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Old 10-08-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Is my carbon steel wok rusted? Please help!

I bought my wok 1 or 2 months ago. I seasoned it before I use it for the first time; it formed dark brown stain after it got seasoned, which the instruction manual said it is normal (I assume that it is patina). After I got done cooking in it, I noticed that there were a lot of light brown spots pretty much on the area that had been touched by the food and they didn't look like patina to me. I could not removed it by brushing it or even washed it with soap (which again, the instruction said it is ok for me to wash it with soap if I really have to, as long as I re-season it). The light brown stains were still there, so I tried to search on google. I read somewhere online that it is normal for the carbon steel wok to have discoloration when it is touched by food. When I read it I felt better, but every time I wanted to use my wok again I am so not confident to use it as I am not sure if the light brown stains are rust or not.

I attached some pictures so you can see what I meant. Please, please, please help me and give me your opinion and tell me what you think. I took the first two pictures before I re-season it. The last 3 pics is after I re-seasoned.

Thank you in advance!

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:55 AM   #2
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I don't think what you see is rust. The baked in oil you use for seasoning will often appear brownish and uneven.

The surface should be relatively smooth with no rough spots where food residue remains. Just keep using it. You can season it again (without removing the existing seasoning) to build up the protective coating.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
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I agree with Andy. I don't think you have rust. You can feel the difference is you run your finger over the spot. Rust will be dry. What you have looks like the results of cooking. I have a couple of tin lined copper skillets that look like that. I don't worry about it. If I can't get it off with normal cleaning, it is not going to come off while cooking.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:33 AM   #4
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Welcome to D.C.!
Having used carbon steel woks for many years, I can assure you that your wok is fine.
As Andy and BigJim have said, any rust or stuck food will be apparent when you run your hand across the surface of the pan. If it is smooth, your wok is clean. If you treat it as you would cast iron, it will serve you well for many years and beyond.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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It's normal, comes from cooking on high heat. Even if it was rust (Iron) it is still OK, Iron is not a bad thing. Just look at lettuce,when it turns brown, thats actually rust! Lots of Iron in lettuce.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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Thanks All for your reply. Now I am confident to use my wok again. :)
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:55 PM   #7
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Everyone else is right. So keep on keepin on.

Plus your wok will only get tastier with use.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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