Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 14, 2014 10:42 AM

E-wok Vs William Sonoma Artisan question

Hello I am looking at 2 different woks and cost and time is not a factor at all. 1 is the William Sonoma artisan handmade wok and also the E-wok wok in the same 2 ear style. I notice that they both say carbon steel yet the William Sonoma one is a dull matt finish and the E-wok is Shiny. I also noticed that same difference in the Wok Shop woks. There "our hand hammered" one is shiny and the "Hand hammered wok" is is that same dull matte finish. Anyone know why there is a difference in the finish if they both are carbon steel? Also which is better if there is a better one. And which would you go with?

Thanks in advance.

1st is William Sonoma , 2nd E-wok , 3rd & 4th is Wok Shop

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: c oliver

      Yes I read through all the posts on it but did not see any mention of the difference in the finish or the 2 compared.


    2. I believe some of these difference you see are artificial. Part of it has to do with lighting, and part of it has to do with the fact that a layer of oil has been applied. The photo of the e-wok (your 2nd photo) probably has a thin layer of oil on it. My e-wok came shipping with a layer of oil on it to prevent rust.

      Yes, they are all carbon steel.

      I would go for either one of them: Williams Sonoma or e-Wok. They are very likely made by the same people. There are not a lot of people in Shanghai who can still make hand hammered wok. It is a dying art. Tough work and not a lot of profits to be made. So I won't be surprised that they are made by the same people or people closely associated with each others.

      I would not recommend the Wokshop ones (photo 3 and 4). I actually owned the wok in photo 3. It is ok as a wok, but it is not hand hammered in a traditional sense. It is a machined wok, and then someone pounded a few patterns on it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Would oil make these woks look that much different? Yes I will buy either the William Sonoma or the E-Wok. I wonder if anyone on here has both of them and can make a recommendation. Thanks

        1. re: Swayz

          <Would oil make these woks look that much different?>

          Likely. My cast iron skillet has a dull look when it is clean and dried. It is shiny when trace of oil is on it. Here I have photo of my DeBuyer carbon steel pan (scroll down if necessary).

          You can see the difference between the two pans.

          <I wonder if anyone on here has both of them and can make a recommendation.>

          Not me, and I don't remember anyone has both, but you should wait to see if additional responses come in.

          By the way, it really does even matter the initial look because the wok will look very different after you season it anyway.

          1. re: Swayz

            I have the WS hand hammered wok and it is shiny and black after seasoning and months of use (no longer dull and gray as in the photo above).