How to Tame a Smoky Wok

Six reasons why your cast iron wok gets smoky and how to tame it! I’m only referring to the lightweight cast iron woks that folks have purchased from me, so you’ll know what to do. No cause for alarm.

Here are possible reasons why smoking can happen…
1.  fermented ingredients like tamari when it touches the wok and caramelizes
2.  anything that’s sweet like onions can caramelize
3.  any food particles that are stuck to your wok if not washed properly
4.  if you use oil that can’t handle high smoke point (another post to discuss oils) but coconut oil is one that is supposed to handle high heat but can get smoky, turn it down a bit!
5.  if you use a wok whose material is not a good conductor of heat
6.  if you use teflon (NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER use on high heat! I’ll post something about this horrible material in another post!)


I only took this photo to show what a smoky wok looks like. That’s coconut oil which is supposed to handle high heat but I would turn down your heat a bit!

When nos.1-3 happens, they caramelize and or harden and forms a crust. If you don’t scrub off properly and cook with the crust stuck to your wok, it will make your wok smoky and it will form a thicker and thicker crust. This makes it difficult for the heat to reach your food. So, please scrub off any hardened crusts completely. Dry off with paper towels and then just zing on your stove on medium heat to dry off completely.

Check out my short 2:34 minute video that shows you exactly how to clean the crust and restore your cast iron wok! It’s easy and takes a few minutes. Please do it so you’ll have a superb experience when cooking.

For no.4) I’ll be posting oils good for high heat cooking and their temperature chart soon.

I hope this helps, let me know in comments if you have any questions, had other smoky incidents or zing me an email.

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