I recently purchased a cast iron wok made in China. It is manufactured in a way that is supposedly very common in China. However, I'm puzzled by the differences between this cast iron wok and other cast iron cookware I've seen.

My wok is not pre-seasoned, but it has a very black color in the interior. Further, I don't think the black material is just a coating, because I rubbed a spot with a green Scotch-Brite scouring pad and it didn't remove the black material. My wok is also much thinner than other cast iron cookware. (see below)

enter image description here

On the other hand, the cast iron that I'm used to always has a grey color when it is unseasoned. (see below)

raw cast iron

Why is my cast iron wok black despite being unseasoned? And why does it have what resembles cracks and brush strokes?

Update: if it helps, here is a link to the exact product description.

  • 1
    I'm pretty sure that your wok does have a coating on it, because I've seen unseasoned cast-iron woks and they are iron-grey. – FuzzyChef Apr 23 '19 at 5:02
  • 2
    The top picture doesn't look like cast iron at all, it looks like pressed steel. How certain are you that it actually is cast iron? Does it flex at all if you squeeze the rim? – Tetsujin Apr 23 '19 at 6:47
  • 4
    @Johannes_B the same way knives are: it’s kitchen equipment and the user wants to understand what exactly they are dealing with here. – Stephie Apr 23 '19 at 14:57
  • 5
    if it flexes at all, it's not cast iron - it's mild steel, or carbon steel. Most woks are. To protect it, it will have some sort of industrial grease [perhaps solidified] or a removable painted-type layer. From the photo, I cannot tell what that is coated with - almost looks like pale grey paint... or is that some odd trick of the light?? – Tetsujin Apr 23 '19 at 15:10
  • 2
    It certainly looks like wrought steel. And at 3# it must be . "Black Iron" is not specific , it could refer to steel or cast iron. – blacksmith37 Apr 23 '19 at 15:13

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