Best Electric Wok 2017 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
If you love tasty Asian dishes like fried rice and stir fry, cooking them in a skillet just isn't the same as using a wok, a traditionally wide-mouthed pan with a round bottom.
However, classic woks can be tough to work with if you have an electric stove or a cooking range with small burners. If this is your situation, you'll surely be looking for the best electric wok.
Below, we've outlined what you need to know about purchasing a top-quality electric wok, and we've also reviewed five of the best options in the market.
About Traditional Woks
Woks are a traditional Chinese cooking utensil, dating back to approximately 2,000 years. If you go to China, especially Southeast China, you'll see that most homes have a wok in them because it's integral to their culture. Once used to dry meats and veggies and roast tea, woks are now the go-to utensil for stir frying in Asia as well as the rest of the world.
What Are the Important Features of Woks?
Woks are circular with a wide mouth that flares out all around the sides. They have a rounded bottom that are typically quite deep.
Most of the time, woks are made of carbon steel, but it can be made out of other materials as well, especially when it comes to electric woks. Teflon and other forms of nonstick materials are typically used for electric woks.
Any electric wok that you buy is going to have the same traditional shape as its non-electric counterpart. The main difference is in the power source.
An electric wok includes the power source as part of the stand that holds it. It doesn't have a built-in battery so the power cord needs to be plugged in to generate heat.
Why Woks Are Better For Certain Types of Cooking?
For many professional chefs, cooking with a wok is not a passive activity. It requires preparation, action and concentration. But you don't have to be a professional chef to benefit from the unique advantages of cooking with a wok.
The main factor concerning wok cooking is temperature. Woks are meant to get extremely hot, especially when you're stir frying.
In this method, the chef typically starts with a dry, hot pan before tossing in cold oil and the stir fry ingredients for an instant cook that seals in the flavor. Because of the rounded bottom, you don't need to use much oil. The same thing goes for stir frying and deep frying as well.
Additionally, unlike stir frying in a regular frying pan or skillet, when you stir fry with a wok, you get more even heat because of the rounded bottom. Chinese chefs even contend that there is a special aroma that forms when you cook with a wok. They call it "wok-air".
Woks do more than just make great stir fry. For a number of cooking methods, they're simply the best option. For example, they're great for deep frying, steaming, smoking and making stew and soups.
Why Choose an Electric Wok Over a Traditional Wok?
Electric woks naturally use electric energy, but they can get hotter than most electric stove burners, which is great for Asian cooking, deep frying, steaming, searing and smoking. Electrics woks are also portable, which means they can be used anywhere.
You'll want to choose electric woks over their traditional counterparts for three reasons.
First and foremost, most people can't actually use authentic traditional woks with rounded bottoms on their stovetops; the wok will fall right over and make a mess. If you use an electric wok, you get the advantages of the rounded bottom, which can make your food taste better and allow you to use less oil.
Secondly, electric woks often get hotter than traditional electric stoves which many people have in their kitchens. If you want to take full advantage of wok cooking, you need those high temperatures.
Finally, electric woks are portable. You can use them as your primary cooking appliance if you live somewhere where a stovetop is not available, and they're also great for camping as long as you have an outlet on site.
Features to Look for in an Electric Wok
The heat setting
A quality electric wok should be able to get very hot. Make sure the heat settings are accurate so you can achieve your desired temperatures with precision. Of course, you'll also want the pan itself to be big enough to cook for the number of people you plan to feed.
Easy to clean & heat-resistant handles
If easy cleanup is important to you, look for electric woks with nonstick bottoms and those that can be separated from the energy unit and put directly into the dishwasher.
A sturdy stand and heat-resistant handles are also important. Nearly all electric woks come with lids, so this isn't usually a feature you have to worry about.
The 5 Best Electric Woks
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The Breville Hot Wok is made of aluminum and has a 6-quart capacity wok with a 14-inch diameter. This makes it perfect for family cooking although it is a bit smaller than traditional woks.
In order to distribute heat up the wok sides evenly, the wok features a 1500-watt butterfly element, which responds perfectly to the layers of heat-responsive aluminum.
The wok has 15 heat settings for precision cooking and gets extremely hot at the highest settings with a maximum of 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
With this wok, you can easily sauté foods at high temperatures and lock in moisture to create authentic Asian dishes. The nonstick coating makes cleanup a breeze.
Editor's Rating: 97/100
- The 14-inch diameter is perfect for small family cooking
- Reaches a heat of 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Extremely durable nonstick coating for easy cleaning, lessening the need for excess oil
- Dishwasher safe for both bowl and lid
- Clear lid to easily monitor cooking
- Well-insulated and has a long cord with easy-pull plug
- Base that stays cool while you cook
- The nonstick coating can scratch if you don't use proper utensils
- Searing foods with it can be more difficult despite the high temperature potential.
The Presto Electric Wok is made of strong and long-lasting stainless steel. It has a 17-inch diameter and a 1500-watt heating element, reaching maximum temperatures of around 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The fact that this product doesn't have a nonstick coating is an advantage if you're serious about cooking with a wok. You can season the bowl yourself with oil before you cook, and you won't need to worry about accidentally scratching a nonstick coating off with your cooking utensils.
The lid that comes with this wok is clear, which will make it easy to check on your food as you cook. This particular product also comes with a long-handled wooden spatula for making stir fry and other dishes. When you're finished cooking, pop the bowl and lid into the dishwater for easy cleaning.
Editor's Rating: 94/100
- Made of durable stainless steel, which will distribute heat to your food evenly
- Clear lid made of strong tempered glass for easy monitoring as you cook
- Comes with a long wooden spatula
- Stainless steel bowl can be seasoned with oil; no need to worry about scratching Teflon or other nonstick coatings
- Easy cleanup in the dishwasher for both bowl and lid
- Only reaches temperatures of 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
The Aroma Housewares Electric Wok is a top-quality wok with a 5-quart capacity. The unit heats up fast and keeps heat locked in as you cook.
There is also an adjustable vent that allows excess steam out and prevents the buildup of too much water vapor. As opposed to many electric woks, this unit sells for a modest price.
The Aroma Housewares Electric Wok comes with a clear, domed lid that you can use to watch your food without letting heat out while you cook.
Another advantage of this unit is that it comes with several accessories, including long cooking chopsticks, a steam rack and a tempura rack.
Editor's Rating: 89/100
- Base and handles stay cool while you cook
- Precise temperature control with a full range of temperatures
- Comes with durable coating for nonstick cooking and easier cleanup
- Dishwasher safe
- Clear, dome lid for easy monitoring while you cook
- Great price for a quality wok if you're on a budget
- Comes with a set of cooking chopsticks, a tempura rack and a steam rack
- Nonstick coating can potentially scratch if not used with the correct temperatures
- Does not reach the extremely high temperatures often associated with professional wok cooking
The West Bend Electric Wok is a 1500-watt wok made of safe, nonstick material. It can be immersed in water for washing and is also safe to be loaded into the dishwasher, which makes for quick cleanup at the end of your meal. Just make sure to remove the temperature control dial before washing to prevent damage.
When it comes to using this wok, the nonstick surface makes cooking a breeze, and the quality iron material heats evenly for perfect cooking every time. The large mouth of the pan is 18.6 inches, so it's perfect for cooking stir fry and other dishes for large families.
The only downside is the price, which may be a bit much if you don't plan to use this wok on a regular basis.
Editor's Rating: 84/100
- Top-quality, durable nonstick coating
- Heat-resistant base and handles
- Precise temperature control with dial that is easy to read
- Domed lid to trap heat inside for better cooking
- The lid is not clear, which means you cannot monitor your cooking without taking it off and letting out heat.
- The wok is pricey for what you're getting.
- The temperature control must be removed before washing.
The Oster DuraCeramic Wok is a unique wok made of DuraCeramic material that is nonstick for easy cooking and even easier cleanup.
DuraCeramic is natural and tends to stand up better compared to many types of materials, such as classic Teflon. The coating is also PTFE and PFOA free. It helps to cook food 20 percent faster than typical woks.
Adjusting the temperature is simple with this wok, but keep in mind that it may be difficult to read the dial as it sits beneath the overhanging edge of the wok.
In addition, the lid is not clear, so checking on your food as you cook is not possible without letting some of the heat out. Despite these factors, the price is good.
Editor's Rating: 78/100
- Handles and base that stay cool to the touch as you cook
- Great price for the quality of the item
- Large 17.5-inch diameter
- Made of durable nonstick material that won't peel or flake and is scratch resistant
- Easy-to-adjust temperature control for precision cooking
- Material that is PTFE and PFOA free for safety
- Opaque lid will let heat out if you want to check your food as you cook.
- The capacity is slightly smaller than other woks at 4.5 liters because of the shallow depth.
- Shallow depth makes flipping your foods as you stir fry slightly more difficult.
- The temperature dial can be difficult to read.
Ready to Start Stir Frying?
Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok is our clear winner. Its large 6-quart capacity makes cooking for an entire family easy, and the heat distribution is second to none.
With the 1500-watt butterfly element and 15 heat settings, you'll achieve ultra-high temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for made-to-perfection stir fry dishes, fried rice dishes and more.
With any wok purchase, these are all features you should look for. Of course, if you need a smaller model, one of the other options listed above may work well for you.
Are you interested in electric products? There a wide range of electric products in the market. So as not to get confused to choose the best one, you can read these articles:
- best electric skillet
- best electric griddle
We hope at least one of these woks fits your needs, so be sure and let us know! We'd love to hear your comments. If you liked the article, feel free to share it with your friends because every kitchen should have a great electric wok.