If you’re not getting the results you want with your Glorious One-Pot Meals (or your cookies, or roasts, etc.), your oven temperature is probably off.
Over the last ten years of working with fans and readers to prepare quick, easy, and delicious one-pot meals, I’ve found that more than half of the ovens in this country have thermostats that are not set correctly. That’s why I always encourage home cooks to pick up a stand-alone oven thermometer and use it to verify their oven’s temp every time before putting food inside.
I would have counseled Cookie B., a recent reviewer of my cookbook on Amazon, that her results tell me her oven temp is way, way off, had she bothered to write me before posting this scathing review:
Mediocre at Best
I’m an experienced and somewhat adventurous cook, but often short of time. I thought this would be a nice alternative for those nights when I don’t feel like spending an hour or more on dinner. What a disappointment — what a waste of good food. I tried three recipes, and tossed the book.
The cookbook states that vegetables retain their crispness, rice and grains come out fluffy, etc — not so. In all three recipes I tried, the vegetables were overcooked and unappetizing, rice fails to cook properly, squash has the texture of baby food. My husband’s comment was that “everything tastes the same”, and he’s right. The foods do not retain any flavor of their own and everything is rather bland. I certainly wouldn’t serve this to company. And the meal looks as dull as it tastes (meats come out gray). These meals have no character.
Do yourself a favor — skip this book. It’s possible (and really not difficult) to cook healthy meals that are flavorful and interesting. This isn’t the way.
Sigh. Cookie, Cookie, Cookie. Is it possible that it’s your oven, not the cookbook? Me thinks so.
I have found it quite simple to recalibrate most ovens in just seconds when verifying the temperature with a separate oven thermometer. Check your oven’s manual to learn how.
While I love that Amazon allows people to post reviews and share their thoughts about a book, I wish there was a way I could respond more directly to criticisms, particularly if I can fix the problems before they are shared with the world. I am always available for questions and troubleshooting via the Contact link on any of my websites, and I try to be as timely as I can manage with my responses.
Luckily, this blog gives me a place to address those unhappy customers I can’t reach directly so that I can stop fretting about them and move on! 🙂