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How To Clean A Steel Wok

Japanese Style carries woks made of carbon steel, a material that resembles cast iron and often has a blue sheen (hence the nickname "blue steel"). Like cast iron, carbon steel is a sensitive material, and it develops a dark nonstick coating that can last for years and make cooking and cleaning far easier than using an ordinary Teflon pan. To clean your carbon steel wok, all you will need is your sink, a scrubber, and oil. Notably, as with cast iron, you shouldn't use soap on carbon steel, or it will destroy the seasoning you have spent many meals building on its surface. The oils left behind after cleaning will form a shield against sticky food in the future.

Instructions

1. Rinse the wok in hot water and gently rub off any food remaining. For stubborn bits, soak the wok for a few minutes, but don't leave it overnight. Too much water exposure will rust the pan.


2. Use a Brillo pad or other soft kitchen scrubber to clean the inside of the wok. Steel wool is too harsh, and remember not to use soap!

3. Rinse your wok after scrubbing, then dry with a paper towel or soft cloth. Make sure no water remains, because any moisture left over will create rust spots.

4. Pour some oil on a cloth and rub a thin layer all over the wok.

5. Store your wok by itself in a dry place, with nothing sitting in it, and it will be clean and ready for your next meal. The oils you apply during cleaning, as well as those lingering after cooking, will blacken over time into a thick nonstick barrier that will keep the pan fresh for years.

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