Ever since acquiring a stand alone induction burner (Max Burton) for general cooking use, I've been watching the market for standalone Induction Wok burner. I picked up a flat bottom wok for cooking on the Max Burton. It was pretty impressive, but I really disliked cooking in the flat bottom wok. Originally, these induction wok systems were only available for a few thousand dollars. But recently, Adcraft started offering a Commercial grade unit for a few hundred dollars. Unless you're really into wok cooking, the standalone induction burner makes a lot more sense, especially for the price difference. But if you love to cook in a round bottom wok, this Adcraft is worth considering.
Stir frying in a wok, heat is a crucial factor. Gas stoves run about 30% efficient so my 12,000 BTU gas stove transfers about 4000 BTU into my Wok. My 1800W wall current induction burner runs about 90% efficient and so transfers about 6000 BTU into the wok. It's not as powerful as my outdoor 30,000BTU stove, but the convenience of cooking indoors is a big plus. And the same efficiency holds true for the adcraft, but I get to cook in a round bottom wok again.
I like the controls on the Adcraft better than on my Max Burton. The controls are shielded by a lip to protect them from spills. The knob is easier and faster to work than the up and down buttons of the Max Burton. And a big pot at the boil, sometimes water jumps from the pot and changes the settings on my Max Burton. Won't happen on the Adcraft. The Max Burton's manual was better but both are pretty sparse. They share the same presets for power and temperature settings so i suspect they both use the same guts, just laid out differently on the Adcraft for the cooking bowl. The bowl fits a 14" wok quite well and the wok is very stable.
The curved cooking surface adds cost and complexity to the system. The induction coils are arranged in a ring about 6 inches across around the bowl. This leaves about 3 inches in the middle that aren't heated directly, but only by conduction, but it works out pretty well. I boiled some water in the wok to figure out the placement of the rings and produced an evenly boiling 6" donut that evened out some the longer it boiled.
The temperature settings make deep fry and oil blanching in the wok a simple task. The presets don't hit the most commonly used temps but are close enough for good results.
The finish where the bowl joins the case is a little sloppy. The white bowl discolors from oil on the wok and such. It scrubs up pretty well, but not perfectly clean. I'm not too concerned about that personally.
You still have to be somewhat careful about overloading the wok. 6000 BTUs is still pretty far from 150000 BTU burners used in Chinese restaurants and such. But it's certainly a step up for wok cooking at home.
me eat it all the time
me eat it all the time