As a seasoned restaurant chef with a decade of experience, I’ve had the opportunity to use a variety of kitchen equipment and cookware. In this article, I will be comparing two well-regarded Dutch ovens: the Crock Pot Dutch Oven and the Cabela’s Camp Oven. These models are widely favored by both home cooks and professional chefs.
To provide a thorough comparison, I will focus on the following key aspects:
- Heat retention and compatibility
- Lid fit
- Handles and product design
- Maintenance and cleaning
- Durability and performance
Crock-Pot is a well-established and iconic brand with a long history, celebrated as the pioneer of the slow cooker. Let’s find out why this Dutch oven is a popular option among home cooks.
Cabela’s Camp Oven is a heavy-duty cast iron cooking pot designed for outdoor adventures. Its sturdy build and functional design make it a reliable choice for outdoor cooking enthusiasts. Below is a brief information about this Dutch oven built and its capabilities.
Despite not making it to the TOP-5 best Dutch ovens list for a few reasons, these two Dutch ovens are still excellent choices.
We’ll start by exploring the features of each Dutch oven and then assess how they differ, helping you decide which one best meets your cooking needs.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Material
|The Crock-Pot Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is made of strong and durable cast iron. The enamel coating adds an elegant touch, prevents rust, and makes cleaning easy.
|Cabela’s Camp Oven is built with heavy-duty cast iron. Its impressive thickness ensures consistent cooking temperatures, while the overall build quality suggests durability and reliability.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Weight
|Crock-Pot is a bit heavy.
|The Cabela’s Camp Oven is a bit heavier, tipping the scales at approximately 18 pounds. It’s a better fit for camping and outdoor use.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Heat Retention and Compatibility
|The Crock Pot Dutch Oven is great in heat retention, maintaining a steady temperature. It is highly compatible with various heat sources, including gas, electric, ceramic, and induction cooktops, and it can handle high oven temperatures up to 500°F (260°C).
|The Cabela’s Camp Oven demonstrates good heat retention capabilities as it maintains stable and even heat during cooking. It offers versatility in heat compatibility, accommodating campfires, charcoal, and conventional ovens.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Lid Fit
|The Crock-Pot Dutch Oven includes a self-basting heavy lid, which helps maintain even heat distribution and preserve moisture.
|The Camp Oven‘s lid fits securely, although there was some moisture loss during cooking.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Handles and Product Design
|The Dutch oven‘s robust, user-friendly handles and thoughtful design ensure easy handling. Overall, its design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
|The Cabela’s Camp Oven has a functional design with sturdy and practical handles. For outdoor cooking, the version with legs is recommended for stability when cooking over wood or charcoal. Overall, its design is straightforward and suitable for outdoor use.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Colors
|The Crock-Pot Enameled Dutch Oven comes in various appealing colors, allowing you to select the one that complements your kitchen decor. You can choose from Aqua Blue, Blush Pink, Pistachio Green, Scarlet Red, Teal Ombre, Lavender Purple, Sapphire Blue, Slate Gray, and Sunset Orange.
|Cabela’s Camp Oven comes in a traditional cast iron color, which is ideal since it is made for outdoor use.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Maintenance and Cleaning
|It is advisable to handwash this Dutch Oven due to its enamel coating. Cleaning it is simple, as food residue doesn’t stick much on its surface. I usually wash it with a gentle soak and scrub. To prevent scratches, avoid using metal utensils.
|The Cabela’s Camp Oven, like most cast iron cookware, requires careful cleaning, which can be a bit of a chore. Proper drying and re-seasoning are necessary to prevent rust.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Durability and Performance
|The Crock Pot Dutch Oven can withstand frequent use without chipping or cracking. It consistently delivers exceptional cooking results during the six months of using it.
|In terms of durability and performance, the Camp Oven meets the basic expectations for a cast iron product. It can handle high heat and will likely serve adequately for an extended period.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Warranty
|While a one-year warranty backs this Dutch oven, it might not offer the same level of coverage as some other Dutch oven brands. However, considering its price point, the warranty is reasonable.
|The absence of clear warranty information adds uncertainty about the product’s long-term durability. However, you can find return and exchange information on the website, which may offer some clarity regarding their policies.
Crock Pot VS Cabela’s: Price
|The Crock-Pot is more affordable than the other Dutch Ovens. It is ideal for home cooks looking for a Dutch Oven without breaking the bank.
|Cabela’s costs more then Crock-Pot, but it is likely due to its outdoor-oriented design and heavier construction.
In a cooking test, we evaluated the Cabela’s against the Crock Pot Dutch Oven by preparing delectable Red Wine Braised Short Ribs. Our goal was to assess how these Dutch ovens fared across three critical parameters: browning, moisture retention, and final flavor.
In terms of achieving a good sear, both Dutch ovens were outstanding performers. They uniformly and reliably browned the short ribs, laying down a flavorful foundation for the braising liquid. The heat distribution in each of the cookware choices was notable, guaranteeing that the meat reached an ideal level of searing.
The Crock-Pot effectively trapped steam within the pot throughout the cooking, resulting in ribs that were tender and juicy. Although there was a slight steam escape in the Cabela’s oven, the ribs were still tender and full of flavor.
How We Tested
The cooking test aimed to comprehensively evaluate both Dutch ovens’ abilities in a real cooking scenario.
We placed the Dutch ovens side by side on the stovetop and heated them to the desired temperature. We then seared and browned the short ribs evenly in both Dutch ovens, paying close attention to their ability to evenly distribute heat and create a flavorful sear on the meat.
After achieving the desired browning, we added the remaining ingredients for the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, including liquids and aromatics. Both Dutch ovens were used according to the recipe instructions, and the heat settings were maintained consistently throughout the cooking process.
Throughout the slow-cooking phase, we monitored the Dutch ovens’ ability to retain moisture, particularly how well their lids sealed and maintained the desired level of steam and moisture in the dish.
After the recommended cooking time had elapsed, we conducted a thorough taste test, assessing the tenderness, flavor, and overall quality of the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs prepared in each Dutch oven.
In conclusion, after a detailed comparison and hands-on testing, it’s evident that the Crock Pot Dutch Oven emerges as the winner in this face-off against the Cabela’s Camp Oven. Drawing from my extensive experience as a seasoned restaurant chef, I have evaluated both Dutch ovens across several critical parameters, including material, weight, heat retention, lid fit, handles and product design, color options, maintenance, durability, performance, warranty, and price.
The Crock Pot Dutch Oven not only demonstrated superior heat retention and moisture preservation, essential for slow-cooked dishes like Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, but it also excelled in even cooking, contributing to a more succulent and tender final product. Its aesthetic versatility, with a range of colors to choose from, and the ease of maintenance due to its enamel coating, make it a more appealing choice for the home cook.
In terms of durability and performance, the Crock Pot Dutch Oven proved its mettle, standing up to frequent use without chipping or cracking, and consistently delivering exceptional cooking results. While both Dutch ovens performed admirably in the cooking test, the Crock Pot’s ability to maintain a consistent temperature and its user-friendly design edged out the Cabela’s.
Considering the price, warranty, and overall value for money, the Crock Pot Dutch Oven offers a better deal, especially for those seeking a high-quality Dutch oven without stretching their budget. It’s clear that for home cooking enthusiasts and professionals alike, the Crock Pot Dutch Oven is a superior choice, blending functionality, durability, and affordability in a single, robust cookware.
Chef Bradley Thompson highly recommends to check his list of the best Dutch ovens.