If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, then you’re probably already well-acquainted with the wok—a staple of a number of regional cooking styles for good reason. Its thin metal structure rapidly conducts heat producing a perfect sear on thin slices of meat and can render any vegetable beautifully crisp. The high, rounded silhouette is also brilliantly designed so contents can be stirred vigorously without fear that they’ll come flying out. But when it comes to using them on Western stoves, they don’t work quite so well.
Why? Well, for starters, burners on Western stoves are designed for flat pots and pans, not the domed shape of the traditional wok. Plus, burners in the Far East generally emit far more heat. To solve these problems, most woks need to undergo a few modifications to function well, but it can be difficult to discern which models are worthwhile.
Fear not. If you’re looking to prepare great stir fry, we’ve rounded up our four favorite woks available on Amazon.
1. Calphalon Tri-Ply Wok
Calphalon’s pan is a smart fusion of design elements that are perfect for the modern home cook. Crafted using triple-clad construction, it has an aluminum core sandwiched between two durable sheets of stainless steel for greater temperature control. Though it has a Western flat base, it still retains the high, rounded sides traditionally found in classic Eastern models. The elongated handle stays cool even when stir-frying things at high temperatures and the glass lid allows you to keep a close eye on whatever it is you’re cooking up.
2. Kasian House Cast Iron Wok
If you want durability in your cookware, cast iron is often the way to go—a factor which makes this wok one of our top picks. The natural metal beautifully retains heat to create a superb sear on foods and has a generous 12-inch diameter that allows food to brown rather than steam. But beyond function, this model is unique in that it incorporates other materials into its design, namely the wooden lid and handle. The lid is a simple way to keep food warm after it’s done cooking and, because wood conducts heat poorly, the handle stays comfortably cool.
3. Yosukata Carbon Steel Wok
Carbon steel is recognized for its ability to rapidly adjust to changes in temperature while having the searing capabilities of much heavier cast iron pans. However, like cast iron pans, they require seasoning before use to prevent rusting and improve their natural non-stick capabilities. Luckily, Yosukata’s version comes already pre-seasoned so you can start cooking the moment you get it. Created with a 13.5-inch diameter, it is one of the largest models on our list and is capable of handling a generous amount of food with ease. Its dark wooden handle gives it a warm aesthetic touch with the added benefit of helping it stay cool.
4. Mammafong Hammered Wok
Few things feel as artisanal as hammered metal. Forged from carbon steel, this wok has the classic rounded base found in traditional models, which makes sense since it was handcrafted in Guangdong, China. Its thin metal structure rapidly absorbs heat so you can nimbly control the temperature and achieve the desire results. Not to mention that it looks striking regardless of kitchen decor. With regular use and proper maintenance, the metal will naturally achieve a non-stick coating better than even the slickest synthetic coatings. Use yours to cook traditional stir fry and noodle dishes.