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Old 10-10-2013, 12:03 PM   #1
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Stainless steel cookware headache

As I said before, we are using a decent and expensive Chinese-style wok bought in 90s from a department store which has been used for around 20 years.

Until recently the stainless steel wok never had a problem if we add fair amount of oil before frying an egg or rice or anything else, our life was easy. But now, no matter how much oil we add to fry something, black stain develops very quickly and easily as soon as the food is put to the work, and the food could stick to the wok very heavily, and the black stain is now very difficult to be cleaned. (It *used* to develop no any black stain, and the wok *could* be cleaned very easily)

My question is

1. What's wrong with my wok?
2. Is stainless steel wok "sticky" or "non-sticky" in nature?
3. Can I repair my wok? And how to?

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Old 10-10-2013, 12:12 PM   #2
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Try some barkeepers friend. It contains oxalic acid and works wonders with SS cookware. Make a past with just a little water, plenty of elbow grease and a scotch-brite pad.

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Old 10-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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Stainless steel is more sticky by nature than seasoned cast iron or seasoned carbon steel. However, I don't think the SS is your issue.

Are you heating the wok hotter than before? Too much heat is causing the oil to make the stains you showed us earlier. Are you using different oil?

A few important points to keep in mind:

1. The cooking surface must be clean. Food residue will cause food to stick during the cooking process.
2. The wok and the oil must be hot before any food is added.
3. The wok does not have to be scorching hot to cook eggs or rice. Moderate your temperatures.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
Try some barkeepers friend. It contains oxalic acid and works wonders with SS cookware. Make a past with just a little water, plenty of elbow grease and a scotch-brite pad.

.40
Hello but what is barkeepers??? I am not in the States. Any alternatives?
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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BKF is a scouring powder. Not sure what brands you have where you are.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:41 PM   #6
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Barkeepers Friend is available in several stores Canada and Puerto Rico.
It can be purchased in the UK it seems but that's not listed on their website. Amazon most likely would be a good source from most anywhere.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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If this is the same wok in the "how to clean this wok" thread, are you sure it's stainless steel? It looked like it might be aluminum to me.

If you've been scrubbing it with Barkeeper's Friend, you may have scrubbed off any seasoning it had developed over the years - though that's not typical with a stainless steel wok, but cast iron, carbon steel, and aluminum do develop such patinas/seasoning.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:56 AM   #8
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Also have you changed the type of oil that you were using or the brand of oil?
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitchen Barbarian View Post
If this is the same wok in the "how to clean this wok" thread, are you sure it's stainless steel? It looked like it might be aluminum to me.

If you've been scrubbing it with Barkeeper's Friend, you may have scrubbed off any seasoning it had developed over the years - though that's not typical with a stainless steel wok, but cast iron, carbon steel, and aluminum do develop such patinas/seasoning.
Yes, exactly.

Your wok does not look like stainless steel.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:55 PM   #10
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Now that I think of it, it might be carbon steel though. I have a carbon steel pan that looks very similar. It would have been seasoned over time and that seasoning would have been removed by the barkeepers friend treatment. Try reseasoning it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:39 PM   #11
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If you don't live in the US, where do you live? It might be easier to suggest an alternative if we knew. I use Lagostina Stainless Steel cleaner, when baking soda on a damp rag doesn't work.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #12
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Hi everybody i am the thread starter , please help llook at this wok. I am not sure if it's Aluminium or Stainless steel. The fact is - it develops black stain like the photo VERY VERY EASILY. I intended to fry an egg with sunny side up , immediately after I throw the egg into the wok it builds up the black stain VERY QUICKLY!!!!! I am very frustrated.... I still remember I could fry a lot of things without building up any stain. I only put the food onto the wok when the wok and oil is hot enough which could even give fumes.

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Old 10-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #13
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sure looks like a stainless steel to me.

>>Until recently the stainless steel wok never had a problem . . .
then quite obviously something has changed.
the questions posed in previous posts are still valid. things that could have changed:
the cooktop / stove / heat source
the oil
the technique
the egg - if it's not "just egg" then possibly
wok surface
or "all food" - tad unlikely all food changed at the same time.

>>I only put the food onto the wok when the wok and oil is hot enough which could even give fumes.
for a sunny side up egg (or any egg for that matter) a pan at the oil smoke point temperature is way too hot. not much question about why the egg is burning onto the wok in that case.

what other foods burn & stick to the pan at such hot temperatures?
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