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Got a Wok at a garage sale. Got some questions about it!

I thought I saw rust in the first picture of the cooking surface. About half-way between the flat bottom and the rim of the wok. There appears to be some rust spots. Could be 'seasoning', too, not sure. The photos are fairly small to tell for sure. I was only advising caution to make sure there is no rust...

The other point I was trying to make was that a wok can be an investment, and is not too expensive of one. Heck, I wouldn't know for sure if the previous owner ever used the wok to catch a drip under the sink... For $20, a new wok is worth it, in my opinion, versus the 'unknown' of a garage sale wok.

Sep 04, 2013
NoSalt in Cookware

Got a Wok at a garage sale. Got some questions about it!

Pouchie, there does look like there is some rust on the wok, so I'd be careful... Your wok probably looked like this one on Amazon when new:

I've seen these same carbon-steel woks at many Chinese markets in NYC and NJ. They average about $20. Personally, for the $17 differential, I'd have gone with a new wok and start seasoning from scratch. Think of your wok as a small investment...

That being said, if you decide to keep your garage sale wok, make sure to scrub the rust off until it's completely gone. I'd first try with a plastic scrubber; if that doesn't work, try the steel wool, but that can affect the surface and potentially cause more rust down the line. Always air-dry your wok and never put it in a dishwasher...

To season, coat the wok with a high-temperature cooking oil like good old Wesson corn oil. Most supermarket vegetable oils will work fine. Safflower, soybean, and peanut oil will also work very well. Don't use olive oil, butter, or lard (Crisco). Heat the wok until the oil JUST begins to smoke. Let it cool to room temperature. Discard the oil and wipe the wok as clean as possible with paper towels or dishcloth. Repeat as often as you can. Each high temp burn and cool will help create that dark, non-stick carbon surface on the wok. Eventually, NOTHING will stick to it and you'll have a commercial-grade cooking surface. Your wok will get better with use and age.

Good luck!

Aug 30, 2013
NoSalt in Cookware

Visiting Parsippany, NJ and vicinity

I live and work in Parsippany and can make the following recommendations:

Fine Italian: Il Capriccio's, Rt. 10 Eastbound, Whippany
Some of the best upscale Italian food I've ever had. A bit pricey but worth it if you 'd like excellent service, atmosphere, and food. The Osso Bucco is to die for. Extensive wine list, valet parking, full bar. Quite elegant, but business casual attire is fine.

Everyday Italian: Donnagios, New Road & Rt. 46, Parsippany
This place opened about a year ago, and I had always hesitated to try it as there were a number of mediocre pizza joints in that location prior to Donnagios. Well, this place is now on our regular rotation. Excellent pizza and sandwiches. The dinners are outstanding and large. The zuppa de pesch (seafood with pasta) is not only wonderfully tasty, but huge and of great quality. They also have some of the best "red sauce" marinara I've tasted -- and that's coming from a born-and-raised Jersey Italian-American!! Really worth the trip to experience the typical "goin' out for Italian" -- Jersey style.

Cantonese: Noodle Chu
My in-laws are Cantonese and this is the only place in the area where they will go to dine. Try to go on Sunday morning/early afternoon for the great "Dim Sum" or "Yum Cha" experience (steam carts walked around to each table with many, many different small dishes ranging from fresh vegitables, seafood, dumplings, pudding, soups, noodles, buns, etc...). Google "dim sum" if you don't know what it is... They also have excellent noodle soups, pork chops, and chow funs.

Diner: Alexis Diner, Rt. 10 Westbound, Denville
The diners on Rt. 46 in Parsippany are all okay, but Alexis really stands out in my opinion. I have always gotten top notch, fresh food here, and the service is good. Two stand outs: the Pastrami Ruben sandwich and the Gyro. Two of the best diner sandwiches available in NJ. They also have full dinner specials that include soup, sides, dessert, and coffee or tea.

White Castle: Rt. 46 Westbound, Ledgewood
OK, take my word on this one... Don't do a Mapquest or Google Maps search and find the closest White Castle. Many are in run-down and dangerous areas. Go to the one located at 1113 Rt. 46 West, Ledgewood, NJ. It's about a 20 minute drive from Parsippany, but will land you in a nice, well-lit area with other shopping nearby and the same quintessential White Castle "slider" experience. Order the #1 combo meal and you can't go wrong. Stay away from anything else but the burgers, fries, and onion rings. The other stuff may sound good or cute (ie, "Chicken Rings"), but don't waste your money.

Chicken Wings: Cluck-U Chicken - 64 Morris Street, Morristown, NJ
Here's another great, typical "Jersey" experience. This place (now a franchise) was started by a Rutgers University student back in 1985, and has some of the greatest wings in the world. They're sloppy, messy, spicy, sweet, and just plain old delicious. the place is a hole-in-the-wall, and is usually populated by college students and the typical bar crowd seeking nourishment. They have an incredible array of sauces to go on the wings ranging from mild to THERMO NUCLEAR, and "gourmet" varieties such as honey hickory, cajun, and teriyaki. If you order their hottest wings, the "911" wings, I believe they make you sign a waver before they'll serve them. Stick with a dozen "traditional" wings and you'll be more than happy.

Enjoy Jersey!!

Whippany area recs?

Il Capriccio's is fantastic, albiet a bit pricy. The service is top notch, tables are large, and is a perfect place for conducting business. Certainly a cut above Ruth's Chris. This is the place to go to if you want to impress someone.

Dec 05, 2006
NoSalt in Mid-Atlantic