Whether you’re new to cast iron or a longtime fan, there’s one thing everyone always wants to know: how to season these classic pans just right. You’d think there would be a cut-and-dry answer, but the internet is overflowing with somewhat conflicting advice. Coat it in oil and bake it low and slow! Or hot and quick! Or hot and slow! Use vegetable oil or canola oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, or lard! Or just cook up some bacon or fry some chicken in Crisco.
The one thing all of these methods have in common is this — add some fat and cook with the dang thing. Truly that is, in a nutshell, how you season a cast iron skillet. No matter what method or oil you choose to use, the idea is the same: Add oil and heat it.