I love my well-worn, patinated wok but have been looking for a pan that will allow me to sear ad toss around lots of food at high heat. The six-inch wide wok bottom isn’t efficient for certain things. I have cast-iron skillets but they’re heavy. In fact, last week while cooking at my mom’s house, I used her deep cast-iron skillet to stir-fry and in between dishes, running back and forth from the stove to the sink with an 8-pound skillet was no fun.
After much consideration, I settled on an 11-inch carbon steel skillet which weighs about 4 pounds. (My wok weighs roughly the same.) The M’steel pan by Mauviel had to be washed and seasoned. I’ve seasoned woks before and knew that you have to first remove the factory coating of oil – or in the case of the French skillet I bought, a coating of beeswax. That wasn’t easy. Instructions called for “very hot” water so I boiled a kettle of water and poured it all over the skillet. Grey stuff came off. I scrubbed the skillet with dish soap and hot water, as Mauviel suggested. I also singed my fingertips in the process. Oh well. Most of the wax was removed.
Then it was on to seasoning the skillet to coat the interior with a thin coating of oil. The Mauviel instructions were just for using a light film of oil and heating it for 5 minutes. Cool, wipe clean with paper towel then repeat. Curiosity got me going and I also watched a YouTube video from Vollrath, a kitchen product maker.