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On Dutch Oven (preheating and alternatives)

2865 Views 24 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ordo
Hi guys,

An absolute beginner here. Tried googling for the answer but I couldn't find any, so here I am.

I want to start learning how to cook and I'm using Tim Ferriss' 4 Hour Chef as a guide. The first recipe calls for the use of Dutch oven to cook Osso "Buko".

He mentioned to preheat the dutch oven to 350 Fahrenheit. How do I do this? Put it on a stove top or into the oven? How do I check the temperature to make sure it's 350F?

If I have a stock pot with a glass lid, can I use it to substitute Dutch oven?

Thank you!

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I also posted in your oven thread.

You are starting with what seems to me a terrible recipe if, indeed, you have posted it as written. I'm hoping there is some liquid added at some point before you put that pot in the oven. Usually before you put meat in to braise, you brown it well first.

I'm not sure what he means by a pan-saver. I think if you are going to try to do this in a stock pot rather than a thicker walled cast iron dutch oven, you might want to lower the heat a bit and check it well before that 2 hours are up, especially if you are using a small oven. It might need more liquid than called for.
Ditch the Tim Ferriss. He is not a cookbook writer, a cook or, even, a knowledgeable food writer. He is a food supplement entrepreneur, an angel investor, a tech consultant and a self-styled  lifestyle guru who has written facile books on living the life of the wealthy while only working 4 hours a week, building your body on 4 hours of exercise a week, etc. He knows nothing of value on food or cooking. I sell books for a living. I would never recommend this book to anyone.

James Peterson, as noted above, is very good.

Joy of Cooking, if you are in the states, is an excellent basic book that will see you through both the first part of learning and will be used as a reference for the rest of your days. Go for the 75th Anniversary Edition, not the 1997 "revised" edition.
I'm not a sir and yes I've looked through the book. It's not a good cookbook by any stretch of the imagination.
I actually don't hate Bittman. He's not the cb author to look to for technique, but I do pull out How to Cook Everything pretty often when I'm stuck and need to get something on the table in a relative hurry. I also really liked his Minimalist column in the Times.

I like his "you can do this" approach and the many alternative takes he gives on basic dishes by changing up combinations of seasonings, etc. The food is fresh and generally edible and he encourages experimentation in a non-threatening way.  There are a few dishes in one of his other books that I make pretty often. It may even be the book that Phatch dislikes so much. Kitchen Express is fast dishes but it really isn't meant for beginning cooks and I think he says so in the intro. They do usually take longer than the promised 20 minutes.

Now, that food show with Bittman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mario Batali and Penelope Cruz I found unbearable. Penelope Cruz was the only one on the screen I could stand to watch.
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