Using awok is the traditional way of stir-frying. The thing is the round bottom of awok was not designed for an electric stove. The best stir-fry pan for electric stove with its flat bottom is the best alternative to a wok.
Stir frying is a Chinese cooking method wherein ingredients are fried in little but very hot oil while continuously being stirred. Stir-frying is said to be nutritious and healthy because quick cooking at extremely high heat retains the texture, color and nutritional value of food.
The stir frying cooking method was introduced to the Western worldby early Chinese immigrants. This cooking method has since been used in non-Asian dishes.
A wok is the best cookware for stir-frying because it is capable of even heat distribution thus requiring less oil. A wok is deep so food that is constantly being tossed is sure to stay within the pan and not on the floor or stove.
The problem with a wok is it does not work well with western ranges, specifically an electric stove. This problem was addressed by woks in the 1960's with the introduction of a circular device with holes to balance the wok with the heat source. The bottom got hot but the sides of the wok remained cool.
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In the 1980s flat bottom woks were introduced but they were quite small and the upper portion of the wok never got hot. Then the stir-fry pan was developed and it became the perfect match for an electric stove.
Woks and stir fry pans are similar in a lot of ways. The major difference though is stir fry pans have flatter bottoms making them easier to use on electric stoves. The flat and wide bottom along with taller sides makes it easier to flip food. A stir fry pan is not as heavy and large as a wok.
The best stir-fry pan for electric stove
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Stir-Fry Pan
As you may have clearly seen, the big difference between a wok and a stir-fry pan is the flat bottom of the latter. A stir-fry pan usually comes with a 3 or 4 inch depth beating out asauté pan. It also comes with a long handle and a small ear handle for easy handling. There are other factors that you need to consider when buying a stir fry pan.
- Non-stick Interior. Non-stick fry pans require less oil even when using high heat. It requires lesser oil than woks. Stir fry pans comes with various non-stick coatings intended for different uses – single or double non-stick coatings, ceramic coatings or titanium coatings.
- Size and Weight. The weight of the pan is important in stir-frying because this cooking method requires a lot of tilting, turning and lifting of the pan. Also choose a size that is applicable for the amount of food you usually cook.
- Handles. Since you will be doing a lot of tilting, turning and lifting of the pan when stir-frying, choose a pan with a comfortable grip handle. Also choose one that remains cool even when cooking in high heat. More importantly, make sure to go for riveted handles because they remain intact to the pan.
- Warranty. A good quality product will always be backed by a good warranty. This is important pans.
Woks are still the best for stir-frying but for everyday stir-frying in an electric stove, a stir fry pan is the best option. Stir-fry pans are the best for even cooking, speed and the capability to stir-fry a large amount of food.
The T-Fal 12-Inch Nonstick Pan (E93808) is the runaway winner for the best stir fry pan for electric stove of the bunch. Its Thermo-Spot Indicator which turns to a red hot color when preheating is done offers a lot of convenience. Its riveted silicone handle makes handling the pan while stir-frying safe and comfortable. A glass lid completes the cooking convenience.