Cast iron woks are beloved by millions of home cooks for their longevity, versatility, and durability. They have a reputation for being the best kind of woks for many different reasons. The main selling point of cast iron vs carbon steel woks is that cast iron woks tend to hold and distribute heat more evenly than carbon steel, resulting in a more evenly cooked stir fry, or whatever meal you are cooking. The best cast iron woks will be your friends in the kitchen for years and years.
In addition to this huge benefit of cooking your food evenly, cast iron is a heavy and extremely durable material that will last for decades, even if you take poor care of your wok. It takes a bit of extra care and work to keep a cast iron wok in perfect shape for cooking, but if you ask any Asian food connoisseur, they will tell you it is well worth the extra work when you consider the high quality of the food you can cook in a good cast iron wok.
There are many options out there to consider when looking to purchase a cast iron wok, ranging wildly in price and quality level. Most of the woks you can find for extremely low prices at your local supermarket or big box store are not going to be of the highest quality. Your best option to get a high-quality cast iron wok is to check out this detailed guide since the hard work of researching has already been done for you!
Table of Contents
Best Value Overall Cast Iron Wok- Lodge Pro-Logic Wok with Flat Base and Loop Handles, 14-inch, Black
The Lodge cast iron wok is a well-known brand and a common and familiar form factor. The wok is made from cast iron which melted and poured into a mold, making the wok seamless and extremely unlikely to ever break. It is a 14-inch wok with twin handles, one on each side, and a flat bottom as well.
This wok is designed to work well with induction cooktops, which is partially why it has a flat bottom so that the wok makes more surface area contact with the induction cooktop. However, it will work equally as well on a gas cooktop or over a campfire. That is the great thing about cast iron, it is designed to work with open flames if needed. You can’t get away with setting a carbon steel wok over an open flame for very long.
It is pre-seasoned with natural vegetable oil, which is a nice touch. However, I am certain most people still go through the initial cleaning and seasoning process anyway, even though it is not needed with this wok.
- 14-inch full-size wok- The wok is a full-sized 14” model which will allow you to cook a full meal for a handful of people all at the same time. Many small woks are lacking in this ability.
- Large Handles- The large handles make it easy to handle the wok or move it off the burner easily. Many woks have handles that are just too small and they make it hard to grab. Just be aware the handles may be hot!
- Excellent for Induction Cooktops- This wok is designed for induction cooktops, so you should have no issues using this with your oven, no matter which type you have.
- High-quality wok
- Easy to handle and use
- A trusted brand for years
- A bit on the expensive side
- It May be too large for very small kitchen spaces
The Lodge Pro-Logic Wok is the best overall value cast iron wok because it will last a very long time, is easy to use and handle, comes from a brand that has been making cast iron for many years, and of course because of the price you pay you are getting a ton of value. This is a piece of cooking gear that you will have for the rest of your life if you take proper care of it!
Best Quality Regardless of Price- WANGYUANJI Handmade Cast Iron Wok 14.2″ Woks and Stir-Fry Pans Ancient Method Chinese Traditional Flat Bottom Wok (Cleaning Cloth & Brush for Free) Restaurant Barbecue Suitable
This is not an inexpensive wok. If you are a budget-minded shopper, this is not the wok for you. It is a 14” wok with 2 handles and a flat bottom. It is made with the ancient Chinese casting process which produces a thick long-lasting finish. Cast iron is also called pig iron. It has a wooden lid, also called a unique log lid. You don’t come across many cast iron woks with log lids.
It is a good-looking wok with its simple design and wood lid. The finish has a bit of a different look to it as well. It appears a bit more textured than some of the other woks on this list, due to the ancient casting process they use to create the iron wok. The iron used is said to help aid in stopping rust from forming, which is a common problem in most cast iron woks.
- Excellent Quality- This is a very high-quality wok that will last you forever if you take care of it.
- Log Lid- It comes with a wood lid that allows you to cook food without worrying about oil popping and burning you or making a mess in the kitchen.
- Anti-Rust- The wok is made with nitriding iron which is added to the metal and helps prevent rust from taking hold and ruining the wok.
- Traditional Design- This wok closely follows the traditional design of the Chinese people, giving you an authentic Chinese cooking experience.
- Good looking wok with beautiful wood lid
- Highly authentic following the ancient Chinese design
- Extremely well made and will last a very long time
- Big enough to cook full meals for a family
- Comparatively expensive
If you are looking for a cheap wok you can get for under fifty bucks, this is not your wok! However, this is the highest quality wok with the most benefits that you can find online. It is geared toward the cook who wants the best, most beautiful, and longest-lasting cast iron wok regardless of price. If you know you love cast iron woks and are willing to invest in a long-term piece of well-made cookware, this wok may be a great fit for you.
Best Budget Cast Iron Wok- Cuisinart CCW-800, Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Grilling Wok, 10″
The Cuisinart CCW-800 is a 10” cast iron wok with a flat bottom which makes it easier to use on flat conductive cooktops like induction style cooktops. It is not quite a large wok, nor is it a miniature wok, it is somewhere right in the middle. It is just large enough to cook a meal for a few people, but not enough for a full family meal all at the same time.
This is the best low-budget wok out there. It is made by Cuisinart, which is a well-known cookware brand, so it is a high-quality medium-sized wok. It comes pre-seasoned so you can start cooking right away without the need for a lengthy seasoning and preparing process. It is a heavy-duty cast iron wok that will last for years, and it will cost less than many of the other woks, most of which are not even as high quality or well made as this Cuisinart.
- Pre-Seasoned- The Cuisinart CCW-800 comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil right out of the box, so you can start cooking right away when it arrives.
- Versatile- This is a 10” cooking surface which is a good size for almost any meal. Many woks are so large and so tall that they take up a lot of space in your kitchen storage area. This wok will allow you to cook almost anything, and it is easy to store, at only 10” around.
- Durable- This is a well-made cast iron wok, even at this low price it will last you for decades if you take proper care of it.
- Great value for money
- Good size for a wok
- Will last for decades
- Not a big wok, may be too small for a family
This is a great value for the money, the best budget-minded wok out there. It is not a big wok, but at 10” it is big enough to cook a meal for a few people while being easy to store and take care of. It is easy to use and simple to clean, while providing evenly cooked meals that are fun to make at a price that will not hurt the wallet.
Best One Handled Wok- Kassian House Cast Iron Wok with Wooden Handle and Lid, Pre-Seasoned, 12″ Diameter Chinese Wok with Flat Bottom, Heavy Duty Stir Fry Pan
The Kassian House 12 inch cast iron wok is a medium-sized one-handed single-handled wok that comes with a wooden lid. It is a Chinese-style flat bottomed wok that is quite heavy-duty. It weighs a full nine pounds and is constructed of thick cast iron. The handle is wood with a metallic eyelet tip on the back which makes it easy to hang up on a pot hanger.
This is the best one handled wok you will find online. It is extremely well made and sturdy, and the wooden handle and lid give it excellent style and functionality as well. If you need a single-handled flat bottom cast iron wok, keep reading.
- Ready to Use- This wok is pre-seasoned and can be used as soon as it arrives, eliminating the need for a detailed cleaning and seasoning process.
- Great heat retention- This wok is made of pure cast iron which will retain the heat better than steel and is known for cooking your food more evenly.
- Good looking- This wok is well designed and the soft matte of the iron with the wooden handle and lid make for a very handsome wok that will look great in your kitchen.
- Versatile- The flat bottom makes it easy to use on any cooking surface from gas burners to induction style cooktops. It is also suitable for the open flame of a campfire.
- Guarantee- If you are not satisfied the company will refund your purchase price.
- Easy to use
- Comes with a lid to help with messes and simmering
- The wooden handle stays cool
- Looks nice and stylish
- Great size for anyone
- Expensive for a 12” wok
- Handle must be removed if you put in the oven
Although this is not the cheapest one handled wok, it is the best value for the money in this category. It is extremely thick and well made, pre-seasoned, and it comes with a nice wood lid and handle. The wok is guaranteed by the maker, so there is very little risk in trying it out. If you are looking for a one-handed wok that will not break on you and has a lid and a satisfaction guarantee, this would be a smart choice for you.
Best Low Budget Two Handled Wok – Jim Beam 12” Pre Seasoned Heavy Duty Construction Cast Iron Grilling Wok, Large, Black
The Jim Beam 12” Iron wok is a surprisingly good wok for the money you pay. It is a simple design with 2 handles and a flat bottom for cooking on any surface. It is a heavy-duty wok being made of cast iron and comes pre-seasoned for easy cooking right out of the box.
It is the best low-budget two-handled style wok available because of the high-quality manufacturing, functional design, and the fact that it comes pre-seasoned all for less than you would pay for a lesser wok with a fancier name.
- Pre-Seasoned- Seasoning a wok takes some effort and must be done correctly. Luckily, the Jim Beam 12” wok comes pre-seasoned, so you don’t need to do anything special to start cooking right away.
- Heavy Duty- The wok is pure cast iron, even the handles are made from this material. There are no parts to break or snap off.
- Ease of Use- Because of the curved and wide base, it is much easier to get your spatula or wooden spoon in the wok to stir the food. A simple easy to use design makes it a joy to cook with.
- Comparatively inexpensive
- Wide and easy to use
- High-quality construction
- Simple design
- Heavy and large may be hard to store
If you need a two-handled wok but do not have a big budget, this could be a great match for you. It is not a fancy piece of cookware, but it is sturdy and made of solid cast iron. The handles make it easy to maneuver and the wide base makes cooking in it simple and hassle-free. It comes pre-seasoned which saves you some time and hassle.
Best Mini Wok- Lodge 9 Inch Cast Iron Mini Wok w/ Loop Handles
The Lodge 9 Inch Cast Iron Mini Wok is the best value small wok made of cast iron. It has wide loop handles and a flat base as well. The flat base makes it effective at heating up food on an induction cooktop but does not make it any more difficult on a gas burner. It is only 9” in diameter which is not a large wok, and it is not going to be capable of making enough food for a large family all at the same time.
It does not come with any accessories like a lid or a spatula or anything else, you only get the 9” wok in the package. It comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil so there is no need for a complicated seasoning process when you get your wok. It is made in the United States which is a nice bonus if you are trying to support USA businesses.
- Loop handles- The loop handles make it easier to move and angle the wok while you are cooking food. They also help make it easier to grab out of the cabinet from storage.
- Flat Bottom- The flat bottom helps the wok work better in induction cooktops while eliminating the need for a wok stand. It makes it easy to use the wok as a personal serving dish as well.
- Small size- At only 9 inches wide, this wok can be used and stored in any kitchen, regardless of space restrictions. Perfect size for a college dorm or apartment.
- Quality Iron- The Lodge is made from high-quality cast iron and will last for years. It is also known for superior heat retention making your food cook more evenly.
- Small and easy to store
- Well made
- Easy to use handles
- Made in the USA
- Much too small for a family meal
- Expensive for the size
The Lodge 9 inch cast iron wok is a great utilitarian cooking pot. It comes with nothing extra and has no fancy features you won’t use. It is just a small 9” wok designed for a single person or a couple that is made from cast iron. It has a simple smart design and form factor that will make it a fixture in your kitchen. It is not a cheap wok, but it will last you for years and years.
Best Round Bottom Wok- Backcountry Iron’s Cast Iron Wok for Stir Frys and Sautees (14 Inch Large, Pre-Seasoned for Non-Stick Like Surface, Cookware Oven/Broiler/Grill Safe, Kitchen Deep Fryer, Restaurant Chef Quality)
While not technically a round-bottomed wok, the Backcountry Iron wok is as close as you can get with a cast iron wok to a rounded base. The base has a flat area to allow the wok to sit level on the cooktop, but the interior of the wok has no seam, or ridge, and looks and cooks like a round-bottomed wok.
This is another high-quality wok made in the USA. It comes with wide tall handles which are made of the same material as the rest of the wok, so there is nothing to fall off or break. It is a large wok at 14 inches, so it is big enough to use for cooking a full meal for a family of four. It is pure cast iron so be careful not to drop it on your foot, it is a hefty piece of iron.
- Made in USA- The wok is designed and created right here in the United States.
- Large wide handles- The wide handles make it easy to grab them especially when you must use potholders or rags. With small handles, you run the risk of your potholders or rags slipping off and spilling your food.
- Wide 14” design- At 14” this wok is easy to cook with. There is plenty of space to get your food in there as well as your wooden spatula or spoon for stirring.
- Inexpensive for the size and type of wok it is
- Easy to cook in
- Extremely high-quality cookware
- Completely round interior
- May be too big or heavy for many people
This is my favorite round bottom style cast iron wok. It is so much easier to cook with a wok that has this form factor. It has wide handles and with a 14” diameter you can cook enough food for a full-sized family with it. It is made in the USA of high-quality iron and will last for years and years to come. It is not expensive if you compare it to other 14 inches round bottom style woks. If you need a full-size wok that is easy to cook with, this could be the right one for you.
Cast Iron Wok Buyers Guide
Types of Cast Iron Woks
Cast iron woks are all very similar in form and function, but some differences can help decide whether a specific wok is going to meet your needs or not.
The types of cast iron woks are:
- Single handle- These have just one handle, like a traditional skillet or flat iron.
- Double handle- Double handle woks are the most common type of cast iron wok. There is a handle on either side of the cooking area.
- Flat bottom- This type of wok has a flatter bottom that makes the inside of the cooking surface more like a skillet, and less like a semi-sphere.
- Round bottom- round bottom woks still have a little flat area on the outside of the wok, but the interior is a near-perfect semi-sphere which makes it smoother and easier to stir and flip.
Single handle woks are sort of a niche choice for cast iron woks, most are double handled. Single-handled woks are easier to use more like a traditional large skillet, where you can flip the contents of the wok with one hand while the other is holding a spatula or other cooking utensil. Single-handled woks are a good choice if you like to flip your stir fry.
Double handle woks are the most common type of cast iron wok. The handles are usually part of the pour mold, and not screwed or bolted on, but part of the wok. With double-handled woks, the handles are iron, so you must be careful not to grab them with your bare hands. The wider the handles, the easier to use and the more desirable the wok tends to be.
Flat bottom woks are more like skillets, but they still have the swooping sides which is why they are still considered proper woks. The flat bottom style woks tend to heat up faster on induction cooktops because of the larger flat area that is making physical contact with the burner surface. They also tend to burn your food more often because of the constant heat on that part of the cooking surface.
This kind of wok is the most like the traditional Chinese woks that have been around for hundreds of years. The bottom outside of the wok still has a small flat area so that the wok can stand up, but the inside of the wok is spherical. Round bottom woks tend to have more evenly distributed heat because there is not one large section of the wok constantly contacting the burner.
Specifics to Look for
Not all cast iron woks are the same. They may appear similar, but there are differences, some subtle and some obvious that you should consider in your purchase decision.
The type of wok you choose should match your needs. If you are a cook that has limited time in the kitchen, a flat bottom wok may be a good idea because they tend to heat faster. If you cook a lot of dishes that require flipping inside the wok, a single-handled model may suit you better. These are some of the things to consider when choosing a wok.
Cast iron woks tend to come in a few sizes. There are many sizes between 9 and up to 18”. However, most woks you find available online are either:
The nine-inch woks are usually considered mini woks, while 16” woks are rare, 14” are the more common large woks. Medium-sized woks are the 12” size. If you are a single person or live with a spouse and have no other family members in the home, a 9” or 12” wok should be ideal.
However, if you have a large family a 14” wok is the best size. 14-inch woks allow you to cook a lot of food all at the same time, more than enough for 4 or 5 people.
The quality of the wok you ultimately buy should be one of the most important things you are considering. A low-quality cast iron wok can be a waste of money and break easily or shed too much of the finish on your food. On the other hand, a high-quality cast iron wok will last for decades and provide thousands of tasty meals to you and your family.
There are lots of products where buying the cheapest one is a good idea to save money. For things like paper, or staples, or other things that you use just once, the quality is not a deciding factor in your purchase decision. Woks are an investment that will be with you for years, so choose a high-quality wok you can rely on, or you will not ultimately be happy with the money you may have temporarily saved.
Cast iron woks can vary in price from just over 20 bucks for a small cheap model, to over a hundred bucks for a larger wok, or a very high-quality model. Price is always one of the top considerations of any purchase decision we make as consumers. Although you do not want to overspend for a good wok, in this market you tend to get what you pay for.
You should be able to get a high-quality cast iron wok for about the same amount you would pay for a comparable skillet or large cooking pan. They are not cheap to buy, but well-made cast iron woks will last for years. You will not need to purchase more than one of these woks unless you are getting more than one for a family member.
Consider the price of the wok against how many meals you will cook in it. When you look at it in this context, it makes sense to spend over a hundred bucks for a lifelong piece of high-quality cookware. If you choose a good high-quality wok, you will probably go through 3 or 4 sets of traditional cookware before your wok shows any signs that it would need to be replaced.