A wok is an appliance that is almost impossible to miss in any kitchen that you enter. It is popular due to its excellent heat-retention and the unique curved shape that allows for even heat distribution.
In the past, when most, if not all, of us used gas stoves for our cooking, the only thing you had to do was place the wok on the cooktop, and it would sit on it perfectly. However, with the emerging popularity of electric stoves, you have to make some adjustments to the cookware for you to use it comfortably on the electric top.
But how do I do it? We shall try to give a broad answer to this question in our article below. Walk with us and find out.
First things First
A wok is made of different materials such as cast iron, aluminum, stainless, and carbon steel. It is a versatile unit that you can use to try out different cooking techniques such as frying, smoking, steaming, boiling, searing, and sauteing.
It normally has two sets of handles, the long one and the loop one, to keep your hands from burning and give you an easier cooking experience.
How many Types of Woks Exist?
There are two main types of woks that you will find out there in the market and kitchens. They are:
* round-bottomed wok
* Flat-bottomed wok
To understand the differences between the two models, we shall look at them separately and in detail.
* Round-bottomed Wok
This is the original wok design and is popular for its even heat distribution that reaches all the sections of the unit. Further, it is ideal for flipping the ingredients so that you can mix them efficiently.
If you want to use it on an electric stove, you have to make some adjustments whereby you need a metal wok ring to balance it on the stove.
* Flat-bottomed Wok
As the name suggests, this unit has a flat base and is compatible with an electric stove. It is stable on the cooktop without a wok ring and gets into direct contact with the heat.
Using A Wok on An Electric Stove
Here now is the ‘meat’ of our article where we shall discuss how a wok can work on an electric stove. The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of electric stoves that you can use, i.e., an electric coil stove and a glass-ceramic stove.
Let’s see how you can use your pan on each of these stoves.
I) Using on An Electric Coil Stove
Wok for the electric stove, a flat-bottomed wok would be the ideal choice since you can easily place the unit directly on the heating coils. By doing this, the heat would spread evenly across the wok’s bottom so that you can prepare your dish properly.
Not only should you get a unit with a flat base, but it should also be made out of carbon steel so that you can get the best out of it.
A round-bottomed unit would not be ideal for this cooktop since it would not balance, and you may have to hold one of the handles as the cooking continues.
II) Using on A Glass-Ceramic Stove
In this instance, we suggest that you go for a round-bottomed wok and we shall tell you why. First, you will need a wok ring that would maintain the wok’s stability on the cooktop. Then, this accessory would maintain a reasonable gap between the wok’s base and the cooktop so that there are no scratches.
This is the main reason why you cannot use a flat-based wok on a glass-ceramic stove.
Necessary Rituals Before Using a Wok on an Electric Stove
Before you start using your wok on an electric cooktop, there are several activities that you need to perform, and they are:
It does not matter which cooktop you are using, but you should ensure that you preheat your wok for about 10-minutes and then add some oil to it. After that, whirl the pan for the oil to form a coat inside the whole unit.
As soon as the oil gets hot, you can now add your ingredients and then stir to fry.
Keep in mind that in the beginning, you should adjust the temperature gradually since if you apply the maximum intensity, your unit may warp.
This is another essential ritual that you should perform on your wok when it is still new from the shop. The process helps remove the oil that the manufacturer had used to prevent the unit’s rusting during transit.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using your wok on an Electric Stove
As we approach the end, we shall briefly look at both the benefits and drawbacks of using a wok on an electric stove. Let’s look at them.
* You can use both flat and round-bottomed woks on the electric stove, keeping in mind that both wok models are suited to each of the two types of electric stoves available.
* After cooking, cleaning your wok is relatively easy since there is no soot forming on it. All you will need is a piece of soap and fresh water to get your unit to its initial condition.
* The temperature of an electric wok is rather low, and this under-heating will leave you with a boiled dish rather than fried.
* Be prepared for hefty power bills since most electric woks out there require between 1000 to 1600 watts to give out the heat needed to prepare your dish
Wrapping It Up
If you have always held the belief that it is impossible to use a wok on an electric stove, we hope our article has helped expel this notion. Note that there are different types of electric stoves to accommodate the various models of woks in existence.
A flat-bottomed wok is a unit that you can place on the cooktop directly, while a round-bottomed unit would require a wok ring that would give it the stability needed on the electric cooktop.
So, it is up to you to decide which of the woks would present the most benefits to you when used on the electric cooktops.