Why choose carbon steel?
Unlike some non-stick pans, our carbon steel and high-quality non-stick coating can withstand high temperatures without emitting toxic fumes. They’re a great choice when you need to cook food quickly and at a high heat. As an affordable, safe, and durable option, you’re making a sound investment.
Do you have to season a carbon steel wok?
If you buy an uncoated carbon steel wok, you’ll have to season it before you use it to ensure a good non-stick surface, or patina. Though it’s quick and easy to do, you’ll still need to maintain it, which means repeating the seasoning steps from time to time. This being said, it does protect your wok from rusting and general wear and tear, so it’s well worth the effort.
With regular seasoning, your wok will last for years! Another benefit of these woks is that they are metal tool safe. If you’re looking for an uncoated wok, choose from any of our silver woks.
Our other black woks have a superior non-stick coating, so you don’t need to season at all. This saves you time, but you’ll have to avoid using abrasive cleaners and metal kitchen tools to maintain the coating.
How can I tell if my wok is carbon steel?
If you’ve bought a second hand wok and are struggling to determine whether it’s carbon steel, there are a few tests you can do.
Get a paper towel soaked with cooking oil and salt. Scrub it a little and if your towel turns brown/black, then you probably have a seasoned wok. You can also add vinegar to the wok and bring it to the boil. If your wok is a seasoned carbon wok, then the seasoning will break down. If it isn’t, nothing will happen.
If you’re buying a new carbon steel wok, opt for a reliable brand such as Ken Hom to ensure your wok is made from high quality carbon steel. Our silver woks are uncoated, so you’ll have to season them before you start cooking. If you’re looking for a non-stick wok that doesn't require seasoning, then choose from any of our black woks from the Classic or Excellence range.
How do you clean a carbon steel wok?
Seasoned carbon steel woks should not be cleaned in the dishwasher as the hot water and detergents can break down the natural non-stick coating. Hand wash your wok (with gentle detergent or none at all) by soaking it in warm water for five minutes. This will loosen any stuck food for you to wash away with a sponge. You can then dry it on a low heat. It must be washed after every use, dried thoroughly, and stored carefully.
At Ken Hom, our Excellence non-stick carbon steel woks are dishwasher safe.
How do you season a carbon steel wok?
Place your wok on a high heat burner. As it heats up it will begin to turn a dark brown colour and start to smoke. It will then begin to superheat and turn black and blue. Tilt it to slowly heat all areas. Once your wok has been thoroughly heated it will develop a blue tint.
Turn off the burner and quickly pour one cup of cold water into the wok to cool it off. When cool, move it to your sink for a gentle wash. Wipe away the excess water and then dry your wok by placing it back on the stove on a medium heat.
When dry, add one tablespoon of oil to the wok and place it on a low heat. Spread the oil around your wok. You’ll then want to take it off the heat, wipe the oil with a paper towel. You might want to use a spatula to do this to avoid burning your fingers! Reheat it again until it begins to smoke, then take it off the heat and wash it with water again. Dry it off, then repeat — oil and heat it again. Your wok is ready!
How do you reseason a carbon steel wok?
If you’ve not used your carbon steel wok for a while, it might need some TLC. Using very mild detergent and a gentle scrubber, wash it so that it’s as clean as possible. Never use a metal on an uncoated carbon steel wok. After drying it, repeat the seasoning steps above. Your wok is ready to use again.
Can you use carbon steel wok on an induction hob?
Our Classic carbon steel woks are suitable for cooking on gas, electric and ceramic hobs. If you have induction, then our Excellence carbon steel range works on these hobs as well.