HOW TO CURE A CAST IRON SKILLET
Cast-iron skillets are incredibly versatile and a must-have in the kitchen. According to Cook’s Illustrated, cast-iron skillets can be used for frying, searing or baking, and they retain heat better than other types of cookware. Curing, or seasoning, your skillet is the key to preventing rust and creating a natural nonstick finish. With proper use and regular seasoning, a cast-iron skillet can last for decades. Many cast-iron skillets are now sold pre-seasoned, but you should still know how to cure your skillet to keep it looking and cooking like new.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash your cast-iron skillet with warm water and liquid dishwashing soap. You should normally never use dishwashing soap on your skillet; the only time it is appropriate is right before you cure it.
Dry the skillet well with a clean dish towel.
Put 1 to 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil or shortening into the skillet and rub it evenly around the surface, using a dry paper towel. Only a thin layer of oil is needed.
Place the skillet upside-down in the oven and place a layer of aluminium foil underneath to catch any oil. Set your timer for 1 hour.
Turn off the oven and let your skillet cool in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the skillet and lightly wipe the surface with a clean paper towel to remove any excess oil.
Use your skillet for all types of cooking now that is properly cured. After each use, rinse the skillet with warm water and remove any food particles with a sponge or scrub brush. Do not use soap. Dry the skillet and then coat it lightly with cooking spray.
Repeat the curing process anytime your skillet starts looking dull or dry.
Some recipes require that you start preparing them on the stove, then finish the cooking in the oven. An ovenproof skillet makes this cooking technique simple since you don’t have to transfer the food from one dish to another. Choose an ovenproof skillet that is best suited to the types of dishes you like to prepare.
Ovenproof skillets can be made of a wide variety of materials, such as cast iron, copper, aluminum or a combination of different materials. Ovenproof skillets are typically labeled as such when you purchase them and will likely say something like "ovenproof to 425 degrees" or "safe for broiling."