The 5 Best Woks to Buy (and the Wok Tools You Need, Too)
Hunting for the best wok to buy? You're not alone! Woks are fabulous for stir-frying, sauteing vegetables and even steaming dumplings. Check out our favorite woks (and wok accessories) you need in your kitchen today.
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You can’t go wrong with stainless steel. This durable metal is ideal for woks, as it can withstand high temperatures and ensure every element of your stir-fry cooks evenly. This classic stainless steel wok ($80) works great for all chefs, from those who’ve mastered pad Thai to those just learning how to deep fry at home with confidence.
Stainless steel can withstand just about any food, but when it comes to cooking utensils, stick with nonmetallic spoons and spatulas. Stainless steel tools can scratch the wok’s surface, leaving you with cracks and grooves that may cause foods to stick. We love this wooden spatula from OXO ($6), which is ideal for stirring chicken and breaking up ground pork.
Preseasoned cast iron is an absolute joy to cook with, whether you’re using a cast-iron skillet or picking up a cast-iron wok. This 14-inch cast-iron wok ($85) comes with a flattened bottom, ideal for placing over gas or electric stoves. And if you’re not sure how to start cooking with cast iron, check out our complete cast iron cooking guide.
Want to learn how to gently clean cast iron? One of the most important rules is protecting the pan’s built-in seasoning, which will come off with abrasive cleaners or too much soaking. This chainmail scrubber ($13) is made to remove any caked-on gunk without harming that delicious layer of seasoning.
This carbon steel wok ($50) is just as useful as it is gorgeous. With a traditional rounded bottom, it’s ideal for your favorite stir-fry recipe, as it allows you to continuously stir the wok while you saute your meal. Check out our favorite Asian stir-fry recipes that can help you put this wok to good use.
Much like cast iron, your carbon steel wok has a layer of seasoning you’ll want to protect by cleaning gently. Instead of using an abrasive sponge, use this traditional cleaning whisk ($7) made specifically with your wok in mind. It targets those burned-on crusties without tearing off or warping the carbon steel itself.
If you don’t have a lot of oven space for a wok, or you prefer an appliance that can quickly heat itself to the desired temperature, consider purchasing an electric wok. The Presto Electric Wok ($100) is made from stainless steel, comes with a lid (ideal for steaming), ensures your favorite stir-fry cooks evenly and can be washed in the dishwasher.
The beauty of your electric wok is that it is sturdy, meaning you can add attachments to the top without worrying they’ll slide off during cooking. We are big fans of this steaming rack ($18) that sits directly on the wok’s lip, allowing you to steam your favorite veggies or—even better—your own homemade dumplings.
There’s a reason nonstick pans are incredibly popular—they’re just so easy to clean, whether you used them to sear meat or make a sticky sauce. Watching that built-up crust glide off is borderline euphoric, especially when it comes to your wok. This nonstick wok ($60) comes with high sides, making it ideal for stirring and tossing your next dish.
Flat-bottomed woks, like the one here, are great for stir-fry dinners, but they can also be used for deep frying. Even heating and high sides can keep oil at the right temperature without harming your arms, which is a solid win-win. This bamboo wok skimmer ($10) is ideal for removing deep-fried meats to add to your stir-fry, but it’s just as helpful when removing larger fried foods, like your favorite doughnuts.