I received a round-bottom wok with a cooking ring as a gift. I have an electric smoothtop stove. Upon opening the packaging, an included sheet of paper listed some additional information, including a note about not using round-bottom woks with electric burners, as "the heat reflected back can damage the element."

Should I return the wok? What are my options?


1 Answer 1


There are two problems here:

  • Not enough heat reaching the wok/food due to limited contact surface.
  • Part of the heating element not being in contact with a cooling metal (pan/wok) and the heat reflected back at it (not escaping).

This can result in a large temperature difference between the parts of the element that are in contact with the wok and parts that are not as well as over heating the element.

You may still be able to use your wok on portable single burner gas stoves. Otherwise I'd recommend heeding their advice and not using it on an electric stove. It won't make good food with little contact point anyway.

  • I'm sure it won't make a difference, but I forgot to mention it came with a cooking ring.
    – wootcat
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 16:41
  • @wootcat I think that's the piece that reflects the heat back to the burner to make it worse.
    – MandoMando
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 19:26
  • As a followup...and is this the best place for followups? Is it worth it to get a flat-bottomed wok to use on my current stove? Or should I just wait until I can get a gas stove?
    – wootcat
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 18:15
  • @Wootcat You can try the flat-bottom wok, depending on what you're making, it'll likely wok just fine ;)
    – MandoMando
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 21:47
  • If the cooking ring is not(!) made of a ferromagnetic metal, a cheap induction hob might just work to drive a wok like that. Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 23:22

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