I just purchaced a new cast iron pan, it is my first. I was wondering if there is a way to seaon it but without using bacon (I do not eat bacon for the same reasons Jules, in Pulp Fiction, does not eat bacon, but that's beyond the point).

All seasoning instructoins I found on the net, are about using bacon, or lard, or a similar product. What can I season it with?


  • 1
    Using bacon is absolutely not required; you can use shortening, or vegetable oils (flax seed oil is in some ways ideal), or regular oil. It works best with saturated fats, but will still work with other oils.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Sep 21 '13 at 5:45
  • The answer is same as the one provided by SAJ14SAJ
    – Sweet72
    Sep 21 '13 at 15:41
  • 1
    Odd. I've never encountered seasoning instructions involving bacon. Sep 22 '13 at 5:22
  • 1
    There's a distant possibility that there are instructions floating around calling for bacon fat, but not actual bacon. If you tried to season a pan using actual bacon you'd just end up with near-permanently-burnt-on bacon bits and a lot of smoke and/or fire.
    – Aaronut
    Sep 22 '13 at 13:00

Iron cook ware is a great choice. Although it will take a little more effort to keep them in good condition. No need to use plastic tools like you would on Teflon coated pans.

To season, I would use an oil which is not easily damaged by heating. Vegetable oils have the highest smoke points and may be your best choice. If the pan appears to have a coating from the factory, try to remove this. Water, soap and elbow grease should do it. Do not use the dish washer as these soaps can be slightly caustic. Then dry completely in a moderately hot oven. Remove when fully dry and with a paper towel rub on a very thin coating of oil on the inside surfaces. Return to the oven and raise the heat somewhat, but not enough to smoke the oil. Naturally, you should wear oven mitts for the hot pan. Once the oil appears to have adhered to the pan and seems "dry", repeat the process a couple times and you should have a good coating as starting point. The entire first seasoning may take a few hours.

I do not recommend using soap of any kind as this can ruin the seasoning you are trying to achieve.

In time your iron skillets and pots will become "black iron" and not only will is have non-stick character but because they are iron they will heat evenly on either electric or gas stoves.

  • Cast iron is actually a pretty poor heat conductor. The impression that it heats evenly is mostly because it's so heavy and holds so much heat that for short cooking you can't tell the difference. But if you have a burner slightly smaller than the pan, it's very obvious how poorly it conducts heat out to the edges.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 22 '13 at 4:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.