Q. Do you know of any data describing which curing methods produce the best results?
A.: A researcher in Puerto Rico recently compared the effects of several different curing methods by casting slabs, coring them, and testing the cores in compression at different ages. Core strengths were compared with the strengths of standard cylinders moist cured for 28 days.
The conclusion: The most important factor affecting the strength of concrete at any time is the initial curing condition. Ponding water on the surface was found to be the best initial curing method, followed by intermittent wetting, covering with plastic sheets, and spraying with a curing compound.
R. Huyke-Luigi, "Strength of Concrete Cured Under Various Conditions in Tropical Climates," Durable Concrete in Hot Climates, ACI SP-139, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Mich., 1993, pp. 157-183.