The induction hob is considered one of the most advanced and contemporary ways of cooking. If you’re thinking about investing in one, you’re likely to reap the benefits it provides, and then some!
But is induction good for cooking cuisine such as Chinese? Let’s find out….
The short answer is yes, induction hobs are good for Chinese cooking. One of the many benefits of induction hobs is they heat up quickly (and without rinsing energy), which is ideal for cooking foods that require quick, searing heat.
Many cooking fans are ardent in their love of the wok, which is what many traditional Chinese recipes are cooked in.
So, providing your wok is induction-friendly, cooking delicious Chinese food is absolutely doable on your induction hob.
Which Woks Are Induction-Friendly?
As you may already be aware, you can’t use any given pan on induction cooktops. Your cooking equipment has to be compatible.
This means it needs to be made from ferromagnetic material, and must have a well-levelled flat base, so that the magnetic element can activate the copper coils below the hob’s ceramic top.
So, if you’re wondering whether the archaic heirloom wok you inherited will be compatible with your induction hob, then the answer is yes, it should be.
Cast iron is compatible with induction because the material is ferrous. However, as we mentioned earlier, your cast iron wok will need to have a flat base, as opposed to a spherical one.
The ferromagnetic material alone isn’t enough to activate heat from your induction. Shape is also crucial!
Rather than sifting through the options yourself, check out our guide to the best induction-friendly woks on the market.
Why the Shape of Your Pan Matters on Induction Hobs
The inner workings of induction can be confusing for induction newbies, so let’s break it down as to why not all pan/wok shapes will work on your induction hob:
The base of the cookware must fully touch the base of the induction for the heat-inducing process to work efficiently.
This triggers an energy flow between the two, allowing the induction to heat up. This happens because the ferromagnetic cookware will allow electric ions to pass through into the induction base, which then triggers heat.
So, if a spherical-bottomed pan or wok can’t cover the induction base, it cannot fully activate the ions.
In visual terms, the flatter the bottom of your wok, the more likely it is to activate the heat process.
Chinese Cooking on Induction
Woks are ideal for hot-heat cooking, such as roasting, braising, and steaming. And because induction generates high heat very quickly, cooking Chinese dishes on an induction hob can be a match made in heaven.
So, providing the base of your wok is the right shape (and the material is ferromagnetic), you can expect to re-create all your favourite Chinese treats in the comfort of your own home.
Things to Consider When Your Wok Meets Your Induction Hob
So, you’ve made sure your wok is compatible with your swanky new induction hob, therefore you’re good to go. Congrats!
But before you unleash that culinary prowess of your wok, it is worth bearing a few things in mind when it comes to your induction:
- If your induction hob is glass-topped, it will be prone to scratching, so it pays to be careful – particularly with heavy cast iron items. Gently does it!
- Induction is prone to having the occasional blip. See our overview of common problems with induction hobs and how to fix them.
- Sometimes you may hear a buzzy hum during cooking… don’t worry, it’s not tinnitus! Induction hobs occasionally do this when the fan inside the unit is working hard at managing the heat.
So, we have learned that cooking Chinese cuisine on an induction hob can be a dream, providing your wok is made from induction-friendly material and the base fully covers the ceramic plates within the hob that activates the heat.
Before purchasing cookware, always check with the supplier that your desired range is compatible for your induction hob.
Clara is a freelance writer and former chef. Though she may have hung up her apron, her love of food and cooking is still going strong! When she’s not whipping up a verbal storm, she’ll be in her kitchen sipping wine and whipping up a culinary storm.