Are Cast Iron Woks Good? (What Material Woks Are Good?)

Image of a good cast iron wok

Woks are used to prepare a lot of delicious dishes like vegetable ramen and dumplings. But the question is, are cast iron woks good?

Yes, cast iron woks are excellent for cooking. They are heavy, but that makes them less prone to breakage or cracks. Cast iron also holds and distributes the heat well compared to other materials. You can cook a variety of dishes using cast iron woks. They also last longer and aren’t too expensive.

Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about cast iron woks.

Is Cast Iron Wok Good for Deep Frying?

If you’re going to use a wok for deep frying, a cast iron wok is the way to go. You can fry everything you want, including spring rolls, dumplings, and even tater tots.

You’ll need to deep fry the food in smaller batches, though.

The best thing about cast iron woks is how effectively they retain heat. Keep in mind, however, that cast iron warms up pretty slowly.

Woks, in general, are preferable to other types of cookware. They don’t need much oil because it collects in the bottom well. They’re also roomy, allowing you to deep fry food without any cramping.

How Do You Deep Fry Using a Cast Iron Wok?

Deep frying food in a cast iron wok is an easy procedure that requires no additional steps. Simply follow these instructions to do it:

  1. Make sure that the wok is seasoned and ready to use.
  2. Fill the wok with enough oil to cover the bottom. Any type of oil will suffice. However, it’s recommended to use canola, vegetable, or avocado oils.
  3. Heat the oil and take a temperature reading.
  4. Add your food to the hot oil when the temperature reaches 375°F. Check to see whether your oil is smoking. If the oil is smoking, it’s burning, which is potentially harmful. So make sure to avoid that.
  5. Allow the dish to cook until it’s done, then serve.

Recommended Further Reading: Why Use Woks Instead Of Frying Pans? | What’s A Wok Ring? | Can Woks Be Used In Ovens? | Can Woks Be Used On Electric Stoves?

Is Cast Iron Wok Good For Stir-Frying?

Cast iron woks are undoubtedly great for deep frying. But, what about stir-frying? They aren’t the best for that purpose, unfortunately.

The problem with cast iron is that the food will most likely stick to the surface. And if it sticks, it’s likely to burn. Not only that but stirring the food may cause it to crumble or break.

While you can use a cast iron wok to stir fry to some extent, thinner woks are more practical and effective. If you’d like to stir fry, you can purchase a carbon steel wok as they work great.

Also, woks with non-stick surfaces are a good option. They have an extremely smooth polymer surface.

As a result, the food doesn’t stick to the pan as quickly. It will allow the food to cook evenly and without a hassle.

What Are The Different Materials Used For Making Woks?

Woks are made of a variety of materials. Each has its own set of advantages. Let’s take a look at the many types of wok materials to choose the right one for you.

Stainless Steel

Many people don’t prefer stainless steel, complaining that it’s hefty and takes a long time to heat up. Stainless steel woks, however, have numerous advantages.

Stainless steel is unreactive. If you’re going to make a pork shoulder with black vinegar, or a similar meal, this wok will be perfect. It goes well with acidic and vinegary cuisine.

One of its other key features is that it will not rust. Stainless steel often contains a percentage of chromium.

This component produces a protective layer when it combines with oxygen. Thanks to this layer, stainless steel is corrosion-resistant.

Cast Iron

Wok made of cast iron

Cast iron is without a doubt one of the finest materials available. It’s long-lasting and affordable. In addition, the wok cooks food evenly and thoroughly since the heat is properly kept and spread.

The seasoning of a cast iron wok lasts for a long time. If you’re cooking acidic food, though, it won’t be wise to use it. The cast iron wok, unlike stainless steel, is reactive. It doesn’t respond well to acidic or vinegary meals.

Another disadvantage is that heating and cooling will take a while.

Overall, it’s a great option. Just make sure you don’t purchase a thin wok.

Woks made of thin cast iron are brittle and prone to breaking. Although the thicker ones are heavier, they’re much more durable.

Carbon Steel

The majority of people prefer carbon steel woks. They quickly heat up and distribute the heat evenly. Not only that, but they’re also safe, long-lasting, and cost-effective.

Furthermore, the majority of carbon steel woks have a non-stick surface. Because the food won’t stick to these surfaces, you’ll be able to use less oil.

One disadvantage is that carbon steel is prone to rust and discoloration. To avoid this, make sure you season your wok. Seasoning your wok correctly prolongs its life.

Another drawback is that most carbon steel woks are not dishwasher safe. The hot water and soap may compromise the top layer.

Hence, it’s always preferable to clean them by hand or adjust your dishwasher’s settings. Allow plenty of time for the woks to dry.

Interesting Further Reading: Will Woks Rust? | Woks Have Teflon? | How Does A Griddle Work? | Can Saucepans Go In The Oven?

Do All Woks Need to Be Seasoned?

Seasoning is essential, regardless of the type of wok you have. Doing so helps the inside surface to develop a slick, non-stick coating.

Seasoning before cooking also helps to avoid rust and corrosion. Woks made of cast iron and carbon steel must be seasoned at all times.

Not only will it help in prolonging your wok’s life, but it will also add a great taste to your meal.

If you want to know how to season your wok, here’s what to do:

  1. Using soap, clean your wok and rinse with water.
  2. To dry out any excess water, heat the wok.
  3. Pour oil in the wok and distribute it evenly over low heat.
  4. Continue spreading and stirring the oil until it thickens.
  5. Remove the oil after 10 minutes. Then, using water and soap, clean the wok once more. Afterward, dry the excess water.
  6. Make sure the wok is free of any oil stains. Remove the stains with a spatula or scraper on low heat.
  7. While the wok is still hot, add water to remove all the stains.
  8. Then, to completely remove the stains, wash the wok with soap and water.
  9. Repeat step three once the wok has dried. Pour in the oil and distribute it again for 10 minutes in the wok.
  10. When the oil reaches boiling temperature, remove the wok from the heat.
  11. To keep the seasoning coating in place, repeat this process each time you use it. Make sure you’ve done two coats of seasoning.

Keep in mind that you must do steps one through five when purchasing a new wok. This is to get rid of the harmful coating that comes with new woks.