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Dec 9, 2013 10:46 PM

did i just ruined my wok? please help!

So before I season my wok, I washed it with hot water and a sponge. It has a thin coating after I dry it and I thought it's normal so I went ahead and seasoned it. After seasoning 3 times, it developed a dark thick film. Is that normal? Do I need to scrub it off or the wok will smooth out over time?
I'm concerned that the film is not safe for cooking. Thanks!

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    1. re: wolfe

      Thanks for the link! It says to scrub like crazy with steel wool before seasoning. I think my failure to do so resulted in the think film.

    2. You're going to need to get rid of those chunky bits. They'll flake off at some point, into your food. Use steel wool to scrub it off. You can't ruin the metal itself by seasoning.

      How did you season it?

      The traditional method is to use a slab of pork fat (from the butchers, just ask, should be free or very cheap) and a handful of chopped chives, heat the wok up on very high heat, then throw the pork fat in and rub it around the wok with the chives in there as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sirrith

        I think Serious Eats has a wok guide from Kenji.

      2. <did i just ruined my wok?>

        You definitely did not ruined your WOK, but you may have had a bad seasoning, and may have to repeat.

        <After seasoning 3 times, it developed a dark thick film.>

        Dark film is normal. Very thick, not a good idea.

        <I'm concerned that the film is not safe for cooking.>

        It is safe. It just look a bit not durable as a seasoning layer. Too thick it seems.

        1. @Sirrith, I seasoned it according to the manufacturer's instruction and some utube video. I first heat up the wok for about 5 minutes, cool for a bit, and wiped grape-seed oil all over. Return to heat for another 10 minutes. I did this 3 times and the film just gets thicker and thicker.
          I read somewhere that that might be the manufacture's protective layer (in which I didn't fully scrub off before seasoning)...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kurapika168

            The oil film needs to be as thin as possible. Paper thin. Spread evenly.

            That why you have that texture in the seasoning. It's just cosmetic I think your seasoning is fine just use it.

            1. re: Kurapika168

              It looks to me like the film of oil you used wasn't thin enough. Excess oil is pooling at the bottom of the wok, hence the thick dark oil residue at the bottom.

              When the wok is seasoned properly, it'll have a dark coating all over it. At first the coating may be barely there, but over time, it should get gradually darker and dark.

              Personally, I would scrub off the dark bits at the bottom and start over.

            2. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I asked my hubby to scrub it as hard as he could with a wool steel and he's able to smooth out the thick film. I re-seasoned my wok and cooked with it for the 1st time! Thanks again for all ur valuable comments!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kurapika168

                Look better now. Just so you know. There are several ways to remove seasoning. One way is physical removal like what your husband did. Another way is to burn the seasoning off, such as using your self-cleaning oven. It is not faster, but it is easier because the person do not have to do much.

                You can also use chemical to strip the seasoning off too.

                If you ever need to re-season in the future, you can try other approaches as well.