How to cook with a wok on an induction cooktop

Updated February 21, 2017

Induction burners allow cooks greater precision in controlling the temperature, while the outside remains cool to the touch to prevent burns. These burners are a snap to use, but they pose some unique challenges for those wondering how to cook with a wok on an induction cooktop. Traditional wok techniques such as the flip and toss cannot be used with induction. Wok pans must also be made from a magnetic material, such as cast iron or stainless steel. Aluminium woks will not work on induction burners. Finally, unless you have a specialised wok induction burner, which has a shallow basin instead of a flat top, you will need to use a flat-bottom wok to cook on your induction hob.

Place your flat-bottomed wok on the induction cooktop, then adjust the burner to the temperature you desire. While you may turn the induction hob on and set the temperature before you place the wok on the cooktop, the induction hob will not heat up or turn on until metal is in contact with its surface. This prevents your induction cooktop from being left on, but it also limits your ability to toss materials in the wok.

Pour a small amount of oil into the wok. You may swirl the wok from side to side on the induction without lifting it up, or you may move the oil around with your spatula. When the oil is hot and bubbling, but before it begins to smoke, add your food. The oil should take less than a minute to heat up.

Move your food around the wok using your spatula. Do not lift the wok off the burner; if you do, the burner will turn off and you will need to manually reset the temperature. Continue to agitate the food using your spatula until the food has finished cooking.

Remove the wok from the heat, and serve the food. The induction cooktop will automatically shut off when you take the wok off the hob.


Do not try to use round-bottomed woks on induction cooktops. The curvature of the bottom will not make sufficient magnetic contact with the induction cooktop, so the cooktop will not properly heat up. Any wok that is made of magnetic material can be used on an induction range. To test whether your wok is magnetic, attempt to stick a magnet to the underside of the wok. If the magnet clings, the wok will work with your induction cooktop.

Things You'll Need

  • Induction cooktop
  • Wok
  • Long-handled spatula
  • Cooking oil
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.