Your Next Apartment Kitchen Miracle: The 5 QT Cast Iron Dutch Oven

The idea of a kitchen miracle probably doesn’t conjure images of a 5-quart cast iron dutch oven.

But it should.

I live in a small apartment in the city complete with a kitchen in which Barbie would feel cramped. I have a gas stove, 4-top range with an oven that works beautifully, but I don’t have much in the way of space to either prep, clean, or store a ton of pots and pans.


Tall sides help prevent messes and make it easy to stir-fry.


I’ve always been a fan of cast iron cooking, but after a few weeks of digging around and trying to manage my limited space, I decided it was time to simply and embrace a paradigm shift.

From now on, I would primarily rely on one or two pans for cooking and adapt my recipes to these pans as best I could. I kept a small nonstick pan handy for making eggs and made my dutch oven the centerpiece of my cooking experience.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to incorporate a dutch oven into your routine, even if you do have plenty of space:

  1. Versatility. You can cook just about anything with a dutch oven. Stovetop or oven, it’s ready for anything.
  2. Simplicity. I’m a big fan of stir frying because it requires little in the way of prep, is relatively healthy, and I can switch up the veggies and meat as I need. I come home from work, throw my ingredients in a hot pan, and in a few minutes my dinner is ready.
  3. Makes clean-up a snap. The sides of the 5-qt dutch oven are tall, which helps me avoid making a mess. It reduces splatters from the oil and reduces the chance that my veggies will fly out of the pan.
  4. Look cool. After the dutch oven is cool, rinse it out, wipe it down, and leave it on the stove. People will know you’re a hard core cast-iron aficionado. They will love you for it.

I don’t get any credit for promoting them, but my favorite dutch ovens and other cookware all come fromĀ Lodge Cast Iron.

At work on the stove

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