Bodum Wok Scratches - Use or toss?
May 20, 2020 2:18 AM   Subscribe

We bought a used Bodum wok without verifying it in person. Well, it's got a number of bad scratches on it and a small part that's rusting. Bodum doesn't make the wok anymore so we don't know what the underlying metal is or what the coating is.

I know you can't use a scratched non-stick coated pan, but we don't think the wok coating is a non-stick coating (but what other kind of coating could it be). Does anyone have this wok and know what it is made of, specifically the coating? Anyone else have a guess whether/how we can salvage it safely?
posted by perrouno to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have no idea what the coating is, but in my mind a factory coating on a wok is sacrilege to begin with. They should be plain steel with an accumulated coating of polymerized cooking oils, like any respectable cast iron or carbon steel pan. Coatings like that one only appease germaphobes who think everything must be bathed in soap or run through a dishwasher. All it really does is shorten service life. (I guess I’m more opinionated here than I’d realized).

I don’t think it’s worth the effort to remove that coating. Neither do I think it will somehow poison you if minuscule flakes end up in food. I’d use it for now but regard it as a short-term tool until you find a better, uncoated wok.
posted by jon1270 at 3:08 AM on May 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I have a similar wok, and it is standing on the floor in my entrance, waiting to go to the recycling place. I don't think it's dangerous, but I do feel it's useless. The whole point of a wok is that it can get very hot very fast and cool down again fast. It seems to me that the coating (which is not non-stick) is damaged by the high heat.
I bought it because I have changed to induction and I somehow felt it would be good for that. But now I have resigned myself to the fact that I can't have wok food until I buy a dedicated wok burner, and a classic wok. For some recipes I can use a cast-iron sauteuse, so I'm not starving.
posted by mumimor at 3:53 AM on May 20, 2020

I've encountered woks with non-stick coatings a few times in other people's kitchens -- they are definitely a thing. Are you sure yours isn't non-stick? The photos look exactly like scratched non-stick coating.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:03 AM on May 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I wouldn’t recommend buying second hand non-stick cookware because scratches are bad for cooking and bad for health, and you cannot get rid of them!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:14 AM on May 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It looks like Bodum did make an enamel on cast iron wok - and the rusting could be exposed cast iron. The interior may be black "enamel". I wouldn't worry too much about using a scratched enamel pan and would try seasoning the rusty areas to see if they changed (and behaved more like cast iron). But this might be a question Boden can answer if you send them the question with a full photo of the wok/markings on the bottom.
posted by countrymod at 6:48 AM on May 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just use it.

They should be plain steel with an accumulated coating of polymerized cooking oils

I've a brass wok that works very well.

If your wok is coated metal, perhaps an angle-grinder with a cup-brush to remove the coating and then season it properly.
posted by pompomtom at 7:48 AM on May 20, 2020

I wouldn’t use it unless I could confirm that was enamel and not non-stick. FWIW, that doesn’t look like chipped enamel over cast iron. Enamel tends to chip on edges or in small pockmarks where heavy metal things were dropped, not in scratches like this (this looks like non-stick coating to me).
posted by amaire at 8:26 AM on May 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, looks like we will reach out to Bodum and go from there.
posted by perrouno at 1:55 PM on May 20, 2020

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