Using a wok is one of the best things that you can do when cooking Asian food! At first, my wok intimidated me, as I had ZERO idea how to use it. But as it turns out, taking care of your wok is very similar to taking care of your cast iron skillet! All your wok needs is a little TLC and you can get cookin’ before you know it. Keep reading for instructions on how to season, clean, and save your wok.
How to Season Your Wok
If you have a brand new wok or you have just removed rust from an old wok (instructions below), you will need to follow these instructions to prep your wok before using it to cook.
Place your wok on low heat on your stove. Use 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter cut into cubes and allow the butter to melt inside the wok. Tilt the wok to spread the melted butter around the inside. Make sure that you coat every inch of the interior of your wok in butter.
Once you coat the metal, place the wok back on the heat. Allow the wok to heat up until it’s so hot that it’s almost smoking. Once it heats up enough, turn the heat off and let the butter cool in the wok.
Once the butter has cooled, take a paper towel and wipe the excess grease/butter that’s in the wok. That’s it! Your wok is seasoned.
How Do You Clean a Dirty Wok?
After you use your wok, it’s very important to clean it properly so as not to remove the seasoning process that you have just completed.
Using soap on your wok is a hard no. Soap cuts grease, so using soap on your wok will remove the grease buildup that is protecting your wok! A well-seasoned wok means that your food will cook more evenly without fear of burning, so it is essential to maintain your seasoning process well.
When cleaning your wok, use only water and a sponge to clean the interior. Then dry your wok immediately and rub butter on the inside of the wok after every use. This will apply a new layer of grease to the wok, which will build up over time. The more times you add grease to your wok, the better it will become in the long run!
What if Food is Really Stuck on My Wok?
If you have a pesky piece of burnt food stuck on your work that simple water and sponge won’t take care of, have no fear! It’s time to bring in the big dogs.
Place water in your wok and then put it on the stove on high heat. Allow the water to come to a boil in your wok, which should hopefully remove any food left hanging around.
If you need to use soap on your wok (try not to, but if you reealllly need to), follow the seasoning instructions again to bring your wok back to normal!
Can You Restore a Rusty Wok?
If there’s rust on your wok, have no fear! We can make that pesky rust go away in no time.
The first thing you’ll need to do is take steel wool or a Bristol pad, water, and soap and scrub the rust from the inside of your wok.
As mentioned above, this should be the ONLY time that you ever use soap on your wok. The use of soap is only for the pre-seasoning process. After you’ve cleaned and seasoned your wok, you should only use water and a sponge to clean it moving forward.
After all of the rust is removed from your wok with the steel wool, follow the “How To Season Your Wok’ instructions above to ensure you maintain your beautiful wok moving forward!
If you want a visual for this process, visit my IGTV video on how to season your wok where I walk you through the process on camera. Thanks for reading everyone!