Reader question: We tried our first one pot meal and it didn’t turn out so well. I bought a 6.5 qt cast iron pot because we often cook for 6. We made our first meal for four (chicken Cacciatore) and used the recipe adjustment chart to determine cook time (53 minutes). The orzo was stuck together like glue and the chicken was overcooked as well as the vegies. What did we do wrong? ~Gail W., Sedona, AZ
Gail, it sounds like your oven temp is off. Please read this post for more about using an oven thermometer to verify the temperature in your oven is at 450 degrees F before putting your Glorious One-Pot Meal inside.
Also, 53 minutes works perfectly for a 3.5-quart Dutch oven when the recipe is doubled; when you use a 6.5-quart Dutch oven that is not completely full of food you really need to rely on your nose to tell you when your Glorious One-Pot Meal is ready. Wait for the aroma of a fully-cooked meal to waft from your oven three minutes before you should pull your pot out.
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[…] If your oven temperature is off by even a little bit, or your oven is not fully pre-heated to 450 F before you put the full pot inside, the method will not work perfectly. There’s more about oven temp and Glorious One-Pot Meals here. […]
I checked my oven temperature and it was off by 15 degrees, but it was low not high. So, now I am even more confused. I will try again and wait for the aroma, not the time.