Best Carbon Steel Wok of 2017 (My Picks with Reviews)

By Elena Martin

The perk of having a wok is that the curved shape allows plenty of versatility and easy ability for frying, steaming, and a wide array of other needs.

The most important part in choosing the best carbon steel wok is selecting one that is made with high-quality materials.

Carbon Steel is widely considered to be one of the most materials for woks.

Also used for other kitchen materials such as knives, is very durable, pretty easy to clean, and transfers heat well while being heated by electric and gas stoves.

If you want the best wok for you, we have carefully hand-picked the best critically acclaimed choices among some for people with lower budgets.

 Comparison Chart

Name

Servings:

Cooktop

Wok Shop Carbon Steel Wok Set

6 to 12 people.

Gas

Joyce Chen Pro Chef Excalibur Set

6 to 12 people.

Gas

Lodge P14W3

6 to 12 people.

gas or electric stoves.

Wok Shop's Carbon Steel Hand Hammered

6 to 12 people.

gas or electric stoves.

Wok Shop's Pow Wok

12 or more people.

Gas

Wok Shop's 16 in Carbon Steel

6 to 12 people.

Gas or electric stoves.

 Reviews

1. Wok Shop Carbon Steel Wok Set


Anybody looking for the best carbon steel wok might also be looking for one which comes with a nice set of accessories.

Wok Shop Carbon Steel Wok Set

Perfect and usefull accessories

Since this wok comes with a wide array of items, including a deep fry rack and a cleaning wisk to assist with hand washing, many will consider this to be the best set on the list.

Wok Shop Carbon Steel Wok Set review

Wok  Information:

Size/ Servings: 14-inch wok serves 6 to 12 people.

Handle Material: Wooden handle for easy handling.

Round or flat bottom?: Round bottom wok.

Easy to clean?: Included cleaning wisk for easy cleaning.

Can be used in gas or electric cooktop?: Gas only (unless you purchase a steel wok rack.

The round bottom design of this wok makes it a top option for many people who need the accessories and have a gas stove.

It is also equipped with a wooden handle, which is nice to have in any wok so that you don’t burn your fingers trying to adjust the position.

The Sweet
  • Included skimmer, aluminum lid, wok spatula, brass skimmer and wok ring
  • Round bottom design can be used on gas or on electric with steel wok rack.
  • The wooden handle allows you to maneuver the wok while cooking.
  • Cleaning whisk makes hand washing much easier
  • .4 inches deep and 14 inches wide provides plenty of space.
The bitter
  • Can be difficult to season if done improperly.

2. Joyce Chen Pro Chef Excalibur Set 


If the carbon steel wok is the one that comes with a handful of features is your top choice, then this might be a product which you consider above any of the other options here.

Joyce Chen Pro Chef Excalibur Set

Probably the best set on a budget

Equipped with 10 pieces of equipment to go with the wok, including a deep fry rack, a bamboo spatula, a steaming rack, 12-inch bamboo tons, and the non-stick quality that is necessary for any wok option to be the best set option, this is one absolutely worth considering.

Joyce Chen Pro Chef Excalibur review

Wok  Information:

Size/ Servings: 14-inch wok serves 6 to 12 people.

Handle Material: Maple wood handle for easy handling.

Round or flat bottom?: Round bottom wok.

Easy to clean?: Not for use in dishwasher – hand wash only.

Can be used in gas or electric cooktop?: Gas only (unless you purchase a steel wok rack).

Although most of the accessories are worth having around, other things such as the 12 chopsticks for table use might be thrown out upon receipt.

This, of course, depends on which utensils you prefer dining with. However, considering this set comes with a 25-year warranty from the manufacturer the worst that could happen is needing to cash in on this offer.

The Sweet
  • Heavy guage 2 mm carbon steel material.
  • 10 Piece wok set comes equipped with many different accessories.
  • 25-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • Safe for use with metal utensils.
The bitter
  • Some accessories are very easy to break, or not that useful.

3. Lodge P14W3


Many people want to purchase a wok that is versatile and able to be used for a wide array of kitchen needs.

Lodge P14W3 carbon steel wok

I have it and I love it

This is especially true for people who have electric stoves.

These people will need to get a wok with a flat bottom like this one so that they can use it properly.

Flat bottom woks are great for not only being able to use on electric stoves but also keeping the pan steady during use.

Lodge P14W3 review

Wok  Information:

Size/ Servings: This 14-inch wok will serve 6 to 12 people.

Handle Material: Metal handles.

Round or flat bottom?: Flat bottom wok.

Easy to clean?: Hand wash cleaning only.

Can be used in gas or electric cooktop?: Safely used on gas or electric stoves.

Although this is perhaps the best option simply because of its pre-seasoned and ready for immediate use design,

it also has a setback to be aware of. Many people like having woks and pans that have wooden handles, but this one is equipped with metal handles, meaning they will heat as the wok does.

The Sweet
  • Foundry-seasoned, or ready for immediate non-stick use.
  • Can be used on both gas and electric stoves.
  • Durable, long-lasting, and easy to protect from rust.
  • The flat base will stay steady on your cooktop.
  • Cast iron material allows you to use it on induction stoves as well.
  • Can also be used in an oven.
The bitter
  • Metal handles get hot while being used.

4. Wok Shop's Carbon Steel Hand Hammered

If a round bottom wok is what you want, but need a little more space to be able to serve large portions, this is the best option for you.

Wok Shop's Carbon Steel Hand Hammered

I Really like the hammered details

With an impressive 18 (or more) inches of diameter space, it offers unmatched levels of room for cooking.

Also included with a wok rack to hold it steady on your stove, this feature allows it to be safely used with gas or electric stoves.

Wok Shop's Carbon Steel Hand Hammered review

Wok Information:

Size/ Servings: This 14-inch wok will serve 6 to 12 people.

Handle Material: Metal handles.

Round or flat bottom?: Flat bottom wok.

Easy to clean?: Hand wash cleaning only.

Can be used in gas or electric cooktop?: Safely used on gas or electric stoves.

The only thing to be aware of with this product is that although it has plenty of space, it can be a little difficult to handle without the proper tools.

Since it comes with metal handles, you will need to either use oven mittens or other accessories to ensure that you dont either burn your hand or knock it out of place.

The Sweet
  • An impressive amount of cooking space.Included wok rack for steady use
  • Can be used on both gas and electric stoves.
  • The flat base will stay steady on your cooktop.
The bitter
  • Metal handles.

5. Wok Shop's Pow Wok

If you are familiar with cookware and are capable of seasoning pans this wok might be a great option for you to consider.

Wok Shop's Pow Wok

Perfect wok for a family

Since it has a wooden handle which will make it easy to handle during use, anybody with a gas stove to place it on will have no issues using it.

Wok Shop's Pow Wok review

Wok Information:

Size/ Servings: 16-inch wok serves 12 or more people.

Handle Material: Wooden handle for cool handling.

Round or flat bottom?: Round bottom wok.

Easy to clean?: Hand wash only..

Can be used in gas or electric cooktop?: Best used with gas stoves.

However, as stated, make sure that you season the pan before you use it otherwise you will find yourself in a position where you have loads of food stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Seasoning is a relatively easy process and can save you quite of bit future frustration if you learn how to do it now.

The Sweet
  • 16-inch wok provides plenty of space.
  • The hand-hammered finish looks beautiful.
  • Wooden handle for easy handling.
  • Traditionally used wok style in Northern China.
The bitter
  • No included steel rack for electric stove use, requires a separate purchase.
  • Not seasoned.

6. Wok Shop's 16 in Carbon Steel

If you are beginner wok user and want a wok that you can experiment and learn on, this is probably the one for you.

Wok Shop's 16 in Carbon Steel

Perfect for beginners

Equipped with a flat bottom, this wok is great for use on both gas and electric stove.

Also coming with a wooden handle, amateur chefs who find themselves moving the wok around while cooking will be able to safely maneuver the wok without burning a pinky.

Wok Shop's 16 in Carbon Steel review

Wok Information:

Size/ Servings: 14-inch wok serves 6 to 12 people.

Handle Material: Wooden handle for cool handling.

Round or flat bottom?: Flat bottom wok.

Easy to clean?: Hand wash only.

Can be used in gas or electric cooktop?: Safely used on gas or electric stoves.

Although this may not be the best, but it is very reasonably priced, capable of use on electric or gas stoves, and durable.

However, the only thing to keep in mind is that you will need to season your wok (prepare it to be non-stick) before using it.

Don’t worry, this is easy.

The Sweet
  • Best for beginners on a budget.
  • Flat bottom wok which can be used on gas or electric stoves.
  • Wooden handle for easy handling.
  • 14 inches in diameter is the perfect family size wok.
The bitter
  • Not seasoned.

Buyers Guide


beef and vegetables wok

After diving through the best carbon steel wok options presented above, it is understandable to still have some questions about your potential purchase so that you know you make the right decision with your money.

The best purchase is always an informed decision that carefully looks at all potential problems and setbacks.

To help you purchase the best for your individual needs, let’s go ahead now and break down some of the things to keep in mind before you make any final decision.

If you want to Know a little more of Wok history ​

What to Look for in a Wok?

What to look for

If you go to a local thrift store, you might be able to come across a wok that is considerably cheaper than any of the options presented above.

However, there are some features that are necessary to consider before you simply purchase the cheapest option available.

After all, the materials you use for cooking will affect your cooking speed, quality, and most importantly, efficiency.

Round or Flat Bottom Woks?

You might be confused behind the difference in practicality between round and flat bottom woks after looking at the above options.

However, the difference is pretty easy to understand. Round bottom woks are great for use in gas stoves since they already will come with a rack of some sort that will help you keep your wok steady while it is being used.

round bottom wok

Electric stoves, on the other hand, don’t always have this luxury. As a result, purchasing a round bottom wok to use with an electric stove is simply impractical.

Unless your round bottom wok comes with an included wok rack for securely positioning your wok, you won’t be able to use it with an electric stove.

As a result, round bottom woks are perfect for people who have gas stoves or want to use a wok rack.

Flat bottom woks, on the other hand, are best reserved for people who want to use them with an electric stove.

flat bottom wok

How to Season a Carbon Steel Wook

If you are considering purchasing one of the woks above that isn’t already seasoned, you will need to learn how to do this.

This process is pretty straightforward and can be done in a period of an hour. Keep in mind that if you don’t do this, you will end up with a wok that consistently sticks food to the sides, leaving you with both wasted food and plenty more effort for cleaning.

Let’s go ahead and break down the steps required for seasoning your brand new carbon steel wok.

  • Wash the wok with a small amount of soap and hot water. Use a scrubber.(Exterior washing is recommended, but not required)
  • Rinse the wok and dry it off with a towel.
  • Place the wok on your stove and set the heat up to the highest setting.
  • Move the wok around to allow the heat to spread evenly.                      (Keep doing this until you notice that the metal start to become a blue-yellowish color.)
  • Remove the wok from the stove, and turn the heat down to medium – low.
  • Add a light amount of oil to the wok.                                                           (Depending on your wok size, 1.5 – 3 teaspoons should be adequate.)
  • Carefully spread the oil around the entire cooking surface to cook in the oil.
  • Put the heat back up to medium and heat it for 10 minutes.
  • Wipe off the wok with a paper towel(If there is black goo that comes off, you need to redo steps 6 – 9.)
  • Once your wok no longer wipes off black goo with a towel, it is now properly seasoned and ready for use. Congrats!If you follow the steps described above, you should be ready to use your brand-new wok without having to worry about food sticking to the pan. Repeat this process as necessary throughout the lifetime of your wok.

If you follow the steps described above, you should be ready to use your brand-new wok without having to worry about food sticking to the pan. Repeat this process as necessary throughout the lifetime of your wok.

How to Clean a Wok?

Who to clean a wok-

In most cases, you simply do not want to put your wok inside a conventional dishwasher or you could put your investment at risk.

Woks are great for cooking and last a long time as long as they are properly cleaned.

To make sure you get the most of your wok, and that it lives a long life, follow these steps for correctly cleaning your wok after each use.

cleaning wisk
  • Rinse the wok in hot water, making sure to get out most of the juice left behind from cooking.
  • Use a sponge or similar product for scrubbing away any remaining food particles.(Do this until there is no food residue left on the wok.)
  • Gently wipe away any marks left from cooking on the exterior of the wok.
  • Rinse the wok again using hot water.
  • Use a towel to dry off the wok thoroughly.
  • After completing the drying process, place the wok back on your stove on low – medium heat.
  • Using the proper kitchen accessory, wipe the inside of the wok with oil to help protect the seasoning.
  • Store in a safe place free from potentially harmful elements.

Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel Wok

If you are on the market for a wok, odds are that you have come across both stainless steel and carbon steel woks.

Although both of these options, no doubt, will serve your needs for cooking, there are things to keep in mind before you purchase either of these types of wok.

Carbon steel woks are great for retaining non-stick qualities with continual seasoning. However, it is important to keep in mind that the main difference between these two types of pans are the amount of carbon it has in the steel.

Although stainless steel is great for its resistance to corrosion problems (like rust) it is also generally more expensive than carbon steel.

Most chefs like to take special care of their woks, regardless of which type they purchase. As a result, many chefs will prefer carbon steel woks, others will prefer stainless steel woks. In the end, you are the one who should decide which type of wok will best suit your needs.

stainless steel wok

Final veredict:

Due to its ability to be used in both gas and electric stoves, as well as induction stoves, the Lodge P14W3 is the best carbon steel wok available.

It is also reasonably-priced, pre-seasoned and ready for non-stick use, and can even be used in an oven if the need arises.

It is one of the easiest woks to maintain on the market and has enough space to suit a large family or group easily. However, if you don’t need to have all of these features, you might instead choose to purchase another type of wok.

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