Everyone knows that woks are the ideal cookware to stir-fry all our favorite East Asian foods. With its fantabulous heat distribution, even the firmest vegetables are never half-cooked. Usually, humans use woks with gas stoves because they are powerful enough. But what if you are an owner of a glass-top stove? Can you use a wok on a glass-top stove? Let’s discuss it!
Wok and a glass-top stove
Can you use a wok on a glass-top stove? Yes, it’s possible to apply a wok on glass-top stoves or electric stoves because it won’t slide around the burner and scratch your glass surface.
There are four most popular woks, differing by their materials, which are carbon steel wok, cast iron wok, stainless-steel wok, and aluminum or non-stick wok.
And there are two types of woks that differ in shape: a flat-bottomed wok, and a round-bottomed wok.
But what kind of wok can I use on a glass top stove? And what kind of wok is more suitable for a glass top stove? So, let’s find out.
Flat-bottomed woks vs. round-bottomed woks
As noted previously, woks are usually either round-bottomed or flat-bottomed. Round-bottomed woks are greatest applied with a gas stove, while flat-bottomed woks are more consistent with electric stoves and glass-top ones.
ROUND Bottomed WOKS
Round-bottomed wok cooking is considered to be the traditional method of cooking in a wok.
A round-bottomed wok creates a pleasant hot spot on the bottom while still providing even heat to the sides of the entire wok – ideal for small portions. The hob is circular and evenly, with no change from flat to sloping sides. This allows you to quickly turn the food.
However, to properly use a round-bottomed wok, you’ll need a wok ring. The wok ring is required just to be sure the wok is steady while cooking.
But on electric and glass stoves, the round-bottomed wok doesn’t make straight contact with the heating element. This means it won’t heat as needed. Besides, if the wok ring moves a little bit, it will scratch your glass stovetop.
FLAT BOTTOM WOKS
Flat-bottomed wok cooking is very close to cooking with a skillet in Western cuisine.
Flat-bottomed woks are much simpler for beginners, and they don’t need a wok ring. Therefore, they heat fast and evenly on your glass stove top. So as for those who have a glass-top stove or smooth electric range, a flat bottom wok is the only proper option.
What is the best material for woks?
The greatest material for woks is carbon steel due to its uniform heating without hotspots. Stainless steel and cast iron are preferable for stir-frying over glass or non-stick and aluminum. When cooking on gas firing, the meal cooks faster in cast iron or stainless steel.
Carbon steel woks
Carbon steel woks are an ideal conductor of heat. This means that they make hot quickly and don’t cool down even after the fire is turned off.
It distributes heat more equally across their surface, making sure that whatever cooks in the pan has an even color rather than charring at the bottom, remaining half-cooked at the top of the pan.
This makes a carbon steel wok excellent for frying vegetables, meat, or fish that need to be cooked fast and over high temperatures.
In this way, carbon steel is also a proper option. Carbon steel is more long-lasting than stainless steel but more prone to rust. Carbon steel is much lighter and conducts heat faster than cast iron.
On the other hand, since carbon steel is very light, you should be careful not to scratch the glass stovetop. Do not drag the wok across the stovetop to avoid scratching it.
Cast iron woks
Cast iron woks are also great conductors of heat. And also they dispense this heat more on an even basis over their surface.
But a cast iron pan requires seasoning before use, which can take a few hours. It is usually not recommended to use dishwashing liquid to do this.
Thus, if you are an owner of a glass stove top, it’s advised a flat-bottomed cast iron wok instead of a carbon-steel wok – the heavy weight of the wok will be your advantage as it won’t slide around the glass burner, reducing the potential to cause injury to your stove-top.
A stainless steel wok is commonly non-stick. Today, a lot of modern stainless steel pot and pan inserts are pre-coated in this way.
Stainless steel woks do not dispense heat as equally, as carbon steel or cast iron ones, but they are usually easy to apply and relatively cheap.
In addition, you can wash stainless steel woks with dish soap and water without causing injury to the coating.
Non-stick woks can be used on all types of stoves. They may be made of carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, etc.
In addition, the non-stick coating makes the surface of the wok less reactive. This means you’ll need to increase your gas or electric hob fire to get it hot well to cook correctly.
How to use a wok on a glass top stove or electric stove – a few quick tips?
Mount at least two burners of various heat
The burners on an electric stove take time for heating up and cooling down. That’s why if you need to vary the temperature, consider mounting two various burners. For instance, you can set one to low and the other to high. When you’re done stir fry, switch it from the high burner to the low burner. If you don’t use two burners, your meal may burn.
Let the wok preheat slowly on the burner and add oil after preheating your wok
Let the wok heat up on the burner for at least 10 minutes before adding oil or groceries. The wok should be a bit smoking at this moment.
The preheating process is essential whether you are using carbon steel or cast iron woks. Both of them do not respond well to sudden changes in temperature – carbon steel woks can warp, and almost indestructible cast iron can crack.
Put in oil to the wok and swirl the pan until it is completely coated in oil. After just a couple of minutes, you should see rippling in your oil. This means you’re ready to stir fry.
Don’t be afraid to increase the heat for stir-frying with a wok
When cooking in a wok, high heat is the best solution. But be cautious, turning it up to the max. For some glass top stoves, that’ll be needed.
Ensure you have a high-quality cooker hood over your stove before your cooking in the wok.
In addition, remember that flat-bottomed woks have a wider base than round-bottomed woks. This wide base gets really hot, which means that food can easily burn without tossing it quickly enough.
Avoid warping your wok and don’t put too much food in your wok
Be cautious when switching on the heat. A wok made of any material – carbon steel, aluminum, etc. – can warp if heated too quickly. If the wok warps, the food will move to the sides that are not as hot.
This makes it difficult to cook meals evenly! Apart from if a wok is too warped, it won’t stand on your stovetop! An unstable wok can damage a fragile glass stove top.
You can also warp your pan if you wash it under cold water while it’s hot. It’s recommended to let your wok cool on the stove before cleaning or washing it.
Keep in mind, don’t put too much food in your wok. Woks can hold a lot of food because their sloped round edges let put too much meal in the wok.
If you overfill your wok, the meal won’t be prepared on an even basis. The ingredients will not get very warm and will steam in the pan. After a while, the ingredients at the bottom will burn underneath, and the rest of the food will get soggy.
Also, move your wok off the heat directly upon you’re done frying. When stir-frying, it’s important to keep an eye out for your food thoroughly.
As far as the pan gets so hot, particularly the bottom, you can burn your food if you’re not careful. Once your dish will be got done, move your wok from the heat.
What cookware should not be used on a glass-top stove?
Avoid glass, cast iron, and ceramic cookware, as they tend to scratch the stove. For example, cast iron cookware is prone to burrs and rough patches on the outside of the pan. Cast iron takes a while to absorb heat, which can slow cooking, but once it does get hot, it holds on to that heat and may transfer it back to the cooktop.
Can I use a cast iron wok on a glass-top stove?
Yes, cast iron is much heavier than a carbon steel wok. But it keeps heat in and heats up more evenly than other materials. Besides, a cast iron wok won’t move around as much as other woks, so it will be easier to shy away damage to your glass stovetop.
Thus, cast iron could be your great choice.
What kind of stove can you use a wok on?
If you can’t live without your wok, the best choice is a gas stove. It is much more powerful, heats up much faster, and allows you to quickly and easily adjust the temperature. An electric stove or glass-top stove is also a great idea, but you won’t be able to preheat it the same way as a gas oven.
Can you use a wok on a flat electric stove?
Yes, for sure. As above-noted, a flat-bottomed wok without a wok ring will be the best wok for the glass-top stove or a flat electric stove, but there are a few cautions to bear in mind.
Glass stove tops always contain a blend of glass and ceramic, which makes the surface unruffled, shiny, and easy to clean. However, they are much more breakable than an electric coil or gas stove top.
By choosing the proper wok, you can create plenty of healthy and delicious meals that will be ideal for your glass-top stove. The best types of woks for glass top stoves we have discussed will help make sure your meal doesn’t stick to the wok, they will heat up fast and keep it scratch-free.
No matter the type of stovetop you own at home, there is one wok that works cross-functional – a cast-iron flat-bottomed wok, which may be your perfect solution.