We’ve all had to deal with stubborn burnt food stuck to our pots. We often have no idea how to go about the process of removing burnt-on food from our cookware. So what do you do now? Throwing it away is never an option. Hot water helps but it’s not the better option either.
Getting stuck food out of a wok can sometimes be challenging, but it is the easiest thing when done correctly. Today, we’re going to share with you easy methods on how to clean a wok with burnt food.
How to Clean a Wok with Burnt Food: Step by Step Guide
1. Scraping off the burnt food
The first thing you want to start doing is to scrape off the burnt food before cleaning the wok. It is never advisable to use any metallic scrubbers on your work. When removing the burnt food from the wok, various kitchen tools can help you do that.
Plastics are a good example of tools that work well without damaging the wok. Use either an old credit/debit card or a plastic spoon to scratch the food debris stuck on the wok. Do this gently until all the stuck food gets removed from all the sides. Any plastic used will not cause damage to the patina.
2. Using natural ingredients to clean
Harsh chemicals are never good for the wok, and it is important to use natural home ingredients. These ingredients are locally available and are also available in almost all kitchens. They are cheaper methods and won’t cause you much money. The finish of the pan needs to get protected at all costs.
One locally available ingredient is baking soda. Put the wok on fire, add water to it, and adjust your heating settings too high. Add one tablespoonful or more baking soda to the water and let the mixture boil for a few seconds before turning off the heat. When it has come to a boil, let it soak for some time, like an hour.
Alternatively, if you do not intend to spend much time soaking and waiting, you can put the wok on a stove with water and let it boil. When the water has reached its boiling point, take the wok off the fire and add a tablespoonful of baking soda. Let it fizz for some time, and then wash it normally.
Other than baking soda, another effective natural ingredient is vinegar. You will need a cup of vinegar for this process. You can combine baking soda with vinegar to make the stains come out faster.
3. Cleaning the wok
After soaking the wok for a while, it is time to get it sparkling clean for your next cooking. It will take much of your time waiting for the soaking process to finish, but it is worth the wait. Stubborn burnt food will need additional time to get everything cleaned. Soaking helps loosen the debris stuck on the wok and makes it easier to wash.
Use a sponge and soap to finish up the cleaning process. It is better to wash the wok when it’s hot to make the stains come out with ease. You can consider using a soft sponge or a scrubbing sponge, depending on the stains’ stubbornness.
Avoid scrubbing too hard as it can cause damage to the patina. The coating is important if it stays intact. It is what makes the pot non-stick and prevents rusting. Please scrub it tenderly and rinse the entire surface of the wok until it’s free from all the burnt food.
Clean and rinse the wok every time with hot water taking extra precautions to avoid getting yourself burnt. When scrubbing gets done, and the wok looks sparkling clean, please give it a nice wipe. Take dry paper towels or dry kitchen cloth to remove excess water.
Read more: How to Clean A Rusted Carbon Steel Wok
4. Season the wok
A clean wok will remain clean only when it’s properly taken care of and stored properly. Leaving the wok unseasoned will shorten its life and will constantly keep you scrubbing every time. It will lose its non-stick surface. You will have to deal with stuck food constantly and make it prone to rusting as well.
How to season a wok
To season a wok, you will need vegetable cooking oil. Seasoning after every use is advisable as a way of proper maintenance.
Take your already wiped wok and place it on fire. Turn on the heat on high heat to remove any remaining water. The excess water will evaporate when the wok gets exposed to heat. Let the wok catch heat until it looks smoky hot. Add a spoonful or two of vegetable oil of your choice. Spread the oil on the entire surface using dry paper towels or a brush.
Wipe off the excess vegetable oil and let the wok heat to its smoking point. To get a thin layer, you will need to repeat the process a few more times. When you finish seasoning, let the wok cool down, and it is now ready for the next cooking process. Ensure you store it in a good place if you do not intend to use it immediately. A regularly seasoned wok stays non-stick for a longer time.
5. Using steel wool for stubborn stains
This is the best option to try and remove burnt food off the wok. But in cases where scrubbing the food particles with a sponge doesn’t work, you can consider steel wool. You will need a good amount of steel wool depending on the burn and some soap. Follow the same process of drying and seasoning after cleaning it with steel wool.
The above cleaning methods will help you remove stains from a wok of any material. The process is simple, and it can be a routine whenever you get food stuck on the wok. Heating the wok eases the cleaning and saves you time from scrubbing. Burnt food on a wok should be the reason your cooking experience gets ruined. The next time you accidentally let your food burn, you don’t need to throw it away or buy a new one.