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Does A Wok Need A Lid?

Does A Wok Need A Lid?

Watching as chunks of egg, carrot, onion, shrimp, and grains of rice fly and dance in a wok is a beautiful sight to see. The wok is one of the best cooking tools any chef in any country can have in their kitchen.

And now more and more people are choosing to buy woks with lids! But does a wok need a lid?

If it does, how should you incorporate a lid when cooking with the wok?

Woks don’t need lids. Although they rarely come with a lid, you can buy separate lids for your wok. Using a wok with a lid takes a bit of skill and practice, but doing so can assist any chef to create more versatile dishes.

The lid needs to cover the entire wok. Purchase the right size lid for your wok. Woks come in several sizes.

Originating in China, a wok is versatile and can handle hot temperature, chefs of 25 years find new and inventive ways to use a wok.

Does A Wok Need A Lid?

The sight of a trained chef whisking food around in a wok can be mesmerizing. There’s nothing else out there like a wok. European and North American cooking utensils don’t have a wok equivalent.

We have griddles and Hispanic cultures have the comal, but the wok is truly the king of many Asian cuisines.

So would a wok even need a lid? What lids are available to buy?

Although few places sell woks and lids as a set, there are wok lids that you can purchase separately.

In most cases, cooking pan and utensil companies do not make wok lids out of glass like a regular frying pan. Most wok lids are made of wood, as well as steel and aluminum.

Wooden wok lids are preferred because the chef can lift the lid without needing to wear gloves. Wood is not a good conductor of heat. 

The chef cooking with the wok will lift the lid with their bare hand and not get burned. Also, the chef won’t have to track down an oven mit when they need to use the lid.

Common Wok Sizes

A wok lid does not sit on top of the rim of the wok like a lid for a frying pan. It will sit in the middle of the wok.

Woks come in several sizes. So wok lids usually come in corresponding sizes. Depending on where the woks will be used, it can be as small as a 8-in wok or as large as a 25-in wok. 10 in woks are usually for two people that live together. 25-in woks are used in restaurants.

  • 8in woks – 2 servings
  • 10in woks – 2 to 3 servings
  • 12-14in woks – 4 to 5 servings
  • 16in woks – 8 servings

Most woks are 12-14 inches, which is perfect to feed a family of 4 to 6. Woks lids are usually 14 inches across.

Lids for different Wok sizes

How to Wash a Wok Lid?

Washing the lid of a wok is easy. It’s the actual wok that takes some serious know-how to get clean. Here is what you need to do to clean a wok:

If your wok is made of wood, do not soak it in water. When you are done using the lid, set it aside on a dry surface until you are ready to wash it.

When you can wash the wok lid, dunk it several times in hot water and soap.

Use a scrub brush or a bristle pad to scrub any excess food particles and oils off of the surface. If you allow the wooden lid to sit in the water for too long, it can ruin the wood.

It will not ruin the wood for the first time it soaks, but repeated soakings will warp the wood.

Do not use a scraper to remove food pieces. You can chip the wood.

When the lid is clean, dry it with a clean cloth and put it away.

If the wok lid is aluminum or nonstick steel, place the lid in the sink, douse it with water and then pour soapy water around the lid.

Let the aluminum or steel wok lid soak in the sink water for a couple of minutes. Then use a sponge to clean the lid.

When you are done cleaning the lid, either leave it in the dish rack to dry or you can dry it yourself with a towel.

Conclusion to Woks Needing Lids

Woks come in different sizes, so buy the wok lid that corresponds to the size of the wok you have at home. Wok lids are usually made of wood, but they can be made of aluminum and steel.

Do not let a wooden wok lid sit in water. Only a steel or aluminum wok lid can soak in water.

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.