If you can’t go a week (or even a couple days) without having stir fry, if you can’t survive your fast-paced life without an arsenal of super quick meals, and if you enjoy playing with fun kitchen cookware…
Then you might need a wok.
If you’re looking for carbon steel cookware that heats quickly and evenly, if you don’t want a crazily high-maintenance pan, and if you need a good price point from a customer-service-oriented company with stellar reviews…
Then you might need a Made In wok.
The Blue Carbon Steel Wok from Made In is a cool cookware item designed for adventurous home cooks in need of a specialty pan that will help rapidly cook food with ease and safety.
Continue reading our review of this quality piece of cookware to take an even closer look at what your next chicken and veggie stir fry needs.
How Things Measure Up
The height of the wok is 3.5 inches.
The 9-inch-long handle is slightly curved upwards, and reaches a height of about 5 inches from the base of the pan. The handle is a little over an inch wide. It has a large hole on the end, if you decide to hang it for storage purposes.
The flat bottom, as opposed to a rounded bottom, makes this wok versatile for all styles of stovetops.
The sloped sides of the pan gradually widen upwards to reach 12 inches in diameter at the pan’s widest circumference.
The entire pan weighs close to 4.5 pounds. And it’s very easy to transport, with personal experience on my side – I walked a few blocks from my house to a friend’s carrying it to make fried rice. It was honestly a pleasant journey! Far better than carrying a huge basket of dirty laundry to the laundromat every few weeks…
Blue Carbon Steel
This pan is made in France, crafted with uncoated 2-millimeter-thick blue carbon steel, a material that is more lightweight and heats up faster than cast iron – exactly what you are looking for when cooking a fast stir-fried dish.
You can use it on both induction burners and gas burners – I have a gas burner, and noticed how quickly the pan heated up, and maintained its heat, throughout the entirety of the cooking process.
The smaller pores of carbon steel, compared to the deeper pores on a cast iron pan, create a very smooth, slick, and even surface for cooking. It also takes to seasoning much faster than cast iron material.
You’ll notice the pan’s deep blue hue when you first open up the box. This sheen won’t last forever, though, which is completely normal. Made In notes that the color may change with each use – it can transform from blue to any shade of black, brown, and/or orange.
You can definitely see those discolorations in my pan, which I’ve used a good handful of times. Almost like a mood ring, in certain lighting.
This variation of color is purely aesthetic, and does not negatively affect the function of the pan, as long as you are maintaining it properly!
“The Wok Doc”
The Wok Doc is Made In’s little how-to booklet of essential info you’ll need in order to be one with your wok. Here is what the manual provides:
- How to season it
- Recommended cooking oils
- Tips on stir frying
- List of basic maintenance do’s and don’ts
Be sure to store this document in a safe place, especially if you are new to using a wok!
Wax On, Wax Off – Seasoning Your Cookware
Just as you would with any cast iron or carbon steel cookware, you will need to properly season your wok before you cook with it to prevent rusting, sticking, and to maintain its overall quality.
Here’s a quick rundown of Made In’s recommended steps:
- For the first cleaning, thoroughly wash the pan with warm, soapy water to remove any residue from transit. You can use an abrasive sponge during this initial wash.
- Heat the wok to dry any excess moisture from the initial cleaning.
- Apply a thin layer of cooking oil (one with a high smoking point), or use the Made in Wax provided with your purchase. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel.
- Heat again for about five minutes over high heat, and cool completely. This is the point where your pan may start to discolor.
- Start cooking! You can also repeat the seasoning steps a few more times to build and reinforce the seasoning layer.
What’s in the Made In Wax? This is the company’s own combo of fats to use for seasoning. The solid, yet spreadable, mix of grapeseed oil, canola oil, and beeswax comes in a small canister with a screw-top lid.
You can also use oils like sesame, sunflower, avocado, peanut, vegetable, or grapeseed – all have a high smoking point that won’t burn when applying high cooking temperatures to the pan.
Made In also has more information on their website for more helpful tips on seasoning any carbon steel pan.
A fun tidbit: did you know you can add aromatics like ginger, garlic, and scallions when you season? You’ll gently infuse those flavors into whatever you are cooking. Tasty!
So, you cleaned and seasoned your cookware. Well done! Now, let’s do some cooking!
The Made In Wok Doc provides all the basic info you need to learn how to properly cook with it. These are rules to live by!
Among other pointers, the company offers advice such as thoroughly drying your ingredients to prevent steaming, not overcrowding your pan, and prepping your ingredients close to the same size for the most even cooking.
While I was able to easily make a delicious stir fry using it with no issues, I wanted to seek out other opinions, perhaps more credible than my own.
One of my buddies who specializes in East Asian cuisine, and has used many a wok, was more than happy to provide his opinion after cooking with this particular model.
He was very impressed by the light, yet very sturdy, weight of the pan, and how slick and nonstick it was after it was seasoned. He was able to get a killer sear on his veggies without burning them, and cooked a beyond-delicious meal in minutes.
All in all, great results. Just be sure to review and study how to properly cook with a wok to achieve the same tasty happy endings – I’m looking at you, beginner chefs… read those instructions, or you’ll end up with burnt bits and meat that sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Care and Keeping
After you’ve properly seasoned it and made a perfect stir fry, the next point to consider is how to maintain your Made In pan for all future cooking adventures.
To clean, you can use warm water and a soft sponge that will gently remove any residue, excess oil, and bits of food.
Do not soak it in water for a long period of time, do not put it in the dishwasher, and do not scrub with an abrasive sponge. The use of an abrasive sponge is acceptable during the initial cleaning to help remove any oils or residue from transit, but not after the pan is seasoned.
Thoroughly dry it immediately after washing with a dish towel. Excess water left on the surface for any extended amount of time will increase the risk of rusting.
You can re-season when needed, like when you notice the pan has very dry spots, you see signs of rusting, or you haven’t used it in a while (but, trust me, you’ll be using this piece of cookware all the time!).
Personally, I’ve re-seasoned it after each use – it’s just a habit from cooking with a cast iron skillet. Though it is not necessary to re-season every time you use it, I recommend re-seasoning often, in order to best maintain the slick layer of seasoning.
Made In’s website provides more information on how to re-season a carbon steel pan.
Warranty and Returns
Made In’s lifetime warranty certifies that this cookware (and all of their products) are guaranteed to be free from material defects in material and craftsmanship under normal use and service.
Made In offers free shipping, returns, and exchanges.
Consider the Made In Wok
The ease of seasoning, cooking, and cleaning will make this pan a mainstay in your kitchen. You’ll soon be eating so many quick meals, prepared to perfection!
Before your purchase, be sure to read up on our reviews of other wok models – you have plenty to consider to ensure that you are making the buying decision that’s best for you.
But with its blue carbon steel and modern design, backed by the company’s solid credentials, informative documents, articles to develop your wok knowledge, and their high level of customer satisfaction, this option from Made In may be your preferred choice!
Have you already purchased and cooked with this model? What do you think? Tell us your own thoughts on the carbon steel in the comments below!
Photo credit: Credited photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Made In. Test product provided by the manufacturer.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.