I just got a new wok and realized that I have no idea how to go about seasoning it on my induction cooktop. It's a flat-bottom, carbon steel wok, so I don't have to worry about contact on the bottom, but my concern is how do I get the sides?

The one idea I had was to season the bottom of the pan as normal, and then heat a neutral oil and something like sliced onions until they caramelize or char and push them up the sides to distribute the seasoned oil, then discarding the oil/onions and repeating. I'm not sure how effective this would be, and it seems like it would take a lot of repetitions (5+) and waste a lot of oil (and onions; but oil is harder to dispose of.)

My old wok I seasoned on a gas stove, but where I currently live I don't know anyone who has a gas stove -- most everyone has electric. I don't think seasoning it in the oven like cast iron is an option; I'm pretty sure at least one of the wooden elements isn't detachable.

  • 4
    The oven is absolutely an option - your best, by the sounds of it.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 29, 2021 at 14:59
  • Yeah I'm trying to figure out if possibly i can wrap the wooden elements in tin foil or something to protect them in the oven. Jul 29, 2021 at 15:30
  • Ah… you didn't mention wooden bits. Are they not removable?
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 29, 2021 at 15:35
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    Then maybe see if someone has a good idea for protecting that at 250°C because pushing onoins round it with only the flat base heated isn't going to do the job.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 29, 2021 at 15:59
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    I just realised, a day later, that you already mentioned the wooden bits… maybe I'm getting old. Either that or not enough coffee. My bad ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 31, 2021 at 6:46

1 Answer 1


The idea with the onions is unlikely to work as intended, and you'd be off just as well if you simply kept basting the sides instead.

Your best bet is to season the wok upside down in the oven for the most even seasoning result. The way to protect your wooden handle is to wrap it thoroughly in a wet towel, and wrap that in tin foil. The towel will dissapate the heat and keep your wood from burning, and the tin foil will keep the moisture from escaping for long enough to complete the process (about 20 minutes). Just make sure not to use your fancy new towels!

Also, you should note that a baked wooden handle might look a bit worse, but is still perfectly useable (sometimes even unavoidable in more used woks). Something to keep in mind if you're not bothered about aesthetics too much.

Further reading

  • 1
    I disagree a bit about protecting wooden handle. The best way, and possible in almost all woks with wooden handles sold in my area, would be to unscrew the handle, season wok in the oven with handle removed, and only when it's done attach it again.
    – Mołot
    Jul 30, 2021 at 10:10
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    @Mołot yes, this is obviously the best way to go about it, but in the comments on the question OP mentioned one of the two handles is not detachable.
    – Plutian
    Jul 30, 2021 at 10:15
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    I encourage you to add this option for completeness, because answers are as much for future readers as they are for OP, and it is something OP should do for the one that happens to be detachable.
    – Mołot
    Jul 30, 2021 at 10:17

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