Can I use woks on my electric induction cooktop at home? My guess is NO. Because woks are designed for Chinese restaurant gas ranges with tremendous BTU, and woks must rest inside the range and the flame envelops the wok. If I use a wok on electric induction cooktop, induction just heats the bottom, not the side of, the wok.

I live in an apartment. I don't have a gas wok range like Chinese restaurants.

cooking in wok on a gas range

  • 1
    you could use a flat bottom wok.
    – Max
    Dec 4, 2020 at 12:09
  • @GdD : also cooking.stackexchange.com/q/65287/67
    – Joe
    Dec 4, 2020 at 14:44
  • Neither of the linked questions quite answers the OP's question, so I provided an answer here.
    – FuzzyChef
    Dec 4, 2020 at 18:29
  • 1
    Voted to reopen, because none of the linked questions actually answer the asker's question.
    – FuzzyChef
    Dec 7, 2020 at 7:15

2 Answers 2


Yes, but it depends on your wok and your induction stove.

First, please understand that Cantonese restaurant cooking, with the huge 150,000 BTU gas burners is not Chinese home cooking, nor is it what "woks were designed for" (discussion in video). Those really are a restaurant-only thing, just like a 100,000 BTU salamander is an European restaurant-only thing. What you should be aiming for is "Chinese home cooking", which is achievable.

You're going to want a compatible wok. I recommend a flat-bottomed carbon steel wok like this one. You need the flat bottom in order to get good contact with the induction surface. It's also a good idea to get a smaller wok; 30cm/12" or 35cm/14" diameter, not 16" or greater, because the induction contact simply won't produce enough heat to heat the whole wok (this is a general problem on home ranges, not just induction).

Many guides also recommend the Lodge Cast-Iron Wok for its induction-friendliness, but I recommend against it based on experience. Not that it doesn't work well with induction (it does), but because it's a terrible wok. A big part of wok cooking is taking advantage of the fast responsiveness and steep temperature gradient of the wok, and the Lodge has neither of these. I have one; I use it exclusively for deep-frying. Clearly, though, others disagree with me.

The next challenge is harder to control: it's the question of whether your particular induction stove can heat the small flat bottom of the wok adequately, since that's the only part in contact with the stove. Some can, some can't, and there are too many variables in induction stoves for you to figure this out via stove stats.

But, since woks can be heated dry, this is easy to test:

  1. Borrow a flat-bottom carbon-steel wok
  2. Put it on the induction element and turn it to max (both temp & power)
  3. Wait 1-2 minutes
  4. Use a contactless thermometer to see if the wok bottom gets to at least 225C/450F (it will also smoke at this temperature)
  5. Take it off the heat and oil it

Speaking of which, you will need to do any initial wok seasoning over a gas flame or on the grill, since seasoning requires heating the whole wok.

Also: if you're going to use a wok in an apartment, regardless of heat source you need a hood or other fan ventilation.

  • 1
    +2 for the advice on hood/ventilation.
    – wyphan
    Dec 4, 2020 at 19:04


You can use it and make edible food. You won't get the same results they do in a Chinese restaurant. I use my wok on my gas range. I always picture the crispy delicious stuff but the wok often cools down too fast and I wind up sauteeing the food. I still eat it.

A workaround is small batches and let the wok heat back up in between. A problem with doing it that way is that stuff sticks and then burns when you heat the wok back up. I do all the vegetables first in small batches because they don't stick like the meat. Then hopefully all the meat in one batch, add the vegetables back to the wok at the end for everything to make friends and done.

  • 2
    The unique flavor from using a gas range is called wok hei in Cantonese.
    – wyphan
    Dec 4, 2020 at 19:03