Want to broaden your culinary horizon or up your kitchen game? Buying a wok can help you do that.
The wok is believed to be over 2,000 years old and is a traditional type of Chinese cook pot. In fact, the English name ‘wok’ comes from the Cantonese word for ‘cook pot’.
Woks are surprisingly versatile. They’re the best way to cook an authentic stir-fry, and their unique shape makes them a great candidate for the newly popular one pot meals.
You can cook up meats, veggies, and sauces all in one versatile piece of cookware, at the same time.
If you’ve never bought a wok before, you may be unsure of where to start. The biggest piece of info you need to know is that different woks are suitable for different types of stoves.
Traditional woks have a rounded bottom that is best suited for gas stoves or open flames. If you try to put these on a flat cooktop they will fall over unless you hold them the entire time you’re cooking.
If you have an electric stove it can be more difficult for you to find a suitable wok.
So, what are the best woks for an electric stove? The best woks for electric stoves are generally made of either cast iron or carbon steel, as this material retains heat the best and is able to be easily seasoned and prepared for cooking. A flat-bottomed wok is also important as well for electric stoves, as it will have an easier time staying in place.
Read on to learn about the key points to consider before making a purchase, and see our picks for the 9 best woks for electric stoves.
How To Choose The Best Wok For Electric Stoves
If you’re pumped to buy a new wok to cook some delicious grub, take a look at this list before you buy. We’ve compiled all the major things you should consider before you buy a wok–especially if you have an electric stove.
There are a few materials that woks are traditionally made from, and one you definitely want to avoid. This is because of a concept called wok hei.
Wok hei refers to the unique, smoky, charred-in-a-good-way flavor that subtly underscores any food cooked in a quality wok.
This flavor is considered a major part of good wok-cooked meals, and you can only get it by properly seasoning your pan.
For this reason, we don’t recommend cooking with a nonstick-coated wok. These cannot be seasoned and so cannot impart wok hei.
For best results and easy seasoning, choose a wok made from cast iron, carbon steel, or aluminum.
Cast iron is the heaviest, takes the longest to heat up properly, and can withstand the highest temperature. Aluminum is the lightest, heats the fastest, but cannot take very high heat and may not last as long.
Carbon steel is a good middle ground of longevity, weight, and heating ability.
Many woks, especially carbon steel and cast iron ones, need to be seasoned with oil before they are used for the first time. You will sometimes need to reseason them also, in order to keep them in good working order.
No idea what “seasoning” your pan means? You’re not alone! The practice is most common with cast iron pans, but can also be done or aluminum and carbons steel pans.
No need to worry, however! Check out this video for a crash course on pan seasoning.
When purchasing a wok it’s important to consider the size before you buy. Not just the overall size of the wok itself, but the “footprint”, which is the area that is actually touching your heat source.
The more metal touching your heat source when cooking, the more quickly your pan will heat up. It also can help the pan remain stable on your cooktop during the often vigorous cooking techniques used with woks.
The overall size is important. If you are only cooking for yourself or perhaps two people, a smaller wok is just fine.
However, part of the reason woks are typically quite large is that you need more surface area for wok cooking. In general bigger is better (over 10 inches is best).
While not necessary for a functional wok, there are a couple fun ‘extras’ you may find available with certain woks. These things can make it easier and more convenient to use your wok for a variety of cooking applications.
Choosing a wok with at least one cool touch handle is a good idea. Wok cooking is generally done over high heat. Having a handle you know won’t burn your hand is a major plus and can make cooking with a wok more enjoyable.
Woks that are dishwasher safe and oven safe are also excellent. Dishwasher safe translates to easy cleanup.
It’s not recommended to clean your wok this way often because you will need to reseason it afterwards, but sometimes having the option is important.
Oven safe woks are generally all metal, so they don’t have any cool touch handles. Sometimes, though, you can find woks that have a detachable cool touch handle. This is the best of both worlds.
A cool touch handle will make it easier to handle the wok if you’re new to cooking with a wok.
After use on the stovetop, detachable handles can typically be removed by unscrewing them from the body of the wok. Then you’re ready to pop your wok in the oven.
The 9 Best Woks For Electric Stoves Of 2021
Here are our picks for the 9 best woks for electric stoves. Any one of these would make an excellent choice for your kitchen, or they can help give you examples of what to look for when you go shopping on your own.
|1.||Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok||Best overall wok for electric stove|
|2.||Lodge Pro-Logic Wok||Durable cast iron material|
|3.||Joyce Chen Classic Carbon Steel Wok||Best carbon steel wok for electric stove|
|4.||Willow And Everett Wok Pan||Comes with spatula and domed lid|
|5.||Mammafong Carbon Steel Wok||Eucalyptus wooden handle|
|6.||Helen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottomed Wok||Features curved, smooth sides for easy cooking|
|7.||Souped Up Carbon Steel Wok||Convenient size|
|8.||ITSMILLERS Hand Hammered Iron Wok||Made with hand-hammered carbon steel|
|9.||Sky Light Wok Pan||Oven safe up to 550°F|
1. Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok
The Bruntmor wok is made of durable cast iron, and has the added bonus of being pre-seasoned.
Cast iron needs to be seasoned before use, so if you’re unsure of how to season it or don’t want to take the time, it’s a great extra to have.
This is a larger wok, at 14 inches. The bottom is flat and fairly wide, making for a sturdy footprint.
There are two loop-style handles that make it easy to pick up even with its large size. Being cast iron, the whole wok is one piece and so the handles are not cool touch.
This wok is oven safe up to a temperature of 450°F, allowing for a variety of cooking applications.
2. Lodge Pro-Logic Wok
Also cast iron and 14 inches, this wok has the added security of the trusted Lodge name.
This wok has two loop handles, with an option to buy covers.
Since Lodge offers so many cast iron products, they also sell convenient silicone handle covers that slip on and off easily.
The pan’s bottom is flat so it will remain stable on your stovetop, but the inner surface of the wok is rounded for the traditional cooking experience.
Keep in mind that cast iron cookware has a reputation for durability, but is rather heavy and needs to be cleaned by hand and oiled after use to prevent rust.
Luckily this wok is pre-seasoned and includes care instructions. With proper care, this wok can last decades.
3. Joyce Chen Classic Carbon Steel Wok
Joyce Chen’s Classic Carbon Steel Wok truly is classic.
It’s made of 1.5mm carbon steel which is durable but light and will heat up quickly.
The pan’s bottom is flat, with a nice flat inner surface as well. The curved sides of the pan have ridge to help hold food when stirring.
With one long, straight handle and one loop handle, this 14 inch wok is easy to handle. The handles incorporate authentic birch wood and are naturally cool touch. Also included is a metal lid, spatula, and recipe booklet.
Similarly to cast iron, untreated carbon steel cookware will need to be seasoned to give it that sought after natural non stick surface.
Joyce Chen’s wok comes pre seasoned so as long as proper care is taken to maintain it you can use it right out of the box.
4. Willow And Everett Wok Pan
While this 13 inch wok is labelled as round-bottomed, it does have a flat spot on the bottom so it can be used on electric stoves, no problem!
The wok is stainless steel with an aluminum layer in the middle to help it heat up more quickly.
Some people prefer not to use aluminum cookware due to concerns about metal leaching into your food during cooking.
This wok has an aluminum layer inside the stainless steel layers, so there is no aluminum touching the actual food.
Included in the price is a wok spatula and a stainless steel dome lid. The wok has one long handle and one looped handle.
The handles are stainless steel also so they are not cool touch. Because the design is all metal, the wok is oven safe up to 500°F.
5. Mammafong Carbon Steel Wok
This 14” carbon steel wok by Mammafong is an authentic hand-hammered piece of chinese cookery.
There is one metal loop handle and one wooden long handle.
The wooden handle is screwed onto the wok, so this model is not oven safe. The cool touch wooden handle is eucalyptus wood.
On the bottom of the wok is a small flat area, so the wok will stay secure while cooking. The footprint is pretty small, but this wok heats up faster than those made of cast iron so that shouldn’t cause you any trouble in the kitchen.
In terms of design and overall appearance, this wok is more utilitarian than the other options featured here.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you prefer your cookware to double as a display piece or feature a modern aesthetic, this won’t be your best option.
6. Helen’s Asian Kitchen Flat Bottomed Wok
Helen’s Asian Kitchen has a 14” flat bottomed wok made from carbon steel.
Included in your purchase of the wok is a domed lid and a wok spatula. The lid has a knob handle while the wok itself has both a small loop handle and a long straight handle.
All of the handles incorporate wood and cannot be removed. You won’t have to worry about burning your hands but the pan is not oven safe.
This wok is not pre-seasoned so you will want to be sure to season it before you use it for the first time.
This wok is not done in the hammered style so the curved sides of the pan are smooth. This can make stir frying easier.
If you wanted to pull food up the sides of the pot to simmer a sauce in the bottom, this would be less helpful than a textured wok.
7. Souped Up Carbon Steel Wok
This wok is 12.5”, a bit on the smaller side for a wok.
This is ideal if you are trying to save space and don’t need to cook for very many people at a time.
Carbon steel woks like this one are lighter as well and are easier to store.
Your purchase includes the wok itself, a wok spatula, and a flat lid for the wok. The spatula is metal, and the lid is wooden.
The wood for the lid is quite thick with a wide handle that stretches across the entire lid. The wok has one long handle, which is metal encased in wood.
While this wok is not hand hammered, it does have a light hammered texture/pattern on the inner surface of the wok.
This texturing can be quite useful for helping food stay where you push it with the wok spatula, allowing you to use the bottom of the wok to simmer sauces.
8. ITSMILLERS Hand Hammered Iron Wok
The ITSMILLERS wok is 12.5”, and is hand hammered carbon steel. It has one long handle that is made of both wood and metal.
The metal portion is attached directly to the wok itself, while the wooden portion provides a cool touch area that can be detached if desired.
Included in the purchase of the wok is a metal wok spatula as well as a wooden lid. The lid is flat, made of a thick wooden with a generously sized handle.
It may seem untraditional to use wood as a cookware lid but it’s quite tough and great for keeping moisture locked in.
This wok has a nice large footprint and a thickened base.
Because there is more surface area touching your stove and that metal is thicker than the rest of the pan, it will hold heat well and shouldn’t have “hotspots” like thinner pans or pans with a smaller footprint may have.
9. Sky Light Wok Pan
Simple and straightforward, the Sky Light wok has a larger flat bottom to help with faster heating and more even heat distribution.
The portion of the wok actually touching the cooktop is 6.5” in diameter.
Only the wok is included in this purchase. The wok features a long handle that is both wood and metal.
The wooden portion of the handle can be unscrewed and removed. With the wooden handle removed, the wok is oven safe up to a temperature of 550°F.
The wok has no nonstick coating, but when finished in the factory is coated in a layer of oil to prevent rust. This is not the same as a pre-seasoned pan.
This oil needs to be washed off and the pan needs to be properly seasoned before first use.