Seasoning New Wok - How??

MichelleDTFebruary 1, 2012

I got a new cast iron wok today....I have never had to season a pan so I have no idea what to do. Can you please help? I would like to use it tomorrow but it says, season before hand.

We have cast iron but it is Mister's Grandma's and has been seasoned for years and years.....by Grandma not us.

Thanks.

M

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Zinnia1

I have never seasoned a wok, so I will let others answer that for you! However, I can give you a few tips on seasoning cast iron.

First, complete wash the work using hot soapy water and rinse well. This will remove any protective coating put on by the mfgr. If the coating remains, bring some water to a boil in the wok and let it sit off heat for 15 minutes. Re-wash with hot soapy water. Second, use either lard or peanut oil for seasoning. Polyunsaturated oils (like olive, safflower, canola) will break down during the seasoning process and will a 'gummy' film. Third, whether you season the wok on the stove top or in the oven, make sure to have good ventilation! The wok will smoke during seasoning. Last, don't be discouraged if the wok isn't as slick as your old pan is after the first seasoning. It takes time to build that slick as ice beauty that is cast iron!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 11:16PM
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arley_gw

If it has loop handles (i.e., no wood or plastic handle parts) you can use an oven method, listed at the link.

If you need to do it on top of the stove, I have found that cooking bacon a few times does a good job.

Bear in mind, though, seasoning is an ongoing process. Every time you use the wok, you'll be contributing to the seasoning. Just as important as how to season is how not to screw up the seasoning: once seasoned, never use steel wool. (You can use a plastic scrubber if you need to.) Use dishwashing liquid only when absolutely necessary; once seasoned, you probably won't have to.

There have been a few threads on seasoning. One tip I have gathered from that is that grapeseed oil works very well both for stir frying (it has a high smoke point) and seasoning (the theory is that it polymerizes with itself and makes a tough seasoning layer.) I keep grapeseed oil in a squirt bottle for convenience; I heat up the wok, squirt in a little oil and then cook. Once finished cooking, put a little hot water in the wok. Gently scrub with a plastic scrubber or bamboo scrubber to remove any stuck food. Then rinse out the wok, dry it with a paper towel, then (THIS IS IMPORTANT) put it back on the burner for 30 seconds or so, to drive every last water molecule out. As it's cooling, squirt a little oil in the wok and rub it around with a dry paper towel.

One other point: you do need to be aggressive with the heat to season anything. If using the oven method, do it at least at 450 degrees. You need to approach the smoke point of the oil for the seasoning to occur. Ain't gonna happen at 325. I have a few Lodge cast iron griddles that have a glass like surface now. Seasoned them in the gas grill at around 500.

Here is a link that might be useful: seasoning a wok

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:07AM
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dcarch7

"-I got a new cast iron wok today...."

Are you sure you have a cast iron wok? They are very heavy.

They do have a new kind of "cast iron" wok that's very thin. I am not sure how good they are.

I find it impossible not to season cast iron if you keep using it.

dcarch

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:21AM
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arley_gw

At the link in my previous post, they describe a technique of using salt to season the wok. I really don't understand how it would work; sodium chloride has neither oil nor carbon, and I thought that the seasoning was a layer of carbonized oil. At any rate, it looks interesting. I just ordered a small wok from Amazon; will try that technique and see how it goes.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:29AM
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MichelleDT

Thanks everyone. I am sure it is cast iron (tags said cast iron) - the beast is heavy - two handed heavy. Gonna try to season it today as we are trapped indoors due to a major snowstorm.

Cheers,

M

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:16PM
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