Our kitchen has several appliances and equipment that make our cooking experience amazing and help us draw our culinary skills to their fullest potential. However, some of the appliances like the electric stove have specific operating conditions which will be discussed below.
Can you use a wok on a glass-top stove?
Woks can be used on glass-top stoves and perfectly cook your desired dishes due to their efficient heat distribution and ability to stir food much more effectively. There are several variations of wok available but you should use cast iron woks to prevent potential scratches to your glass-top stove.
Woks are generally made of either cast iron or carbon steel. You can choose either, but carbon steel ones tend to skid on glass tops whereas the cast iron woks are heavy and stable.
Since cast iron woks are heavy, they have a possibility of cracking the glass top surface if not handled carefully.
For either material of wok you choose, there are two different variants that have different methods of operation. One of them is the Round Bottom Wok and the other is the Flat Bottom Wok.
Round Bottom Wok:
Round bottom woks are generally used on burners and ranges with metal grids in them but require a special setup if used on an electric stove.
A round bottom wok requires several rings to be put between the bottom of the wok and the electric stove to function.
But one thing to note is that a round bottom wok will never get as hot as a flat bottom wok due to the less contact with the surface and thus require longer cooking times.
Flat Bottom Wok:
A flat bottom wok not only requires no additional setup required but also performs better than a round bottom wok since they are in full contact with the stove, therefore more heating and less cooking time.
Why or why not will wok work on a glass-top electric stove?
Woks are traditionally meant for burners and ranges and are not built for use in electric stoves, however, that does not mean that woks are unusable in electric stoves.
Even so, there are mixed answers regarding whether or not some woks would work on glass top electric stoves or not – find out more by following along:
Flat bottom woks:
As the name suggests, flat-bottom woks have a plain bottom but have all other features the same as regular round-bottom woks. On one hand, electric stoves require the pot or the cooking container to make enough contact with the stove surface in order to heat up and cook.
If there is little to no contact, the pot will not heat up at all, but flat bottom woks do work on glass top electric stoves because their flat bottom coincides with the flat surface of the glass top electric stove.
Round bottom woks without rings:
Round bottom woks do not have a flat bottom and so they can only have a little contact with the glass top stove. Unless they are fitted with rings to keep them in place, they are unusable for cooking on glass top stoves.
Besides that, round bottom woks are very unstable on glass top stoves, and therefore even if it heats up, there is a potential danger of skidding or tilting and causing burns.
How to use a wok on a glass-top electric stove?
Cooking on a wok is no different than cooking on frying pans or any other similar cooking container. But even though the process is simple, you should always follow the proper guidelines and steps of using a wok, which is provided below:
Notice if your wok is properly mounted on your stove:
Ideally, you should be using a flat bottom wok and placing it directly on top of the glass top electric stove. But before placing, do check if the surface of the stove is clean to prevent the wok from skidding.
It is better if the width of the wok is similar to the width of the stove, if not, then place the wok to the center of the stove. Repeat the same process for round-bottom woks but with a ring on its bottom.
Allow the wok to heat up gently:
Do not turn up the heat drastically, instead turn up the heat gently and slowly allow the wok to warm up before you add any food or oil. Sudden changes in the temperature might damage the wok and reduce its lifespan.
Additional items to make the cooking easier:
You will need to maneuver the ingredients in the wok effectively, for which you can use ladles, spatula, or any type of wooden spoon that can reach deep into the wok to properly stir the ingredients.
Can you cook with a wok on an electric stove?
There are several types of electric stoves available in the market and all of them have a slightly different way of functioning. So before you decide to get yourself a wok, you should be aware of what type of wok your electric stove is compatible with.
Round bottom wok:
For most electric stoves, round bottom woks work very poorly and cannot be used safely unless a ring is installed. For both glass-top and coil-based electric stoves, round bottom wok should not be used.
However, they seem to work perfectly in burner stoves due to the presence of a metal grid in them which holds the round bottom wok in place.
Flat bottom wok:
Flat bottom woks have even less work required and can be used on all types of electric stoves available and even on burner stoves. For glass-top and coil-based stoves, no rings or mounting assets are required and they are very stable on burner stoves as well.
What setting on an electric stove for using a wok?
Generally, heat your wok at a low temperature but gradually increase it to around 3000- watts. The optimal operating temperature for cooking food in a wok is between 195 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are different settings on an electric stove for using a wok, such as Low Settings, Medium Settings, and High Settings.
Low-setting heats up the wok to 195 degrees Fahrenheit and is suitable for melting butter, cheese, or heating oils. This operating temperature allows sauces and soups to simmer much faster than the normal simmer setting that is present in many electric stoves.
Medium settings have a higher operating temperature than low settings and allow the work to reach a temperature of 210 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If you intend to cook soft vegetables and tenderize them, then this setting works the best.
Finally, the high setting allows the wok to operate at a temperature of 300-500 degrees Fahrenheit and is used for all sorts of heavy cooking. You can use this setting to cook rigid vegetables, meat, or other complicated dishes.
What kind of wok is best for an electric stove?
Comparison between woks are given below:
Carbon Steel vs Cast Iron Woks
Carbon steel woks provide a good balance between rapid and even heating with its weight. It is popular among chefs who use electric stoves because of its easier maneuverability and durability.
However, Cast Iron woks are best for long-term use due to their heavy durability and ability to stay hot for a long time. Besides that, they retain their non-stick properties, unlike Carbon Steel ones.
Flat bottom vs Round bottom Woks
When it comes to cooking on electric stoves, there is a clear bias towards flat bottom woks due to the stability and efficiency of cooking on electric stoves. Even though many people can make do with round bottom woks with rings but they fail to work on coil stoves.
Can you and how to use a wok ring on an electric stove?
A wok ring is a necessity if you plan to use a round bottom wok on an electric stove. Without the wok ring, round bottom woks are completely unusable for electric stoves since they skid a lot and do not sit stably.
You can use a wok ring by simply placing it on the center of the stove and placing your round bottom stove on top of the ring.
Can you season a wok on an electric stove and how?
Yes, a wok can be and should be seasoned before using it on an electric stove. First, wash the wok inside out and heat it to dry. Next, let it cool and then run some overheated oil over it. Finally, preheat the wok again and coat the insides with oil.
You can use a wok on glass-top stoves to cook dishes like any other cooking pot. Although there are several variations of wok available, not all types of wok work the best on electric stoves. Ideally, you should use flat bottom woks for the best cooking experience.