Always preheat your skillet for 5-10 minutes on LOW before increasing the heat or adding any food. To test if your skillet is hot enough, flick a few drops of water into it. The water should sizzle and dance.
Do not preheat your skillet on medium or high heat. This is very important and applies not only to cast iron but to your other cookware as well. Very rapid changes in temperature can cause metal to warp. Start at a low temperature setting and go from there.
Preheating your cast iron cookware will also ensure that your food hits a well heated cooking surface, which prevents it from sticking and aids in non-stick cooking.
You'll want to use a little extra oil when cooking in a new skillet for the first 6-10 cooks. This will help build a stronger base of seasoning and prevent your food from sticking as your seasoning builds. Once you've built up your seasoning base, you'll find you will need little to no oil to prevent sticking.
Acidic ingredients like wine, tomato sauce are rough on the seasoning and are best avoided until your seasoning is well established. Contrary to popular belief, bacon is a terrible choice to cook first in a new skillet. Bacon and all other meats are highly acidic and will remove your seasoning. However, don't worry if you lose some seasoning, you can easily touch it up later. Check out our seasoning instructions for more on this.
Use caution when touching the handle of the skillet. Our innovative handle design stays cool longer than others on open heat sources like your stove top or grill, but it will still get hot eventually. If you are cooking in a closed heat source like an oven, a closed grill or over a hot fire, your handle will be hot and you should use adequate hand protection when handling it.