The Best Wok

Updated on August 10, 2023

After testing 6 of the most popular woks online, we’ve concluded that the Kamberg 0008057 is the best wok in terms of practicality and speed of heating. And if you’re looking for a sturdier wok, it’s Le Creuset 51104300010202 that we recommend most.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our pick, Best cheap

Kamberg 0008057 (30 cm)

With its removable handle, glass lid and notches for easy pouring, this wok is the most practical of this selection. It also heats up the fastest.

Price search in progress… please wait

Kamberg 0008057

During our tests, we preferred to use the wok for its lightness (less than 900 g without lid and 1.666 kg with lid) and practicality. In fact, it’s the only one with a glass lid and removable handle, making it easy to store in smaller cupboards. We found it very easy to place and remove, with no need for force. What’s more, its wide base offered good stability on our gas hob.

Made of cast aluminum, this wok is compatible with all burners, even induction, and you can place it in the oven (without the handle) up to 220°C. Note that the brand indicates that it is dishwasher-safe, but with its non-stick coating, we advise against this if you want to keep it in good condition for a long time. Especially as cleaning by hand proved very simple in our opinion.

When it came to cooking, we noticed that this model offered the fastest heating of this comparison, rising to 80°C in the center and 95°C on the edge in 30 seconds. In practical terms, this means that this is the model that reaches higher temperatures fastest, making it the best option for quick grilling. In fact, that’s what happened with our mushrooms. But if you prefer to cook them over a low heat, that’s also possible and facilitated by its lid. Note that during these tests, the plastic handle stayed nice and cool.

Finally, we measured that it was indeed 30 cm in internal diameter, and that its 3.8 L capacity advertised online didn’t fill it completely to the brim.

 

 

Best high-end

Le Creuset 51104300010202 (30 cm)

Made from forged aluminum, this model is nevertheless quite heavy, ensuring good solidity. However, its second handle makes it easier to use, allowing it to be carried easily with 2 hands.

Price search in progress… please wait

Le Creuset 51104300010202

With its 1.639 kg, this model wasn’t the easiest to handle during our tests. However, its second handle enabled us to carry it more easily with 2 hands, distributing the weight a little more comfortably. While the main one stayed nice and cool, the second became quite hot when we heated the wok to full power for more than 5-10 minutes.

As for heating, the results were very interesting. After 30 seconds, the center of the wok reached 74°C and the edges were at 89°C. We found the heat to be very evenly distributed. In fact, it remained even even as it cooled (still at 58°C 5 minutes after we emptied it). All this enabled us to grill vegetables, cook them on a low heat and simmer them. And thanks to the non-stick coating, no food stuck to the sides.

Its forged aluminum design makes it compatible with all burners and allows it to be oven-safe up to 260°C. Note that it’s also dishwasher-safe, but best washed by hand to avoid damaging the coating. And like the other 2 models in this selection, cleaning by hand was no problem for us.

Finally, note that this model offers the largest capacity of this comparison since we were able to fit 4.7 L in it as indicated online without it being quite full to the brim. Its inside diameter is 30 cm. However, its 2 handles make it take up quite a bit of space.

 

Cheap alternative

Tefal Unlimited on G25919AZ (28 cm)

A little smaller, this wok offers a good compromise between sturdiness and low price. Tefal has a long-standing reputation for its famous Thermo-Signal, which indicates when the wok is hot.

Price search in progress… please wait

Tefal Unlimited on G25919AZ

Measuring indeed 28 cm in inner diameter, this wok is slightly smaller than the other 2 previous models. However, that didn’t stop it from shining in our tests. In fact, it provided good heating and heat distribution (71°C in the center and 80°C all around after 30 seconds on full power). Even when cooled, the heat remained even.

At almost 1.180 kg, it’s a little heavier than the Kamberg, but it doesn’t reach the considerably more substantial weight of the Le Creuset wok. That makes it more manageable one-handed, in our opinion.

On the practical side, its non-stick coating enabled us to cook mushrooms with very little oil added, and even without oil for lardons (as with the other 2 models). Note that at full power, you can easily grill your food, but at a lower heat, it can simmer without a problem.

When it comes to maintenance, you should know that it’s always best (and very simple) to do it by hand to preserve it for as long as possible. However, it is compatible with all burners, even induction. The brand indicates that you can put it in the oven up to 175°C for 1 hour, but we don’t recommend it, as its handle is partially made of plastic.

 

Our selection

Our pick, Best cheapBest high-endCheap alternative
Kamberg 0008057 (30 cm) Le Creuset 51104300010202 (30 cm) Tefal Unlimited on G25919AZ (28 cm)
With its removable handle, glass lid and notches for easy pouring, this wok is the most practical of this selection. It also heats up the fastest. Made from forged aluminum, this model is nevertheless quite heavy, ensuring good solidity. However, its second handle makes it easier to use, allowing it to be carried easily with 2 hands. A little smaller, this wok offers a good compromise between sturdiness and low price. Tefal has a long-standing reputation for its famous Thermo-Signal, which indicates when the wok is hot.
£ 40.99 on Amazon £ 188.10 on Amazon £ 47.60 on Amazon

 

300+ Comparisons
3000+ Products Tested
100% Impartial

Why trust us ?

Selectos compares and tests hundreds of products to help you buy better. We sometimes receive a commission when you buy through our links, which helps fund our work. Learn more

 

How did we test?

In order to test the woks, we started by taking a look at their design. We measured whether their diameterwas indeed as advertised, and we checked their weightand capacity. On top of that, we paid attention to their ‘little extras‘: removable handle, lid, second handle, signal indicating when it’s hot… Of course, we checked their stability once placed on the fire.

After that, we proceeded to heat diffusion tests. To do this, we heated the wok for 30 seconds at full power (gas hob), then measured the temperature in the bottom of the wok (center and sides) using a laser thermometer. This gave us a general idea of the heating speed of the different models. Then we proceeded to cooking tests. First with garlic and mushrooms, then with bacon.

Finally, we proceeded to clean each of the woks to judge their tediousness. Overall, only those that had to be culled first were more complex to maintain.

 

How to choose your wok?

More and more Westerners are adopting the wok, which allows julienned vegetables or pieces of meat to be cooked for a short time at very high temperatures. Unlike cooking with a classical frying pan, this cooking method, which requires very little fat, makes for dishes that are both healthy and tasty. Nevertheless, it’s important to find out about the various existing models before making a choice.

Wok

To invest in a quality wok that suits your needs, it’s important to consider the material used:

  • Carbon steel : traditionally, woks are made from carbon steel. This durable, inexpensive material heats quickly and evenly. With proper care, its surface will become non-stick over time. Prefer woks around 2 mm thick.

Wok

  • Stainless steel : it’s a durable material, but takes a little time to heat up and cool down. As wok cooking is brief and high temperature, this can be seen as a shortcoming. However, some top-of-the-range models design their woks in multi-layer stainless steel for optimum heat distribution. Stainless steel withstands high temperatures and does not warp. Note that you may need to add a little fat depending on the preparation.
  • Aluminum : this material is lightweight and heats up quickly. It has a non-stick coating which, however, sometimes limits the life of the wok.
  • Cast iron : this material offers a better non-stick surface but still requires some heating time. It is strong if the walls are relatively thick, in which case the wok will be heavy and difficult to lift. It’s not advisable to wash your carbon steel and cast-iron woks in soapy water, as this may prevent the creation of a patina layer over time.

Wok

  • Non-stick woks: you still need to exercise a certain degree of caution when investing in a non-stick wok. Lower-quality non-stick coatings cannot withstand the high heat required for stir-frying, and may release toxic chemicals at high temperatures. Nor are they suitable for use with metal utensils.

Traditional hammered iron woksare a favorite among cooks. The light impressions left by hammering allow cooked food to be pushed to the edges of the wok and ingredients to be added to the center without slipping.

The less expensive industrially manufactured woksare created from a piece of very fine cast carbon steel. As a result, these woks are completely smooth, making cooking a little more difficult.

Wok

In addition to this, here are some other important features to consider:

  • Dimensions : for use by four people, a 28 cm diameter wok may suffice. For two people, a wok with a diameter of 24 cm is sufficient, but if you’re cooking for a large table of six, we recommend a wok with a diameter of at least 32 cm.
  • The shape : regarding the shape, we recommend a wok with a flat surface and slightly sloping edges, allowing you to sear the food at the bottom of the pan and turn it over easily.

Wok

  • Compatibility : not all wok types are compatible with all fires. Be sure to check material compatibility according to the type of cooktopsyou have. Woks can be compatible with electric, gas, halogen or induction hobs. A pictogram is usually displayed to indicate compatibility.
  • The handle : some woks have bare metal handles on either side, in which case you shouldn’t forget to bring a towel or potholders to avoid burning yourself. Others have a long metal handle and very often a small handle on the other side, making them easier to handle. These handles make mixing food and stir-fry cooking easier.

Wok

  • Ease of maintenance : certain precautions must be taken when maintaining woks, depending on the materials and coatings used in their design. A wok also requires certain precautions for use: use non-abrasive or sharp utensils, avoid the dishwasher, base cast-iron woks, etc.
  • Accessories : a wok can be supplied with a semi-circular grid for steaming, a lid for simmering or stewing, or chopsticks for Asian dishes.

 

Other woks we recommend

At present, no product available on the European market seems to us to have the necessary qualities to feature alongside our main selection. We’ll be sure to suggest some interesting alternatives as soon as we become aware of them.

 

Other woks tested

Amazon Basics 111604OB190 (€40.87 at time of publication): Unfortunately, this wok has a handle that’s too heavy compared to the rest of its design, which unbalanced it and caused it to fall over during our tests (gas hob). What’s more, it only has a capacity of 3.3 L and not 6 L as stated online.

De Buyer mineral b -5618.28 (€42.26 at time of publication): This potting model is made of white sheet steel, which offered the worst temperature rise in this test (just 42°C in the center after 30 seconds, compared with over 70°C for all the others).

Craft Wok 731W88 (€49.99 at time of publication):This traditional wok was a bit complex to tumble as it started to really burn at the bottom while the rest of the wok didn’t brown. What’s more, it didn’t offer an even distribution of heat in our tests (perhaps due to its traditional hammered design…). Finally, its totally rounded format isn’t the most practical to place on a flat surface (hobs, trivets…).

 

Leave a comment