Steel woks have fairly recently become one of the most popular types of wok for both professional and home chefs alike. In fact, they are the most common alternative to the more traditional cast iron woks, and they have many distinct advantages that have recently begun to foment a rise in their popularity. First and foremost for professional chefs or anyone who spends a lot of time stir frying and flipping the food in the wok, the steel woks are noticeably lighter than their cast iron counter parts. This makes even large woks easier to handle for smaller chefs and generally reduces any strain from using a wok.
Steel woks also take much less time to bring to heat than other woks which is a plus for busy restaurants that may be cooking many different dishes at different temperatures or for residential chefs who would simply enjoy taking a few less minutes to cook dinner each night. However, because steel woks tend to be lighter than other woks, they can also be a bit less durable, so if you’re planning on using your wok in a potentially harsher environment, you should consider hand-hammered or double-layer steel woks. These woks are thicker, and much more durable than single-layer, stamped steel woks and will better withstand the rigors of professional kitchens.