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Oct 8, 2010 04:40 PM

cast Iron Skillet [moved from General Topics]

How do I prep one for use? Rub it with olive oil?

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  1. I've heard it's best to use shortening or lard to season a skillet.

    Here's a site that explains the method..

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Like dave said, the lard, shortening are great. Any high smoke point oil is good too. Refined olive oil is ok too, but definitely not extra virgin olive oil -- smoke point too low. Use a good oil/fat and season your cookware. There are many websites talk about cookware seasoning.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Anyone in NYC know where to get lard these days? Can't find it anywhere, even at the large grocery chains.

          And by shortening, do you mean regular Crisco/veggie shortening?

          BTW, what amazes me about CH is people's willingness to entertain the exact same questions multiple times, on multiple boards! I think I've seen this question re: CI seasoning raised in at least a dozen other CH boards, and answered thoughtfully and at length, with numerous posts, every time - with never the suggestion that the OP search the boards/prior posts for the answer. . :-)

          1. re: iyc_nyc

            "never the suggestion that the OP search the boards/prior posts for the answer"

            Some other posters do just that. I usually don't because I think everyone's circumstances are a bit different, and some of these older posts can go off tangent on very specific things.

            As for shortening, yeah I have heard of using Crisco, but I have never used it myself, but there is no reason why it won't work. I have used lard and I have used regular cooking corn oil. As for lard, if you really want to, you can buy it online or you should able to buy it from butcher shops from farmer markets. In Philly downtown, there is the famous Reading Terminal Markets. There I have seen the Amish stores sell unrendered lard.


            Now, I know you don't live in Philly. I am merely trying to say that lard can be find at these farmer marekt places. There are commercial lards like Armour Lard which can be found almost at any supermarket:


            However, these are not pure lard, they are hydrogenated lard. If you are going to use Armour Lard for seasoning, you might as well use Crisco.

            1. re: iyc_nyc

              you can get leaf lard at "the flying pig" on friday, and I think saturday, at the Union Square farmers market.

              1. re: honeybea

                I actually bought mine from the Flying Pig, except I bought mine online :) The shipping cost was quiet a bit, so I bought a bunch of lard. Ha.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Here one package of rendered lard, one package of unrendered lard:

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Thanks for all this! Off for some lard.

          2. This is contrary to all wisdom, I am sure, but it works for me: I first wash the skillet to get rid of anything weird from the manufacturing process. Then I place it over a gas flame until it is dry. Then I rub it liberally with safflower oil and a paper towel and let it sit until it is cool. Then I rub again with a dry paper towel before storing. I repeat this process whenever the skillet has to be washed in water for whatever reason.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Isolda

              "This is contrary to all wisdom"

              There is nothing you wrote which I consider as wrong, so I don't see anything contradicting to the standard wisdom.

            2. mucho gordo:

              Vegetable oils generally do not season a pan as well as animal oils do. High smoke point is a virtue when cooking, not necessarily a virtue for seasoning.