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Thinking this was carbon steel, I tried to strip it using the canned tomatoes technique, and a lot of elbow grease.

The sides are still black and very hard to clean, but the bottom of the pan reached the metallic color I was expecting. What I didn’t expect though was to discover what looks like a film, either translucent or of a different metallic color, which is starting to strip down although it doesn’t come off easily.

Hopefully the pictures I attached will be good enough.

The main question is "what is this pan made of?", and the bonus question is "can I still restore it to a useable state, or should I just get a new one?"

The whole pan from above. The weird scratches/layers on the bottom are already noticeable at this scale. The whole pan from above. The weird scratches/layers on the bottom are already noticeable at this scale.

A close-up of what's looking weird to me: it looks like a layer on top of the metal is peeling off. A close-up of what's looking weird to me: it looks like a layer on top of the metal is peeling off.

And for reference, this is what the pan's bottom looks like. I don't know if it is clear but it has a blueish tint. And for reference, this is what the pan's bottom looks like. I don't know if it is clear but it has a blueish tint.

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  • Adding this as it might help identification, but I still need help please. I looked up a few things, found an item that looks very similar (I live in Japan), and after translating, it looks like it could be hard nitriding cast iron? Jun 14 at 2:06
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    Do magnets stick to it? If so, do they stick strongly, or poorly?
    – Sneftel
    Jun 14 at 9:24
  • The first and last picture look like my wok (without the effects of the second picture). It is of stainless steel. I got it from a vietnamese cooker who said it was the best type to buy (oil it after use for non chinese dishes) about 10 years ago. (magnets stick strongly to the sides) Jun 14 at 11:26
  • was it maybe some kind of nonstick coating (teflon)?
    – Esther
    Jun 14 at 17:56
  • @Esther that’s one thing I’m pretty sure it’s not! Jun 15 at 8:30

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