The 5 Best Woks for Stir-Frying, Braise, and More

The 5 Best Woks for Stir-Frying, Braise, and More. The best works are unrivaled in terms of cooking versatility. While stir-frying may be the first technique that comes to mind, the Chinese cooking pot is capable of much more—it can steam, deep fry, braise, and much more. A wok heats up quickly and retains that heat because of its unusual slanted form and traditional carbon steel structure. That’s why it’s so good at perfectly cooking a wide range of foods: it can elegantly blister vegetables, sear meats, and generate loads of delicious fried rice.

The best works rapidly and keep heat well, making them ideal for stir-frying, blistering… [+] veggies, and other tasks.

When looking for the ideal work for your home kitchen, remember the following features. “We think about size, handle type, and material,” explained Bill, Kaitlin, Judy, and Sarah Leung, the family behind the Woks of Life cooking blog and upcoming cookbook. While the length of the handle is ultimately a matter of personal discretion (woks come with both short and long handles), the Leungs believe that uncoated carbon steel is the best work material. In terms of size, most people can get by with a 14-inch wok; however, if you frequently cook for more than four people, a 16-inch wok is a better idea.

And keep in mind that proper cooking technique is essential. Carbon steel woks, like cast iron, need seasoning to achieve their outstanding nonstick properties. They must also be completely dried before storing to prevent rust from forming. However, the added effort and elbow grease are well worth the versatility of the cooking pot. Do you want to add one to your kitchen? Here is our selection of the best works you can buy right now.

Best Wok Overall

An Flat-Bottom Wok That’s Ideal For Home Kitchens

Best Woks

1. 14-Inch Carbon Steel Flat Bottom Chinese Wok


Material: Carbon Steel | Type: Flat bottom | Dimension: 14-inch

This inexpensive wok is a top pick from the Woks of Life crew and checks all the boxes. One of the most significant advantages of flat-bottom works is their ability to be used directly on non-gas cooktops. “If you have an electric stove, a flat-bottomed wok will be your best bet,” the Leungs recommend. (Round-bottom types require a wok ring to stay upright on non-gas stoves.)

This work’s overall construction is excellent. It’s made of carbon steel, a lightweight material that nearly all professionals suggest for its ability to heat rapidly and become nonstick over time. It includes two comfortable wooden handles for easy manipulation, one of which is lengthy and may be used to toss food (“an advanced wok maneuver, but never say never!” say the Leungs). It also comes in a 14-inch size, ideal for most residential kitchens.


  • Doesn’t need a wok ring
  • Comes pre-greased to protect against rust


  • Not oven-safe

Best Budget Wok

A Reliable Round-Bottom Pick That’s Less Than $20


2. Town 14-Inch Hand Hammered Cantonese Wok


Material: Carbon steel | Type: Round bottom  | Dimension: 14-inch

If you’re searching for low-cost beginner’s work, go as far as this model from Town, a cooking equipment manufacturer producing high-quality products since 1929. This one is recognized for its durability and ability to produce a lovely smooth seasoning after being manually hammered from 18-gauge carbon steel with riveted looped handles typical of Cantonese-style works. The typical round shape necessitates the use of a wok stand. Still, the steeped sides allow for faster cooking and the achievement of the elusive wok hei, which refers to the desirable subtle char and smokiness signature of wok cooking.


  • Affordable price
  • Achieves fast, even heating


  • Needs a wok ring

Best Splurge Wok

A Luxury Option That’s Compatible With Most Cooktops


Made In

3. Made In Blue Carbon Steel Wok

$95$119Save $24 (20%)

Material: Carbon steel | Type: Flat bottom  | Dimension: 12-inch

The wok from Made In is a chef-approved favorite. It’s made of carbon steel stamped by French artisans and can endure temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit while unlocking deep flavor from anything you’re cooking. The flat bottom base was created with home cooktops in mind. Thus it is compatible with electric, induction, and gas cooktops.

Because the material is thicker than most other works—it’s 2 millimeters thick vs. the industry average of 1.5 millimeters—Made In’s model is heavier and more difficult to handle, especially if you want to toss it. On the other hand, the actual work is on the small side, which may appeal to individuals with small kitchens and little storage space. Remember that this 12-inch work isn’t ideal for larger families.


  • Doesn’t need a wok ring
  • Oven safe up to 1200°F


  • Expensive
  • Requires a more intense than usual seasoning process

Best Wok For Beginners

A Pre-Seasoned Wok With A Long Wood Handle

Best Woks

4. MammaFong Pre-Seasoned Blue Carbon Steel Flat Bottom Wok


Material: Carbon steel | Type: Flat bottom  | Dimension: 14-inch

If seasoning a wok scares you, opt for MammaFong’s pre-seasoned version. MammaFong seasons the wok with a blend of natural oils before sealing it in by baking it twice in a high-heat industrial oven. That means you’ll have a sleek cooking surface right away.

This hand-hammered wok is compatible with gas, electric, and induction cooktops and is made of lightweight 16-gauge carbon steel with a flat-bottom base. It also includes a long eucalyptus wood handle on one end and a short steel handle on the other, making it easy to lift and move.


  • Comes pre-seasoned
  • Doesn’t need a wok ring


  • Pricier than the average wok

Best Round-Bottom Wok

A Budget-Friendly Option That’s Easy To Maneuver

Best Woks


5. Joyce Chen 14-Inch Round Bottom Carbon Steel Wok

$25$39Save $14 (36%)

Material: Carbon Steel | Type: Round bottom | Dimension: 14-inch

For a good reason, traditional works have a spherical bottom. “It’s easier to maneuver food through its curved, uninterrupted surface, and it offers maximum wok hei potential on two counts,” the Leungs say. “A wok ring allows it to get closer to the flame for more effective heating.” It’s also easier to toss the food, which aids in the interaction of the flame with the oil/fat from the dish to generate the smoky appearance.” Joyce Chen, a trusted longtime maker of Asian cooking utensils (the brand also pioneered flat-bottom works, adapting the Chinese cooking pot for Western cooktops), is their go-to work. The 1.8-millimeter-thick carbon steel wok is sturdy yet lightweight, making it easy to pick up with the solid birch handles.


  • Achieves fast, even heating
  • Oven safe once handles are removed


  • Needs a wok ring

What To Look For In A Wok

Keep these Leungs’ suggestions in mind as you explore your options to ensure you pick the ideal work.

Opt For Carbon Steel

According to experts, the best works are made of carbon steel, which has exceptional heat retention, durability, and nonstick characteristics. “It will require some maintenance, such as heating it to thoroughly dry it after washing and an occasional light oiling to prevent rust,” the Leungs add, “but a carbon steel wok can serve you well for a lifetime.”

A 14-Inch Wok Will Do The Job (Most Of The Time)

“You should buy a wok that is the ideal size for you,” the Leungs suggest. “For most home kitchens, a 14-inch wok works best.” Consider a 16-inch wok if you cook for more than four people.”

Choose The Handle Length That’s Comfortable For You

Yes, the ideal handle length is ultimately up to you. According to the Leungs, while “short handles make it less likely that someone accidentally knocks it off the stove,” long handles are “a bit more comfortable to use, particularly if you want to move the wok while tossing food.” If you opt for a long-handled wok, the Leungs recommend hardwood handles to lessen the risk of burning yourself.

Which Wok Is Best?

While this flat-bottom carbon steel wok is the best overall pick, the best work for you will rely on a few particular criteria, such as your budget and kitchen space. Most experts think carbon steel is the way to go. The Leungs also recommend a 14-inch size, which is adequate for most cooking purposes.

Are Carbon Steel Woks Worth It?

Chefs generally agree that yes. Carbon steel warms up quickly and retains heat, making it the best material for stir-frying. However, you do not have to overspend on the material. Several inexpensive carbon steel works are available, particularly at restaurant supply stores.

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