Wok being used with fire to cook vegetables

How to Season a Wok

Congratulations, you just bought your first wok! But before you start using it, you’ll want to take a few steps to get it stir-fry ready.

Because food sticks easily to a bare metal cooking surface, the wok must be seasoned before use. The coating known as seasoning is formed by repeatedly layering extremely thin coats of oil on the wok and oxidizing each layer with high heat.

What you’ll need:


  1. Handwash and dry your wok (never put it in the dishwasher!). If it’s new, it may still have some dust and oil from the manufacturer.
  2. Apply a thin layer of vegetable oil.
  3. Heat the wok to 200 to 260 F. This should form a layer of seasoning.
  4. Turn the heat off and wipe the wok down with a thick paper towel. Use a spatula rather than your hand at first since the wok will be hot.
  5. Repeat the process. 

Note that the color of the coating, also known as “patina,” will darken with each use.

Now you’re ready to start cooking!

Check out even more detailed instructions from our friends, The Woks of Life.
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