How-to Care For A Cast-Iron Skillet

Keeping tools in top shape keeps 'em at the ready. Cast-iron skillets conduct heat so food cooks uniformly. With use, you may notice food sticking - it's time to reseason the pan. Seasoning is the process of adhering oil to the surface to create a nonstick coating. New pans are factory-seasoned, but here's how to reseason an older pan:

1) Line the lower oven rack with aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Scrub the pan with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush to remove any rust.

3) Towel-dry and apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to the entire pan - outside and handle included.

4) Place on top oven rack, upside down; bake for 1 hour.

5) Turn off the oven and leave the pan inside to cool. Now you're ready to cook.

6) For daily cleaning, rinse with hot water, using a stiff nylon brush to remove residue. Avoid dish soap, it removes seasoning. And don't submerge a hot pan in cold water; it can crack. Towel-dry and apply a light coat of oil while the pan is warm.