I love to cook with a wok because of the plethora of benefits that this cooking technique delivers. Food can be prepared quickly and efficiently and comes out with exceptional flavor.
The challenge with a traditional wok is that you need the right cookware equipment. But, with a wok-ring, you can use a traditional gas stove with your traditional wok.
A wok ring is a cooking tool that allows a cook to prepare food in a traditional wok over a gas stove or other open flame heat source. It is used to stabilize round bottom woks if there is no wok burner, and the wok is used over a gas stove.
Last update on 2023-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What is a wok ring?
A wok ring is a cooking device that stabilizes a round-bottomed wok on a gas stove. Traditionally, woks come with round bottoms and are used over an open flame. The wok originated out of China approximately 2,000 years ago. It was used over an open flame or hung over an open flame and used to cook at high temperatures.
With globalization and the introduction of different cultures to different parts of the world, the wok has made its way into the western world, where it is touted as one of the healthiest cooking methods. To accommodate the western cooking methods, a flat-bottomed wok was introduced so that cooks could prepare food in a wok on an electric or gas stove.
The wok ring was invented to accommodate cooking on a gas stove, over an open flame, using a round-bottomed wok.
The wok ring is a round metal device made from durable materials such as stainless steel, cast iron, standard steel, or wire. The material is important as it needs to hold up to the intense heat used in wok cooking. The wok ring is also called a wok stand.
Wok rings have circular holes along the side that allow some heat to escape and air to move through the bottom of the wok while cooking to prevent the flame from dying.
What is a wok ring used for?
A wok ring serves a single purpose: to keep a round-bottomed wok stable while cooking over an open flame on a gas stove. While flat-bottomed woks are available to accommodate cooking on a standard electric or gas stove, most woks are designed with a round bottom.
The round-bottomed woks cannot be used on a traditional stove, so the wok stand allows for round-bottomed woks to be used without purchasing expensive equipment such as burners to accommodate this cookware. A wok ring is placed on a stovetop over the gas ring and holds the wok upright.
The wok fits perfectly into the wok ring. The wok ring keeps the wok stable and in position while cooking. There is an additional purpose for the wok ring. It helps direct heat to the bottom of the wok and regulates the heat to ensure a sufficient and consistent supply of heat to the wok. This results in better and more even cooking of the food inside the wok.
The wok ring comes in different sizes to accommodate different sized woks and is made from different materials to accommodate different sources of heat. For example, the wire wok is made of glass stove tops.
How do I pick a wok ring?
Selecting the appropriate wok ring comes down to different factors, such as the type of stove you are using, the size of your wok, and the need to regulate and direct air at the bottom.
The type of stove and the size of your wok will determine the type of wok ring you purchase.
Wok ring types?
To understand the choice, it’s best to understand the variety:
Wire wok rings are meant to hold different sizes of woks. They are versatile and can easily double as a food or plate stand to elevate food or plates from a flat surface. These wok rings are quite popular.
Steel wok rings are the most popular and in-demand wok rings because of their durability. In addition, these wok rings are excellent at regulating heat and directing heat to the bottom of a wok. These wok rings are suitable for high-temperature cooking.
Cast iron woks are another great choice made from durable materials designed to last long. Many cast iron wok rings come with an extension that you can use to replace the burner grate on a gas stove and create more stability for the wok.
Wok rings for gas stoves. These wok rings are specifically developed for gas stoves with an open flame. The ring’s purpose is to regulate the heat at the bottom of the wok properly. Flames are unpredictable, and the heat can easily and quickly vary during cooking. The gas stove wok ring is specifically designed to counter this and produces a constant heat that is high enough to create wokhei.
Induction wok rings are used for induction cooktops. But, there is a slight problem. Induction cooktops produce heat through electromagnetic energy. Due to its design, a wok ring for an induction top cannot produce the required heat to heat it sufficiently. In addition, you risk damaging your induction cooktop or creating scratches on the surface when you place a metal ring on it. You are better off not using a wok ring on an induction stove.
Can I use a wok without a wok ring?
Yes and no. Using a wok requires a wok ring or an induction stove to make the round-bottomed wok work effectively with the heat source.
If you have a flat-bottomed wok, you don’t need a work ring or a burner. You can cook using your flat-bottomed wok on any flat stovetop surface and the food will be prepared adequately. But, if you only have a round-bottomed wok without a wok burner, you will need to purchase a wok ring to be able to use your wok.
Can you use a wok ring with a flat bottom wok?
Yes, but it is not necessary to use a wok ring. Firstly, the design of a flat-bottomed wok makes it ideal for cooking on western appliances. It’s unnecessary to use a wok ring with a flat-bottomed wok.
Furthermore, a flat-bottomed wok is not as curved as a round-bottomed wok. It will likely sit on top of the wok ring instead of fitting into it. This can potentially be dangerous because the wok ring may tip over and cause the contents of the wok to fall out, potentially burning you.
Can you use a wok ring on an electric stove?
Yes. Using a wok ring as an interface, you can use a round-bottomed wok on an electric stove top. In addition, a carbon steel wok will work better on an electric stove top than a cast iron wok. It helps to transfer heat better.
How do you use a wok ring on a glass top stove?
There are different types of glass stove tops, including:
It is not advisable to use a wok ring on a glass stovetop. You could use a wok ring, but you won’t get enough heat in the wok if you use a wok ring on any of the stated cooktops.
But if you do use it, avoid using a cast iron wok ring as it may cause scratches.
If you want to use wok on a glass top stove, it’s better to use a flat bottom wok. This way you are able to get enough heat to make a great stir fry. You might also consider an induction wok burner. With an induction wok burner, you can easily use a round bottom wok and achieve wok hei pretty fast.