Carbon Steel Wok: Good or Bad?

If you love cooking, then there is no doubt that you take your kitchen tools and cookware seriously.

Carbon steel wok is probably one of the cookware with strong following fans. And if you crave for authentic Asian cuisine, then a wok will serve you effectively.

One consideration that you might be thinking about is whether a carbon steel wok is a good or bad investment. Well, let me tell you one thing:

Everything has its ups and downs, and carbon steel wok is not an exception.

According to Cooky Mom, I’ll give you some of the good side and some downside of a carbon steel wok. Then after you weigh all aspects, it would be up to you if a carbon steel wok is a good or bad investment.

First, the Good:

1. Affordable

Well, when you compare carbon steel wok to other materials, it is no doubt that it is much affordable and cheaper. This should help you get a taste of your favorite Asian recipe without breaking the bank.

2. High Temperature Tolerant And Safe Cooking

Unlike other materials, carbon steel wok can withstand high temperatures. While other materials approach a 500-degree temperature, they might begin to emit toxic fumes and break down. Carbon steel wok, on the other hand, can tolerate higher temperatures and does not release any toxic, thus it is safer to use in cooking.

3. Healthier Cooking

Carbon steel wok is naturally non-stick cookware. And one of the greatest benefits of a non-stick cookware is that it significantly reduces the need for butter and unhealthy oils used in order to prevent the sticking of food to the cookware.

The more non-stick the cookware, the less butter or oil needed, thus providing you and your family with a less-oily and healthier meals.

4. Durable

Aside from its affordability, what makes a carbon steel wok a good investment is that it can last for generations to come, that is if proper caring and maintenance are done.

And now, we go to the carbon steel wok pros and cons:

1. Requires Seasoning

When you first get your hands on a carbon steel wok, it will require seasoning to have a proper non-stick surface. You will also need to do it before you cook in order to ensure that it will last for years. Although seasoning is not that difficult to do, it is obviously not as convenient as other cookware which you just toss on your cooktop.

2. Not Dishwasher Safe

Carbon steel wok is not dishwasher safe. The non-stick coating of your carbon steel wok will break down from the hot water and detergents in your dishwasher. Moreover, it requires extra care and maintenance — cleaning every after use and making sure it is dry before storing in order to ensure that it will last.

3. Highly Acidic Foods Should Be Avoided

Another downside of a carbon steel wok is that it does not really go well with highly acidic food. This is because the high amount of acids can break down its natural non-stick seasoning. However, I am not saying that you cannot cook acidic foods in your carbon steel wok. I just meant that if you wish to preserve your carbon steel wok and make it last longer, then you will need to avoid cooking acidic food.