I just purchased my first cast-iron skillet, a 40-year-old 8-incher, off of ebay. It seems to have pretty good season on it, which is the reason I went antique.
I've long anticipated owning one of these beauties, but I must admit I'm a bit apprehensive—what if I screw up that better-than-teflon finish? I'm currently in the process of my first seasoning: rubbing it with a thin coat of vegitable oil and putting it upside-down in a 350 ̊F oven for an hour, then turning off the oven and leaving the pan in there as it cools. This is just a technique I found on the internet. Is it a good one?
In general, I want to know about:
-To soap or not to soap?
-Scrubbies: what kind?
-Salt as an abrasive?
-What's the best method?
-What can I make with this skillet that I could not make (as well) with out it? Besides cornbread?
-Are acidic foods okay? How about wet ones like stews?
-Any great cast iron cookbooks out there?
-Any websites/articles/books that will answer all my questions?