Originated in China more than 2,000 years ago, a wok is one of the oldest, most versatile cooking tools. While the traditional wok has long been a staple in kitchens throughout the world, the electric wok is fairly new to the world of cooking utensils (compared to standard woks, anyway.)
Though woks are traditionally used to prepare stir fry, they have proven to be a versatile tool for cooking a myriad of foods, from deep frying to boiling, and from braising to steaming. Though an electric wok may not be for everyone, a lot of cooks find that they are very useful; in fact, some cooks even find that the electric version of the wok is even more useful than a standard wok. Why? – Because unlike a traditional wok, which you needs to be used on top of a heating element, such as a stove top, the electric wok can be used virtually anywhere. It has its own built in heating element; simply plug it into an electrical outlet, turn it on and within minutes, you will have a hot pan to prepare your food in. In essence, an electric wok gives you the freedom to cook wherever you would like to – your kitchen counter, your dining room table, or even on a camp site (so long as you have access to electricity.)
With an electric wok, you will be able to cook up your favorite foods without being tied down to the kitchen. Say, for example, you want to prepare a meal while engaging with your friends and family, you can easily do so with an electric wok. Simply plug it into an outlet, set it on your dining room table or kitchen island – or even outside on your patio table – and you can prepare a gourmet meal without having to worry about being stuck in the kitchen. An electric wok is also an ideal cooking tool if you life in a studio apartment that doesn’t have a full stove, or a dorm room where you don’t have access to a kitchen.
If an electric wok is a tool that you are interested in purchasing, you may be under the assumption that purchasing one is a breeze. Well, the truth is that while these pans can certainly make cooking a simple task, buying one can be a bit more challenging than it will be to cook on one. Why? – Because there are so many different options available. Many manufacturers produce electric woks, and there are so many different features and options to consider, which can make it difficult to determine which wok will best suit your needs.
To help you on your quest for finding the best electric wok, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. In this guide, we highlight all of the information that you could possibly need to find the best electric wok for your specific needs. We discuss the features that separate good electric woks from the less than stellar options, the factors that you should consider when shopping for one, the features that they can offer, and we also provide our top picks for the best electric woks that are currently available on the market.
After reading this buyer’s guide, you will be well informed about electric woks, and you will be able to purchase the best option for your particular needs.
What You Need to Know About Electric Woks
In order to buy the best electric wok, you first need to be able to differentiate between good quality options and those that are of lesser quality. For that reason, we want to highlight the features that separate a good quality electric wok from a sub-par electric wok. Being able to pinpoint the difference between the two will allow you to find the best electric wok to suit your needs.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in a see what qualities a good electric wok offers, and what qualities less than stellar electric woks are lacking.
There are a number of qualities that the best electric woks will offer. If you want to buy the best possible option for your cooking needs, you are definitely going to want to be on the lookout for electric woks that offer these qualities.
Made of Stainless Steel
The best electric woks are constructed of stainless steel. Stainless steel is known for its strength and durability. It can withstand excessive heat, corrosion, denting, crack and chipping. In a nutshell, a stainless steel electric wok will be able to stand up to the wear and tear that it will be subjected to.
Another element that the best electric woks offer is a temperature control. Being able to control the temperature will allow you to ensure that your electric wok heats up to the precise temperature that you want to cook at. This is extremely important if you plan on cooking different dishes. For example, your wok will need to be at one temperature to make the perfect fried chicken, but you will need to set it to another temperature for stir fry.
Built In Handles
The best electric woks also offer built in handles. These are particularly useful if you plan on moving your wok from one location to the other while it is still hot; for example, from your countertop to your kitchen table. Having handles not only eliminates the potential for burns, but it also eliminates the need to transfer the food that you have prepared from the wok to another container (which also reduces the amount of dishes you will have to wash. Score!)
Easy to Clean
Another characteristic that the best woks have in common is the fact that they are easy to clean. Some offer a non stick surface, which makes it easy to remove the food that you have cooked in the wok, and some even have dishwasher safe components, which make cleaning an absolute breeze!
If you want to make the best investment possible, avoid purchasing an electric wok that is void of, or has, any of the following qualities.
Low Grade Metal Construction
If you want your electric wok to last you a long time, avoid purchasing one that is constructed of low grade metals. If you buy one that is constructed of any other metal than stainless steel, there is a high likelihood that it will not be able to withstand the heat that it will be exposed to, and that it will be damaged from the flipping, stirring and everything else that you will be exposing it to. It could also corrode if you cook acidic foods in it.
No Temperature Control
You definitely want to avoid purchasing an electric wok that does not have a temperature control. As mentioned above, in order to cook various types of food, and ensure that they come out just right, you need to be able to control the temperature of your electric wok. There are some electric woks on the market that do not offer temperature controls; they simply plug in and the pan heats up to one temperature. If you purchase this type of electric wok, you will be limited by the types of foods that you can prepare.
The Best Electric Woks in 2017
We have scoured the market for electric woks. We have compared the reviews and the qualities that woks from various manufacturers offer, and we have also tested them out ourselves. After our careful assessment, we have concluded that the following electric woks are the best of the best, and we are sure that they will meet your needs.
The Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok
The Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok is what many chefs who enjoy cooking in an electric wok have named the best electric wok option on the market today. Why? – Because of its amazing ability to cook food the same way that a traditional wok can.Check Price
A common complaint that people who have used electric woks make is that these appliances simpl can’t prepare food as good as traditional woks can; however, many users claim that the Breville Hot Wok is capable of getting that perfect temperature for making great stir fry, as well as various other types of food.
The bowl can detach from the base, which makes cleaning a lot easier. The bowl is 14 inches in diameter and can hold up to six quarts, making this the perfect wok to cook up a meal for a large crowd. It also comes complete with a ‘Cook n’ Look’ glass lid, which will allow you to retain heat while you are cooking, prevent splatters, and keep a close watch on the dish you are preparing.
Offering 15 precision heating settings, with a maximum temperature of 425 degrees F, you will be able to get this wok to the perfect temperature for preparing your favorite meals. This electric wok also has heat resistant handles, which makes it easy to transport the wok to any location, even when it is still hot. Oh, and you will also love that the bowl and the lid are dishwasher safe.
The Preston 5900 1500 Watt Stainless Steel Electric Wok
The Presto 5900 1500 Stainless Steel Electric Wok is as beautiful as it is versatile. The stainless steel exterior is offset by black feet, which offer stability for the wok to cook on. The stainless steel body is extremely durable and can withstand high temperatures and the wear and tear that you put the pan through. It is also corrosion resistant, so you don’t have to worry about damaging the pan with acidic ingredients.Check Price
Offer 1500 watts of power, the Preston 5900 1500 Watt Stainless Steel Electric Wok heats up quickly, and with an easy to use temperature control, you will be able to set this wok so that it reaches the ideal temperature for whatever you are cooking. Add to that the aluminum clad base that provides even heating, and you can rest assured that this electric wok will cook your foods perfectly.
The side loop handles make it easy to transport this electric wok anywhere. The tempered glass cover retains heat, prevents splatters, and allows you to look inside so that you can ensure your foods are cooking properly. Measuring 14 inches by 14 inches by 10 inches, you will have plenty of space to cook up large meals for a large crowd. Add to that the fact that this electric wok comes with a long handled wooden spatula and that it is dishwasher safe, and you will simply love the Presto 5900 1500 Watt Stainless Steel Electric Wok.
The Aroma Housewares AEW 306 Five Quart Electric Wok
If you are on the market for a high quality electric wok that is really affordable, than the Aroma Housewares AEW 306 Five Quart Electric Wok is the ideal choice for you. The five quart capacity gives you plenty of space to prepare large dishes for big crowds. Thanks to the easy to operate temperature control, you will be able to achieve the ideal heat for cooking anything, from stir fry to fried chicken. And, not only does the pan heat up quickly, but it also retains heat for a long period of time.Check Price
The durable non stick coating ensures that your food won’t stick to the pan, and helps to prevent burning. The non stick pan also makes cleaning a breeze. The cool touch handles allow you to transport this electric wok safely, even while the pan is hot. We were also really impressed that the Aroma Housewares AEW306 Five Quart Electric Wok comes with all of the accessories that you need, including long wooden chopsticks, tempura racks, and a steam rack that you can use to prepare delicious and nutritious foods.
The Aroma Housewares AEW 305 Electric Wok
Another product that we were really impressed with was the Aroma Housewares AEW305 Electric Wok. It has a seven quart capacity, which gives you plenty of space to cook a wide range of oversized meals. The domed lid keeps ingredients in, prevents them from splattering, and helps to retain heat for even faster cooking.Check Price
The full range temperature control allows you to heat up the pan to the ideal temperature for any type of food you want to cook. Offering a durable, non stick coating, you can be sure that your foods won’t stick or burn, and you can also be confident that this pan will last a long time. We also really liked the cook touch handles and the cool touch base, so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself while transporting it.
The Oster 4.5 Liter Dura Ceramic Wok
Though stainless steel is the ideal material for an electric wok, ceramic is also considered a very durable material. The Oster 4.5 Liter Dura Ceramic Wok is made of high grade, durable ceramic that won’t chip, scratch or fade. Offering 4.5 liters of space, you will have plenty of space to cook up your favorite meals – and in large amounts.Check Price
Offering a lid that has a heat resistant handles, and handles the handles that are connected to the wok are also heat resistant, as is the base, you don’t have to worry about risking burns. The full range temperature control will allow you to reach the ideal temperature in the pan to cook up your favorite dishes with ease.
Our Consumer Guide to Electric Wok
While we have provided you with five electric woks that we consider to be the best on the market today, we know that they may not meet your specific needs. If you are interested in purchasing a different electric wok, we want to provide you with enough information so that you can find the best option possible. With that said, here is a look at some of the important information that you need to know in order to find the best electric wok possible.
Types of Electric Woks
Electric woks can be differentiated by the bottom of their pans. There are two main types of electric woks:
- The flat bottomed electric wok – Offers a flat bottom, which sits flat on top of the heating element and provides a more level cooking surface.
- The round bottomed electric wok – The round bottomed electric wok has a round bottom, similar to a traditional wok. The round bottom transfers heat through the pan better, which wok purists will be sure to appreciate.
Things to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Wok
When you are shopping for an electric wok, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration in order to ensure that you purchase the best option to meet your needs. Some of the factors that you are going to want to consider include the base of the electric wok, the capacity of the pan, and the cost. By taking these, and other, factors into consideration, you will be able to choose the best electric wok for your specific needs.
The Base of the Electric Wok
Some electric woks have a fully built in heating element, while others sit on top of a base that it is powered by electricity, but can be removed from the base for cleaning. The former option makes for easier cleaning, as you don’t have to worry about submerging the electrical components into water.
The Capacity of the Electric Wok
You are also going to want to consider the capacity of the electric wok; in other words, how much the electric wok can hold. When you are trying to figure out what capacity will best suit your needs, think about how much food you plan on cooking. The more food you want to cook, obviously, the greater the capacity that you are going to need. One thing to keep in mind is that the larger the capacity of the electric wok, the more space it will require for storage.
The Length of the Cord
The length of the electrical cord is yet another important factor to take into consideration. The longer the cord, the further away from an electrical outlet you can be while you are cooking. This always for more freedom while you are using your electric wok.
The Cost of the Electric Wok
Another important factor to keep in mind is the cost of the electric wok. These cooking appliances vary widely in price, and you want to make sure that you don’t spend more than you are comfortable with. Generally, the larger the electric wok and the more features it offers, the more expensive it is going to be.
Features Electric Woks Can Offer
There are a number of features that electric woks can offer. As mentioned above, the more features that an electric wok offers, the more expensive it is going to be. It is important to understand the purpose of these features so that you can determine whether you want or need them, and if the added cost will be worth your while.
Here is a look at some of the top features that electric woks offer.
Some electric woks come complete with a lid. While you don’t need a lid, it certainly is handy to have. It will help to retain the heat in the pan, allowing you to cook your food even quicker. It will also prevent the food from splashing out of the pan, which will keep things neater and reduce the potential for burns.
Some electric woks also come with cooking utensils. Depending on the product, the utensils that it comes with will vary. Some electric woks can come with cooking racks, chop sticks and spatulas. While you can certainly use your own cooking utensils, buying an electric wok that comes with cooking utensils will save you some money, which is always a good thing.
The best electric woks come complete with a warranty. If you want to protect your investment, this is a feature that you are going to want to look for. Should anything happen to the wok during the span of the warranty, you will be able to have it repaired or replaced, or you may even be able to have it replaced.