My cast iron pans get quite a bit of use throughout the year cooking and searing various meats. While none of them have ever seen a drop of soap, and I'm careful to always oil them after each use, the delicate seasoning does wear down over time. This is why a regular cast iron skillet reseasoning is a great way to build that season back up - and that season is what gives cast iron its natural non-stick properties.
Why on January 1? Well, just like replacing smoke detector batteries for Daylight Savings Teime, New Years Day is a good day when I've had the time on my hands to get them all out, throw on a coat of shortening and reseason them in the oven.
This is a super easy process
- Preheat your oven to 350 and place a lining of heavy duty aluminium foil at the bottom
- Make sure the pans are all nice and clean. Give them a rinse in hot water and a scrub in kosher salt if you aren't sure
- Apply a thin layer of shortening to each pan. Be sure to wipe off any excess as it'll goo up in the oven and leave a sticky residue
- Place the pans upside-down in the oven for 1 hour