Acts like a seasoned wok, but you must work with it!
July 3, 2014
Calling this wok a "pre-seasoned", ready to cook wok isn't really fair, and shame on Taylor & Ng for that. Instead, like most modern woks coming out of Asia (Tawaiin), it is coated with a protective coating of food safe lacquer to prevent rust and damages until you seasoned it and start to protect it. This lacquer protects the steel very well, but can be a challenge to remove, and remove you must before using it, and ti remove the lacquer is almost as much work as seasoning itself.
This wok does offer shortcuts in the seasoning department, but is not really pre-seasoned, per say. Instead the manufacturer heats the steel to a high temperature that causes the wok to form an oxidive film that is blue in color. This film makes the wok safer from rust, and more non-stick after lightly seasoned and used, but it is not traditional seasoning as must of are us to. It will get you to a slippery non-stick wok faster than other avenues--though NO steel wok is ever truly non-stick.
It is however a great shortcut to non-stick properties, so it mimics seasoning very well. It cannot be chipped or flake off, though the blue coloration will fade with usage and as the wok turns more bronze-black all over (which is true seasoning!)
To start the lacquer removal, I recommend boiling water in the wok for 30 minutes, and then scrubbing with a SOS steel wool pad. Some lacquer will still remain, particularly toward the ends, or the top of the wok's bowl. Cover the wok with a film of oil, and then heat the wok, focusing on the ends or the bits of remaining lacquer, until smoking and then scrub with paper towels. Soon the oiled and very hot wok should feel very slippery as you run the towel around in it, and the lacquer is gone at this point. If certain spots feel "sticky" and stop the paper towel from moving, they probably still have lacquer on them and you should focus on these spots, adding more oil as you need it, and scrubbing hard.
Once the lacquer is removed, heat the wok a little and rub oil into the bowl, letting it smoke a bit. Then stir fir a batch or two of green onions and ginger or onions and ginger until charred, throw them away, and VOILA, your wok will be ready to cook with. Keep a thin film of oil on the wok for a few months until it gets a little carbonized (or seasoned as some say).
The blue steel truly makes cooking much easier. This wok requires less work than seasoning a new raw steel wok (that still has to have the lacquer removed), but it still involves some work. It does act like a seasoned wok once you start using it, and offers non-stick advantages normally only seen on more seasoned woks.