The Best Wok in Australia [Reviews]

The Best Wok in Australia [Reviews]

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What’s in a wok? A proper and well-crafted wok can be the single most important item in your kitchen, and it can be suited to a lot more than just your traditional stir fry dish.

Many chefs swear by the use of a wok for its strong construction, large size and even heat distribution.

It goes without saying, if you’re in the market for a wok, you want the best quality you can find within your budget.

A high quality wok can have the potential to last a lifetime and prepare thousands of meals.

But not all woks are made the same: Some are carbon steel, some are stainless steel, some are stone-coated and some are made specifically for induction equipment use.

In this article, we outline how to find the best quality wok for your specific needs.

Here are the best woks in Australia:

Best Carbon Steel Wok: Professional Carbon Steel Chinese Wok

Carbon steel is one of the most popular materials for woks, and this one from D.Line is both reliable and affordable.

It’s suited for both professional and home use, and the wooden handle means that there’s never any direct contact between your hand or wrist and the wok.

With decent heat distribution and just enough weight, this wok gives any chef a great result no matter what dish you might be doing in it.  

What We Like:

  • A great wok for professional chefs or any home cook.
  • Solid, sturdy and safer wooden handle for better grip.
  • Even heat distribution throughout the wok.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Most carbon steel woks need to be seasoned
  • More lightweight than most woks, which can be confusing if you’re used to a heavy one.

Best Cast Iron Wok: Lodge 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok

Lodge P14W3 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok with Loop Handles, Black

Cast iron is a preferential material for many professional and home chefs who need something that retains heat for a long time and provides even cooking.

It’s a great cooking material to work with for its heat-trapping qualities, and a cast iron wok like this one from Lodge can be your kitchen and cooking go-to for decades.   

What We Like:

  • Cast iron is one of the best materials for heat distribution.
  • Cast iron can be consistently counted on as a material that will last for decades (usually even several) if it’s well taken care of.
  • Use cast iron utensils and you’ll never take the risk of losing a wok’s coating in your food over time.
  • Oven safe

What We Don’t Like:

  • Treated wrongly, cast iron can pick up a lot of rust and it can be hard to get rid of.
  • Loop handles can be an issue for anyone who isn’t used to it, so be careful.
  • Cast iron can be heavy.

Best Wok for Induction: Tefal Jamie Oliver Hard Anodised Induction Non-Stick Wok

Jamie Oliver has been a home chef’s favourite for decades; his own line of products means that you can own a few kitchen tools trusted by the cooking expert.

The Tefal Jamie Oliver Wok is a trustworthy, lifetime kind of wok, perfect for those who cook on an induction cooktop.  

What We Like:

  • Compatible with all hobs including induction
  • Excellent heat distribution, which is exactly what you would expect with any tools meant for induction use.
  • Lighter weight than some other options, meaning easier on wrists and less risk of accidents
  • Jamie Oliver products are known for providing consistent quality
  • Easy to clean

What We Don’t Like:

  • Non-stick doesn’t mean forever, and care need to be taken to retain integrity of cooking surface

Best Stone Coated Wok: Pyrolux Pyrostone Stone Non-stick Wok

Some woks are coated in stone for better overall heat distribution.

This is done so that they offer what you’d get from a cast iron alternative without the serious added weight (or potential of rust).

The Pyrolux Pyrostone Stone Non-Stick Wok offers the best of the best when it comes to stone coating: It’s the Cadillac of stone woks. 

What We Like:

  • The heat distribution is superior and the coating is well-made and it’s dishwasher safe.
  • It says non-stick, and it is: You can burn anything in this wok and should still be able to clean it off easily.
  • Some woks can be heavy, but this one isn’t.

What We Don’t Like:

  • A stone-coated wok, just like cast iron, is not something you want to drop.
  • The handle might leave a little bit more to be desired with this model if you’re used to something with real grip.
  • Performance in heat distribution may be inferior to other materials.

Best Non-Stick Wok: Calphalon Elite Nonstick Wok

Many woks claim to be non-stick and aren’t (or only stick to this quality for a while).

If you want a non-stick coating that sticks around, then the Calphalon Elite Nonstick Wok is a great choice.

Sturdy, solid, stable, balanced, flat bottom and even: All the good qualities a home chef wants in a great wok. 

What We Like:

  • The non-stick coating stays, and will take a long time before it needs replacing.
  • The heat distribution is even and stays that way.
  • It’s a great wok if you aren’t up to the weight of a usual cast iron wok or skillet, but still want the heat distribution that comes with what’s often heavier finishes.

What We Don’t Like:

  • No metal utensils get near non-stick, ever: Not if you don’t want to take the coating off and expose what’s under it.
  • This might feel too light for chefs who are used to heavier, bulkier woks.
  • The heat distribution is great, but not as great as other models you might compare to it when they’re side-by-side and it can take a while longer to warm up.

Wok Buyer’s Guide

What do you want to see most in the wok you buy? Other than comparing different models, you might also want to compare the woks you’re thinking of buying on individual merit.

Go to a store, pick up the wok, imagine using it and picking it up with one hand: See if you like it and see if you’re comfortable with it.

Beyond this, also consider these factors when buying your next wok.

Heat Distribution

How quickly does it warm up, and are there cold or hot spots or is the heat throughout?

Distributed heat makes for a good and high-quality wok, uneven heat makes for uneven cooking.

The Wok Handle

Is the handle comfortable in your hands, and is it well-attached to the wok itself? Any cooking utensil should be bought with comfort and ease of use in mind.

The Size

How many people will you be cooking for? Is the wok too big, too small or perfect? Perfect is the sweet spot that you’re looking for when buying one, of course.

RELATED: The Best Electric Woks

The Weight

Consider the weight of your chosen wok to make sure that it’s the best wok for your style of cooking – and that it’s not overwhelming to hold, move around or pick up.

The Material

Material matters and some chefs prefer a professional cast iron wok over an induction wok.

That’s up to you, and we’ve covered woks of every type in this article and chosen the best from each category.

Fun Fact: “Wok hei” is a popular and important saying in Cantonese cooking. According to Hakkasan, it translates to “thermal radiation” or, metaphorically, the “breath of the wok”, and refers to the flavour and tastes imparted by a hot wok on food during stir-frying.

Wok FAQs

Wondering about woks? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that can help you to choose the right one.

Why use a wok instead of a frying pan?

There are many reasons why a wok might be preferable to a frying pan: For one, allows for easy stirring and tossing of food to ensure even cooking. Woks are also known for warming up fast and retaining even heat throughout the cooking process.
The other key advantage of a wok is they are usually designed to withstand very high heat (particularly caron steel and cast iron) – perfect for Asian stir-fry.

What is the best material for a wok?

It’s hard to choose the “best material” for a wok as different cooks will have different individual needs. Some chefs prefer cast iron, while others swear by carbon steel. It depends what you’re used to and it depends what you prefer. It also depends what you and your stove can handle: Induction is stove-specific and cast iron is too heavy for many chefs.

How do you care for a carbon steel wok?

Carbon steel (and cast iron) has to be properly broken in for first use. The process is called “seasoning” (resulting in a seasoned wok) and it involves cleaning your carbon steel or cast iron wok thoroughly, then covering with a layer of vegetable oil (and sometimes taking the wok up to a high temperature).
This keeps your carbon steel or cast iron wok in good condition – and can do so for decades. It’s recommended to look up a few more specialist care tips for your next wok.

This article was written by Jennifer Blair

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