What is this material on this new wok.

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bobn151

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
2
I just got a gas stove and I eagerly purchased a steel wok. I last cooked with a wok on occasion 16 years ago, when I last had a gas stove. At the recommendation of a coworker, I went to a specific local Chinese market to get a wok. This market's customers were mostly of Asian appearance. I wanted a round bottom steel one, not a coated non-stick product.

I eventually found one there, wow, they had a lot of non-stick stuff. Every one of the available steel ones which I inspected had a shiny, non-tacky material on them, in some areas, this material had such a buildup that one could easily feel it. they were kind of a dull dark gray, they seemed otherwise normal. I figured this must have been some material used to prevent it from rusting during shipment.

At home, I simply could not wash it off this unknown material with any degree of elbow-grease or dish soap. I had placed it on the oven to see if I could warm it up and disturb the material. It started smoking, a lot, and smelled of foul chemical burn. As I have this "Bayou Classic SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Gas Cooker, Propane" I resumed outside. It continued to smoke, a lot. I figured I'd burn off the crap on this steel wok.

At first burn (of the foul chemical) the wok would become shiny black. After heating another area which I thought had already been 'cleansed', I learned that the shiny black would then turn to a dull gray. This I thought was the final step in cleansing this wok. However, I noticed a red haze in it. I took it in to wash it, the dobbie pads became incredibly pink, the water was pink, the pink remained on the wok in most areas, trying with paper towel left pink on that. Rewashing could not fully remove the pink haze. This pink stuff still remains on the wok.

Unless someone can convince me otherwise, I believe this is not a natural occurrence and I should not trust this wok.

Any guidance?

Thanks.
 

Robo410

Executive Chef
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
4,655
Location
SE Pennsylvania
wow...dunno. I bought a Chinese wok from the wok shop (on line in San Fran.) It was oily. I washed in hot soapy water, rinsed dried and salt cured over high heat per instruction that cam e with the wok...no issue. Sounds like yours was lacquered.

wash and rinse several more times and reheat...see what happens. Ask the people at the shop what is going on.???
 

bobn151

Assistant Cook
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
2
Rust? I doesn't seem to be the right hue (or is it tone) of red. Also, it did not spend any time just sitting in water, and the red had not been present before until it had faced the heat. After every visit with water, it had been dried with paper towels.

The one I bought 20 years ago, it was oily too. Like a machine oil or something, I just washed that one off and seasoned it. It didn't required nearly an hour outdoors until high heat and direct flame.

Ask, no I haven't gone back. There seemed to be a difficult language barrier. When I couldn't find a ring, I asked for one and they handed me a lid, I had to do circular motions on the underside of the wok, then they pulled one out from behind non-stick stuff. Are these round things which round bottom woks rest on called something else in english, did I use the wrong term?
 

buckytom

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
21,933
Location
My mountain
bobn, it could have been the oil used for preventing rust that became dessicated after a long time.

after my uncle died, i did the familial duty of cleaning out his apartment and found a wok that sat in a closet for years having never been used, so i claimed it for myself, lol.

the wok had a weird, slightly greasy/tacky coating on it that i couldn't wash completely off no matter how hard i scrubbed. using dw40 eventually got rid of it, and then i had to scrub it several more times to get rid of the dw40.

just a thought.
 

buckytom

Chef Extraordinaire
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Aug 19, 2004
Messages
21,933
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My mountain
with all due respect, kl, that's a skillet, not a wok.

bobn, if it's supposed to be an uncoated steel wok, you can always sand it to get rid of anything on the surface if nothing else works.

you may have to now since you burnt on whatever it was. i wouldn't use it until you got down to bare metal, and then seasoned it properly.
 

Kayelle

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
14,789
Location
south central coast/California
with all due respect, kl, that's a skillet, not a wok.

bobn, if it's supposed to be an uncoated steel wok, you can always sand it to get rid of anything on the surface if nothing else works.

you may have to now since you burnt on whatever it was. i wouldn't use it until you got down to bare metal, and then seasoned it properly.

That's my point exactly, Bucky. My skillet is enameled. That wok made in china is bare "who knows what" bare metal, with "who knows what" gunk on it. No way would I ever use it.
 

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