Induction cooking is all fun until you want to stir-fry, but your pans and pots are not designed to hold up on induction cooktops. Though WOKs often prove helpful, finding one that suits your cooktop is important. This raises a question – will a WOK work on an induction cooktop? Luckily, yes, a WOK will work on an induction cooktop as long it is made of ferromagnetic material and has a flat base.
WOKs are highly beneficial for several purposes, like frying, stewing, and steaming. You can also minimize the time and energy required to cook food. In general, induction cooktops are excellent and highly energy efficient, while WOKs make them much better in saving energy. All you just need is a WOK and a WOK induction burner.
This guide will help you on how to use WOK and share some essential tips to consider.
Will A WOK Work On An Induction Cooktop?
WOK will work on induction stoves, but it is compulsory to have ferromagnetic material. The greatest benefit you get by using them on induction is faster cooking. However, just like material, the shape of WOK also matters for its compatibility with induction cooking.
A WOK base should be semi-round or curved shape instead of rounded. The shape is important to make it fit properly on induction. But you will find these types of WOKs quite expensive due to their excessive use in commercial restaurants.
Most WOKs are made of Carbon Steel which is quite similar to Cast Iron. As cast iron is perfect for induction, the same goes for WOK. However you will also find aluminum-made WOKs, but you must test them to confirm whether it is induction compatible.
Why Does WOK Need to Be Ferromagnetic For Induction Cooktop?
In order to generate heat, the copper coil underneath the induction stove conducts an electromagnetic field. If your cookware doesn’t have ferromagnetic properties, the magnetic field will not create, and the WOK will not get the energy to work on induction.
When energy doesn’t reach inside the WOK, no current and heat will generate. Induction cooking can only occur if the cookware’s base is placed directly in the oven copper coil. In case of incompatible material, the induction process will not work. Only a few materials have compatibility with induction, and the same is for WOKs.
What Type of WOK Work On An Induction Cooktop?
Not every WOK works on an induction cooktop, but some special features create the chance of a positive outcome. Some of the important features are:
As already described, ferrous material is essential to ensure maximum heat conductivity from induction stoves to cookware; some other materials are also induction-compatible.
- Cast Iron is most common and highly popular for induction cooktops. It isn’t just useful for induction but has high heat conductivity. Though cast iron takes some time to get heat, it retains the same temperature for a long period. With a cast iron WOK, there is a high chance your pan will not slide on an induction cooktop.
- Aluminum is affordable and quite light material for WOK that hardly rusts. It is also a good heat conductor but incompatible with induction cooktops. You can use a round-bottomed WOK with a base compatible with induction.
- Stainless Steel is another well-known material for its hard, strong, and non-corrosive nature. However, it isn’t the best heat conduction, and you can combine it with aluminum to make it induction-friendly.
Most WOKs have a concave base that doesn’t work well with flat-bottom induction cooktops. This doesn’t allow heat to distribute equally, and the bottom will not get in contact with the cooktop’s surface.
Therefore, a flat base WOK is important to allow heat distribution evenly when the bottom and cooktop surfaces touch each other.
Usually, the WOK comes in 12 to 16 inches standard sizes for most induction stovetops. But 12 to 14 inches are ideal if you want to cook for 4 to 6 members. However, it is not recommended to use large-sized WOKs because they can cause trouble and require a larger heating element.
You will also face difficulty in washing and storing it.
What Type of WOK Doesn’t Work On An Induction Cooktop?
Any WOK without ferromagnetic material or having a spherical base will not work on an induction cooktop.
Cookware must touch the base of the induction stove to ensure electrical energy from the coil is transferred to cookware to build up magnetic energy. The ferrous material will pass the magnetic ions from the pot’s base. Therefore, the base must be flat to meet the induction technology requirements.
During tests, a round base WOK used on an induction stove didn’t give satisfying results, proving the base shape’s significance.
Important Tips For A WOK to Work On An Induction Cooktop
- Cast iron and carbon steel WOKs are best for induction stoves but make sure to season them. An enameled WOK will work without seasoning.
- Aluminum or copper WOK is useful only when it has some ferromagnetic material, such as iron or stainless steel (magnetic grade).
- Most WOKs have one handle; if you buy a heavy one, ensure it has two handles.
- Prefer small size over large size to avoid difficulty washing WOK inside the dishwasher. It will also get tough to toss food, and you can only do it with a spatula.
- Do not use a ferrous spatula because it can leave scratches; a wooden spatula will work better.
- You can get induction hub WOK adapters if your WOK doesn’t include ferromagnetic material. These adaptors work best with flat-bottomed pans, pots, and WOKs.
- When purchasing a WOK, check the label “induction compatible” to ensure it will work.
If you want special designs to increase equal heat distribution, minimize cold and hot spots, and cook quickly and efficiently, WOK is great for you. WOK works on an induction cooktop and makes the task easier than expected.
You can cook more food with a WOK within less time than cooking in a pan. So, get a WOK and cook delicious meals on an induction stovetop.