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How do you season and maintain a Japanese carbon steel wok | My Cookware Australia

How do you season and maintain a Japanese carbon steel wok | My Cookware Australia

Please be sure to read this entire instruction manual before the first use to ensure the kitchen safety.

FULL VIDEO: How do you season and maintain a Japanese carbon steel wok

Japanese carbon steel wok and frypan use special heat-treated metal to create the ultimate frying pan series. The layers of iron nitride and iron oxide on the frying pan’s surface make it highly resistant to rust and incredibly strong and durable.

Before first use... “Oil Seasoning”

First, wash the frying pan/wok’s inner and outer surface with dish soap. Once you have seasoned the inner surface with oil, you can use it right away.

  1. Wash the frypan/wok’s inner and outer surface with dish soap.
  2. Dry completely with paper towels
  3. Pour in enough oil to fill about 1/3 of your frypan/wok’s capacity
  4. Heat it on low for about 5 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and return the oil to a suitable container.
  6. Use paper towels to spread the remaining oil fully around the inner surface.
  7. Enjoy Cooking

Before every use... “Oil Return”

Professional and skilled amateur chefs always conduct “oil returns” on their frying pans before using them.

  1. Warm up your frying pan on medium heat.
  2. Add a sufficient amount of oil (about a ladle’s worth) to the frying pan and let it acclimatize to the frying pan’s surface.
  3. Once the oil has heated up, return it to its oil pot. This is the process known as “oil return”.
  4. These steps make cooking with a carbon steel pan/wok easier.

When finished

  1. Carbon steel frying pans and woks are not storage containers. When finished cooking, put any leftovers in an appropriate container.
  2. Use a scrub sponge to wash it with warm water. Do not wash it in the dishwasher.
  3. When done, rinse the pan off and wipe it dry, or;
  4. Then heat it over low heat. This helps dry the frypan/wok completely after washing.
  5. Season it with a tablespoon of oil before storing it.
  6. The blackish colour you may find on the wok is a result of normal oxidation.

Post-stewing, steaming, and boiling maintenance

When using your frying pan/wok for stewing, steaming, or boiling, the hot water used may remove parts of the pan/wok’s acclimatized oil membrane. To avoid this, wash and dry the pan thoroughly after use and be sure to lightly reapply oil afterwards.

If food is burnt

Adding hot water and bringing it to a boil will soften the burned food and make it easier to remove. Then use a scrub brush to remove any final remnants.

The importance of a proper cooking temperature

If your oil is smoking, it means your temperature is too high.

Do not put your frypan/wok immediately on your electromagnetic cooktop with high heat. First, set the cooktop to low heat and let it heat up. Then use medium heat and slowly start to turn it up until it reaches the right temperature.

Blackish colour = Normal oxidation

The blackish colour you may find on the wok is a result of normal oxidation. Simply clean it with water and season it with oil according to the instructions.

Loose handles

You can use a screwdriver to tighten the handle’s bolt by turning it clockwise until the handle is firmly in place.

Food turning blackish

Foods like burdock root, lotus root, udo, and eggplant absorb a lot of iron and turn a blackish color. There is no effect on taste, nor does it pose any sort of harm if consumed.

Change of color during use

If you use your frying pan/wok to make tomato sauce, fruit jam, or other dishes that involve boiling sour ingredients for long periods of time, your frying pan’s surface may whiten in color. It is perfectly safe to continue using it. As you continue to cook with oil, the inner surface will gradually return to its original condition.

Uneven surface

The special heat-treatment process sometimes results in distinctive unevenness on the bottom, but this has no effect on the iron nitride and iron oxide layers or the pan’s performance. It is not possible to make a warped frying pan/wok’s bottom surface flat again.

Marks/whitening on wok

Please note that once you begin using your wok, it will no longer look new. Discolouration and dark marks all over the wok are common.

Whitening on the wok or frypan is normal. It may appear in patterns or in dots.

Do NOT scratch too hard

If you scratch hard enough to peel off the protective oil layer, no permanent damage is done. Simply maintain it with oil again and you will see the wok turn black again over the course of a few months.

This is normal and does not mean any chemical coating is coming off. No manufacturer would add chemical non-stick coating to its carbon steel cookware.

Users may use this link to see more information about the nature of Japanse carbon steel cookware.

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