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stainless steel wok

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How can I properly season my stainless steel wok? It has a wood and black plastic handle so not sure how hot an oven is safe. I have used it many times to fry foods hoping it would eventually get a good seasoned coating. Anytime I wash it, I still get rust on the paper towel when I immediately dry it. Rubbing oil in it right away and still a rusty look on the paper.

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  1. If it is actually getting rust on it, it is not stainless steel. I would guess that what you are getting is food residue.

    Stainless steel is not seasoned. Just cast iron and carbon steel.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bigjim68

      It is rust, pretty sure. Not sure what kind of metal it is then. Just with I could get it to not rust, and not have the food sticking to it.

      1. re: Bigjim68

        Not so. There are many grades of ss. Most pots/pans are made from '1810' grade ss. When heated ss expands and all those little microscopic pores open and when you add food it enters these tiny craters. I only cook with ss pots and pans. I regularly 'season' them. I fill say my 12" c pan with about 1/4" of cheap salt and add enough cheap canola oil to the salt to make a loose 'slurry'. Then I put the pan on high heat until the oil starts smoking then right away outside to allow the pan to cool off. I wipe out the salt/oil mixture and use it on the next pot/pan. I do this about every couple of months. I never wash them with dish soap. Just wipe them out with warm water. The quickest way to loose the 'season' is to use too high a heat.
        Why the salt/oil? Because when the 'pores expand the salt/oil enters the pores and fills them up. Now you have 'non-stick'. Most of my pans are 18/10 grade. I do have two that are 'T304' surgical grade. These are a much higher grade of ss steel and although I also season them when I do the 18/10 ones I really don't need to so much.http://www.cheftalk.com/t/12287/seaso...

      2. <How can I properly season my stainless steel wok?>

        First of all, it is very difficult to season a stainless steel wok.

        <Anytime I wash it, I still get rust on the paper towel when I immediately dry it.>

        Second of all, it is probably not stainless steel if it rusts so easily. You probably have a carbon steel wok, which is actually better for wok cooking. Are you sure it is a stainless steel wok?

        <I still get rust on the paper towel when I immediately dry it>

        How do you know it is rust? Thanks.

        1. If you get residue on a paper towel when you wash it, you haven't got a true "stainless steel" wok.

          They're black steel; they're not stainless and should never be "washed"; just fired up and scrubbed with a kurly kate and lots of hot water.

          And of course, if it has a handle covered with wood/plastic it's not the kind of wok made for every-day use in a Chinese household (even though rarely if ever does my wife put her wok in the oven -- why would one do that but to keep-warm in a pinch?)

          Get a proper (rust-able) steel wok and study an Asian cook-book in wok seasoning and cleaning practice.

          1. I have two All-Clad woks that never display any signs of rust. So I agree with the others that you probably have carbon steel. Just like the two woks that I use as woks, instead of the All-Clad.

            1. As others here have stated, if it's rusting, it's NOT stainless steel. It's carbon steel.

              Good news is that carbon steel is the wok to have, as you can season it. A stainless steel wok cannot be seasoned, & isn't any different than any other stainless pan you may own. Good for what it is, but not a wok. But I find the idea of a carbon-steel wok with a "wood and black plastic handle" bizarre, as it can't be seasoned as one would normally do for a carbon-steel wok.

              All I can suggest is to lightly oil your wok & heat it to the smoking point on your stovetop. Then let it cool down & wipe it down with a paper towel. Repeat several times. After that, continued cooking use should end up giving you a non-stick surface.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bacardi1

                The alternative is the possibility of the handle being held on by a screw. Wood and plastic are never glued to the pan. If so, I would remove the handle, season in the normal manner, and replace the handle.,

                Thanks to all for the agreement.

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  Not so. There are many grades of ss. Most pots/pans are made from '1810' grade ss. When heated ss expands and all those little microscopic pores open and when you add food it enters these tiny craters. I only cook with ss pots and pans. I regularly 'season' them. I fill say my 12" c pan with about 1/4" of cheap salt and add enough cheap canola oil to the salt to make a loose 'slurry'. Then I put the pan on high heat until the oil starts smoking then right away outside to allow the pan to cool off. I wipe out the salt/oil mixture and use it on the next pot/pan. I do this about every couple of months. I never wash them with dish soap. Just wipe them out with warm water. The quickest way to loose the 'season' is to use too high a heat.
                  Why the salt/oil? Because when the 'pores expand the salt/oil enters the pores and fills them up. Now you have 'non-stick'. Most of my pans are 18/10 grade. I do have two that are 'T304' surgical grade. These are a much higher grade of ss steel and although I also season them when I do the 18/10 ones I really don't need to so much.http://www.cheftalk.com/t/12287/seaso...
                  Read the 'link'.

                2. A tip from Grace Young, the award winning wok expert, regarding the plastic handle: I have a wooden handle on my wok and it was getting scorched. She said to wrap it in aluminum foil. That does protect the handle.

                  Here's her advice on seasoning a wok...
                  http://www.culinate.com/articles/feat...