How to Season a Wok and Maintain One at Home
Today I’m FINALLY showing you & sharing my tips and trick on how to season a wok and maintain one at home. Yes, I will be sharing what wok I’m using and where you can buy it too. I’ve been using this wok about 1 year now, and I think I will be settling down with this wok for the next few years, if not longer. I’m super happy with the quality of the wok. I can tell it will last a lifetime! Honestly, this wok is a bit pricey, but I think it’s worth it after using it for a year. It’s more expensive than others out there because of how it’s made and how they handle the carbon steel. It’s really high quality.
These woks are hand-hammered 36,000 times. Can you believe it? It’s an art.
This wok is a bit heavier than other woks I’ve been using and honestly that’s only downfall of this wok for me. It’s heavy because of the material they use so that I won’t complain about it. I can still hold and shake the wok no problem. I’m just so used to using super light woks before. The left one is large size, 34cm (4.2lb) and the right one is small size, 32cm (3.4lb).
Another thing you need to remember is that this wok is a rounded bottom, so I don’t recommend to use on an electric stove. Also, it will be hard to season a wok with an electric stove, to be honest, so if you have an electric stove, buying a seasoned & flat bottom wok will be a better option for you. But it doesn’t mean you won’t need to continue to read this post, because you still need to learn how to maintain the wok so it will last your lifetime and longer.
Are we ready to learn how to season & maintain a wok? Let’s get started!
Wash your wok thoroughly with dish soap & a ball of steel wool to remove the manufacturer’s coating on the wok. Scrub it real well inside & out, this is the first & the last time you’ll wash the wok with soap. Keep scrubbing & rinse with water until rinsing water is clear. Dry the surface completely with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Place on a gas stove and turn the heat to high.
Heat the wok for about 15 minutes over high heat. The wok will change its color to blue-black. Again, a gas stove is really the best. If you have an electric stove, please buy already seasoned & flat bottom wok!
You can also use a portable gas stove as shown.
Move the wok around (I turn it upside down, too) to heat the edges. Turn off the heat to cool the wok.
Can you see the beautiful blue-black color all around the wok? So gorgeous!
When the wok is cooled, turn on the heat to low and add oil. I recommend avocado or peanut oil to season the wok and stir fry cooking for the high smoke point. Avocado oil’s smoke point is 520°F. Peanut/Sunflower oil’s smoke point is 450°F. Wipe oil evenly on the surface of the wok for 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and repeat for a couple more times, about 2 minutes. Keep adding oil as needed. Turn off the heat and let it cool. As you can see, this process will create lots and lots of smoke. So if you have a smoke dictator or if ventilation is not good, I highly recommend you to do this outside.
Bring some old root veggies (potato, carrot, sweet potato…) that you don’t mind tossing. New woks usually have a slight metallic taste so I highly recommend you to do this part, this process will help to get rid of the metal taste.
Heat the wok over high heat, add oil, and swirl to coat. Add old veggies and slowly toss evenly on the surface of the wok, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool the wok all the way and wipe off excess oil.
Now the wok is done seasoning. It’s ready to wok and roll! 😂
Just because you season a wok doesn’t mean the wok is good for forever… The real important thing is maintaining the wok. Without maintaining it right, it will rust & ruin.
I made a simple stir fry dish with extra-firm tofu & broccolini with brown sauce. Nothing is sticking!! But at the end of the cooking, do you see all the sauces and brown bits on the wok? Iron’s #1 enemy is sodium. #2 enemy is acid. You are probably curious.. then what can I cook on the wok? You can cook anything and everything you want on your wok after seasoning. They need to wash & season immediately after use.
Always wash the wok right after you are done cooking, immediately! Never let your food sit in the wok. Wash ONLY with hot water while everything is still easy to scrub. I use a bamboo brush. Dry the wok completely, then wipe a real thin layer of oil to coat. Heat the wok & let it smoke, then let it cool, now it’s ready to store. Immediately do this step every time after you use the wok – if you wait to oil them, it might rust.
And this is it for the beautifully seasoned wok! I hope you find this is helpful and give you the courage to get a wok and start cooking Asian food at home like a boss!! You don’t have the same wok as mine. You can get any other carbon steel woks out there. Whatever suits you, that’s your wok! I went through so many different woks last 10+ years, and I finally settle down. So experience and learn what’s best for you! As always, you are the boss in your kitchen!!