Woks have been around for thousands of years, with ancient China credited for its invention. They are popularly used for creating that distinct flavor in stir-fried dishes known as "wok hei" — the literal translation is "wok thermal radiation." Wok hei is also fondly called "breath of wok" as an ode to the large flames that explode up.
Since wok cooking techniques involve constant stirring, much without a stirrer, they usually come with long handles and no lids. The deep and high walls of conventional woks are sufficient for stir-frying techniques that need persistent heat distribution. But there are compelling reasons to buy accessories for your wok, like a wok ring, wok spatula, and of course a wok lid.
Of course, wok lids come in varying shapes and materials to suit their purpose. From the plethora of choices in the market, we’ve laid down the best wok lids to partner with your working wok pans today.
- Best Overall: Lodge Tempered Glass Lid
- Best in Versatility Wok Lid: Stainless Steel Universal Lid for Pots, Pans, and Skillets by Modern Innovations
- Best Dome Wok Lid: Joyce Chen Nonstick Steel Dome Lid
- Best Flat Top Dome Wok Lid: Aluminum Flat Wok Lid/Wok Cover by M.V. Trading
- Best Wok Lid Alternative: House Again 12 Inch Heavy Duty Cheese Melting Dome - 18/8 Stainless Steel
- Best Looking Wok Lid: ZhenSanHuan Natural Wooden Wok lid/Cover Kitchen Tool
- Why Use Wok Lids
- Wok Lid Buying Guide
Best Overall: Lodge Tempered Glass Lid
This versatile wok lid made of tempered glass can be used with skillets and dutch ovens, too!
Pros: Versatile, ergonomic design, tempered glass, comes in varying sizes, dishwasher-safe, oven-safe, lightweight, silicone-coated handle, value for money
Cons: No steam vent
No best-of kitchenware list is complete without the world-renowned brand Lodge, and they don't disappoint. Lodge is one of the leading and reliable cookware makers, and the Lodge Tempered Glass Lid tops our list of the best wok lids.
The Lodge lid is of lightweight, tempered glass that is safe for dishwashers and ovens. This means the lid is usable on practically all recipes, withstanding temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, food remains visible despite prolonged use because its tempered glass is of high quality that resists condensation. Furthermore, the lid rim fits our wok perfectly, sealing in moisture and flavor.
Unfortunately, the Lodge lid doesn't have a steam vent. But steam vents are actually rare on wok lids, so this wasn't too surprising. We understand that the compromise, between with and without steam vents, is with heat retention, and Lodge chose to go this route.
Nevertheless, the Lodge lid is still a win. And at a fairly reasonable price, it is our choice as the overall best wok lid in the market today. Here are a few more points in favor of the Lodge lid.
Lodge Tempered Glass Lid Options and Specs
These lids come in four round sizes: 8-inch, 10.25-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch. Lodge also sells an equally durable one-size square shape with 10.25-inch sides if you own a two-quart cast iron pot.
Its handle is silicone-coated, making it safe and easy to lift. Screws were perfectly tight, but it's not surprising if they came loose with all the stirring and tossing.
And although this lid was ergonomically designed for Lodge's, they do work with other brands, too. These include cast iron skillets, cast iron woks, deep skillets, cast iron serving pots, and dutch ovens.
Best in Versatility Wok Lid: Stainless Steel Universal Lid for Pots, Pans, and Skillets by Modern Innovations
This universal lid fits all kinds of cookware: pots, pans, skillets, and even woks!
Pros: Incredibly versatile, one size fits all, saves on space, tempered glass, dishwasher-safe, has a steam vent
Cons: Could be too large, shape and handle can be an issue
Modern Innovations' Stainless Steel Universal Lid is exceptionally versatile, able to work with pots, pans, and skillets. It is of two sturdy materials: (1) The outer circle is 18/8 stainless steel, and (2) the inner circle is tempered glass. "18/8" represents the steel's mixture of chromium and nickel, respectively. This matters because the sufficient chromium and nickel contents make this lid corrosion- and heat-resistant.
We also like that the inner circle is transparent. This lets us see what's inside without lifting the lid for consistent heat. Also, Modern Innovations' lid uses tempered glass, which means it's food-safe and tolerant of extremely high temperatures.
Of the products listed here, this is the only wok lid that comes with a steam vent. This ventilates vapor, perfect for recipes that require steaming. Boiling also isn't as messy when compared to using wok lids without steam vents.
It's not all rainbows and unicorns, though, with possible handle, size, and shape improvements. Specifically, the handle at the top is likewise made of the same chromium and nickel mix. This means it tends to get hot from prolonged use. Also, the lid is sometimes too large. The outer part may come into contact with the cookware's handle, causing the lid to dislodge. And although its shape allows you to save space, its flat surface also means it is at risk of collecting dirt from kitchen tops or stovetops.
Even so, the Modern Innovations lid's versatility is prominent and worthwhile. It'll fit a long list of cookware with varying openings, from 7 inches to 12 inches.
Best Dome Wok Lid: Joyce Chen Nonstick Steel Dome Lid
This nonstick steel dome lid is a must-have for steaming and stir-frying!
Pros: Completely nonstick, heat-resistant knob, rounded edge
Cons: Coating chips off, one size
If you're into steaming, then a dome wok lid is a must. We recommend getting the Joyce Chen Nonstick Steel Dome Lid. Its interior and exterior coating give it a nonstick surface, so food splatters and sizzles just slide off. This also means cleaning and maintenance are a breeze with this wok lid.
But despite being dishwasher-safe, we still suggest washing by hand and drying thoroughly. The relatively harsh processes the lid takes contribute to the early wear-off of its nonstick coating. In fact, using a soft sponge might benefit.
Another strong point of the Joyce Chen lid is its handle. The birchwood knob screws on top of the lid, providing both aesthetic appeal and practical advantages. We're specifically talking about the low thermal conductivity of wood versus metal, so handling is more accessible and safer.
Also, this wok lid has a rounded edge that optimally captures steam. Pair that with a ceiling that's high enough to fit bamboo steamers, and you've got yourself a cooker that's capable of Chinese culinary classics. Care for some dumplings, siomai, rice cakes, and puddings?
Best Flat Top Dome Wok Lid: Aluminum Flat Wok Lid/Wok Cover by M.V. Trading
This lightweight, rust-resistant lid has impressive tensile strength and lasts longer than other cookware!
Pros: Lightweight, corrosion-resistant, sizeable wooden handle, comes in a range of diameters
Cons: Not dishwasher-safe, expensive, sits below your wok
If handling is your primary concern with wok lids, check out the flat-top variants available in the market. A flat-top means the handle is more prominent, and bigger handles mean your hands don't touch the hot lid surfaces.
Our top pick for flat top dome lids is the Aluminum Flat Wok Lid/Wok Cover sold by M.V. Trading. Its handle is made of heat-resistant wood, and it comes in six available sizes, with diameters ranging from 8 inches to 18 inches. This particular lid's design is to sit on the inside of the wok pan. And that can be a turnoff for some. We honestly don't mind it.
As a predominantly aluminum wok lid, M.V. Trading's product can be on the expensive side. To be precise, it is of 18-gauge aluminum at approximately 1.02 millimeters in thickness. And because it is aluminum, we advise washing by hand to extend its life. It is also not dishwasher-safe. Dishwashers may promote discoloration as the aluminum reacts with hot water and dishwashing ingredients.
Now, aluminum is resistant to rust and has commendable tensile strength. For some context, the material is commonly used in household kitchen sinks. This may even suggest your lid might last as long as your kitchen sinks! But the benefit comes at a premium. Notwithstanding, this is our choice, if you're willing to fork some money out.
Best Wok Lid Alternative: House Again 12 Inch Heavy Duty Cheese Melting Dome - 18/8 Stainless Steel
A heavy-duty wok lid that's ideal for keeping the heat in and prevent splatters. It also works great as a protective cover for griddles and grills!
Pros: Heavy-duty, heat-resistant handle, splatter-free, versatile, dishwasher-safe
Cons: May not perfectly fit and stay on top of the wok
Are you surprised a cheese melting dome made this list? There's a reasonable explanation, we think. The 2.5-millimeter thick 304 stainless steel reinforces the House Again Cheese Melting Dome, making it, in our opinion, a great alternative to covering woks!
It keeps heat in and prevents food from splattering, just like a wok lid would. The handle has silicone, a preferable material for handles due to its heat resistance. And as a dishwasher-safe dome, it's also low-maintenance.
Unsurprisingly, a wok lid alternative such as this may not be a snug fit for wok pans. After all, they weren't designed with woks in mind. But that's fine. A lot of separately-bought wok lids aren't exact fits either. If this is a concern, a workaround could be using binder clips to keep them in place.
On top of its dome and flat-top wok lid functionality, the House Again Cheese Melting is also for griddles and grills. We highly recommend this alternative to people on a budget.
Best Looking Wok Lid: ZhenSanHuan Natural Wooden Wok lid/Cover Kitchen Tool
A wok lid made of carbonized cedarwood that lays flat on top to prevent heat from escaping. It fits the classic Chinese aesthetic for wok cooking!
Pros: Handcrafted, lightweight, comes in varying sizes, saves on space, no condensation drippings, handle does not heat up
Cons: Quality control might be an issue, the smell may not be for everyone, expensive
The Natural Wooden Lid by ZhenSanHuan perfectly complements traditional wok pans and anyone looking for that classic Chinese aesthetic. It certainly matches a rustic-themed tabletop, doubling as a cover to keep freshly cooked meals hot.
The lightweight lid is from carbonized cedarwood, making it a lot more expensive than the other wok lids on this list. It also gives out a slight fragrance when in use. To us, though, the wooden charm actually adds to the appeal. But we understand why others might object.
Here’s a pro tip. Try soaking in water for minutes at a time before using. This prevents food smells from sticking to your wooden lid.
Still, there are advantages to using a wooden lid like the ZhenSanHuan's offering. They don't heat up fast owing to wood's lower thermal conductivity relative to metal. Also, water from the condensation process does not drip into food due to the wood's hygroscopic nature. Hygroscopy refers to a material's tendency to absorb moisture.
In addition, carbonized wood means it's anti-bacterial. The process of carbonization — heat treatment — kills bacteria. Fun fact, carbonization is also responsible for wood's varying hues of brown.
We definitely think a wooden lid looks stunning, and the ZhenSanHuan Natural Wooden Lid is our choice. The lid comes in sizes from 28 centimeters to 40 centimeters in diameter.
Why Use Wok Lids
Although most of today’s woks come in a set of round-bottom pans and wok lids, many of the traditional woks don’t come with one. You don’t need a cover when you’re constantly stirring and tossing anyway.
Conversely, wok lids convert these specialized kitchen staples into universal cookware. You’re essentially improving versatility at the price of a lid, and that’s fantastic value for money. How versatile have they become?
Well, that depends on the type of lid you’re getting. But for starters, here are some of the cooking techniques you add with a lid: boiling, steaming, smoking, searing, stewing, braising, pan-fry, and deep fry. And we haven’t even mentioned how easier it is to simmer ingredients when they’re covered. Now that’s a pretty capable wok if you ask us.
Wok Lid Buying Guide
Choosing from the wide range of wok lids can be a challenge. With diverse uses and specific designs, sizes, materials, and prices, picking one that suits your needs takes time. Here’s what we have to say on some of the factors you may want to consider.
Wok lids are often designed with a specific purpose in mind. It is why they come in varying shapes and materials. Therefore, your wok lid’s shape and material determine its use as boilers, steamers, pan-fryers, and deep-fryers.
Some types are oven-safe, and some have steam vents. At the end of the day, your intended purpose matters in choosing a wok lid.
Woks and their openings come in varying sizes. Since we're buying wok lids separate from our woks, fit and sizing are another important consideration. You basically have two options, then. The first option is to buy a generalist or universal lid that’ll probably fit most woks. And the second option is to purchase individual lids that fit your woks perfectly.
Universal lids practically work fine. But remember to keep in mind how some wok designs, particularly their handles, may dislodge larger wok lids.
Wok lids range from stainless steel, aluminum, tempered glass, or a combination of these materials. Its material also determines what the proper maintenance procedures are. Because every material type will have pros and cons, how you select them comes down to preference.
For instance, if you prefer cookware with low maintenance, choose a dishwasher-safe wok lid. Or, if you want one that doesn’t get hot and is lightweight, select a wooden wok lid. Here’s a summary of the advantages and disadvantages per material:
|Can break when dropped|
|Difficult to handle due to heat|
|Stainless Steel||Corrosion and heat resistant|
|Difficult to handle due to heat|
|Wood, Carbonized||No condensation drippings|
Doesn’t get too hot
The handle deserves special mention because of its effect on user experience. They come in all shapes and sizes, too. There are silicone-coated, rubber-coated, wooden, or bare metal handles.
Different materials will have different levels of thermal conductivity — the material’s ability to transfer heat. Metal handles with no covers will be worse than other handle types. Wooden handles are the preferred type, though they typically come expensive.
Another handle consideration is size. Larger handles might offer a better grip than smaller ones. Not always, though, so pick a size that feels comfortable.
All wok lids do the job. But differences in materials, manufacturing tolerances, the costs to produce, marketing, margins, and so on all contribute to the wide range of prices we see in the market. The good news is there are a lot of options to choose from.
Yes, wok lids offer value. Woks traditionally don’t come with lids, so it’s common to ask why even bother. But modern lids now bundle woks with wok lids. The simple answer is versatility. Buying wok lids affords you cooking options, from boiling to searing.
There are two main advantages to getting a wooden lid. They don’t get as hot as metal lids, and they absorb moisture. Moisture absorption is due to wood’s hygroscopy, or natural tendency to absorb water. This means water from condensation doesn’t drip into your food.
There is no best material. Different materials will have their advantages and disadvantages due to inherent tradeoffs. Your choice, then, is a matter of preference. Please refer to the buying guide table above for more information.
The maintenance and cleaning of your wok lids will depend, again, on whether they are glass, aluminum, stainless steel, or carbonized cedarwood. Please refer to the buying guide table above for more information.
Other than fit, there are no restrictions to selecting a proper wok lid. Assuming they aren’t too large for your wok’s opening, you can use your wok lid with a nonstick wok, carbon steel wok, cast iron wok, stainless steel wok.
From a flat-bottomed wok to a round-bottomed wok — make sure to get a wok ring for cooking round-bottomed woks over an electric stove, induction cooktop, gas stove, or grill. In fact, some wok lids are versatile enough for other cookware like a frying pan.