Do Frying Pans Rust? Which Pan Rusts and Which Not?
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Do Frying Pans Rust? Which Pan Rusts and Which Not?

Feb. 22, 2022


If you are an expert in Asian cooking, you most likely have a pot. Pots are very handy cookware for those who cook Chinese and Asian food regularly. They are durable, versatile and low-maintenance. However, one of the concerns you may have is whether your wok will rust. So, do frying pans rust?

Yes, some frying pans will rust. Cast iron or carbon steel frying pans will rust. However, aluminum or stainless steel will not rust.

Why does it rust?

Traditional frying pans are made of steel or iron. These materials are porous and prone to rusting. If you don't take good care of them, they will rust.

Rust forms when metal surfaces are exposed to moisture. If you don't dry your frying pan properly after cleaning, the moisture on the surface will interact with the bare metal and rust will form.

You can remove a small amount of rust. However, if you ignore it, the rust will spread to the metal surface. It will completely damage the frying pan and make it unfit for use. Therefore, you should remove the rust as soon as it forms to save your frying pan.

fry pan

Three-legged Outdoor Cooking Fry Pan

Cast Iron Pots

Cast iron is a porous material. When you expose this metal to water, moisture can seep into the metal and create rust. Fortunately, you can prevent moisture from entering the metal by properly seasoning your frying pan.

Whenever you use your wok, be sure to wash and clean it thoroughly. Wipe it dry without leaving any moisture behind. Then, apply a coat of oil to the surface. This will keep it well-seasoned and prevent rusting.

A well-seasoned frying pan will produce a naturally non-stick pan. This not only makes cooking and cleaning easy, but also produces a special flavor that other types of pans cannot produce.


Carbon Steel Pots

Carbon steel is also a popular choice, as it is traditionally used to make frying pans. Carbon steel frying pans are ideal for cooking at high temperatures, and they impart a characteristic smoky flavor to ingredients.

However, carbon steel is porous. Therefore, if it is not properly seasoned, it will rust. You can season a carbon steel frying pan in the same way as a cast iron frying pan.

Proper care and careful handling will extend the life of these frying pans. They will be a valuable addition to your kitchen and will serve you for decades.

Cast Iron Pan

Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Pan

Non-Stick and Stainless Steel Pots

Now, if you don't want to season or carefully dry your frying pan after each use, choose a non-stick or stainless steel frying pan.

Non-stick frying pans have a protective Teflon coating that protects the bottom metal surface. This coating is non-porous. Therefore, even when exposed to moisture or water, the frying pan will not be affected. In the case of stainless steel, this material is inert. It does not react with water and maintains its shiny, glossy appearance.

Freedom from moisture enhances the appeal of non-stick and stainless steel frying pans. These woks do not produce the smoky smell characteristic of "woks" or traditional Asian recipes.

fry pan

How to remove rust

To remove rust from a wok, you will need a steel wool pad. Apply detergent to the steel wool pad and apply it continuously to the rusted area. The newly formed rust will come off within a few minutes. However, if the surface is extensively affected, more elbow grease will be needed.

Once the surface of the frying pan is smooth and free of rust, run fine sandpaper over the area. This will smooth it out.

Next, wash the frying pan thoroughly with hot soapy water to remove all traces of rust. Then, wipe dry thoroughly. Remember, water is the main culprit of rust. So, make sure there is no moisture on the pan. If you can't dry it thoroughly with a rag, you can heat the frying pan to remove any remaining moisture.

When the pan is completely dry, season the surface with oil. It will seal the pores and protect your frying pan from moisture in the environment. Over time, it will also improve the quality of the wok and form a natural non-stick protective layer.


If you are looking for high quality frying pans, frying pans, or pans, please send us a message to get a quote. Or visit GAODING website to see more.

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