This was my first attempt seasoning a piece of cookware. I used the following approach:

  • I scrubbed the wok down on both sides with a scouring pad and dish soap.

  • I then heated the wok up and moved the wok around the flame until it was blue all over.

  • I then took the wok off the heat, cooled it down with a bit of water, and gave it another scrubbing with the scouring pad and dish soap.

  • I then wiped the wok off with a kitchen towel. I left it for maybe a couple of minutes, and when I came back I noticed rust already
    developing on the wok. I believe this was flash rust.

  • I then heated the wok up on the flame to dry it. I took the wok off
    the flame and let it cool.

  • I then put some oil in the wok and heated it on the flame until it
    was smoking to season it.

After all that, I think I have some flash rust under the seasoning. Please see the red circle in the picture. Is this rust, and does this mean I need to strip it and re-season it? If so, how could I avoid the having this happen again?

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  • 1
    There are a myriad duplicate questions on here regarding seasoning. Looking at your pictures, you barely got one thin layer yet. Scrub it off & start over. Use your oven. A burner ring cannot get enough heat to the top edges of a wok to season properly.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 25, 2021 at 17:42
  • Also, DON"T use a scouring pad! You scratched the heck out of the wok. Not sure it'll recover from that.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 26, 2021 at 6:37
  • @FuzzyChef What do you recommend to use? When you say it won't recover, do you mean the current seasoning would need to be redone, or the entire wok wouldn't recover for some reason? Feb 26, 2021 at 13:46
  • I mean you may have wrecked the wok, unless you want to polish the entire surface using fine-grit sandpaper followed by a butter and steel polishing compound. You really scratched it up. It's possible with hard enough seasoning you'll be able to use it normally, but it's also possible you won't.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 28, 2021 at 5:16
  • Never, ever use scouring pads on anything softer than stainless steel.
    – FuzzyChef
    Feb 28, 2021 at 5:19

1 Answer 1


It's hard to tell with those lighting conditions, but no it does not look like rust. It looks like either another layer of (partial) seasoning or the bare steel that has been partially heat tempered: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Tempering_standards_used_in_blacksmithing.JPG

Rust is a dark burgundy color and red rust in particular will wipe off with a paper towel. If this happens to be red rust, you can just clean it off with soap and a sponge and season over it.

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