How To Season A Wok For The First Time How to Get to a Properly Seasoned Carbon Steel Wok

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While many types of woks are available today, carbon steel is still the best. With proper treatment, it will last forever.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 45 minutes

Here’s How

  1. Wash the wok in hot water with a small amount of liquid detergent and a scrubber (such as a stainless steel sponge or pad).
  2. If needed, scrub the exterior of the wok with the scrubber and an abrasive cleanser. Do not use the abrasive cleanser on the inside of the wok.
  3. Rinse the wok and dry thoroughly.
  4. Place the wok on high heat.
  5. Move the wok, turning it and tilting it up to the rim and back, until the metal turns a blueish-yellowish color.
  6. Remove the wok from the stove element. Turn the heat down to medium-low.
  7. Add a thin film of oil (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) over the entire inside surface of the wok. There are several ways to do this. One is to use a paper towel to rub the oil over the surface. You may want to use tongs to hold the paper towels. Another way is to use a basting brush for barbecues or any other heat-proof brush to brush on the oil.
  8. Heat the wok on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
  9. Wipe off the oil with another paper towel. There will be black residue on the towel.
  10. Repeat steps 7 through 9 until no black residue comes up on the paper (about 3 times). The wok is now ready to use.


  • Flat bottomed woks are better for electric ranges. Round-bottomed woks can reflect heat back on the heating element, damaging it.
  • It is important to thoroughly clean the wok to remove the manufacturer’s protective coating.
  • In general, it is better not to purchase a non-stick carbon steel wok, as the high heats required for Chinese cooking may damage the non-stick coating.
  • If you do purchase a non-stick wok, follow the seasoning and cleaning instructions carefully, or you may damage the coating.

Video about How To Season A Wok For The First Time

How to properly season your new first WOK | Wok seasoning





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So you’re the owner of a brand new wok, which means you can take that thing right out of the box and start chopping veggies for a chicken chow mein, right? Wrong! Woks require some tender love and care, but don’t worry; we’re here to help get you started! This article will provide you step-by-step instructions for how to initially clean a wok, season a wok, and care for it so you can maximize its performance, maintain its condition, and start making all your favorite stir-fry recipes, full of flavor and aroma.

Why We Must Season a Wok
Tablecraft CW80119007 CaterWare 15 inch Carbon Steel Wok with Wood Riveted Handle

Lodge Pro-Logic P14W3 14 inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok
become thicker and heavier, ultimately creating a natural, non-stick cooking surface. This layer also adds enhanced flavor and seasoning to every meal…So let’s get started!

There are three main methods used to season a wok.

Stovetop seasoning
Oven seasoning
Salt seasoning

Every chef has his or her own preference regarding which method works best. Certain woks, depending on handle material, are recommended to be seasoned one way over the other to preserve the quality of the wok. All three of these methods, however, require the same initial step: The wok must be washed so the bare metal is exposed.

When manufacturers ship woks, they apply a factory oil to prevent rusting during transport, which can be caused by humidity or other environmental variables. This initial oil that is applied is not one in which you want to be cooking your food, so this is the first and virtually only time you should wash your wok with an abrasive sponge and soap.
To clean a wok for the first time, follow these steps:

Stainless Steel Standard Weight Scouring Pads – 12/Pack

Fill sink with hot, soapy water.
Scrub the inside and outside of wok with a scouring pad.
Completely rinse.
Dry wok with a clean, dry towel.
Place on stovetop over medium-high heat to completely dry the wok and evaporate any leftover water.

Now that you’ve removed all the manufacturer’s oil and have exposed the bare metal, it’s time to pick your seasoning oil or other form of lard.

How to Season a Wok

Stovetop Seasoning Method

Complete initial washing to remove factory oil.
Preheat wok over high heat until you can feel warmth radiating off the bottom of the wok from a few inches above.

You can also perform a water test by throwing a drop of water on the pan. If it’s heated enough, it’ll evaporate within a second, and it’s ready to be seasoned.

Add in about 2 tablespoons of your desired oil or lard, and reduce heat to medium-high.

If using lard, grip a towel with a pair of tongs, and completely cover the inside of the wok with lard. Once done, wipe away excess lard with a paper towel and let cool. You can now skip steps 3-8.

Add in fresh chopped ginger and scallions, or other spices of your choice.
Reduce heat to medium.
How to Season a Wok
As ginger and scallion mix start to soften, use your turner to actually spread the mixture to cover the entire surface of the inside walls, so your wok is covered from rim to bottom. Continue doing this for about 20 minutes over medium heat.

If you notice ingredients are becoming too dry or are starting to burn, add in more oil, a little at a time.

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