3 Ways To Use A Wok On Your Induction Hob

wok with food in

Forget the myth that says you cannot use a wok on your induction hob. You can. It just needs to be the right one.

A traditional wok won’t work well on an induction hob. The wok’s rounded body cannot make the proper contact that is needed for the best performance. Induction hobs work with woks that have flat, ferromagnetic bottoms. A traditional wok can work if the hob has a special wok cradle.

Using a wok on an induction hob is not always the easiest thing - but it is also not impossible. Here’s how to overcome the obstacles so you can whip up delicious wok-made meals!

The Top 3 Ways You Can Use A Wok On An Induction Hob

Only 3? Why can’t you use a wok like any normal pot or pan and just cook? The answer lies in the unusual needs of an induction hob. In order to work - in other words, to start heating up cookware - it needs a pot with enough bottom contact to do so. Woks, with their round shape, offer two problems:

  • Without a cradle or specialized basin, you’re going to have a hard time keeping the wok stable on the flat cooking zone. In fact, it will damage the glass surface of the induction hob.
  • The bottom contact will be minimal and the hob will really struggle to heat the wok. The hob might not even activate the cooking zone if it fails to sense the wok.

Despite the special challenges that come with using a wok on an induction hob, there are several ways to succeed. Here are the 3 top options. 

  1. Use a flat-bottomed wok for a more stable and well-connected bottom.
  2. Consider a wok cradle or an induction hob with a wok basin.
  3. Get a wok adapter if you don’t want a hob with a special wok basin.

Here are the best 5-zone induction hobs on the market today.

Do I Need A Special Kind Of Wok?

Perhaps not super special but yes, an induction hob needs special cookware. This counts for woks too. When choosing cookware for a hob, you just need to keep the following in mind. An induction hob can only work with a wok (or other cookware) that is made from some kind of ferromagnetic material.

Two examples of ferromagnetic materials are stainless steel and cast iron. If you want to work with a wok on your hob, it needs to be made from one of these two materials. Otherwise, the induction hob will not recognize them and the heating process will not activate.

flat bottomed wok

The Benefits Of Using A Flat-Bottomed Wok For Induction Hobs

When you choose a flat-bottomed wok, it comes with multiple benefits. 

  • Most such woks are created with induction hobs in mind so they are made with stainless steel or cast iron.
  • The flat bottom offers incredible stability, so you do not have to hold onto the handle or handles the whole time. It can just sit on the hob’s cooking zone like a regular pot. 
  • It will not damage the glass surface of the hob as a round-bottom wok might.
  • The flat bottom of the wok provides enough surface contact between the vessel and the hob’s cooking zone to activate the heating sensors. 

You can learn more about why induction hobs need special pots and pans.

How Can I Use A Wok Cradle Or Wok Basin?

Both a wok cradle and wok basin are options if you do not want to purchase a flat-bottomed wok. You can just use the rounded wok you already have. However, there is a catch (sorry).

wok and cradle

A more robust example of a wok cradle (meant for outdoors cooking)

The Wok Cradle Comes With A Few Concerns

A wok cradle is an option but a lot of people are worried that it could damage the glass surface of their induction hob. Perhaps rightly so. A wok cradle is usually a metal affair that needs to be placed on the stove or attached to a hob. In all honesty, it is more suitable for a gas stove where there is no glass surface to scratch or crack. But if you want a cradle, you might need to do some research to find an induction hob friendly variety that will not damage your appliance. 

What Is A Wok Basin?

A wok basin is entirely safe for your induction hob - because it is actually one of the cooking zones on the appliance. Instead of having a flat surface, a wok basin is a slight hollow that allows you to use a rounded wok - providing that it is stainless steel or another compatible metal, of course!

We did mention a catch but now it’s pretty obvious - you have to buy the entire hob to get the basin. However, a wok basin is a great choice if you are a hardcore wok user. It is already built into the design of your induction hob and the glassy surface makes it easier than a wok cradle to clean. You can grab all our best tips on how to clean an induction hob.

How Do I Use An Induction Hob Wok Adapter?

In case you have never seen one before, it kind of looks like a pan. Just without the sides. In other words, you have a flat base with a handle. An adapter has a ferromagnetic bottom that reacts with the induction hob. As the adapter heats up, you can place a wok on the tool and cook. 

An adapter is a great way to use a wok that has a flat bottom, especially a wok that does not have ferromagnetic material. Unfortunately, this tool cannot accommodate a round-bottomed wok. But there is a silver lining - and you have probably already guessed what it is! That is right. An adapter can be used to cook with any non-ferromagnetic pots and pans on your induction hob. It prevents you from replacing all your cookware when you get an induction hob.

A Quick Summary On How To Use A Wok On An Induction Hob

  • It is a myth that you cannot use a wok on an induction hob.
  • Only certain types of woks can be used on an induction hob.
  • For safety reasons and to avoid slow heating, a wok with a rounded bottom should never be used on a hob. It can crack the appliance’s glass surface. The hob will also struggle to heat the wok due to the small contact surface between the hob and wok.
  • A wok with a flat bottom is perfect since it adds stability and a large contact area (which helps the hob to recognize cookware and start the heating process).
  • The wok must also have a ferromagnetic bottom like stainless steel or cast iron. The hob will not recognize other types of metals, stoneware, or glass.
  • If your wok has a flat bottom but is non-ferromagnetic, you can use a wok adapter with a ferromagnetic bottom to cook on an induction hob.
  • You can also purchase an induction hob with a special wok basin.
  • Another option is a wok cradle but one should carefully consider its ability to damage a hob if used incorrectly. A cradle is more suitable for gas stoves.

About the Author Harry Thompson

Gaining a BSc Honours in building/ property maintenance at the University of Portsmouth Harry went into the field of renovating properties. Along the journey, he has developed a wide variety of home & garden DIY skills such as installing new kitchens and landscaping gardens.