We love to use our wok. Its deep shape lets us make some unique options. From stir fry to fried rice and several other types of cuisine, our options are endless. It can be really fun to cook with these pans!
If you’re not careful, you may find yourself dealing with food that sticks to the pan when you don’t want it to. It’s important to season your wok to really get the most out of it and not have to worry about this issue when you’re at the heart of frying up something tasty!
What is the best oil for seasoning a wok? When you’re seasoning a traditional wok, you need an oil that suits your cooking style and flavor preferences. There are several great options to use, and oils with high smoke points are the best for this purpose.
In this guide, we will share with you the process for seasoning a wok as well as some options for the 5 best oils for seasoning a wok. We’ve got some really great options picked out for you and any one of them would work great!
Keep reading to learn the 5 best oils for seasoning a wok and more!
How Do You Season a Carbon Steel Wok for the First Time?
If you’ve never seasoned a wok before, the process is pretty simple. You season your wok, regardless of the materials in order to create a protective layer across the materials of the wok.
This protects the pan from food sticking and creating an awful mess that is hard to clean up.
If you think about how you use a wok, you’re probably going to be working with high heat or even a flame so it’s natural to think the pan will need some protection to keep it from really being affected by these processes in a negative way.
Once you season your wok the first time, you really just need to use it regularly after that and apply proper care practices as well.
Here are steps for seasoning a carbon steel wok properly for the first time:
- Clean and dry your wok.
- Choose the oil you will be seasoning with.
- If your handles are made with wood, you may want to wrap them in foil to prevent burning.
- Set your burner to the highest heat and set your wok on the burner. We recommend having some sort of heat protection for your hand nearby as well as clearing things that may be affected by the high heat. Did we mention, it’s going to be very hot nearby?
- Get the pan nice and hot, you can test it by tossing a drop of water in. If it evaporates immediately, it’s ready.
- Add 2 tablespoons of your oil of choice to the pan. Reduce your heat to medium-high.
- You can then add other things like garlic, ginger, or onion. These are used for aromatics and will reduce the smoking from the wok during the process.
- Reduce your heat to medium.
- Spread the mixture of oil over every inch of surface area on the inside of the pan. Continue to spread the mixture and work it over the pan for about 20 minutes at medium heat.
- Then, dump the contents out of the pan and let it cool down. Don’t forget to turn your stove off.
- Once the pan has cooled slightly, use hot water and rinse the pan. You can also use a sponge or scrubber to clean out any food remnants. Don’t stop here!
- Return wok to the stove and turn on high heat. Let the heat dry and evaporate all of the water.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool again before storing the wok for use.
5 Best Oils for Seasoning a Traditional Wok
We chose five oil categories and then picked our favorite oil from each category to share multiple options with you. Let’s cover our 5 top picks for oils to season your carbon steel wok with.
|Rank||Type of Oil||Recommended Brand|
|1.||Peanut Oil||Hollywood Enriched Gold Peanut Oil|
|2.||Refined Coconut Oil||Nutiva Organic Steam-Refined Coconut Oil|
|3.||Avocado Oil||Wickedly Prime Pure Avocado Oil|
|4.||Canola Oil||Healthy Harvest Canola Oil|
|5.||Grapeseed Oil||Pompeian 100% Grapeseed Oil|
1. Hollywood Enriched Gold Peanut Oil
Peanut oil has a high smoke point so it makes it a reliable choice to season a wok. This option comes from Hollywood (the brand) and it’s a great choice! This oil is perfect for all-purpose cooking and really great for frying or stir frying foods as well.
It is high in antioxidants as well as Vitamin E. This oil will add delicate flavor to whatever your heart or stomach has you cooking in the moment!
- High-quality peanut oil
- Rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants
- Reasonably priced for the quality
- Some of the Vitamin E in this oil is synthetic Vitamin E
2. Nutiva Organic Steam-Refined Coconut Oil
Next, we have coconut oil, which is another great option to season a wok. This also has a high smoke point and will have your wok prepped and ready in no time!
This is an organic superfood oil. It has all-natural flavors with no additives or GMOs that you have to worry about.
This company also contributes 1% of all sales to sustainable agriculture programs. Since it is steam-refined, it does not have a coconut flavor to it.
There are no chemicals used in any way and you can easily cook with temperatures up to 400 degrees.
- Organic and natural ingredients
- Donates to sustainable agriculture
- Available in different size options
- Hardens to a solid at cool or room temperature so you may need to plan for melting purposes
3. Wickedly Prime Pure Avocado Oil
Next on the menu is avocado oil. It’s smooth and works really well for seasoning a wok. Avocado oil does not taste like avocados but it is a healthier oil option.
This particular brand is expeller pressed and can easily handle heat up to 450 degrees.
This oil is sourced solely from avocados. It is completely gluten-free and is certified as such. It is also non-GMO verified.
The company offers a satisfaction guarantee. Their quality is exceptional and the price is reasonable for the product as well.
- Company offers a 1-year satisfaction guarantee
- Handles heat up to 450 degrees
- 100% sourced from avocados
- The oil is pretty clear in color and is flavorless as well
4. Healthy Harvest Canola Oil
Canola oil is another awesome option. If you’re going to purchase canola oil, you might as well purchase this bulk jug because it’s a “healthy” oil and a versatile oil that you can use for just about any oil needs you might have!
You can also purchase this same option in a smaller bottle if you prefer.
This oil’s motto is “food with integrity, from soil to plate” and they stand behind that claim it seems.
This is considered a gourmet canola oil. It is made in the USA. It is rich with antioxidants and really great for high temperatures. Many people use this oil for things like frying turkeys.
- Natural ingredients that are reliably sourced
- Rich with antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids
- Made in the USA
- Some who purchase online receive damaged bottles
5. Pompeian 100% Grapeseed Oil
Pompeian is a well-known oil company that always sources their ingredients from the most reliable sources.
Grapeseed oil is another oil with a high smoke point, in fact, it is one of the highest out there.
This oil is made from the seeds of wine grapes and it is imported from France. This company has been making oil since 1906, so well over a century.
This is a non-GMO oil that is rich in Vitamin E. It is all-natural with no additional worrisome ingredients.
- 100% grapeseed oil
- Designed for high heat usage
- Rich in Vitamin E
- Many online purchasers have found they receive damaged bottles or missing caps
We hope you find this guide to the 5 best oils for seasoning a wok to be helpful for the cause. We have some related questions to share with some additional information that could be useful as well.
Can You Season a Wok with Olive Oil?
You technically could season a wok with olive oil but we really don’t recommend it. If you do, it could turn into a disaster. The oil could burn and you could be smoked out of the kitchen.
Olive oil has one of the lowest smoke points. It is best to use an oil with a high smoke point for this process.
Can You Use a Wok Without Seasoning It?
The technical answer to this question is yes. There are many people who don’t season their woks.
However, it is best if you do season it. It helps to prepare the surface for the heat and prevent things like sticking that can become a substantial issue.
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