If that all seems like a lot of work, this isn’t the wok for you. But treat it with love, and it will last as long as you do.
- Round-bottomed design distributes heat perfectly
- Carbon steel construction is strong yet light
- Comfortable primary and helper handles
- Needs to be pre-seasoned and regularly oiled
- There’s no lid
8. Rachael Ray 11 Inch Nonstick Wok/Stir Fry Pan
If you like a pop of color in your kitchen, you’ll love Rachael Ray’s “Brights” range of cookware. And this 11-inch wok is practical and easy to use.
It comes in a choice of four different shades: marine, gray, orange or red. The rubberized handle is made to match. It’s comfortable to hold and won’t get hot while you’re cooking.
This wok also comes with a glass lid, complete with matching handle and two steam holes. It means you can use your wok to braise and self-baste food as well as to fry. And you’ll be able to keep an eye on your food as you do it.
The core of the wok is made of aluminum, so it will heat up quickly and evenly. It will also cope with being put into the oven at up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It won’t, however, be suitable for anyone with an induction cooktop.
The attractive exterior is enamel, so it’s hard-wearing. But don’t try and put it in the dishwasher. Those lovely bright colors won’t last if you do.
The good news is that this has a non-stick coating that’s very effective, so hand washing isn’t a chore. Simply wipe over with a sponge and warm soapy water. You’ll keep the coating in the best possible condition by using wooden or silicone utensils.
- Range of attractive colors to choose from
- Lined with an effective non-stick coating
- Comes with shatter-proof glass lid
- Not safe to put in the dishwasher
- Not suitable for induction cooktops
9. Lodge 9 Inch Cast Iron Mini Wok
For single person households or those looking for a smaller wok, this one from Lodge could be perfect. It measures just 9 inches in diameter at the rim. It will fit on any cooktop without encroaching on other burners. The twin loop handles mean it’s easy to store too.
It’s made of cast iron, so it will work on all types of cooking surface, including induction cooktops. As with all cast iron cookware, getting the best results will take a bit of practice at first.
The key is to remember that cast iron heats up slowly, but then retains heat for a long time. Heat it up gently, and don’t be afraid to turn off the burner to stop it over-heating. The wok will stay very hot for some time.
The wok arrives pre-seasoned, but you’ll need to season it again before the first use. Regular seasoning and washing without soap will keep it in tip-top condition. And the non-stick coating formed by the oil will get better and better over time.
There’s no lid with this one. Lodge do, though, make a compatible cast iron lid that you can purchase separately.
One thing to note is that the loop handles are cast iron too, and they can get very, very hot. Lodge also manufacture a silicone handle holder, but we’ve heard of some issues with it not fitting tightly. You may prefer to use a padded pot-holder instead.
- Perfect size for small individual meals
- Cast iron construction will last a lifetime with proper care
- Suitable for all types of cooking surface
- The cast iron loop handles can get very hot
- If you want a lid, you’ll need to buy it separately.
10. Cooks Standard 13 Inch Stainless Steel Wok
If you have stainless steel cookware and want a matching wok, take a look at this one from Cooks Standard.
The body of the wok features an aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of 18/10 stainless steel. It’s great at conducting heat, so it will reach your desired temperature fast. And there won’t be any hot spots to burn your food.
It has a flat bottom and is suitable for use on all cooktops, including induction. And it’s safe to put into the oven at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Just make sure you use an oven mitt if you do that.
There’s a long handle as well as a secondary loop handle, both in stainless steel. That helper handle is very useful, as this is a pretty heavy wok.
There’s a stainless steel domed lid to help keep internal temperatures high. The downside is that you won’t be able to see inside without lifting the lid.
This is a very generous pan, with a diameter of just over 13 inches at the rim. The capacity is 6 quarts, big enough to cook for lots of people.
Note that the stainless steel isn’t non-stick and won’t develop a coating. That means you’ll need to use more oil when you cook.
- Generous size, great for cooking for large households
- Aluminum core heats up fast without hot spots
- Oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pretty heavy
- Stainless steel isn’t a non-stick surface, so you’ll need to use more oil when cooking
Frequently Asked Questions
Still not sure which is the right wok for you? Read on for our guide to help you choose.
What should my wok be made from?
Woks can be made from a range of different materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron and carbon steel. The right one for you will depend on your preferences.
If you’re looking for a wok to cook on an outdoor grill, you can’t beat cast iron. It will heat up slowly on a charcoal grill and retain the heat for ages. But it’s heavy and needs exacting care, including regular seasoning.
Carbon steel is exceptionally strong and can last a lifetime. Used properly it will develop a non-stick coating that gets better over time. But again, you need to take proper care of it, including seasoning it before the first use. And neither carbon steel nor cast iron should go anywhere near a dishwasher.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, can go into a dishwasher. You’ll be able to use it with metal utensils too. But it won’t be non-stick. And no matter how many times you cook with it, it won’t develop a non-stick coating.
Aluminum pans are lightweight and often come with a non-stick coating. They’re very easy to use, and some will cope with being put into a dishwasher. But even durable non-stick coatings will degrade over time, so you’ll need to replace your wok when that happens.
Finally, if you have an induction cooktop, check that your wok is magnetic. If it isn’t, it won’t heat up.
What’s the perfect size?
As with the materials, the perfect size depends on your circumstances.
If you’re going to be cooking for a large household, woks with a 13 or 14-inch diameter will be great. They’ll give you plenty of room to move around the food so that it cooks evenly.
But they will take up storage space. And unless you have a large cooktop, you’ll probably find the sides get in the way of the other burners.
For smaller households, a 10 or 11-inch wok may work better. They’ll also require less oil for deep frying. And for individual dishes, the 9-inch Lodge mini-wok is perfect.
Round bottomed or flat?
Authentic Chinese woks have rounded bottoms. They distribute the heat exceptionally well. But while they’re great for gas cooktops, you’ll need a separate pot stand for cooking on electric.
Flat bottomed woks are a newer invention, but they’re easy to use on all cooktops. And as long as they’re constructed of materials that conduct heat effectively, they can work just as well.
Time to fry!
That brings us to the end of our review of ten of the best woks out there! We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about their features.
Our favorite is T-fa 14 Inch Non-Stick Jumbo Wok. We love its generous dimensions and non-stick interior and exterior. And the fact that it can be put into the dishwasher is a real bonus.
But if you have an induction cooktop, we’d recommend the carbon steel wok from Souped Up Recipes. We can’t resist that beautiful wooden lid!
Whichever wok is right for you, we hope we’ve helped you narrow down your options. Now it’s time to go shopping!