Monday, July 25, 2005

Saladmaster Dutch Oven

I own a large http://Saladmaster.Com pot with a dutch oven top. That and a 2-quart pot are the only things I had left after getting divorced in 1978 back in Loveland, Colorado. My ex got the rest of the Saladmaster waterless cookware set I'd sweated and toiled to afford.

Unfortunately, the 2-quart pot developed a rounded bottom and it rocked so badly on the flat glass stovetop that my new wife got mad and threw it away. When I went looking for it, and she told me what happened, I nearly had a heart attack because I knew what she didn't - it was guaranteed for life. Now I have an even newer wife (the guarantee on the old one ran out afer a month or two).

If you take pity on me, you can send me a new 2-quart pot. I'll love you for it, since I now do nearly all the cooking around here.

Meanwhile, the "real" reason I'm writing is to ask your advice on a sticky cooking problem. My oven door fell off and I can't bake while waiting to get a new oven. And today, some bananas were going bad, so my new wife asked me to make her some banana bread. I want to keep this wife, so I said "No problem. I'll bake it in my Saladmaster dutch oven."

"Our oven is BROKEN, remember," my wife asked, knowing I remember because Alzheimer's doesn't run in my family and I'm the one who caried the oven door to its grave.

"Sure, Babe," I replied. But I was talking about THIS Dutch oven."

I took the two pots out of the cabinet and proudly set them on the stove. I showed her how the thinner-walled pot could be inverted to make a perfect seal on top of the larger pot with the heavy bottom. "See? It's called a Dutch Oven because the Dutch people used cast iron pots like it to bake in over the fire place when they didn't have a real oven. That was before stainless steel was invented, and our Saladmaster Dutch oven is even better. See, the bottom and sides contain a cast iron and aluminum core that spreads the heat and keeps it even. That's how the pots let you cook without water. They heat evenly and hold in the moisture and nutrients, so the food you cook in it is delicious, cooked to perfection, and really good for your body. I'm gonna make that banana bread and bake it in this Dutch Oven."

She didn't believe me, of course, and walked back to her easy chair shaking her head and muttering about how I'd better not f*** up that cake.

Okay, so I grabbed my Joy of Cooking cookbook and whipped up the fabulous banana bread batter my wife has come to know and love. Then I looked in the cookbook and was dismayed to find no instructions on using a dutch oven for stovetop baking a cake. I searched the web, and ditto.

Then, I figured, what the hell, how hard can it be? I buttered the big pot, poured in the batter, smoothed it out, put on the dutch oven top, set it on the large burner, and set the burner to medium. After 5 minutes, I turned it down to 1, the setting just above low. It's an electric glass top oven, so I could only guess at how hot that was.

I went back to my computer to continue my search, then gave up and started handling email. Before long I noticed that tell-tale burnt smell, and jumped up to check the pot. Yep, the smell was coming from it.

I lifted the lid and smelled it more. Even worse, the top of the cake still looked like batter. So I removed it from the heat, cooled down the bottom of the pot with a wet sponge, turned the heat to its lowest setting, and set the pot back on. I was determined to bake that cake, burnt or not. After all, how hard is to cut off the burnt part?

Okay, now I have checked it a couple of times, and the batter on top is finally solidified into cake. So I did successfully bake the banana bread.

But, the bottom is burned, and I have no idea how to remove the cake from the pan without destroying it.

I figured, now that I have f***ed up the banana bread, and my wife has stomped out of the house without telling me where she's going, I'd better write to you for advice. So, here's my question:

How do I bake banana bread in my Saladmaster Dutch Oven without f***ing it up?

Can you send me a recipe booklet and some Dutch Oven instructions for stovetop baking?


Shotta Blogger said...

Hi there Bob Hurt, I was searching for stainless steel cookware set and came across you post. While Saladmaster Dutch Oven is not an exact match for what I was looking for, it was worth the read and the information is appreciated. I will continue to search for more information on stainless steel cookware set but I thank you for the effort and hope that you keep up the good work.

Northern Tracey said...

Hi Bob,
I too was searching for some instructions on how to use my new second-hand saladmaster thingy and came across your tale of woe. I must say after an afternoon at the accountants sorting out a horrible tax problem this was the laugh I needed. Thanx
I might also add that I went to a saladmaster cookery night and the woman burnt the cake too and it was on her own stove so don't bash yourself too much about it. Practise makes perfect. Good luck!!!

Bob Hurt said...

By the way, folks, I wrote that commentary a long time ago, posted it to the Saladmaster folks, and they ignored it. So much for my chances at getting a replacement pot.

I still have my wife, she loves me even more than before, and I have a new oven with a door and baking stone in it used to be a sink cutout from a granite countertop ($10 at World of Italy Tile and Marble in Tampa.)

Who needs the dutch oven now? Not me.

Unknown said...

I too have a problem with a SALADMASTER 6 quart pot~~which I actually RETURNED to the repair//replace department at SALADMASTER~~this was three months ago now& I can't get them to respond whatsoever~!NO REPAIR/ NO REPLACE/ NO REPLY~~!POT GONE BYE BYE~~!I see what you mean~~!
Brenda Brooks