Removing wok protective coating
October 7, 2014 2:05 PM   Subscribe

I just got a new carbon steel wok. I'm beginning to season it, but how do I know when I've scrubbed the protective coating off?

I'm using steel wool (grade 0 Fine, apparently) and I'm scrubbing with hot water and dish soap but nothing seems to be changing; the surface looks and feels identical. Do I need coarser steel wool or watch for some other sign?
posted by andrewesque to Food & Drink (4 answers total)
The protective coating is typically wax; the heat of the water alone will get rid of it. With that and scrubbing, I would say you're good to go.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:13 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Don't worry if it discolours during use. My housemate's got some orange areas on it after he had used it a few times, so he decided against using it anymore - the internet says spotting is actually pretty common. I am still using that wok 13 years later.
posted by biffa at 3:34 PM on October 7, 2014

Typically it's wax or machine oil that can be taken off with a quick wash with soap. It's only protective against corrosion between the factory and the consumer, so it doesn't have to be tough. You've likely already scrubbed it off.
posted by WasabiFlux at 5:03 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you really want to be sure, you can try a water break test. But considering the curvature of the piece, I'd set the standard at big blotches, not a perfect film.
posted by d. z. wang at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2014

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