Are you fed up with non stick woks that don’t last 5 minutes?

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Roughly eighteen months, or so, ago, Bryony Dyer, Dexam's MD, came to see me, doubtless bringing with her ample supplies of cake, as she is wont to do, marvellous girl that she is.

As an aside I’ve a feeling it’s true that the companies that we do the most business with are very often those who’s representatives bring cake with them, sometimes they’ve even made the cake themselves. Is there a connection, I sometimes ask myself, or is it just coincidence. Is it bribery and therefore corruption? Should I allow such practices to exist? Where is the morality in this dilemma? Well, one thing is for sure, the more I talk about it, and the more people in the trade read these emails, the greater the chance of me having my cake and eating it.

And so I asked her to consider making Pre-Seasoned Woks.

The background to the request was in Jeanne’s, and my, battle to thoroughly season one of her uncoated plain steel woks. Bloody awful, about sums up our experience trying to do so, hence my request. So yesterday, in wandering around the shop in search for a subject upon which to expound, I came across the four pre-seasoned woks that Dexam had subsequently introduced a year or so ago.

I can’t talk with any great intelligence about wok cooking because I’ve hardly ever done any, but I seem to understand that for many, a plain uncoated steel wok is where it’s at. And to some degree I can understand that, as I gather that most of the high temperature, fast cooking is done almost entirely in the bottom of the wok, and that the sides are there just to stop the food escaping, and to keep it warm. So, a Steel wok which doesn’t have great heat transmitting qualities, is actually a suitable material, as it stays hot in the bottom and (relatively) cool on the sides.

To my mind, the great benefit of an uncoated wok (or frying pan, pre seasoned or not) is that there is no non-stick coating to get damaged, no non-stick to get burnt off, that will disappoint you, and no non-stick coating that reduces the flavours of the food you’re cooking* and, unlike even the best kept non-stick, will never wear out.

The downside to uncoated woks (or frying pans) is that, to some extent, you need to teach yourself how to cook again, on a surface which can potentially stick. And here is where a Pre-Seasoned surface is so much easier to adapt to, than a virgin steel (or iron or cast-iron)  that will be a bit of a bugger to use when new. Pre seasoning gives you a semi non-stick surface right from the start, and so, is an excellent compromise, between stick and non-stick!

The Dexam woks come in four sizes 10½”, 12” and 14” with conventional flat bottoms. The 13” comes with the original round bottom.

Prices start at £39.50 and go to £59.00.


This weekend you may take 20% off any pre-seasoned wok purchase as I want to encourage their use (as opposed to the more popular non-stick versions). Use code WOK20 when checking out online, or tell us who you are if coming into the shops.

 *caramelisation adds significantly to the taste of any food that is fried. Non-stick coatings dramatically reduce the likelihood of this taking place…hence reduced flavours.


The last thought comes from Keith Richards

“A painter’s got a canvas. The writer’s got reams of empty paper. A musician has silence.”

Keith Richards, quoted in Far Out Magazine


I trust you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Kind regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


1 comment

  • Andrew

    They are great woks and the pre seasoning is an excellent idea.

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