The Best Stainless Steel  Wok for Home Cooks

Updated on March 2023

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We all know how stainless steel wok is a better pick than carbon steel or cast iron in terms of safety, ease of maintenance and convenience. But having a functional nonstick surface post-seasoning a stainless steel wok is somewhat difficult. And food sticking becomes a huge issue while stir frying. Hexclad is the only brand that has solved this issue with their laser etching technology.

According to our research and facts, the Hexclad 12' hybrid wok is the best stainless steel wok in the market for multiple reasons. First, Hexclad is the only brand that has come up with the laser etching technology that etches the surface of the stainless steel in hexagon shapes to make it naturally nonstick. After seasoning the wok you will get a smooth stick-proof surface, perfect for gliding food while stir frying. Other than that it has a PFOA free, 3 ply super sturdy construction and the wok comes with a lifetime warranty to protect buyers.

Here is a list of our top 5 stainless steel woks which are durable, functional and healthy.

Best Wok

the best stainless steel wok

Hexclad 12" Hybrid wok, 3 ply construction, Gordon Ramsay claims to use it, patented technology of nonstick surface, very sturdy, spacious, handles are comfortable, lifetime warranty

Overall Rating: 4.8/5

📌Material Safety: 5/5

📌Construction: 5/5

📌Added Features: 4.3/5

2nd Best

Cooks Standard 13 inch wok, food-grade stainless steel, PFOA, PTFE, PFAs free, No chemical coating, very reliable brand, best for green kitchen, highly durable, flat bottom, tough built

Overall Rating: 4.2/5

📌Material Safety: 4.5/5

📌Construction: 3.5/5

📌Added features:4.5/5

3rd Best

best stainless steel wok

Willow & Everett wok, aluminum core between two layers of stainless, large, robust 13 inch wok with dome lid & wooden spatula, flat bottom for any gas stove, nonstick surface

Overall Rating: 3.8/5

📌Material Safety: 3.5/5

📌Construction: 3.5/5

📌Added Features: 4/5

Content List

  • Hexclad 12" Hybrid Stainless steel wok
  • Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Wok 13"
  • Willow & Everett 13" Stainless Steel Wok
  • Cuisinart Chef 14" Stainless Steel Wok
  • Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 12-Inch
  • FAQ about stainless steel wok

1. Hexclad 12'' hybrid best stainless steel wok

The Hexaclad 12" hybrid Stir fry Pan is the best stainless steel wok in the market and Gordon Ramsay claims to use this wok daily at home. It has a very wide surface that is super spacious to cook for 3-4 people at once and can be used on any gas range. The 3 ply constructed stainless steel is highly durable with great heat distribution capability.

✔️Overall Safety Rating: 4.8/5

📌Material Safety: 5/5

📌Construction: 5/5

📌Added Features: 4.3/5

the best stainless steel wok
  • 3 ply heavy construction
  • Patented technology of laser etched top
  • 100% PTFE and PFOA free non-toxic nonstick surface 
  • scratch-resistant nonstick surface 
  • can be used on any gas range
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Dishwasher and oven safe
  • long and strong handle
  • does not have a lid
  • a bit on the heavier side
  • High end wok

The patented laser technology that has created hexagon shapes in the surface of the stainless to make it nonstick is the most unique and useful part of this wok.

As stainless steel is not good at heat retention or distribution, an aluminum core is installed in the middle of the 2 ply stainless steel sheets to make the wok perfect at stir frying.

This is a wholesome stainless steel wok with sturdy build, useful features and a life time warranty to protect the buyers. It is also dishwasher safe and oven proof upto 500 degree.

Clearly, this has to be the best stainless steel wok in the market. But I miss a wok lid which is not a must-have but a useful tool.

2. Best Stainless Steel Wok With Lid- Cooks Standard

This is hands down the best stainless steel wok with lid in the market offered by a very responsible brand "Cooks Standard" with great customer service. The reason is its affordability while offering so many features. If you want a good stainless steel wok with a lid, you will not be able to find a better set than the Cook Standard stainless steel wok in the market.

✔️Overall Safety Rating: 4.2/5

📌Material Safety: 4.5/5

📌Construction: 3.5/5

📌Added features: 4.5/5

  • Very durable construction because of the 3 ply
  • Stainless Steel with Aluminium core 
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty 
  • Stainless Steel Dome Lid
  • Airflow Technology-enabled long handle
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven safe up to 500 degrees F 
  • A bit heavy
  • Not a traditional Wok design
  • Not for outdoor cooking
  • Avoid blistering heat wok burners
  • Only suitable for indoor daily stir fry

The wok features a brushed stainless steel exterior that is scratch-resistant and retains the outward appeal of the cookware. It is built with an inner and exterior layer of stainless steel (18-10 premium-grade) and an aluminum core that is best for fast heating as well as consistent and even heat distribution.  

Pure stainless steel-made woks are not great at conducting and evenly distributing heat, that's why this model has a 3-ply design. An aluminum core is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel which offers super-fast and even heating, along with a wide and deep nonstick cooking surface.

The stainless steel is food-safe while the aluminum core is scratch-resistant. Hence it is the best stainless steel wok with safe material built. As there is no chemical coating, it offers an extra layer of safety.

The long stainless steel handle remains cool even after prolonged cooking over the stove. Both the 13-inch and 12-inch stir fry wok come with a tightly fitted dome lid made of stainless steel that is suitable for delicious cooking. The only downside is the lid is not see-through, hence you will not be able to watch the progress of your cooking.

It is suitable for all kinds of stovetops and can withstand the heat of up to 500 degrees F. It comes with a limited warranty and is dishwasher safe.  

3. Willow & Everett 13 inch Stainless Steel Wok

Willow & Everett 13 inch Stir Fry Wok Pan has everything that you need in a stainless steel wok. From the nonstick surface, lightweight body, induction-safe, well-riveted handles, and proper depth to a tightly fitted lid it has everything. Moreover, it comes with a stainless steel spatula. But the best part is its affordability.

This is the best stainless steel wok with a lid if your criteria is affordability. It also has a 3 ply construction like the Cooks Standard and Hexclad. But quality of the stainless steel is not as high as the above brands.

✔️Overall Safety Rating: 3.8/5

📌Material Safety: 3.5/5

📌Construction: 3.5/5

📌Added features: 4/5

best stainless steel wok
  • 3 ply construction
  • Stainless steel bamboo handle spatula
  • stainless steel dome lid
  • 100% chemical-free surface
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven safe up to 500 degrees F 
  • the construction is mediocre
  • lighweight
  • may get scratches

Because of the flat bottom you can use it on any stovetop and is ideal for stir-frying, steaming, deep-frying, boiling, searing, and more. 

The wok has a long ergonomic handle as well as a helper handle on the opposite side for a secure grip while stir-frying. The wok comes with an additional stainless steel dome lid and a stainless steel bamboo handle spatula. You can cook large servings with it over almost any stovetop. 

4. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 14" Stir-Fry Pan

Cuisinart’s Chef’s Classic 14-Inch Stir Fry Pan is one of the top stainless steel woks in the market right now, if not the best.  

The wok is made of stainless steel and the encapsulated aluminum core is what makes the pan highly efficient for high-heat and stir-frying.  

The wok comes induction ready and drip-free with minimal oil requirements due to the aluminum core. You can perfectly retain the flavors, textures, and nutrients of the food you are cooking.

✔️Overall Safety Rating: 3.8/5

📌Material Safety: 3/5

📌Construction: 4/5

📌Added Features: 3.8/5

  • Looks aesthetic 
  • PFOA free non-toxic nonstick surface 
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy food release surface
  • Easy to clean 
  • Dishwasher safe 
  • Glass lid
  • not the best construction
  • not entirely stainless outer
  • aluminum base can loose shine after usage

There are handy measurement markings that make it easy to pour in sauce or liquids while cooking.  

The 14-inch stir fry wok comes with a “Stay-cool” stainless steel riveted handle and an additional helper handle on the opposite side for extra convenience and grip while cooking.  

The wok also comes with a see-through glass lid that makes it ideal for making soups and simmering. It is also oven safe to up to 550 degrees F.   

5. Calphalon Stainless Steel 12-Inch Wok 

The Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Covered Stir Fry Pan is one of the most meticulously designed flat bottom woks in the market and the best stainless steel wok in terms of its features. The pan is made of a heavy-gauge aluminum core that enables even heating throughout its surface.  

This 12-inch fry pan features a stainless steel exterior along with a satin-finished interior inspired by traditional wok designs that make the product extremely reliable when it comes to performance.

✔️Overall Safety Rating: 3.5/5

📌Material Safety: 3.5/5

📌Construction: 3.5/5

📌Added Features: 3.5/5

  • multi-layer premium and durable non stick cooking surface
  • Easy clean up
  • Suitable for various style of cooking
  • non toxic 
  • dishwasher-safe
  • slightly high priced

It comes with a sturdy and long, triple-riveted, brushed stainless handle that makes it suitable for cooking crisp and healthy vegetables and for meat stir-frying. The wok is perfect for steaming and simmering soups because of the added lid.

The Tri-Ply Technology in the wok uses two layers of stainless steel and a core of aluminum that ensures consistent and excellent heat conduction throughout the surface of the pan. Looks and performance are not the only good thing about the pan, but it also comes with a lifetime warranty and is completely oven and broiler safe.  

The Stir Fry Pan comes with a clear tempered glass lid or cover and is very easy to clean. It is also dishwasher safe.  

The Best Stainless Steel Wok Recommended By Wokware

The Hexaclad 12" hybrid Stir fry Pan is the best stainless steel wok in the market and Gordon Ramsay claims to use this wok daily at home. It has a very wide surface that is super spacious to cook for 3-4 people at once and can be used on any gas range. The 3 ply constructed stainless steel is highly durable with great heat distribution capability.

FAQ about Stainless Steel Wok

How to buy the best performing and safe stainless steel wok?

Stainless steel woks and their combination with different metals have gained popularity across the globe, becoming essential kitchenware or tool. Stainless steel woks don’t need to be seasoned and are quite durable. 

The combination of stainless steel and other metals like aluminum core works excellent as a heat conductor and ensures even heat distribution throughout the wok surface. The stainless steel woks are very popular in modern kitchens with induction and electric cooktops. 

Are stainless steel woks good investments? 

The market is full of variants. Not all stainless steel woks are good. If a stainless steel wok is made out of high-quality steel or 304 series of food-grade metal then surely it is a must-have. These types of woks are highly resistant to corrosion. 

These are superiorly polished, and come with scratch resistance and stain resistance formula. The best part is these stainless steel woks are dishwasher safe and hence convenient to clean.  

The multi-element aluminum core stainless steel wok with 3-ply and 5-ply is worth investing in too. The aluminum core of the wok helps in better heat distribution and the stainless steel sheets provide a naturally nonstick surface for easy cooking.

Why do Chefs prefer stainless steel wok?

Stainless steel woks are not just used in domestic kitchens but also in restaurants by chefs for commercial use. Chefs across the globe use stainless steel woks exclusively due to their excellent and even heat distribution. 

These come with a natural nonstick cooking surface which prevents the sticking of food to the surface.

Though these are nonstick, a quick seasoning will do wonders. Professionally chefs prefer to season their wok by oiling the wok and heating it to high temperatures for a few minutes, and it is done. 

Stainless steel woks are suitable for all types of cooking styles like stir-frying, deep-frying, steaming, roasting, etc. 

Is it better to cook with stainless steel wok or nonstick?

The debate of the decade about stainless steel or nonstick is very long since everyone around is debating and defending either of them. But there are a lot more factors that can be considered before making a decision. 

Nonstick cookware is widely used and found to be easy to clean and maintain. It prevents the sticking of food and also requires less oil for cooking when compared with other cookware ranges.

But there is a lot more to learn about it as this convenient cookware has got potential risks and health effects. The most commonly raised issue in nonstick cookware is the use of certain toxic chemicals.

The use of PFOA & PTFE has been phased out of manufacturing by EPA. Still, there are a lot of manufacturers that make use of it. The harmful factor is using the nonstick wok at high temperature exposes you to PFOA or releases other toxic chemicals into the air or food.

Compared to nonstick woks, stainless steel woks are highly durable and non-fragile. The stainless steel used in manufacturing cookware is food-grade metal, and it is resistant to wear and tear. It is also resistant to high heat, which makes it safe for cooking different types of food. 

This food-grade metal is 304 stainless steel. It has less than 0.8 percent carbon and the least amount of iron ranging up to 50 percent. It does not include any other alloys or substances, which makes it an ideal material for cookware.

Clearly, a stainless steel wok is always better than a nonstick wok.

Do stainless steel woks need seasoning? 

Stainless steel wok does come with a nonstick cooking surface, and many manufacturers promote it as completely nonstick, which requires no seasoning. Well, it is not valid in all sense. 

My advice from an experience of a few years would be that seasoning the stainless steel wok can be a good idea for its excellent performance. 

Seasoning of the wok isn’t just required for maintaining the nonstick surface but for improving the wok’s durability and forming a naturally nonstick surface. 

Let’s see how to season stainless steel wok in a few easy steps:

  • Place the wok on high heat on a gas stove
  • Apply oil over the wok surface using a paper towel or oil brush.
  • Now turn down the heat to medium flames. 
  • Let it stay still for 10-15 mins. 
  • Look for the color change on the bottom end of the wok
  • You will see there are no traces of oil visible anymore. 
  • Now remove the wok from the stove and cool it down completely. 

What oil is good for seasoning stainless steel?

Seasoning oil with a wok is the initial step of using it. Like the range of variants in woks and materials, different people have different opinions on the use of oil for seasoning. But it is necessary to use oils with a high smoking point. 

Some of the commonly used oils for seasoning stainless steel woks are soybean oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, etc. 

The oils with higher smoking points react well in the seasoning process. Out of all these, grapeseed oil is preferred more commonly. 

How to take good care of a stainless steel wok?

Cleaning stainless steel wok is an easy process, but it can become more effective with a few more tips. 

  • Using salt and lemon for cleaning wok is the traditional way of taking care of it.
  • Using cream of tartar: If you are a fan of baking and sweets, you will have this in your kitchen. A little amount of cream of tartar paste will make it shine like new. 
  • Warm and soapy water is the most common way of cleaning it. 

How to pick the best performing and safe stainless steel wok?

Choosing the perfect stainless steel wok is not always easy; you must take into account a number of important factors.

Watch out for these things:

The wok's durability

Always get cookware from well-known and reputable manufacturers because this protects the wok's or cookware's endurance. Avoid settling for inferior products and invest in high-quality cookware.

Heat Transfer:

This is crucial because stainless steel distributes heat less evenly than cast iron or carbon steel does. Some popular brands provide multi-element stainless steel woks that are exceptional at heat conduction.

Simple to keep and clean:

The 3-ply or 5-ply stainless steel woks are incredibly glossy and stain- and scratch-resistant. Make sure to purchase a wok made of stainless steel series 304.

wholesome and secure:

Since stainless steel does not react with acidic foods and maintains it safe, it is already regarded as being safer and healthier than other materials. The way cookware reacts with utensils can alter the flavour of food.

Potential Risks of Non-Stick Coated Stainless Steel Woks

Non-stick coated woks are the easiest to use cookware. They need less oil hence we find them healthy. But not all coatings are safe. Non-stick woks that cost below $40 are the ones you must be skeptical about. To eliminate the potentially risky nonstick coating in a wok and find the safest wok to use read on.

Teflon Coatings:

First and foremost you cannot buy Teflon-coated cookware anymore. Above 500 degrees F, the Teflon coatings release toxic fume. And as wok cooking is a high heat affair, we must avoid using a Teflon coated wok.

There are no carcinogenic elements found in Teflon but the fume may create flu-like symptoms according to the American Cancer Society.

Also, PFOA is used in small amounts with Teflon in the Teflon coated woks, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is a part of the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified PFOA as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. 

Nowadays, many wok manufacturers are mentioning on the label that the wok is PFOA free. But not all of them are doing the same, so it is hard to understand which wok is safe or not. Fortunately, I have come across some great brands that offer safe stainless woks.

Impurities in a Stainless Steel Wok

Stainless steel is not a good heat conductor or distributor. And as wok cooking needs even heat distribution manufacturers often add aluminum metal as the base of the stainless steel wok so that it becomes a wholesome tool for wok cooking. Aluminum is good at even heat distribution but it reacts with food.

Few dishonest brands often add aluminum surfaces in woks. These woks are cheap and people tend to buy them. Certainly, this wok in a long term is a very unhealthy affair. That’s why you always need to pick popular and reputable brands while buying a stainless steel wok to be on the safe side.

Are Stainless Steels Woks Non-Stick?

Stainless steel woks offer their own set of benefits. They’re non-reactive, so you can use them to make vinegary or acidic dishes like our Sweet and Pungent Pork, Orange Chicken, or even Chinese Braised Fish.

Is Stainless Steel Wok Safe?

People call it “stainless” because it resists rust and corrosion, making it an excellent cooking material. Because stainless steel distributes heat uniformly over its surface, it’s ideal for griddle cooking and flat baking sheets.

Is Stainless Steel Wok Good For Stir Fry?

Stainless steel cooks evenly and quickly, ideal for quick sears and sautes. Meat and vegetables keep their juiciness and crunch. Cast iron is another excellent option, but it is much heavier, making shaking and tossing the skillet more challenging.

Is Honeycomb Stainless Steel Wok Safe?

Cutting straight in the pans should be avoided. Gouge the nonstick surface as little as possible. Slight abrasions or surface blemishes are expected and will not impede the cookware’s function. Do not allow pans to boil dry after cooking, and do not leave empty pans on a hot burner.

How To Prepare Stainless Steel Wok For Cooking?

Scrub it well with a pot scrubber and a tiny bit of mild dish detergent, being careful to get the whole surface area as clean as possible. Hand-dry the wok and cook it over high heat (but not smoking), then set it aside to cool. Rinse and scrape the wok lightly one more before drying it over the burner.

Stainless Steel Wok For Deep Frying

Stainless steel woks are good for deep frying because of their safety features on high heat. And finding proper deep frying wok made of other material is next to impossible. Also, Willow Everett makes the best deep-frying stainless steel wok.

The 13" Stainless Steel Wok by Willow & Everett blends the traditional shape and idea of a deep wok with premium components and a precise design. The wok is 2 mm thick and made of stainless steel and aluminum. As a result, the wok cooks more quickly and evenly uses less energy and is generally much safer to use.

The wok has a conventional spherical bottom and a sizable cooking surface accommodating various cooking techniques including deep frying. You can use this wok on any cooking surface.

It comes with a wok lid and a bamboo spatula which complete your set. The materials in the set are free of PFOA and PTFE, and the wok pan is scratch-, heat-, and dishwasher-safe.

Author: Preeunka

Editor at Wokware

She is an expert in the niche of kitchenware for 10 years now. She has given readers fact based, well researched, to the point answers of their valuable questions. Her goal is to simplify kitchen products and their utilities.