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Calling all Wok Gurus

I need some serious wokkin help!! 

 So I got my wok from Tom yesterday and figured I would go ahead and season it. So I used Dawn dish soap and steel wool to clean the oil off of it. Next I put it in my gasser at about 600 degrees until everything was nice and hot so prolly about 15 mins. I turned the heat to medium and started coating it with oil, prolly 5-6 times until my paper towel that I was using looked clean when I was done. Then I wiped off the excess oil and put a thing coat of oil on it and put it in the cabinet.
    Today I decided to try it out Chicken went good, veggies..... well that is when all hell broke loose and everything started sticking.  

    What did I do wrong? 

   This is the wok heating up


image

With the chicken
  
image

And with the veggies

image


   Should I be using more oil in the first few cooks or did I not season correctly?  Now for the chore at hand, what is the best way to clean the big o'l pile of stuck on crud of the bottom of the wok? Do different kinds of oil make a difference when seasoning the wok? I used canola oil. Thanks in advance for any help because this was a MAJOR FAIL on my part.  

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Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky

Comments

  • RLeeperRLeeper Posts: 476
    edited June 2013
    I'm guessing the oil may have a low smoke temp and burned off with the high temp in the egg. May want to use additional oil but don't let it sit too long before adding your food.
    Extra Large, Large, and Mini. Tucker, GA
  • That wok is not seasoned. It should be almost black before cooking on it. Did you follow toms seasoning instructions? This is way different than the way I was told to do it. I followed the instructions from the wok shop in San Francisco.

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,282
    Actually the directions I got to season the Wok were "Follow the first couple of links on Google for what best fits you".

    Cen Tex do you have any recommendations of where to look for Wok Seasoning? I figure I am pretty much gonna have to start over at this point 
    :((

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    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky
  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 7,547
    edited June 2013

    Several possibilities IMHO.  Wok too hot, not enough oil 1-2 tbs -I like peanut oil.. If you had some cornstarch on the chicken thet will cause a sticking problem. Need to move the chicken around as a very hot wok will cause it to stick.  Patience grasshopper. 

     

    Some wok wamblings.

    http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=1240033&catid=1

  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,290
    I was at first surprised that the chicken didn't stick, but the veggies did.  Then, looking at your pics, only the bottom of your wok is black, I'm betting the veggies stuck worse further up the side of the wok.  
    I wouldn't call this a Major Fail at all.  I've done several woks, and they can be problematic at first but all get better and better with more use, just like cast iron.  For stuck-on food, I normally balance mine in the sink and fill with water while I'm eating the meal, then wipe clean with a washcloth (No soap!) and I use a worn 3M green scrubber for stubborn spots (avoid if you can).  
    Don't worry, you've got a good start in the center/bottom of your wok already; soon the whole interior will be that same black color.  
    :-bd
    _____________________________________________
     
    I Know Why The Egged Bird Sings.
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,734
    I'm no wok expert by any stretch, but here's what I did with mine. Cleaned it as you did, rubbed it inside and out with peanut oil, lit the lump in the egg and let it get raging hot. Then, I put the wok directly on the coals and rocked it around so that every part of the outside was, at some point, touching the coals. Only took a few minutes. Wear welders gloves and use tongs!!! :)

    When done, I added a tablespoon of peanut oil and stir fried a bunch of scallions until they were black. That was recommended in the seasoning video at wokshop.com. She used something else, but I can't remember what it was. Similar though. Seemed to work. Smells good too. :)

    When you cook, it is important to heat the wok BEFORE you add oil. Once the wok is up to temp, carefully add a tablespoon or maybe a bit more and let it heat up. Then, with your spatula, spread the oil up the sides of the wok so that, when you're stir frying, the food wont stick to the upper part. 

    Have everything prepared in advance if your cook calls for removing anything in mid-cook, make sure you have a container handy. Do not overload the wok. You need the heat and if you put too much in it, you'll wind up steaming instead of stir frying.

    To clean the crud off, now that you have it stuck to the wok, scrape, scour, soap... whatever it takes, and reseason. Thats the cool thing about woks and cast iron stuff - you can always start over.

    Hope this helps!!

    These pics are of my cast iron wok, but I did the same with my carbon steel wok.

    Brand new, unseasoned...
    image

    First cook after seasoning. I no longer use the egg for wok cooks - LOVE the chimney starter with a wok ring on top! Uses less lump too. I now set it on the grate of my old Weber kettle so I don't have to cook on my knees. :)
    image
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947
    The purpose of seasoning is to get the metallic taste out of the steel.  Watch the video from the Wok Shop.  She uses chives or green onions.  I disagree with Cen-Tex about having to blacken it before using.  To prevent sticking, you should get your wok hot, then add oil (I use peanut oil) and swirl it around.  The oil will penetrate the pores in the hot steel and that is what will prevent the sticking.  In looking at your second picture, the wok looks dry with the chicken.  You should have about one to two tablespoons of oil there.  Sometimes, small amounts of food will stick, no matter what, especially with a new wok.  Don't worry about it.  It will go away on your next cook.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,282
    edited June 2013
    So V-I judging from your comments I am guessing that because I used canola oil it flashed to fast. Does that sound correct? I had more of a slight burnt taste but no metallic taste.

    Cen-Tex did seasoning your wok in the oven funk your house up? 

    I am leaning towards one more seasoning and using the chives and ginger route as well. What say you?


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    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky
  • Listen to Gary and yes my house stunk a little for a few hours. I watched the video Gary suggested and it worked great. I just thought that was part of the non-stick process as well. I did the green onion thing and the oven method. Worked like a champ for me.

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,282
    Thanks for the help guys. Round two in the next few days.

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    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky
  • BustersdadBustersdad Posts: 162
    I don't think you used enough oil during the cook...how hot was the wok when you started cooking. I cook the meat first, then pull, let the wok heat up again, a bit more oil, add the meat back, then your gravy (corn starch, water, soy)...continue cooking til sauce thickens.
  • HibbyHibby Posts: 296
    edited June 2013
    As for cleaning, get yourself a bamboo brush like the picture I attach. Also called a bamboo scrubber. Google is your friend. The bamboo with water is coarse enough to remove food particles but won't destroy your seasoned layer (non-stick). Metal scrubbies will destroy that valuable layer. No biggie if the layer is removed but you'll have to rebuild it. Keep soap away from your wok.
    image.jpg
    540 x 540 - 113K
    Conservative stalwart in Thornville, Ohio
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,282
    What temp are you guys generally at when you start cookin on the wok? Man I have got a bunch of learning to do!!

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    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588
    @Hibby I have I one of those bamboo brushes and not a fan. I will send it to someone if they want it.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,947
    Chubbs said:
    @Hibby I have I one of those bamboo brushes and not a fan. I will send it to someone if they want it.
    Me neither.  I got one a few years ago, and threw it away after the first use.  I just use those yellow/green sponges.  If some food doesn't come off, it will the next time I cook.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

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