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Jan 13, 2010 06:29 PM

Carbon Steel WOK users, please answer...!

If you have a nicely seasoned carbon steel wok, does the bottom of your wok develop a rich and thick patina as the sides do, or does the seasoning at the bottom rarely develop much at all, due to being burned away, continually, by the heat source?

I have a wonderful round bottom carbon steel wok that's a few years old, and is developing that wonderful patina on the sides that only usage can bring—slick and smooth from layer after layer. My wok is beginning to add wonderful flavor to my dishes too!

BUT, the bottom of my wok does not develop this patina due to the high heat I use. The bottom is just barely seasoned, with some small patches being almost silvery steel. Mind you, the bottom is seasoned—nothing ever sticks in this area, and water beads up and rolls of the bottom as much as it does on the sides—like water on a duck's back. But it does not have the thick and dark patina the rest of the wok has. The seasoning on the bottom is MUCH thinner...

I know that any lingering seasoning beyond the basics is just being burned away—POOF—but I am wondering if this is common. I have used my wok over a gas flame, as well as with a wok ring over an electric burner, and they both generate intense heat at the bottom of the wok...

So what's up with the bottom of your wok, and what level of heat are you using...?

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    1. In answer about your wok...Possible problems.1) A carbon steel wok should be at leat 3mm thick for even heating..2) On your gas stove the flame ring should be 4 to 5 inches in diameter for more even heat distribution.It sounds like your flame ring is to small like 2 or 3 inches and all the heat is concentrated at the bottom of the wok....
      Good Luck, Rolf