How to Use a Wok

For quick, healthy cooking, a wok is an essential cooking tool. A good wok can perform many varieties of cooking methods including steaming, deep frying, braising, smoking, roasting and stir frying. At Crate and Barrel, you are sure to find a style that suits your needs from our carefully curated collection.

A wok is a deep rounded vessel used to quickly cook foods with high heat. Developed centuries ago in China, the cooking style spread throughout East and Southeast Asia. In the 1950s, this style of cooking began to appear in the U.S.A., and today, there is no better way for creating a healthy stir fry or simple dish of satisfying Chinese food.


Woks come in many styles, from the traditional round bottom designed for use with a ring over a gas flame, to the more practical, Westernized flat-bottom wok adapted to work on electric, ceramic and induction cooktops depending on the material it is made from. A flat-bottom wok provides stability and direct contact with the heating element to get the pan hot. These cookware pieces also typically have a helper handle on the opposite side of the main handle, making them easier to move about.


The traditional material for a wok is carbon steel that heats up and cools down quickly and does not retain heat. This makes it easy for preparing more delicate foods like shrimp and seafood. A carbon steel wok must be properly seasoned to prevent it from rusting. Seasoning is simply a matter of heating it at high temperatures until the metal turns a blackish blue. A well seasoned wok that is properly maintained will not rust and be virtually non-stick. Pre-seasoned cast iron, hard anodized aluminum and ply-construction are now also used.


Nonstick woks help cut down on the amount of oil and fat needed to cook and make cleanup easy. Our nonstick woks feature special surfaces engineered to withstand the higher heat necessary for cooking. They are a great choice for anyone looking for ease and convenience. We also have woks that use the latest ceramic nonstick technology as an alternative to traditional nonstick. They are perfect for anyone wanting a wok that does not use PTFE in its nonstick coating.

Wok Sets

Wok sets are a great gift to give couples starting a life together or anyone excited by the thought of Asian cooking. Sets may include the traditional ladle, spatula and cooking chopsticks along with a deep-frying drainage rack. They also come with a lid for steaming and covered cooking.

We have woks from some of the top brands in cookware, including All-Clad, Cuisinart, Calphalon and Lodge. We also have styles designed by chef Joyce Chen, who is credited with introducing authentic Chinese cooking to the American home kitchen in the '50s.

Shop our collection of carbon, cast iron and steel woks to find the style that best suits your needs.

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