I followed the cleaning instructions for my carbon steel wok, but the bottom still looks brown/burnt (not rust). Is that ok?
The bottom on the outside or the inside? If one the outside, don't worry about it. If on the inside, it should develop a brownish coating. Google images for 'seasoned wok', and there should be some pics to compare.
If you have twitter, follow and talk to StirFryGrace. She is a Wok Goddess and enthusiast. I just listened to her speak and the bottom of a wok can take on different colors based upon a lot of varying things. Also suggested is to youtube Wok Facial which should cover seasoning/reseasoning your wok. But StirFryGrace is a Wok Doc.
Check youtube - There is this amazing video of a chef in a chinese restaurant seasoning a new wok. I think your pan is just not finished yet!
A good black bottom on a wok is great. The inside should also be well carbonized, so it's seasoned and 'non-stick'--that can take months to achieve. Don't get so picky about cleaning a wok..just removing the bits and scrubbing with water and salt--like a cast iron pan for the interior, and giving it light coating of oil for storage. A black bottom on a wok also helps with heat transfer.
A good wok looks like hell, and cooks like heaven.
Hey, isn't this the question that was posted by the staff at NPR for that article on the F52 Hotline?