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.
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:
- Versatility. You can cook just about anything with a dutch oven. Stovetop or oven, it’s ready for anything.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 from Lodge Cast Iron.