While we think carbon steel is the best overall material for a wok, carbon steel woks do require a seasoning process before first use and continued care and maintenance to build that desirable nonstick patina. Here are instructions on how to season and care for your carbon steel wok.
Course: How to and cooking methods
Keyword: how to season a wok
carbon steel wok
Gas stove or outside burner is best
If your wok has wooden handles, wrap them in heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent them from burning.
Set your wok on your stove set to the highest heat. Make sure you clear the stove area, because things will get quite hot. Keep a dry towel handy or better yet, a silicon or heatproof kitchen mitt in case the wok handles get too hot.
Once the wok heats up, it will start to turn a dark brown color and will begin to smoke. This indicates that the residual oils from the wok are burning off.
Next, the wok will begin superheating and the impurities from those industrial oils will burn off. Tilt the wok to superheat one area at a time and the wok will turn blue.
Continue tilting the wok while you systematically burn off the impurities. The wok may not turn brown in all areas but you will see a degree of change in the carbon steel so make sure you heat all areas of the wok. This heating process will take some time depending on how hot your gas stove is.
Continue heating and tilting until the wok is done. Once your wok has been heated, the carbon steel will take on a blue tint.
Turn off the burner and set the wok back on the stove. Pour one cup of water into the wok slowly to cool it off quickly. Be careful of the hot water splashing.
When your wok is completely cooled, move it to your sink and use some mild detergent and your scrubbing pad to give it a light scrubbing. Rinse your wok thoroughly with clean cool water.
You may see some dark spots in the metal from impurities in the carbon steel but it is nothing to worry about.
Wipe down the excess water with a paper towel and place the wok back on the burner to dry it with medium high heat.
After the wok is thoroughly dried, add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil with the wok at low heat
Spread the oil around the wok by tilting it until you get an even coating around the wok
Turn off the heat and use a twice-folded paper towel to begin wiping down the wok. Use your wok spatula to start since the wok will be hot.
I like to reheat the wok again before cooking on it until just smoking. Turn off the heat and repeat the washing again, giving your wok another light scrub with water only.
Repeat this process one more time and your new carbon steel wok is ready for cooking your favorite dishes!
Seasoning & Caring for Your Wok by The Woks of Life. Recipe URL: https://thewoksoflife.com/how-to-season-a-wok/