Carbon Steel Vs Stainless Steel Wok: A Deep Comparison

A Wok is a vessel mainly used for cooking. It is made of high-quality, sturdy material and it has a round-shaped bottom. With its shape and the handles on both sides, wok becomes one of the ideal cookware. The wok is one of the oldest cooking devices found in history and it is originated from China.

Long Handled Wok:

Woks have become part of the kitchen and are used, mainly for frying, steaming, braising and even for deep frying.  The long handles with a round bottom make it useful for the cooking recipes which involves cook to stir-fry. Cooking can be done safely without burning your hands.

Let us discuss and compare Carbon steel and Stainless steel wok:

Carbon Steel Wok

Carbon Steel wok

Carbon steel is one of the pure quality materials which were used by generations. Mainly in Asian countries, most of the cooks made use of hand-made carbon steel wok. The main feature of carbon steel devices is the thicker bottoms that can get extreme heat while cooking.

Keeping the food warm:

The main purpose of the high temperature used during cooking is to stir and fry the food quickly and to keep the food items warm for a longer time even when after cooking is over. The other advantage of the carbon steel wok is to keep the food warm on the inner curved side and it can be added with the main-course and mixed well on medium flame.

The carbon steel surface of the wok with extended usage can get deformed and can develop hotspots. Wok gets imbalanced and it needed to hold with one hand while cooking and stirring.   The carbon steel wok combines hand-forged sheets of carbon steel which looks stronger and remains powerful during everyday usage.


The earlier generations of the people made use of the cast iron skillets which are made of carbon steel. The entire vessel gets heated uniformly without sticking the food.  The carbon steel with cast iron surface was seasoned enough and can remain oily by forming the grease-effect.  The grease-effect makes the wok surface smooth and non-sticky. It is also called the grandmother’s magic.

Stainless Steel Wok

The modern look, clean and shiny feel of the stainless wok gets all attention. The kitchen remained full of stainless steel cookware which makes it look modern. The stainless steel wok is lightweight and made of thin steel material. Unlike, carbon steel material, stainless steel material doesn’t get heated evenly. It gets heated faster when placed on the gas flame but neither it remains hot for longer nor develops hot spots near the center of the wok.

Season the Wok:

Wok made of stainless steel gets heated slowly. It can take 10- 25 minutes to get it seasoned.  The stainless steel wok can be tasted to check if it is ready to cook. You can put a few drops of oil into the steel wok, start heating the oil for a few seconds. Wipe the oil from the wok. Put a few more drops of oil and get it heated and wipe it. When you repeat the process a few times, it helps in getting the stainless steel wok ready for the cooking.

Stainless steel wok doesn’t have an impressive traditional look and practically also, it offers several shortcomings while cooking.  The stainless steel wok doesn’t even conversely propositional to carbon steel wok, which is less expensive but more powerful.


The stainless wok is high standard, remains clean and shiny.  The stainless wok is easy to use and can be easily washed in the dishwater. Most of the stainless steel devices are available in various sizes and designs and have a flat bottom that doesn’t have a traditional look. The cooking style using flat-bottomed wok will be different and cannot be matched with carbon steel devices. The stainless steel remains glossy and doest get rusted at all.