Seasoned wok

Seasoned wok

This process of “seasoning” cookware seems so very odd to me. I’ve used cast iron skillets my entire life, and as far as I know, they weren’t seasoned. We washed them with soap and water, and they still work fine.

Seasoning a wok is even more foreign. Especially since there aren’t even any damn seasonings involved! I think my wok could have used a little basil and salt, quite frankly.

This Saturday, WO and I opened doors and windows and attempted to salvage my wok so that we could make fried rice. It was rusticated, so WO Brillo’d off the rust, we brushed on oil, and we burnt the oil to the wok using the stove.

My thought process during all this was short and simple: “What the hell are we doing, and is it worth burning my hands?”

Turns out… it was. I’ll never again get to use soap in my wok, and I should probably apply a second layer of the “seasoning” (can’t I add just a little thyme?), but it worked. No more rust is forming in the wok, and it’s become useful for stir-frying again and making wok popcorn.

Yum, wok popcorn.

WO is very, very proud of his work in seasoning the wok (as am I), so I figured it was worth a blog post.

Sexy wok. And damned good sausage fried rice that night, too.

[tags]seasoning, wok popcorn, fried rice, sausage fried rice, wok, cooking, skillet[/tags]


  • Lissa

    *laugh* I’m trying to think of all the reasons I can to use the wok now. Stir-fry cheesecake? Fried mandarin oranges?

    I have two wok/stir-fry cookbooks (which is where the sausage fried rice idea came from), so I’ll be perusing them much more frequently.

    Yay wokness!

  • Lissa

    Well, you get off initial gunk by tossing on some water while the wok is still really hot and just throwing out the mess that results–the wok is nonstick now, so most stuff should come off that way.

    After that, you can scrub it clean with a sponge and water–WO and I are still experimenting with wok temperatures, and have found (I think) that keeping the wok hot and not using much water during washing helps quite a bit.

    Soap is out, though, as are abrasive cleaning pads. We may be able to get away with a brush that can handle high heats, though. (Not one with plastic bristles, in other words.)

    I still think it’s a pretty odd concept, and if I hadn’t seen it get pretty clean with just water and sponging, I’d be washing it.

    Since everything cooked in it uses oil to some extent, I kind of think of it as reusing just a tiny bit of oil from the previous meals, like keeping an oil container on the stove (which my family does).

    What does squick me a bit is the idea that the formation of some black buildup on the on inside bottom of the wok is desirable–it supposedly adds flavor. Eek.