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9 Best Woks For Cooking A Protein-Packed Stir Fry

Sizzle up a quick and healthy meal in these non-stick pans

best woks

When it comes to whipping up a high-protein meal that’ll help you hit your macros, the humble wok is an unsung hero.

These bowl-shaped Asian pans get very hot, very fast, meaning you can cook up a sizzling stir fry in minutes, without the need for copious calorie-dense oil. What’s more, the average wok is considerably bigger than a standard frying pan, allowing you to prepare quick and healthy meals for the next few days.

Which Is the Best Wok?

To help you rock the wok, we pushed market-leading models to their limit to find out which ones could handle the heat. These are our nine favourites:

What is the Best Material for a Wok?

Woks come in a range of materials, from carbon steel to aluminium. The choice largely comes down to personal needs and budget. Let’s blitz through your options:

Carbon steel
Pros:
Great heat conductivity, builds up a patina (a non-stick, protective coating that forms on the interior after continued use with oil), imparts a smoky flavour, popular with chefs, durable
Cons:
Hand-wash only, expensive, requires ongoing care

Cast iron
Pros:
Great heat conductivity, builds up a patina, durable
Cons:
Heavy and cumbersome, not resistant to rust

Stainless steel
Pros:
Naturally non-stick, dishwasher-safe, durable
Cons: Expensive, inefficient heat distribution

Aluminium
Pros:
Cooks evenly, affordable, durable
Cons:
Takes longer to heat up

Features to Look out For

Consider the handles. Some woks have a long, ergonomic handle for tossing ingredients (with varying degrees of success, in our case). Others have two smaller handles, one on each side, for easier carrying around your kitchen.

Choose an oven-safe wok for more versatile cooking and a dishwasher-friendly model for faster clean-ups. Check whether it comes with a lid for steaming and consider whether metal utensils will scratch it. Some brands recommend sticking to wooden or silicone tools.

How We Test the Best Woks

To find the best wok, we spent a sweaty few days serving up stir fry after stir fry using 23 of the top woks available right now. We made a meat dish, egg fried rice and a veggie meal, each slathered in a sticky sauce, and noted any sticking or burning.

We gauged how long each wok took to hit its optimum cooking temperature on different types of hob and considered how manoeuvrable it was in use.

The Best Woks to Buy in 2021

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1
Best wok and best aluminium
Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Wok
£165.00

Rightfully crowned top of the woks, Le Creuset delivers style and substance with this non-stick model. It performed flawlessly in every cooking test and neither metal utensils nor the dishwasher damaged it. 

Its deep sides kept our mammoth meal intact and the two handles made it easy to carry from hob to table. It’s oven-safe up to 260C to boot. Bon appetit!

Key specs
Sizes available:
28cm/32cm
Exterior material:
Aluminium
Inside coating:
Non-stick
Handle material:
Stainless-steel
Lid:
No
Dishwasher safe:
Yes
Oven safe:
Yes
Guarantee:
Lifetime
Suitable Heat Sources:
Induction, ceramic, gas and electric

2
Best stainless steel wok
Vivo by Villeroy & Boch Group CW0570 Wok
amazon.co.uk
£24.99

This great-value stainless steel wok is suitable for all types of hob. It boasts a long handle and a looped one, both of which stayed cool during cooking, and its glossy metal finish will look neat on any worktop.  

It felt stable in use and we loved that it retained its good looks after several dishwasher cycles. Our egg fried rice stuck a bit at times, but it scraped away easily with a wooden spoon. 

Key specs
Sizes available:
30cm
Exterior material:
Stainless steel
Inside coating:
Non-stick
Handle material:
Stainless steel
Lid:
Yes
Dishwasher safe:
Yes, but hand washing recommended
Oven safe:
No
Guarantee:
1 year
Suitable heat sources:
Induction, electric, gas, ceramic, halogen and radiant

3
Best for healthy dishes
VonShef 28cm Marble Wok
vonhaus.com
£27.99

One of the main benefits of a wok is the ability to fry foods without using too much oil, creating cleaner meals that are lower in calories. We experienced no sticking or burning whatsoever when rustling up a stir fry, and the post-cooking clean-up proved effortless. 

The only downside was its weighty nature and slightly awkward handle, meaning it might be one to avoid after battering your bis with some heavy curls.

Key specs
Sizes available: 28cm
Exterior material:
Aluminium
Inside coating:
Non-stick
Handle material:
Silicone
Lid:
Yes
Dishwasher safe:
No, hand wash only
Oven safe:
No
Guarantee:
2 years
Suitable heat sources:
Induction, electric, gas, ceramic and halogen

4
Best small wok
Kuhn Rikon Allround Wok Non-Stick
kuhnrikon.co.uk
£69.96

Behold the Mazda MX-5 of the wok world - smaller than its supercar counterparts and a lot of fun to throw around. Its lightweight design made it noticeably easier to toss ingredients, allowing us to unleash our inner Michelin-starred chef in the kitchen - or try to, anyway. 

It heated up in no time, thanks to its narrow base, and the non-stick interior worked perfectly. Just be warned that its shallower sides make it more prone to spilling.

Key specs
Sizes available:
24 and 28cm
Exterior material:
Stainless steel
Inside coating:
Non-stick
Handle material:
Stainless steel
Lid:
No
Dishwasher safe: Yes, but hand washing recommended
Oven safe:
Yes
Guarantee:
2 years
Suitable heat sources:
Induction, electric, gas, ceramic

5
Best value for money
Salter BW07848C Forged Aluminium Metallic Non-Stick Stir Fry Pan
amazon.co.uk
£25.99

Salter has somehow managed to deliver a market-leading wok for under £25. Like a top CrossFitter, it recorded near-perfect scores across the board. 

Its long, sturdy handle felt comfortable and stayed cool during use and there was absolutely no sticking of ingredients while whipping up a stir fry. It’s slightly bottom-heavy and not oven-safe, but its lifetime guarantee speaks to its quality. 

Key specs
Sizes available:
28cm
Exterior material:
Aluminium
Inside coating:
Non-Stick
Handle material:
Steel
Lid: No
Dishwasher safe:
Yes
Oven safe:
No
Guarantee:
Lifetime
Suitable heat sources:
Induction, ceramic, gas, electric, halogen and radiant

6
Best heavy duty wok
Greenpan Barcelona Ceramic Non-Stick Wok
amazon.co.uk
£81.50

This heavy duty wok is so sturdy even World’s Strongest Man winner Eddie Hall - who previously folded a frying pan like a piece of paper on breakfast telly - would be hard pressed to damage it. 

The reinforced non-stick interior emerged completely unscathed after being used with harsh metal tools, and the wok felt well-made in our hands. The hardy craftsmanship does mean it’s rather heavy when tossing ingredients - free forearm workout, anyone? - and there was a bit of burning when cooking on electric and induction hobs. But, these are minor marks against an otherwise impressive performance.

Key specs
Sizes available:
28cm
Exterior material:
Aluminium
Inside coating:
Non-stick ceramic
Handle material:
Stainless Steel
Lid:
No
Dishwasher safe:
Yes, but hand wash recommended
Oven safe:
Yes
Guarantee:
Limited lifetime warranty (protecting against defects in the material and the finishing of the product)
Suitable heat sources:
Induction, electric, gas, ceramic

7
Best for steaming
Progress BW09028EU Scandi Smartstone Non Stick Wok
£29.99

The addition of a lid adds another string to this wok’s bow, meaning you can steam ingredients as well as treading the traditional stir fry path. It's aesthetically on par with Arnie in his prime, with a Nordic-inspired wooden handle, and it’s durable enough to withstand metal utensils. 

Only mince and onions showed any sign of sticking during cooking, but we recommend washing it by hand as it did show significant signs of dishwasher damage.

Key specs
Sizes available:
28cm
Exterior material:
Aluminium
Inside coating: Non-stick
Handle material:
Wood
Lid:
Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Oven safe:
No
Guarantee:
10 years
Suitable heat sources:
Induction, ceramic, gas, electric, halogen and radiant

8
Best budget wok
Wilko Double Handled Wok
£15.00

This Wilko bargain reinforces our belief that a stir fry-worthy wok needn’t break the bank. Its lightweight design and two grippy handles make it easy to move between hob and table, while its deep sides make it well-suited to batch cooking. 

However, cooking at high heat may damage its non-stick coating on the interior, it can’t go in the oven and it started flaking after several dishwasher cycles.

Key specs
Sizes available:
32cm
Exterior material:
Aluminium
Inside coating:
Non-stick
Handle material:
Soft grip plastic
Lid:
Yes
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Oven safe:
No
Guarantee:
10 years
Suitable heat sources: Gas, electric, ceramic, halogen, radiant and hot plate

9
Best eco wok
Prestige Eco 28cm Stirfry Wok
argos.co.uk
£29.99

The environmental benefits of changing your eating habits are well-documented, but your eco efforts don’t have to end with your diet. Prestige claims its woks, pots and pans - all made from recycled aluminium - are part of the ‘friendliest, plant-based non-stick range’ in the world. 

We found this wok a pleasure to cook with and liked that its well-rounded sides kept spills at bay. The handle could have been more comfortable, but that was our only minor gripe.

Key specs
Sizes available:
28cm
Exterior material:
Aluminium
Inside coating:
Non-stick
Handle material:
Plastic coated
Lid:
No
Dishwasher safe:
Yes
Oven safe:
Yes
Guarantee:
5 years
Suitable heat sources:
Induction, ceramic, gas, electric, halogen and radiant

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