Do you have one of those old woks with dubious scratch marks in the non-stick coating? Well, not all woks are created equal and some are safer to use than others. Here are our top picks for worry free, non-toxic woks that are PTFE, PFOA, and PFAS free.
Table of Contents
- The best non-toxic woks
- Mammafong Authentic & Traditional 14-Inch Carbon Steel Wok
- Xtrema Versa Wok [Staff Tested]
- Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
- Cooks Standard 12 and 13-Inch Stainless Steel Multi-Ply Wok
- Zwilling Stainless Steel Wok
- De Buyer Carbon Steel Mineral B Wok
- Sustainable wok FAQ
I didn’t grow up cooking with a wok, but after first using one in my twenties, I was a convert. Back then, the only wok I could buy was Teflon-coated and I used mine regularly, even on a gas stove at pretty high heat. Thank goodness there were no birds in my house!
See also: The best non-toxic non-stick pans
These days, you can choose between several excellent Teflon-free woks that won’t off-gas nasty chemicals into your home and risk your family coming down with polymer fume fever or ‘Teflon flu’. Here are our picks for the best non-toxic woks, including those tried and tested by the Leaf Score team.
Best sustainable wok
Best ceramic wok
Best 12-inch carbon steel wok
Best stainless steel wok with lid
Best 5-ply stainless steel wok
Runner up for best carbon steel wok
The best non-toxic woks
Mammafong Authentic & Traditional 14-Inch Carbon Steel Wok
Highlight: Traditionally made, hand-hammered, 16-gauge carbon steel wok with a helper handle and double riveted long wooden handle. Affordable, balanced, durable, and perfect for stir-frying, simmering soups and stews, steaming, braising, and more. Matching wok lid available for steaming!
The Mammafong wok is a 14-inch traditionally made, hammered carbon steel wok with a long wood handle and helper handle. Overall, it measures about 23 inches across and just under 6 inches tall and weighs just under 3.4 lbs. It is made with premium carbon steel sheets that are hand-hammered and double riveted to the handle.
There’s no toxic coatings on this wok, with seasoning doing the work to make it non-stick. The Mammafong wok comes with a protective foundational seasoning, but most chefs strip this down and season the wok themselves. After a few seasonings, this wok will be naturally non-stick and mean you don’t need to use much, if any, oil when cooking.
The Mammafong is a great choice for affordability, performance, and durability. You can get it in a flat or round bottom design, so be sure to choose the flat bottom if you have an electric or induction stovetop.
This wok has thin, steep walls for superior stir-frying. Because it is hand-hammered instead of machine-pressed, the Mammafong wok doesn’t warp on high heat. The 16-gauge carbon steel is also lightweight while being durable.
I love the helper handle on the Mammafong wok (this is sorely missing on the De Buyer wok). The handle helps balance the wok and means it’s easier to use for simmering soups and stews, as well as for steaming, braising, and deep-frying foods. The helper handles also makes it far easier to keep food on the move and then transfer it to plates or serving dishes once cooked.
The double-riveted wooden handle is very securely attached and doesn’t conduct heat, making it much simpler to use than a wok with a metal handle.
The Mammafong Wok also has a matching Wok cover that will work for the 14-inch wok and other 14-inch woks (view on Amazon).
Xtrema Versa Wok [Staff Tested]
Highlights: A pure ceramic wok with steep sloping walls, a very short handle, and a flat base. No metal, PTFE, PFOA, just even heating and perfect stir-frying potential. Made by hand by a sustainably minded company.
Xtrema is one of our top picks for non-toxic cookware and bakeware and makes a fantastic pure ceramic wok. Ideal if you’re not a fan of carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, this traditional very short-handled wok has a good amount of heft but is easy to use and easy to clean – it’s even dishwasher safe!
Totally free of metal, with Xtrema’s proprietary smooth ceramic surface and pure ceramic all the way through, this wok is also free of Teflon type chemicals, meaning no PFOA, PFAS, PTFE, or other chemicals of concern. Xtrema tests every shipment for heavy metals and contaminants and because it doesn’t use glazes like some ceramic cookware brands and contains no metal, there’s far less risk of cadmium or lead exposure anyway. Xtrema cookware is also California Prop 65 compliant and FDA approved.
The Versa Wok is 11 inches across and 6 inches tall. It has a very short (less than 4-inch) handle that is more like a helper handle on long-handled woks. The Versa Wok weighs a whopping 7.7 lbs., which might be a tad heavy for casually tossing around veggies.
The pure ceramic wok retains heat super well but doesn’t heat all that fast. If you preheat it, though, you can quickly cook your veggies and tofu! And it’s great for simmering soups and stews.
Because the Versa Wok is pure ceramic, it’s scratch resistant and durable. It’s also made to be chip-resistant and stain-proof, and it’s a great option for cooking more acidic foods that wouldn’t fare so well in a metal wok.
You can use the Versa Wok on a barbecue grill, over a fire, in the microwave (no metal, remember!) and even in the oven, as well as on a regular stove. It won’t work on induction though, given that there’s no metal in this wok. The Versa Wok is also safe for the freezer and dishwasher, making clean-up a breeze.
Xtrema offers a 40-day trial and a 10-year warranty.
We’ve tested the Xtrema Versa Wok in our home kitchen, and although we love the peace of mind that comes with knowing the product is truly non-toxic, we did find some issues with function and heat distribution. The lack of handles is inconvenient, and it has also been difficult to stir fry larger meals in this wok, which is on the small side. We recommend the Versa wok for singles and small families who like the look of ceramic cookware, and have a truly PFAS, PTFE, and PFOA free product as the top priority.
Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
Highlights: Well-balanced carbon steel wok with helper handle and a round bottom. Hand-hammered and available in 12-inch and 14-inch options. Not pre-seasoned.
The Craft Wok is a traditional hand-hammered wok made of 1.8 mm carbon steel with a wooden with Wooden and steel long handle and a steel helper handle. It is available in a 12-inch and 14-inch diameter and has a round bottom.
The 14-inch wok weighs 4.6 lb. and the 12-inch weighs 3.5 lb., making these woks a tad heavier than the Mammafong woks. In comparison, the 14-inch wok from Craft Wok is more than a pound heavier than the same size Mammafong work. The 12-inch craft wok is also a tad heavier than the 11-inch De Buyer Carbon Steel Wok (3.5 lb. vs. 2.7 lb.).
The Craft Wok isn’t suitable for a flat electric or induction stove thanks to the rounded bottom. The steel helper handle doesn’t get too hot when cooking and is securely riveted and handy for hanging the wok to store.
This wok doesn’t come pre-seasoned, so you’ll need to wash and season it upon arrival before first use.
Cooks Standard 12 and 13-Inch Stainless Steel Multi-Ply Wok
Highlight: Stainless steel wok with aluminum core, available in 12-inch and 13-inch designs with a stainless steel domed lid. Oven safe, dishwasher safe, and suitable for use on gas, electric, and induction stovetops!
The Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Multi-Ply Wok is a fantastic, affordable, durable non-toxic wok free of any PFOA, PTFE, and other chemical coatings. It comprises a brushed stainless steel exterior that is scratch resistant, keeping the wok looking great even if you bang it around quite a bit.
The inner cooking surface and the exterior are 18-10 premium grade stainless steel and the core is aluminum, which makes for consistent, even heat distribution and fast heating. This is exactly what you need in a wok intended for quick stir-frying.
Pure stainless steel woks aren’t great for conducting heat evenly, so always look for one with an aluminum core.
This wok has a solid stainless steel long handle riveted to the body of the wok and an airflow design to help it stay cool as you cook. And because the whole thing is made of metal, with no coatings, it is oven safe up to 500 Fahrenheit and dishwasher safe for easy clean-up. The flat bottom also means you can use this wok on electric and induction stovetops as well as gas.
Both the 12-inch and 13-inch woks come with a tight-fitting domed lid made of stainless steel.
The Cooks Standard wok comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is made by a well-respected, long-established brand with good customer support.
Zwilling Stainless Steel Wok
Highlights: Impressive 5-ply stainless steel wok with a long handle, no rivets, and well-fitting lid. Oven safe to 500 F (without lid), induction compatible and dishwasher safe. Also very affordable!
Zwilling’s pure stainless steel long-handle wok has a 5-ply design with layers of aluminum fully encased in 18/10 stainless steel for rust-resistance. The result is fast, even heating, superb handling, and easy cleaning.
The hygienic, rivet-free, welded design is safe for metal utensils and the dishwasher.
This wok is also oven-safe to 500 F (without the lid) and compatible with all stovetops, including induction.
The wok measures almost 12-inches in diameter (at the top), just shy of 4 inches high without the lid, and a little over 6 inches high with the lid. It has a tempered glass lid that makes it easy to monitor food and keep steam and heat in, though this does mean the lid isn’t oven-safe (unlike the Cooks Standard wok above.
The Zwilling wok has a dripless rim that makes it easy to pour out sauces with less mess. And the overall design features thin, steep, curved sides and a thick, flat bottom ideal for steaming and stir-frying.
De Buyer Carbon Steel Mineral B Wok
Highlights: Flat bottom carbon steel wok from a great company. Will work on induction and electric stovetops, but no helper handle or lid.
De Buyer’s Carbon Steel Wok is a work of art, made by artisans in France at a factory that’s been running since 1830. This 11-inch Mineral B Wok retains heat incredibly well, making it a great choice for stir-fries, fried rice, chow mein, and for deep frying.
The wok is lighter than cast iron and ceramic and comprises 99% iron and 1% carbon, with an epoxy coated steel handle that is riveted to the body. The 2 mm thick carbon steel conducts heat better than stainless steel, is naturally non-stick once seasoned, and doesn’t leach chemicals into food or destroy the flavor of food. Instead, flavors get better and better the more you use the wok!
The wok arrives with a beeswax coating for protection. You’ll need to clean this off and then season the pan yourself. Over time, a properly seasoned carbon steel wok will look more black than gray. As with any seasoned pan, this wok needs to be washed without harsh soaps or scourers.
The wok has a 3.5-inch base and measures 20 inches overall, including the 9-inch handle. It weighs just 2.7 lbs., which is 5 lbs. less than the Xtrema Versa Wok! It’s a bit thicker than the Mammafong and Craft Wok options though, and weighs more relatively.
Because it has a flat bottom, you can use this wok on gas, induction, and electric stoves and can even pop it in the oven for up to 10 minutes at 400 Fahrenheit, making it easy to keep food warm as needed. The wok isn’t dishwasher safe or microwave safe though.
While the De Buyer wok is a beautiful piece of cookware, some users find its sides too steep, meaning you have to really toss the food around to keep it from pooling at the bottom and getting mushy instead of browning. This is definitely a better fit for an active cook who likes to keep everything moving. To double down on that, some users report it being a bit unbalanced on flat surfaces, requiring a more hands-on approach than with more balanced short-handle woks or woks with a helper handle.
De Buyer offers free ground shipping on U.S. orders over $99 and usually ships within 24 hours.
Sustainable wok FAQ
A non-toxic wok is one made without Teflon or similar coatings that can off-gas toxic fumes. This means a wok free of PFOA, PTFE, and PFAS, and free of heavy metals like cadmium and lead. A non-toxic wok will usually be made of a single material or an amalgam of two materials that are not reactive with each other. Ideally, a non-toxic wok would have no chemical coatings and instead be naturally non-stick or able to be seasoned with oil.
Yes! But that’s not necessarily a problem if you’re using a wok for traditional stir-fries or other fast cooking methods. As long as you quickly transfer food to the plate or serving dish after cooking, a carbon steel or stainless steel wok is actually a great choice! Hard anodized aluminum is also a good choice for a non-toxic wok. If you’re still concerned about reactivity with acidic foods like tomato, or you plan to use your wok for longer cooking periods, a ceramic wok like the Xtrema Versa Wok is a better choice.
Carbon steel woks are mostly made of iron, with just 1% of the wok made of carbon. The amount of carbon makes a big difference to the strength and durability of the wok. Premium carbon steel contains something in the region of 1% carbon, up to 1.5% in some cases. If a carbon steel wok has less than 0.6% carbon, or the manufacturer doesn’t list the carbon content, look elsewhere as this wok probably isn’t a good investment.
Stainless steel is a good choice for a wok because most wok cooking happens fast, meaning little time for the metal to release any nickel or chromium. If you’re sensitive to nickel, a ceramic or carbon steel wok may be a better idea, especially if you plan to cook acidic foods in your wok. For everyone else, good choices include stainless steel woks made with a 304 surgical grade stainless steel, or 18/8, or 18/10 stainless steel where the risk of releasing nickel or chromium is tiny.
Aluminum is highly reactive to acidic foods and would both leach aluminum into food and ruin its taste. The good news is that quality aluminum woks and other aluminum cookware is made with hard anodized aluminum. This kind of aluminum is created using an electrochemical process that seals the metal to make the surface safe and non-reactive. It also makes the surface resistant to corrosion and increases the durability of the cookware. And because aluminum conducts heat really well, it’s a great choice for stir-frying, where even heat distribution is key.
Not really. Pure stainless steel isn’t great for conducting heat, meaning uneven heat distribution and slower responsiveness during cooking. That’s why better quality woks made with stainless steel have a 3-ply design that comprises a cooking surface and exterior made of stainless steel and an inner core of aluminum to support fast heating and even heat distribution.
The general idea when cooking with a wok is to go for high heat and short cooking times. This means you’ll need a cooking oil with a high smoke point. Good options include grapeseed oil and avocado oil. These are also good choices for seasoning a wok.