What Size Is Your Pot?

Since the day we founded Big Girls, Small Kitchen, cooking and entertaining questions have arrived in our inbox and our comments section. At first we were like, “who? us? advice?” But after more than three years of solving culinary problems, we can honestly say we’re here for you. And since you might want to know the answer to other quarter-life cooks’ questions, we’re unveiling this new, ongoing q&a section to highlight your queries and share our responses.

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In the spirit of Slow Cooker Challenge week, today we’re talking about our favorite stove-top slow-cooking device: the Dutch oven.

**Ask Us Anything: What Size Is Your Pot?**

I’m hoping you can provide some advice on sizing of cookware I am looking to purchase. As my kitchen has gotten a little bigger, I thought it was time to invest in some quality cast iron cookware. I had been stingy with my original Le Creuset purchases and have bought small baking dishes; but I’m looking to go all out now. The time has arrived! I want to specifically start with a Dutch oven & skillet. Any recommendations on sizing? I can’t figure out if a 2 quart, 5 qt, 6 quart, or 9 quart oven would suit me or what size skillet to go with. I cook for two only and sometimes just one. I mostly eat vegetarian but will cook chicken (pieces and whole), stews and soups, and every once in a while for holidays/special occasions, red meat dishes. Since I am responsible for some holiday cooking (i.e. Easter and birthdays), I didn’t want to undersize it, but also didn’t want to oversize it since my typical routine is only for two. Thoughts? Advice? Encouragement? Discouragement?!

-Emily C.

A: I would say go with the 5-quart Le Creuset if you really don’t cook for a crowd that often, 6-quart if you want to be safe. I had a 5.5 for a while and still managed to make 10 person stews with only minor fear of overflow.

Then, I would say a 12- to 15-inch Lodge cast iron skillet. They are pretty inexpensive, so you could also get a small cast iron or nonstick pan(6- to 8-inch) for frying eggs. Even if you’re only cooking for two, the 15-inch is amazing. You can use it for big roasts or cornbread–really anything!



  1. Terrific advice… Le Creuset is cookware that comes in baked-on enamel cast iron and stoneware baking dishes.  Considerations offered:
    1)  For stovetop/oven a cast iron Dutch Oven (5 qt. to 9 qt. – round or oval) is awesome depending on the number of people being served.  Dutch ovens are great additions to the “pots and pans” but always remember that contents adds to weight of the Dutch Oven when removing it from the stovetop/oven.  2)  Enameled cast iron is easy to clean with Le Creuset has a life-time warranty so considering quart size is great. The suggested 5.5 qt. is an excellent choice.

    3)  The 15-inch Lodge cast iron skillet is fantastic suggestion because as stated… the cook is good to go using the skillet for any size meal preparation.

    4)  Non-stick pan (8″) offers the opportunity to prepare eggs and/or crepes.  Yes, an 8″ is perfect for crepes.  Suggestion is to search out Swiss Diamond line of cookware.  It is the ONLY true non-stick cookware that is non-stick.  Always use silicone, not metal, tools (spoons, splatters, whisks, etc.) with non-stick cookware.

    Solid recommendations from Big Girl Small Kitchen… thanks for the opportunity to add a comment.

    Now We’re Cooking Basics 101

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