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Old 10-04-2015, 07:24 PM   #11
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If, as you said, the veggies were in half inch cubes, with that amount of liquid, there's no logical reason why they shouldn't be cooked in 90 minutes at 350F degrees. A whole baked potato wouldn't take that long.
Unless there's something missing, I'm stumped too AeroGel.

By the way, welcome to Discuss Cooking, and thanks for the head scratcher question.
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:31 PM   #12
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My thoughts were perhaps it's a problem of chemistry.
Could it be that the acidity from the tomatoes had something to do with it?

I must say that they only seemed to be partially cooked, in that they didn't fall apart as easily as what I thought they would have when eating something thats been cooked for 90mins...

They did have to be chewed a bit.
very odd.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:43 PM   #13
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I don't think the tomatoes caused the problem. If anything, acidity helps break down fibers.

It's important to preheat the oven to the cooking temperature you want before putting the food in. You don't need to leave it at that temp for any length of time, but if the oven wasn't at temperature before the casserole went in, it didn't cook at 180 for those 90 minutes. That could lead to undercooking.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:56 PM   #14
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'Tis a puzzlement. Sounds like you did everything right.

BTW, welcome to DC!
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:08 AM   #15
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I don't understand it either. Even if it took the oven 15 minutes to reach 180C, then they were cooking at that temperature for an hour and 15 minutes. My roasted vegis were a bit over done after about 40 minutes at 350F (~175C). So, maybe it was some kind of chemical reaction. Maybe they got hard again after having gotten soft?
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:25 AM   #16
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Taxy, I don't see how that's possible. Once the cell structure has been broken down, more heat won't build it up again.

Maybe the oven thermostat is off. Do you have an oven thermometer, AeroGEL? It might be a good idea to use one to make sure the oven reaches the correct temperature.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:40 AM   #17
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A room temperature covered casserole filled with cold/room temperature foods including sauce, water and broth going into a cold oven. The oven has to heat up before it can heat the casserole so the hot casserole can transfer heat to the foods in it. All that liquid has to be heated to a boil so it can heat the veggies and start to cook them.

If you were making a regular stew, you'd prepare the meats and veggies on the stove top, add the liquids and bring them to a boil before you put the pot into a hot oven. Then you'd cook it for a couple of hours.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Taxy, I don't see how that's possible. Once the cell structure has been broken down, more heat won't build it up again. ...
I wasn't thinking of the cell structure rebuilding. Maybe this wouldn't happen in a moist environment, but I have overcooked roasted vegis that shrivelled and got hard.
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:01 PM   #19
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Always preheat the oven.
Second do check your oven temperature, it may be off.
Is your oven gas or electric?
My gas oven takes approximately 10 minutes to get to 350 F.
Did you use a regular oven or a small countertop oven?
Also what type of baking dish?

All of those things could be factors in hard vegetables?
How many of each vegetable did you put in?
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I wasn't thinking of the cell structure rebuilding. Maybe this wouldn't happen in a moist environment, but I have overcooked roasted vegis that shrivelled and got hard.
I see what you mean. That's happened to me, too. It seems like she had a lot of liquid that would prevent them from drying out like that, though.
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