Didn't inherit your own deep black, shiny cast-iron skillet and need to season your store bought one? It's easy. Wash it thoroughly to remove any foreign substances used in shipping/packing. Dry completely and coat the entire surface of your new skillet with solid vegetable shortening. Now place it in a 350F oven for an hour. The iron will absorb the oil creating a natural nonstick surface. The gray pan will first darken to a streaky caramel and then blacken over time. Many cooks use a small version of these skillets to make their crisp edged cornbread. The dark nonstick surface is perfect for frying, searing, and sautéeing but acidic tomato or wine sauces should be avoided.