Introduction: Vastly Improve a Wok Ring

Picture of Vastly Improve a Wok Ring

Cutting notches into your wok ring so that it can nest with your stove burner grating vastly improves wok stability and functionality on a normal "renters stove".  

But Noah - why don't you just remove the steel burner grating and place the ring onto the stove surface like everyone else?

Well, because if you do that then the ring slides around all over the surface of the stove and falls into the drippings well and just generally fails at cooking.  Couple that with perhaps 4 cups of burning hot oil in the wok while deep frying and thought I'd just come up with a simple modification that improves the whole situation.

This is an easy one folks, hold on to your woks.

Step 1: Problem

Picture of Problem

This is the way that most people would use their wok ring on a stove like mine.  I'm a renter which means my stove is a piece of junk - it doesn't crank out enough BTU's to really do proper cooking with the wok and what's worse, the wok ring slides all over the place and even falls into the spot where drippings go into the stove causing a potentially very dangerous situation.

Placing the wok directly onto the steel burning grating without a wok ring is even more unstable then the ring sliding around on the stove, so count both of those options out. 

Something must be done!

Step 2: Mark All the Points Where the Wok Ring Crosses the Steel Burner Grate

Picture of Mark All the Points Where the Wok Ring Crosses the Steel Burner Grate

Here is the solution - modify the wok ring so that it's compatible with my specific stove burner insert grate so that it nests with the grating  on the stove and is locked in place at the correct height.

First, mark all the points where the wok ring crosses the steel grating.

There are 5 spots shown in the second photo below.  Can you spot them all?

Step 3: Cut Out Sections of Wok Ring at Those Locations

Picture of Cut Out Sections of Wok Ring at Those Locations

Use an angle grinder with an abrasive cutting wheel to cut out sections of the wok ring as deep as the black steel grating rises above the surface of your stove at those 5 locations.

Grab a pliers and wiggle the tabs you just cut off of the wok ring.

Step 4: Test Fit

Picture of Test Fit

Test fit the wok ring.  It should sit flush on the surface of the stove and be locked in place by the black stove burner grating so that it no longer can move. 

Make any adjustments necessary if it's a tight fit or any of the notches need to be enlarged.

That's all there is to it - enjoy the vastly improved wok functionality.


Silver_Kate (author)2013-08-23

I like this...

godbacon (author)2012-11-13

so great, I have had this problem. good solution

guitarpicker7 (author)2012-10-23

I have to agree with Henri- I've been cooking with woks for over 40 years and the ring is for supporting a wok on a stove-top burner (hopefully a gas burner) Simply turn the ring over so the wide end is facing up... remove the cooktop grate, set the ring around the burner and you're ready to get cooking!

You can cook with a wok directly on the stove top grate: just hang on to the handle so it doesn't go anywhere!

My favorite way to stir fry is to use a small BBQ grill with a nice bed of really hot coals. Open the vents wide, put the wok directly on the coals and get busy!

To make more heat, most gas ovens will allow you to install different size gas jets. I once drilled out a jet (1/6" drill bit, if memory serves, about twice the size of the ordinary jet) in my cooktop. It was a LOT hotter, but I had to remember not to use that burner for "regular' pots and cookware.

Happy cooking!


Javin007 (author)2012-10-18

Makes me wish we had gas instead of electric. :( Glass-tops absolutely suck for wok cooking.

alexholman (author)Javin0072012-10-18

Seems like the main issue with glass would be transferring the heat, as the glass top is designed for direct contact. I wonder what would happen if you took a low saucepan full of salt, and squished the wok down into the salt. It'd take awhile to heat up, but maybe it would conduct the heat better up into the wok. Probably something with better conductivity than salt that you could use though...

the water won't get hot enough for stir fry.

That's why I suggested salt for the heat transfer, avoid the whole 'boiling point of water' issue. Of course, the melting point of table salt is 1474(F) and a good electric stove surface can reach between 1,472 and 1,652 (ref 1). So assuming you had completely perfect heat transfer, you'd be stir frying in a wok sitting in a pan of stupidly hot molten salt... horribly burning and instantly igniting anything it splashed onto...
yeah, lets just leave that as a though experiment.


Javin007 (author)alexholman2012-10-18

Is it wrong that I'm dangerously intrigued by the concept of wok cooking on molten salt? I can only assume this would be unkind to anything in direct contact with it... Stove tops, pans, etc...

nwlaurie (author)Javin0072012-10-19

Hmm Javin - I, too, find myself wanting to see whether salt would melt on the hottest of my electric hob-plates. 1800 watt ceramic. Would the salt stick? I presume it would dissolve off at removal time (this must all be done while my womenfolk are far away!) ... but would it?
Ooooh! I so want to try it ....

1inspirit (author)2012-10-19


tkjtkj (author)2012-10-18

good solution to a common problem, and well-described..

In all my time here i've ye to see a 'perfect solution' to any dilemma ..

The point isn't 'perfection' , the point is 'solution' ..congrats.

Kudo's ..


gozitan (author)2012-10-18

I just want to added that I did the same cut on the both sides of the ring, depends of the heat you need (soft or hard) !
Enjoy it !

gozitan (author)2012-10-18

Hi, I'm french, and I did the same way 20 years ago ! I'm very surprised and I'm proud to see this very silmply instructable ! and it works so well ! Patrick.

harley573 (author)2012-10-18

This instructable... totally "woks"!! (rimshot).

henri_cervantes (author)2012-10-18

flip the ring over so the narrower circle is down, on my stove it fits perfectly inside the indented well for the burner. STILL not as hot as it has to be for proper stir-fry, but better than anything else.
by the way, a flat wok is not a wok. it's a skillet.

Remag1234 (author)2012-10-18

NIce work. I solved the problem buying a new wok. Take a look at Scanpan Flat bottomed wok. Easy to clean, cooks great. BTW, my wife is Chinese and likes it better than the traditional wok. Expensive but worth it.

bizshop (author)2012-10-18

Great idea - but I think it would be more stable if the tabs/slits were only JUST big enough to allow the grating to fit - yours are pretty wide and it seems still some slidearound room.

eljohn3 (author)2012-10-18

I feel like you probably could've just ground out a slot roughly the thickness of the grate. The inch square tab just seems a little excessive to clear an eight inch thick piece of metal.

ferjanyen (author)2012-10-18

The idea is brillant but please do a bit of cleaning from time to time!!!!

ferjanyen (author)2012-10-18

How about a bit of cleaning in the mean time???

alexholman (author)2012-10-18

I have sealed burners on my stove
(the stove in this instructable does not, the image below gives an example of a sealed burner, also more discussion of them here:
I get poor performance with a wok because of a cold spot in the center where there is no flame. To fix this, you can remove the black flame spreader so it looks like the second picture below, and then use a match to light the gas jet coming directly out of the hole in the middle of the burner. This gives a more intense heat in the middle of the pan and seems to work better for my wok and my cast iron waffle iron.
Caveats though...
You have to use the biggest burner, with plenty of gas, or the flame blows out, fills the house with gas and explodes your house. If you're not paying attention, the flame may still blow out, fill your house with gas and explode your house.
Second, depending on the amount of gas you're putting through it, the combustion can switch between a candle flame looking burn coming directly off the gas nipple (little gas), and a roaring turbulent flame that ignites an inch or so above the gas nipple. I try and keep it in the inch separated, roaring flame category because I worry that the gas nipple is not designed to have a flame directly emerging from it, and the heat may damage it.
Third, depending on the gas and flame setting, you may be getting incomplete combustion leading to carbon monoxide production. Have a CO detector in your house, and consider opening a window.

rimar2000 (author)2012-10-13

Clever and simple solution!

Bubbler (author)2012-10-12

Good thinking. I always had that problem. Now I use a cast iron hob and LPG outdoors.

caitlinsdad (author)2012-10-12

You should be able to cut the ring with some aviation or tin snips or a hacksaw but a grinder with sparks flying off the cutoff wheel is the manly way to do it.....arrrrrrrgh.

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