The key to perfect stir fry on a gas stove is getting the right wok. The best wok for gas stove is a versatile cooking appliance that can stir fry as it is meant to be, tender yet crispy with a little browning but no drying out.
Many people prefer using a wok for cooking vegetables, fried rice, and other stir-fries because it is able to sear vegetables and meat at high heat without overcooking. However, with the many different brands and types of woks available nowadays, finding the best wok for gas stove is easier said than done.
Fortunately, we're here to help. This post will give a detailed review of the best woks for gas stoves, their pros and cons, as well as a buyer's guide to help you make an informed decision. Ready to take your cooking skills a notch higher? Then, keep reading.
Can You Use a Wok With a Gas Stove?
A wok is typically a round-bottomed or flat bottomed cookware that has one large handle or two side handles, commonly used in Chinese cooking. It works best for any cooking that uses an open flame. So, yes, you can use a wok with a gas stone.
Cooking with a wok on a gas stove will help you get amazing cooking results. It is the most versatile cooking appliance, and although it is great for stir-frying, you can also use it for deep frying, steaming, sauteing, etc.
Generally, a home gas stove will have 7000 to 10,000 BTU which is slightly low for wok cooking. If you're planning to use a wok on the gas stove, then you should use a small burner. When you use a bigger burner, the heat will not concentrate at the bottom as most of it will go to the sides. You need more heat at the bottom when using a wok for cooking.
You can place the wok on the metal grid of the gas stove. If the wok wobbles, then you can use a wok ring to stop the wobbling.
How Do You Use a Wok Ring For Gas Stove?
Most often than not, if you're using a round bottom wok directly on the metal grid of your gas stove, you may experience some wobbling issues. This also may mean the wok won't get heat at the center and, therefore, not become hot enough for wok cooking.
A wok ring comes in handy to solve such issues. But how do you use a wok ring?
The smaller part of the ring needs to be at the bottom while the wider part at the top. This allows the wok to come closer to the heat. If you fix the smaller part at the top, then the distance between the wok bottom and the flame is bigger. This means low heat is given to the wok, which is not ideal for wok cooking.
Here are the top woks in the market today to help you find the best wok for gas stove.
1. Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
- Round Bottom Heavy 14 Inch 15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel wok,...
- Not suitable for flat electric or flat induction stove. Carbon...
- Hand hammered by Chinese professionals in Guangzhou. This wok is...
- Steel helper handle will not burn when you stir fry over high...
- Craft Wok - Love Wok! We are a team of professionals drawn...
Craft Wok has been widely known for its high-quality products over the years. Currently, the Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok is one of their best products and also the best wok for gas stove.
This round bottom wok comes with a small diameter specifically designed for stir-frying. However, you can also use it to deep fry your meals in hot cooking oil and also make soups.
It features a diameter of about 14 inches, and it measures about 2.1 kgs. You need to season it before using it. This Craft Wok model has two handles. One is a steel helper handle that ensures you don't burn while cooking on high heat. The other one is a wooden handle that provides a tight grip when stir-frying.
With its special hygroscopic shape, the wooden handle is not in any way slippery. This Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok also features a nonstick coating that is 100% authentic. This traditional wok is made from carbon steel and is proven to be high quality, durable, and dishwasher safe. However, it is not the best for a flat electric stove as it requires an open fire to prepare dishes.
2. Lodge Pro-Logic Wok with Flat Base
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok
- Large handles and flat base for easier handling
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill
Another solid option for someone looking for a wok for gas stoves would be the Lodge Pro-Logic Wok with Flat Base. This cast iron wok boasts a renowned cooking performance and a contemporary style with curved lines. It is 14-inch in size, which is perfect for your favorite stir fry recipes and cooking large quantities.
The cast iron properties of this wok provide superior heat retention and even heat distribution to ensure your food cooks properly. It comes with two assist loop handles that ensure you can grip it securely and safely, without burning yourself.
Additionally, this wok features a unique flat bottom that makes it perfect for a gas stove, with no need for a wok ring to hold the wok. Apart from stir-frying, this wok is a perfect option for those looking to deep fry meals. Fortunately, it has been seasoned with a natural and easy release finish for durability.
3. Souped Up Carbon Steel Wok For Electric, Induction and Gas Stoves
- PRE-SEASONED FOR IMMEDIATE USE - Sizzling stir frys, crispy deep...
- VIDEO AND WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS - Had problems with other carbon...
- THE ORIGINAL FLAT BOTTOM WOK - Works on electric stoves,...
- SOUPED UP RECIPES CARBON STEEL WOK - Manufactured and imported by...
- VIRAL TAKEOUT RECIPES - Over 900,000 subscribers trust her...
This Souped-Up Carbon Steel Wok is a 12-inch flat-bottom wok that can be used on gas stove and other direct heat sources. It comes with a unique hammered carbon steel texture but with no coating on the material. This means you will need to season it yourself.
This wok comes with a stainless steel spatula, a video user guide available on YouTube, and a wooden lid for convenient use. The video user guide will teach you how to clean, season and care for your wok for gas stove to ensure it lasts for longer.
This carbon steel wok combines the benefits of cast iron and stainless steel, increasing its reliability.
4. T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Jumbo Wok Cookware
- Large capacity for cooking family size meals
- Superior nonstick interior and exterior make it easy to cook and...
- Aluminum construction for fast and even heat distribution
- Dishwasher safe; Oven safe upto 350 degrees Fahrenheit
The T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Jumbo Wok Cookware is a great bargain for beginners. This nonstick cookware can cook even the most stubborn ingredients without leaving any residue stuck on the wok. A combination of a nonstick coating and lightweight aluminum composition might be just what you need for your stir-frying and steaming needs.
It features a generous 14-inch diameter allowing you to cook bigger portions at once. In addition, it comes with a long handle and a stay-cool silicone helper for safety purposes. The flat base means you can comfortably use it with a gas or electric stove.
5. Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Multi-Ply Clad Wok
- 13-inch wok made of 18/10 stainless steel with aluminum core
- Solid stainless-steel riveted handles stay cooler with air-flow...
- Secure-fitting stainless-steel dome lid traps in heat and...
- Dishwasher-safe; oven-safe to 500 degrees F
The Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Multi-Ply Clad Wok features an attractive design with a three-layer alloy of stainless steel and aluminum core. The stainless steel construction helps give rapid heating and ensures the stir fry meals are properly cooked. In addition, the stainless steel exterior provides a long-lasting use for Chinese cooking.
It also features a sturdy stainless steel handle to provide stability when transferring the gas stove while pan-frying. The tight-fitting stainless steel dome lid ensures no heat is lost from the cooking pot, which means the food will be properly cooked and moisture retained for more flavor.
6. Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick Flat Bottom Wok
- Built to last, with 40% longer lasting nonstick (vs. Calphalon...
- Metal-utensil-safe, durable 3-layer nonstick interior with a...
- Long handles stay cool on the stovetop
- Tempered glass lid
- Oven-safe up to 450 degrees F, so you can easily go from stovetop...
If you're looking to master the art of wok cooking technique, then this Calphalon Premier Hard-Anodized Nonstick Flat Bottom Wok is an exemplary modern wok to get you started. With a nonstick surface, this model gives you peace of mind while working with it. You get the ease of use and quality of hard-anodized aluminum cookware.
It features a triple-layer interior that can withstand metal utensils but not sharp ones. It also boasts a textured surface for searing and a flat bottom with a 13-inch diameter. If you're into steaming, this model comes with a low-profile tempered glass lid that ensures you can see through your stir fry meal.
What Types of Materials Are Used In Woks for Gas Stoves?
There are four major types of materials used in works including;
1. Carbon Steel
Most traditional woks are made from carbon steel, which is simply an alloy made of carbon and iron. It is quite similar to cast iron as it holds heat well, is very durable, and can be used on any cooking surface.
However, carbon steel woks are lighter and less brittle than cast iron ones. They are also more responsive to heat changes. Furthermore, the surface of a carbon steel wok is much smoother than a cast iron wok pan.
Unlike other types of materials, carbon steel woks need a lot of seasoning and must always be hand washed and oiled frequently.
2. Cast Iron
This is a heavy-duty material that is best used for high heat cooking, unlike a carbon steel wok pan. Since a cast iron wok for gas has an amazing ability to maintain heat, it is perfectly used for deep-frying and searing, as well as keeping food warm for longer.
However, cast iron woks require a lot of care to maintain their seasoning. The heavyweight and hot handles also make it unsuitable for tossing. Despite this, it is a very durable material with a long lifespan and can be used on any cooktop.
3. Stainless Steel
This is a top choice when it comes to durability and resistance to damage and stains. Stainless steel woks have a heat-conducting aluminum core with layers of 18/10 stainless steel providing some thickness and heft. These pans are beautiful and can stand up against metal or sharp utensils without getting scratches. It is also quite easy to maintain.
Nonstick woks have a slippery coating to ensure any debris left in the pan can easily be removed. A nonstick coating or nonstick surface will come in different forms ranging from hard-anodized aluminum to a cutting edge ceramic.
However, unlike other uncoated metals, nonstick coatings are more delicate and prone to flaking and scratches. They can't be used with sharp utensils or metal.
In addition, the maximum cooking temperature is a bit lower than other materials. So, if you want to get a char that a traditional wok pan gives, then you want to consider another type of material.
What Do You Consider Before Purchasing the Best Wok For Gas Stove?
1. Heating Capacity
Unlike home stoves, restaurants will do wok cooking that often involves higher temperatures. This means getting a traditional carbon steel wok that can withstand your highest heat will be great.
Although not as much, cast iron and stainless steel woks can withstand high temperatures. However, it is always a good idea to double-check the heating capacity with the manufacturer. Generally, nonstick pans won't do well with very high heat.
Woks come in different sizes, from 36 inches that are ideal for large families or feeding a party to a smaller 8-inch version ideal for small families or singles. Averagely, it is recommended to have a 12 or 14-inch wok that not only fits well on a gas stove but can also feed three to four people. Moreover, it provides enough room for stirring, and you won't have to worry about tossing some of them out of the wok.
There are two major designs used in woks for gas stoves- round-bottomed wok or flat bottomed wok.
Round bottom woks are designed for a stove that has a burner to cradle a wok. This way, a hotspot is created at the bottom but still sends some heat to the sides of the wok. These pans enable a smooth scooping motion when it comes to stirring the ingredients.
On the other hand, a flat bottomed wok will sit directly on your gas stove with no special accommodations. Although with a round bottom wok, you will be more likely to achieve restaurant-style results, you will need a special ring to be able to hold the wok and gas stove together.
As mentioned earlier, there are four main types of materials used in woks for gas stoves, including stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel, and nonstick. Other materials like titanium and lined copper are best used on an electric stove.
Woks come as either dual-handed or one-handed, and you should select one that is convenient to you. Neither of them will make an enormous difference unless you want to do a specific type of cooking. For example, if you want to throw, make wok, or stir fry, then a one-handle wok is the best option. However, if you want to cook massive quantities, then double grips are preferred.
As with most things, woks vary greatly in price. While you may not find as many options as other pans, there are different prices to fit different budgets. If you're on a tight budget, you can find some amazing budget-friendly options for your needs.
7. Additional Features
If you're shopping for the best wok for gas stove, here are some other features you should consider;
- Oven-friendly- Check the temperature settings to determine if the wok can withstand the temperatures in the oven. However, this is only applicable if you plan on using it in the oven.
- The lids- Check if your wok comes with a lid. You want to get a lid that perfectly sits on the wok but is also sturdy enough.
- Safety- Some gas stove woks and electric stove woks will include safety features like safety locks and timers to protect you and your kids.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Woks for Gas Stoves
1. Do you need a wok ring on gas stoves?
Although you might not really need wok rings, it is best to use them when working with gas stoves. This is because a gas stove will produce an open flame and the only way to regulate the heat and concentrate it around one area for high heat cook is by using a wok ring.
2. What is the best material for wok cooking?
Carbon steel is not only the most traditional material for making woks, but it is also the most recommended by professional Chinese chefs. It is durable, lightweight, inexpensive, provides even heat distribution, and heats up quickly. It is an amazing material for Asian cooking.