If you want to transform your stir-fry creations, carbon steel woks are your best bet. They not only beautifully char your food from outside but leave the middle firmer and tender.
With so many options available, various woks have their specific pros and cons.
This article will cover the best carbon steel wok brands available in the UK and what to consider when buying one.
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Best Overall – Craft Wok 14-Inch Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
The best overall option in our list is the Craft wok’s carbon steel wok.
This 14-inch alloy steel deep pan weighs around 1.99 kg and has two handles. One is a non-slippery wooden handle for a firm grip and is made with healthy materials.
The craft wok engraving is right below this grip handle. The other is a steel helper handle on the opposite side that won’t burn when exposed to high heat while you are stir-frying your food.
The 15 gauge carbon steel with 1.8mm thickness makes the wok durable and radiates heat without forming hot pockets in its 14-inch diameter. The round bottom shape is ideal for gas stoves and burners.
- Traditional hand-hammered design
- Round Bottom shape
- Non-slippery wooden handle
- 14-inch carbon steel diameter
- 57.2 x 35.61 x 15.19 cm dimensions
- Durable and thick carbon steel
- Non-stick and anti-rust after proper seasoning
- Removable and long Wooden handle
- Even heat distribution
- A second steel handle for easy manoeuvring
- Deep pan to hold more quantity of food
- Perfect for open fire and gas stoves
- Rust can build up if the seasoning is not done properly
- Incompatible with flat induction stoves due to round bottom design
Best Budget – Hancock London Wok With Carbon Steel Flat Base
The 14-inch Hancock London wok is the best budget carbon steel option available in the market for stir-frying Asian cuisine in domestic and commercial kitchens.
Additionally, you can use it for shallow and deep-frying as well. This wok is made from mild steel and its weight is 1.26 kg. It comes with a long non-removable wooden handle for a heat-resisting grip that allows you to hold the wok with only one hand while stirring your vegetables and meat.
The carbon steel instantly heats the wok on a gas flame. You’ll need to get rid of the protective lacquer by either using a gas oven or a gas flame and season it afterwards to avoid any rust building and sticking inside the surface of the wok.
You can use this wok on an electric or a gas cooker due to its flat base design. It distributes heat evenly across its 14-inch diameter so that the food is evenly charred from the outside and stays solid in the middle.
- Conventional silver design
- Non-slippery heat resistant wooden handle
- Flat bottom base
- 56 x 35 x 14 cm dimensions
- 14-inch sturdy carbon steel diameter
- Easy to clean after use
- Quick heating due to carbon steel
- Works great on induction hobs, electric and gas cookers
- Non-sticky surface
- Even heat dispensation
- Perfect for stir-fry, deep-fry and steam cooking
- Lightweight and at a bargain price
- Slow seasoning process on an electric cooker
- The flat base wobbles a bit on cookers
Runner Up – KYTD Flat Bottom Carbon Steel Wok
The runner up on our list is KYTD carbon steel wok that comes with a wooden lid. The flat bottom design is perfect to stir-fry your food on all stoves such as electric and gas cookers, induction hobs, cooking ranges, and cooktops.
KYTD carbon steel wok possesses a non-stick fish scale design. It has a 12.5-inch diameter that is deep enough to let you cook for your whole family. Also, you can deep fry and steam your food as well.
The wooden handle is heat-resistant and offers a comfortable grip while you stir-fry your favourite foods. Also, it has a hook at the back of the handle for easy storage. You can detach the wooden handle by unscrewing the three screws to put the wok in the oven.
KYTD wok is made with a combination of carbon steel and iron for high durability and high heat attainability quickly, resulting in a heavier weight i.e 2.54 kg.
- Hand-forged fish shape scale non-stick design
- Non-slippery wooden handle with a firm rivet design
- Flat and thick bottom base
- 12.5-inch carbon steel diameter
- 33.78 x 33.5 x 15.6 cm dimensions
- Removable wooden heat-resistant handle with a back hook
- The flat bottom design saves energy by distributing heat evenly
- Works on all types of stoves and cooking ranges
- Comes with a free 12.6-inch metal spatula with a wooden handle
- High-density iron material for a longer service life
- Easy to breakdown the seasoned layer
- Poor wooden lid quality
- Handle refixing issues wok due to its weight
Great Value Alternative – Dexam Professional Carbon Steel Wok
If you are looking for a great value alternative, Dexam professional carbon steel wok is our top pick for you. The base is flat which means this wok is suitable for all the modern hobs such as gas, glass, and induction hobs.
Dexam carbon steel wok has two helper handles in black colour on each side. Both handles are made out of Phenolic which is a plastic that makes sure your hands stay cool while you are stir-frying your food indoors or out in the open. Dual handles also let you pick the wok with ease as the wok is large and weighs 2.08 kg.
This 14-inch wok has a food-safe lacquer finish on the inside that you can burn while seasoning. 1.8mm heavy gauge carbon steel ensures that the Dexam wok is durable and you can enjoy cooking Asian foods at very high temperatures. This wok does not come with a non-stick coating that means it can heat up quickly on any flame.
- Traditional design with no non-stick coating
- Dual Phenolic handles
- Flat bottom design
- 14-inch 1.8mm carbon steel diameter
- 63 x 36.5 x 9.7 cm dimensions
- Dual removable heat-resistant plastic handles for additional grip and manoeuvrability
- Thick flat bottom cooks food at a high temperature
- Even heat dispersion
- Suitable for all modern hobs
- Seasoning instructions provided
- Large size to cook food for a lot of people at a time
- Plastic handles can slip and break
- The flat base can wrap during seasoning
Well-Reviewed – SQ 13.38-inch Carbon Steel Wok
SQ carbon steel wok is a smart choice that produces quality cooking results.
This wok is lightweight and only weighs 1.48 kg. The non-stick coating won’t let the food burn on the wok’s surface and results in needing less oil for cooking. The coating also helps you to clean the wok effortlessly as food slides off very easily.
The wok’s construction is robust because the pre-seasoned carbon steel allows the high heat to transfer to the food quickly and evenly for enhancing the flavour.
SQ carbon steel wok comes with two ergonomic riveted handles that are easily removable. The large handle is extra durable and heat-resistant. The helper handle offers flexibility when you are cooking and stir-frying your dishes.
SQ wok is a great option for all stoves and its 200mm base is flat enough to sit on any induction hob as well. This wok has a holding capacity of 6.5 litres that enables you to cook a lot of food in one go.
- Modern design with non-stick coating
- Aluminium and Silicone handles
- Flat bottom base
- 13.38-inch carbon steel diameter
- 53.29 x 36.4 x 13.7 cm dimensions
- Dual removable handles that stay cool during seasoning and cooking
- Non-stick coating for easy food preparations
- Durable carbon steel for even heat distribution
- Usable on all cooking ranges, stoves and induction hobs
- Quick seasoning process
- Super easy to clean
- Not oven safe
- Handles break off easily without care
How to Choose The Best Carbon Steel Wok
So you have decided to buy a carbon steel wok for your domestic and commercial kitchen. However, there are a few things to consider first before buying one.
Carbon steel woks come in either round or flat-bottom bases. If you have a gas cooker, you want to buy a wok with a round bottom base. You can also add a wok ring to balance the wok on the gas stove.
For electric stoves and induction hobs, it is best to choose a wok with a flat bottom base as the round bottom base wok can reflect the heat onto the hob that can result in damage to your hob’s element.
The size of the wok is another important thing to consider. You don’t want to buy a carbon steel wok that is too small to cook an adequate amount of food or too large to cause manoeuvrability issues while cooking or stir-frying your food.
Therefore, a wok with a 14-inch diameter is ideal to take care of both issues.
A carbon steel wok can either be hand-forged or stamped. A hand-forged wok has visible markings on the inside surface that can help you stick your food aside to cook it later.
In stamped design, you can’t intentionally control the food from slipping in the wok and you may notice that the food is more charred on one side than the other.
The handle is the most important part of a carbon steel wok. You should always consider a wok with a plastic or wooden handle that is heat resistant, long, and easily detachable.
You can also choose a wok that has a helper handle along with the main handle. In most cases, wooden handles are the best choice in a carbon steel wok.
The last thing to consider for buying a wok is its carbon steel thickness and overall weight. Usually, a thickness that measures between 1.6mm and 2mm makes a wok durable enough to withstand high temperatures and allows even heat distribution.
Secondly, the weight of your carbon steel wok should be light enough so that you can toss your food around easily in it. Ideally, a carbon steel wok should weigh around 1.4 kg to 2.20kg.
However, some are a little heavy since a thick material is used in their construction to add more durability.
Carbon steel woks are the best replacements for your normal pans. If you are looking for a traditional forged wok that has a great reputation in the market, you should definitely consider the CRAFT WOK hand-hammered carbon steel wok.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a wok that has been extensively reviewed, you might try your luck with the SQ carbon steel wok.