We love a wok. If you enjoy cooking Chinese food and you haven’t yet got a wok, you are really missing out.
Having a wok makes stir-fries so easy and quick. However, as we’ll get to in a bit, a wok has so many more uses than just stir-fries.
We’ve got a great list of woks available in the UK right now just below too. However, before we get to the woks, let’s find out why you should choose a carbon steel wok rather than a wok made from another material.
Why Choose a Carbon Steel Wok?
Carbon steel cookware is very popular with pros, but there isn’t much carbon steel in home kitchens. Why is this? Why do the pros love carbon steel and yet it never rarely gets mentioned in the home cooking world?
Well, pro chefs love carbon steel because it performs certain tasks better than any other type of cookware.
One of these tasks happens to be frying at high heat quickly. So, carbon steel is pretty much the perfect material for a wok as all of the cooking done in a wok is fast and high.
Another great thing about carbon steel is its construction. The material itself is made from 99% iron and 1% carbon.
Of course, if it were 100% iron, it would be a cast-iron creation. Cast iron, as anyone with a cast iron skillet, will know, is pretty brittle. You only have to look at cast iron in the wrong way, and it can break.
However, the addition of that 1% of carbon makes the material much more durable. It can also be worked a lot better than iron, so carbon steel cookware can be thinner and therefore lighter. It can also be seasoned just like cast iron too.
So, why choose a carbon steel wok? Well, carbon steel is a fantastic choice for a wok. There is no non-stick coating that will break down over time. It is pretty lightweight and heats up very quickly and retains this heat too. So, it’s almost like carbon steel was created for woks!
What Can You Cook in a Wok (Apart From Stir-Fries)?
If you could only use a wok for stir-fries, would it be worth it? After all, you can stir fry in a frying pan (sort of). Well, woks are great for other types of high-heat cooking, for example:
- Warming tortilla wraps
- Making popcorn
- Deep frying – woks are perfect for deep frying!
- Steaming – grab some bamboo steamers and you can easily use a wok to steam veg, dumplings and more.
Woks are actually pretty versatile pieces of cookware. After all, the thing that makes a wok great is that it heats up quickly and retains that heat for frying.
They are also nice and big, so you can fry loads of stuff at once. This means that you can use a wok for loads of different tasks and not just for stir-fries.
We aren’t saying you’ll use your new wok every day, but mine certainly get used a lot for loads of different tasks.
The Best Carbon Steel Woks in the UK
1. School of Wok Carbon Steel Wok
Take a close at this wok, and you’ll see loads of little lines circling around the inside. This is likely because this carbon steel wok was handspun meaning that there is no stress in the fabric of the material and that it is a quality bit of kit.
The School of Wok, by the way, is a company based in Covent Garden that makes some of the best Asian cookware in the UK.
So, this carbon steel wok had to make our list. The quality of this wok is evident from the moment you pick it up. Plus, School of Wok provides simple seasoning instructions and care tips in the box. If this wok doesn’t last you a decade or more, none will!
2. Craft Wok Traditional Wok
We love this wok. It is a traditionally made wok that is completely carbon steel.
You may notice that this wok has a bit of hammered texture to it. That is because it is handmade. It is shaped by working the carbon steel with a hammer and then the wooden handle is rivetted in by hand too.
This item is made from 1.8mm carbon steel, so it is heavy, but you can feel the quality the moment you pick this wok up.
This wok has a rounded bottom. This means that it won’t work on most induction hobs (unless you have a wok ring). It also doesn’t do too well on electric hobs, but it is perfect for gas hobs.
You do need to season this wok before you use it, but that is really simple. This product is very well made, and should last you for many years.
3. Sky Light 100% Carbon Steel Wok
Sky Light has appeared on many of our cookware lists, and for good reason. They make some of the finest cookware available in the UK. This carbon steel wok is no exception either.
This wok has been heat treated with nitrogen. This is responsible for the colour; it doesn’t have a non-stick coating. This process is to ensure that the carbon steel doesn’t rust and it makes the surface a bit less prone to scratching too.
This wok is perfect for induction, gas and any other type of hob. It has a pouring spout and very tall sides to make cooking stir-fries and a lot more easy, fast and simple.
You will need to season this wok, just like all of the woks on this list, but the heat treatment that Sky Light has done does seem to work to prevent rust build-up.
4. Dexan Professional Carbon Steel Wok
This professional wok is made from 1.8 mm carbon steel. It is also made with a flat bottom. So, unlike the other traditional, yet professional, woks above, it does work on modern cookers, including induction.
You’ll notice that this wok doesn’t have a hammered texture. This is because this wok is made for the professional market. So, machines have been used to ensure every wok performs perfectly.
You’re likely to see this wok in most professional Asian kitchens in the UK. It is a quality bit of cookware that will perform in a pro kitchen for many years.
So, this wok, as long as you look after it, will likely be around for you to pass down to your kids. For that price, that is amazing!
5. ProCook Carbon Steel Wok
Just like Sky Light, ProCook appears on so many of our lists because they make fantastic cookware.
We love this wok. It has very deep sides that hold in heat really well. It also has a flat bottom so it can be used on induction hobs as well as any other hob types. It also has two wooden handles so you can always control this wok.
This is a 35cm wok so you can easily cook enough food in this for 4 people. The body of it is made from spun carbon steel.
By spinning the carbon steel, it creates a wok that doesn’t have any stress in the material. This means that this wok will last for many years without any issues as long as you season it and take of it.
So, there are the best carbon steel woks in the UK right now. We hope you found the best wok for your kitchen above.
We love the School of Wok carbon steel wok. It is beautifully made and a joy to use.
If you’re looking for more cookware recommendations, check out our other articles. We have all of the cookware you need right here to cook even the most complex dishes in your kitchen.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.