A step-by-step for Anna, my cousin John’s lovely bride. Eat well and be happy!
First, you’ll want to clean them well with very hot water and soap, scouring out any dust and debris. This will be the last time you use soap on them. If there is lots of crusted gunk, you can put them in your oven and use the self-cleaning setting to not only clean the oven, but the pans! If the cooking surface isn’t smooth, you will want to polish it smooth with steel wool or sandpaper. No need to do the whole pan, just the inner area. If you do this step, clean the pan after to remove any grit.
Take a paper towel, dip up a dab of crisco on your fingertips (about a half teaspoonful, it doesn’t take much) and rub it all over the pan. Cover the inside, out, and handle with a thin coat of grease.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (any hotter and the crisco may smoke, not a desirable result) and put the pans in. They should be upside down, with a layer of aluminum foil under them to catch any excess oil. Turn off the oven after fifteen minutes and allow to cool with the pans inside. This is a great thing to do just before bedtime, so you can just leave them in there overnight.
Fry up something delicious! the black, satiny seasoning will not stick. When you’re done using it, you can either simply wipe it clean, or give it a quick scour under hot water (no soap!) and wipe it dry. If you cook something like a casserole in the dutch overn and it did stick (acid foods will do that) scour and dry, and wipe with a little oil on a paper towel to preserve the seasoning.