Steel wok

Can Woks go in the oven? (Question Solved)

Woks are now the mainstream of a lot of cooks and chefs in the media. Just take a look at some of the top chefs on youtube and you’ll realize that Woks are all the craze now.

Woks originate from China, but they’ve become so popular that nearly every country’s top chef can use one.

Woks are designed in such a way that it allows heat to spread more evenly. They are also quite versatile. Chefs are using Woks for all sorts of cooking methods including searing, deep-frying, stir-frying, and even steaming.

While it’s true that Woks are often used on top of a burning stove, the real question begs, can Woks go in the oven?

Woks can certainly go in the oven. Most Woks these days are built out of materials that can withstand up to 500°F. 500°F is well into the limits of what a traditional oven can do. Nonetheless, if the Wok is made with wooden, rubber, or plastic components, then an oven may not be a good idea for a Wok.

What is a Wok made of?

There is a common divide between which material is best to use when choosing between Woks of different makes.

The most common types of walks you will find in the market today are:

  • Carbon steel
  • Cast iron
  • Non-stick Teflon
  • Aluminum

There has been a struggle between which Woks are better and the two most popular Woks today are carbon steel and cast iron.

Why is it safe to put a Wok in the oven?

Woks have been so popularized today that you can basically find them everywhere at an Asian grocery store.

This is because they are so well versatile. You can use them to deep fry, steam, and even smoke food.

However, all types of Woks can be made out of different materials, and these different materials can handle different ranges of temperatures.

The question you might be asking is if it’s safe to put a Wok in the oven?

Unfortunately, it depends on the type of Wok that you own. Generally speaking, the metal body of a Wok is usually capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures in the oven, even up to 500°F. However, if the Wok is layered with a nonstick film or the handlebar is not made of a heat-resistant material, then you will not be able to cook with it in the oven. That extra material may burn and potentially cause a fire, or the very least ruin your meal.

The materials you need to watch out for on your Wok are wood, plastic, and rubber. These materials may be used on your handlebar. These materials are not heat-resistant and should not be placed in the oven to cook. Plastic and rubber will either melt and wood will burn.

Wok on fire
Wok on fire

To play it safe, see if you can remove any of these materials. Generally speaking, if you can remove the plastic, rubber, or wooden handle, you’ll see a metal handle underneath.

Set it aside, away from the oven, and you should be able to put your Wok in the oven.

If you can’t remove these things, don’t use your Wok in the oven.

Woks can be made of various materials, but if you find yourself owning either a Wok made of carbon steel or cast iron, then you are generally safe.

These materials are quite durable and are able to withstand extremely high (more than 500°F) temperature levels with ease. If used and maintained properly, there shouldn’t be any damage to the Wok, any fires that may erupt, nor will it release any toxic substances.

I would also recommend for you to buy a Wok from a reputable company. Don’t just find one for cheap, you might regret it in the long run. Cheaper Woks can be built with poorer materials and can even be less durable to heat.

Let’s talk about these materials and more in detail below.

What types of Woks CAN go in the oven?

Below is a table based on the 4 different materials we are going to look over. It lists the specifications of the materials including the durability and melting point.

MateralMelting PointPerks
Carbon Steel1425°C (2597°F)Most popular, durable, strong
Cast Iron1204°C (2200°F)Reduced from iron ore, durable, strong
Stainless Steel1375°C (2500°F)Avoids corrosion, rust, and staining
Ceramic2000°C (3632°F)Non-stick
A table comparing between carbon steel, cast iron, stainless steel, and ceramic Woks

Carbon steel Woks

Unsurprisingly enough, carbon steel is the most common material used in today’s Woks.

Carbon steel is a special type of steel that has a very high concentration of carbon. The use of carbon makes the steel stronger by design.

While it isn’t unbreakable, it is less likely to crack or break under any stress compared to other types of steel.

The fun fact is that carbon steel was used by Japanese bladesmiths to produce blades many centuries ago.

Today, you can see carbon steel in many materials used for intense work like construction tools, cars, and more.

Carbon steel will melt at an incredible 1425°C, which certifies very well as heat-resistant.

Cast Iron Woks

Cast iron Woks are also one of the most durable materials in the world. They are able to withstand incredibly high temperatures and hold it to damage really well.

What’s funny about cast iron, is that it can conduct heat and store it for a much longer period of time than any normal material. Once cast iron is hot, it stays hot, making it a great choice for keeping food warm for long periods of time.

Iron is produced by reducing iron ore on a blast surface. it is made out of an alloy of iron that contains very few carbon chains. Is composed of a variety of metals such as manganese, sulfur, phosphorus, dl, and more.

Cast iron melts at 1204°C (2200°F).

Stainless steel Woks

Stainless steel kitchenware is usually quite durable.

It is considered one of the most hygienic materials available and it does not support the growth of bacteria or other pathogens. It’s also very easy to clean.

One of the biggest things that stands out about this metal is that it is corrosion, rust, and stain-resistant.

Stainless steel begins to melt at 1375°C (2500°F).

Ceramic Woks

Ceramic cookware is a metal pot with a ceramic coating. The ceramic coating is naturally slick so that your food does not stick to the surface.

The coating also helps distribute heat evenly across the surface of the Wok.

This type of material does have some disadvantages. One of them being that heat is usually not held onto as long as the other Woks mentioned. It is also a bit less durable.

Ask for safety concerns, ceramic kitchenware popularity grew once headline news started talking about the toxicity of PFOA-rich Teflon. People begin to lean towards ceramic kitchenware once they heard the news of this.

So the answer is still in the air. But soul gel cookware has stated that ceramic is

“Safe under high heat and even when damaged. The coating applies to ceramic non-stick pans provides a simple, non-toxic solution to chemical coatings.”

Ceramic melts at 2000°C (3632°F).

What types of Woks CANNOT go in the oven?

Non-stick Woks

Non-stick Woks usually have a coating on the outside known as Teflon. It is a very popular material used everywhere and it is easy to clean up.

The issue with Teflon is that compared to all the other materials mentioned, Teflon is not made for extremely high heat. It has a melting point of 620°F, which is at the borderline of the limit recommended to be placed inside an oven.

It is our recommendation that you do not use these nonstick Woks inside your oven. If temperatures were to reach close to this level, then it could be dangerous. Teflon can get into your food.

As stated before, Teflon has been linked with PFOA in causing cancer.

Plastic handle Woks

This should go without saying. Plastic easily melts in high heat. Inside an oven with the temperature drawn up should be more than enough to melt the plastic from the handlebars, or anywhere it might be located on the Wok.

There are a variety of different types of plastic, ultimately they all melt at a certain temperature that is much lower than any of the materials listed above.

Rubber handle Woks

The same issue goes with rubber. It doesn’t take much heat to melt rubber. thus this deems rubber unsafe to place in the oven.

Similar to plastic, rubber easily melts when placed inside a cooking oven.

Wooden handle Woks

Wooden handles may not melt, but they do burn. Avoid smoke and fire, by not placing any Wok with a wooden handle on it.

Like all flames to wood, the wood would end up burning and turning into ashes if left in for long enough.

Final thoughts

It is important that we know what material the Wok is made of. In knowing so, we can make better decisions on if it can be used inside an oven.

The type of material we found best for Woks in the oven is carbon steel and cast iron. While not the only two heat-resistant materials on the list, they are the most physically durable.

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