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Did I muck up trying to season a carbon steel wok?

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Did I muck up trying to season a carbon steel wok?

sponeta | Jul 8, 2012 12:32 AM

I finally got tired of non-stick woks and decided to get a real carbon steel wok, a Ken Hom Tao Green (because it was the only one readly available anywhere). I followed the instructions that came with it for seasoning, but I think I flunked it...

First, I filled it with hot tap water and let the protective lacquer soften up, then scrubbed the inside for eight minutes with wire wool and detergent for pots and pans. Then I dried it and left it to make sure it was dry.

I coated the inside with coconut oil, then set it on high heat on my electric stove. It was giving off smoke pretty quickly, in a couple of minutes. There was an odd smell, not exactly bad, but sort of metallic. Not having any experience, I don't really know what it's supposed to smell like, but it wasn't the coconut oil, at least. And instead of the color changing evenly like on so many YouTube videos showing how to season a wok, I got a couple of small patches on the bottom that went brown pretty quickly, and the rest stayed the same. When I turned the wok slightly, the remaining oil at the bottom tried to stay away from the brown patches. There was also a strange pattern burned onto one of the patches (see the images I've linked below).

http://imgur.com/C837y,rqSXg
http://imgur.com/C837y,rqSXg#1

1. Did something go wrong with the seasoning? Could there have been protective coating left after all? Did I use too much heat? What's it supposed to smell like? Should I have scrubbed the outside too? The packaging instructions said to do that if used on an induction hub, otherwise the protective coating would melt - but I don't have an induction hub. Also, my oven isn't big enough to fit the wok in it, so I have no other method of seasoning available to me.

2. I suppose the small spots are due to the uneven heat from my electric stove. Even if the seasoning is going right, is there any hope of using a carbon steel wok effectively on such a stove?

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