Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Wok Pans of 2022

We tested woks from Kenmore, Helen Chen, Cuisinart, Calphalon, and more to find the best for your culinary needs
Best Wok Pans of 2022
Woks of all sizes.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Our Top Picks

By Jessica Albery ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 28, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

After extensively researching the wide range of woks available today, our experts selected 10 of the most promising options and ran them through a rigorous testing process to evaluate cooking performance, ease of use, cleaning and maintenance, quality, durability, and storability. After thorough testing, we crunched the numbers to assess their performance. This comprehensive review covers a wide range of shapes, sizes, price points, and materials, making it easy to find all the information needed to choose a model that fits your needs. Whether you are new to cooking or looking to up your stir-fry game, from oversized to compact, we have something to fit your needs.

If you're in the market for some other specialty cookware for your kitchen, our seasoned test team has reviewed everything from grill pans to cookware sets, parsing out the best options to make your purchase decisions easier.


1

Best Traditional Style Wok


Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Wok


Material: Carbon Steel | Size: 14 inch with lid
REASONS TO BUY
Good value
Quick heat response
Excellent cooking performance
REASONS TO AVOID
Large size with lid
Requires maintenance

If you are looking for a modern spin on a traditional-style wok, check out this model from Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen. It is an enjoyable option for all your stir-frying and other wok needs. A carbon-steel construction enables this wok to regulate heat wonderfully, and it heats and cools very quickly as a result. This kind of heat regulation allows for a quick hot start, sealing in liquids and leaving meat and veggies juicy, while rapid cooling after you turn off the stove means you can avoid burning sauces or overcooking your scrambled eggs. We also appreciate that the large size of this wok allows the home chef to spread ingredients around the pan easily, and the flat bottom keeps the wok stable on all stovetops. Finally, carbon steel is a relatively thinner and lighter material, so you can easily pick up the pan with one hand.

This wok has a few notable drawbacks that some home cooks may find less than ideal. First, it features a large domed lid, which is very helpful for soups and steaming. But add that to the 14-inch diameter and long handle, and storage becomes an issue for those short on space. Also, the handle is wooden, which means seasoning in the oven is a no-go. It can be seasoned without a gas stove, but that is more challenging. Still, the Helen Chen wok is an excellent choice for cooks with a little more kitchen storage space who want an affordable, flat-bottom model that's a wonderful tool for creating stir-fry, soups, and whatever else you might dream up.

best traditional style wok
The Helen Chen scored well in cooking performance.
Credit: Jessica Albery

2

Best Flat Bottomed Option


Kenmore Hammond Flat Bottom


Material: Carbon Steel with Non-stick Coating | Size: 14 inch
REASONS TO BUY
Ease of use
Cooking performance
Value
REASONS TO AVOID
Large storage space

The Kenmore Hammond Flat Bottom is made of carbon steel and has a non-stick coating. It was fun to cook a stir-fry since it is responsive to temperature changes; the non-stick coating makes it a breeze to use, and it's heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The only limitation is that the manufacturer recommends slowly bringing the pan to high heat. This method added a few minutes to cooking time, but with both soup and stir-fry, it cooked quickly and rapidly adjusted temperatures once the pan reached the desired heat. The non-stick coating makes this pan easy to clean up, and no seasoning is necessary to keep the pan in working shape. The Acacia handles are visually appealing, feel sturdy, and are heat resistant.

The non-stick surface means only plastic or wood utensils are compatible. At 14 inches, plus handles, the Kenmore Hammond Flat Bottom takes up a significant amount of space in the kitchen. Still, it combines the best aspects of a traditional carbon steel pan with modern non-stick technology, making it a solid choice for stir-fry lovers who want an easy cleanup.

wok - best flat bottomed option
The Kenmore combines the benefits of traditional carbon steel with a modern nonstick surface for easy cooking and cleaning.
Credit: Jessica Albery

3

Best Bang for the Buck


Cuisinart 10" Cast Iron Wok


Material: Cast Iron | Size: 10 inch
REASONS TO BUY
Affordable
Durable
REASONS TO AVOID
Harder to clean
Small

The Cuisinart 10" Cast Iron Wok is small and compact, making it ideal for one or two people with minimal storage space. This option is versatile and durable to boot. It is affordable, and if properly cared for, should last a long time. Because it is cast iron, seasoning on the cooktop is quick and easy and is also needed regularly for the best results. This pan brought water to a boil in less than eight minutes during our tests. Cast iron takes longer to get up to temperature than carbon steel, but it sears meat quickly and cooks rapidly once it reaches the desired temperature.

Unfortunately, the eggs stuck and needed to be scrubbed, while the chicken stuck in the stir-fry test and required constant stirring. While the 10-inch size and small handles are compact for storage, it is best for one or two people, and ingredients would need to be cooked in batches for a larger party. The small handles get hot, and a potholder is needed. Extra maintenance is also required. This is an excellent value for a small household on a tight budget looking for a product that will last, and also are partial to the great seasoning and searing capabilities a cast iron pan provides.

wok - best bang for the buck
The Cuisinart Cast Iron is compact and durable.
Credit: Jessica Albery

4

Excellent for a Fast Meal


Souped Up Recipes Carbon Steel Wok


Material: Carbon Steel | Size: 12.5 inches
REASONS TO BUY
Quick heat response
Easy to season
Fast meal completion
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires maintenance
No helper handle

The Souped Up Recipes is a stylish take on a traditional model and heats up quickly. It has a flat bottom and is ideal for stir-frying meals. This carbon steel pan is one of the fastest to reach the boiling point in our rate of heating tests and is consistently one of the quickest cooking pans in every meal test. The pan responds to temperature adjustment rapidly, making it easy to control changes while stir-frying. It is large enough to make a big batch of stir-fry or soup but not so large that it is unwieldy. The smooth, high-quality wooden handle can be removed with no tools, so it can be seasoned in the oven, making it one of the easiest carbon steel pans to season and maintain. We also like the stylish wooden lid.

This pan does not have a helper handle, whereas most of the other pans of this size did. This made carrying a batch of soup to the table more of a challenge. This pan is slightly textured, and after some use, the seasoning starts to wear off, but we did notice some foods sticking. After re-seasoning the pan, it performs well but will need to be seasoned regularly. The Souped Up carbon steel heats up quickly and responds rapidly to temperature adjustments, which means you'll be cooking a meal in minutes. At this rate, you may decide that every night is a stir-fry night.

wok - excellent for a fast meal
The Souped Up Recipe's pan worked well for scrambling eggs as well as making stir-fry.
Credit: Jessica Albery

5

An Excellent, Beginner-Friendly Option


Calphalon Signature Nonstick 12-Inch Flat Bottom


Material: Hard-Anodized Aluminum with Non-Stick Coating | Size: 12 inches
REASONS TO BUY
Non-stick coating
Versatile
Easy to use
Quality
REASONS TO AVOID
Helper handle gets hot
Higher price point

The Calphalon 12 inch is a beginner-friendly pan for those looking for a full-size wok. The aluminum heats up a little slower than the carbon steel pans and holds heat for longer, making adjustments slower — the upside is that it can be more forgiving, with less dramatic changes in temperature. The durable non-stick surface keeps ingredients from sticking, with less oil used, and makes cleaning up a breeze. The size and shape are great for stir-frys and soups for the whole family. This pan also comes with a lid, which is ideal for cooking up a batch of soup or even spaghetti bolognese.

While many non-stick pans can warp when used with high heat, this wok is compatible with high heat and oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that it needs to be cool to the touch before washing. Another attribute is the wok is dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze. Additionally, it is one of the most durable non-stick surfaces we tested and can even be used with metal utensils. However, the metal helper handle gets hot, meaning a potholder is necessary. The price tag is one of the steepest in our test, which is its biggest drawback. However, you get what you pay for in the quality and durability of materials. The 12" size, non-stick surface, consistent heat, and lid make this ideal for those looking for a multi-use pan and those who are new to stir-frys. It provides easy cleanup and is perfect for those using less oil in their cooking.

wok - an excellent, beginner-friendly option
The Calphalon 12" Wok works great for cooking up a batch of soup with a lid to keep liquid from evaporating.
Credit: Jessica Albery

6

High-Quality Carbon Steel Option


Joyce Chen Flat Bottom


Material: Carbon Steel | Size: 14 inches
REASONS TO BUY
Quick heat response
Easy to season
Quality
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy

The Joyce Chen Flat Bottom is one of the easier carbon steel pans to season, requiring heating oil on the stove with an even coat of oil, cool, wash, and repeat three times. The first time we made a stir-fry, the ingredients stuck and had to be constantly stirred, but the residue came off surprisingly easily. With additional seasoning and use, ingredients stuck less to this pan. When testing cooking stickiness, the scrambled egg did not stick and cleaned up quickly. It was quick to cook a stir-fry, scramble eggs, and was one of the fastest pans to bring two cups of water to a boil. This pan can adjust its heat on a dime, making it easy to fine-tune the cooking temperature.

This product is made of quality, durable materials and is one of the sturdiest carbon steel pans tested. The carbon steel is on the slightly thicker side, making it heavier than some of its counterparts. It's also a little harder to lift and shake with one hand. It offers great value for a durable carbon steel product and is especially great for stir-fry enthusiasts.

wok - high-quality carbon steel option
The Joyce Chen heats up quickly, and rapidly adjusts the temperature while cooking.
Credit: Jessica Albery

7

Excellent Large, Flat Bottom


Circulon Symmetry


Material: Hard Anodized Non-Stick | Size: 14 inch
REASONS TO BUY
Large flat bottom
Oven safe
Easy clean-up
REASONS TO AVOID
Slow to heat up
Long cook time

The Circulon Symmetry has the biggest flat bottom of the tested products and works better for scrambling multiple eggs than for one egg. The large flat bottom works well for cooking a large piece of meat or a filet of fish. It can also go straight from the stove to the oven — up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

While this pan is versatile, it does take time to heat up and consistently had some of the longest cook times of the products in this test. The Circulon Symmetry is ideal for anyone looking for a large capacity stir-fry pan that will also fry a big batch of eggs, sauté a fillet of fish, or go in the oven.

wok - the circulon symmetry's large flat bottom makes it a versatile pan...
The Circulon Symmetry's large flat bottom makes it a versatile pan that can be used for more than just stir-fry.
Credit: Jessica Albery

8

Offers Lightweight Versatility


Rachael Ray Brights Wok With Lid


Material: Aluminum With Non-Stick Coating | Size: 11 inches
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Not durable

The Rachael Ray Brights Wok is a light, versatile pan with a lid that is great for small spaces. It is one of the easiest to lift with one hand, shake, and flip all ingredients. At only 11 inches, it is an excellent choice for two people. This smaller size lends it to easier storage in small spaces but is still versatile enough to use daily for more than just a stir-fry. The shape, size, and lid work great for cooking soups, curries, and sauces. The rubberized handle is comfortable to hold and is heat resistant; it's also oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

The copper scrubbing test did the most damage to this pan. The non-stick coating scratched deeply, and a portion of the non-stick coating wore off. In the drop test, the bottom dented, the outer coating cracked, and it was the only pan that dented on the rim. This pan is excellent if storage space and versatility are of the utmost importance, but it does need to be treated with care and used with appropriate utensils.

wok - the rachael ray brights is lightweight, easy to use, and the lid...
The Rachael Ray Brights is lightweight, easy to use, and the lid adds versatility.
Credit: Jessica Albery

9

A Great, Round Bottomed Option


Yosukata Pre-Season Carbon Steel Wok


Material: Carbon Steel | Size: 14 inches
REASONS TO BUY
Pre-seasoned
Traditional round-bottom style
REASONS TO AVOID
Best if used with ring
Not induction, electric, or ceramic stove compatible

The Yosukata is a traditional model with a round bottom, so it works best on a gas stove with a ring. The round shape allows the use of a small flame and evenly transfers the heat up the walls. It is also quick to respond to temperature adjustments. This beautifully crafted contender comes pre-seasoned and does need to be re-seasoned regularly.

We first made a stir-fry, which did not stick; however, after a few uses, the scrambled eggs stuck quite badly and took some serious elbow grease to clean — a sure sign it was time to re-season it. While evenly distributing the heat, the round bottom makes this pan a bit trickier to use, and it is best used over a gas stove with a ring. The manufacturer does not recommend using it with electric, ceramic, or induction stoves. We tested it on a ceramic stove, and it was pretty unstable. The handle made it list to one side, and it got to rocking while cooking soup, which we didn't love. This pan would be excellent for the experienced cook with a passion for cooking stir-fry in the most traditional pan, with a gas stove and a ring.

the yosukata is a traditional round bottomed wok made out of carbon...
The Yosukata is a traditional round bottomed wok made out of carbon steel and works best with a ring on a gas stove.
Credit: Jessica Albery

10

A Good Traditional Style


Craft Carbon Steel


Material: Carbon Steel | Size: 14 inch
REASONS TO BUY
Traditional style
Quality materials
REASONS TO AVOID
Wok ring recommended with round bottom
Value

The Craft Carbon Steel is an excellent example of a traditional Chinese wok. It's made of carbon steel for quick temperature control, has a round bottom, is hand-hammered, and has a heat-resistant wooden handle. The shape makes it easy to spread ingredients around the pan to quickly and evenly cook, locking in juices while searing the outside. The carbon steel heats up rapidly. This product needs to be seasoned, but you can do this on the stove. It develops a patina over time to prevent sticking and needs to be re-seasoned regularly and dried immediately after washing so it won't have a chance to rust.

The round bottom means it works best with a gas stove and a wok ring and is not recommended for electric or induction stoves. This pan is ideal for experienced cooks looking for an authentic, hand-hammered round bottom option to use over a gas stove with a ring.

the craft hand hammered wok's traditional style is great for cooking...
The Craft Hand Hammered Wok's traditional style is great for cooking up a stir-fry.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Why You Should Trust Us


After a trip to Thailand, Jessica Albery became a bit of a stir-fry fanatic, trying out different methods and a wide range of recipes. As a snowboard coach in the winter, she often comes home famished, and stir-fry quickly became a weeknight staple because of the short cooking time. She chose a teriyaki chicken and broccoli stir-fry for this review because of the wide range of textures involved; thus, adding ingredients at different stages would show the strengths and weaknesses of each pan.

With a wide range of pan styles out there, many of them have advantages and disadvantages, and the options can feel overwhelming. We aim to present a good comparison of some of the best wok pans based on our reviewer's tests. Tests are conducted in a consistent setting, using the same kitchen equipment and process for each model.

A laser thermometer was used to test the evenness of heat.
A laser thermometer was used to test the evenness of heat.
Woks do more than stir-fry. the T-fal worked great for a big...
Woks do more than stir-fry. the T-fal worked great for a big breakfast scramble.
The Rachael Ray Brights is easy to use, even before the morning...
The Rachael Ray Brights is easy to use, even before the morning coffee has kicked in.

Analysis and Test Results


After spending hours looking over the best quality and affordable pans on the market, we selected ten models to test side-by-side in our kitchen. Using each, we explore how they do comparatively across five testing criteria, including cooking performance, ease of cooking, maintenance and clean-up, durability, and storage. Take a look to see how they compare and which is the best option for your kitchen.

our test fleet put through a rigorous set of tests.
Our test fleet put through a rigorous set of tests.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Cooking Performance


To test cooking performance, we ran the pans through various tests to evaluate heating evenness, rate of heating, stickiness, stir-fry, and a soup test. We used a laser thermometer to test the evenness of heating while cooking soup. When the soup reached a simmer, the laser thermometer was used to take a temperature reading just above the soup line and just below the rim of the pan. To test the rate of heating, we put two cups of water in each pan and used the same burner. Some of the non-stick pans were tested on medium heat because their labels warned of warping if used on high heat. All pans without a heat limit were tested on high heat. The Kenmore is a non-stick option that can be used on high heat; the manufacturers just recommend bringing the temperature up slowly, which worked well in our tests. This feature meant the pan could sear in juices and cook stir-frys quickly thanks to the carbon steel while maintaining the ease of cooking and the ability to use less oil of a non-stick pan.

the helen chen scored well in the cooking performance tests, and...
The Helen Chen scored well in the cooking performance tests, and worked great for making egg drop soup.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Woks are widely agreed to be fantastic for rapidly cooking stir-fry meals, using high heat to seal in juices, while concave walls evenly distribute heat and create a large surface area — so ingredients don't get overly crowded and soggy. We cooked the same stir-fry in every pan to evaluate how each performed. The Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen, Joyce Chen, and Souped Up Recipes were our top performers in the stir-fry test. All three pans heated up and adjusted temperature quickly, searing the meat and rapidly cooking the vegetables for a fast dinner.

a batch of soup to test out the joyce chen pan.
A batch of soup to test out the Joyce Chen pan.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Many manufacturers tout woks as not just a stir-fry pan but also good for soups, curries, and steaming food. We tested this by cooking a simple soup in every pan. It turns out most were great for soups, though a few were slow to get to a boil with their large size, and many do not have lids to speed up this process. A laser thermometer was used to test the evenness of heating. Temperature readings were taken at the soup level and at the rim of the pan. The Cuisinart Cast Iron pan scored the highest, and many with large sidewalls scored low. To test the rate of heating, we brought two cups of water to a boil at the highest heat recommended by the manufacturer. The Joyce Chen was the fastest pan to bring water to a boil at four minutes, two seconds, followed closely by Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen and Kenmore. The non-stick pans that had manufacturer recommendations (to not use on high heat) scored low, taking quite a while to reach a simmer on medium heat.

We cooked one scrambled egg per pan to test stickiness, using the same amount of oil in each pan. Woks are celebrated for their ability to cook stir-fry quickly and on high heat to retain moisture, so we stir-fried the same ingredients in every pan to see how they performed. Besides being ideal for cooking up a stir-fry, woks can also be used for making soup, so we tested each pan's soup-making capabilities. We made soups in every pan using the same ratio of aromatics, liquid, and veggies. Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen's domed lid made it a favorite pan for cooking soups, as the lid brought the liquid to a simmer quickly and kept the broth from evaporating.

Ease of Cooking


Some cooks prefer to pick up and shake a pan while stir-frying. We picked up each pan and gave it a shake to test this, using only one hand when possible. Pans needing two hands for the shake test scored lower; we also evaluated if it was heavy, bulky, or difficult to maneuver. We tested to see if the pan fit the burner options available on our test stove. Did the pan fit perfectly on the burner, or was it smaller or larger than the burner, making it less efficient? We also made notes on any cooking limitations related to materials, such as temperature limits or utensils that you can use with the wok. We evaluated how much skill you'd need to use each pan. Some are great for all levels of cooks, while others are better for more advanced cooks.

We considered how much skill was required to cook in each pan. The Calphalon 12 Inch Wok and Rachael Ray Brights were two pans that scored highly in this category. The non-stick surface required little oil; food didn't stick, and both are a manageable size. They are both beginner-friendly and a little more forgiving to temperature changes or inattentiveness than the carbon steel woks. The Kenmore was the easiest of the carbon steel woks to use, thanks to its non-stick coating.

the calphalon 12" wok was one of the easiest pans to use.
The Calphalon 12" Wok was one of the easiest pans to use.
Credit: Jessica Albery

We tested the ease of picking each pan up one-handed and shaking its contents. Some pans were too heavy to lift one-handed and lost points in this test. The Rachael Ray Brights and Yosukata were the easiest to shake with one hand. We also noted any cooking limitations based on materials. This included recommendations to only use on low or medium heat for many non-stick pans and if they were oven safe. The Cuisinart Cast Iron scored well, with little limitations based on materials.

Maintenance and Clean-Up


Some pans need to be seasoned, while others do not. To evaluate the ease of this process, we read the manufacturer's instructions and followed them to season the pans that needed it. To test cleanup, we timed how long the pan took to clean after the egg test. Some pans require no maintenance, while others, like the ones made of carbon steel and cast iron, need to be re-seasoned periodically. We tested how easy it was to maintain the pan by following the maintenance instructions from the manufacturer.

eggs were scrambled  in each pan to test for stickiness, and then...
Eggs were scrambled in each pan to test for stickiness, and then timed how long they took to scrub clean.
Credit: Jessica Albery

No one we know enjoys spending time scrubbing pans, so we scrambled eggs in every pan and then timed how long it took to scrub them clean. Not surprisingly, the non-stick pans performed the best, taking only a few strokes with a dishcloth. The Kenmore came clean quickly, and the Craft was one of the easiest pans without a coating to clean. Most of the cast iron and carbon steel pans need to be seasoned and require maintenance to stay seasoned. We tested this process by following the manufacturer's instructions. The easiest to season and maintain in our test kitchen with an electric stove was the Souped Up Recipe because the wood handle is removable, so it can be seasoned in the oven.

We also considered whether the pans were dishwasher safe and what type of utensils could be used on them. The Calphalon 12 inch Wok has a durable non-stick coating which makes washing up quick and easy; it is also dishwasher safe and is one of the few non-stick pans that can be used with metal utensils. The Circulon Symmetry and Rachael Ray Brights were also both easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

Quality and Durability


We performed a drop test to see which pans would dent, ding, or scratch to test durability. Fortunately, none broke.

we performed drop tests to compare each pan's durability.
We performed drop tests to compare each pan's durability.
Credit: Jason Albery

To test scratch resistance on the inside of the pan, we gave each pan 400 strokes with a copper scrubber; any pans that got scratched lost points. While doing kitchen tests, we noted the quality of materials, paying attention to if the pan felt sturdy, if the handles were stable, if the pan warped from heat, and the materials' quality. The Craft showed no damage from the stainless steel test.

we used copper wool, performing 400 strokes per pan to test...
We used copper wool, performing 400 strokes per pan to test durability.
Credit: Jessica Albery

The Cuisinart Cast Iron also showed little wear and tear and left more of an impact on the driveway than on the pan in the drop test.

Storability


Some woks are bulky, while others are compact. We tested how well each pan fit in our test kitchen's storage drawer with other pans and rated them accordingly. We put each pan through rigorous tests to evaluate its quality, durability, ease of use, cooking performance, maintenance, and cleanup to help readers choose a wok that best fits their needs.

Our test kitchen is small, and storage space is at a premium, so we stacked pans and tested which fit in the pan storage drawer with the selection of pans already there. More compact or easily stackable pans scored higher, whereas ones that were difficult to store in a small space scored lower. We also took lids and whether the pan could be hung into consideration. The Cuisinart Cast Iron was the smallest pan tested, taking up the least amount of storage space, followed closely by the Rachael Ray Brights The Kenmore is large, but with its ring on the handle, has found a new home hanging on the wall of our kitchen.

we took the time to cook up some delicious food in each wok. which...
We took the time to cook up some delicious food in each wok. Which will you chose to add to your kitchen?
Credit: Claire Lawrenson

Conclusion


We took the time to find and test the best wok pans today for any cook's kitchen. It can be overwhelming searching through all the models available on the market and trying to parse which ones work the best. We hope that the time we devoted to cooking over a hot stove and making delicious food can aid you in finding the best wok pans for your kitchen, group size, and preferences.

Jessica Albery

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