How to Season a Carbon Steel Wok/Pan

I’m seasoning on my jet engine burner for ease, but you can definitely do this at home! For detailed instructions on how to do this on a home gas, electric coil or glass-ceramic stove, continue reading below!!!

*Everything I did can be done on a home stove, it’ll just take a bit longer!
1) Scrub your wok vigorously with a stainless steel scrubber (or something abrasive), warm water and dish detergent. This helps to remove the manufacturing oil that prevents rusting while in storage.
2) Heat your wok on high heat to dry it.
3) Once your wok is dry, continue heating it on high heat. Your wok will change colors and burn off any remaining manufacturing oil. This may take a while but be patient.
4) Rotate your wok to heat all sides. You will literally have to touch your wok to the grate, electric coil or glass-ceramic top (this may damage/stain the glass so do it at your own risk) to transfer enough heat to your wok. Be patient and careful! You may want to use pliers or gloves.
5) Once your wok has completely changed color, turn off the heat and add cold water in the sink. Be mindful of the steam!
6) Add dish detergent and scrub with your abrasive scrub. Use tongs to protect your hands! Also, this will be the last time you ever use dish soap to clean your wok.
7) Dump the water and rinse off any remaining soap.
8) Heat your wok on high heat to dry it.
9) Once your wok is dry, use a towel to lightly coat the inside and bottom with a thin layer of oil. Use tongs or gloves to protect your hands!
10) Heat your wok on high heat and until the oil smokes to polymerize/infuse the oil into the metal’s surface. The polymerized oil adheres to the pores and crevices in the carbon steel forming a non-stick layer, also known as a patina.
11) Once your wok darkens and stops smoking in a spot, rotate your wok to a new spot. Again, you will have to literally touch the wok to the grate, electric coil or glass-ceramic top (this may damage/stain the glass so do it at your own risk) to generate enough heat. This creates a lot of smoke so turn on your stove fans!
12) Continue this process of oiling and heating to smoke until you’re satisfied with your patina. This may take 10+ times. If you’re short on time, keep in mind your patina will naturally form as you cook on it!
13) Once you’re happy with your patina, add some oil to stir-fry some sacrificial food until charred. Pork fat, green onions and ginger are great options as they help to remove any initial metallic taste that could possibly transfer to your food. Any old meats and veggies work perfectly though.
14) Once your meat and veggies are charred, remove them and any oil.
15) Turn off the heat and let your wok cool.
16) To clean your wok, scrub it with a non-abrasive sponge and warm water.
17) Heat your wok until dry, let it cool and store it! If you don’t use it very often, coat it with a thin layer of oil to prevent rusting before storing it.
18) Let me know if you have any questions or recipe requests!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *