Avoid the Smell and Smoke - Season a Wok on the BBQ

Picture of Avoid the Smell and Smoke - Season a Wok on the BBQ
Seasoning a wok is an unavoidably smelly and smokey process that involves intentionally heating an oil or fat past its smoke point to deposit several sturdy layers of carbon based black patina upon the bare steel wok surface.  Most directions that tell folks how to season their wok start off with big capital letters that say "OPEN THE WINDOW" and "TURN ON THE FAN".

I try to avoid filling my house with burnt oil aroma and so I've made the switch to seasoning all of my cast iron and woks on my BBQ outside in the backyard.  It's a much more pleasant process, doesn't heat up my whole house, and more importantly, doesn't make my curtains smell like McDonalds.

Check out my Best Way to Season Cast Iron Instructable which promotes the use of flax seed oil for a deeper, stronger, longer lasting seasoning for the background on my oil/fat selection for pan seasoning.
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Step 1: Remove Grill Grates

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Remove any grill grates or heat diffusing bars from the BBQ so that there is nothing between you and the gas jets.

If your wok is brand new, wash it using soap and water to remove the machining oil that it's likely been coated in to prevent rust during shipping.  This is the last time soap should touch your wok.

Step 2: Set Gas to High

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Light the grill and turn the gas on high.  Wait a few minutes to let the grill heat up.

Step 3: Place the Wok Directly Over the Flame

Picture of Place the Wok Directly Over the Flame
Situate the wok so it is directly over the flames.  My gas grill only has two rows of jets - if your grill has 3, even better.
Same deal for cast iron skillets? Also, I'm assuming the pork lard is for a wok, or at least optional? Just trying to keep it simple...
I'm having to completely grind down my skillets to get some rust off and was going to start off with some canola oil.
Any thoughts?
Thanks for your time and post.
noahw (author)  projectbronco1 year ago
Just so happens I've got an Instructable for skillets too...
Thanks, I appreciate it!
noahw (author) 2 years ago
Nice work noahw - is that a free BBQ that you are seasoning your wok with?