You Should Season Your Wok. Here's Why

A wok is one of those kitchen staples that, when used correctly, can produce some incredible dishes, including some amazing stir-fries. Treating your wok like a normal frying pan is a mistake, however, and won't give you the same results that a properly cared-for wok will. If you want to fry and cook on high heat with your wok (which you probably do, since this is what they're so good for), you'll want to season them and treat them almost as you would a cast-iron skillet (read: with care). 

Seasoning your cast iron or carbon steel wok creates a patina or a protective coating inside of the pan, according to Webstaurant Store. Each time you use your wok and cook with oil, the patina becomes thicker and eventually creates a natural, non-stick cooking surface that works for years. This oil layer helps to prevent rust and corrosion, improves the non-stick properties of the wok, and enhances the flavor of your dishes.

Seasoning your wok is easy

There are a few different methods for seasoning your wok, and they vary depending on the material your wok is made of. In recent years, the carbon steel wok has risen in popularity (per Devour.Asia) and is the wok of choice by many, including Healthy Nibbles and The Woks of Life

The Woks of Life suggests a simple seasoning process for carbon steel woks: Scrub the factory oil and residue off your wok (use soap and a scrubber for this), then place the wok on the stove on high heat. Some woks will turn a deep blue during this process, others won't. Once the wok is piping hot and all the residue has burned off, add some water to cool it down quickly. Scrub it again, dry it, then return it to the stove. Add a high-heat oil and fully coat the wok in oil over heat. 

You can repeat this process using just water (no soap from here on out) and oil over heat a few times, though some people (including Healthy Nibbles) just do this once. Either way, you're on your way to creating a nice patina that will keep your wok perfect for stir-frying!