Several Questions About Woks on Electric Coil Stoves


Live your best food life.

Sign up to discover your next favorite restaurant, recipe, or cookbook in the largest community of knowledgeable food enthusiasts.
Sign Up For Free
Cookware 19

Several Questions About Woks on Electric Coil Stoves

J_Tay81 | Feb 2, 2014 09:37 PM

There have been some great discussions on here regarding this topic, but something confuses me:

I bought a Williams-Sonoma hand-hammered carbon steel wok (that has been reviewed on this site) to use on my apartment's electric coil range. It is flat bottomed.

Many places state that these electrics don't get as hot as what is required to properly stir fry in a wok. Because of this, after seasoning the wok, I popped it on the coil and turned it on to 'HI'. Essentially as hot as it goes. I tested a tiny drop of peanut oil on the wok, and once it hit center it promptly ignited.

So I'm confused - how can this wok possibly need to get hotter if the oil already catches fire in it? I can't even add food to it on HI without scaring the neighbors.

On that note, I also bought the Lodge cast iron wok because once heated, it retains heat (supposedly well due to its density) which will allow me to add food to it without a sharp drop in temp.

The temp drop is what I experienced with the WS wok when I turned it down to use. It resulted in less charring and more boiling/steaming.

Are either of these woks going to work for me on my electric coil stove? And what do i do regarding the high heat needs of stir=fry versus the tendency of the peanut oil to burst into flames?

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound