how to use a wok on a gas stove

How to Use a Wok on a Gas Stove to Prepare Your Favorite Asian Recipe

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Whether you have a flat or round-bottomed wok, knowing how to use a wok on a gas stove will make cooking a variety of dishes easier. Wok cooking allows you to prepare the Chinese dishes that you love. Stir-frying with the wok is also easier because it distributes the heat evenly and uses less oil.

A cast iron wok has a different heat distribution from a carbon steel wok. However, your technique is what makes the biggest difference when wok cooking.

We will share some wok cooking tips to consider when using the wok on a gas stove.

But first, there are two types of wok cooking pans you should know about when buying a wok.

1) Flat Bottom Wok

Place it and start cooking!

The flat bottom wok gives you a much easier time on the stove than the round bottom wok. This is because flat Bottom woks are more recent compared to their round bottom counterparts. The main advantage of buying the flat wok is that it can work with gas and electric stoves without needing extra hardware.

The flat wok gives you the advantage of preparing your stir fry without considering the setup you must have on your gas stove. Using the flat wok on gas stoves gives you excellent results because it heats evenly on the sides.

One more advantage of the flat wok and gas range combination is that you can achieve a high temperature that is great for searing which is the main thing you will be doing with the stir-fries.

2) Round Bottomed Wok

Find the wok ring!

The round-bottomed wok is the first wok version to be used by the ancient Chinese. These woks were not placed on a stove but suspended over flames that would engulf the whole pan. With the changing times, the wok must adapt while maintaining its advantages. The round-bottomed wok has a good look on you as a chef, and you must know how to use it to achieve the best outcome.

Using the wok on an electric stove is not a good idea as it reflects heat to the heat source, potentially damaging the element. For this reason, the round-bottomed wok is reserved primarily for the gas stove.

The flames of the gas range do not distribute heat evenly on the wok, and you have to be smart to achieve optimal results with the wok. The larger burners on the gas stove will not be as effective on the wok. The best thing is to use the smaller burner with the wok ring.

The Wok Ring

The wok ring helps redistribute the direct heat to other parts of the wok more evenly. This is because of the nature of the typical residential gas stove flame. Of course, the gas stove will give you high heat, but the ring helps ensure the whole wok cooking surface is useful.

Stir-frying is a great method for preparing different recipes. However, properly using the wok on the gas burner grills might be difficult. Besides the difficulty, you might be damaging the bottom of the wok by using it without the ring. The wok ring makes the movements smoother and more efficient while maximizing the high heat the gas stove has.

Tips on Using a Wok on a Gas Stove

Some habits will make your experience with the wok worthwhile. Here are things to consider when using the wok.

a) Preparing the Wok Before Use

The wok requires cleaning and seasoning before use. Follow the following steps, especially if the wok is brand new. Remember, unused woks are coated with oil to protect them from damage before seasoning. You want to ensure the wok is clean to avoid food poisoning.

  • Use slightly hot water and soap to clean the wok. A textured sponge will come in handy to remove the factory oils.
  • Ensure the surface of the wok is dry because you are going to be using the cooking oil of your choice.
  • Using a paper towel, you should oil all over the surface of the wok, including the sloped sides.
  • Turn the burner to high heat output and place the wok on top of the gas stove.
  • Using a round-bottomed wok, use a wok ring to get a quality experience.
  • Tip the wok if you must to ensure all the surfaces get an even distribution of heat. Once the oil smokes, you are ready to throw in the meat or the ingredients in your recipe.
  • Enjoy your cooking!

b) Seasoning the Wok

When storing the wok, the surface must have a thin layer of oil between the uses. The best options for seasoning are canola oil or peanut oil because they have a high smoke point.

A well-seasoned wok will start turning light brown from the shiny silver.

If you prefer not seasoning the wok, you can wash it. However, you must ensure it is bone dry after washing the wok to keep its natural non-stick surface.

c) How Much Food Should I Prepare on the Wok Properly?

The recipes you can prepare on the wok are exciting and might be tempted to prepare a lot. However, if you want the food to cook evenly, you must avoid putting too much food on the wok.

One of the tricks of using the wok is placing the wok directly onto the flame. The heat passes through fast due to the thin walls on the wok. If you have too much food on the wok, you might miss out on a successful stir fry because there will be not enough heat to cook the food well.

Things to Buy Alongside the Wok

When buying the wok, some utensils may come in handy when cooking using the wok. However, the unique shape of the wok means that your daily utensils might be inconvenient when preparing your favorite vegetables.

Here are some utensils to buy alongside weed.

  1. Slotted spoon for easy scooping.
  2. Splatter screen. You are dealing with oil in high heat, and things have the potential to splatter.
  3. The wok ring because it does not come with the wok.

Final Take

Cooking with the wok will upgrade your kitchen to your favorite place. In addition, you can prepare your favorite stir fry recipes correctly for your friends and family, who will undoubtedly be impressed.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.