I have had a few people contact me and ask if they could use a wok ring on a gas range. From my many years of using a wok, I knew the short answer would be “yes”; however, I wanted to give them a little more information than just a “yes” or “no” answer. I also did some targeted research on wok rings, so that potential purchasers could be better informed.
Before beginning, please keep in mind that household stoves do NOT supply the same amount of heat to a wok as restaurant-grade stoves do.
Several factors must be considered before using wok rings:
- Types of Stoves on Which a Wok Ring Can Be Used
- Types of Stoves to Be Avoided
- Types of Wok Rings
- Sizes of Wok Rings
- Wok Ring Designs
- Height of Wok Rings
- How to Use a Wok Ring
- Advantages of Wok Rings
- Disadvantages of Wok Rings
- Alternatives to Using a Wok Ring
Types of Stoves on Which a Wok Ring Can Be Used
Electric Coil Stove
The two primary purposes of using a wok ring are:
1. They stabilize the round-bottomed wok.
2. They concentrate the source of the flame to the bottom of the wok.
Wok rings work best on gas stoves. Wok rings do not work well on stovetops that are made of porcelain, ceramic or glass. Induction stoves would also fall into this “do not use” class of stoves.
If you use any wok ring on a stove that is not a gas stove or an electric coil stove, you have to be very careful not to scratch those glass-like surfaces. Even if you were to use your wok and wok ring on these types of stoves, they might not get hot enough for cooking effectively. It is beneficial to have the flame of your stove reaching up and heating the bottom of your wok. These glass top stoves do not have flames, only heating elements.
You could use a wok ring on an electric coil stovetop. The best type of wok to use on an electric coil stove would be the flat-bottomed wok because the bottom of the wok would be in direct contact with the heating coils. If you use a wok ring with a round-bottomed wok on an electric coil stove. the wok will not produce the cooking results you desire, because there are no flames generated by the coils. This combination does not get hot enough to stir-fry Asian style effectively.
If you use an electric coil stove, make sure you select a burner that will approximately fit the flat surface of the wok. If you use a flat-bottomed wok, you will not need a wok ring on this type of stove.
My first choice is a gas stove.
Types of Stoves to Be Avoided
If you are using a round-bottomed wok, it is best not to use an induction stove or an electric stove with a glass-like surface.
If you are using a flat-bottomed wok, it is best not to use an electric stove with a glass-like surface, because the surface may scratch and it probably will not get hot enough for optimal stir-frying.
Types of Wok Rings
There are several types of wok rings. The type you will need depends on the design of your stove burners and applications. Not all wok rings are created equal!
Wok rings should be 4″ smaller than the wok. Example: a 10″ ring would fit a 14″ wok.
This 10-inch wok ring can be inverted to accommodate different sizes of woks.
- Plated steel construction
- Supports woks not on a Chinese stove
- 3.3 rating out of 5.0
This wok ring can be found here at Amazon.
This wok ring can only be used with the slotted tongs up as shown, but it will accommodate round-bottomed woks between 12 and 20 inches. The base of this wok ring is 9.5-inches in diameter.
I would like to see the round holes a bit larger for an increased flow of oxygen, but it may be ok. You can hardly go wrong with this wok ring, as it is priced reasonably at Amazon. It has a user rating of 4.3 out of 5.0, which is excellent. Information on this wok ring can be found here.
Wok Ring/Stainless Steel
Here is a description of this wok ring:
- This wok stand made of high-quality stainless steel is made to keep round-bottomed woks stable while cooking on your stovetop, great for steadying the wok for serving.
- Our gas wok ring is cold-forged plated stainless steel.
- It has an innovative design, wok holder/ according to your pot size; both sides can be used, used to support woks when cooking on a regular range.
- This wok ring has a durable construction, sturdy chrome wireframe.
- This gas range wok ring is used in restaurants, cafeterias, cafes, quick-service restaurants, food courts, walk-up counters, food shops, catering halls, and homes. (Dimensions; height 5.5 cm/2.16 inches; bottom diameter 19.5 cm/7.67 inches; diameter 22 cm/8.66 inches)
You can place this wok ring on your table to support your round-bottomed wok. Currently, it has a rating of 4.0 out of 5 by its users. This wok ring can be found here at Amazon.
Professional Wok Ring – Fits 12 To 16 Inch Wok, Wok Holder 10x10x1.6
Here is just one example of wok rings offered by eBay.
Exceptional Quality Reinforced Aluminum wok rack with an open top and perforated sides. (Avoid wok racks from China, as they contain cancerous materials.)
This wok ring is made in Taiwan and offers superior support for massive woks sizes 12-16 inches. Holds a wok steady on conventional cooktop stoves by placing over the burner.
Dimension: 10x10x1.6 inches
Check out this wok ring here.
eBay has a vast selection of wok rings and you can check them out here.
Sizes of Wok Rings
There are many sizes of wok rings. Make sure that you purchase a wok ring that will fit the bottom of your round-bottomed wok. Each manufacturer will give you the dimensions of their wok ring and will suggest a specific size for your wok.
Wok Ring Designs
The design of the wok ring that you will purchase will be determined by your answers to the following questions:
- On what cooking surface will you be using your wok ring?
- Will you also want to place the wok ring on your table for direct serving out of your wok?
- What appears attractive to you?
- How much do you want to pay for a wok ring? (Most wok rings are reasonably priced.)
Height of Wok Rings
The height of a wok ring is important because it determines how far away from your burner your wok rests when in use.
Most of the wok rings have a height of 1.5 to 2-inches. On a gas stove, you want to get your wok as close as possible to your flame. If the height is too high, you will be limiting the amount of heat that can be applied to the bottom of the wok. It is usually not a big deal, but it is something that only takes seconds to check out before you purchase your wok ring.
How to Use a Wok Ring
A wok ring is pretty easy to use. You merely place the wok ring on the top of your burner and then put your round-bottomed wok on the wok ring. Make sure that the wok ring is the correct size and shape for your burner. Also, make sure that your wok sits firmly in the wok ring. You would not want your wok to turn over in a wobbly wok ring and spill everything on the stovetop or the floor or you!
When you are finished using your wok ring, BE CAREFUL because it will be hot!
Clean it according to the instructions that should be included in the packaging.
Advantages of Wok Rings
The main benefits of using a wok ring are:
- Stabilizes the wok and keeps it from wobbling around the burner. (Use only with a round-bottomed wok.)
- Concentrates the heat to a smaller area on the bottom of the wok and thereby heats the bottom of your wok to a higher temperature than can be achieved by just using the burner itself. Remember that you want your wok to get as hot as possible.
Disadvantages of Wok Rings
The disadvantages of using a wok ring only occur if you try to use it on a glass-topped stove or induction burner. The wok ring can scratch those surfaces. I have also heard that a wok ring can concentrate the heat so much that it can damage the heating elements in those stoves. The heat that is reflected in the cooking surface from the wok when using a wok ring can severely damage your stove burning elements. Wok rings are not suggested to be used on either induction stoves or electric glass-topped stoves.
Alternatives to Using a Wok Ring
If you do not want to use a wok ring, you could use a flat-bottomed wok on either a gas stove or electric coil stove. Keep in mind that you might not be able to get your wok hot enough on an electric coil stove. It depends on your electric stove coil parameters.
An excellent alternative would be to use a wok burner. Wok burners create a tremendous amount of heat and are made just for wok stir-frying. They should only be used outside and are fueled many times by propane.
PowerFlamer Outdoor Long Leg High-Pressure Propane Manual Ignition Wok Burner
Here is an excellent example of an outstanding quality wok burner. It is easy to operate and will last you for years. There is no doubt that this wok burner will raise the temperature of your wok to the desired level.
- Stainless Braided Hose, Spider Mesh Guard
- Long Leg Ground Wok Burner with Integrated Burner Plate, Manual Ignition
- ACME Type 1 QCC Connector for USA 20lb Propane Tank
- Adjustable Wok Adapter for Flexible Cooking Position
- Continuous Power Adjustment from 0 to 160KBTU/Hr
- This is a very powerful burner and can be found at Amazon here.
- The customer rating for this burner is 4.7 out of 5.0
New Cast Iron Propane Wok Burner LP Stove 100,000 BTU
Here is another example of a wok burner. This 100,000 BTU is a tabletop wok burner that will more than supply your need for “heat.” This particular burner is offered at a reasonable price from eBay. Check them out here.
Here is a product description of this excellent wok burner:
Gets the job done FAST with a powerful 100,000 BTU/Hr burner. Extra Heavy-duty wall cast iron construction stands up to frequent movement from one location to the next. This wok burner is for outdoor use only. This stove comes with a fully adjustable regulator that connects just like a gas BBQ to refillable propane tanks. Round or flat bottomed woks fit securely and safely into the sturdy cast iron supports. The stand is not necessary, just set it on the floor and hook it up to your existing propane tank. This stove is strong enough to fire the 30-inch woks India Joze Restaurant regularly used. Will bring a 20-gallon pot of water to boiling in about 10 minutes as opposed to almost an hour on a commercial range. Great for large-scale camping events. This burner includes 7 FT long gas hose and fully adjustable heavy duty regulator.
Dimensions: 13″ Diameter, 10 inches high and 20 inches overall length, Burner is large enough to accommodate 14 to 30-inch woks. It has a Matchless Ignitor! Gross weight is 19 lbs
Other Related Questions
What is a wok ring used for?
The wok ring acts as a heat trap, which may damage the burner grate and burner head of electric stoves or induction stoves. It may cause the burner to work improperly. Another use would be to stabilize a round-bottomed wok on a gas stove or table.
Why would I want a cast iron wok ring?
Cast iron wok rings are made for specific gas stoves. Cast iron wok rings are usually manufacturer-specific. Check with your stove manufacturer to see if they have a cast iron wok ring for your particular model of stove.