The best woks for frying (2023)

Remember that a wok can be used for much more than just frying; Use it for searing and sautéing ingredients over high heat before long, slow sautéing, or choose a lidded wok so you can cook and steam for perfect dishes.

The best woks of 2023 at a glance

  • Best to bring to the table:Le Creuset Hardened Non-Stick Wok,£ 175
  • Wok in the best light quality:Ironwork Netherton Foundry 33 cm,£ 79,35
  • Best wok for strong heat retention:Wok Gusseisen Tramontina Trento 32cm,£ 79,99
  • Best wok gift for a true foodie:Samuel Groves Classic 3-tier non-stick stainless steel wok,£170
  • Best wok for students:Antihaft-Wok Progress Scandi 28cm,£ 27,99
  • Best wok for making tempura:Prue's World wok with double handle and lid,£ 36,99
  • Best for style and substance:50's style Smeg wok,£ 149,95
  • Best for plain roasting:Kuhn Rikon Easy Induction Wok,£ 74,95
  • Bester Antihaft-Wok:TEFAL Unlimited ON Wok,£ 45,98
  • Best Traditional Carbon Steel Wok:School of Work Work & Roll Work 33 cm Round,£ 31,50
  • Best Wok for Families:Circulon Ultimum 36 cm High Density Forged Wok,£ 165

Which wok to buy?

Round or flat?

If your stovetop runs on gas, a traditional round-bottomed wok is a great option, but remember you'll need a wok ring to keep it stable. Flat woks are best for electric, as round woks reflect heat back into the element and can damage it. Likewise, for induction cooktops, you need a wide, flat base for good contact between the cooktop and the wok.

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Conventional carbon steel woks are durable, lightweight and inexpensive. They provide rapid heat conduction to quickly seal food, which is essential for deep frying. However, they require more care because they will rust if they are not regularly burned in (painted with oil).

Similar to carbon steel, cast iron needs to be tempered. It takes longer to reach a high heat, but it holds the temperature well. Cast iron is very heavy, so it's not the best option if you're into deep frying.

Over the years, non-stick coatings have been developed to withstand the higher temperatures required for frying. They still don't burn food like carbon steel, but they do a good job and are certainly easier to clean and maintain.

The best woks to buy in 2023

Le Creuset Hardened Non-Stick Wok

The best woks for frying (1)

It's best to take it to the table

Absolute quality is achieved by Le Creuset, who provide this forged aluminum wok with a hardened non-stick coating. The two riveted handles hardly loosen or wobble even after years of use. This wok easily achieves scorching heat and maintains the temperature while the ingredients cook and even after the dish is ready and brought to the table for guests to help themselves. The pan is not very heavy, although obviously of good quality metal. A useful pan that we'll be using for a lot more than just frying.

Ironwork Netherton Foundry 33 cm

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Best for light quality

Netherton Foundry is a popular choice with serious cooks as it combines everything you could want in a pan, yet makes it lightweight, easy to use and beautiful to look at. We love the brand's oak clad handle on this wok, which like other varieties in the range is made from spun iron. In addition to excellent heat-conducting properties, it lacks the extreme weight of some of the large cast-iron models on test, making it easier to use. Although you can use this wok right away, it's best to season it first. It will be the beginning of a long culinary adventure - this one is built to last.

Available from:
Netherton Foundry, £79.35

Wok Gusseisen Tramontina Trento 32cm

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Best for strong heat retention

This is an absolute must have enameled cast iron wok from this Brazilian brand. Don't limit yourself to just frying - it can do so much more. For starters, it's by far the heaviest model on test, so you'll need muscles to move it. Its sturdiness makes it a good option when stability is key - for example when frying tempura in hot oil. With its stainless steel handle lid, it also keeps the heat in your dish and looks great as a rustic centerpiece. A no frills classic that only gets better with time and will add flavor to dishes if you allow it to develop a patina and oil it every month or so.

Samuel Groves Classic Triple Stainless Steel Non-Stick Wok

The best woks for frying (4)

Best gift wok for a true foodie

This high quality British made wok comes in a hessian presentation case. When cooking, the riveted long handle and opposite grab handle are great and safe. Since they are also triple steel, this wok can be placed insideovenand also under bars. Granted, this doesn't come across very often in Chinese, East, South, or Southeast Asian cuisine, but it adds to the versatility of a quality cookware, which is a bonus given the higher cost. You can also sear ground beef for ragout, which gives the meat a nice char and color. Samuel Grove's pans are always a pleasure, and this wok was no exception.

Antihaft-Wok Progress Scandi 28 cm

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best for students

We like the sturdiness of the faux wood handles on this budget option that's perfect for young chefs. The handles are plastic, but you'll need to keep an eye on the gas flame to make sure it doesn't crawl around its base for an unexpected meltdown. However, this is a good quality sort of wok for the money, and with a handle on the opposite side of the handle, moving a full pot around is easy. Additionally, a new green initiative from Progress means they plant a tree for every wok they buy. There's also a snug-fitting lid with this one too, so it's a great value.

Prue's World wok with lid and double handle

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Best for making tempura

Part of a range of kitchen utensils for international dishes, the double bamboo handles make this beautiful wok a model suitable for cooking at the table. Of course, they're saying it's not an authentic choice for those who prefer to use the pan to toss ingredients around while cooking - a single long handle is best for that. Made from non-stick carbon steel, this wok heats up quickly and evenly, allowing meat to be seared for teriyaki without losing heat when adding ingredients. The tempura rack hook is a bonus, allowing the fried ingredients to drain while they stay hot.

50's style Smeg wok

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Best for style and substance

The extensive range of Smeg cookware continues to use the high quality materials you have come to expect from the brand. There's logo imprint and stripes on the long handle to mirror any other Smeg kitchen utensil you might have, and there's a choice of cream, black or red outer casing. This is a very generous and deep wok that can easily fry more than four people. The slightly rough inner non-stick coating won't stick when cooking at high heat and allows plenty of room to move ingredients for even charring.

Kujhn Recon Easy Induction Job

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Best for simple frying

Specially designed for use on induction hobs, this non-stick wok has a smooth, polished base that's easy to clean and stays in great shape even after passionate frying. The pan has a scratch-resistant coating and a three-layer titanium coating for durability. We like the feel of this pan, which is softer on the inside than most - ingredients glide effortlessly over the surface, making it easy to cook everything evenly with minimal oil.

Available from:
Kuhn Faust, £ 74,95

TEFAL Unlimited ON Wok

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Bester Antihaft-Wok

This wok is a classic with a non-stick coating for non-purists who like to put a wok in the dishwasher - ideal for the family kitchen and at a solid mid-range price. It is also suitable for all herds. The weight of this model is good and the heat is distributed well, so that a stir-fry for four people is prepared quickly and evenly. With its thermo-signal red-dot blackout, it gives a visual cue that your wok has reached the ideal cooking temperature, but when roasting and deep-frying we always give it an extra minute or two to get it really hot.

School of Work Work & Roll Work 33 cm round Boden

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Best traditional carbon steel wok

From the School of Wok in Covent Garden, London, this was the best traditional wok we tested. This round bottom carbon steel wok requires a gas stove and requires a little prep before use.

First the protective layer of paint (which prevents the wok from rusting in the workshop) has to be scraped off and then the metal has to be tempered with two 'bakings' over a hot stove or with a torch. Seasoning keeps the metal in good condition and prevents it from sticking. There are helpful guides on how to do this and videos online if you get stuck.

It may take a bit of time to prepare, but the taste and aroma produced by a traditional charred wok makes it worth it. This affordable wok has a comfortable bamboo handle, heats up quickly, is lightweight and well balanced.

36 cm Circulon Ultimum forged high density wok

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Best wok for families

This large capacity wok is ideal for feeding large families or a group of friends. Its large flat base makes good contact with an induction hob and works equally well with gas and electric. It needs some storage space but luckily has two cast stainless steel handles instead of a long staff.

The handles will get hot, so keep your oven mitts handy. The wok heats up evenly and quickly. Circulon's signature corrugated surface, along with a durable non-stick coating, ensures the pan glides across the pan. Impressively, the non-stick coating is 260°C resistant and comes with a large domed lid, making this a versatile pan for steaming and poaching. A solid, durable wok that is also easy to clean.

Available von:
Kreis, £165

How we test woks

In the test, we focused on frying. We twisted, stirred, tilted and swayed to see how much food could escape the pot. A variety of implements were used to test shape suitability and surface durability.

What we were looking for in a wok

Balance and weight:We looked for woks that lifted easily by the handle without tipping drastically. Some long-handled woks have a second short handle to help balance.

Claw:We looked for grips that are comfortable and secure to hold. The long handles are better for frying and keep your hand away from the heat. The short handles on each side of the wok are more convenient for storage and can also be used for stirring - remember to use oven mitts.

The picture:Woks with deeply curved sides that kept the food in the pan were favored.

Temperature:We considered how quickly and evenly the wok heats up and how well the food burns. We rejected those that steamed rather than browned the veggies and those with uneven hot spots that resulted in burned food.

Accession:Whether hardened carbon steel or non-stick coated, we pay attention to freedom of movement in the wok. Woks are subjected to high levels of activity, so non-stick coatings need to be wear and scratch resistant.

How do you clean a wok?

Coat the woks with kitchen paper to keep them in top condition and never use harsh or abrasive cleaners. Always try to use wooden chopsticks or spatulas instead of metal utensils to protect the surface from scratches.

Submerging the pan in the stovetop washbowl is another no-no, as you don't want it warping or cracking. Allow to cool completely before cleaning and for maximum care, hand wash instead of putting in the dishwasher to protect the coating.

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This review was last updated in December 2022. If you have any questions or suggestions for future revisions or notice any changes to price or availability please contact


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