Woks are taking over America like wildfire. They are versatile and great for stir frys. However, the issue with most woks are induction compatibility. Its not so much that they wont work, but rather they cant develop a good contact with the induction cooktop. The traditional wok has a rounded bottom. This means that it cant get a good magnetic pull with the cook top. You need a flat bottom wok or a induction cooktop designed for Woks. The Best Induction Wok will vary depending on the equipment you have and how its shaped.
What makes a Induction Wok Compatible
Traditional Wok are made of carbon steel or cast iron. Both of these metal have a strong magnetic pull. This means that they should be induction capable. Aluminum or even Copper Woks will not work with induction due to the lack of magnetic pull.
The issue with the traditional wok is that the base is round. You will have a difficult time just getting the cooktop to activate. Modern Woks designed for the home kitchen have a flat bottom. Those are suited for induction cooktop.
If you dont have a flat bottom wok. You have a better option, a Wok Induction cooktop. These induction stove is concave so that the wok fits right in. You get more compact and as a result more heat.
Are Induction Woks Better?
Yes and No. Induction conducts heat fast and evenly. Something that is necessary for a true wok experience. In our home kitchen, our stove is simply too weak to get good results. Professional Chinese Kitchen have jet like stove that lets chef cook food rapidly. Ours is a mere cough in comparison.
With a induction cooktop designed for a Wok, its a way for us to get something similar. Woks with a flat bottom works a little better but nothing like the pros use.
So in some case, yes, those specifically designed induction wok cook top are better. However, for the flat bottom wok, not so much.
How to Use
Using a Induction Wok is a simple but a little different. I recommend that you set it on the cooktop and set it out high. Once you start seeing smoke add oil and start cooking. The reason why you do this is to generate heat. If your wok is too cold, it will lose all of its heat. Food will then start steaming.
Because of how thin most wok are, I recommend keeping the heat up as high as possible. If you want to stop cooking, just lift it off the induction cooktop. Since the Wok are so light, it should stop cooking.
You should take care when cleaning. Do not use the dishwasher as it can cause it to rust. Another thing you should avoid is soap. Soap can strip the seasoning and lose it nonstick ability. If you have a bit of stuck on food, trying splashing water when the wok is hot. It should lift most stuff.
Best Induction Wok List
Below you will find a list of some of the Best Induction Wok. There are a few different option, choose one that best suits you.
NUWAVE MOSAIC Induction Wok with 14-inch carbon steel wok with tempered glass lid (Best Overall)
Nuwave Induction Cooktop is one of the few that has a induction cooktop designed for Wok. It has more contact with the cooktop meaning it can generate more heat. At its highest, you can get up to 575 degree. Higher than a lot of other option out there. Not only that, you get a lot of accessories to go with your Wok. If you truly want a good Wok experience, Nuwave is the way to go. I personally think all other option will fail in comparison.
Lodge Pro-Logic Wok With Flat Base and Loop Handles, 14-inch (Best for Induction Cooktop)
Lodge Wok is heavy with a flat bottom surface. While its not as responsive as a traditional Wok, it will hold its heat well. Once you heat it up, you can really get a good sear out of food and develop flavor. Since its so heavy, you cant toss and turn by flipping. But the wide open area makes it easy to stir. You can also double this as a bowl. Although I would get a smaller one.
Carbon Steel Wok for Electric, Induction and Gas Stoves (Best Traditional Style Wok)
If you are a semi purist and want something that resemble a traditional Wok, this generic brand will work. The bottom is flat and its made of carbon steel. This means that it will work with most induction cooktop. The handle is wood so it wont get hot like metal. The all black look is also quite attractive to most people.
All-Clad 6412 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Chefs Pan (Best Stainless Steel Model)
Stainless Steel is something that is not often used with Wok. However, if you want one, then go for All Clad. The Copper Core makes it extremely responsive. It also has a really wide base so that it gets good contact with the induction cooktop. You will also have more room to sear food. This pan is also great for a regular stove. I personally would get it for its versatility.
For home cooking with a Wok, induction is the way to go. Most of our home stove is too weak to generate considerable amount of heat. The best induction wok out there is a Wok with a Wok Induction Cooktop. They fits the round wok perfectly and generate more heat than most other option out there. But for a regular induction, considerable lodge. Its heavy and great for searing food. Its a good alternative a weaker induction cooktop. But if you want something more responsive, there are good out there. Just try to get one with a flat bottom. You can also get a stainless steel model by All Clad. The flat surface is ideal for searing and generating heat.
Looking for wok accessories, Check out our article on the Best Wok Utensils.