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how to identify what material my new wok is made of.

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So I just purchased a new wok, which I thought was carbon steel. Now that I have done more research I am beginning to doubt if it is. How can I figure out what it is made of?

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  1. Can you describe it - the colour, weight and thickness; are the handles cast or attached...?

    If it is a mid grey it is likely to be carbon steel. If it is near black then it is likely to be cast iron.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pass

      Well the color of it is black and the handles are attached to it. When I spoke to someone who was working at the store he said once the protective coating came off then it would not rust. so im thinkin its not carbon steel anymore. Im not sure how a cast iron wok looks like , but my wok doest look like my cast iron skillets. it seems smooth and nowhere near as pouress as my skillets. it is heavier than the mid grey ones that i saw over at the store (which i think were the carbon steal ones) but not by much.

      1. re: pcerepak

        I think you may have a "black steel" wok. Black steel is carbon steel that has undergone a final heat treatment to give it a shiny black finish. I believe that black steel should be seasoned and washed in the same way as regular carbon steel.

        PS. Since carbon steel should be treated in the same way as cast iron, whether your wok is made of one or the other may be of only academic interest.

        PPS. Many paella pans are made of black steel. Maybe you could compare the appearance of your wok against one.

    2. Put some water in it [after cleaning off any manufacturing oil residue]. Carbon steel will rust.

      1. Hey thanks everyone! This really helps alot:)