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FAQ Category: Questions About Glorious One-Pot Meals

What is the difference between a seasoned and an enameled cast iron Dutch oven?

Seasoned cast iron is so-called because it is raw cast iron that must be “seasoned” before being used to cook food. Seasoning is accomplished by baking a layer of fat or oil onto the cooking surface inside a very hot oven until it is coated in a thick layer.

Once properly seasoned, a cast iron pan will be non-stick as long as it is properly cared for, including:

  • Never using soap to clean it.
  • Drying it completely after each use.
  • Enameled cast iron is raw cast iron that has been coated with enamel and fired at extremely high temperatures to essentially bake the colored coating onto the pot. This enamel shell enables the cast iron pot inside to be thinner, and thus lighter weight — a benefit when you are lifting a full pot into and out of a hot oven!

    Enameled cast iron pots have other benefits, including:

  • Won’t rust.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Can be cleaned with dish soap and a sponge.
  • Both types of cast iron Dutch ovens will work to prepare Glorious One-Pot Meals.

    Be aware: do not put your hot cast iron pot into cold water as it will crack!

    How are Glorious One-Pot Meal recipes different than other recipes I know?

    Unique: This is a totally revolutionary method of cooking. Find out what makes it so different.

    Quick: Most recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare and need only 30-45 minutes to bake.

    Easy: Even novice cooks can make successful Glorious One-Pot Meals.

    Healthy: Each Glorious One-Pot Meal is low in fat and high in nutrition.

    Tasty: The infusion cooking method of Glorious One-Pot Meals packs each ingredient with flavor without any disintegration. Each food emerges whole and intact from the pot to your mouth. Expect firm and succulent vegetables, tender and flaky fish, and light and fluffy grains that burst with flavor.

    Flexible: Any Glorious One-Pot Meal recipe can be adapted to meet any dietary requirement.

    Convenient: Glorious One-Pot Meals accept fresh, frozen, dried and canned foods for the ultimate in convenience.

    Exciting: Glorious One-Pot Meal recipes span the globe of cuisines and flavors to please even the most gourmet palates.

    Attractive: With an emphasis on variety, each Glorious One-Pot Meal boasts a rainbow of colorful vegetables to make an attractive plate.

    What type of pot do I need to prepare Glorious One-Pot Meals?

    Every official Glorious One-Pot Meal recipe by Elizabeth Yarnell is designed to bake in a 2-quart cast iron Dutch oven and feed 2 adults.

    Increasing the recipe is easy if you remember the one-quart-per-person rule of Dutch ovens used for Glorious Pot Meals.

    I.e., to feed four people, use a 3 1/2-quart or a 4-quart cast iron Dutch oven and simply double the recipe. Be aware that larger meals may increase the baking time — refer to the chart in the cookbook.

    Your Dutch oven need not be enameled cast iron, but an enameled version does have some advantages with easier clean up, storage and lighter weight when the pot is full of food. Unlike seasoned cast iron, enameled cast iron is dishwasher-safe and will never rust.

    Both seasoned and enamel-coated cast iron Dutch ovens work with Glorious One-Pot Meals, and 2-quarts is the ideal size to feed two people.

    What is a “true” one-pot meal?

    A true “one-pot” meal contains protein, starch and vegetables all in the same pot. Any recipe that directs the cook to, “Prepare pasta separately.” or “Serve with bread.” is not a true “one-pot” meal.

    All Glorious One-Pot Meal recipes are true “one-pot” meals.

    Make no mistake: Glorious One-Pot Meals are NOT slow-cooker roasts, crock-pot stews, casseroles or skillet meals.

    How is the Glorious One-Pot Meal method different from other one-pot cooking methods?

    Let’s look at the other “one-pot” cooking methods to compare:

    Crock-pot/slow cooker method: This method produces stews or roasts of large cuts of meat. The roasting of large cuts of meat is not really a one-pot method, so I won’t directly address it. For a crock-pot stew, you place all the cut ingredients in the pot and must allow at least 6-10 hours for cooking. What you get is a goulash-type stew where all of the vegetables and other ingredients disintegrate down into a thick liquid with unidentifiable chunks. Many crock-pot creations taste alike, a natural limitation when food is overcooked. Beyond this, many vegetables lose much of their nutritional value when overcooked, leaving you with just a mush.

    The only thing Glorious One-Pot Meals have in common with slow-cooking methods is the use of a Dutch oven. Beyond that they are as different as soup is from salad. The unique method is completely explained in the Glorious One-Pot Meals cookbook.

    Casseroles: A very popular cooking style in the 1950s, casseroles came to the forefront as an easy way to cook using prepackaged foods. Many classic casserole recipes call for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, crushed potato chips, or canned stewed tomatoes. In my opinion, these were the forerunners of Hamburger Helper: designed to help the non-cook get something on the table for the family with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of prepared and processed ingredients. As a result of all the processed ingredients, casseroles are often high in sodium, fat, and undesirable additives.

    Casseroles further fuse the ingredients into a layer-cake type of serving, unlike Glorious One-Pot Meals in which the ingredients remain separate and retain their integrity. With Glorious One-Pot Meals you get an entrée with sides of vegetables and grains, not a thick slab of melded foods.

    Skillet meals and Wok cooking: One of the great drawbacks of a skillet meal is that, while the meat and the vegetables are cooking in the skillet, the pasta or rice is prepared separately, negating the point of a true “one-pot” meal. Woks use less fat for frying than skillets so that the meat and vegetables taste fresher with seared-in flavors, but you still have to make the rice separately and time it to be done at the same time. Additionally, woks and skillets require the full-time attention of the cook while on the stove; not the most relaxing way to prepare dinner.

    Glorious One-Pot Meals are constructed from a starch in the form of a grain, pasta, or potatoes, your choice of protein, and a rainbow of vegetables for maximum nutritious content. Once everything has been placed within the pot, the cook is free to sit down until the telltale aromas escape from the oven to signal that dinner is ready. In fact, opening the lid during the infusion cooking process only delays the meal so the anxious cook has no choice but to step away from the oven until it is time to eat.