Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›



tried to season a wok... how bad is it?


Cookware 11

tried to season a wok... how bad is it?

nanoo | Nov 23, 2012 01:45 AM


I bought my first non-non-stick (lol) wok, it's light cast iron, flat-bottomed, seems like a nice piece, the carton wrap it came in had plenty of info, certificate of quality, care instructions etc. It's my first time trying to season a wok, so I spent a good chunk of time online researching, reading discussions, watching vids etc. Finally gained the courage to do it and yep i screwed up, how badly - no idea, you tell me, please (see pictures). Should I start all over or is this acceptable?
Any input would be much appreciated.

This is what I did:
1) scrubbed it in hot soapy water with scouring pad; dried well;
2) heated oven to 450F, rubbed the whole thing inside-out with sunflower oil and baked 20 min;
3) took out, nearly choked with smoke, let cool down (and air out) a bit and took the picture #1;
4) heated on stovetop (electric;glass) on med heat, added about 2tbsp sunfl. oil and stirfried a bundle of chopped scallions (dry, unwashed) moving quickly around and all over sides till they wilted and browned; threw it all out. The bottom turned nice blackish color, but looked kinda yucky burnt bumpy and a bit sticky. i figured this can't be good, so
5) rolled up my sleeves, took some salt+a drop of oil and scrubbed the crap out of it (literally) down to bare metal. first half way into it i was quite gentle, trying to salvage the oven-baked layer, but nope, impossible. rinsed in hot water and dried;
6) went on to re-season just the bottom on stovetop - added 1tbsp oil, smeared around, heated on high till it smoked and smoked and smoked, and turned yellowish, then brownish again;
7) removed and let cool a bit, wiped out the burnt oil;
8) turned heat down to med , kept heating wok, added 1tbsp oil and stirfried another round of scallions, charred, tossed, rinsed with hot water, wiped dry,
9) repeated step8 one more time, took pic #2 and had enough for the day.
Coated it lightly with oil and put away. Very unhappy, but hey, at least nothing is burnt on and it feels smooth ;p

so I'm wondering: is the unevenness of the seasoning at the bottom a total disaster or not a biggie? should I soap-scrub it all off and do everything all over again (oven-bake, stir-fry several times), or is it ok for now, and it will eventually even out and build up with further use?

and btw, what did i do wrong first time (step4)? too much oil? temp too low? not stirring fast enough? lol
Thanks in advance!!!

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound

Keep Reading

See All Latest Discussions ›