I’ve searched for the best induction woks, and I found the Souped Up Recipes has the best value and performance.
While wok cooking has been around for centuries in China and Southeast Asia, its popularity in the west has exploded in recent decades.
A wok is one of those kitchen tools that make me feel like a professional chef rather than a mom just trying to get dinner on the table.
But what if you have an induction cooktop? You can’t use just any wok.
I liked the Souped Up Recipes induction wok for its quality construction and overall value.
However, there are other considerations. You might want a wok that does not require seasoning, or perhaps you want one that’s dishwasher safe? Induction woks are plentiful, but they vary widely in their features and construction.
So which wok is the best for your induction cooktop?
Read on to find out which wok for induction cooktop best suits your cooking needs.
Induction Wok: Buying Guide
What’s the deal with wok cooking?
You’ve probably heard people rave about their woks. But you may be wondering if it’s really worth it.
Actually, there are several benefits to using a wok. And woks are not just for Chinese food, either. You can use a wok for all types of cuisine.
In fact, a wok’s versatility is one of its main advantages. You can use your wok for boiling, braising, deep frying, pan frying, roasting, searing, smoking, steaming, and stir frying.
Are you starting to see the possibilities yet?
Another great feature of woks is their shape. Unlike a frying pan, a wok is concave. This means woks have a larger cooking surface area than Western-style pots and pans, which typically have vertical sides.
The curved shape also produces a small hotspot at the bottom, which is excellent for searing food. You can move the food up the side of the pan to reduce the cooking heat, giving you more control when cooking.
Oh, and a nice bonus? You don’t need as much cooking oil, making your delicious dishes healthier.
Finally, the concave shape is more suitable for the “toss” method of cooking. I prefer to toss around my food, especially stir-fry. But you know what I don’t like? My veggies and oil spilling out and burning my hand.
Not with a wok. That food shakes up nicely, cooking evenly and keeping my fingers burn-free.
This video shows stir frying techniques with a wok:
What materials are best for a wok?
Woks come in several materials. The most common are cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum/nonstick. Let’s quickly break those down:
Historically, cast iron has been the most common material for woks. Cast Iron is great because it distributes heat evenly and forms a nice seasoned patina on the exterior.
Cast iron woks are less likely to stick if seasoned properly, and they give a nice flavor to food. Of course, there is also the durability. Cast iron is heavy and can stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
So what are the drawbacks? Well, cast iron cookware takes a long time to heat and to cool. Food can burn easily if not removed quickly after cooking. Also, a cast iron wok is quite heavy. The toss method is not easy with a cast iron wok.
Carbon steel is currently the most popular material for woks, and for good reason. It’s inexpensive, relatively lightweight, and heats up quickly, which is great for beginners.
There is a wide range of quality in carbon steel, however. Be sure to get a sturdier, multi-ply carbon steel wok. Carbon steel woks can be more difficult to season as opposed to a cast iron wok.
Another popular material for woks is stainless steel. Stainless steel woks heat up quickly, even at high heat. They’re lightweight and easy to handle.
Stainless steel is more prone to hotspots, though. They also require more oil to cook than other materials, limiting the health benefits of using a wok.
Non-stick woks are also a common option on the market. Many times the inner construction is aluminum, but it can also be steel or copper. Non-stick is inexpensive and requires little oil for cooking.
But there are trade-offs to non-stick. First, to avoid damage to the non-stick coating, you should forgo metal utensils. Also, unlike steel and cast iron pans, non-stick woks can’t produce that distinctive flavor, the wok hei (Cantonese for “breath of the wok”).
Almost all non-stick contains Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly referred to as Teflon. At high heat, PTFE can break down and release harmful gases.
If you plan to do a lot of stir frying with your wok at high heat, I would go with carbon steel over non-stick.
What do you need for an induction ready wok?
Traditional woks are completely curved, so using them on electric or gas stoves requires you to hold them with your hand, a wok stand, or the stove’s grill.
But induction cooking is different to other heat sources. Induction technology works by directly creating electromagnetic currents that produce heat.
What does that mean? There must be close contact between the induction burner and the pan. This is difficult to achieve with a completely concave wok.
To solve this problem, manufacturers make woks with a small, flat bottom. This keeps most of the concave shape while ensuring there is enough contact with the cooktop for induction heating.
In addition to a flat bottom, a wok must be made from material suitable for cooking on an induction cooktop. Woks for induction must have a magnetic surface on the bottom to get the electromagnetic currents.
To check to see if you have an induction-compatible wok, simply place a magnet on the underside of the wok pan. If the magnet sticks and the bottom is flat, the wok is induction-ready. If the magnet falls, your wok pan won’t work with induction cooktops.
You could try some workarounds, like a wok ring and induction diffuser, but it won’t heat the wok well. You will end up with mushy, disgusting stir fry. Don’t do it.
What size wok should I buy?
Wok sizes vary, with most of them between 10-20 inches (25.4-50.8 cm). A wok with a 12-13 inch diameter (30.5-33 cm) is a good size for home cooks.
A 12-13 inch wok is big enough to serve a family of four (assuming you are cooking the rice apart).
Whatever size you chose, avoid overfilling your wok. Your food needs room to move in a wok, and you want your food to cook quickly and evenly. Cooking in batches is preferable to subpar stir fry.
Induction Wok Reviews
Souped Up Recipes Carbon Steel Wok– Best Overall
From Souped Up Recipes comes this 12.5 inch (31.75 cm) carbon steel wok. It comes with a wooden lid and stainless steel spatula.
The flat bottom and carbon steel construction make it compatible with an induction cooktop. You can also use this wok on an electric or gas stove.
Many customers loved how well this wok works as a stir fry pan. They had great results with beef and broccoli, fried rice and eggs, and sesame chicken. Plus, the hammered pattern helps hold food you want to move away from the hot middle.
Some customers complained of cracks in the wooden lid. Others would have liked a pouring spout on both sides, instead of just one side.
This wok also requires some prep work. The wok pan comes with a wax coating that you must remove by scrubbing with soap and water. After cleaning, you’ll need to season the wok to make it non-stick. You can do this in the oven or on the stovetop.
Make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point, like flaxseed or grapeseed oil. This will reduce the smoke in your kitchen as your wok is heating.
One recommendation is to cook some aromatics like ginger and green onions in oil. As they cook, press them into the pan and rub them around the wok.
Luckily, Souped Up Recipes includes many Youtube videos links to help you make sure you get your wok perfectly pre-seasoned.
Watch this video from Mandy of Souped Up Recipes giving tips on using your wok:
- Great for stir-frying
- Hammered pattern holds food in place
- Has lots of video tutorials
- Only one pouring spout
- Requires prep work before use
- Some reports of wooden lid cracking
KYTD Carbon Steel Wok with Lid– Best Budget Option
This KYTD 12.5-inch wok (31.75 cm) is similar in appearance and quality to the Souped Up Recipes wok. It comes with a wooden lid and spatula and features a hammered carbon steel surface with a thick, flat bottom. This version is slightly less expensive, however.
Just like the Souped Up Recipes version, this wok does not come pre-seasoned. The description does not say it has a wax coating, but several customers complained of the “coating” flaking off during the first uses.
To prevent this from happening, scrub your pan with soap and water first. Dry, then season the wok. The directions suggest pork fat, but you can also use a high smoke point oil. Repeat the seasoning process a few times. Then you should be good to go.
The wooden handle is removable for washing. I would recommend hand washing this wok to preserve the seasoning.
- Good value- inexpensive
- Easy to clean
- Requires seasoning and prep work
- Not dishwasher safe
KYTD Chinese Wok– Best Heavy Duty
The KYTD 12.5 inch wok (31.75 cm) comes in hammered carbon steel. The glass lid allows home cooks to monitor food during the cooking process.
Customers loved the even heat distribution and how easy it is to clean. You will need to pre-season this wok, but the wooden handle is detachable, so you can season it in the oven or on the induction cooktop.
This wok has a thick base. Even though its size is comparable to others on the list, it has a lot of heft. And with no helper handle, lifting this wok from the cooktop is a challenge.
If you can handle the heft, however, this wok delivers in a lot of ways. Its performance on induction cooktops, as well as other heat sources, is consistent. It’s also affordable, so you don’t have to overstretch your wallet.
- Glass lid allows you to see food
- Even heat distribution
- Lifetime warranty
- Needs to be pre-seasoned
- Not dishwasher safe
Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Wok– Best Stainless Steel Option
This Cooks 13-inch wok (33 cm) has a 3-ply construction with an aluminum core and stainless steel overlay. The bottom base is magnetic makes it induction compatible.
One feature I like on this wok pan is the stainless steel handle and helper handle. Having 2 handles makes it easier to lift and drain. Also, stainless steel handles can handle washing and oven temps, unlike wooden handles.
The high domed lid gives food plenty of space to steam. This wok is also dishwasher safe and oven-safe up to 500°F (260°C).
You won’t get a non-stick surface with this stainless steel wok, so make sure to use a little oil or cooking spray to lift food.
But with stainless steel, you can crank up the heat and use metal utensils without worrying about scratching the surface. Also? You don’t have to season this wok before using it.
Some people have had problems with burning stains on the interior surface. If this happens, you can boil vinegar or citric acid in the wok and then scrub clean.
Be forewarned, though. Boiling vinegar is not a pleasant kitchen smell. But if that means I can extend the life and look of my cookware? It’s a small sacrifice.
- Stainless steel handles
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven safe up to 500°F (260°C)
- High-domed lid
- Does not require seasoning
- More expensive
- Can get burn stains
- Not non-stick
CookLover Chinese Nonstick Wok with Lid– Best Splurge
This 12.6-inch wok (32 cm) comes with a beautiful marble-look non-stick surface and aluminum core. It has a magnetic flat bottom, making it safe for induction cooktops.
The design features ergonomic handles, including a helper handle. The handles have a wood look, but they are actually heat-resistant silicone. I like having helper handles on a wok. These make it easier for me to lift.
This wok includes a glass lid with silicone ring and a wooden spatula. Customers loved how easy it is to clean. Users have had success with all types of cuisines, including Filipino and African dishes.
Like other non-stick woks for induction, avoid the highest heat setting. Also, be sure to eschew metal utensils to prevent scratching the cooking surface.
This wok is an excellent option for those who want something low-maintenance but effective. But that convenience comes at a price. This wok is one of the pricier ones on the list.
- Attractive design
- Vented glass lid
- Helper handle
- Not oven safe
- Avoid high heat
- Pricier model
Tefal Nonstick Wok– Best for Fast Induction Cooking
Tefal is a popular brand for non-stick cookware, and this wok is no different. The 11-inch (28 cm) wok is a slightly smaller size than others on the list, but it has excellent reviews.
This wok features a non-stick surface with aluminum core. The magnetic base makes it safe for use on an induction cooktop. It’s supposedly oven safe up to 350°F (175°C), but I can’t think of when I would use a wok in the oven at such a low temperature.
The aluminum core means your Tefal will heat quickly, unlike carbon steel and cast iron woks, which take a long time to heat and cool.
Of course, a Teflon cooking surface means you should stay away from high heat to avoid breaking down the Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Like all Tefal cookware, this wok features a thermal signal indicator to show when the wok has reached the ideal temperature for cooking. The handle’s ergonomic design makes it comfortable and easy to lift.
Customers loved how easy it is to clean and use this wok. But be prepared to pay a significantly higher price for this wok.
- Quick to heat and cool
- Thermal signal indicator
- Non-stick surface
- Does not include lid or spatula
- Avoid high heat
- More expensive
Potinv Stainless Steel Non-stick Wok– Best for Oven Cooking
This 12.5-inch (31.75 cm) Potinv wok combines materials in a 6-ply construction to make a unique pan. The interior cooking surface is non-stick, but the sides and bottom are stainless steel. Since the base is metallic, this wok is compatible with induction cooktops.
It also has a stainless steel handle, stainless steel spatula, and a vented glass lid with stainless rim.
The interior coating has a honeycomb texture to help reduce sticking. The manufacturer recommends heating the wok with oil to preserve the non-stick coating.
Despite this coating, however, there were several reports of food sticking to the wok. You might need a little more oil to keep food from sticking.
One of the things I liked about this wok was that it’s oven safe up to 400°F (204°C). While this wok is technically dishwasher safe, hand washing is preferable.
The manufacturer claims the metal spatula won’t scratch the non-stick surface. To be on the safe side, though, I would still use silicone or wooden utensils. Some users commented on the poor quality of the spatula.
- Oven safe to 400°F (204°C)
- Easy to clean
- Reports of food sticking
- Avoid dry, high heat
Best Induction Wok: Final Thoughts
Of the induction woks out there, I liked the Souped Up Recipes for its durability and performance. It is higher maintenance on the front end, but it will last longer and perform better that way.
If you really want something you don’t have to season, the CookLover Chinese Nonstick wok is a great alternative.