Nonstick Wok Vs Carbon Steel Wok: Which Is Better?

Last Updated on May 19, 2023 by River Tree Farms

Wok form part of the essential cooking tools in kitchens, especially in the Chinese community. A wok is excellent for different dishes, deep-frying, boiling, and even steaming.

You have to choose the best work material for your kitchen for incredible service and duration. You might be wondering which wok material is best for the kitchen. I have some essential factors to share for you to choose the right wok sensibly.

Nonstick wok and carbon steel wok has similar functions but is slightly different. Like any other object, you must consider some factors before acquiring them.

The Main differences between Nonstick Wok and Carbon Steel Wok

FeaturesNonstick WokCarbon Steel Wok
MaterialNonstick coatingCarbon Steel
DurabilityLess durableMore durable
Heat ConductivityGoodExcellent
PriceMore expensiveLess expensive
Cooking TimeFasterSlower
Food ReleaseEasyRequires seasoning
MaintenanceEasyRequires regular maintenance
ColorUsually black or grayNatural steel color
CompatibilityNot compatible with metal utensilsCompatible with metal utensils
Recommended UsesStir-frying, sautéing, and pan-fryingStir-frying, deep-frying, and braising
AvailabilityWidely availableLess available

Nonstick Wok Vs Carbon Steel Wok: Which Is Better?

Nonstick Wok Vs Carbon Steel Wok

Both nonstick and carbon steel wok are suitable for kitchen use, but one is for high heat temperatures, and the other is for low heat temperatures. You are here to learn deeply about these two wok materials.

Some people prefer non-stick woks for certain foods like buns, eggs, and cakes. And others prefer carbon steel wok for high-heat food and durability. Each tool has its advantages and disadvantages too.

1. Non-Stick Wok:

Non Stick Wok

Nonstick Wok Overview And Features:

The nonstick wok is common and found nearly in every store. It is affordable and easy to use. Also, the nonstick wok is available in many sizes, and you can choose your size.

Cooking using a nonstick wok is cheaper since it’s oil-free and also can burn food easily because of its slippery service. Ideal for cooking cakes.

A non-stick wok is suitable for frying, heating, and braising foods that require moderate or low heat. Here are some of the pros and cons of the non-stick wok.

Pros of Non-Stick Wok:

1. Easy to Maitain

A non-stick wok is easy to clean and maintain. Within a short period, you are done cleaning it.

2. Easy to Remove Burnt Food

Removing food from a slippery surface is quick and easy. The food stuck on the non-stick wok can be cleaned easily before the floor is oiled.

3. No Seasoning

Non-stick wok does not require seasoning, so it can be exposed to moisture and will get rust, unlike carbon steel wok.

4. Oil-Free Cooking

If you’re a low-fat diet person and usually worry about your fat intake, a non-stick wok is good for your health since it’s oil-free and safe to cook your food.

Cons of Non-Stick Wok:

Non-stick woks are good for good but also have their limitations. Various factors single them out on different cooking occasions. Here are some of the things to know about non-stick woks.

1. High Heat Irresistible

Despite non-stick woks for good dishes, sadly, it does not embrace high heat temperatures, and you cannot use it for cooking dishes that want high heat temperatures. Extreme high temperatures will destroy the nonstick wok.

2. Delicate

When washing non-stick woks, it is advisable to use a soft nylon cloth and some soap. Using steel wool can scrab off the slippery surface and makes it wear and tear quickly.

3. Not Dishwasher Friendly

No matter how often the manufacturer indicates that a non-stick wok is dishwasher friendly, ignore it and use your hands to wash it with mild soap, nylon cloth, and water. The dishwasher can damage the non-stick wok with chemicals used and constant hot temperatures.

2. Carbon Steel Wok:

Carbon Steel Wok

Carbon Steel Wok Overview And Features

Carbon steel is a good material, durable and light weighing making it easy to cook quickly. Its high heat resistance and toxicity-free make it more popular than a nonstick wok.

When using carbon steel, you can cook all kinds of food, requiring low or extremely high temperatures.

Carbon steel wok is the most popular in most homes and restaurants. It is pretty inexpensive and very durable compared to a non-stick wok.

Pros of Carbon Steel Wok:

Here are the reasons that make you choose carbon steel over non-stick woks.

1. Durable

It is made of durable material that enhances longevity. Carbon steel wok also is light and easily liftable, making cooking easy.

2. Heat Quicker Than Non-Stick Wok

Carbon steel takes the shortest time to heat compared to non-stick woks, making it more widespread. Your food will heat and cook faster.

3. Easy to Clean

Like a non-stick wok, carbon still is easy to clean, and you need a small soap and a soft sponge to scrub with.

4. High Heat Resistant

A carbon steel wok is designed for high temperatures, so food that requires high temperatures is cooked successfully. Extremely high temperatures cannot destroy carbon steel wok compared to non-stick work.

5. Toxic-Free Material

Carbon steels are made of iron and carbon, and both are health-friendly.

Cons of Carbon Steel Wok:

Carbon steel wok can be the most popular in Chinese restaurants and homes, but it also comes with its drawbacks.

1. Continuous seasoning

Unline non-stick wok; carbon still has to be seasoned from time to time to avoid sticking at all times.

2. Corrosion

Carbon steel is durable but not rust-resistant. When exposed to moisture, it will start to erode, so it’s important to dry it up after every cleaning.

3. Not Suitable for Acidic Recipes

Carbon is a reactive metal, and when you cook acidic food, it will cause to react and thus changes your food taste.

Which Could Be The Final Choice: Nonstick Wok Vs Carbon Steel Wok?

We recommend carbon steel wok over nonstick wok mainly because of its high resistant energy to extremely high temperatures.

Non-stick is designed primarily for up to 500 degrees F, and most of the food cooked in a wok requires temperatures of more than 500 degrees.

Is Non-stick Wok Better Than Carbon Steel Wok?

A non-stick wok is easy to clean and maintain and also health friendly in terms of oil usage. However, a non-stick wok is set up for cooking foods that only require low temperatures of up to around 500 degrees F.

And this is why carbon steel wok is preferred because of its high heat resistance, which cannot be achieved by non-stick wok.

Which Material Is Better For Wok?

A carbon still material is better for wok because of its durability, high heat resistance, and its ability to heat up quickly when cooking. We recommend carbon steel wok against non-stick wok.


Both nonstick work and carbon steel are suitable for cooking, and both have their own pros and cons. If your interest is met, choose according to your taste and enjoy the cuisines.

If you are doing food business or using in any restaurant, you should choose carbon steel for its fastness and quick heating factor. Either way, all decisions are on you; choose within your budget and taste.

You can read more posts about woks:

Cast Iron Vs Carbon Steel Wok: Main Differences And Features

Cantonese Wok Vs Mandarin Wok: Similarities And Differences

Flat Bottom Vs Round Bottom Wok: Which Is The Best?