Do you love traditional stir-fry meals but can’t seem to make them at home? Well, that’s because stir fry is cooked in a wok, so if you don’t have one, you can’t quite mimic it. Traditionally, woks are used over a flame, so they have rounded bottoms, and the flame cooks from every angle. However, there are many that work on electric stoves. Check out these five that are perfect for your stove.
Best Value: Rachael Ray Cucina
The Rachael Ray Stir Fry Pan is made from hard-anodized aluminum. This creates fast, even heating, which is particularly important for stir-frying on an electric stove. It has a nonstick coating, which can prove to be a catch-22 because you need high heat to stir fry, but high heat can destroy nonstick coatings. It’s best to reach the heat you need and then reduce the heat to prolong the life of the coating. It is safe to use up to 400 degrees in the oven. It works on all types of stovetops except for induction. It is also dishwasher safe. That with the nonstick coating makes cleanup a breeze.
One major disadvantage of this wok is that it has a more rounded bottom like traditional woks. However, traditional woks were designed to use directly over a flame, so the wok may wobble a little on your electric stove, but it has great ratings and thanks to the material, it will heat evenly. The wok comes with a glass lid, allowing you to see inside while cooking, and the handles come in a beautiful agave blue, which offers a stylish and unique look. The handles are silicone-over-stainless steel, so they are strong too.
Second Best: Ecolution Carbon Steel Wok
The most affordable wok on this list, the Ecolution wok gets great reviews. It also has a non-stick coating, so constantly keeping the heat high may cause the coating to peel. It has a flat base, making it excellent for electric stoves because it can sit flat. The steel promotes even heating, so you don’t burn some food and undercook other food. It is recommended you avoid using metal cooking utensils on the wok because it will cause scratches, which can affect the performance of the wok. Besides being perfect for stir-frying, it can also be used for deep frying, and you don’t have to worry about it wobbling and spilling hot oil thanks to the flat bottom.
This wok does not come with a lid, which many recipes may require one, so you may need to buy a separate lid for a 14-inch wok. However, besides having the normal handle, it also has a helper handle, so if the pan is heavy, you can grab it with both hands on each side of the pan. The handles are soft but riveted, so they are strong. It can be used on any type of stove, but be careful on an induction burner because it does scrape easily. Thanks to the low price and great features, this is a perfect first-time wok for people who aren’t familiar with stir-frying.
Third Place: KEN HOM Carbon Steel Wok
The KEN HOM nonstick wok is the most expensive option on this list, so it may not be the best choice if you don’t stir fry often or are just starting to play with stir-frying. The wok is great for ceramic, electric, gas, halogen, induction and sealed stoves. Thanks to the flat bottom, it won’t wobble, but it is not safe for use in the oven because of the handles. Like the Ecolution wok, it has a helper handle, making it easy to transfer the pan when full of hot food. The carbon steel is great for cooking on an electric stove because it promotes even heating. The handles are riveted, which reduces heat transfer, so they don’t get too hot.
The nonstick coating is a little weak, especially if you use high heat too often. This particular pan is large at 14.5 inches, but the brand also offers 8 inches, 11 inches, and 12.5 inches. As with the Ecolution wok, this one does not come with a lid. Because the pan is already so much more expensive than others, that is a big downside because you’ll have to spend even more money buying a lid, which can help keep heat inside the Wok.
Fourth Place: Helen Chen’s Asian Wok Set
With a mid-range price, the Helen Chen Wok is another great one to consider. It is also made from carbon steel, so you don’t have to worry about burnt food. This pan is compatible with gas and electric stoves, and because it has a flat bottom, it is sturdy on the burner. This wok is also 14 inches, and it comes with a lid and a 13-inch bamboo spatula. The handles are wooden, which creates an attractive and unique style. It features one regular handle and one helper handle. The lid actually sits inside the pan, which prevents water from flowing back into the pan.
It is recommended you wash this wok by hand. Plus, it doesn’t have a non-stick coating, so cleanup may be a bit of a hassle. However, because there is no nonstick coating, you can use it a high heat without the fear of the coating coming off. Simple initial seasoning is required for this wok. Because there is no non-stick coating, you’ll have to season the pan before cooking. This means treating the surface with a stick-resistance coating, such as oil. Basically, you heat the oil or animal fat in the pan and coat it over the entire surface. Then allow the wok to cool before you start cooking.
Fifth Place: Joyce Chen Classic Wok
The Joyce Chen wok is quite similar to the Helen Chen wok. It is about the same price, but it does not come with a lid, so you’ll need to buy one separately if you want one. The carbon steel body means you get even heat, and the pan can be used on gas, electric and induction stoves. However, it has a more rounded bottom, so it may not sit flat on your stove. Like the Helen Chen wok, this pan has wooden handles, including a helper handle, but they aren’t as stylish as the Helen Chen handles. They do, however, stay cool during cooking, so you don’t burn your hands.
Cooking is fast because the carbon steel heats quickly. You can use high temperatures on this wok without worrying about damaging the nonstick coating because there is no nonstick coating. This means, however, you’ll need to season the pan before using it with oil or animal fat to prevent sticking and damage. It is also recommended that you hand wash the pan to prevent damage and increase the lifetime of the wok.
Stop spending a fortune on take outs when you can make your favorite stir-fry at home. Any of these woks are perfect on most types of stoves, including electric. Now that you’re ready to start cooking, get your Rachael Ray Cucina wok and start frying up some veggies and meats.