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How do I clean my cast iron le creuset wok? Also, it's not being non-sticky :(

asked by addybhandari about 5 years ago
6 answers 13694 views
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added about 5 years ago

The best advice I can give you was given to me by a man who does pre-Revolutionary War reenacting as a cook. He uses nothing but cast iron, and he uses it a lot--large pieces of cast iron cookware. Anyway, when I mentioned to him that I never soak my cast iron or use soap on it, he asked me why. I replied, "Well, I don't want to ruin the seasoning on it." He laughed and told me that not only does he soak his cast iron overnight after using it, but he also uses soap and, sometimes, steel wool. Which, after baking a sticky apple cobbler in a Dutch oven, I can totally understand.
He claims that once you've seasoned your cast iron well, it can handle being washed with soap. Of course, I don't think you'd want to scour it every time you use it, but if you have a big mess or something that's really stuck on, I wouldn't be afraid to soak and/or wash with soap. The seasoning method given by biggreencookbook is a good one. The only thing I would add is that when I get a new cast iron piece, I season it several times over the first couple weeks. I cook everything I can in it, wash it, and season it and repeat that process until it develops a sort of sheen on the surface. I have a feeling that you'll never be able to treat your cast iron like a non-stick pan, but you should be able to roughly approximate it.

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added about 5 years ago

The advice given is excellent, but I'm not sure it applies to your wok. I checked and found this description -- "its inside surface offers a durable black enamel finish (no seasoning required." I believe the cast iron itself is on the inside, and both the outside surfaces are covered in enamel. Un-coated cast iron is rather porous (so it absorbs the oils that give you the 'non-stick' surface. Your enameled surface will have different characteristics, similar to other LeCreuset.
Judging by the enameled cast iron I use (not the wok, though), here's what I would do: soak it first, maybe with baking soda. Use a scrubber which will not harm the surface. When you cook, do not use the highest heat or leave oil heating too long -- it can concentrate and leave a sticky residue.

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added about 5 years ago

I agree with Susan if it has an enamel coating. My wok is only cast iron, no coating. If yours is coated, I would maintain like you would a dutch oven.

petitbleu, I must kindly disagree with you! I am most definitely in the never use soap on cast iron camp, it's what I was always taught! Boiling water has always worked for me, even with hard, stuck on messes! Most of the time I am lucky enough to get away with just a quick swip with a heavy duty paper towel.

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Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Not much of an answer to address the question here, But Cast Iron Wok aren't the best device to use for Asian cooking---I'm sure they do have their place, IMHO.

A good wok is hand hammered steel. Heat control is instant, cast iron by nature retains heat. I know people that love their cast iron woks. But I see them as big heat sinks with little control over heat for that type of cooking. Yes, they are pretty, but a well used thin body wok scares some people with it's grungy character. A good hand-hammered wok is cheap and lasts decades and is 'non stick' after carbon builds up on the inside and outside.

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