Performed some more seasoning on the wok tonight and tested stir frying some chicken breast again with a bit more success. I did two more runs of heating the wok and then applying peanut oil with a paper towel, letting the wok cool between applications. Heated the wok, added more oil than yesterday's attempt so that the whole of the base of the wok was covered (used about a tablespoon) and turned the temperature down slightly. There was less smoke and the chicken was not charred as it was yesterday. Made cleaning it easier afterwards as well. I think I am on the right track now but I did wimp out when making my Thai red curry tonight and I used a Teflon wok (I feel ashamed to admit this but I was too scarred about having to give the new wok a good scrub afterwards and lose all my hard work seasoning it!).
Thai red beef curry. After struggling for 20 minutes to think of what to have (and pouring over Chow for inspiration!). Had some casserole beef and wanted to cook it in my pressure cooker but couldn't be inspired by casserole tonight so will cook it in the pressure cooker to make it tender and then cook the curry on the stove top. I second what GretchenS said about that burger!
Thanks jkling17. I have just finished watching those videos and have just applied some steelo pad to get the dry gunk off. I have just heated the wok dry for a while, and then applied a light coat of oil with a paper towel over the heat. Will let that cool and repeat and then will repeat a few times tomorrow as well. Thanks again!
I gave it another couple of treatments tonight and then thought I would test it's non-stick ability by stir frying some diced chicken breast (with no marinade or anything on it). I suspect I may not have used enough oil (I used about half a tablespoon for the amount of chicken in the photos). I heated the wok (on a high heat on my gas hob) until it just started to smoke and then put in the oil and then the chicken. It immediately stuck to the wok. My kitchen was very smoky - I don't have an extractor fan so need the window open and it is very cold at the moment! The chicken ended up being kind of char grilled! There was a lot of stuff stuck to the wok. I added water to the hot wok once I had finished cooking the chicken and let it boil a bit and used a soft plastic brush to clean it. I repeated that process a few times and the end result was that it is not shiny but has a dry sticky coating on it. I then went through the seasoning process again with oil on a paper towel etc but that dry sticky coating is still there. Where did I go wrong? Do I need to give it a good scrub to get rid of that dry coating and start the seasoning process again? Was I too stingy with how much oil I used? Was my temperature too high?
Thanks guys for all your advice. I have scraped off, steelo'd, and boiled off as much as I could and ended up with what you see in the first photo. I then put a very thin film on and baked it in the oven as per Caroline1's post. I then used the technique that tanuki soup mention with the thin coat applied with a paper towel and did that 2 goes. I then stir fried some chives and now have a nice non stick surface that doesn't have all of that gummy oil build up. I think this is a lot better than it was. Am I on the right track now?
Thanks for your reply Bada Bing. I cooked with it at lunchtime and a lot flaked off so have now scrubbed off as much as I can (with steel wool and salt). I will do what you suggested to get the rest of the current stuff off and then re-season but in the manner you suggested. Makes a lot of sense to use a thinner layer. Will post a new photo once I have done this. Thanks again.
Thanks for your reply Caroline1. I might try stir frying with it today and see how it goes. If it is going to be a problem with flaking, I might scrape it back and try the oven method (though my bottom element is not working at the moment so hopefully it would be ok with just the top element).
I took a steel wool and some cream cleanser (E.g the equivalent of Jif) and gave it a good scrub to get rid of the anti rust oil from the factory.
With the windows open I heated oil (cheap vegetable oil from the supermarket) in the wok on the gas stove top, swirling it around and holding the wok on an angle etc until it was a consistent black.
I then wiped off the oil and repeated the process with fresh oil.
I then wiped off that oil and put fresh oil in and stir fried some chives.
It now looks uneven to me and a little flaky. I can flake bits of black stuff off with my Iron wok spatula.
I haven't tried stir frying in it yet. Does it look like I have started the seasoning process off correctly or do I need to start again? I know from reading on this forum that the process is an ongoing one and can take months to establish a good patina but I want to make sure I am starting off on the right foot.