What is the best kind of oil to use to season your cast iron skillet? I've always used plain old vegetable oil. But I have been wondering lately if I should be using something else. Is there a better choice?
If you use your pot regularly like we do. Use what ever you have it wont matter. Just warm the pot on the stove and wipe any oil in it till ya use it again in a few days. You are not seasoning the pot just protecting it till next use. If you live in a dry clomate ya dont even need to do that. The problem is when ya don't use them often. Many rich oils will rancid in the pot in the cabinet and give ya food a funky taste the next time you use it. For pots like my 20 gallon black iron jumbalaya pot that I use 3 or 4 times a year I warm dry and wipe it down with food grade mineral oil the stuff butchers use on their blocks. It is taste less and will not go rancid even after 3 or 4 months in a shed. For regularly used pots in the kitchen it dont really matter what ya use you gonna be using it again before the oil coating can go rancid.
I use canola oil and use the pan as often as I can. A few times I didn't season but it was winter and the house is pretty dry, nothing happened to it. It's the best pan for frying steaks and chicken, even on the grill.
My Mom used cast iron pots and pans a lot both on the grill and the stove top as well as the oven. She always dried them over a burner, then rubbed them with shortening and put them back in a hot oven for a bit.
My grandma used shortening, too. Her cast iron stuff lasted forever. Even her cornbread skillet popped the cornbread right out, with nothing stuck on. It can be hard to get the cornbread wedges out from those slots.