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Whip up stir-fried veggies and noodles in a flash with this electric wok from Presto. It’s got a powerful 1500-watt heating element, durable construction, and excellent heat control, all at a fantastic price point. This stainless-steel wok has an aluminum-clad base which helps distribute heat evenly and quickly, allowing you to swiftly sear ingredients and preserve valuable nutrients and color. Though this wok comes with a wooden spatula, you can also cook with metal utensils without fear of damaging the interior of the pan since there’s no nonstick coating.
This model also features side loop handles to easily transport your wok to the table for serving, and it comes with a tempered glass lid to prevent splatter while cooking. When the heating control is removed, the wok and cover are fully immersible and dishwasher safe, making for super easy cleanup.
For the best bang for your buck, the Aroma Housewares 7-quart Electric Wok is an excellent choice. This easy-to-use model has a fairly large capacity and a durable, nonstick surface so you can use less oil than you would in a traditional metal wok. The no-fuss dial goes from low to high, and the carbon wok heats up quickly and manages to retain heat well, which is key for quickly searing and stir-frying your favorite dishes. The domed lid also has a nonstick coating for easy cleanup, but since it is made of metal and not glass, you’ll have to lift the lid to check on the progress of anything you’re steaming or braising.
Be aware that you’ll want to stick to using wooden utensils to avoid damaging the interior’s nonstick surface. Since you can’t separate the pot from the heating element, you’ll also have to carefully wash this by hand (though the nonstick coating definitely helps prevent stuck-on grease and food).
Breville has an outstanding reputation for kitchen appliances, and this is no exception. The Hot Wok has 15 different heat settings that allow you to warm, slow-cook, deep-fry, or steam. But most importantly, this model cooks at up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to achieve the perfect sear and seal in flavor. The 1500-watt heating element has an innovative butterfly shape that sends heat up the wok walls, mimicking the heat distribution of a traditional wok over a high-powered gas flame.
This die-cast 6-quart wok features a QuanTanium coating, which is durable, scratch-resistant, and nonstick. It comes with a glass lid featuring adjustable steam vents so that you can visually monitor your cooking without letting out any heat. Separate the base from the bowl for cleaning—the bowl and lid are dishwasher safe, and the nonstick surface will make cleanup quick and easy. (For a larger-capacity option, Williams Sonoma carries the 8-quart Hot Wok Pro here.)
VonShef’s 7.4-quart electric wok gives you plenty of cooking capacity to make larger portions of your favorite Asian stir-fry recipes, perfect for feeding a crowd. The durable nonstick surface prevents food from getting stuck and also allows you to go light on the oil (or even skip it altogether). It features a rotary dial with four heat settings: Warm (176 degrees), Low (302 degrees) Medium (374 degrees), and High (446 degrees). The highest setting will add that restaurant-quality char to fried rice dishes and give meats a great sear. The only caveat is that because it has a flat surface at the bottom, you won’t have the same smooth motion while scooping and stirring that you’d get from a traditional round-bottom wok.
The unit also has heat-resistant silicone handles on the pan and the tempered-glass lid, so you won’t have to worry about grabbing a hot handle during cooking. The nonstick surface allows for easy cleaning (hand wash with dish soap and water). A solid pick for anyone who has a large family or hosts parties often.
With a 4.5-quart capacity, The Rock by Starfrit is a compact but very functional electric pot that can perform as a wok but also does so much more. Simmer your favorite Thai or Indian curries, saute a batch of Sichuan green beans, or make crispy fried tempura—thanks to the thick cast-aluminum construction, the pan ensures even heat distribution and retention during cooking. The 1500-watt heating element gives it enough heat for quick stir-fry meals but uses a minimal amount of energy. At its lowest setting, you can also use this pot as a food warmer to keep dishes at temperature.
The patented Rock.Tec surface is touted as being three times stronger than traditional nonstick cookware and does a great job at preventing food from sticking. The pan and tempered-glass lid are dishwasher safe. Like the VonShef model above, it features a flat bottom, which doesn’t give it a true wok shape, but it still gets the job done.
The author of this piece, Bernadette Machard de Gramont, specializes in global food and wine content. As the granddaughter of immigrant restaurant owners, she grew up cooking her family’s Chinese and Filipino recipes and also learned some impressive wok skills from her dad, who taught her to make stir-fried noodles over a 100,000 BTU flame.