What are the differences between carbon steel vs cast iron wok? Do you love cooking as much as we do? There’s nothing better than spending a weekend afternoon in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. Whether you’re whipping up a quick meal or trying out a new recipe, it’s always more fun when you have the right tools for the job.
When it comes to cookware, one of the most important choices you’ll make is deciding between a carbon steel wok and a cast iron wok. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to know the difference before you make your purchase. Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between carbon steel and cast iron woks:
What is Carbon Steel Wok?
Carbon steel wok is a type of wok that is made from carbon steel. It is a popular choice for many people because it is durable and has excellent heat conductivity. Carbon steel woks are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are also relatively inexpensive, making them a good option for people who want to experiment with woks without spending a lot of money.
Carbon steel wok is made with a round bottom. This allows the heat to be distributed evenly, making it ideal for stir-frying. The sides of the wok are usually flared, which makes it easier to toss ingredients around. Carbon steel woks need to be seasoned before they are used. This helps to create a non-stick surface and prevents the wok from rusting.
Carbon steel wok has a long history back to the Han Dynasty in China. It is said that the first woks were made from bell metal, which is a type of bronze. Woks became popular in Europe during the late Middle Ages and were used for cooking stews and other dishes.
- PRE-SEASONED FOR IMMEDIATE USE - Sizzling stir frys, crispy deep frys, pan-searing to perfection.... while also able to make soups and stews!
- HANDLES HIGH HEAT AND SCRATCHES - Carbon steel wok has no tefflon coating and can sustain super high temperature without damage. You can use metal utensil and no need to worry about scratches. With the proper care, it will last you a life time.
- VIDEO AND WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS - Had problems with other carbon steel woks getting rusty? We have very simple care instructions, so you'll be cooking like a pro!
- THE ORIGINAL FLAT BOTTOM WOK - Works on electric stoves, induction stoves, gas ranges and other heat sources. Manufactured and imported by popular Youtuber, Souped Up Recipes.
- VIRAL TAKEOUT RECIPES - Over 1 Million subscribers trust her recipes... and we'll also include a link to over 200 video recipes in the box, many that can be made this wok.
- Babish 14 Inch Carbon Steel Wok (6" Flat Bottom)
- Heavy-gauge, carbon steel for rapid and even heat distribution perfect for frying and stir-frying
- Riveted wooden handles provide strength and stay cool to the touch
- Efficiently absorbs oil to build a naturally nonstick capability for easy food release and cleanup
- Safe on the grill and on gas, electric, ceramic, glass, and induction stoves
- GENUINE TASTE: Discover the rich, authentic flavors of Chinese and other Asian cuisines in your own home. The Yosukata 13,5 inch wok with flat bottom is specially designed to lock the juice and flavor inside ingredients
- PRE-SEASONED: Our carbon steel wok is pre-seasoned at high temperatures over 600F using special technics unlike unseasoned woks and stir fry pans. Still require full seasoning with oil like any Chinese wok
- HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS: This large wok pan is made from heavy-duty, black carbon steel. The ergonomic design of the wooden handle ensures a comfy grip when you use this pow wok
- VERSATILITY: In addition to stir-frying, with the Yosukata carbon wok pan, you can cook healthy meals using various traditional cooking techniques like pan-frying, braising and deep-frying
- EASY HANDLING and STORAGE: Our steel wok is convenient to carry and easy to store
- PRE-SEASONED & NONSTICK: Carbon steel is the best wok material because it has a natural nonstick surface once seasoned. Our carbon steel wok is no chemical coating and is pre-seasoned at high temperatures over 1000F using nitrogen treatment for excellent wear resistance, fatigue resistance, corrosion resistance and high temperature resistance.
- GENUINE TASTE: Our large wok pan reacts quickly to heat adjustments and is specially designed to lock the juice and flavor inside the ingredients. With its greater curve and higher walls, heat is less concentrated on the flat bottom and better distributed up the walls. The high curvature results in a broader base for maximum area of heat transfer, allowing the burner flames to visibly hug the pow wok.
- VERSATILITY: Flat-bottomed wok is better suited for home use because it does not require a wok ring to sit well on any stovetop such as electric stoves, induction stoves, gas stoves, and other heat sources. In addition to stir-frying, with the Todlabe cooking wok, you can cook healthy meals using various traditional cooking techniques like pan-frying, braising, and deep-frying.
- COMFORTABLE HANDLE: The ergonomic design of the wooden handle ensures a comfortable grip and protection against burns. The wok body weighs 3.15 pounds and is 13 inches wide and 3.9 inches deep, and can serve at least 3-6 people food portions, which is ideal for the whole family or small gatherings.
- VERTICAL LID: The vertical lid design is more suitable for comfortable grip. You can make it “stand up” instead of lying on the countertop. Besides, Our Asian Cookware wok set also contains a stainless steel spatula.
- Flat Bottom Heavy 14 Inch 15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel wok, commercial grade. Original design by Craft Wok since 2014, proven quality over the years. Traditional chinese wok pan with flat bottom for electric stoves.
- Chinese wok pan with flattened bottom: suitable for flat electric and flat induction stove. Not 100% flat - bottom has flat bubble which sets up. Do not forget to season it before use! Instructions for easy seasoning are included with the wok. Our customer service is ready to guide through the process whenever you need it.
- Hand hammered by Chinese professionals in Guangzhou. This wok is the proven choice of many professional Chinese chefs. Wok weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg). Heavy and sturdy. The flat part of the bottom is not 100% flat: it has a flat bubble that sets up. This is due to the real hammering method of production. It does not affect the cooking process.
- Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over high heat, also helpful for hanging the wok for storage. Wooden handle has special hygroscopic not slippery surface for tight grip when you stir-fry.
- Craft Wok - Love Wok! We are a team of professionals drawn together by our passion for the carbon steel wok. Our mission is to bring you as much pleasure from Stir-frying in a wok, as chefs get in restaurants across China. To do this, we have found the best manufacturers in China. Our range of branded products is 100% authentic traditional carbon steel woks, 8 years on market.
Today, carbon steel woks are still widely used in Asian cuisine. They are often used for stir-frying, as well as for deep-frying and steaming. When choosing a carbon steel wok, it is important to select one that is the right size for your needs. It is also important to season the wok before using it, as this will help to create a non-stick surface.
When seasoning a carbon steel wok, it is important to use a cooking oil that has a high smoke point. This will help to prevent the oil from burning and creating harmful fumes. Once the wok is seasoned, it should be cleaned with hot water and soap. It is not necessary to use a harsh detergent, as this can strip away the seasoning. After cleaning, the wok should be dried thoroughly to prevent rusting.
Carbon steel woks are a great choice for people who want an inexpensive and durable option. They are easy to season and care for, and they conduct heat evenly. If you are looking for a wok that will give you years of use, carbon steel is a good choice.
What is Cast Iron Wok?
Cast iron wok is a type of wok that is made from cast iron. It is a popular choice for stir-frying because it heats up quickly and evenly, making it ideal for cooking food at high temperatures. Cast iron woks are also durable and long-lasting, so they can be a good investment if you do a lot of stir-frying.
While cast iron woks are a great choice for stir-frying, they do require some special care. They should be seasoned before use, and they should be cleaned with soap and water after each use. You should also avoid using metal utensils on a cast iron wok, as this can damage the seasoning.
This type of wok is not restricted to only being used for stir-frying. It can be used for other cooking methods as well, such as steaming, deep-frying, and even baking.
Cast iron wok is made with a little lip on one side. This is because traditionally it was hung over an open fire to cook food. The lip allowed the heat to circulate evenly around the entire wok, so the food cooked evenly. However, nowadays most cast iron woks come with a flat bottom so that they can be used on a stovetop.
- 14 INCH CAST IRON WOK: Seasoned and ready to use, this cast iron wok features helpful, modern handles and a large cooking surface that delivers high-heat performance.
- HEAT RETENTION: This cast iron wok features unparalleled heat retention for consistent, high-heat cooking and even heat distribution without hotspots.
- NATURALLY NONSTICK: This naturally seasoned cast iron wok is made with just iron and vegetable oil, creating a quick-release surface that gets better with use — just hand wash, dry, and rub with oil to preserve finish.
- COOK ANYWHERE: Cast iron cookware is oven-safe and can be used on so many heat sources, including glass-top stoves, induction, grills, or even live fire.
- MADE IN THE USA: Designed and made in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, where the people of Lodge Cast Iron have been crafting quality cookware since 1896.
- Seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Cast iron has unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Use on the stove or grill
- Great for induction cooktops
- Made in the USA
- COOK AUTHENTIC ASIAN FOOD - A cast iron wok with handle is the best utensil to cook with for authentic Asian food as this is the utensil traditionally used. So not only do you get the superior taste from a pre-seasoned wok, but you also get the correct feel while making the food.
- BETTER THAN STAINLESS STEEL - A cast iron wok is used to cook authentic Asian food due to its ability to withstand direct heat and distribute it evenly. It is more affordable compared to stainless steel or even enameled cast iron, and will last forever due to its durable nature.
- NON STICK & RUSTPROOF - This cast iron camping wok is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil as this prevents the iron from rusting as well as gives the wok a non-stick surface. This way you don’t have to season the wok yourself and can directly use it as you receive it.
- FLAT BASE FOR EASY COOKING - While traditionally, cast iron deep woks come with a rounded base, this one comes with a flat base so that you can easily set it on top of your stove and have a sturdy base for cooking. This diminishes the chances of the wok accidentally falling and spilling its contents everywhere.
- COMES WITH A WOODEN LID - This stir-fry cast iron wok comes with a wooden lid to allow you to cook, simmer, fry, stir-fry, or even steam many dishes as well as soups and stews. The wooden lid is made to fit perfectly on the wok and prevents spatter on the kitchen counter.
- 9 INCH CAST IRON MINI WOK W/ LOOP HANDLES. This mini server is seasoned and ready to use. For exotic cuisines or home spun favorites, the Lodge Cast Iron Mini Wok retains heat well, making short work of any dish
- PRE-SEASONED COOKWARE. A good seasoning makes all the difference. Lodge provides pre-seasoned cookware with no synthetic chemicals; just soy based vegetable oil. The more you use your iron, the better the seasoning becomes
- MADE IN THE USA. Lodge has been making cast iron cookware in South Pittsburg, Tennessee (pop. 3,300) since 1896. With over 120 years of experience, their cast iron is known for its high quality design, lifetime durability, and cooking versatility
- MAKE EVERY MEAL A MEMORY. Lodge knows that cooking is about more than just the food; it’s about the memories. This dynamic skillet can be used for both hot and cold presentations and has superior heat retention from the oven to the table
- FAMILY-OWNED. Lodge is more than just a business; it’s a family. The Lodge family founded the company in 1896, and they still own it today. From environmental responsibility to community development, their heads and hearts are rooted in America
- PRE SEASONED - Cast iron has superior heat retention for even cooking, restaurant quality searing and comes pre-seasoned, non-stick cooking surface when used with a thin layer of oil. It's also ridiculously strong and rugged
- HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION - Large handles and curved base for easier handling. Unparalleled heat retention and even heating. Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill. Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire. Seasoned for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use
- EASY TO USE - Curved wide base for even heat retention, tested and built for stability. Use with confidence on all cooking surfaces. Jim Beam cast iron wok has greater retention and distribution of heat.
- CAST IRON COOKING BENEFITS - cooking with cast iron skillets proves to beneficial to you, both health wise as well as to your kitchen, This skillet would last you years to come If used properly. All Jim Beam BBQ tools are made of the highest quality, and the line boasts a variety of items, all catering to your BBQ and kitchen needs
Cast iron woks are available in a variety of sizes. The size you choose will depend on how much food you want to be able to cook at one time. They also come with either a round or flat bottom. Round-bottomed woks are better for stir-frying, while flat-bottomed woks can be used for other methods of cooking as well.
No matter what size or shape you choose, a cast iron wok is a great addition to any kitchen. With proper care, it will last for years and provide you with delicious meals.
Cast iron wok has a long history back to the Han Dynasty in China. It is said that the first cast iron wok was made over 2000 years ago. Today, cast iron woks are still a popular choice for cooking, both in China and around the world.
If you’re interested in trying a cast iron wok, be sure to read our guide on how to season a cast iron wok. And if you’re looking for more information on woks in general, check out our articles on the best woks and how to use a wok.
If you’re looking for a cast iron wok, be sure to check out our selection. We have a variety of sizes and styles to choose from, so you can find the perfect wok for your needs.
Benefits of Using Carbon Steel and Cast Iron Wok
Heat up quickly
Carbon steel and cast iron woks have a number of advantages over other types of woks. One advantage is that they heat up quickly and evenly. This means that you can cook food more evenly, which is especially important when you are stir-frying. In addition, carbon steel woks retain heat better than other types of woks, so your food will stay hot longer after you have finished cooking it.
Easy to clean
Carbon steel and cast iron woks are also relatively easy to clean, so you won’t have to spend a lot of time scrubbing them after each use. Simply wipe them down with a damp cloth and they will be good as new. These type of woks are also less likely to rust than other materials, so you can be sure that they will last for many years with proper care.
If you are looking for an easy-to-clean wok, then carbon steel or cast iron is a good option. These materials are also less likely to rust, so you can be sure that your wok will last for many years with proper care.
Another advantage of carbon steel and cast iron woks is that they have a non-stick surface. This means that you won’t have to use as much oil when you are cooking, which can be healthier for you. In addition, the non-stick surface makes it easier to clean the wok.
All these wok are specially designed with a flat base and flared sides which make it easy to toss food while cooking. This allows you to evenly cook your food without having to worry about it sticking to the wok or burning.
The choice of wok is really up to you and what you plan on using it for. If you are only going to be cooking for one or two people, then a small wok would be fine. However, if you plan on cooking for a larger family or group of people, then you might want to consider getting a larger wok.
The next benefit of using a carbon steel and cast iron wok is that it is very versatile. You can use it for a variety of different dishes, including stir-fries, steamed foods, and even deep-fried foods. This will help you to expand your culinary repertoire.
Carbon steel and cast iron woks are also very portable. This means that you can take them with you when you travel, so you can enjoy your favorite dishes no matter where you are.
Ease of Use
Another benefit of using a carbon steel or cast iron wok is that they are very easy to use. Even if you have never used one before, it will be easy to get the hang of it. Once you have used it a few times, you will be able to cook with it like a pro.
These two woks are also very affordable, which is another benefit. If you are on a budget, then you will definitely want to consider investing in a carbon steel or cast iron wok. They are both very reasonably priced and will last you for many years to come.
Carbon steel woks are a good choice for people who want a durable wok that heats up quickly and has a non-stick surface. They are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you are looking for a wok to experiment with, carbon steel woks are a good option.
No matter what size or type of wok you choose, carbon steel and cast iron woks are a great option for anyone who wants to be able to cook their food evenly and without any worries.
Carbon Steel Vs Cast Iron Wok: Difference
The first and most obvious difference between carbon steel vs cast iron wok is the materials. Carbon steel woks are made of, well, carbon steel. It is a combination of iron and carbon, making it harder and more durable than pure iron. Cast iron woks, on the other hand, are made of – you guessed it – cast iron.
Cast iron has a higher carbon content than carbon steel, which makes it more brittle. It is also more susceptible to rust and corrosion. However, cast iron woks have a few advantages over carbon steel woks. First, they are better at retaining heat. Second, they have a non-stick surface that makes them ideal for stir-frying.
The next difference between carbon steel vs cast iron wok is the design. Carbon steel woks are typically made with a rounded bottom. This allows them to be used on gas or electric stoves, as well as over an open flame.
Cast iron woks, on the other hand, have a flat bottom. This makes them more stable on the stove, but it also means that they can only be used on gas or electric stoves – not over an open flame.
The design of the wok also affects the way that heat is distributed. Carbon steel woks have what is known as a “hot spot” in the center of the wok. This is because the heat is not distributed evenly across the surface of the wok. Cast iron woks, on the other hand, have better heat distribution because of their flat bottom.
When it comes to performance, both carbon steel and cast iron woks have their pros and cons. Carbon steel woks heat up quickly and evenly, making them ideal for high-heat cooking methods like stir-frying.
They are also less likely to rust than cast iron woks. However, carbon steel woks can be difficult to season properly, and they are not as good at retaining heat as cast iron woks.
Cast iron woks, on the other hand, take longer to heat up but retain heat better. This makes them ideal for slow cooking methods like braising and stewing. They are also non-stick, making them ideal for stir-frying. However, cast iron woks are more difficult to season and are more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
Another important difference between carbon steel vs cast iron wok is their intended usage. Carbon steel woks are typically used for stir-frying, while cast iron woks are often used for slow cooking methods like braising and stewing.
Both carbon steel and cast iron woks can be used for a variety of tasks, but each type of wok excels at different tasks. If you’re looking for a wok to use for stir-frying, carbon steel is the way to go. If you want a wok to use for slow cooking methods, cast iron is the better option.
Weight & Size
Another difference between carbon steel vs cast iron wok is their weight and size. Carbon steel woks are typically lighter and smaller than cast iron woks. This makes them easier to handle and store. Cast iron woks, on the other hand, are heavier and larger. This makes them more difficult to handle and store but also allows them to retain heat better.
When it comes to portability, carbon steel woks are the clear winner. They are lighter and smaller, making them easier to take with you on the go. Cast iron woks are more difficult to transport because of their weight and size.
However, both carbon steel and cast iron woks can be used for camping and picnicking. If you’re looking for a wok to take with you on the go, carbon steel is the way to go.
Ease of Use
Another important difference between carbon steel vs cast iron wok is their ease of use. Carbon steel woks are typically easier to use because they are lighter and have a non-stick surface. Cast iron woks, on the other hand, can be more difficult to use because of their weight and lack of a non-stick surface.
If you’re looking for a wok that is easy to use, carbon steel is the way to go. If you don’t mind a little extra effort, cast iron can be a great option.
One more difference between carbon steel vs cast iron wok is their non-stick properties. Carbon steel woks are not naturally non-stick, but they can be seasoned to create a non-stick surface. Cast iron woks are naturally non-stick because of their higher carbon content.
If you’re looking for a wok with a non-stick surface, cast iron is the way to go. If you don’t mind seasoning your wok, carbon steel can be a great option.
When it comes to versatility, both carbon steel and cast iron woks have a lot to offer. Carbon steel woks are ideal for stir-frying, while cast iron woks are ideal for slow cooking methods.
Both types of woks can be used for a variety of tasks, making them both versatile options. If you’re looking for a versatile wok, either carbon steel or cast iron would be a great option.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your wok is important to its longevity. Carbon steel woks need to be seasoned regularly to prevent rust and corrosion.
This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s necessary to keep your carbon steel wok in good condition. Cast iron woks also need to be seasoned, but they are less susceptible to rust and corrosion than carbon steel woks.
Both carbon steel and cast iron woks should be cleaned with hot water and soap after each use. Avoid using harsh detergents or scrubbing pads, as these can damage the seasoning on your wok. After cleaning, dry your wok thoroughly to prevent rust and corrosion.
Carbon steel woks are easier to care for and maintain than cast iron woks. Carbon steel woks also have a better heat distribution than cast iron woks, so they cook food more evenly. However, cast iron woks are more durable and can withstand high temperatures without warping.
Finally, carbon steel vs cast iron wok differ in price. Carbon steel woks are typically less expensive than cast iron woks. This is because carbon steel is a more common material than cast iron. Cast iron woks are more expensive because they are made of a more esoteric material.
So, which type of wok is right for you? If you’re looking for a wok that is less expensive and easier to care for, carbon steel is the way to go. If you’re looking for a wok that is more durable and has better heat distribution, cast iron is the way to go. Whichever type of wok you choose, be sure to season it regularly and clean it after each use to keep it in good condition.
How do you season a carbon steel wok?
First, heat the wok over high heat until it begins to smoke. Then, add a small amount of oil and swirl it around the sides of the wok. Add your ingredients and cook them until they are done. If the food starts to stick to the wok, add a little more oil. You should season your wok before each use to keep it from rusting.
How do you clean a carbon steel and cast iron wok?
To clean a carbon steel wok, first remove any food particles by scrubbing with a soft brush or cloth. Then, rinse the wok with hot water and dry it immediately. If the wok is still dirty, you can boil a mixture of water and vinegar inside it. Finally, season the wok before using it again.
How do you prevent a carbon steel and cast iron wok from rusting?
To prevent a carbon steel or cast iron wok from rusting, you should season it before each use. Additionally, you should avoid using harsh detergents or scouring pads, as these can remove the seasoning and cause the wok to rust. Finally, make sure to dry the wok immediately after washing it.
However, it is inevitable that your wok will eventually rust. When this happens, you can remove the rust by scrubbing it with a mixture of salt and vinegar. Finally, re-season the wok before using it again.
Do I need to oil my carbon steel and cast iron wok?
Yes, you should always season your carbon steel and cast iron wok with oil before each use. This will prevent the wok from rusting and help to create a non-stick surface. Additionally, you can add a small amount of oil to the wok when cooking to prevent the food from sticking.
Choosing the right cooking vessel is important, and there are a few factors you should consider when making your decision. Carbon steel vs cast iron wok is a debate that has been around for years, and both materials have their pros and cons. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference – so try out each material and see which one you like best.
Jen Lin-Liu is the founder of Black Sesame Kitchen. A Chinese-American writer and a nationally certified Chinese chef in Beijing. Jen is the author of two memoirs, Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China and On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta.