The beauty of buying a pre-seasoned skillet is you’ve been given a head start—but you still must work to get the pan to a truly smooth, teflon-like base. Though it’ll happen in time the more you cook with it, you can help along the process. With a new pan, wash it with warm, soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush. Rinse and thoroughly dry before pouring a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil or melted shortening into it. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to rub around the entire skillet. Then place the skillet upside down on the oven’s center rack and bake for an hour (with foil on the rack below to catch drips). This process, known as seasoning, is what will help your cast iron pan to last for years and impart flavor to your food. Voila—you’re on your way!