Woks are a great kitchen utensil, and essential for those times when you would like your vegetables to be well cooked, but at the same time to taste crunchy and fresh. Most woks are sturdy and long lasting as well – it’s certainly not the kind of kitchen accessory you will have to replace every couple of months. But in order to get the most out of your wok, it’s important that you know how clean it well. These tips will explain to you what to do in order to clean a wok, what not to do, and how to get rid of rust.
You will need:
- A wok
- Steel wool pad
- A cloth
- Hot water
- Unsalted fat
How to clean a seasoned wok
Cleaning a wok is simple; the most important thing to remember is to never use soap, detergent, or any other harsh cleaning product on your wok – while they might do an excellent job cleaning your pots and pans, a wok is a bit different, as soapy cleaners can easily damage the seasoned surface.
This also means that cleaning a wok in the dishwasher is unwise – while it can be tempting to save time and effort by using an appliance, you don’t want to take that risk if you value your wok.
Soak the wok in hot water
Soak the wok in hot water, for however long it takes to loosen the food scraps stuck to the wok.
Use a sponge and wash the wok from the inside
Then, use a sponge to wash the wok from the inside – if your sponge has a soft and a rough side, use the rough side to make sure you get rid of all the dirt.
Rinse under hot water
Afterwards, rinse the wok under hot water, and let it air-dry.
How to clean a rusty wok
Cleaning a rusty wok is a bit trickier, but there’s no reason to despair: rust is definitely not a reason to give up on your wok! Essentially, all you will have to do is clean it thoroughly and then re-season the wok. Chances are, it will stir-fry even better afterwards – it’s better to have a quality wok, which will gather rust from time to time, than a cheap wok you’ll have to replace every couple of months.
Rinse and scrub the rust with a steel wool pad and soap
Rinse the wok, and scrub the rusty area with the steel wool pad and soap until the rust finally comes off.
Rinse the wok with hot water
Rinse the wok again, and let it dry.
Coat the wok in unsalted fat and melt on a low heat
Now that you have removed the rust, the next step is to re-season the wok. Put your wok on the hob on low heat, and add some unsalted fat to melt. Swirl the oil around to coat as much of the inside of the wok as possible.
Once heated, let the fat cool
Once it heats up, turn off the heat and let the fat cool.
Rub the cold fat into the wok
The cold fat can then be rubbed into the pan, wiping off any excess – you should be left with a transparent sheen on your wok.
Your wok is now re-seasoned and ready to use again! It might take a few stir-fries before it’s completely back to normal, but it will be cooking at its usual high standard again very soon.
Has your cleaning regime changed during the Covid-19 lockdown?