Joyce Chen 12-Inch Carbon Steel Wok Review



I’d like to dedicate this review to Joyce Chen for her passion and dedication for introducing “Eastern Cookware for the Western Kitchen” as so elegantly put by Joyce Chen herself. The Joyce Chen Pro Chef 12-Inch Carbon Steel Wok is one of the bestselling woks in all the collection. It’s light, responsive to heating and cooling. Easy to lift the wok to toss and coat the food with sauce and seasoning. And it’s incredibly affordable.

Joyce Chen migrated to the United States from Shanghai, China in 1949. She opened her first restaurant, Joyce Chen Restaurant in Cambridge, MA in 1958. She was also a host for a PBS cooking series, Joyce Chen Cooks. Joyce Chen was the one who introduced the very first flat bottom wok to the western kitchen. Joyce passed away in 1994.

The Joyce Chen cookware collections include cookware, teapots, other kitchen utensils. 

Table of Contents (click a title to jump ahead)

Capacity | Heating Technology | Easy to Use | Other Features | Customer Reviews | Pros and Cons | Price, Warranty and Where to Buy

Capacity: 12″ in Diameter


Measured as 12 inches in diameter, this wok is deeper than many similar products on the market. The depth of the wok ensures that no food will be spilled and sauce splattered to the rim when you tilt and flip the wok. It is a great size to whip up a good amount of Chinese stir fries for you and your family.

Heating: Warm to High Heat

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True to the tradition of Asian cooking, this wok is made of 2 millimeter carbon steel, which is considered professional gauge and thicker than a residential wok (typically 1.5 mm in thickness).

Carbon steel is known for its superior heat retention and uniform heat distribution. Over time, a layer of seasoning will develop to make it non-stick naturally. This wok is manufactured via a proprietary casting technology to ensure the lightweight all the way from the bottom to the walls. It’s easier to handle and maneuver with a full wok of food.

The wok has a phenolic handle that stays cool during the cooking process. There is also a helper handle for you to carry the wok easily with both hands. 


The wok performs very well under high heat for electric and gas cook tops.

Easy to Use and to Clean

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The wok is versatile for using all sorts of cooking methods, fast or slow. It’s a no-brainer to stir fry meats, seafood and vegetables. You can also use it as a deep-fryer. Since it’s shaped like a bowl, you don’t need as much oil as a regular fryer would. How about braising a batch of short ribs with gooey and finger-licking sauce over several hours. Some customers even use it to pop popcorns. It’s definitely a healthier alternative to the store-bought, butter drenched popcorns. You can season it with your own choice.

Cleaning is a snap. You can use a bristle brush and some warm soapy water. One extra step for the carbon steel wok is to season it before the first use and after each subsequent use. After cleaning the wok, pat it dry. Have it on medium heat on the stove top and add a bit cooking oil. Leave it on heat for 5 minutes or so. It should be ready for the next use. The non-stick surface will build up with the cooking and seasoning that’s healthy and free of harmful non-stick substance. 

Other Features

Color: Steel

Dimensions (inches): 19.7 x 12.9 x 7.1 inches; 9 pounds

Accessories: N/A

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5 rating should speak volume for the quality and functionality of the wok. It’s a perfect size and perfect weight for stir-frying. You can easily lift the pan off the burner and toss the food like an Asian chef does.

Pros and Cons

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ProsThe wok is made of thicker carbon steel that’s professional grade for high performance and durability.The design is so proportionated between size, weight and shape. The size of the flat bottom is bigger than a 14-inch wok that gives more cooking surface to sear meats and seafood in high heat. It’s easy to clean with an Asian style stiff bristle wok brush. Season it only takes a few minutes on medium heat with a few drops of cooking oil. The patina developed over time makes it a natural non-stick wok. You can’t beat the price of this wok.

ConsThere is no lid with this wok. You can easily buy one.

Price, Warranty and Where to Buy – The Wok Shop 14-Inch Wok

25-year limited warranty is provided with the Joyce Chen wok. You can get it on Amazon and other retail or online outlets.

For best price listing on Amazon, please click on the button below:

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