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Stir Fry Pan vs Wok – Which is Better?

A fried noodle is one of the most demanded dishes when it comes to Chinese foods. If you are going to make this tasty meal when you need a fresh change in the usual recipes, you will come across the question of stir fry pan vs wok. Let’s check the fact from here on.

Let’s see what these kitchen vessels are separately before moving on to the comparison

What is a Fry Pan?

The skillet or fry pan is kitchenware with a shallow, flat, round bottom. The depth is usually not too much, and there are many sizes. You can find fry pans with diameters ranging from 20 cm to 30 cm. The pan comes with a longer handle and sometimes presents a supporting side handle in larger pans. Aluminum, copper, iron, stainless steel, and ceramic are some options for fry pans that are available for purchase. Some fry pans come with non-stick inner surfaces.

What is a Wok?

A wok is a utensil derived from Asia and the name originated from a Chinese term that has the meaning “cooking pot.” Woks comes with a round-shaped bottom. And this is deeper than a fry pan. Usually, 14 inches deep woks are considered the best for the purpose and can be used to cook a dish that serves around 8 people at once. Woks are manufactured with a long handle, and some do not possess it. Carbon steel woks are the common type at present, and cast iron-made woks also have a popular demand. 

Stir Fry Pan vs Wok

Now let’s compare and contrast these two vessels. Mainly, they bear differences in purpose-wise and appearance. As per the knowledge so far, we know the main differences in appearance and materials. The depth is the main distinguishable difference. Other than that, stir fry pans comes in a wide variety of materials, and woks are common in carbon steel. 

  • What is the Best Pot for Stir-Frying? 

A wok is specially designed for stir-frying sessions. The deep walls of carbon steel provide constant heat to the cooking items in every direction. The round shape of the wok is a plus point when you need to toss the foods for mixing, and it provides a quick heat. The spacious woks are suitable for cooking dinner for many people at once. Therefore, it is commonly used in restaurants. You do not need to be worried about cleaning as it is not made of non-stick material if you cook using the right techniques. 

It is considered that the food cooked in a wok is more delicious than when they are cooked in a typical frying pan. Enough surface you get to mix the things and the evenly distributed heat are the main secrets here. There is less probability of overcooking as it is designed for a fast cook. The only thing you need to be careful of is the cooking time.

It will take 1-7 minutes to cook vegetables, according to the portion size. If you need to prepare a chicken dish, your wok will do the work within 4-7 minutes. However, Preheating is a must when you use a wok if you need constant heat in every inch. You should allow the pan to heat for about 5 minutes. The ideal time will be denoted by the steam rising from the wok. A stir fry pan cannot spread constant heat and bulk cooking. Therefore, a wok is the best if you need to stir fry in a recipe. 

  • How to Season Fry Pan Vs Wok?

Seasoning is something important when we use kitchen vessels. And fry pan and wok require the seasoning differently. Therefore, it is essential to talk about how to do those procedures preciously.

How to Season a Wok? 

Woks need to be seasoned before you use them for your cooking sessions. For this, you will need some cooking oil of any type and an oven. 

You must apply the oil evenly everywhere on the surface and place it inside the oven. The oven should be preheated. Let it be there for about an hour, and take it out carefully. Make sure you wear kitchen gloves. Then you must wait until it cools entirely to be used in cooking. 

How to Season a Stir Fry Pan?

Seasoning stir fry pans can be a great help for the durability of your utensils. Follow the simple steps we have described below. Before starting the process, ensure that you have enough ventilation in the area you do this.

  1. First, clean the inner and outer surfaces using hot water and a liquid soap mixture. Gently rub the inner surface if it is made of non-stick material. 
  2. Then you must wait until it is completely dry.
  3. Next, you can apply desired cooking oil inside the pan and keep it on the stove. If you use a non-stick fry pan, limit the time on the heat to about 2-3 minutes. Remember that extreme heat can remove the non-stick coating. You should be aware not to exceed 500°F in any cooking session with a non-stick utensil. 
  4. If it is made of any other metal, you can keep it on the heat for about 10 minutes until it burns with smoke. Smoking will not harm these kinds of pans. Whether the material of the pans changes, you will have to hold the pan with the handle and rotate it to spread the heating evenly in every direction. 
  5. When smoking, remove it from the heat and apply a coat of cooking oil again. Do not use your hands now as it is too hot. Using a lint-free cloth or a paper towel, you can use a tool like thongs and apply oil all over. 
  6. Keep it on the heat again and let it stay for 1 minute. Do not fear if it smokes a lot; it is normal. Then take out the pan and switch off the stove. You need to wipe out the excess oil and wait until it completely cools. 
  7. Finally, you have a well-seasoned stir-fry pan ready for cooking. Make sure you apply enough oil at the beginning of your maiden session with the pan. Repeat the oil applied in the first cooking rounds to avoid adhering foods to the walls of the pan. 


Stir fry pan vs wok has many differences. Study the guidelines we have given here to select the best one that matches your desire. 

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