You don’t have to be a celebrated gourmet chef to know that using a wok for cooking can be a hassle on a traditional Induction cooking surface. Woks traditionally have a round bottom that has made them famous for evenly distributed heating while cooking, but all that has now changed.
Manufacturers have designed a slightly new shape to the cooking wok, with a small flat surface on the bottom, allowing cooks with induction hob surfaces to get in on the action. There are woks in many sizes available to suit any of your cooking needs from simple stir fry to batches of homemade soup.
Our selection of the best woks for induction cooktops available in the UK market in 2019!
There is the old saying that “You get what you pay for”, which can be true for any type of purchase that you make. However, there is no need to break the bank to get a quality and durable cooking wok in the marketplace today.
There are many variables to consider when looking to buy a new wok including the type of cooking that will be done, the number of people that you are cooking for and how often the wok would be in use.
Trying to sort through the hundreds of woks that are available can be overwhelming so it is important to keep the following basics in mind to ensure that you make the right purchase for you. Here are some of the basic things that you should know when looking to buy a wok for your kitchen.
There are three common ways that a wok is constructed and each has its value and importance depending on what type of cooking you will be doing and how well they will fit into your budget.
Hammered – Traditional construction method where metal is hammered into groves along the edges to aid in the food distribution for cooking large volumes. Very expensive and more appropriate for commercial type cooking. This type of wok does not come with a flat bottom for hob cooking.
Stamped – The metal is machine pressed and moulded into the common bowl-like shape. They can be moulded with or without a flat bottom option and tend to have a smooth interior that can develop hot and cold spots with age. This is a common option and is very affordable for the casual cook.
Spun Metal – Metal worked on a lathe with small creased indents along the sides to help with food distribution. Made with heavy gauge metals and is available with a flat bottom and side handles. This is a medium-range wok that is fairly affordable.
Carbon Steel heats up and keeps even cooking temperature better than other materials
Stainless Steel tends to be heavy and requires a lot of maintenance to maintain the non-stick surface.
Aluminium is a durable and lightweight material and is generally affordable
Cast Iron is durable and good for high temp cooking but is heavy and high maintenance
Care & Maintenance
No matter what size, construction style or materials used, it is important to keep your wok at its best by proper seasoning and maintenance. Make sure to follow these common steps to keep your wok in top shape.
- Always boil water for 20 minutes in a new wok before cooking any food to allow the oils added by the manufacturers to be cleaned away.
- Season your wok with preferred oils, even if there is a non-stick coating
- Preferably hand wash with no soap and a soft sponge to loosen any food residue even if the product is dishwasher safe
Top 5 Selling Brands UK
There are literally hundreds of cooking woks available in the marketplace and as many options and features for each depending on your needs. From commercial cooking to home kitchen Asian cooking, there is one out there that is perfect for you. These are the Top 5 Selling brands in the UK:
Do I need to buy Heavy Gauge metal or is Standard ok for home cooking?
Heavy gauge metals are great for commercial cooking and are available on some home models as well, but it is not necessary to make a quality product for home cooking.
How big should the flat bottom surface be on a wok for induction hobs?
Ideally, you don’t want the flat area on the bottom of the wok to be bigger than your cooking element. It is recommended that 8-10cm is the optimum size to maintain even cooking temperatures.
Which handle style is the best for home cooking?
There are a few options on the market and what you get is purely based on preference. The Cantonese style has two small looped handles for traditional Chinese cooking. The more Western styles generally come with either one long handle alone or with a second smaller looped handle on the opposite side. The combination handles is generally easier to manoeuvre for home cooks.