Reader question: Anyone have trouble with the oven rack sagging under the weight of the pot? Is there a fix for that? ~ Molly S., Florida
Molly- I have never had the problem with the oven rack sagging under the weight of my full Dutch oven, but then again, I haven’t ever created a Glorious One-Pot Meal with larger than a 5 1/2-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Even my toaster oven‘s rack does not sag under the weight of a full 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven. When I teach cooking classes at The Seasoned Chef, we often have up to five or six 2-quart Dutch ovens on one rack without a problem.
If your oven rack is sagging, you may want to contact the oven manufacturer. Oven racks are made out of very strong steel and should never sag. I can’t imagine how large and heavy your Dutch oven must be to have this effect… I imagine it must be too heavy to lift easily when filled with food! Not to mention how long it would take to cook a huge pot of food in this method…
Other than that, I would recommend using two smaller Dutch ovens when cooking for groups larger than 6. For a family of ten who had this question for me I recommended they purchase two 5-quart Dutch ovens, assemble them simultaneously, and cook them together in the oven for about an hour.