Best wok 2021: for speedy stir-fries and healthy meals

Best wok 2021: for speedy stir-fries and healthy meals

The best wok will come with an unique bowl-shaped design that can be used to cook large servings all in one go. The design and sturdy handle will make it easy to toss your vegetables and fried rice and ensure they land back in the pan safely. Woks are also a great multi-tasker. You can use them in the place of a large saucepan or a frying pan, and they come in a variety of finishes.

Some of the best woks in our guide come with non-stick coating and dishwasher-safe designs for a less traditional, but more convenient, day-to-day use. Traditionally though, woks will come with a classic carbon steel design that can be seasoned over time to add flavour and char to your meals with every use. 

Unlike many of the best saucepan sets, a wok will have a narrower base and a wider rim. This will allow heat to spread out along the sides of your wok to cook everything directly, which is especially useful in dishes with no sauce. A round-bottomed wok is especially useful for those with gas hobs, but if you plan to rest your wok on an induction or electric hob, a flat-bottomed wok will be far more stable.

How to choose the best wok

Most people will prefer a non-stick wok for the convenience of dishwasher cleaning. It’s less authentic than the carbon steel woks traditionally used in Chinese cooking, but non-stick will be able to withstand the high temperatures of the hob, even on full blast. You won’t get the same charring that you’d find with cast iron or steel, but non-stick pans are often lighter, too.

Choose a wok with a handle that makes you feel safe. Many metal handles will heat up after prolonged use, but if you opt for one with a keep-cool handle, you won’t be able to put the wok in the oven.

It’s not essential to have a lid for your wok, but if versatility is a concern, you can opt for a rounded lid to create high levels of steam to heat through noodles or cook your chicken all the way through. A glass lid will let you look in to see how your meal is coming along, and they may come with a vent to let out moisture and keep your wok from bubbling over.

1. Stellar Rocktanium Non-Stick Wok

Best wok overall

Width: 30cm
Oven-safe? Yes
Dishwasher-safe? Yes
Reasons to buy: 

• Grab handle for easy lifting
• Sturdy non-stick design
• Not too heavy

Reasons to avoid: 

• None!

The Stellar Rocktanium Non-Stick Wok is the best wok for most homes. It’s a far cry from traditional designs, although you’ll find plenty in the rest of our roundup, but the non-stick design is very high quality and will withstand scratches. It can also take a lot of heat to replicate the flash-fried results you’re looking for.

What’s more, it’s oven-safe up to 210 degrees, and it’s got a very generous capacity thanks to the 30cm width. Despite the large design, it’s a good weight, and the curved handle is very easy to hold. Should you want to take it out of the oven, you can hold the handle on the other side of the wok to keep things sturdy. 

The flat bottom is suitable for all types of hobs, but the curved sides are ideal for authentically tossing your stir fry ingredients.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

2. Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK 28cm Wok

Best non-stick wok

Width: 28cm
Oven-safe? Yes
Dishwasher-safe? Yes
Reasons to buy: 

• Can be used with metal utensils
• Oven safe up to very high temperatures
• Comes with a lid

Reasons to avoid: 

• Not the lightest

The Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK range continues to impress us with its hardy design. The Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK 28cm Wok is a little heavy, but it comes with a lid included to steam or keep the heat in, and this can also be used on the 28cm frying pans. 

We particularly enjoy the quality of the non-stick on this wok. It’s scratch-resistant and you can use metal utensils to stir your egg fried rice or chicken as it cooks. The range is also oven-safe up to 260 degrees. 

You can use this wok on hobs of all types, and because of the quality of the non-stick, you don’t need to use much oil to prevent food from sticking or burning to the base. It’s also covered by a ten-year guarantee.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

3. Samuel Groves Non-stick stainless-steel wok 32cm

Best premium wok

Width: 32cm
Oven-safe? Yes
Dishwasher-safe? No
Reasons to buy: 

• Amazingly high quality
• Ergonomic riveted handle
• Grab handle for oven use

Reasons to avoid: 

• The most expensive option in our guide

The luxurious Samuel Groves Non-stick stainless-steel wok is a treat from the second you take it out of its woven hessian bag. It’s oven-safe up to 250 degrees, but you’ll need to wash it by hand to keep the non-stick in tact. 

It’s a premium pick, and the triple-ply stainless steel is a little on the heavy side if you plan on tossing your stir-fries. This does make it very sturdy though, and the riveted handle allows you to keep your distance from the action. Because it’s metal though, it will heat up when in use, so be careful to not hold the handle too close to the rivets when cooking. 

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

4. Kuhn Rikon Allround Wok

Best lightweight wok

Width: 24cm, 28cm
Oven-safe? Yes
Dishwasher-safe? Yes
Reasons to buy: 

• Lightweight design
• Efficient induction-friendly base
• Three-layered non-stick

Reasons to avoid: 

• No lid

The lightest of the woks we tested, if you struggle to toss your vegetables to easily coat them in soy sauce or sesame oil, the Kuhn Rikon Allround Wok is a great choice. It’s got a solid and wide induction-friendly base, and three layers of non-stick protection. 

Because the handle is hollow, it will be much more efficient when it comes to keeping cool after even prolonged use.

You can put it through the dishwasher and the oven, up to 240 degrees. It comes in 28cm and a smaller 24cm width, great for single servings. 

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

5. BergHOFF Leo 28cm Non Stick Stir Fry Pan

Best wok for multi-tasking

Width: 28cm
Oven-safe? Yes
Dishwasher-safe? Yes
Reasons to buy: 

• Sturdy lid with a pouring vent
• Can be used as a sauté pan
• Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid: 

• Quite flat base

We’re big fans of BergHOFF’s Leo range, and while it’s not labelled as a wok, the BergHOFF Leo 28cm Non Stick Stir Fry Pan is designed for the task of stir-frying. The handle is non-stick and ergonomic, as is the lid handle, and the non-stick is very easy to clean.

It is technically oven-safe, but only up to 160 degrees. Because it has a wider base and steep sides, it can easily step in to the task of being a sauté pan or even frying pan for multi-tasking in the kitchen. 

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

6. Salter Megastone Wok

Best wok for steaming

Width: 28cm
Oven-safe? No
Dishwasher-safe? Yes
Reasons to buy: 

• Very durable non-stick
• The matching pan set is one of our favourites
• You can use the lid for steaming and keeping food warm

Reasons to avoid: 

• Plastic handles can’t go in the oven

We enjoyed the Salter Megastone range when reviewing saucepans, and the megastone wok is no exception. The range is made of rough non-stick that’s durable enough to endure heavy use, and the handles are plastic coated, which will keep them from getting too hot when in use. This does mean they can’t go in the oven, but this isn’t essential when cooking with a wok anyway.

The glass lid has a steam vent which can be very useful when cooking fish or heating through noodles. It’s also great for cooking dishes with sauce without reducing the liquid down too much. 

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

7. Judge 35cm Non-Stick Wok Set

Best value wok set

Judge 35cm Non-Stick Wok Set

Width: 25cm
Oven-safe? Yes
Dishwasher-safe? Yes
Reasons to buy: 

• Comes with all the extras you need
• Authentic-style lid
• Keep-cool handles

Reasons to avoid: 

• Cannot be used on induction hobs

At an impressive price, the Judge 35cm Non-Stick Wok Set is packed with value. It’s made of classic Chinese carbon steel and comes with plenty of accessories to keep your busy. That includes a serving trivet, seaming rack, turner, chopsticks, and a lid. The lid is curved and reminiscent of more traditional woks.

You can’t use it on induction hobs and the handles are coated with a stay-cool coating. While it is oven-safe (save for the wooden extras) it can only go up to 150 degrees, so be careful. 

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

How we tested the best woks

When testing we considered how fast the wok heated, and how evenly. After all, when cooking with a wok, you’re usually in a hurry to stir-fry a quick and healthy dinner.

Another factor we took seriously was the material used in construction. Carbon steel is the material of choice for most cooks, but these woks are becoming tricky to come by on the mass market, and have been replaced by durable non-stick that aims to replicate its lightweight design. However, you won’t be able to season your non-stick as any remnants will wash away after cooking.

The balance of the wok was a big factor, because it should be able to support itself when left on the hob. However, the handle should also be sturdy enough to flip the wok when cooking, without the bowl being too heavy.

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