Yes, woks are ideal for stir fry. But can you use a wok for deep frying? You certainly can. Woks are known for their versatile nature. You can deep fry in a wok along with steaming, braising, frying, roasting, etc.
Woks come in a lot of materials. Not all of them are suitable as a deep frying pan. Deep frying needs even heating and proper heat retention. And for that cast iron is the ideal material and carbon steel comes next.
However, along with the material, the shape and structure of the wok highly influence the process of deep-frying. I have reviewed the top 7 woks which have the ideal material, shape, structure, and quality for deep frying on high heat.
Top 3 Woks Best and Safe For Deep Frying: 2023
- Is a wok good for deep-frying?
- Top 7 woks best for deep frying
- The best electric wok for deep frying
- The best oil for deep frying in a wok
- Type of wok best for deep frying
- Advantages of using a wok for deep frying
- How to buy the best wok for deep frying?
- Can you deep fry fish in a wok?
- Can you deep fry chicken in a wok?
- Deep fryer vs wok
- Can you deep fry in a nonstick wok?
- can you deep fry in a stainless steel wok?
- Suitable stovetop for deep frying in a wok
- Using wok ring for deep frying
- How to deep fry in a wok
Is a wok good for deep frying?
Apart from a good material that has even heat distribution and retention ability, deep frying needs high-depth cookware. Not all woks come with deep walls. Also, the flat bottom can be an issue. The round bottom of the cookware is very much ideal for concentrating the heat in the center where your food will be and slowly distributing it towards the lip of the cookware.
A wok can be good for deep frying if it is –
- made of cast iron or carbon steel,
- traditionally manufactured,
- has a round bottom and
- high depth.
Techniques like hand-hammering and hand punching are the traditional ways of manufacturing a wok. So, the best wok for deep frying in the market right now is the hand-punched cast iron wok by ZhenSanHuan and the hand-hammered carbon steel wok by YOSUKATA.
Hand punching or hand hammering is done on a single sheet of material. In this case, a cast iron or carbon steel sheet is hand hammered and given the shape of a wok. These authentic woks are traditional in nature and very sturdy. On high heat, these woks will never warp and remain a durable cooking tool for decades. Hence are the best choices for deep frying and more.
Top 7 Woks Meant For Deep-Frying & More
1. Best Cast Iron Wok Ideal for Deep Frying: ZhenSanHuan Handmade
The ZhenSanHuan handmade wok is made using traditional and old casting techniques using cast iron, making it highly durable.
This wok is an entirely traditional and straightforward piece of cookware with no coating & painting. It is wholly made with iron and is safe and healthy to use. This versatile piece of cookware is used for a variety of cooking techniques, including deep-frying, stewing, boiling, stir-frying, etc.
It is ultra-durable and is compatible with other metal, wood, silicone utensils, and in the preparation of all kinds of food. It is thick-bottomed with excellent heat retention and faster distribution. The size is big and suitable for deep-frying large quantities of food.
2. Yosukata Chinese Hammered Round Bottom Pow Wok:
If you are looking for some professionally traditional cookware here, it is.
The pre-seasoned blue carbon steel wok pan is made traditionally by hand-hammering and used by professionals globally. It is usually used in China and Japan for stir-frying and deep-frying.
The round bottom, broader & deeper surface best suit the Asian cooking style. The wok is made with high-quality, heavy-duty material, which makes it durable and long-lasting.
It also comprises an ergonomic wooden handle, which provides a better grip and prevents burns.
Using this pan for traditional cooking will help you discover authentic Asian flavors in your kitchen.
- Leaving the wok dirty after use may increase the chances of rusting. So clean after every use but only after cooling.
- Strong detergents can affect the seasoned coating, so prevent it by cleaning the wok with warm water.
3. Best Small Wok for Deep Frying Kasian House Cast Iron Wok:
The Kasian House’s pre-seasoned cast iron is ready to land the stovetop for cooking right away. This is a perfect small size wok for a small preparing meal. The highly durable cast iron material is healthy and safe to use.
Cast iron is known to be an ideal conductor of heat. It retains heat while cooking and distributes it evenly. The heat distribution and retention properties are significant for stir-fries and deep-frying.
This decent-looking wok comes with a tremendous wooden lid that helps trap the heat and moisture inside and offers a food warming feature for serving warm food.
The wok pan’s flat bottom is compatible with all different types of cooktops like a gas stove, induction, and electric cooktop. It is also well suited for open-source heat like campfires and grills. This is an ideal choice if you have got a small family and wish to cook exceptional stir-fries.
4. Backcountry Iron’s Cast Iron Wok:
This perfectly round-bottomed wok will enhance your cooking experience to an extent. This wok is made out of cast iron for superb heat distribution and retention. It is a pre-seasoned wok for a non-sticky surface.
This wok pan works conveniently on all stove types from gas, induction, electric stove to oven, grill, and open heat source like a campfire.
The premium quality cast iron is excellent with heat retention and distribution, which helps inconsistent cooking.
It is suitable for cooking on high heat, and the best part is you can cook everything, including meat, fried fish, stir-frying, vegetables, casseroles, etc. You can add more flavors to your food in a traditional style using a wok.
- There are chances that your wok might rust, so do not soak it in the water soon after cooking, and use warm water with a gentle detergent.
- Make sure you keep your wok out of the dishwasher to avoid rusting.
5. Homeries Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok:
You might indeed find it resembling the one in your mum’s kitchen. This homeries wok pan is the modernized wok with all traditional qualities. So you can consider it a better version of conventional cast iron wok.
This is the first and most popular choice of authentic Asian chefs. It is popularly used in Asian countries and also found as staple cookware there.
The homeries cast iron wok is pre-seasoned, which reduces your efforts and provides extra convenience in cooking. It is also a rust-proof wok pan, so no need to worry about anything now. The double handles also offer additional support to carry it.
This wok comes with a traditionally designed wooden lid. The wooden lid covers the wok’s entire open surface and traps the moisture, heat, or vapors inside for better simmering, frying, or steaming.
- Like any other, this cast-iron wok is also not dishwasher safe.
- To maintain a seasoned surface, make sure you clean the hot work directly with cold water.
6. Gold Tulip Chinese Wok with Flat Bottom Pow Wok:
There are myths about flat bottom wok being the wrong choice for deep frying. Well, all this is just a piece of misleading information.
Flat bottom woks are widely used in modern kitchens for different cooking styles, including deep-frying, stir-frying, stewing, steaming, and shallow frying.
This flat bottom wok is made with high-quality carbon steel and is pre-seasoned, so no need to stress about seasoning your wok. It comes with a wooden handle that prevents you from hand burns and provides a perfect grip.
- There are chances of rusting if the cleaning process isn’t carried out carefully.
7. Yosukata Carbon Steel Authentic Hand Hammered Wok:
The authentic and traditionally hand-hammered carbon steel wok will surely give you a nostalgic ride to your grandma’s kitchen.
It is one of the most traditional kinds of wok used in Asian kitchens and majorly in China, India, and Japan.
It comes with a straight and solid wooden handle with a perfect grip. This wok is flat bottomed & lightweight, which perfectly disperses heat all over the wok’s cooking surface.
It is entirely hand-made and has a long-lasting life. Traditional cooking styles like stir-frying develop a natural non-stick layer over the surface after frequent uses. This also makes it resistant to rust.
This wok does not have any cons, but eventually, one common fact is it requires pre-seasoning.
The Best electric wok for deep frying
Electric woks are great tools for deep frying. They are very easy to use and clean. I love electric woks more than the traditional ones when I am lazy and just want my food without giving much effort. The best electric wok for deep frying is the Breville hot wok. It has a stainless steel base with Quantanium nonstick surface, which is highly resistant to scratches.
Breville has a very sturdy construction and the perfect shape and depth for deep frying. Stainless steel is not the ideal material for deep frying but with 15 precision heat settings in this wok, you can heat up your stainless steel electric wok for superior deep frying.
The highest temperature it can reach is up to 425 degrees F and Quantanium does include PTFE or Teflon. But don’t worry as when PTFE reaches 500 degrees F, it becomes unsafe. Until then it is very much safe to use as a deep fryer.
The only con of the wok is it is pricey and you can get electric woks at much lower rates. However, quality-wise Breville is in the top position. If you want an electric wok on a budget and can compromise on the quality a bit then go for Oster DiamondForce Electric Wok.
The Best oil for deep frying in wok
The best oil for deep frying in a wok would be the ones with a higher smoking point. Like grapeseed oil, refined sunflower oil, avocado oil, light olive oil, canola oil, etc. The smoking point of oil means the temperature at which it burns and smokes. If you use an oil, that has a low smoking point, as deep frying in a wok needs high heat, soon the oil will burn and induce burnt flavor in your meal.
When the oil is burnt, beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals found in the oil will be destroyed. Harmful free radicals increase in burnt oil.
Hence using oil with a higher smoking point is essential for deep frying in a wok. Usually, the more refined an oil is, the greater the smoker point it has. Because refining an oil reduces the number of impurities in oil, as a result chances of getting burnt decrease. Refined oil also has a neutral taste and odor. Clearly, it will not affect the flavor and smell of deep-fried meals.
I prefer this grapeseed oil, for deep frying in a wok.
Here is a list of oils with their smoking points –
|Walnut oil||320 degrees F (unrefined)|
|Sunflower oil||440 degrees F (refined)|
|Safflower oil||450 degrees F|
|Peanut oil||450 degrees F (Refined)|
|Light olive oil||468 degrees F|
|Grapeseed oil||400 degrees F|
|Flax oil||225 degrees F|
|Extra virgin olive oil||410 degrees F|
|Coconut oil||350 degrees F|
|Canola Oil||400 degrees F (Refined)|
|Butter||350 degrees F|
|Almond oil||430 degrees F|
|Avocado oil||520 degrees F|
The Best type of wok for deep frying
The best type of wok for deep frying has –
- Material – carbon steel or cast iron
- depth – at least 5 inches
- Bottom- round and wide
- Surface- Not nonstick
✔️Material: As carbon steel and cast iron have the best heat distribution and retention ability- they are the most suitable material for deep frying in a wok. Specially cast iron has the highest heat retention which increases the speed of deep frying.
✔️Depth: It is a major factor that you should consider while buying a wok for deep frying. 5 inches is the ideal depth of a wok best suited for deep frying. The cast-iron hand punched wok by ZhenSanHuan has 5.7-inch depth which is supreme for deep frying.
✔️Bottom: Round bottom woks have the ideal structure for concentrating the heat at the center and then distributing it throughout the wok. Flat bottom woks can be used for deep frying but they don’t give good results.
Most chefs prefer round bottom Cantonese style wok for deep frying. The reason being the round bottom woks usually have steep walls that help in concentrating the heat while deep frying inside the wok and the Cantonese handles give more convenience than the long helper handle.
But interestingly enough there are many flat bottom woks that have higher walls which help better at the deep-frying process. So, there is no fixed rule that you have to go with a round bottom wok or a flat bottom wok. Just the wok needs to have enough depth to enhance the deep-frying process. There are other factors to consider too, other than the depth.
✔️Surface: Nonstick surfaces should be avoided for deep frying if you cook regularly. Once in a while, you can use a nonstick wok for deep frying. But over a long period, a nonstick wok might start releasing toxins from the nonstick surface as the layer starts to chip off because of high heat. So, better safe than sorry.
Advantages of Using a Wok for deep frying:
- The wok pan’s unique shape, which is concave bottom with sloping sides and wide-open diameter and shallow depth, is perfect for deep frying.
- Wok offers a broader surface area that holds a large amount of oil, and enough space for food to float is a must for deep frying.
- The wok depth allows convenient use of a skimmer to strain excess oil from the food and recoup food.
How to Pick the Best Wok For Deep-Frying?
- Material Type:
The material of wok is essential when choosing one for deep frying. This is because deep-frying needs to be done at higher temperatures, so it is necessary to select a material that is an excellent conductor of heat and sound at heat retention and distribution.
The most popular materials that offer excellent heat retention and distribution will make your cooking experience more impressive: carbon steel, cast iron, and aluminum. All these material woks are perfect to use for deep frying.
The next important point to consider is the base type when choosing a wok pan for deep-frying. You will find numerous types of wok bases from heavy, low, three-ply to thinner ones.
The science behind the selection of base is that the base is directly in contact with heat or heat source, and it has the ability to retain enough heat to let go cooking process very conveniently.
For deep frying, you must choose a wok with a heavy base. It will provide excellent heat retention, which will help in the management of heat distribution and offer a seamless and uninterrupted frying experience.
- Handle Type:
You might have noticed different types of wok panhandles like the long straight handle, Cantonese handle, the combination of straight handle and a loop handle, etc., but the best handle type for a deep-frying wok is the Cantonese handle.
The loop-shaped handles on opposite ends of the wok offer more convenience while deep frying.
This is deep-frying requires more oil, which makes it heavy, and moreover, we have chosen a heavy-based wok all this together to increase the wok’s weight, which makes it tough to handle with a single long handle.
Thus Cantonese handle is the best possible choice for a deep frying wok.
- Lid or Not:
Always make sure you choose a wok with a lid as the wok is used in various cooking styles, which might need a cover.
Deep frying, moreover, does not require a lid or cover as there isn’t a need for moisture while frying. Still, the top can be used for quickly pre-heating the oil for frying.
Can you deep fry fish in a wok?
You can deep fry anything in a wok as long as the depth of the wok is at least 5 inch and made of cast iron or carbon steel. To deep fry a fish evenly you need a cast iron or carbon steel wok with high depth for proper heat distribution. If you are using a heat source which does not generate very high heat then cast iron made wok will help you in this regard. Cast iron wok holds heat for a very long period, hence when the temperature is not high your fish will get fried evenly.
Avoid stainless steel or aluminum-made woks for deep frying fish at any cost. They are not cut out for this job.
Can you deep fry chicken in a wok?
Deep frying a chicken needs high heat. And a cooking tool that is compatible with high heat. So, yes you can deep fry a chicken in a wok given the wok is 5 inches or more in depth, made of cast iron/carbon steel, and has a wide surface or bottom for the chicken to fry properly. Also, use high heat for deep frying. Because your chicken might turn out soggy and you think the wok is at fault but actually the heat source was not enough.
If you are fulfilling all the conditions then yes a wok is very much ideal for deep frying chicken.
Deep fryer vs Wok
The sole purpose of a deep fryer is to fry food in deep oil. And a wok is ideal for stir fry but can be used for deep-frying, roasting, braising, steaming, etc. This means a deep fryer is a supreme tool for deep frying and for wok it is just an alternative job. You can’t really compare a wok and a deep fryer if deep frying is your parameter. A deep fryer will always win the debate. But if you are looking for a multipurpose cooking tool that can do a lot of things then a wok for deep frying iis the best pick.
Can you deep fry in a nonstick wok?
It is the most frequently asked question, to which the answer is absolutely yes. You can use a nonstick wok for deep frying, but using it for deep-frying regularly might not be a good idea.
The most important reason behind this is nonstick pan is not meant to withstand such high temperatures for a longer time which is needed for deep frying.
Can you deep fry in a stainless steel wok?
Stainless steel is considered the most durable material with high volumetric heat capacity. But as compared to cast iron and carbon steel, it is nothing. However, if a stainless steel wok comes with an aluminum core then the heat distribution ability of the wok increases a lot.
A stainless steel wok with an aluminum core sandwiched inside like the Cooks Standard is highly capable of deep frying. As aluminum is better at heat distribution than stainless steel, a pure stainless steel wok is not ideal for high heat cooking like deep frying.
Maintaining the high temperature consistently is very important in deep frying, which is very well carried out by the aluminum core stainless steel wok.
Suitable Stovetop for Deep Frying in a Wok:
The compatibility of the stovetop depends on the wok material and base. The round bottom wok is most of the time not compatible with the electric or induction stove. The flat bottom wok works well with almost all types of wok pan.
As we know, deep frying requires a high-temperature gas stovetop that will be the ideal choice for deep frying.
Apart from the gas stove electric cooktop can be used for deep frying. The induction base can be used with stainless steel wok; apart from that, the above two stand as an ideal source of heat for deep frying.
Using Wok Ring for Deep Frying:
A wok ring, also known as a wok stand, is used to stabilize the round bottom woks to not slip or move while cooking.
Woks are traditionally and commonly found with a round bottom that fits best on the gas stove or different stovetops. These round bottom woks need some support to stay stable over the stovetop having a flat surface.
Using a wok ring for deep frying is not a good idea and is not recommended. The reason behind avoiding using a wok ring for deep frying is that deep-frying needs direct and high heat. Wok ring will interrupt the natural heat flow and affect the deep-frying process. So avoid using a wok ring for deep frying.
How to deep fry in a wok?
Deep frying isn’t a wok is not a daunting task. Using a wok pan for deep frying is easy and more convenient. Most of the time, woks are considered ideal cookware for deep frying.
Woks prevent splattering of oil due to their high and wide sides. The sloppy sides of the woks allow it more comfortable and convenient. The wide and deep surface area encompasses a fair amount of oil that is required for deep frying.
Directions to use a wok for deep frying:
- Fill oil in the wok at the desired level required for frying.
- Place a deep-frying thermometer in the wok filled with oil.
- Heat the oil onto high flames until the temperature reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now slowly slide your food from the oil side, thus preventing splashing of oil and disturbance of wok.
- Fry till golden brown or required color.
- Remove the food from the oil using a strainer or slotted spoon.
- Put the food on a paper towel to remove excess oil.