Wok Hob -- any hands on experience?

endomdFebruary 11, 2012

I am thinking about placing a 12 or 15 inch wok hob or module next to an induction hob. It seems to be that wok cooking is one thing that probably can't quite be replicated on most standard induction hobs. Has anyone ever used or installed on of the hobs by Miele, Gaggenau, or Wolf? The Miele apparently has a whopping 27,000 BTU's!

My other big questions is whether these hobs are basically only for woks or could be used with more or less any pot?


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The general, but not necessarily exclusive rule, is that one can't have too much power for wok cooking. Chinese restaurants in Beijing historically used coal stoves with an open port where the wok was worked. In US Chinese restaurants, gas burners with 100k+ BTU can be found.

I have a US made Cooktek 3500W built-in induction hob (perhaps 30k BTU equivalent). It comes with a large steel wok that fits its curvature. The wok is primarily heated in a ring-like zone near the bottom of the wok, so one can pull food up the sides and reduce the cooking rate. I think this wok could ideally be more conductive at the bottom to spread the heat better, but otherwise works well since normal use is to stir while cooking.

Conveniently, this wok's rubber handle cover can be temporarily pulled off so the entire wok can be baked in an oven for even conditioning. (Note: This is a very a smoky process, so good ventilation at the oven is required. Olive oil may be better than peanut oil for this purpose as peanut oil requires a very high temperature to glaze the wok.)

For cooking the wok hob will need serious ventilation above it. My hood extends past my induction cooktop to the area over the Cooktek unit. A portable induction wok might be put on a range top if using with an existing hood.

Power control is so quick that moving the wok for heat control is not necessary. In any case, this Cooktek system can approximate Chinese restaurant flavor, limited more by the cook's skill than power input.

The 3500W unit requires a 20A 240 Vac receptacle. Smaller units are also available from Cooktek.

To specifically answer the OP's second big question: This hob can only be used with pans having the correct curvature to get deep into the cavity and NOT touch the surface anywhere (the wok rests on a ring at the top). Another user of this forum with a Cooktek found some other woks he liked better that fit, but a computer failure a few years ago caused me to lose the details.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:48PM
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endomd - my apologies for this brief hijacking of your thread, but...

Kaseki, would you mind contacting me off-list? I was just looking at the cooktek units myself two minutes ago (non-wok units) and would like your opinion... Thanks,

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Are you anywhere near a major city? There are showrooms where you can try out at least the Miele and Gaggenau, probably Wolf as well.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 2:52PM
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Agree with Plllog.. Nothing like trying it. My main cooktop is induction but I needed a single wok gas burner. I cooked the same recipe of a stir-fried okra on Miele, Wolf, Thermador and Gaggenau single woktops. I also took along my favorite not iron pots to check the fit on the grate. I also charred eggplants on the open flames. I decided I liked Gaggenau the best for my usecase. It is about 17000 BTUs but I liked that the I can have fine control over simmer and the big flames. The footprint is only 12 inches but it is a pretty big burner. I liked Miele as well and their 15" version has 27K BTUs.. but I preferred the flame pattern on the gagg better. I did not like wolf or thermador.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Where did you see the Miele Wok burner in operation? I have looked all over the country and I found two Miele showrooms that had it displayed but none of them were functioning. Miele in NJ did not have the 27K wok burner hooked up either. My remodel is a few months of but I would love to see the unit in operation.
Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 5:57PM
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I have had trouble finding these different appliances live to test out.
I was attracted first to the Miele simply because of the BTUs but then to the Wolf because it seemed like you could switch between a standard grate for normal pans and a wok grate whereas with the miele there is only one grate (although maybe this one grate is fine for all types of pans, wok or otherwise?). The main reason I don't like the Gagg is the placement of the knob in front instead of on top of the counter. I plan to place this hob next to an induction cooktop and really think that the combination would look odd with a single knob.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Drbouba, The Gaggenau with the knob on the front face is the 15". The 12" is a drop in cooktop with the knobs on the face. Different burner style, too.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Drbouba: My 12" gaggenau has the knob on the top. I plan to have it next to my gaggenau induction.

Homepro: I tried the gaggenau wok unit at Purcell murray. Sierra distributors have the Miele. I tried wolf and miele at a local appliance store in NorCal.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Thanks for the info. I am calling Sierra distributors now.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:35PM
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I don't live in the bay area but was in San Fran in November and actually went to Sierra distributors at the Sobel center. They did indeed have the 15" wok burner on display but it was not operational. Did you ever get to see the flame pattern on the Miele wok burner?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:38PM
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The miele flame was wider than gagg but not as wide as wolf. I only saw the 12" miele. The simmer control was not as good as gagg.

For my use case, I wanted the wok burner to be able to do a really low simmer as well as high btu flames for wok stir frying. I liked the gagg as it has 3 rings of holes on the brass burner with an internal small circumference that has low flames on for simmer. This worked nicely for some round bottom small pots I use. The clincher for me was the price actually as I was able to pick up a discontinued gagg wok unit for 500 dollars. See this listing on ebay.. this is a 2 burner unit but the single woktops pop up as well

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 5:11PM
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Be sure that you can deal with the ventilation needs of a fire breathing dragon in your home. Your AHJ will most likely require makeup air since you will be needing so many CFMs. That adds a LOT of money to an already steep bill. You might also explore just adding an exterior wok station if you live in a warm climate. It's cheaper and easier.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 5:29PM
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