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Wok Seasoning help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi guys!

I bought this wok it is carbon steel. It is my first wok. I am not sure about seasoning results... what do You think? I used it few times, food tastes good, but a lot of patina is wearing off all the time. I am not sure if I have done seasoning properly. I clean with water only and heat dry, then oil it. Please help me. Cheers,

Lukasz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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post #2 of 11

With a wok on a home strength burner, you're looking pretty normal.

 

The bottom of the wok where the heat is highest will season fairly well. You'll have scratches and bare spots over time from patina weakening under a sauce or similar and some scratching of the patina is normal.

The mid part up the side wall gets enough agitation at cooler temperatures that the patina that does form won't hold up to the use.

And the upper edge is often that golden tone of incompletely carbonized oil.

 

It should work pretty well for you as is really.  Just be sure to clean it without soap when you're done using it, dry it over heat, then rub it with oil.

 

If you can unscrew the non-metal parts of your wok handle, you could give it a seasoning session in your oven to even it out some, but it's not really necessary.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thx for help 

post #4 of 11

Not looking good in my opinion. You should burn the hell out of the wok during seasoning and then oil it all around. Check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGXGJD2xTzQ

And repeat this process some times. After first seasonings, for some weeks i would avoid acidic food like tomatoes, or vinegars, etc. to help build a stronger patina. And i don't use soap on my woks. Just very hot water, a sponge (i use a metal sponge cause my wolks are old and the patina is strong enough) and a cotton napkin to dry it. 

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #5 of 11

Yes, that's an ideal seasoning, but not one a home user can produce on home equipment. Note also this is a flat bottom wok and probably seasoned on an electric hob. On that equipment, this is pretty good for a first pass.

 

Phil

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 11

Here's my flat bottom wok, a 12" I've had about 2 years. I cook in it mostly for lunches for myself or for smaller stirfries probably 1/wk on average over that time. I've used it almost exclusively on a flat induction burner that puts no heat to speak of up the sides.

 

1000

 

 

While I have a darker smoother base, you'll see the same effects overall.  On a home burner that isn't gas, this is what happens.  If I felt it needed more seasoning up the sides, I'd remove the handles and season it in the oven upside down, but it wouldn't add any performance.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 11

I can see. Phatch. I know nothing about induction or electric burners. I thought the OP had a gas burner, in which case, even in a home environment, it's possible to season at reasonable high temperatures.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #8 of 11

This is my wok. It's about 5-8 years old. I've seen videos on seasoning woks and they look nothing like mine. Never had a stick problem, and the line between seasoning and raw steel about half way up is because sometimes I use a steamer for dumplings. It's a metal plate with holes that holds the bamboo steamer above the simmering water. The steam removes the seasoning above the line but does not affect my stir fry or Thai food. Especially fried rice, when I squish the rice against the sides and pick up years of flavor. Is this bad?

 

post #9 of 11

Looks fine to me.

 

You wok would probably thank you if you steamed in a different set up. Those traditional setups are fun, but a little hard on the patina. Many pots come with a steamer insert now.  But what I found with three kids is that I need more steaming capacity than those tools have if I'm steaming dumplings or such. So I ended up buying a stamped steel steamer pot at one of the Asian markets. 30 CM across, two layers. It's been nice. Does whole fish well, or a steamed rice cake/pudding. If you have the storage space for them, they're quite handy.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 11

Thanks Phatch. 

 

The bamboo steamer I use is three layers high. It's about 8-10" in diameter so it holds a fair amount of dumplings. I'm just concerned the water will wear away years of seasoning so I'm figuring out how to use another stainless pan I have to accommodate the bamboo steamer. 

post #11 of 11

Hi guys...

 

My advice #1... Befriend the staff/Manager/owner of a Chinese or Asian restaurant (becoming a regular helps big time) and ask the chef for seasoning your wok, when you have the power burner to cook with a wok, the process takes no more than 3 minutes and is an operation that is performed on a daily basis -sometimes twice a day- , so, you're not asking for a biggie. The patina that you get with a wok range is almost impossible to get with a home or even a professional western style stove.

 

-Once you got your good patina courtesy of your Asian restaurant friends, don't use your wok for boiling water (No cooking pasta or steaming dumplings) use another pot or even another wok to do so.

 

-Please don't cook acidic stuff on it for long time (example: Cooking a big batch of sweet and sour sauce... You can make the sauce by the order and on a very high flame, for your sweet and sour pork in your wok, no problem with that... But if you're planning on cooking a batch of sauce in advance, use another pot or pan. Acids and long simmer times are  patina killers.

 

In the restaurants we do that because we can afford it, if our patina gets damaged, within minutes we get a new one... You can't do that at home or you'll damage your hardly earned patina.

 

-Use your wok for deep frying... Woks love that and it's like magic for the patina, whenever our main saute wok starts getting a bit sticky, we just switch it from the one that is being used for deep frying  ,and you get a non-stick wok in the middle of the service without any kind of hassle or delay, when we get that one a bit sticky too -many dishes later-... We proceed the same way and use again the wok that got a bit  sticky at  first and voila... A wok that doesn't stick.

 

-Before using your wok, heat it until you start seeing some smoke, inmediately add some oil and try to make an even layer... When it starts smoking slightly, add more oil and proceed to cook.

 

I have 15 years cooking with woks and are still one of my favourite devices... I have a ton of big boy toys in my kitchens... But there is some magical thing about the feeling of a perfectly seasoned wok and the roaring fire of a Chinese range.

 

Advices on following my #1 advice... Don't ask for that kind of favor at the rush hour wink.gif , and tip, or at least try to tip the cook/chef that helped you to season the wok, they may not ask or even  accept the tip but to make sure that next time that you need them to retouch your wok they will be there for you, showing some diplomacy will help big time.

 

Best regards from México

Luis

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