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View Poll Results: Is the pan nonstick?
Yes 1 100.00%
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:43 PM   #1
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Did I ruin my "nonstick" wok?

So I got a used wok as a gift and they told me that they got it from Macy's and that is nonstick.
The writing on the bottom is barely legible and it says Martha Stewart Collection and something about exclusively for Macy's. Also it is 13 inches in diameter.

However, when I was trying to cook Pad Thai the other day (I am still a new cook), I made a mistake in leaving a pool of oil in the wok for like 10 minutes on medium-low heat. I think this caused burning on the wok.

Anyhow, shortly after this incident, while I was cooking the Pad Thai I burned minced garlic/onion and scraped it hard with my bamboo cookware to break it off while adding in the other ingredients.

After cooking, I scrubbed the wok really hard with a nonscratch net sponge, but still a lot of black gunk remained on the wok. I soaked it overnight in the dish soap and tried again, but still the gunk remained. I then placed water inside the wok and boiled it, hoping this would dislodge the junk, but still no dice.

Finally, I took a spoon and started scratching off the gunk, but stopped as I thought this might ruin the nonstick. I could even see the black color come off and become silver.

Now, my questions are:
1. Is this pan really nonstick?
2. Did I ruin it with leaving the oil burning for like 5 minutes?
3. What should I do? Discard it? Clean it--if so, how?

Thank you!!

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Old 01-20-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by artofcooking View Post
...

Now, my questions are:
1. Is this pan really nonstick?
2. Did I ruin it with leaving the oil burning for like 5 minutes?
3. What should I do? Discard it? Clean it--if so, how?

Thank you!!

1. Yes, it is.
2. If not ruined, damaged.
3. Jut try to cook with it again and see what happens.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
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Thanks!

1. So, was the burning oil the main cause of the damage?
2. Is it bad for my health to use this pan now?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:03 PM   #4
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Artofcooking,

I would throw it away.

For the simple reason that a nonstick wok is a ridiculous idea. Woks need to be heated to VERY high temps for them to do their magic. Nonstick cookware is not supposed to be heated to high temps. Who invented such anomalous device?

One doesn't need nonstick for a wok even if it could be heated to 500. In fact it's the patina or seasoning on a steel wok that gives food cooked in it it's special flavor.

So if you want to cook in a wok, I'd throw your current one away and buy a carbon steel one. They aren't that pricey and they last forever. And it will actually work a lot better for you!

Personally I wouldn't continue using damaged nonstick. But that may depend on if it keeps flaking or sloughing
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
However, when I was trying to cook Pad Thai the other day (I am still a new cook), I made a mistake in leaving a pool of oil in the wok for like 10 minutes on medium-low heat. I think this caused burning on the wok.
Ten minutes? Ykies....I think it's toast if
Quote:
Finally, I took a spoon and started scratching off the gunk, but stopped as I thought this might ruin the nonstick. I could even see the black color come off and become silver.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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Thanks Jenny. I think I will get a carbon steel one, but still my questions hold:
1. So, was the burning oil the main cause of the damage?
2. Is it bad for my health to use this pan now?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by artofcooking View Post
Thanks Jenny. I think I will get a carbon steel one, but still my questions hold:
1. So, was the burning oil the main cause of the damage?
2. Is it bad for my health to use this pan now?
I'd say probably to both.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:13 PM   #8
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Medium low heat wouldn't usually cause burning on anything, but the scraping of the gunk, turning it from black to silver, likely rendered the "non-stick" wok useless. As has been previously stated, woks are supposed to handle high heat.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:16 PM   #9
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Wow thank you everyone for the quick responses! All my questions are answered.

I'll look into buying a new wok that is not nonstick.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by artofcooking View Post
...I could even see the black color come off and become silver...
I missed this before. Toss the wok.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:20 PM   #11
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Wow thank you everyone for the quick responses! All my questions are answered.

I'll look into buying a new wok that is not nonstick.
BTW, welcome to DC!
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:05 AM   #12
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Cost Plus World Market. Good wok, great price!
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:37 PM   #13
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I totally agree with jennyema
Nonstick pans should not be used about 500 degrees and even my top quality Diamond's Plus recommends using the pots below 500 degrees. Cooking in a wok uses high heat and quickness - this is more suitable for carbon steel or cast iron.
Scraping the bottom until the black starts to chip and turn silver suggests to me the best place for you wok is the trash. It can still be used with minimum risk but still suggest dumping it.
The problem you talk about is most likely the oil sitting in the hot pan which is both a problem for the pan but also a technique issues. Add oil to the side of the hot wok just before you add your first ingredients. The oil does not have to be in the wok to reach smoking temperature first. With the hot wok, the oil is almost instantly ready when added.


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Old 05-11-2014, 10:24 PM   #14
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YUP!!!

Ya's done dood it!
I am familair with this design. It is sold as a "Tasylor and Ng" pan, and advertised as 'nonstick'.

Ya's boined dah oil for 5 minutes?!?!? Stir fry don' take 5 minutes, if done right!

Refer you to book "A Breath of A Wok", and Grace Young youTube videos.
She is the 'wok evangelist'.
I own an enameled outside, cast iron wok, that I ordered from a shop in San Fran's Chinatown. The owner was very helpful on the phone.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:15 AM   #15
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Well y'all know I get contrary at times and this is one of them. Actually it seems that all my points agree with some of the posts above, and at the same time disagree with other opinions expressed.

If you burned some oil in your pan--particularly if you heated it above its smoke point--and it left a residue you couldn't remove with soap and water and a non scratch scrubber, then yes that's what caused your problem. (Obviously in fact.)

If you scraped it with any object (a spoon perhaps) and removed the stain then depending on how hard you scraped it you may have scratched the non-stick finish, in which case your wok is not ruined but it is degraded. Depending on how big the damaged area is it may or may not be a problem. Use it and see if you still like using it, or not.

Here is my biggest contrary opinion. I disagree that you have to get your wok to 500 degrees for wok cooking. I doubt I ever get that hot. Note also, food is likely to stick to your pan at that temperature unless you use some kind of cooking liquid or oil. Highest smoke point oil is avocado oil at 520F. Soy oil is rather common in Asia, smoke point 495F and inexpensive (compared to avocado) so you might use it at high temperatures.

But I'm sure my wok never reaches 500F, and I cook a lot of Asian food, particularly Thai and Chinese. I take issue that you need to go that hot when cooking Asian foods.

My best wok is a non-stick somewhat more rounded than usual pan (with cover) made by Invitations -- an economy brand sold by Bed, Bath & Beyond... I use it for many kinds of cooking including wok dishes. The one thing it won't do is sometimes you want to slide wok ingredients up the side of the pan to get less heat, and leave other ingredients in the middle at the hottest spot. Doesn't work with this pan but my cooking methodology is to start out with the ingredients that need the most cooking and progressively add ingredients that cook more quickly. I also sometimes remove partially cooked ingredients and set them aside until a final cooking stage where I return all the ingredients to the pan.

Finally, this is what I would have done when faced with the difficult to remove stain: Easy Off oven cleaner. Yes it could damage non-stick surfaces or may not and there's only one way to tell. If you've already tried everything on the pan and it's still unsatisfactory, then you have nothing to lose by trying Easy Off. Spray some on, let it sit for perhaps 15-20 minutes, wash it off with soap and water, repeat if necessary. After the spot is gone examine the pan and decide if it's useable or not.

And note, the sure way to ruin a non-stick pot or pan is to put it on a flame or other heat source with nothing in it. You can get non-stick pots and pans fairly hot as long is there is food or liquid in it, the heat transfers to the food. With nothing in the pan there is nothing to limit the heat rise and most if not all non-stick coatings can turn toxic when overheated. You would of course have to discard such a pan because the toxic substances may get in your food.

So if you horribly scratched it with scraping, probably toss it. If it's not that bad then consider the Easy Off approach, and if it takes the spot off then you can consider whether you think it's useable.

And finally finally, why not have more than one wok? Get a non-stick one, get a steel one. You may find like I have that sometimes you want one, sometimes you want the other.
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