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Tag: oven temperature

Can Glorious One-Pot Meals Cook at 400 Degrees?

Reader question: Dear Elizabeth, I am glad to have a copy of Glorious One-Pot Meals (I saw a copy at my library, and bought my own copy). Here is my question: 

I understand that the whole point is to cook the meal at 450 but if that isn’t possible, and I can’t go above, say, 400 can I just add extra time and will the ingredients still work?

~Greg L.

I’m excited to hear how much you like Glorious One-Pot Meals! Thanks for sharing your story with me.

I hate to break it to you, but the 450F temp is one of the secrets to this style of foolproof cooking. While some recipes may turn out ok at 400, others will undercook some ingredients while overcooking others.  🙁

If the highest heat you can generate is only 400 degrees, you may find the best results with vegetarian recipes.

My suggestion is to experiment and see if you get the telltale aroma of a fully-cooked meal to let you know when the meal is ready.

You can find the answers to all kinds of GOPM questions in the Glorious One-Pot Meals topic in this blog as well as in the FAQs here.

Happy cooking!


How to Adapt When Oven Temperature Fluctuates

Reader question: My stove varies 18 degrees C before it kicks back on after reaching temperature.  Will the recipes still work with this much variation? ~ Kim C.,  Dade City, FloridaGlorious One-Pot Meals cover

Great question, Kim! I wish I had a better answer for you than “I don’t know”.

The goal is to have the oven at exactly 450 degrees F before putting the full pot inside. Perhaps if you boosted the temperature to 460F 5 minutes after putting the pot inside to get the oven back up to temp that might equal 450F?

I wonder if you played around with your oven and an oven thermometer a little bit you could figure out how to make it work.

Let me know if you figure it out!


Can I use the Dutch oven in an electric oven?

Reader question: wonderful book – I found it in the library. Can I use the dutch oven in an electric oven?  – Michelle A., Pennsylvania

Of course you can use an electric oven to cook in a cast iron Dutch oven. In fact, I often prepare my GOPMs in an electric toaster oven because the smaller oven space preheats faster and uses less energy to keep hot during cooking. Best of all, it’s portable, so in the summer I can plug it in on my front porch and keep the heat out of the kitchen while still enjoying a quick and easy hot meal.

Glorious One-Pot Meal recipes layered in cast iron Dutch ovens have been successfully prepared in gas and electric ovens, conventional and convection ovens, buried in campfires coals, inside barbecue grills, in roasters, and even on stovetop burners. Someone once mentioned that they were going to use a solar oven to make these dinners, but I never heard what happened of that experiment. If you know more about solar ovens, by all means please leave a comment and enlighten us all.

The patented Glorious One-Pot Meals infusion cooking method only needs two elements to work perfectly: a cast iron Dutch oven and 450 degrees F heat. The heat source does not seem to matter much, though when possible it is good to control for exactly 450 F with an oven thermometer. When controlling the heat is not possible (in a campfire, for instance), you may want to stick with recipes that do not contain dry goods like rice or pasta for better results.

The only type of oven I know that you should NOT use with a cast iron Dutch oven is a microwave oven.

Happy cooking, and please pass along a thank you to your library for stocking my book!

Have you checked your oven temperature?

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 love the large numbers on this oven thermometer! Very easy to read.
I love the large numbers on this oven thermometer! Very easy to read without opening the oven door.

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!  🙂