By Chef Alli on April 10, 2019

Wok This Way

How to Season Your New Carbon-Steel Wok

Wok Pan

Are you a lover of stir fry? If you are, a carbon-steel wok is truly a wonderful piece of equipment that lasts a lifetime. After you make stir fry in a wok for the first time, you’ll be wondering how you’ve ever lived without one. The tall, sloping sides of the wok make it easy for constant stirring and tossing of ingredients that stir fry requires.  If you purchase a carbon-steel wok, a 14” flat-bottomed wok is a great option. It will, of course, need to be seasoned before you create your first batch of stir fry.

  • Use hot soapy water to scrub any factory oil that may cover the surface of the wok.  (Using soap at this point is the best way to get rid of any oil.  Once your wok is fully seasoned by following the steps that come next, you won’t want to use dish soap on your wok ever again.)
  • Set the washed wok over low heat until it becomes completely dry.
  • Making sure you have good ventilation in your kitchen (either by open windows or a good exhaust fan), turn the heat beneath your empty wok to high. 
  • When the wok is hot enough that water droplets evaporate almost on contact, you’re golden. 
  • Remove the hot wok from the heat and immediately add a bit of vegetable or canola oil, swirling the oil to coat the bottom and all the way up the sides of the wok. 
  • Place the wok back over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbs. minced garlic and 1 Tbs. minced ginger root. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium, cooking the aromatics for 20 minutes, constantly moving them all over the bottom and the sides of the wok as they cook. 
  • Remove the wok from the heat and let it fully cool.
  • Discard the aromatics and rinse the wok with very hot water. 
  • Lastly, again place the wok over low heat until it is fully dry. 

Moving forward, try to never use soap when washing (rinsing) your wok and always dry it by placing it over low heat until all moisture is completely gone. Always coat your wok with a very, very thin layer of vegetable or canola oil to store it. 

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  • Chef Alli

    Chef Alli is a wife, mom and chef. She's been stirring up a love of farm fresh cooking for more than a decade.  To see more of Alli's recipes, go to