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Old 06-08-2007, 09:06 PM   #1
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Stainless Steel vs. Carbon Steel wok

Hey, all you stir-fryers out there. I would appreciate your thoughts/experience on the pros/con of cooking in a stainless steel wok vs. a carbon steel wok.

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Old 06-08-2007, 09:10 PM   #2
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Carbon steel is the traditional wok material. It has to be seasoned and treated like cast iron and is the best material for a wok, IMO.

SS without an aluminum or copper sandwich does a poor job of distributing heat evenly, causing hot spots that can burn foods.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:25 PM   #3
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Carbon steel wok will give you the best service. It takes a bit of seasoning and care, but the result will be GREAT. Cheaper
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:11 PM   #4
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Depends on what you're after.

Carbon steel is clearly the superior wok material, but it's such a pain in the rear end to take care of.

Stainless steel won't give you the depth of flavor and richness that carbon steel will, but it's a breeze to deal with.
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:44 PM   #5
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I agree with everyone else. Although carbon steel is more at risk of rusting and involves higher maintenance, it provides much better heat distribution and is very durable.

I would suggest that if your looking to buy, make sure it's good quality steel and check for approval from associations like NSF. Most cookware is fine, but poor quality steel can release minerals like iron and nickel which can cause health effects over the long term.
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:59 PM   #6
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Just another vote for a carbon steel wok...So order one out today and...

Enjoy!
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:29 PM   #7
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I could spend all night talking about this - but I don't have the time. A "wok" is made of carbon/high-carbon steel and has a round (not flat) bottom. Yes, it has to be treated like it's cousin, cast iron, to season it. It's not that big of a problem ... and once properly seasoned it's a joy to use.

It's kind of like children ... they are a lot more fun once the potty training is over - but they are worth all the diaper changes it took to get them there.
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:37 PM   #8
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never used anything other than carbon steel then again in the chinese and thai restaurants i've worked stainless steel gets laughed at lol
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:16 PM   #9
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Own both, and it is the carbon steel I favor for the reasons stated.
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:28 PM   #10
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I own a carbon steel wok, and as stated above, I think it's the best type.

However, thinking about it more, I wonder. If I have an All-Clad wok that is made of tri-ply just like my A-C skillets, it certainly should perform as well as my skillets, which are terrific. That being the case, it should be effective doing stir-frys as well.

As a matter of fact, I sometimes use the skillets as I use the wok, moving the skillet and the spatula in opposing motions to stir the skillet contents effectively.

In home use, on a residential stove, I don't see that there would be significant differences.

You should be able to prepare a wok dish in a SS wok that would be identical in taste and texture to the same dish prepared in a CS wok.
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