I recently bought a carbon steel wok and would like to seek your wisdom. This wok cost me $100 and thus I don't want to throw it away:
1. Do I have to wash it *immediately* after cooking? I would like to wait until I finish eating before I wash my cookware.
2. I seasoned the wok twice after I unboxed it. The surface isn't really non-stick except for stir-frying vegetables with only oil. When I stir fry meat or anything with a sauce, a lot of things stick. Even garlic, when stir-fried with vegetables, sticks.
The manufacturer claims that only paper towels are sufficient in daily cleaning. For food stuck on the surface, it suggests brushing with a little bit of water. I used this approach and it failed miserably. There's always some gunk left.
How shall I clean carbon steel with stuck on food? I know that hot water without soap is a must.
I watched YouTube videos for guidance. In those videos, the pan was subject to the egg test, which was performed without gravy. So, the amount of burnt on food was minimal. Also, I think they used newly seasoned pans without any prior burnt on residue.
3. A website suggests using this steel chainlink pad. Is this too abrasive? What else do you recommend?
4. As I cook more with my wok, the amount of burnt on food builds up (almost gooey). Also, there's quite a bit of black soot/flakes attached to my food. How do I eliminate the soot/flakes?
5. When cooking with carbon steel, do I heat up the pan slowly? Do I add cooking oil in a hot pan or cool pan? Do I wait till the oil smokes to add my food?
6. It seems like I must use plenty of oil to cook with carbon steel. So, I guess it's not really for healthy cooking, correct?
7. Must I always use high heat for cooking with a wok? I know I have to use high heat to sear meat, but should I lower the heat to make some sauce/gravy? I plan to use this as a general saute pan because my Staub universal pan is too wide for my stove top (the periphery never heats up).
Thanks a million. I didn't know what I was getting into when I bought this wok. I was blindly following recommendations online about carbon steel. Lesson learned.
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