Seasoning the wok

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Only iron and steel woks need to be seasoned. Stainless steel woks do not need this treatment as they are far less porous than iron or steel woks. However with stainless steel woks, more oil is required to prevent the food from sticking.

Seasoning a steel wok enables foods to glide smoothly over the cooking surface of the wok. In a properly seasoned wok one should be able to make perfect omelettes. If the omelette even sticks ever so slightly, then the wok is not properly seasoned and should be re-seasoned.

There are two methods for seasoning the iron or steel wok. After purchasing the wok, wash it out thoroughly with detergent to remove the surface grease which is applied to keep the wok from rusting while in shipment. Instead of grease some woks are coated with varnish coating and is difficult to remove. Bicarbonate of soda should be boiled in the wok to rid the surface of this coating. When the cooking surface of the wok is free of anti-rusting coatings, apply a thin coat of polyunsaturated cooking oil to the surface of the wok. Heat the wok up over a very high cooking flame for three or four minutes until the oil begins to smoke. Reduce the heat and keep the wok over low flame for the next half hour. From time to time brush some of the oil up around the sides of the wok to season it. At the end of half an hour the wok is ready to use.

Another more thorough method of seasoning a wok is to brush polyunsaturated cooking oil on the cooking surface of the wok and then place the wok into an oven at 150'C. for four hours. The oil in the wok will become pooled while heating in the oven, so about every hour or so, take your brush and brush the oil up around the sides of the wok and continue heating.

New woks may cause a slight metallic taste to the first two or three dishes that are cooked in it, but after use, the metallic taste disappears.

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