Craft Wok 14″ Hand-Hammered Carbon Steel Wok

In the right hands, a well made wok can be the most versatile and awesome piece of cookware in your collection. On a busy weeknight, nothing beats tossing some oil and a bunch of ingredients you have on hand into a blazing hot wok and stir-frying up a flavorful dinner in a half-hour or less.

If J. Kenji López-Alt can write an entire book dedicated to wok technique, you can bet it’s a style of cooking that should be in your life.

Craft Wok’s 14-inch hand-hammered carbon steel wok is a solid choice for anyone just starting out. With the proper care, this round-bottomed wok will develop a wonderful nonstick patina that will only improve the more you cook with it — which is something you’re bound to do all the time, once you’ve experienced the delicious and lightning-fast results you can get with it.

On one side of the wok is a stout wooden handle for safer handling (although the bit it connects to does get super hot so be careful), plus a steel helper handle on the other side that makes it easier to manipulate the pan and toss ingredients while cooking.

Be aware that some first-time maintenance is required here before you can cook with the wok. This Amazon “review” is an in-depth and well-written treatise on properly preparing the wok for use (he’d probably take me to task if I used the word “seasoning” there) and maintaining it later. Same goes for the review beneath it.

Also, if your kitchen stove isn’t suited for wok cooking — maybe it’s an electric or glasstop one, or a gas stove with paltry flame output — then using the wok on a powerful outdoor burner is a good way to go.

Get the 14-inch Craft Wok…er, wok for $65 on Amazon. They also have a 12-inch version for $60.