APPLIANCE GUIDES, HOBS (COOKTOPS)

Are Induction Wok Burners/Hobs Any Good? – Pros, Cons & Advice

For many, the decision between gas and induction cooking is a tricky one. Lots of my clients would love induction but fear they would miss a ‘proper’ wok burner for stir fry night.

This always leads to the question, can you get a wok induction hob?

In this post, I’ll answer the question, can you get a wok induction hob, and share some options if you’re in the market for one as well as answer some popular questions around the topic.

Let’s dive in!

Can You Get A Wok Induction Hob?

Yes, there are wok induction hobs available on the market. However, there is quite a limited choice as the technology is still relatively new.

You’ll also need specially designed wok pans to use with the particular wok induction hob you wish to purchase.

Types Of Wok Induction Hobs / Burners

To my knowledge, I would say there are currently two types of wok induction hob on the market.

A dedicated, specially designed domino induction cooktop zone that is indented (concave) and shaped for a unique wok pan.

Or a mixed fuel (dual fuel) induction hob with a gas wok burner all-in-one appliance.

Domino Wok Induction Hob

These wok induction hobs are specially designed for a particular wok pan that comes with the appliance itself. The induction surface is indented into the appliance so the wok can sit comfortably inside and be cradled in the heating zone.

These types of hobs are quite new to the market and currently only available as domino hobs and not part of a larger, all-in-one induction hob.

BORA and Miele currently offer this type of hob as part of their modular (domino) hob setups. It is recommended that you get the specially designed accompanying wok pan from the respective manufacturers for optimum performance. Bora Induction Wok Pan / Miele Induction Wok Pan.

Oftentimes these wok pans will come with the appliance when you purchase them but speak with your local dealer and make sure.

AEG also used to do this type of hob but, to my knowledge, this has since been discontinued. You may still be able to pick one up refurbished on eBay.

Mixed Fuel Hob (With Wok Burner)

Not quite the same, but the other option to have a wok burner as part of an induction hob is to opt for a mixed (dual fuel) hob.

Available in a variety of configurations and sizes. This appliance essentially has an area of induction cooking zones and a gas wok burner, single burner or two burners all part of the same hob (cooktop).

Mixed or dual fuel hobs can give you the best of both cooking worlds and can be the perfect compromise for those who want induction for most of their cooking needs but still want that wok burner and flame cooking option when they require it.

Smeg, Fisher & Paykel and AEG all make mixed fuel (or dual fuel) hob models.

SMEG Dual Fuel Hob
SMEG Dual Fuel Hob

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Advantages Of A Wok Induction Hob

  • Best Of Both Worlds: You get all the great benefits of using induction cooking technology. Such as speed, precision and safety, while still being able to use a wok pan and cook up the perfect stir fry.

  • Sleek Look: Having a wok induction hob maintains a sleek, low-profile and clean cooking surface. Perfect for contemporary or minimalist kitchens.

  • Easy To Clean: With one smooth surface, clean-up is quick and easy. No cast iron supports to mess about with when cleaning the hob.

Disadvantages Of A Wok Induction Hob

  • Availability: As wok induction hobs are relatively new technology there are very few models available on the market. So you might not find one that suits your particular style and needs.

  • Cost: As they are new and there are only a few models currently on the market, this drives the cost of them up. Having one won’t be cheap.

  • Particular Wok Pan: Not only will you need a pan with a magnetic base (because of the induction technology) you’ll also need a pan that fits perfectly into the concave shape of the induction wok zone. The appliance manufacturer usually provides such a wok pan but often times that will be your only option.

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How Do Wok Induction Hobs Work?

Wok Induction hobs use the same technology as any regular induction hob, an electromagnetic current heats up the bottom of your magnetic pan, which then heats/cooks the contents of your pan.

Only the area in the cooking zone covered by the base of the pot is heated up.

The only difference is the shape of the induction zone. It has a concave shape to the appliance, so the pan that you use needs to fit just right.

Because of this, the manufacturers provide specially designed wok pans in order to fit perfectly and get the best results. These wok pans are usually supplied with the appliance when you purchase one.

Induction Wok Cooktop in a commercial kitchen
Induction Wok Cooktop in a commercial kitchen

Why Would You Want A Wok Induction Hob?

There are many benefits to using induction over other fuel types such as gas or electric ceramic. With the most popular being the speed, precise control and safety benefits they provide.

However, many users miss the ability to use a wok pan and the cooking style it provides.

By having a wok induction hob you can get the best of both. You get all the benefits of using induction cooking technology as well as the ability to use a wok pan and cook up your favourite wok and stir fry dishes.

You may also be ‘off-grid’ and unable to be connected to mains gas. As induction cooking uses electricity to power it, it may be your only option if you want a wok cooking option. Especially if you are generating your own power through solar or wind.

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Are induction wok burners any good?

Induction wok burners are well-suited for users seeking an all-electric kitchen solution, perhaps due to restrictions on gas lines or a preference for enhanced safety features.

They offer rapid heating and consistent temperature control. Their flameless nature, coupled with safety features like automatic shut-off and child locks, make them a safer choice and they are also notably easier to clean than traditional cooktops.

However, transitioning to an induction wok burner from gas can require an adjustment period to adapt to the different cooking dynamics. Mastery of this technology for traditional wok cooking might take some practice.

As well as this, you’ll need to ensure your wok is induction-friendly.

For those who find that induction does not replicate the exact effect of gas, particularly in how heat is distributed up the sides of the wok, a mixed fuel hob or cooktop could offer a better compromise. A mixed fuel hob can provide the traditional flame of gas for authentic wok cooking alongside the convenience of electric induction power.

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know about wok induction hobs.

All the benefits of induction technology with the added bonus of wok cooking. However, as a relatively new technology, with only a few manufacturers making wok induction hob models, the freedom to use any wok pan and its usability is still somewhat limited.

And, as great as the technology is, you’ll still never get that flame-cooked meal.

A mixed (or dual fuel) hob may be a better answer for many home cooks who want the complete benefit of both induction technology and a true flame wok burner for their stir fry nights.

There are so many choices when it comes to kitchens and kitchen design! 😮

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.