Chinese and Chinese-inspired dishes are quickly growing in popularity, and so is preparing and cooking them. One utensil for cooking authentic Chinese/Asian food is the wok. Woks were once used only in China. But today they have increasingly become a common feature in most of today’s modern kitchens. Their unmatched ability to retain heat and allow today’s modern cook to prepare delicious meals in minutes without sacrificing flavors or nutritional values has meant that they have become indispensable.
Unless you have a good gas stove and adequate room to accommodate the traditional pan, you’ll find that it can be very difficult to realize consistent results every time when it comes to preparing healthy, delicious stir fry dishes. And a stop wok typically doesn’t offer a solution if you only have an electric stovetop, since it’s not possible to generate the right amount of heat required to cook such meals. Fortunately, modern technology makes it possible to pack the benefits of the traditional Chinese wok into a convenient cookware perfect for those looking to enjoy tableside or on-the-go deliciousness.
About Electric Woks
Electric woks are not much different than their regular counterparts. They typically feature the same shape: circular bottom, wide shape. But, there’s one major difference between the two –electric woks derive their heat from electricity rather than from a stovetop. They come with a built-in burner, which is activated when the cookware is plugged into an ordinary outlet at home or any other location. This makes them much more convenient for stewing, steaming, making soups, pan frying, deep frying, and more, right at the table or when out camping.
Electric woks are usually crafted using a non-stick material, which prevents the build-up of food-derived oils while allowing easy clean-up. This can be a huge advantage, saving you time and effort that are involved in cleaning burnt on food from your pots and pans. The only drawback associated with this is that most non-stick coatings cannot handle the high heat necessary for high-heat cooking. As a result, electric woks are typically capped at a certain heat. This, in turn, has made some reviewers to claim that these woks aren’t the best option for making a proper stir-fry, since they don’t reach those exceptionally high temperatures required. Still, many users who have tried our picks for the best electric woks cite their ability to cook food that is just as delicious as that of any traditional wok, so you can rest assured that the electric woks on our list won’t let you down – whether you’re looking to stir-fry, deep-fry, steam, or do some indoor smoking.
1. Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok
The BrevilleBEW600XLHotWok produces tasty delicious food that is as good as that of a non-electric wok; and this is why it ranks top on our list. Let’s face it, most electric models cannot reach the high temperatures required for a proper stir fry, and because of this they often elicit negative reviews from disappointed customers. The BrevilleBEW600XLHotWok is one of the few electric versions that can compete head-to-head with traditional woks. This unit reaches the perfect temperature for making excellent stir-fry and other dishes. It measures 17.8 x 9.2 x 17.8 inches and holds 6 quarts, producing enough food to entertain small groups. It is dishwasher safe and, therefore, very easy to clean and maintain. If you are looking for an electric wok that is large, durable, and able to replace your non-electric wok, you should seriously consider this unit.
2. Presto 1500 Watt Stainless Steel Electric Wok
The Presto 1500 Watt Stainless Steel Electric Wok is a high quality wok that also offers the best in terms of functionality. It’s no wonder it ranks No.1 on Amazon’s list of electric wok best sellers, with outstanding reviews. It comes with an aluminum base that combines with a 1500-watt element to facilitate fast, even cooking. Measuring 17 x 14 x 10 inches, the Presto1500WattStainlessSteelElectricWok is pretty large and a good option for treating large groups. The side loop handles make it very portable, and allow you to enjoy big meals outdoors.
The Presto 1500 Watt Stainless Steel Electric Wok doesn’t have a nonstick coating, allowing you to enjoy the benefits that come with such pans. It also has a long handled wooden spatula included, further ensuring that you have everything you need to get those delicious dishes ready. The control cord is quite short, but that doesn’t pose any serious issues. It is dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy and stress-free. If you’re looking for a quality electric wok without nonstick coating, then you can’t go wrong with this unit.
3. Aroma 5-Quart Electric Wok
At a 5 quart volume and measuring 14 x 15.5 x 8 inches, Aroma 5-Quart Electric Wok is smaller than the above-reviewed models. But it’s still large enough to treat your friends, family or small groups. If you’re looking for something that’s not too large, then this could be a great option.
Unlike your average wok, the Aroma 5-Quart Electric Wok comes with cooking chopsticks, a steam rack, and a tempura rack – all of which expand its functionality. The durable non-stick coating makes it easy to clean while its cast-metal base facilitates rapid heat-up and even heating. It is dishwasher safe, and the entire unit detaches from the base to allow for easy cleanup and storage. The temperature control on the side works well and its readings are easy to decipher. It also lets you control the amount of steam that gets out depending on the dish via the adjustable vent on its glass dome lid. Basically, it’s a top-notch multi-purpose wok that offers great value for money.
4. West Bend 6-Quart Capacity Electric Wok
Measuring 18.6 x 18.3 x 6.4 inches and having the ability to hold 6 quarts, the West Bend 6-Quart Capacity Electric Wok is a big wok designed to help you ensure you always have enough food for all of your guests. In fact, it’s one of the biggest – if not the biggest – model on our list. If you’re looking for a wok that can create wholesome and delicious meals for large groups, then this is it.
Aside from its size, the West Bend 6-Quart Capacity Electric Wok has many other positives. It comes with a great quality nonstick coating that makes it easy to clean and maintain. The model is very solid and reliable, specifically its metal base which allows for even cooking. Its solid construction makes it extremely durable. Though the temperature control knob is located under the bowl, it’s still possible to change the temperature as needed.
The West Bend 6-Quart Capacity Electric Wok also features a support ledge that keeps food items warm while others cook. This is particularly advantageous, particularly when it comes to preparing complicated cuisines. With this ledge, you can keep food that is done warm without having to interfere with whatever else needs to cook. In addition, it comes with a nonstick interior, is immersible and dishwasher-safe. All these features along with its durability mean that the West Bend 6-Quart Capacity Electric Wok is one of the best models available on the market today.
5. Oster 4.5 Quart Dura Ceramic Wok
The Oster 4.5 Quart Dura Ceramic Wok utilizes very strong, pure ceramic as a coating, providing nonstick perfection while remaining free of PFOA, PTFE and other harmful substances. Its ceramic coating is much stronger than the typical non-stick coatings. Unlike conventional nonstick skillets and other ceramic cookware brands, this wok can handle the high heat needed to do a proper stir-fry and won’t experience the eventual flaking of its coating or release noxious fumes in high temperatures. This makes it a perfect choice if you’re looking for a non-stick wok that doesn’t have the concerns often associated with conventional nonstick surfaces and ceramic cookware pans. It can also be a great option if you’re looking for cookware that is easy to clean and maintain.
The only thing you may not like about the Oster 4.5 Quart Dura Ceramic Wok is the fact that it’s much smaller than the other options on our list. But this doesn’t mean it’s too small to make meals for two or more persons. It is actually big enough to cook for several people. Some reviewers have found its temperature knob, which is located under the handle, to be a little inconveniencing; but this is a small matter that shouldn’t hinder you from having control over your cooking and realizing great results.