The way we cook out food has known dramatic changes over the centuries. Nowadays, cooking a meal is plain sailing, and the reason behind that is that we have the right tools.
The right kitchenware makes cooking simple and less time-consuming. Plus, the food is a lot tastier when you use the right tools. One of those tools is an electric wok. I know that most people are satisfied with the old stove-top wok, but its electric counterpart seems to gain some territory even in restaurants.
The wok has been used in China for almost 2000 years, and it is not surprising that it has lasted so long. While making a stir fry in a conventional pan is pretty good, there is a reason why chefs all around the world use the wok.
It is far more convenient, and the vegetables or meat are cooking in the right conditions for a tasty meal. Plus, cooking in a wok ensures better retention of vitamins and minerals. Now, the electric wok has changed the same a little bit. Some people actually prefer it for various reasons.
Presto Electric Wok
Easy-to-use electric wok with a durable stainless-steel body
1500-watt heating element; aluminum-clad base for fast, even heating
Side loop handles; tempered-glass cover with stainless-steel rim and handle
Best of The Best
Aroma Housewares AEW-305 Electric Wok
Large 5-quart capacity with high domed lid
Rapid heat-up with consistent heat retention
Full-range temperature control
Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok
Stainless steel base / Die-cast wok bowl with Quantanium non-stick
Rapid heat-up with consistent heat retention
Full-range temperature control
The benefits of an electric wok
When you have to make a choice between an electric and a stove-top wok, you need to consider the benefits each of them brings. However, the electric wok has some pretty good advantages over the stove-top counterpart. Here are a few of them:
- It does not to be seasoned – when you buy a stove-top wok, you need to season it in order to prevent future sticking issues. Now, when I say seasoned, I am not referring to spices. The wok’s metal needs to be seasoned, and the process is quite complicated. Here is where the electric wok wins. You do not have to go through that process because there is no such thing as a sticking problem with an electric wok.
- It represents an easier choice – when you buy a traditional wok, you need to look for a flat-bottomed wok or a round-bottomed wok, depending on what type of stove you have. However, the electric wok has its own stand, and you can use it independently. You do not have to use stove-top space either.
- It is easier to clean – since there are no sticking issues, an electric wok is very easy to clean. Plus, unlike with the stove-top wok, you can use dish soap. The conventional woks will lose their seasoning if you use soap. That is not an issue with the electric one.
- It is portable – since you do not depend on a stove, you can take the electric wok wherever you want. You can use it right on the dining table if you wish to impress your guests, or you can take it while camping. You need a power source, of course, but that is easily fixable with a battery.
For the sake of full disclosure, there are some cons for an electric wok as well. However, I do not find all of them to be legit. One of the things that may seem inconvenient to you is that electric woks will never be able to reach a temperature as high as a stove-top wok. That seems to be its only shortcoming. The danger is that your dish will end up more boiled than fried. Even so, the issue can be fixed by purchasing an electric wok that has power over 1600 watts. The higher the wattage, the higher the heating temperature.
What to consider when looking for the best electric wok
Buying a random product is always a bad idea. You need to pay attention to the specifications and choose one that fits your criteria. That is why when you want to buy an electric wok, you should consider the following things:
- Wattage – electric woks come in various types, and while some of them use enough power to raise the temperature as high as possible from an electric wok, some do not. You will find many options regarding wattage, but my advice is to never go for an electric wok with a wattage below 1500 watts. That is if you want your food stir-fried and not boiled.
- Material – you will find that electric woks are made of several materials, and each of them has its pros and cons. You will notice that there are made of stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and some other metals as well. The choice you make depends on your preference, but you should probably know that the most popular material used for a wok is carbon steel. It is an ideal heat conductor, and while it may be a bit pricier, it is durable and long-lasting.
- Shape – as I mentioned somewhere above, there are two available shapes. One is round-bottomed and the other is flat-bottomed. While the round wok may seem somewhat more ‘traditional,’ you should know that this shape might reflect some of the heat back to the heating element, and that may cause some damage. A flat wok, on the other hand, is safer, and you can use it on the stove as well if you wish.
- Coating – the whole point of a wok is to stir fry vegetable and meat without too much oil for a healthier approach. That is why most people prefer an electric wok with non-stick coating. While that is okay most of the times, you should probably know that carbon steel is not compatible with such coatings. If you look for a non-stick feature in your electric wok, my advice is to look for one that is made of aluminum or stainless steel. The two materials do very well with non-stick coatings.
- Ease of cleaning – I know that I said that woks are usually easy to clean, but that is not applicable to all existent products. Some are easier to clean than others. For example, there are electric woks that that dishwasher safe, which is what most people want. A carbon steel electric wok or an aluminum electric wok is not suitable for the dishwasher. Stainless steel, on the other hand, will do just fine and will spare you the effort of cleaning it by hand.
- Temperature control – there are some models out there, a little bit more expensive to be honest, that allow you to adjust the temperature of the wok. That comes in handy if you like to prepare multiple meals that require different temperature settings. They usually use a probe, and sometimes that probe is removable.
What are the best electric woks?
Now that you have all you need to make a purchase, you can move on and buy yourself the best wok you can afford. Just do not go for a random product. Reading some electric woks reviews online may also help. It comes in handy to know what other people bought and how they feel about their purchase. You can get a clearer picture on some models. If you do not want all that hassle, you can just go for one of the products below. They are all more than satisfactory.
Presto 5900 1500-Watt Stainless Steel Electric Wok
The first product that I found and noticed its quality is the one manufactured by Presto. This model is an elegant electric wok that I am sure it will look very good on your kitchen counter it has a beautiful silver finish, and the shine given by the stainless steel makes it perfect in any décor you may have for your kitchen.
As mentioned above, this is a durable stainless steel electric wok that will last for many years to come. It is very easy to use, and both the wok and the lid are dishwasher safe. However, you may or may not know that stainless steel is not an ideal heat conductor, which is why the inside of the wok is coated with aluminum cad for a faster and even heating. The surface of the wok has non-stick properties.
The heating element has a 1500-watt power that is efficient for most dishes you want to prepare. The food will maintain its nutrients and vitamins just fine. The side loop handles ensure a secure grip, and since they are made of stainless steel, they will not get very hot to burn your hands. The lid is made of tempered glass with a stainless steel rim and handle. The overall size of the Presto electric wok is 17 by 14 inches, and it is 10 inches high. The package includes a long-handled wooden spatula.
Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok
The next item I found to be more than satisfactory is the electric wok from Breville. It is an excellent model, and while it is quite expensive, I am sure you will think it is worth the investment. It is made of high-quality and durable stainless steel, but since this metal is a poor heat conductor, the manufacturer added die-cast and used quantanium, which has excellent non-stick properties.
The capacity of this wok is 6 quarts, and it is a family-size electric wok with 14 inches in diameter. It has a lid made of tempered glass with a stainless steel rim and a sturdy plastic knob. Both the bowl and the lid are dishwasher safe for hassle-free cleaning. I am sure you will enjoy that very much.
One of the reasons why the Breville electric wok is so pricey is that it features a removable temperature control probe. Not only that, but the 1500-watt butterfly heating element can raise the temperature up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The best thing about the probe is that it allows you to choose between 15 precision heat settings. Thre are few products on the market that allows so much control, and I think you will appreciate that feature.
Aromas Housewares AEW-306 5-Quart Electric Wok
Last but not least, this is yet another excellent electric wok that I think you will enjoy using. Just as the title suggests, this is a 5-quart electric wok that should be capable of preparing a meal for your entire family. Unlike the other two models, this one is made of durable cast metal, but it features a non-stick surface for safe cooking and easy cleaning.
While the previous two products have 1500 watts of power, this one comes with 1800 watts. It provides a rapid heat-up and consistent heat retention. The heat is also distributed evenly for a better cooking experience. The temperature control know will allow you to control the temperature and you can enjoy a full range of settings.
The electric wok from Aromas Houseware has a cool-touch base and handles. The lid is made of durable tempered glass, and it features an adjustable steam vent for even more control over your cooking. All the components (except for the base) are dishwasher safe, and the fact that you can disassemble it ensures easy storage. The package includes long chopsticks, a steam rack, and a tempura rack.
I am sure that no matter which electric wok you choose, you will be delighted with your decision. However, if I had to pick one, I would go with the Aromas Housewares AEW-306 5-Quart Electric Wok. It has a powerful heating element, it is made of durable materials, and it is easy to store and clean. I think it is one of the best electric woks you can find on the market. It is not very pricey too.
As long as you choose your kitchenware wisely, you will be able to always cook delicious meals without too much effort. After all, that is the whole point of investing in high-quality kitchen tools. One of the electric woks above is guaranteed to meet your standards, and no matter which one you buy, you will be satisfied.