If you have a new wok and it has one or two wooden or bamboo helper handles, you need to season these types of woks with a specific a method in order to preserve the wood or bamboo.
The handles have to be:
- removed, if seasoning in an oven;
- covered with wet towels and foil, if they cannot be removed; or
- left uncovered, if seasoning on top of the stove or on a wok burner.
Both wooden or bamboo handles must be protected during the seasoning process in order to preserve the color and composition of the handles.
Several years ago I seasoned one of my woks in my oven and did not protect the wooden handles. You can see the results below!
Even though the helper handle is burned, it is still usable. At the time I seasoned this wok, I did not know how to protect the wooden helper handle.
I created a step-by-step method for wrapping your wooden or bamboo wok handles. If you follow the simple instructions below, you will never burn your wok handles.
In the video I first wrapped the wooden handle with wetted paper towels and then covered that with tin foil (sorry–Aluminum foil).
Instead of using paper towels use a small towel instead of paper. Make sure it is wetted and then wrap that around the wood or bamboo handle. On top of that you want to wrap several layers of tin foil. This should protect the handle from drying out or from burning.
If you have a wooden or bamboo handle that can be removed…remove it and proceed to season your wok.
If you have a wok burner then I would suggest you leave the handle on and season your wok as I demonstrate in the video below.
If you do not have a wok burner for seasoning and for cooking with then I would like to suggest you take a serious look at this wok. There are more expensive wok burners but the one below should last you years.