A wok can last a lifetime with the proper care. This includes occasionally seasoning it, as well as properly storing it. Luckily, both are very easy to do and can be done in just a few minutes. Follow this step-by-step guide that will teach you one of the steps of proper wok care – seasoning it.
It’s important that you do NOT follow these instructions for a wok with a non-stick coating. Following these instructions will damage the non-stick coating.
Seasoning a Wok
- Rinse the wok in hot water and some heavy duty soap (e.g. kitchen cleaner or comet).
- Place the wok on the stove over a high heat.
- Heat the wok until the bottom of the wok becomes a dark bluish color (about twenty minutes). Rotate the wok on its side and burn similarly until entire wok is dark bluish.
- Cool down wok until room temperature.
- Fold a paper towel, and soak it with cooking oil (such as peanut or corn oil).
- Spread the oil all over the inside of the wok. Make sure to completely cover the interior of the wok with oil. The wok will now be ready to use.
In the beginning, you will need to season the wok very frequently, after every use is best. When the food begins to stick to the surface of the wok, it may be time to re-season your wok. Eventually, a thin layer of oil will begin to permanently set into the wok. After this happens, you will not really have to worry too much about seasoning it again. From time to time the seasonings on the surface of the wok will be depleted, and it will be necessary to re-season the wok.
Both seasoning and storing your wok are important in keeping your wok in excellent shape. If you happen to get a little rust on it, don’t worry about it too much. Try to lightly brush it away, but, otherwise, just re-season the wok and continue using it. Other than that, use your wok often to develop a tasty seasoning on it to enhance your flavors.