How to Clean a Wok
Cooking up a tasty stir-fry is a satisfying and often healthy meal choice that lots of us turn to. Carbon steel woks however do involve needing some care and attention when it comes to thoroughly cleaning your wok. Luckily, this care is as simple as rinsing and drying your wok off properly to stop it from rusting. Here are some ideas on to how to clean a wok.
Use a Carbon Steel Wok
What your wok is made from actually makes a difference when it comes to cooking and cleaning. Carbon steel is a very popular choice as it has many benefits. Woks need to be able to cope with high heat as you will be mostly using it for stir-fry cooking. Stir-frying involves dealing with speedy temperature changes so that your food is cooked to the ideal texture, but food can get stuck to the side. However, carbon steel woks cool extremely quickly so can be cleaned when they are still warm as long as you are careful while washing.
Cooking using a wok means that your food can be seared quickly at high heat. A carbon steel wok is best at allowing you to be able to do this as the metal heats up fast and also it will go on to cool down swiftly too. You should stay away from stainless steel, or woks which promise to have a non-stick surface, as they will usually take much longer to heat up for cooking and take much longer to cool down. Cleaning these types of woks can take longer soaking times and can just be more hassle in general when it comes to cleaning them. Also, most non-stick surfaces reduce in effectiveness over time when you use them at constantly high temperatures. This will eventually mean that it will be more difficult for you to stop your food from sticking to the sides.
Should You Wash a Wok
Woks come in various shapes and sizes and the type you have helps you to determine how to clean your wok. Most woks have rounded bases which are great for ensuring that flames heat all sides of your wok, so you will need to fully clean the entire surface. However, lots of soap is bad for your wok. The first time you use a new wok, simply scrub the wok with warm soapy water, then dry it off. Once you have washed and dried a wok you should heat it on your stove to totally evaporate any left-over water so that your wok does not rust.
As you continue to use your wok, it will develop a natural protective coating. This is why you ought to avoid using abrasive cleaning products such as strong detergents or steel wool. The recommendation is that you should not even have to use soap at all. Usually, all you will need to do is run your wok under warm water to wash it out.
How To Care for a Wok
- Soak your wok in a sink of hot water for up to half an hour. This should mean that any stuck to the side food debris will become loosened and can be removed more easily.
- Using a soft sponge, wipe over the entire interior of the wok until it is free from any left-over food remains. If you do have any food scraps which are firmly stuck, then you can try gently taking them off using a more abrasive scrubber, but this should be avoided if at all possible.
- Next you should rinse your wok. Place it under hot running water for a couple of minutes until it looks clean which will help to preserve the protective coating.
- To prevent rust developing you must dry your wok on your stove. Place the wok on a low heat and leave it there until all the visible signs of water have evaporated.
- Help to season your wok by wiping over the inside of your wok with a little vegetable oil to avoid rust developing. This may not be needed if your wok is used a lot as it will be naturally seasoned.
- Ensure that you allow your carbon streel wok to cool and dry out before storing it.
Do not put a carbon steel wok in your dishwasher. If you start to notice rust on the sides of your wok or if it is unintentionally cleaned in the dishwasher, then you will need to re-season it on the stove using vegetable oil, after removing all signs of rust.
- How to Clean a Wok – wikiHow