I only have gas rings and no oven (but bought your book anyway as I like the idea); do you have any idea if I can use the recipes in a Dutch oven but by using the stove top rather than an oven?
– Kereebler, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I’m psyched to learn my book has made it into the desert around the world! And yes, you can still prepare Glorious One-Pot Meals even if you don’t have a built-in oven.
However, one of my readers, Cas from Wyoming, discovered that GOPMs work just as well on the stovetop as in the oven.
This needs a little bit of advance prep to accomplish because you have to ascertain the temp of your stovetop. Start this on a night you do not plan to cook a GOPM.
The first thing to do is set your empty cast iron Dutch oven on your stovetop burner. Set an oven thermometer inside your empty pot, put the lid on and turn on the burner to medium. Check back in a few minutes to see what the thermometer reads. You may have to adjust the heat up or down for it to reach 450 F. When the heat inside the Dutch oven stabilizes at 450 degrees F, note the number on the dial of your burner, as this will be important.
Be sure to let the pot cool completely and remember that hot cast iron will crack if it comes into contact with cold water. If you are using an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, you may see some minor scorching on the outside of the pot where it touches the burner. If you can live with this, you’re good to go.
When you are ready to cook, build your recipe in a room-temperature pot as written in the cookbook. You may want to use water instead of broth, if called for, as the fat in the broth may burn to the bottom of the pot. Otherwise, prepare you GOPM as normal. When the pot is full, place it on your burner and turn the dial to the number you noted earlier.
As when oven cooking your GOPMs, resist the urge to lift the lid before you smell the aroma of a fully-cooked meal wafting from the pot. It should take about 45 minutes to cook — the same as if you were oven cooking.
Don’t give up if your first try doesn’t come out perfectly; you may find that you prefer the way some ingredients turn out over others when you cook this way vs. in the oven.
Thanks, Cas, for figuring out this great work-around for those of us who are oven-less!
Although I have tested this stovetop method, and Cas has used it successfully for years in his rural cabin, it has not been extensively tested all over the world like the traditional GOPM oven method has been. Please let me know your results! Happy cooking!