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Seasoning really works... [Mar. 24th, 2011|07:01 pm]
So, today, I got a good - well, decent - carbon steel wok.

First step: clean it with a good steel wool pad - they coat them with an anti-rust coating.

Then, put a thin coating of cooking oil on, and heat it up - wipe with some paper towels from time to time, until you've got a bit of a dark coating on the bottom of the wok, and you're not picking up dark stuff on the paper towels. Don't expect the coating to be perfect and even (at least, not if you're like me :-) ).

What you're doing is getting tiny bits of oil to fill in the pores in the metal. These pores are where the real sticking occurs between a pan and food. Once those pores are stopped up, the food (mostly) won't stick. (

Side note: again, if you're like me, you don't want to think that you're trying to *coat* the pan with a layer of burned on-oil. You're not. Eventually, it'll darken more and you will kinda-sorta have such a coating, but it'll happen naturally, over time. Trying to force it will lead to having too much coating, which will flake off, leaving bare metal beneath. So, just a light coating.

And then... well, color me a bit surprised.

I could stir fry chicken - no sticking.

I could stir fry onion and carrot - no sticking.

I could make fried rice with fresh white rice - no sticking.

This new wok could end up being almost as dangerous to my waistline as my old deep fryer....

From: kightp
2011-03-25 02:17 am (UTC)
Yay!!! Where did you finally find it?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-03-27 08:40 pm (UTC)
Amazon - I bought a Joyce Chen round bottom wok.

The only problem I'm having right now is that the wok ring doesn't *quite* fit over my burner, and the burner cover I have doesn't quite fit the bottom of the wok. It's all working okay for now, but the wok's getting a bit scratched.
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[User Picture]From: pagawne
2011-03-25 02:42 pm (UTC)
I was blessed. Many years ago a dear friend gave me her wok when she was moving. It is as old as I am and perfectly seasoned from the bottom to the very top edges. This is something my daughters will fight over if I don't get around to making a will.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-03-27 08:45 pm (UTC)
Old, really well-used, seasoned cookware is wonderful - but I'm finding that it's not that hard to season things so they work relatively well straight up.

But, yes, the older seasoning will take some more abuse. My grandmother had some cast iron that had been seasoned for decades. It took many, many trips through a dishwasher to ruin it (sob!).
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[User Picture]From: laura_alive
2011-03-27 11:11 pm (UTC)
On the bright side, wok cooking requires far less oil than deep frying, so your waistline shouldn't suffer too badly...
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