Wok This Way! Choose the Best Wok for Your Induction Cooktop

Wok cooking boasts centuries of tradition, with its origins tracing back to China. The concave shape and rounded bottom make woks excellent for searing, frying, and tossing a wide array of ingredients. While woks were traditionally used on open flames or gas stoves, induction cooktops have soared in popularity in recent years. Induction cooking relies on magnetic technology to directly heat the cookware, providing faster, more energy-efficient, and precise heating compared to other stove types. When paired with the right wok, induction sets the stage for next-level Asian meals at home.

But not just any wok will do. The key is finding one made with ferromagnetic materials that induction can actually heat up. You’ll also want to consider the weight, size, shape, and handles when selecting a wok tailored to your needs. Read on as we decode the features to look for when shopping for the best induction-ready wok.

How Induction Cooking Works

Induction cooktops contain coil circuits below the glass surface that generate a magnetic field when electricity passes through. When you place a ferromagnetic pot or pan on the cooktop, it acts like the metal core of a transformer to complete the magnetic circuit. This induces a current in the cookware itself, causing the pan to heat up directly, rather than relying on conduction from the glass. The result is faster, more energy-efficient heating than traditional electric or gas stoves.

best wok for induction cooktop

The catch is that your cookware must contain iron in order to work with induction. Materials like cast iron and stainless steel make excellent choices. Copper, aluminum, or glass pots and pans won’t get hot on an induction cooktop because they lack magnetic properties when electricity is applied.

Key Features to Look for in an Induction Wok

When selecting a wok for your induction stove, pay attention to these key features:

Magnetic Materials

The wok must be made from a ferromagnetic material that can be inductively heated. Iron-containing metals like stainless steel or cast iron are ideal choices. Carbon steel also becomes magnetic when heated to high temperatures. On the other hand, materials like aluminum, copper, or glass won’t work on an induction cooktop.

Flat and Wide Bottom

Traditional round-bottom woks are designed for Asian stove types. For an induction cooktop, you’ll want to look for a flat and wide bottom. This shape maximizes contact with the induction surface for even heating. It also provides stability when tossing ingredients during stir-frying or deep-frying.


While heavy woks are valued for retaining heat in restaurant settings, induction distributes heat so evenly that a lighter wok prevents overcooking. Opt for an induction wok under 5 pounds. The lower weight allows for precise temperature control and reduces the likelihood of developing hot spots.

Size and Capacity

Consider the dimensions of your induction burner and how much food you typically cook. A 12-14 inch wok suits most home cooks. But if your cooktop has a large burner, or you cook for crowds, a 16-inch wok allows ample room for ingredients without overflow.

Lid Compatibility

Look for an induction-ready wok with a tight-fitting lid if steaming and braising feature in your repertoire. The lid traps moisture and heat for dishes like Shabu Shabu hot pot. Make sure to verify that the lid is designed for induction usage.

Ergonomic Handle

Induction cooking surfaces can get extremely hot. An ergonomic handle made of silicone, steel, or other heat-resistant material allows you to control the wok safely. Well-designed helper handles provide extra support and grip.


Stick to a flat-bottomed wok, which offers the most stability on an induction cooktop. While round-bottom woks work well with concentrated heat sources like gas, they won’t make full contact with the induction cooking surface.

Top Induction Wok Picks

Now that you know what to look for in an induction wok, here are some top-rated options to consider:

Yosukata Carbon Steel Wok

This 14-inch hand-hammered carbon steel wok is a stylish, yet functional choice. The durable carbon steel construction heats up quickly and evenly. With use, the wok develops a natural patina that makes it non-stick. The handles stay cool while cooking and the weight strikes a nice balance between stability and responsiveness.

Joyce Chen Flat-Bottom Wok

Joyce Chen makes classic carbon steel woks tailored for induction. This model performs excellent heating properties at a budget-friendly price point. It’s lighter than cast iron but still substantial enough for tossing ingredients. The wok comes in a range of sizes from 10 to 14 inches.

Cuisinel Cast Iron Wok

For those who enjoy cooking with cast iron, this induction-ready wok is coated with smooth enamel. The heavy material retains and distributes heat evenly. The loop handle and opposite helper handle provide extra control. Note that cast iron woks take longer to heat but will stay hotter longer.

Induction Wok Accessories

Consider rounding out your wok setup with these useful accessories:

  • Lid – A tight-fitting lid for steaming and braising.
  • Spatula and ladle – Essential for tossing and serving.
  • Steaming rack – Allows steaming foods over boiling water.
  • Wok ring – Positions smaller woks solidly on the induction burner.

Caring for Your Induction Wok

With proper care, an induction wok will provide many years of service:

  • Season regularly by rubbing with oil and heating to prevent rust.
  • Hand wash gently with warm water and a soft sponge.
  • Dry thoroughly after each use.
  • Store carefully to avoid dents and scratches.

Frequently Asked Questions

What material is best for an induction wok?

Look for induction woks made of carbon steel, cast iron, or stainless steel. Avoid copper, aluminum, and glass.

Should I get a flat or round bottom wok for induction?

A flat bottom makes better contact with the induction surface for even heating. Round-bottom woks won’t heat as efficiently.

How heavy should an induction wok be?

A lighter wok under 5 pounds tends to work best. Heavy woks can lead to hot spots on induction cooktops.

What size wok is ideal for home induction cooking?

A 12-14 inch wok will suit most home cooks. Consider your cooktop size and how much food you generally cook.

Do I need a special lid for induction wok cooking?

If you’ll be steaming or braising foods, choose a wok with a tight-fitting lid designed for induction usage.

When paired with the right induction-ready wok, this modern cooking technology opens up versatility beyond the typical sauteeing and stir-frying. A quality wok with a flat base provides rapid, consistent heating and allows for easy tossing and food handling. Opt for lightweight carbon steel or enamel-coated cast iron for efficiency and control. With minimal seasoning, induction woks develop an impressive non-stick patina. Their high sloping sides make induction an ideal heat source for steaming, simmering, deep frying, and more. Your next favorite takeout recipes are just a wok away.

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