I have a carbon steel wok but it became rusty recently when I forgot something in it for a day.

I decided to scrub everything off and re-season it. The problem is I can't get the center of the wok to be seasoned. No matter how much oil I add, it burns and disappears leaving the center as bare metal...

My method is applying a very thin layer of oil and making it burn on the gas, then when it's dry (and not seasoned...) I rub more oil. It worked for everywhere except the middle.

Should I scrub off everything again and start over? If not, what should I do?


It sounds to me like you are using too much heat to allow the seasoning process to work, instead the oil is burning off before it can polymerize and form the seasoning layer.

The bits that are already seasoned probably don't need to be re-seasoned; you can add seasoning to the areas where it is not seasoned. You may want to do multiple layers to ensure that the coatings are even across the whole pan.

I suspect that what you need to do, as you have been rubbing thin layers of oil over the surface, but then use a lower heat setting and ensure that the pan is fully heated through over as much of the pan as you can get hot and at constant temperature. One way to do this is to heat it in an oven, rather than over a flame.

  • Wow thanks that makes sense!! Ive stupidly used the highest flame so it gave too much heat to the center! I dont have any oven but i will try tomorrow with lower heat and once again make my whole appartment smell like burnt tire lol – Nat Sep 6 at 22:24
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    See video from Serious Eats, which supports Bob's answer; you'll notice that Daniel moves the wok around in order to avoid concentrating the flame in one spot: youtube.com/watch?v=ndv-uT94BGM – FuzzyChef Sep 7 at 1:06
  • Hi so i tried seasoning it again after removing the old seasoning (with vinegar and baking soda and lot of scrubbing lol) but when i tried to do it again with lower flame here is what happened imgur.com/gallery/9xHfndA i am sur i didnt put too much oil but how come it made drops instead of a layer? Is that the pattern on my towels showing off? Im really confused now... And this bad seasoning didnt last a week (i only cooked greasy meat and vegetables with meat...) – Nat Sep 11 at 10:03
  • Per Bob's answer and my link, you really need to move the wok around to get it evenly heated. – FuzzyChef Sep 11 at 23:28

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