Proper maintenance of a wok can enhance its lifespan so that you can use it for long without the need for replacement. You can use different oils, including avocado oil, to season the wok.
If you have identified the right type of wok for your cooking needs, you should learn how to use it and care for it properly. Woks are usually made from porous metals such as carbon steel or cast iron. You, therefore, have to season the wok before you start using to cook to prevent it from rusting. Our guide today will help you learn the best way to care for your wok, including how to season it. Read on.
Why does a wok require seasoning?
Every pan made from the metals we have mentioned above needs seasoning. This process can create a protective coating inside the wok to prevent it from corroding. Every time you want to cook with it, the patina that is created during seasoning becomes thick and heavy, creating a non-stick natural cooking surface. Seasoning the wok with oils such as avocado oil can, therefore, making cooking easier and even enhance the flavor of your meals.
Picking a seasoning oil
For you to season the wok properly, you have to choose the best oils. One of the crucial factors that determines the best oils for seasoning a wok is the smoke point. You should choose an oil which a high smoke point. This means that it can be utilized at high temperatures without it burning. Great oils for seasoning a wok should also be refined and lead to a neutral favor.
Some of the oils that are suitable for seasoning a wok, therefore, include avocado oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, pork fat, or canola oil. You should not use unrefined oils such as sesame oil or olive oil since they have low smoking points.
Learn how you should season a wok
People have different methods they prefer to use to season their pans. You can choose between the most common methods for you to care for your wok. They are discussed as follows.
- Stovetop seasoning
Most people choose this seasoning technique since it is convenient and straightforward. For you to season your wok in this method, you need a spatula, range top burner, and a suitable oil such as avocado oil. Start by washing the wok to get rid of the factory oil on it. You should not skip this step when the wok is new. The manufacturers of woks apply factory oil on the surface of pans to keep them away from humidity during transportation. Factory oil prevents woks from rusting during shipping so that you can receive your wok in perfect condition.
Once you have done the initial washing, you can now preheat it over high heat. Since the wok will easily get extremely hot, ensure that the space around the burner is clear. To confirm that the wok is hot enough, throw in a drop of water and observe the reaction. It should evaporate quickly. This indicates that the pan is ready for seasoning.
Add at least two tablespoons of avocado oil to the wok then reduce the heat. You can prevent the wok from smoking too much by adding in some aromatics such as ginger, garlic, and chopped onions. Use medium heat then spread the mixture across your pan. Cover the surface of the pan with the mixture and wait for at least 20 minutes. If the ingredients become too dry, you can add in more avocado oil. After the duration is over, remove the mixture from the wok and give it time to cool down. Use hot water to rinse any particles on the wok, then place it on a stovetop and increase the heat so that the pan can dry out completely. You can now store it for future use.
- Oven seasoning method
If you bought a wok that comes with an oven-safe handle, you could season it using this method. Start by washing it to remove the factory oil then preheat the oven. Set it at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Use aluminum foil to line a sheet pan. Get a paper towel that you can use to coat the wok. The lined sheet pan should then go on the lower rack of the oven while the oiled wok should remain on the upper rack. Let it bake for 20 minutes before you can remove the pan from the oven. Once the duration is over, you can use a soft sponge and warm water to rinse the wok. Set a stovetop on high heat to dry your wok entirely then store it.
Useful tips to help you preserve the seasoning
Seasoning a wok using oils such as avocado oil can increase its non-stick properties. To preserve the seasoning of your wok, you should avoid steaming, poaching, or boiling meals on a new wok. Be careful with the products that you choose to use on a freshly seasoned wok. Products that contain acidic properties such as lemon, vinegar, and tomatoes can affect the seasoning negatively.
You can promote the build-up of patina on your seasoned wok by frying or cooking meals on it frequently. When you need to clean the wok, you should choose the right products to preserve the seasoning. Avoid using abrasive pads or harsh chemicals like sanitizers to clean the wok. Look for a wok spatula and bamboo wok brush to avoid removing the protective coating during use.
If you have a new wok, you should season it before you start cooking with it. Doing this can lead to the accumulation of patina that enhances the performance of your pan. You have to choose a good oil that has a high smoke point such as avocado oil during seasoning. Doing this can prevent food particles from sticking when cooking meals and enhance the non-stick properties. Follow either of the techniques we have discussed to season a wok and enjoy using it for years.