The best cookware for electric stoves transmits heat quickly and evenly over a flat surface. Cookware intended for electric stoves often works well on gas ranges also; however, cookware designed for gas stoves and open-flame cookery is not always suited to electric ranges.
Electric stoves have flat surfaces, and the most effective cookware for such stoves has a flat bottom. This ensures that the entire bottom heats equally, cooking all of the contents at the same temperature. Because gas ranges have exposed flames that rise up from the burner and lick the sides of the cookware, they accommodate vessels with rounded bottoms and sloped sides.
The best materials for electric stove cookware include cast iron, copper, stainless steel and aluminum. Thick, heavy vessels retain heat well and are suitable for all stoves. Electric stoves with smooth ceramic or glass cooking ranges are prone to scratches from rough, dented cookware. Smooth-bottomed vessels are the only viable option for these surfaces.
Woks, the round metal vessels used in Asian stir-frying, are problematic for electric and gas stoves because of their shape. These concave pans are terrific over large open flames because the entire wok heats evenly and cooks small pieces of food quickly. Traditional woks are unsuitable for a flat stove top because the sides of the vessel do not become sufficiently hot. Electric woks, however, are an excellent answer to this problem.