how to make stainless steel wok non stick


Why Make Your Stainless Steel Wok Non-Stick?

Stainless steel woks are a versatile tool in the kitchen. They are durable, heat-resistant, and can be used for a wide range of cooking techniques. However, one downside to stainless steel woks is that they are not naturally non-stick. This means that food can stick to the surface, making it difficult to cook certain dishes and clean up afterward. But fear not, as there are various methods to make your stainless steel wok non-stick. In this article, we will explore some effective techniques that will transform your stainless steel wok into a non-stick cooking surface.

Understanding Stainless Steel

Before diving into the methods of making your stainless steel wok non-stick, it's essential to understand the properties of stainless steel. Stainless steel is an alloy made up of iron, chromium, and other metals. The chromium content gives stainless steel its corrosion-resistant properties and makes it an excellent choice for cookware. However, stainless steel alone does not possess non-stick qualities. This is because the surface of stainless steel is relatively rough, allowing food particles to cling to it during the cooking process.

Seasoning Your Stainless Steel Wok

One of the most effective ways to make your stainless steel wok non-stick is by seasoning it. Seasoning creates a thin layer of polymerized oil on the surface of the wok, which acts as a barrier between the food and the steel. This process also helps to fill in the microscopic pores and irregularities on the surface of the stainless steel, making it smoother.

To season your stainless steel wok, start by thoroughly cleaning it with warm soapy water and a soft sponge. Rinse it well and dry it completely. Next, heat the wok over medium heat until it becomes hot. Add a small amount of high-smoke-point oil, such as canola or vegetable oil, to the wok and spread it evenly across the surface using a paper towel or heat-resistant brush. Allow the oil to heat until it starts to smoke, then carefully wipe off any excess oil with a clean cloth or paper towel. Repeat this process several times, allowing each layer of oil to polymerize before adding the next one.

Using High Heat for Preheating

Another method to make your stainless steel wok non-stick is by using high heat during preheating. Preheating your wok on high heat for a few minutes before adding any oil or ingredients helps to create a natural non-stick effect. When the stainless steel wok reaches a high temperature, the metal expands, creating small gaps between the molecules. This expansion allows oil to penetrate these gaps, forming a thin layer that prevents food from sticking.

To preheat your stainless steel wok, place it on the stove over high heat. Allow it to heat until it becomes extremely hot. You can test the heat by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the surface of the wok. If the water evaporates immediately, the wok is ready for use. After preheating, you can proceed to add oil and start cooking your ingredients.

Using the Proper Cooking Technique

Apart from preheating, using the proper cooking technique can also help prevent food from sticking to your stainless steel wok. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Use sufficient oil:

When cooking with a stainless steel wok, it's important to use enough oil to create a non-stick effect. The oil acts as a lubricant between the food and the stainless steel surface, preventing sticking. It's recommended to use oils with high-smoke-points, such as canola, vegetable, or peanut oil.

2. Heat the oil properly:

Before adding the ingredients, heat the oil in the wok until it shimmers. This ensures that the oil is hot enough to create a non-stick effect. Cold oil may cause the food to stick to the surface.

3. Allow the food to sear:

When you first add the ingredients to the wok, avoid moving them around too much. Allow them to sear for a few minutes before tossing or stirring. This searing process helps to create a natural non-stick barrier.

4. Cook in batches:

Overcrowding the wok with too many ingredients can lower the temperature and cause them to release moisture. This moisture can lead to sticking. It's best to cook in batches, ensuring that the wok is not overloaded, and there is enough space between the ingredients.

5. Use the right utensils:

To prevent scratching the surface of your stainless steel wok, use wooden or silicone utensils instead of metal ones. Metal utensils can damage the non-stick barrier and expose the stainless steel surface.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial for keeping your stainless steel wok non-stick. After each use, allow the wok to cool down before rinsing it with warm water and a soft sponge. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, as they can damage the non-stick surface. Instead, use a mild dishwashing detergent and a non-abrasive sponge. If there are stubborn food particles stuck to the wok, you can fill it with warm soapy water and let it soak for a few minutes before rinsing.

To maintain the non-stick effect, it's important not to use harsh cleaning agents or scrubbers that can remove the polymerized oil layer. Additionally, avoid using metal scouring pads or abrasive cleaning tools. Instead, opt for gentle cleaning methods to preserve the non-stick properties of your stainless steel wok.


Transforming your stainless steel wok into a non-stick cooking surface is entirely achievable with the right techniques. Seasoning your wok, preheating it at high heat, using the proper cooking technique, and regularly cleaning and maintaining its non-stick surface will significantly enhance your cooking experience. By following these methods, you can enjoy the benefits of stainless steel cookware while still having a non-stick cooking surface at your disposal. So go ahead, dust off that stainless steel wok, and unleash your culinary skills without the worry of food sticking to the surface. Happy cooking!


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