Woks are incredibly versatile when you know how to use them. Aside from making stir frys, they can also be used for everything from steaming to baking. But choosing the right one for the home kitchen can be tricky. The type of hob you have will be a key factor when it comes to choosing the best wok, as it will affect the shape of the pan you can go for. Your style of cooking will also affect your choice, including whether or not you want handles. From size and material to shape and style, here’s what to consider when choosing the right wok for your home.
- Type of Hob: Traditionally woks have round bottoms—but unless you have a gas hob with a wok bracket at home, you’ll need one with a relatively flat base so it can sit stably on the stove. For induction hobs, you’ll need an even wider base to ensure that your wok gets enough heat. You still want a nice curvature though, as this helps to stop the food from flying out of the pan when you’re stir-frying.
- Material: Carbon steel is the go-to material for woks. It’s lightweight and conducts heat well, which is great if you want to lift the wok up to toss the food. But they need a bit more care and need to be seasoned before use to get a non-stick coating. For occasional use, you may be better going for a wok with a non-stick coating applied. Just be aware that you won’t be able to apply as high a temperature as one without a non-stick coating.
- Handle Length: If you plan to toss the food in your wok during cooking, you’ll need one with a long handle. Typically, there’s also a shorter handle on the opposite side to help you carry your completed dish to the table. If you’re happy to let the wok sit on the hob, or if you have an induction hob, two short handles may be best—and it will be easier to store in the cupboard.
Our Picks for the Best Wok on Amazon
Top pick overall: Ken Hom Classic Non-Stick Wok Set
This value bundle from the legendary chef comes with a recipe booklet, plus two wooden utensils to help you recreate delicious Chinese stir fry dishes at home. Ken Hom
Runner up: Tefal Everest Wok with Thermospot
This pan has a durable non-stick coating and is oven safe for up to an hour at 175° Celsius. The design also tells you when it has reached the ideal cooking temperature of 180° to 200°C.
Budget pick: Dexam Non Stick Carbon Steel Wok
Great for One
Ideal for when you’re just cooking for a few people, this small pan is suitable for all hobs, including induction. It performs best when seasoned before use.
Premium pick: Lightweight but Durable
Lightweight but Durable
Made from sturdy aluminum, this design is oven safe to 204° Celsius and can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning. Its special surface means you can cook with little or no oil.
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