Are you looking for a good-quality wok that made of the best material? A wok is a kind of cookware that you may have in your kitchen for frying foods. But, when you want to buy a wok, you also need to choose the right one which made of good material. Basically, a wok is made from various materials which are commonly stainless steel, cast iron, and carbon steel. You can choose one of these three kinds of wok because they actually have the same function. Anyway, what is the best wok material? Let us find out the differences between Stainless steel, carbon steel, and cast iron wok.
What are the Differences Between Stainless Steel, Carbon Steel, and Cast Iron?
Stainless steel is a metal alloy that is preferred for making kitchen utensils and cookware because it does not affect the taste of food. The surface of stainless steel equipment that is easy to clean. Minimal maintenance and total recycling of stainless steel equipment also contribute to their popularity. Stainless steel is a universal name for metal alloys, consisting of Chromium and Iron. Often called stainless steel because it is very resistant to stains (rust).
Stainless steel can withstand rust attacks thanks to the interaction of materials mixed with nature. Stainless steel consists of iron, chrome, manganese, silicon, carbon and often nickel and molybdenum in sufficient quantities.
These elements react with oxygen present in water and air to form a very thin and stable layer that contains products from the process of rust/corrosion, namely metal oxides, and hydroxides. Chrome, reacting with oxygen, plays an important role in the formation of this corrosion layer. All stainless steel contains at least 10% chrome.
The existence of this thin layer of corrosion prevents subsequent corrosion processes by acting as a wall that blocks oxygen and water from coming into contact with the metal surface. Only a few atomic layers are sufficient to reduce the speed of the rusting process as slowly as possible because the corrosion layer is formed very tightly. This corrosion layer is thinner than the wavelength of light so it is impossible to see it without the help of modern instruments.
Cast Iron is the next popular material that is used for making different types of cooking utensils. In general Cast Iron is iron which has 2.5% – 4% Carbon content. Therefore Cast Iron whose carbon content is 2.5% – 4% will have low WELDABILITY. Carbon in Cast Iron can be cementite (Fe3C) or commonly referred to as Free Carbon (graphite). It is also important to know the PHOSPHOR and SULPHUR content of this material is very high compared to steel.
Of course, cast iron also offers some benefits when it is used to construct a wok. For instance, cast iron cookware is naturally non-stick. As we know that non-stick cookware is the most favorite choice for many people. But, you also have to think about safety and health. Some non-stick cookware products are not healthy because they contain PFOA and PTFE. Fortunately, Cast Iron comes with natural non-stick which is safe because it has no chemical.
In addition, cast iron is the only cookware material that can fortify food with iron. As we know that our body needs enough iron that you can usually get it from vegetables. Fortunately, you do not need to eat too much iron from vegetables because when you cook food, the food will contain iron using the cast iron wok.
Cast iron also becomes the strongest cookware material on earth and it is nearly indestructible. Even when you use a metal spatula, an iron cast wok will always be good because it improves with age. It is known that the surface will get smoother so it allows the oil to seep into the surface.
Carbon steel is also a type of material that is usually used for making Carbon Steel Wok, Frying Pand and much. it is still made from steel but it is a different type of steel because it has a higher concentration of carbon compared to other steel like stainless steel. As we know that common steel has less carbon, but carbon steel cookware contains up to 2.5% of carbon. Since it is combined with carbon, carbon steel cookware usually has a gray color. It does not look black like cast iron which basically uses more carbon. The advantage of carbon steel used in cookware is that the cookware can be stronger than regular stainless steel. It is almost as strong as cast iron but it is lighter than cast iron. Meanwhile, stainless steel is more lightweight compared to cast iron and carbon steel.
So, What Is The Best Material for Wok Between Those Three Materials?
Well, you can actually find some wok products in the market that are made from those three materials. We cannot say that stainless steel is the best material for wok because cast iron and carbon steel are also quite good for a wok. if you look for durability, then we would recommend you to choose cast iron. But, if you look for lightweight wok, then stainless steel wok is the best choice because it does not contain carbon. Stainless steel also has a better non-stick feature compared to cast iron and carbon steel. In addition, stainless steel also looks so fancy with its silver color while the cast iron only has black color. Maybe, you prefer to choose the carbon steel that belongs to the combination of carbon and steel.
In conclusion, what is the best material for a wok? Those three materials are actually very good for making wok because every material offers its own features. If you do not mind with the weight, then you can choose cast iron. But, if you like traveling, then we would recommend you to choose a stainless steel wok. Carbon steel wok is the best choice if you want a strong wok but it is not too heavy to carry. Overall, it is all your decision to select between those three materials for a wok.