There's something magical about cooking in a well-seasoned wok. Its ability to distribute heat evenly and impart a unique flavor to your dishes is unparalleled. However, if you've neglected your wok for some time and it has succumbed to rust, don't fret! With a little effort and guidance, you can bring it back to life!
What you'll need:
- Steel wool
- Dish soap
- Bamboo Wok Brush
- Paper towels
- High smoke point oil: peanut oil / grapeseed oil / lard / tallow
Step 1: Remove the Rust
First get your steel wool and dish soap and scrub the rusty surface of your wok. Be thorough and persistent, ensuring all traces of rust are removed. This will require a little bit of elbow grease.
If the rust is quite severe, you can opt to use a stronger cleaning solution like Barkeeper's Friend to help you remove the rust.
Step 2: Heat the Wok
Heat up your wok while turning it to evenly heat up all sides until it turns into a slightly darker shade. It could turn bluish silver or grey depending on how dark your wok was to begin with.
This process is called "bluing" and helps create a protective magnetite layer on the surface of your wok that prevents rust.
Step 3: Salt Scrub
Pour about a cup of salt into the wok on low heat and scrub it around the wok using your bamboo scrub.
The salt will help to gently polish the surface of the wok. Scrub until the salt turns brown.
Step 4: Rinse the Wok
Rinse the salt off the wok with water and then dry the wok thoroughly with a paper towel.
Step 5: Oil Coating
Coat your entire wok with a thin layer of oil. If you have pork fat, you can wipe that all over the wok, if not, use a paper towel with a little bit of vegetable oil.
Step 6: Stir Fry
Cut up a bunch of leafy vegetables or aromatics like green onions and stir fry them around the wok with a generous amount of oil.
This will remove any unwanted iron-like taste from your wok.
Stir fry for about a minute, then toss away those vegetables.
Congratulations! Your wok is now restored and re-seasoned.
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