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Old 10-29-2012, 11:21 PM   #1
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I burned a pot while trying to prepare a recipe.

I am a total amateur when it comes to cooking. Recently, I found a wonderful recipe and I attempted to create it at home following the instructions precisely. Here is the recipe.
I followed along with the video the entire time.

How to Cook Black Pepper and Molasses Pulled Chicken Sandwiches | MyRecipes.com

I added ALL the ingredients in a saucepan/pot.

Then I put the chicken in there, and cooked it for twenty minutes. After I removed the chicken, the bottom of my pot was all scorched and burned black, and the chicken was burned as well. What the heck did I do wrong?

Was I supposed to coat the pot with something before adding all the ingredients in? I am absolutely certain I didn't set the heat too high. I kept the heat at around low-medium. I have already managed to destroy three pots while trying to make this recipe. My parents are furious with me and I am feeling incredibly hopeless at this point.

I don't know what the hell I'm doing wrong and why this keeps happening so I am desperate for some advice from you guys.. Thank you.


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Old 10-30-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
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It may be that you needed to stir it more often. Do you have a gas or electric range? Sometimes a gas range will still be too hot even on medium low. Given the circumstances in your post, I am inclined to believe that there was too much heat or not enough stirring. The ketchup and molasses can burn quickly.
If the pan is not big enough, stirring might be tricky. Might need a larger pan. Personally, I would put the chicken in a baking dish, covered with foil, and bake it at 350 or so until it is nearly done. Then pour the heated sauce over the chicken and give it 15-20 minutes more in the oven.
We have all had difficulties in the kitchen here and there. Do not give up. Maybe you can strike a deal with your folks to clean the kitchen for a week to make up for the damaged pots.

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Old 10-30-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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I would also suggest using a more substantial pot. I once bought a HUGE SS stockpot. Well, it was cheap, and everything I cooked in it stuck no matter what I did. I ended up using it to dye fleece--that didn't stick or burn in it.

You could try using oven cleaner to clean the pots if they are SS--spray them, put in a garbage bag, and let sit for 24 hours.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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1. I'd guess the pan bottom was too thin.
2. The heat was too high given the sugary ingredients
3. Follow hoot's suggestion for baking it in the oven (in a glass baking dish if possible)
4. It's your responsibility to scrub the pots clean and back to original condition.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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You might be able to adapt the recipe to a slow cooker/crock pot. I'd be tempted to make the sauce in the sauce pan up to the add the chicken step. Then pour it over the chicken in the crock pot and let it cook there. That would definitely keep it from burning. I've never adapted a recipe and it may not work but it seems like it could.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Try putting a heat diffuser between the stove burner and your pan:

It takes awhile to get to know your stove and oven, so I'd turn the heat down. And as you stir pay attention to what's happening on the bottom of your pan. =) Don't be afraid to remove the pan from the burner if things start getting stuck, turn the heat down, then put the pan back and carry on!

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Old 10-30-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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I would bring stuff to a boil, then turn it all the way down and start turning the heat up by increments until it just simmers. Stirring frequently, as others have mentioned, is important.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
1. I'd guess the pan bottom was too thin.
2. The heat was too high given the sugary ingredients
3. Follow hoot's suggestion for baking it in the oven (in a glass baking dish if possible)
4. It's your responsibility to scrub the pots clean and back to original condition.

Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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Home gas ranges are often problematic. I like gas in general, but home gas ranges have two problems. One is that it can be very difficult to get a true simmer. I know it is on mine. Even the "SIMMER" burner is too high at its lowest setting, and other burners will keep a rolling boil going on LOW. I depend on a flame tamer.

If I did not use it, I would burn or crust even rice. The other problem is that home gas ranges have very little actual flame, very few points of flame. If you look at a commercial burner,

you see lots of orifices distributed all over the burner. Bigger heat, requiring large gas piping, but it also doesn't have the hot areas of many home burners.

That's part of why you see plain, rather thin walled pans on a restaurant line, and it's why tri-ply, cast iron and other heavy pans are popular at home. The copper or aluminum layers in the bottom of tri-ply pans distribute the heat.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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I agree with everything above, particularly your responsibility to clean the pan (!) but I think that the major problem lies with the video rather than your lack of cooking skills. I can't imagine anyone putting something like ketchup directly into a pan with no liquid between it and the pan and then heating it. Part of learning how to kook lies in learning how to distinguish between the good videos/recipes and the bad ones.

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