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Electric Wok vs Stovetop Wok: What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wanted to try cooking Chinese cuisine in your own home but don’t know where to start?

You may have heard of a wok, which is a piece of incredibly versatile and multifunctional cookware.

Nowadays, when shopping for one you may find yourself stuck between electric woks and stovetop woks – what are the differences? If you feel perplexed by the abundance of choices out there, rest assured that we can help.

In this blog post, we will be discussing all about electric woks vs stovetop woks: how they differ in shape & size; their temperature control features; how they plan an important role differentiating types of cooking techniques; as well as how these factors ultimately impact the taste of food made with each type.

Read on to learn more.

What is an Electric Wok?

Electric woks are a kitchen essential.

They have a non-stick surface and a circular heating element at the base.

This ensures even heat distribution and temperature control.

No oil or gas fumes – just convenience.

Plus, they’re very versatile.

You can use them anywhere with an outlet.

Place them on a countertop or table – no stove burner needed.

And, they last long.

With proper maintenance, electric woks can keep giving consistent results for years.

What is a Stovetop Wok?

A Stovetop Wok is a cooking tool that originated in China.

It is round-bottomed with sloping sides, allowing for even heating and quick cooking.

Plus, its high sides make it perfect for steaming, deep frying, and boiling.

Woks come in various materials like carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and non-stick coatings.

Carbon steel is the traditional choice, as it is durable and well-retaining heat.

Non-stick coatings are easy to clean, but can only be used on low to medium heat.

To prevent rusting and food from sticking, carbon steel woks must be seasoned before use.

Preheat the wok over high heat until it starts to smoke.

Then, add oil and swirl it around to cover the entire surface before wiping off extra oil.

In conclusion, a stovetop wok is great for those who love stir-frying, but also want to try other cooking techniques without buying multiple cookware.

It’s perfect for saving space in kitchen cabinets.

Key Differences Between Electric Wok and Stovetop Wok

The choice between an electric or stovetop wok is based on personal needs and preferences.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before buying.

1 – Heating Method

Electric woks feature a built-in heating element, offering consistent heat.

In contrast, stovetop woks use an external source, such as gas or electric burner.

This can be tricky to adjust the temperature.

On the plus side, stovetop woks enable traditional cooking techniques like char or smoke infusion due to open flames.

Both woks have advantages and disadvantages, which appeal to different cooking requirements and preferences.

2 – Temperature Control

Electric woks have the edge when it comes to temperature control.

You can select and keep a temperature for your whole cooking process.

Oppositely, stovetop woks are more difficult to regulate, easily getting too hot and resulting in meals that are partially cooked or not cooked evenly.

If you select an electric wok, get one with multiple heat settings.

Start high and reduce as you go to avoid sticking and ensure even cooking.

Remember to keep ingredients spaced apart, otherwise, the temperature will drop and you won’t get the desired result.

For stovetop woks, use a gas range for better heat control.

Buy a thick wok that will keep the heat longer.

Be careful with oil: don’t overheat it or the flavor of your dish will suffer.

3 – Versatility and Mobility

When it comes to woks, mobility and versatility are key.

Electric woks and stovetop woks have different features for different needs and preferences.

Electric woks offer more versatility.

They can be used anywhere with an electrical outlet.

You can cook anywhere in the kitchen or outdoors, as long as there’s power.

Stovetop woks are great for mobility.

They are lightweight and designed to work with traditional stovetops.

So they can be taken on camping trips.

Both electric and stovetop woks can be versatile.

Non-stick coatings, multiple heat settings and size variations make them suitable for all kinds of cooking.

Electric woks offer more mobility, but stovetop woks let you adjust the heat better.

This is good for people living in areas with frequent power outages or who prefer a hands-on approach.

4 – Cooking Performance

Electric woks and stovetop woks have differing cooking performances.

Stovetop woks allow for more heat control – they quickly adjust to cooking changes.

Electric woks, however, keep a consistent heat throughout the cooking.

This helps inexperienced cooks.

The surfaces of the two woks also differ.

Gas burners are used with stovetop woks, providing direct flames and heat distribution.

Electric woks use non-stick coatings, so food won’t stick or burn.

Traditionalists may prefer stovetop woks, while those after convenience may like electric woks more.

It all comes down to personal preference and cooking style.

Similarities Between Electric Wok and Stovetop Wok

Electric and stovetop woks have many similarities.

Both can be used for stir-fries, soups and deep-frying.

They share a flat bottom and rounded edge.

High heat is used to cook food on both.

This high heat gives the signature char and smoky flavor.

Materials such as cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel or non-stick coatings are used in making them.

Authentic Asian dishes can be cooked on both woks without compromising taste.

Cleanup is easy due to their non-stick surfaces.

They are also versatile tools for cooking various types of cuisine.

Although there are differences between the two, there are more similarities that make them great kitchen tools for creating Chinese-style meals or stir-fry dishes.

Considerations When Choosing Between Electric Wok and Stovetop Wok

Choosing a wok can be tough.

Electric and stovetop woks both have their own benefits.

If you’re looking for convenience, easy maintenance, and energy efficiency, an electric wok is the one for you.

Electric woks have built-in heating elements, which means no need for external heat sources.

On the other hand, if you want the smoky flavor of high-heat cooking for stir-fries, curries, or deep frying, go for a stovetop wok.

They come in materials like carbon steel or stainless steel, which retain heat well.

Size is another factor when choosing between these two.

Electric woks are usually smaller, perfect for small kitchens or single servings.

Stovetop ones range from 10-16 inches, giving you more options.

1 – Cooking Style and Preferences

Cooking Style and Preferences vary from person to person.

Some may like traditional stove top woks, others electric ones.

It’s all up to the user’s choice.

Electric woks are convenient and easy to use.

But they don’t get as hot as stove top woks – perfect for stir-frys.

It’s important to think about how often you’ll use it.

If you cook Asian dishes a lot, a stovetop wok is better.

It has high heat capacity and even heat distribution.

In conclusion, it’s key to pick the right wok for your cooking style and preferences.

That way you’ll get the best taste and quality out of your dishes.

2 – Kitchen Setup and Space

Setting up a kitchen? Not sure if to go for an electric wok or stovetop one? Here’s a simple six-step guide to help you decide:

  • Figure out what cooking you’ll be doing and how much space you have.
  • Electric woks? Perfect for those without gas stoves or limited counter space. Stovetop woks? Ideal for traditional stir-frying.
  • Make sure your electric wok has the right voltage and wattage for your outlet.
  • Check for extra accessories like lids, racks and temperature control options that come with it.
  • Consider stovetop woks’ compatibility with different cookware materials.
  • Look at maintenance needs, durability, noise level and storage ease before buying.

Remember, kitchen setup and needs vary, so weigh the pros and cons of each before investing.

3 – Maintenance and Cleaning

Electric woks and stovetop woks have a few maintenance and cleaning differences.

Electric woks usually have nonstick surfaces and can be easily taken apart, making them simpler to clean.

Stovetop woks must be seasoned regularly to prevent rusting, which requires heating and oiling.

Neither should be cleaned with abrasives or harsh chemicals to avoid damage.

Electric woks should be washed in warm soapy water, or the removable pieces put in the dishwasher.

Stovetop woks should be washed with warm soapy water and dried before storing.

Storage is also key.

Electric woks should be kept in dry places, while stovetop woks must be seasoned for storing.


Cooking depends on factors like taste, time, and efficiency.

Stir-frying needs a wok for even heat.

Two types of woks are available in the market: electric and stovetop.

Electric woks are easy to use and have non-stick surfaces, but they take longer to heat and cool.

On the other hand, stovetop woks are traditional and versatile.

They have been used for centuries across Asia.

They offer higher temperatures, which are perfect for searing food quickly.

They’re also less bulky and easier to store.

Electric Wok vs Stovetop Wok: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Curious about the disparities between an electric wok and a stovetop wok? Explore our guide highlighting the variances in heat control, convenience, and cooking techniques between these two kitchen appliances.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That


  • Electric Wok
  • Stovetop Wok


  • Choose between an electric wok and a stovetop wok based on your preference and cooking needs.
  • Follow the cooking instructions specific to your chosen wok type, considering the temperature control and heat distribution capabilities.
  • Prepare your ingredients as required by your recipe, ensuring they are properly sliced, diced, or prepped.
  • Heat the electric wok or stovetop wok to the desired temperature, adjusting the settings or heat source accordingly.
  • Add the ingredients to the wok and stir-fry or cook them, using the appropriate cooking techniques and timings.
  • Stir or toss the ingredients frequently to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking or burning.
  • Once the ingredients are cooked to your liking, remove them from the wok and serve.
  • Enjoy your flavorful dish, appreciating the unique cooking experience provided by either the electric wok or stovetop wok.
  • Experiment with different recipes and explore the versatility of your chosen wok type for a variety of delicious meals.
Keyword Electric Wok vs Stovetop Wok
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