Seasoning a wok is an important step to have a great wok that will work well with Chinese cooking methods and bring many authentic Chinese recipes to life.
Due to their porous nature, the two major wok types, iron woks and carbon steel woks, need to be seasoned properly to reach their best cooking potentials.
Woks made of stainless steel need no further treatment. However, they need more oil to prevent food from sticking to the wok in cooking.
There are normally two ways for seasoning a wok, in an oven or over a burner on the top of a stove. Both ways work oil on a wok's surface to let the wok absorb the oil.
The oil recommended is lard or palm oil, since polyunsaturated oils tend to have a higher smoking point that minimizes oil fumes, resulting easily in an uneven coating.
You need to take extra care if you choose to use this type of oil, such as peanut oil and corn oil.
Heat the wok until its entire surface is hot. Use a heat-proof brush
(ex., barbeque brush) or a rag to brush lard or palm oil on the wok's
surface in a thin layer.
Be sure to cover every inch of it.
Cool the wok and then reheat it to add another layer of oil. Repeat the steps for a few times until the wok begin to turn dark and the surface doesn't look dry anymore when heated up.
Tip 1: If there is excess grease collected in the wok's center, make sure to sop it up before each reheating. This will prevent a gel-like coating from forming there.
Tip 2: Make sure you have enough ventilation when you do the wok seasoning. Keep flammable materials away from the stove and the wok.
At the beginning, your wok will require a little more care to get the best seasoning result. After you pay these attentions to it, your wok will develop a beautiful, black patina and work for you beautifully. Food will no longer stick to the surface during cooking, and the well-seasoned wok will greatly enhance the flavors of the food that no non-stick pan can do.
Here are the steps to take after your initial wok seasoning:
A great wok is a well-seasoned wok. It won't rust. However, from time to time, part of the seasoning may be depleted due to heavy usage. Re-seasoning it will solve the problem.
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