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Are Woks Nonstick?

Are Woks Nonstick?

The wok is a revolutionary cooking tool that has helped cooks create delicious foods.

Woks usually require a lot of oil to prevent food, especially starchy foods, from sticking to the pan. But are all woks like this? Are some woks nonstick?

Woks are often not nonstick. If you are looking to buy a nonstick wok, look for one that has “nonstick” on the label or in the description. Nonstick woks might be available in many home department stores and online retailers.

But if you have concerns about cooking with a nonstick coating on high heat, then do not buy a nonstick wok.

Cooking with a wok can be fun. If you are not coordinated with the wok, food pieces may fall out of the pan, but it’s a learning curve with using the wok.

Once you have developed your wok flipping skills, you will mesmerize every guest in your home whenever you cook.

Are Woks Nonstick?

Woks are not nonstick. There are ways to make a wok non-tick, and there are also certain cooking styles that prevent food from sticking to the sides of the wok.

But never assume that you can cook food on a wok without oil, and don’t assume a wok is nonstick.

There are many nonstick woks available for home chefs to purchase. When using a nonstick wok, you can use less oil.

Also, depending on the material used to make the wok, food will stick to certain metals and food will not stick to other metals.

Are Carbon Steel Woks Nonstick?

Carbon steel is one of the highest grade metals, and many high-quality restaurant woks are made of carbon steel. Although carbon steel is not inherently non-tick, the material is close.

Unless you don’t use any oil while cooking, or the fire is way too high and left on for much too long, the chances of your food sticking to the metal of a carbon steel wok is pretty low.

Not only is a carbon steel wok practically nonstick and made of high quality metal, it actually enhances the flavor of the food.

Wok hanging in commercial kitchen

Are Iron Woks Nonstick?

Cast iron woks are one of the most popular types of woks. But unless they have a nonstick label, they are not nonstick. A cast iron wok is not the same as a cast iron pan. Unlike cast iron pan, the metal of a cast iron wok is thin.

Unless specified, an iron wok needs to be seasoned with vegetable oil before you can cook with it. Seasoning the cast iron wok reinforces nonstick coating and prevents the food from sticking to the surface.

What Is a Nonstick Wok Made Of?

One way to make a wok nonstick is to add a nonstick coating, like teflon.

Another way is to season the wok with oil. A carbon steel wok may need tempering before you can cook with it.

However, don’t be surprised if you do not see nonstick woks in restaurants or in the homes of people who love Asian cooking.

A nonstick wok with a nonstick coating is not suitable for frying food. The nonstick coating prevents the food in the wok from frying properly.

Plus, it doesn’t retain or cook seasonings well.

What Is the Best Nonstick Wok?

According to thousands of reviewers, the best non-stick wok is the Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok with Wooden and Steel Helper Handle.

Made of carbon steel, a chef can use metal, plastic, and silicone utensils on the pan and it will not scratch. The wooden handle prevents the heat from rising into the metal handle.

This wok is made in traditional Chinese wok styles, as it has a round bottom. It was made in Guangzhou China. The pan is relatively lightweight as it weighs less than 5 lb.

When washing this wok, do not leave it soaking in water as it will rust. After cleaning, dry it with a towel. According to many reviews, tempering the wok transforms the metal and prepares it for high heat.

It is not a wok that you can cook with directly out of the package. But, with correct tempering and proper care, this wok will enhance the flavors of any dish cooked in it.

Should You Buy a Nonstick Wok?

It’s generally not a good idea to buy a nonstick wok or any pan with nonstick coating.

It would be better for the average person to have a jar of oil and an oil brush. They could use the oil brush to brush oil onto the sides and bottom of the wok.

Should you buy a non-stick wok?

By repeatedly applying small bits of oil to the wok, the food will not stick.

So why is it bad to purchase a nonstick wok? Nonstick coating on woks, pots, and pans are designed with low and medium temperatures in mind.

Although you can use a wok for any type of food and at any temperature, the best way to use a wok is on a high flame.

Teflon, which is one of the most popular nonstick coatings, is safe and effective for most pans and pots.

However, if you plan to use your wok for extremely high heat cooking, then you will not want to buy a teflon wok. Teflon remains perfectly healthy and does not perform chemical leaching up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

However, if the temperature of the metal rises above 500 degrees, the coating will not hold up so well. The integrity of the teflon coating will disintegrate after that point.

A damaged teflon coating will leak teflon chemicals into the food. If this happens once or twice, you may not experience any issues. But repeated exposure to teflon leakage in your food is not good, specifically for pregnant women, as it can hinder fetal development.

Teflon also has a link to cancer development.

Another way to cause teflon leaching into food is to scratch the teflon coating with a metal utensil. When cooking with any nonstick pan, only use rubber, wooden, and plastic spatulas.

Also, use plastic and wooden forks, chopsticks, and spoons. If you own a wok without a nonstick coating, then you can use metal utensils.

It would be better and healthier to save money and buy a higher quality wok like a carbon steel wok. As we’ve mentioned before, the carbon steel metal prevents most foods from sticking to its surface.

You can cook food at extremely high temperatures and it won’t stick.

Conclusion to Woks Being Nonstick

Just like any other pot or pan, a wok does not always come as a nonstick pan. You must look for the words nonstick on the label.

Carbon steel woks are not coated with a nonstick coating, but the material prevents most foods from sticking to the surface.

If you have a teflon-coated wok, do not use metal utensils.

Use wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils instead. The metal could scrape the teflon coating and damage the wok.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.