The nonstick wok is a must-have item for every professional chef and enthusiastic cook – and that’s a fact! Dozens of dishes can be created using a single wok, from stir-fried vegetables to braised pork, while it’s clean-up is so easy because of its dishwasher-friendly design. With it, you can expand your cooking repertoire, too, especially when you’re into Chinese cuisine.
The Beauty of Cooking in a Wok
Of course, chefs and cooks can substitute other types of cookware like cast iron pans for the wok. But woks have a definite advantage over these cookware – it quickly heats up and its metals heats in an even manner, too. Both of these qualities translate to the absence of cool spots, a common issue in other types of metal cookware.
The extremely hot surface temperature provides the perfect platform for cooking a wide range of food, especially in searing meats from pork to chicken effectively. There’s also nothing like using a wok for stir-frying vegetables like carrots, beans and broccoli, as well as preparing noodle dishes. The flavors of the food cooked in a wok are also different because of the transfer of flavor from the seasoned wok to the food.
Woks are also versatile cookware! You can use them for a wide range of Chinese-style cooking techniques including stir-frying, pan and deep frying, steaming, braising, stewing, searing, poaching, and smoking. You will likely find hundreds of recipes where the wok is the recommended cookware, too.
Tips In Choosing the Best Nonstick Wok
Many modern woks have nonstick coating so it’s a matter of choosing the best nonstick wok based on its materials, shape, and size. Here’s our thoughts on the matter.
Cast iron and carbon steel woks work equally well although there are a few drawbacks to each type. If you want the benefits of the classic wok – quick heating, even heat on the surface, and seasoned flavor (i.e., wok hei) – then the cast iron wok is your best choice. If you want a wok that tends to retain the juices from food, then a steel wok with non-stick coating (i.e., PFA and Teflon) is an excellent choice, too.
Chefs are divided in their opinions regarding the quality of the food prepared in cast iron and carbon steel woks. Their choices are largely influenced by their personal experience and preference. We then recommend buying one of each so you can determine for yourself.
Look at the type of stove where the wok will be used on. The round-bottomed woks are suitable for use on traditional stovetops and wood-fired stoves while the flat-bottomed woks are best for use on electric stovetops. The latter’s design allows it to make full contract with the heating element.
Choose based on your preferred size. Most woks range in size from 12 to 14 inches in diameter, although there are also smaller 8-inch woks for the home and 36-inch woks for restaurant kitchens.
Reviews of the Best Woks
These are the best nonstick woks we found on online sites like Amazon.
#1 Lodge P14W3 Seasoned Cast Iron Wok
This is a 14-inch cast iron wok with a sturdy flat base so we consider it the best wok for electric stove. The cast iron already comes seasoned with oil while the flat bottom makes it suitable for use on induction, electric and cast stoves. The material also means it can quickly heat up and retain its heat longer, a must for stir-fried dishes.
- Large cooking surface
- Solid and sturdy flat base for use on all stove types
- Comes pre-seasoned
- Excellent cast iron construction
- Excellent for Chinese-style dishes cooking
- Handle can become extremely hot
#2 Joyce Chen 22-9938 Pro Chef 10-Piece Excalibur Nonstick Wok Set
Beginners will find this Joyce Chen 10 pc wok setas a great choice for their exploration of wok-cooked dishes. You have everything that you will likely need in a Joyce Chen carbon steel wok, from the thick 2.0mm carbon steel material to the premium nonstick surface. You can also use it with metal utensils without damaging the Excalibur coating, in contrast with other carbon steel woks, although we recommend using wooden utensils to extend its life.
- Comes with all the essentials including bamboo spatula, tempura rack, steaming rack, and chopsticks
- Comes with a recipe booklet
- Durable nonstick surface that requires minimal oil for cooking
- With a 25-year warranty
- Accessories feel cheap but otherwise durable enough when used properly
#3 Techef Onyx Collection 12-Inch Wok
The main selling points of the Techef 12-inch wok are its nonstick Teflon coating and heavy gauge aluminum construction. You can cook healthy dishes on it, thanks to the need for little oil, and rely on it for several years’ worth of cooking due to these two aspects. The wok can also be used on induction and gas stoves because of its heavy base while both the pan and its lid can be used in an oven and dishwasher.
- Strong and sturdy construction for years of regular use
- Use in oven up to 450 degrees
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-friendly
- Long-lasting Teflon coating
- Lid is sold separately (i.e., added cost)
#4 Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel 13-Inch Wok
The combination of stainless steel surface and aluminum core makes the Cooks Standard 13-inch wok becomes extremely hot within a minute or so, as well as maintain even heat throughout its surface. You can then use it for stir-frying meats, vegetables, and noodles, among other wok-cooked dishes. You can even use it in an oven – it has a 500 degrees capacity – and clean it in the dishwasher after it has cooled off.
- Durable 18/10 stainless steel design
- Handles ensure stability even when it’s moved around during the cooking process
- Comes with its tight-fitting lid, a useful feature in trapping heat and moisture
- Slightly heavy to use
- Certain food may stick to the surface
- Handle of lid can become too hot
#5 Calphalon Triply Stainless Steel 12-Inch Wok
The three-layered construction – two stainless steel layers sandwiching an aluminum core – means that the Calphalon Triply 12-inch wok can achieve fast, consistent and even heat over its cooking surface. You can also use it with metal and wooden utensils, thanks to its non-porous surface, while its material makes it oven- and dishwasher-friendly. This is a flat-bottomed pan so it can be used on gas and electric stoves while its clear tempered glass lid keeps the heat in.
- Fast cooking results due to the combo of its three-layer metal construction and tempered glass lid
- Versatile since it’s safe for use in broiler, oven, and dishwasher
- Large cooking surface
- Certain food may stick
- Pre-heating needed before it can be used well
#6 T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Jumbo Wok
The 14-inch diameter of this T-fal wok makes it suitable for whipping up large meals for your family and friends. The durable aluminum material can withstand years of regular use for parties and the like, as well as ensure that the cooking surface maintains an even heat distribution. You can use it in an oven up to 350 degrees while its non-stick interior makes it suitable for use for most types of cooking.
- Extra-large cooking surface
- Nonstick surface for the interior and exterior
- Durable aluminum construction
- Comes with limited lifetime warranty
- May be unsuitable for use on glass cooktops (i.e., slides around)
- Surface can be easily scratched
The T-fal wok is a great choice if you’re looking to level up the amount of dishes you can cook on a single cookware.
#7 Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok
If you are a technology geek and cooking enthusiast, then you will love the Breville hot wok! This isn’t your standard wok because it has a 1,500-watt butterfly heating element that can heat up its surface up to 425 degrees. You can choose from 15 heat settings and rely on its technology to maintain even heat distribution from its walls to its bottom, while its die-cast aluminum material lasts for several years.
- Large 6-quart capacity for cooking large meals
- Die-cast wok with a stainless steel base and nonstick coating
- Powerful heating element and heat settings
- Oven- and dishwasher-safe
- Bowl and base cannot be detached for cleaning
- Nonstick coating becomes scratched easily
#8 Cuisinart 726-38H Chef’s Classic Stainless 14-Inch Stir-Fry Pan with Helper Handle and Glass Cover
The 18/10 stainless steel and aluminum core construction makes it heat up easily, just as a wok should be. You can move it around using the helper handle and riveted handle, which allows for a secure hold. You may also use it for baking in an oven with temperatures up to 550 degrees.
- Large 14-inch cooking surface
- Light enough to be moved around
- Safe for use in oven and dishwasher
- Fast and even heating
- Doesn’t work with an induction stove
- Lid is too heavy
#9 Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Wok
Yet another excellent cast iron wok is Le Creuset, a wok with a flat base and sloped sides for excellent balance. You don’t have to season the wok either as its enamel interior already comes pre-seasoned, not to mention that the exterior enamel can withstand bumps and drops.
- Fast and even heating with its enamel interior and exterior
- Flat base for a steady position on the stove
- No color choices
#10 Calphalon 1948257 Signature Hard Anodized Wok
This Calphalon wok has most of the things that we look for in a wok. You may find the heavy gauge hard anodized aluminum unique but it works just as well as the cast iron and stainless steel woks in our list. The surface achieves extreme temperatures – and maintains it, too, for as long as there’s a flame underneath – within a minute or so. The nonstick surface is durable enough such that spoons, spatulas and metal whisks will not easily scratch it.
- Classic design with high sloped sides but with a flat bottom
- Thick nonstick interior
- Comes with tempered glass cover
- On the slightly heavy side
- Handle may become too hot to handle despite its “cool” claims
The best nonstick wok is the one that suits your needs and wants in the classic cookware! You may choose a round-bottomed wok, for example, you prefer the classic shape with its fast heating quality. You may also buy a flat-bottomed pan because it works just as well as a classic wok but it has a stove-to-table quality.
Whatever your choice, you should use the woks as many times as possible. You can then get the best value for your money – the more uses, the more returns.