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Fix an "unseasoned" spot on my carbon steel wok?

  • j

I recently purchased the USA Made pow wok from Wokshop. I went to season it today according to the youtube instructions. I used grapeseed oil. Then I stirfried garlic, onions and chinese chives as instructed. When the veggies got charred, they left a spot that looked somewhat burned in the wok. This are began to rub off when I cooked with it later on and when cleaning. A bare silver spot began to show. I tried to reapply a layer of oil and put it back in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes. It helped slightly but then when cooking again the spot rubed off once again.

Should I rescrub this area and if so, with what type of material? How do I get the nonstick surface to stick to this area?

Thanks for advice! Also, are the deBuyer mineral pans made of the same material?

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  1. I'm relatively new to carbon steel, and others can give better advice, but it sure sounds like the seasoning didn't "take" on that spot. Did it ship with a protective coat of something to prevent rust? If so, it could be that one spot still has whatever the pan was coated with.

    Yes, deBuyer mineral pans are also carbon steel.

    1. <A bare silver spot began to show. I tried to reapply a layer of oil and put it back in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes.>

      Ok. When you run your finger across this spot, do you feel a height difference? I am worry that you over-seasoned your wok, and now there is a very hard crust on the wok, and it is start to peel off like wall paint -- chipping. I had run into this problem when I was new to carbon steel seasoning and I was too enthusiastic and overdid it.

      If you don't feel a noticeable difference, then you are probably like. Instead of doing an oven seasoning. I would do a stovetop seasoning. I think I have mentioned this to you or someone. Specifically heat up this spot, then pour the oil, swirl the oil around until it starts to smoke, turn off the heat, continue to swirl, if necessary life the wok so the smoke is not too excessive.

      <Also, are the deBuyer mineral pans made of the same material?>

      Yes, DeBuyer mineral pans are made of carbon steel. Maybe not exactly the composition, but generally similar enough.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        If I did overseason, how do I handle it? The rest of the pan looks a beautiful carmel color. I did season to begin with two times in the oven, using grape seed oil. I'll check out if there is a height difference later on today.

        Thanks

        1. re: jp96

          < I did season to begin with two times in the oven, using grape seed oil.>

          Then you are probably fine unless you used very thick layers of oil.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I just ran my finger across the spot and it feels only slightly bumpier than the rest of the pan. When I scrape that area with my finger nail I only get very tiny flakes under my nail.

            So I should tilt the wok to heat up that spot and then pour more grape seed oil on the area? Or should I use crisco this time?

            1. re: jp96

              <So I should tilt the wok to heat up that spot and then pour more grape seed oil on the area? Or should I use crisco this time?>

              Either is fine. Before seasoning, clean the area and make sure it has no rust or anything. Get a papertowel, use just a bit of cooking oil, and rub the paper towel against the spot a few times.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                What is best to clean the area? A scrub brush? I'm assuming steel wool is a no-no?

                1. re: jp96

                  Papertowel with oil does a ok job for removing minor rust, and I expect you have minor rust if any. Just press down, and scrub with the papertowel.

      2. Can apply yellow mustard with bubble wrap to put a dark pattern on new carbon steel knifes. Let mustard sit on a few minutes and wash off. Repeat the process if do not like result first try. There is something about cheap American mustard that blackens the metal so no rust - otherwise carbon knives do.

        For cast iron pans I apply oil and bake in the oven at 325°F (to stay below the smoke point of oil used as oven cycles). Steel takes many applications of 'oil' before 'soaks' into the 'pores' of the metal to preserve. It takes multiple applications especially when getting a new pan going. They become more and more non-stick over time. Be patient, it takes lots of years. My newer cast pans will try to rust if leave dirty or wet a few days - is best to rinse out immediately after cook in them with hot water only (no soap or steel wool) then dry completely (I towel dry then heat on a burner or in oven). Pans as 'season' become more durable and tolerant to abuse. After a few decades of normal home use they are more non-stick so less oil is needed.

        With good care your new wok will last lifetimes.

          1. Hi,

            Grace Young (whose cookbook Breath of a Wok is awesome) recommends doing a wok "facial scrub" with salt and oil. That's what I do and it works extremely well. The salt acts as an abrasive and the oil seasons the pan at the same time. Directions are under "steps to resurrect your wok" at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/20...

            Enjoy!