I sprayed PAM inside & out when it was new, wiped it down with a paper towel, then lit it up. I have an offset so I put coals in both the firebox and the cooking chamber to make sure the thing got good and hot. Now I just give it some PAM on the outside after each cook, and once in a while I'll wipe it down with some rust remover/protectant. I almost never see rust anymore, except occasionally a hint under the firebox or right at the base of the feet (they get more exposed to weather). I use a steel brush to scrape off any rust and then hit with the rust remover. Never tried the lard trick, but PAM has been working great.