Those of us who were not lucky enough to have that well seasoned cast iron skillet passed down to us from a generation of experienced family cooks need not be afraid to buy a new one and season it ourselves. Here’s how to do it. Wipe the skillet with a thin coat of vegetable shortening. Don’t use butter or margarine. Using a cloth or paper towel, cover entire surface. Put the skillet in a 300 to 350 oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and dry with a paper towel. Use only mild detergents to clean and never use a scouring pad. Wipe it with vegetable shortening after each use and cleaning before storing. The well seasoned skillet will turn black and develop a thin crust that will seal the surface of the iron and prevent rust or sticking.