Emeril Preseasoned Cast Iron Skillet
I just got one of these cheap, and, reading various posts about what to do to season a cast-iron pan, I'm a bit confused as to what to do.
The directions just say to wash initially with warm water and a little soap, wipe some vegetable oil on it (I used Canola), and it's good to go.
Looking a little online, I see some people recommend sanding off the preseasoning? Or, I should do a round or two of seasoning w/ lard or crisco in the oven (would canola be ok?)? Or, I should just cook up a few batches of bacon (happy to do that!), and good to go from there?
I'm mostly with SQHD: when you are in the process of building up a seasoning, after each use of the skillet, as soon as the skillet has cooled down enough to allow you to do so, wipe off as much of the remaining oil with a rag or paper towel as you possibly can. If any oil can come off on a paper towel, then it is not a part of the seasoning, anyway; it is just leftover food, sitting on the surface, awaiting rancidness. When you cook oily food on cast iron, a certain amount of the oil does bond to the surface and become seasoning; but if you can wipe it off with a towel, it has not bonded.
On the other hand, I am in the camp that a round (one round) of seasoning in the oven is a good thing for a new piece of cast iron, "preseasoned" or not. You just have to make sure that you have minimal oil on the skillet when you put it in the oven, because if there is enough oil to form a pool somewhere on the surface, then it will turn to gum, which is anti-seasoning. Do not pour the oil into the skillet directly, but wipe the skillet LIGHTLY with an oil-soaked rag or paper towel (our preference for the oil to use is light amber sesame oil, like Mitoku "virgin"); and then put the skillet in the oven, upside down to minimize pooling, at 325° for two hours minimum, then turn off the oven without opening the oven door and let the skillet cool for another couple of hours.
A wonderful trick that eliminates any kitchen heat in the Spring/Summer and allows you to cook something on the grill is... use the grill. It's virtually an outdoor oven and aside from the heat, you also don't have to worry about smoking oil smell filling up your house for a couple days.
Because for some posters - such as myself (Manhattan apartment) - that isn't an option. I struggle with the heat issue in the summer, and have found that using a burner to cook something radiates less heat than using the oven. I often try to cook things in the morning and then serve them at room temp for dinner.
For the OP - I don't have a preseasoned one, but I think that if you keep making bacon in it and then wiping it out well, you'll be good to go. Mine non-preseasoned one is practically non stick at this point.
Do NOT sand off any pre-seasoning. Also, I would strongly advise against seasoning your pan again. It's just not necessary.
The best advice and the next step is simply to start using this pan as it is. Cook some bacon, cook some cornbread, brown some sausage and just use it.
Too many people see cast iron seasoning as an extremely complex, weekend-long extravaganza with several "coats" of seasoning. Those are the same people that come back to these boards a couple days later and wonder why their seasoning is peeling off. In fact, it is just the opposite. It is super easy, but it takes time... I recommend seasoning ONCE (which has already been done for you) and then cook with it. The best and the strongest seasoning is built up very slowly, over time. It may take months before you get it to where you feel comfortable with it, but your patience will be rewarded.
The pre-seasoning is more than enough to start your journey.