Tried and tested tips for seasoning a new wok

A well-seasoned wok has the equivalent of a non-stick surface and will require only light cleaning.

Tried and tested tips for seasoning a new wok

1. To clean a new carbon steel wok

  • Begin by removing the temporary protective coating applied by the manufacturer.
  • Scrub the wok inside and out with dishwashing liquid and steel wool and rinse with hot water.
  • If some coating remains, fill the wok with water and boil it until the coating dissolves.
  • Empty the water and scrub again with steel wool and detergent.

2. To season a new wok

  • After washing it as described above, follow these few simple steps:
  • Set the wok down on a burner and heat it until a few drops of water sprinkled into the wok do a mad dance. As it heats, the wok will change colour.
  • When it turns black, dip some scrunched-up paper towels into sesame oil. Hold the wad in a pair of tongs and wipe the oil over the inside of the wok.
  • Turn the heat down to low and let the wok sit on it for 15 minutes. If the surface looks dry, wipe with another thin coat of oil.
  • Turn the heat off and let the wok cool.
  • Repeat the oiling and heating process once more before you use the wok for cooking.

3. To clean a wok after cooking

  • Wipe it out with a paper towel or damp cloth.
  • Scrubbing a seasoned wok or using a detergent will ruin the carefully cultivated patina, but if you do need to scrub or wash with detergent, the good news is that the wok can be re-seasoned as described above.
  • Similarly, if a wok gets rusty, just follow the steps for cleaning and seasoning a new wok.

4. To clean an electric wok

Follow the manufacturer's instructions, which will vary depending on what kind of surface the wok has and whether it is immersible in water.

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