Finding the best wok to buy
The wok is a staple in Chinese kitchens and used as the pot of choice for making most Chinese dishes across the country. Its versatility has seen it embraced in Western kitchens by professional chefs and home cooks alike. From stir-frying and stewing to steaming, boiling and even deep-frying - there isn't much a wok can't do! Make sure that your new wok is the right one for you by considering these factors first:
Material. Traditional woks are made out of carbon steel, but they can also be made out of stainless steel, cast iron, copper, aluminium and more.
Size. Wok pans come in many sizes. We have woks measuring 28cm up to 50cm, with or without a glass lid for steaming and minimising splatter.
Base. Flat-bottom woks work best with Western electric range cookers and gas stovetops while round bottom woks provide even heat distribution and won't warp.
Handle. A classic wok will usually have two handles on either side for easy lifting and carrying. Modern flat-bottom woks tend to have a long wooden handle like a skillet that makes it easy to tilt ingredients.
From non-stick woks to glass lids - features to look out for when looking at different woks
These handy features can make cooking with your wok more efficient:
Non-stick coating - Many woks come with a non-stick coating to make cooking with them fuss-free and cleaning up a breeze. Carbon steel woks need to be seasoned before each use to develop a natural non-stick coating.
Helper handle - A helper handle is a short handle on one side of the wok that assists with lifting, tilting and carrying.
Glass lid - A wok with a lid is great for simmering food and can also help with steaming, boiling and preventing splatter making a mess.
Looking to purchase your first wok - differences between fry pans, stir fry pans and more
If you've never used woks before, here’s a quick introduction. A wok is a bowl-shaped tool used traditionally for stir-frying Asian dishes, but also for steaming, boiling, searing, braising and deep frying a wide range of food. Unlike a fry pan, the sides are steep and sloped to trap in more heat and make it easier to toss and move ingredients. Woks differ from stir fry pans which have a wide, flat base and saute pans which are smaller and shallower.
You can pick up a wok at Kitchen Warehouse in many different sizes and materials to suit your needs, from the Scanpan Impact Wok 30cm with lid to the brightly coloured Le Creuset Cast Iron Wok with Glass Lid 32cm. We also have the D.Line Carbon Steel Wok 36cm for a classic wok that can be used for cooking Asian cuisine with authentic flavours.
Preparing your carbon steel wok before you start cooking
Seasoning is an important part of using a wok. Non-stick woks made out of aluminium or stainless steel will generally only need to be seasoned occasionally while a carbon steel wok or a cast iron wok requires seasoning every time to prevent food from sticking and to extend the wok's lifespan.
You can do this by rubbing some oil all over the inside of the wok and heating it on a medium heat for around 60 seconds. Remove the pan, let it cool and wipe out the excess oil before cooking.
Benefits of electric woks, cast iron woks and stainless steel woks
From electric woks to traditional woks, you'll find a ton of benefits to suit any of your cooking needs:
Cast iron wok - Good for even heat distribution, adds iron to meals, is long-lasting and durable.
Stainless steel wok - Cooks evenly, is virtually indestructible, is long-lasting and is easy to clean.
Electric wok - Produces a high heat, has excellent heat distribution, is great for cooking large family meals, is portable and generally doesn't need to be seasoned.
What you can cook in a wok
Woks are incredibly versatile items that can be used to create more meals than just a delicious Asian stir fry. Try using your wok to whip up these mouth-watering dishes:
Soups and stews
Seafood spaghetti marinara
Woks for deep frying
Woks are excellent for deep-frying as the steep sides allow you to fry food in much less oil than you would need in a saucepan. The extra room also means you can fit more in without overcrowding to get done in fewer batches.
Finding the best heat source for your wok
A wok needs a high heat to cook food properly. You can find woks that are suitable for cooking on electric stovetops, inductions, gas, grills and more. While either flat or round bottom woks are great for gas stoves, a flat bottom wok is best for induction or electric cooktops. Check out our Jamie Oliver Cook's Classic Hard Anodised Induction Wok which can be used on induction, gas, electric, ceramic and halogen stovetops, as well as in ovens.
Using a wok with a flat bottom
Traditional woks have a round bottom for allowing liquids to sit evenly at the base. However, flat bottom woks are becoming increasingly popular. Flat bottom woks provide a stable base on any heat source with even heat distribution for searing meat, frying fish, cooking vegetables and more.
Wok accessories and other kitchen utensils to consider
Level up your cooking skills by combining these must-haves with your new wok:
Brands we know and trust - from Stanley Rogers to Anolon
You can find all of your favourite and most trusted brands below RRP at Kitchen Warehouse, including Essteele, Jamie Oliver by Tefal, Anolon, Scanpan, Chef Inox, Stanley Rogers, Le Creuset and Woll.
Buying your wok online with Kitchen Warehouse
As leaders in quality kitchenware, Kitchen Warehouse is your one-stop-shop for creating a dream kitchen that is functional, stylish and efficient. Browse our extensive categories, from pots and pans to tableware, glassware and kitchen accessories. We also have gift hampers and gift cards for surprising loved ones on any special occasion.
What is the best quality wok?
Woks are incredibly versatile cookware items that can be used to create a wide range of dishes. Classic woks are made out of carbon steel and are valued by professional chefs for being lightweight, durable and able to handle super high temperatures. They are considered to be the best choice for making authentic Chinese meals. However, you can also find stainless steel woks that are non-reactive to acidic ingredients and lightweight, cast iron woks which are heavier and long-lasting and non-stick woks for fast cooking with easy cleanup.
What is the best cooking technique for a wok?
Traditionally, woks were made for stir frying with a design that allows for easy tilting, tossing and moving of ingredients to make Asian cuisine. Today, woks can be used with many other cooking techniques. You can use a wok for deep frying chicken, searing steak, frying fish, boiling pasta, sautéing vegetables and braising tofu. They're also excellent for steaming - just place a bamboo steamer in the base to steam pork buns, dim sum and much more!