A wok is a utensil you cannot avoid if you make Asian cuisine. This wide round pot can get extremely hot, giving Asian food its distinctive flavor.
With the rise in popularity of electric stoves, nearly 60% of American houses have them at this point. However, your standard wok is usually round-bottomed and not designed for an electric stove. So, does that mean that you cannot use a wok if you own only an electric stove? Absolutely not. You can use a wok on an electric stove.
Read on to find out how you can use different woks with your electric stove.
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Types of Wok
A wok is a wide dome-shaped utensil made out of cast iron, stainless steel, and even carbon steel these days. Moreover, there is an availability of electric wok too. A cast iron wok would need you to maintain and season them from time to time.
On the other hand, stainless steel woks require no such maintenance, but they tend to get hot very quickly. Meanwhile, a carbon steel wok requires some maintenance but is pretty sturdy and delivers uniform heat distribution. So, choose your wok material based on how much you are willing to care for it.
Next, let us get familiar with all the different options available while choosing a wok.
A round-bottomed wok is a traditional wok. Hence, it's not directly compatible with electric stoves. However, you can still use a round bottom wok with the help of a wok ring.
But, keep in mind that a wok ring may keep your wok slightly distant from the heat source, and your food may take a little longer to cook. Therefore, your wok will work well if you have a glass top stove. On the other hand, if you have an electric coil stove, then the following wok might be right for you.
Flat Bottom Wok
As the name suggests, these are just like your traditional woks but have a flat bottom. These are very popular for home use because they do not need additional equipment such as a wok ring.
You can place your wok on your stove, and you’re good to go. This wok will also provide even heating, and your food will cook faster. It is because the flat bottomed wok allows your food to be directly in contact with the heat source.
Apart from electric stoves, flat bottomed woks work better with electric stoves. This is because these woks allow your food to have maximum contact with the heating area. So, opt for flat bottom woks with electric stoves, if you have a choice.
You can also read this full guide to find the best wok for an electric stove.
Can You Use a Wok On a Glass Top Stove?
You can definitely use a wok with your glass top stove. If you have a traditional wok, you will need to place your wok on a wok ring. But, make sure your wok ring is stable and does not move while using it because you might end up scratching your stove. Also, do not try to maneuver your wok like you would on an open gas stove.
Flat-bottomed woks work exceptionally well with glass top stoves because they will be extremely stable. Moreover, you will not have to deal with any additional apparatus. As these woks lay flat on the heating surface, they will get hot pretty quickly. Also, they may allow you to deliver that extra smoky flavor while stir-frying your favorite veggies.
How to Use Wok On Electric Stove?
Here’s a step by step guide on how to use a wok or wok pan on your electric stove:
Step 1: Prepare the Apparatus
If you are using a traditional wok, place your wok ring firmly on your stove before turning it on. Then place your wok on top of it.
However, if you are using a flat-bottomed wok, place it directly on the stove before turning it on.
Step 2: Start Preheating Your Wok
You will need to preheat your wok for about 10 minutes so that it can reach the desired temperature and you can start cooking. Your wok or wok pan might begin to smoke at this point.
Step 3: Add Cooking Oil and Start Cooking
Finally, you need to add cooking oil and coat it evenly by swirling it around the wok. Make sure you get all the spots.
After following the above instructions, you can begin the stir fry process. Make sure you cut up your ingredients in equal sizes to allow it all to cook uniformly.
A wok can make an excellent addition to your cooking arsenal if you want that restaurant-like flavor to your Asian cooking at home. A carbon steel wok pan works well with beginners. They heat up evenly, are easy to maintain, and are not too heavy. Moreover, a carbon steel wok will not be as expensive as some of the other options.
As far as you consider the wok's shape, flat-bottomed woks will work well with all kinds of electric stoves and provide even heat.
So choose what is best for you and get on with your wok cooking!