As an individual who loves cooking, you may decide to get yourself a wok that will turn around your cooking. But this begs the following questions; how do you know the best woks for induction cooktop and whether the stir fry pan is induction ready or not? This article will help you arrive at the right induction wok for whatever cooking activity you are into.
The traditional Chinese wok pan is revolutionized. There are so many brands available in the market. Modern designs are breaking away from the conventional cast-iron wok and different materials, for example, aluminum and stainless steel are taking over. Other categories available in the market include the nonstick, pre-seasoned, and ceramic-coated designs are coming up to serve specific purposes by filling in gaps of the old design.
To arrive at the perfect wok, you have to understand the dynamics that go into the making of different brands of woks. This text will help you narrow down your search by reviewing the top 8 induction-ready woks. If you want to find out more, read on!
When a wok pan induction-ready?
Are you thinking of preparing your dinner or breakfast on an induction cooktop using your recently acquired wok? First, make sure it is induction ready. What does it mean to have an induction prepared wok pan? First, your wok must be made of ferrous material. Unlike other cooktops, the induction type works by creating a magnetic field that induces energy to ferrous cookware, subsequently making it hot. Ideally, the wok is the burner.
Testing your wok for compatibility
You are probably wondering how you would know whether your favorite wok pan brand is induction ready. If the wok does not indicate the material, it is made of, and you shouldn’t be worried since there is a straightforward test for this. Hold a magnet on the bottom part of your wok pan and observe.
If the magnet sticks well, you are good to go; otherwise, it won’t work. It is that easy! Woks designed exclusively for induction cooktop have their bottoms made of magnetic material. The beauty of them or any other induction cookware is that they can also be used on other cooktops.
Things to consider when choosing a wok for induction cooktop
Whether you are a regular or once in a while type of cook, a wok pan is must-have cookware. You do not have to be a Chinese chef for you to own a wok lest you don’t want to enjoy its many advantages. A good wok will transform your meal prep experience in so many ways.
There is no substitute for a good quality wok. Woks can cook almost every food you can think of, not to mention that it uses less heat when deep frying. Having established that a wok pan is a must-have, it is also important to understand several factors before deciding on the one to purchase.
The following factors will help you narrow down your choices and arrive at the best wok for induction cooktops.
Choose wok material
Woks come in different materials that have their pros and cons, depending on the nature of cooking, among many other factors.
- Cast Iron – Woks made of this material take relatively longer to heat up but once hot, retains heat longer and also cooks food evenly better than the others. On the flip side, you will be required to keep your wok dry because cast iron easily rusts.
- Aluminum woks – Unlike ironworks, the aluminum type is lighter as far as weight is concerned. Its primary advantage is natural heat conductivity. Naturally, aluminum is not a magnetic conductor and can’t be used on an induction top by itself. Also, aluminum woks do not retain heat for long.
- Teflon wok – Are nonstick and have a limited array of uses as compared to other woks of different materials. This is because the nonstick coating comes off at high temperatures. You are advised to use this wok for low heat requiring processes like steaming and boiling.
- Carbon Steel – Compared to its counterparts, woks made of carbon steel are simply the go-to choice because they have a little bit of everything. This material heats up evenly and also has excellent heat retention properties. If used correctly, a wok from carbon steel has an almost nonstick surface. To top it all off, it is the most pocket-friendly of all the types of wok available.
Flat vs. Round Bottom
Woks do exist in two shapes the flat bottom and the round bottoms. Choosing the right shape to pick could be a headache if you don’t know what exactly to go for. The round bottom work is a traditional design that ensures maximum heat distribution during cooking.
The flat bottomed wok pan is a modern design developed to fit the modern cooktops. Ideally, the choice you make on the wok shape you need should be well informed by the type of cooktop you have. The flat bottom is ideal for electric and induction stoves, while the round base is ideal for gas stoves.
- Flat bottomed woks concentrate heat at the bottom, therefore, could quickly burn food
- It is easy to stir and mix food in a round bottom wok because of its oval shape.
Shape and size
Woks are available in different sizes, each influenced by several factors, including the amount of food prepared and also your personal preference, among other factors. Restaurants will require a larger wok as compared to a family that only wants to make a quick breakfast. The choice of the right size and shape is entirely at your discretion. A 12 -14 inch sized woke is recommended for home-cooked meals. An oversized woke will be difficult to maneuver while a small wok will not cook food evenly.
Durability and weight
As a buyer, you always want to get value for your money; therefore, the type of wok you get should provide service accordingly. How do you know the correct weight and durability of a wok? You might be asking yourself this question. A wok shouldn’t feel too heavy on the hands when picked up. You should remember that it will be heavier once you put food in it.
You can check for durability by applying slight pressure on the bottom of the pan. The pan should not give in during the process; however, aluminum pans are expected to give in slightly. Although this is not the ultimate test for durability, it gives you a feel of how good quality wok should behave.
Handles & lid
The traditional woks came equipped with two metal handles that were purposely for lifting in and out of the heating stove. The modern flat bottomed wok went with a long wooden handle and a helper handle on the other end. The longer handle will enable you to turn and tilt the wok during “stir-frying.”
The round-bottomed wok has not yet broken the traditional Chinese design and has two ear-shaped metal handles on two opposite sides. When it comes to the lid, it is wise to choose a wok that has one because some meal prep techniques require food to simmer. Having a wok with a lid will make your meal prep comfortable and easier.
Woks are an almost all-purpose kind of cookware because they can be used to cook almost everything. However, it is important also to know that woks are made of different materials and work best under certain conditions.
Well, if you are using a Teflon wok, then it is essential to avoid cooking under very high temperatures to protect the nonstick material. Also, seasoning the wok will work magic when preparing meals. Seasoning does create a protective layer that doubles up as a nonstick too.
With the wide variety of brands available in the market, there is an equally vast range in prices for your basic wok pan. Your typical wok ranges from $30 to as high as $600 or even higher, especially for the commercial grade. If you are a first-time buyer, you may be in limbo on what price is ideal. There is no textbook preference for the correct cost. However, based on your experience in buying other products, the right quality product is not always the cheapest. Go for a product that will not overstretch your wallet.
Best Woks for Induction Cooktops Reviews
By now, you know the nitty-gritty details that go into the determination and selection process of an excellent induction-ready wok. To save you the hustle of going through every brand of wok available in the market, we have sampled the following pans that will work best for any cooking style.
Lodge P14W3 Pro-Logic Cast Iron14-inch Wok
Cast iron is a material that goes way back. This is the recommended material for using on the induction cooktop. The lodge is an American based company that makes cast iron cookware. The Lodge P13W3 Pro-Logic wok has a flat surface at the bottom that will sit well with your induction cooktop. The inside surface, however, is round, so you get to enjoy the benefits that come with a rounded bottom wok.
- Durability and heat retention– Cast iron is a dense material that is known for absolute heat retention as compared to other materials in the market. Furthermore, cast iron pans would last you a lifetime because they are tougher than their counterparts.
- Reactivity– Cast iron by itself is considered reactive. This, however, should not be a point of concern for you as a buyer. The wok comes seasoned that is designed to get better after every use. Oil is baked into the iron and not only serves as prevention to rust but also acts as a natural nonstick.
- Ease to clean– This particular wok is quite simple to clean after meals. It is recommended to avoid the use of any detergent on this wok. Preferably use a stiff nylon brush with warm water, and your wok will be as good as new. If you are having a hard time removing residue on the pan, boil water in it to loosen the residue. It is good practice to rub your clean wok with vegetable oil while still hot and store in a clean and dry place.
- Handle and lid. It is equipped with two opposite assist loop handles that provide the best possible grip for lifting, tilting, and shaking when necessary. It is, however, unfortunate that this particular wok does not come with a lid.
- Cost and warranty- When it comes to pricing, it hugely depends on where you decide to purchase your wok. The prices may vary depending on the particular store you are buying from. Roughly, the prices start from $50, and if you are purchasing your wok online, it is advisable to get two wok spatulas alongside the wok. Different companies provide a different warranty. It is recommended that you check with the company for their warranty.
What customers are saying:
The wok is stationary, which is a result of its weight, therefore quite easy to use during meal preparation. As far as heat retention is concerned, this wok pan is impressive, and a majority of people are satisfied by this characteristic. By it being pre-seasoned, cooking is easy and quite straight forward. The only complaints associated with its weight, which some customers find quite challenging to work with.
This wok has superior heat retention and very durable. We recommend this product because of its versatility in terms of cooking. Its cast-iron material will ensure that your food cooks at the right temperature to your liking. Lastly, you won’t have to dig too deep into your pocket to acquire this masterpiece because it is the most affordable wok in the market.
Ideally, the Lodge wok is built to last and provide you with the service you require. However, because of its weight, some kitchen maneuvers like tossing and stir-frying with a single hand is not possible.
Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Multi-Ply Clad Wok (NC-00233)
It is a stainless steel wok pan model. This particular wok is built beautifully with a three-layer design intended to provide fast and even heat distribution. All layers are made from premium grade stainless steel, while the core is made of aluminum alloy. The shiny exterior is not only aesthetically pleasing but also scratch proof. This wok is built with a flat bottom and is induction ready.
- Durability and heat retention – The three-layered technology built in this wok ensures high-quality performance and proper heat distribution. The aluminum alloy core is sandwiched between the two layers of stainless steel and runs from the bottom to the sides. So when you are preparing your meals, cooking will not only be from the bottom but also the sides. It is mainly built for heat distribution and not so much on heat retention.
- Reactivity – Reactivity is not an issue with this particular model. The interior stainless steel coating ensures that no reaction is possible. As a result, you are not required to season this wok, although seasoning won’t cause any harm if you decide to. The choice of material and construction of this wok makes it oven friendly, so feel free to use it in an oven. This wok gives you flexibility in terms of cooking options.
- Ease to clean – Cleaning is an easy process. You could either hand washing or using a dishwasher since it is dishwasher proof. Manually cleaning will require you to warm water to loosen the residue and wash gently using a sponge and little detergent or baking soda. Seasoning is not a must but causes no harm if you decide to do it anyway.
- Handle and lid – It comes equipped with a handle and a lid. The dome-shaped stainless steel lid is designed to retain heat and moisture and transform your cooking completely. The lid also comes equipped with its loop handle. The best part of it the presence of a stainless steel side handle and even a helper loop handle on the opposite side. These handles are made using the free flow technology that ensures the handles remain comfortable and cool enough to handle.
- Cost and warranty- Prices largely depends on the place you decide to get your wok pan from. However, the model is more expensive than the cast iron model. You may be given a limited lifetime warranty if you purchase from the company.
What customers are saying:
It is of perfect weight for stir-frying and does not require a lot of heat to cook. Since there is no need for seasoning, customers find it rather quite effortless to clean and cook with. Its versatility in terms of meal prep methods is the primary advantage expressed with a majority of the people using this product. The significant concern put across by users is that stainless steel requires more oil, and also food does get stuck easily as compared to other materials.
The versatility of this wok makes it a must-have in any household. The technology used in making the handles and the pan makes it stand out from its counterparts. Lastly and most importantly, this piece is built to last and enable you to make perfect meals. Its price is not so bad either considering the service you will get from this wok.
M.V. Trading 14 Inches Carbon Steel Wok
Carbon-steel works under similar conditions as cast iron. This, therefore, means that it will give a similar cooking experience as cast iron one. The major difference you will notice is the significant difference in weight. This 14-inch wok will last you a lifetime if properly used.
- Durability and heat retention- Just like cast iron, it is known for its excellent heat retention. Moreover, this piece could serve you for quite some time if put to proper use and care.
- Reactivity- carbon steel is quite reactive to acidic food. You should always remember to season this wok before using it. Avoid using this wok for preparing acidic food, which will break down the seasoning.
- Ease to clean – Cleaning is a pretty straight forward ordeal in this wok. Always wash your pan by hand using warm water and a little scrubbing. Seasoning is recommended on the clean wok using a light coat of vegetable oil.
- Handle and lid- The M.V. Trading wok does not come with a lid, unfortunately. The wooden handle and opposite loop handle will put you in control over your wok. Tossing food in the air during meal prep is not possible because it becomes relatively heavy with food.
- Cost and warranty- Prices should not be a factor here since they are among the cheapest woks you can get in the market. For comparison purposes, it is fair to mention that different companies offer different prices for their products. The same to price is the warranty, a lot of companies provide a warranty for their products but provide different terms. Always confirm with the company on warranty terms.
What customers are saying:
A good number of customers are impressed with the rate which the wok heats. Users have also sighted the wok’s ease of cleaning and season. Durability is also a factor that attracts many users to this product. The major disadvantage of it the absence of a lid. Users also mention that the handles get too hot to handle over time.
it is affordable yet durable. If you need an affordable wok that will last you a while, then this is your product. You should, however, know that it is reactive and should not be used to prepare acidic food.
Calphalon Triply Stainless Steel Wok (12-Inch)
Calphalon Triply wok is made of stainless steel and is induction ready. This wok makes use of the tri-ply technology that combines the elegance of stainless steel and superior conductivity of aluminum. The shape is borrowed from the traditional wok so you can make proper meals.
- Durability and heat retention- Triply technology used in making this wok serves to ensure that you get unmatched quality and performance. The heavy gauge aluminum core runs from the bottom up the sides of the wok to provide the best heat distribution. The interior stainless steel coat is a perfect cooking surface. This particular pan is designed for heat distribution and not heat retention.
- Reactivity- Naturally, stainless steel is non-reactive. With this property, this wok has vast usability as far as cooking is concerned. This wok gives you the freedom to explore either as a chef or as a cooking enthusiast. Like any other stainless steel cookware, seasoning is not a must. It is oven safe so that you could finish off dishes in the oven without any issues.
- Ease to clean- Cleaning can either be by a dishwasher or by hand, depending on your preference. It is recommended to clean it by hand to maintain the shiny luster that will leave it looking crisp after every wash.
- Handle and lid- It is well equipped with a glass tempered lid that allows you to monitor the stir-frying process without necessarily opening the lid. This lid is heavy enough to snug perfectly on the wok. The wok also has a handle and a sturdy loop handle on the opposite side.
- Cost and warranty– Prices will always vary depending on where you decide to buy your wok. It is also important to mention that it is among the top of the range brands. This should, therefore, translate to be pricier as compared to other brands. The company provides a lifetime warranty if it has failed either because of workmanship or defects in the material.
What customers are saying:
Customers are impressed by the overall quality, efficiency, and durability of this wok. The lid is also another factor that has impressed many users. The transparent glass allows users to monitor frying easily. It is heavy enough and seals perfectly. The only drawback to this product is it is quite expensive.
The wok has a lid that retains heat, and it also has excellent heat distribution. It’s perfect because of its versatility and, therefore, should be your preferred induction cookware. The quality of this cookware is outstanding and is worth every penny. Despite being a bit too pricy, it is worth every coin you invest in it.
All-Clad E7859464 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Wok
If you are a nonstick fanatic, then this piece should be a starter pack in your cookware collection.
- Durability and heat retention – It’s made of hard anodized-aluminum core to maximize heat distribution. Additionally, It has a layer of bonded anti warp stainless steel that not only makes it sturdy and durable but also induction ready.
- Reactivity – The available coat of PFOA free nonstick makes it non-reactive. The scratch-resistant coating also ensures healthier frying, mainly because you don’t require a lot of oil to prevent food from sticking to the pan.
- Ease to clean- The All-Clad E7859464 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Wok is dishwasher friendly, so you don’t have to worry about tossing it into the dishwasher. However, it is recommended to wash it by hand. The PFOA free nonstick coating ensures effortless cleaning because of easy residue release.
- Handle and lid- It comes with a transparent dome-shaped lid that allows you to monitor your frying at a glance. The lid serves to trap in moisture and heat for when you are ready to serve. On one side of the wok pan is a loop handle while on the opposite side is a contoured handle for a comfortable hold yet firm grip.
- Cost and warranty- Cost and prices are subject to change depending on where you purchase your wok from. However, as a disclaimer, this particular work does not come cheap. Like any other good product, you have to dig into your pocket more than other woks. All-clad products have a limited lifetime warranty. It guarantees to repair or replacement in the event of damages due to material, construction, or workmanship technicalities.
What customers are saying:
Customers are impressed with the ease of washing. Also, users love its lightweight yet heavy-duty for versatility in cooking. It is also durable and maintains its aesthetic look over time. The only concern about it the handle. Users have mentioned that the handle is sharp on the edges and digs into the palm when lifting, especially the 10 inch one.
Great nonstick and is light in weight. This is an excellent product for anyone who wants to have an overall good cooking experience. It is quite pricy but worth the investment.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 14-1/4-Inch Wok
Le Creuset is a company known for the production of quality cookware of all ranges. This particular wok is 14 and a quarter inch built for heat retention and durability. If you have used a cast iron cookware before you can bear witness to this.
- Durability and heat retention- Cast iron products are built for heat retention. It is heavy duty and works best under low heat. Like many other cast iron products, it is quite heavy, and therefore you will need to keep it on the counter to minimize movement. Heat retention is another strength of this wok; a little supply of heat goes a long way.
- Reactivity- Cast iron by itself is quite reactive on specific ingredients and acidic food. However, this is where this wok outdoes the rest. It has an enamel coat that protects the surface, therefore, eliminating the need for seasoning.
- Ease to clean- A warm water and gentle scrubbing using a nylon brush should do the trick. In a scenario that you deep into detergent accidentally, the enamel coat will protect your surface.
- Handle and lid – The Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron wok comes ready with a fitting glass lid that allows you to see through and monitor your frying. The presence of two opposite sturdy loop handles makes movement quite comfortable. The glass lid is equipped with a phenolic knob that is well insulated.
- Cost and warranty- This wok does not come cheap. It sits right at the top, among other woks when you consider prices. Warranty is provided for this piece.
What customers are saying:
Users are impressed by the different range of colors that this brand offers. Customers mention the enamel coating as a complete turnaround in their cooking experience. Superior heat retention and durability is its significant advantage, according to many users. Some users claim that this wok takes quite some time to warm up.
This is an expensive piece that every home deserves to own. Its beautiful range of colors will give you a hard time when determining what color is best.It comes in a different range of colors to choose from and also it is long-lasting. Overall it is an impressive wok that will work well with your induction cooktop.
Scanpan CTX 12-3/4-Inch Nonstick Wok
Scanpan CTX is a magnificent piece that can be used in several cooking operations, including stir-frying and poaching. In whatever meal prep you indulge in, this wok will not disappoint.
- Durability and heat retention- This product is quite robust than your average wok. This is associated with the five-ply design construction for professional heat distribution. The satin finish and stainless steel exterior serve both aesthetic and durability purposes. Heat retention is not the outstanding feature of this pan, but distribution is.
- Reactivity- This wok has the ultimate cooking surface made of 5 interlocking stratanium layers that reinforce the nonstick. The nonstick coating is not reactive, rendering this wok very versatile.
- Ease to clean- The Scanpan CTX wok is dishwasher safe, so you have the freedom of either hand washing or using a dishwasher.
- Handle and lid- Unfortunately, this wok does not come with a cover. However, the handles are built for a comfortable hold. The presence of a long handle and a looping handle makes movement very efficient.
- Cost and warranty- This brand needs no introduction. Its top-quality cookware is always very pricy but will last you a lifetime and over. The company provides a limited lifetime warranty.
What customers are saying:
The mere fact that any stirring utensil can be used on this wok has made it very popular. A majority of customers have also mentioned the scratch resistance of the wok, which enables it to maintain its luster. The only setback associated with it is a bit heavy for its size.
Scanpan CTX wok is the brand to go for if you are looking for a high-end product. What sets this pan apart from the rest is the unique coating of the brand that lasts longer than any other nonstick wok available. It’s great nonstick and easy cleaning. If you have the cash, then you should seriously consider having this product in your kitchen.
Ozeri ZP2-30W 12-inch Cooking Wok
This is one among the few woks in the market that makes use of natural extracts inspired by nature in making the ceramic nonstick coating. The Ozeri ZP2-30W wok is induction ready and is made to suit your kitchen needs.
- Durability and heat retention – The anodized aluminum used in making it is optimized explicitly for heat distribution as compared to heat retention. In comparison with other pans made with different materials, it is not the best for heat retention. Anodized aluminum is quite durable and will accord you with lengthy service.
- Reactivity- The ceramic coating on the inside of the wok renders it non-reactive and therefore gives room for different recipes. Also, the presence of this coat makes seasoning an optional activity.
- Ease to clean – The ceramic nonstick coating on this wok eliminates the possibility of food sticking on the pan, therefore, making cleaning a breeze. The ceramic coating also reduces the amount of oil used during frying; hence, cleaning is simplified even further.
- Handle and lid- This wok has a comfortable heat resistant side handle that is both comfortable and sturdy. Despite not having a lid, this wok has perfect heat distribution thanks to its aluminum core and flat base.
- Cost and warranty- The Ozeri ZP2-30W is quite affordable and is within the buying range for a majority of the users. However, the price is subject to change depending on where you purchase from. A limited lifetime warranty is given to this product.
What customers are saying:
Customers love its nonstick and lightweight nature that makes cooking fun. It is also wide enough, making stirring comfortable. Users are particularly concerned that this wok cannot be used in the oven because of its handle.
For those who need an affordable wok, this is a perfect product for you. Its nonstick coating will make your dish prep and cleaning process effortless and fast. However, it is important to mention that cooking over high temperatures may cause the food to stick on the pan.
What are the Benefits of Induction Cooking?
Why cooking on induction cooktop? Is there any difference between induction and electric or even gas stove cooking? Well, there certainly are a lot of variations and benefits associated with an induction cooktop.
- Speedy meal prep. The electromagnetic field created from the induction cooktop ensures that heat is only generated to the cookware. The advantage of this is that food heats up relatively faster than the other cooktops
- Energy-efficient. Pay close attention to the heating processes of other cooktops, for example, the gas stove and electric cooktop. The latter produces a gas flame that releases a lot of unnecessary heat around the cookware while the former emits radiant heat at points, not in direct contact with the cookware. Unlike the gas and electric cooktops, as mentioned above, the induction method only heats the pan, therefore, using energy efficiently.
- Safety. Because of the absence of a flame, you shouldn’t be worried about your kids getting burnt by it. Furthermore, the cooktop cools quite fast after meal prep.
- Keeping it clean. Induction cooktops have a smooth glassy surface, and since it does not heat up, you don’t have to worry about splatter getting stuck. Cleaning is pretty easy, just by wiping your cooktop becomes spotless. Complete cooking experience is always capped off by an easy cleanup process.
Is the Induction Cooking Safe for Health?
To this point, we have established that getting burnt from the cooktop is not a possible ordeal. However, you should know that stirring your pan using a metallic spatula may cause a mild electric shock. But no one in their right mind would do that!
Is there a magnetic field exposure?
Yes. There is a possibility of radiation when the induction cooktop is turned on and left that way. That said, research has established that just by standing one foot away, the chance of being affected is reduced to zero. Impressive, right!
Generally, induction cooking remains to be the safest technique in the market right now. Everyone deserves to get to enjoy the meal prep experience associated with this cooktop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you use induction compatible wok on gas and electric cooktops?
A: Absolutely! These woks are flexible and can be used on other cooktops without any problems.
Q:What happens if you use a standard wok on an induction hob?
A: It will depend on what material the product is made of. If the wok pan is of ferromagnetic material, then it would heat up. However, it is made of pure aluminum then there is no chance you will use it on an induction cooktop.
Q:Is Induction Cooking better than Gas or Electric?
A: Yes. The induction method has an outstanding energy conservation capacity, and to top it all off; it cooks faster than both gas and electric cooktops.
Q: How fast is meal prep with induction wok?
A: The induction method is overall faster than its counterparts. An induction wok cooks faster, too, because heat distribution and retention are superior to other cookware.
Q: How can I determine if a wok is induction-ready?
A: stick a magnet at the bottom of your wok; if it clings, then you might as well begin cooking right away. That’s it!
Conclusion: Which Wok is Right for You?
The induction method is revolutionizing cooking on a global scale, and it is not fair for anyone not to join the bandwagon. The benefits associated with the induction cooktop are unmatched, whether you are a professional chef or not.
Arriving at a great choice of a wok is also crucial since woks are built differently and serve different purposes. Proper induction woks are made for both durability and performance; therefore, having one in your possession is a win for you.
The eight different induction woks discussed are the best in the market and are guaranteed to provide you with service accordingly.
The Cooks Standard Stainless Steel NC-00233 Wok Pan, however, stands out among the rest. It’s not only aesthetically appealing but is also designed to outdo the rest. Its polished exterior makes cleaning easy, while the aluminum core provides unmatched heat distribution.
With these eight induction woks, you are sure to find your match!