As a seasoned restaurant chef with a decade of experience, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of kitchen tools and cookware. In this article, I’m focusing on a comparison between two well-known Dutch ovens: the Staub Dutch Oven and the Cabela’s Camp Oven. Both of these are favored by home cooks and professional chefs alike.
To provide a thorough comparison, I’ll be evaluating these Dutch ovens based on several key factors. These include:
- Heat retention and compatibility
- Lid fit
- Handles and product design
- Maintenance and cleaning
- Durability and performance
Staub is a popular premium cookware brand, often compared to Le Creuset. I purchased the Staub 5-quart Round Cocotte Dutch Oven and was excited to try it out.
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.
We’ll start by taking a closer look at each Dutch oven to understand their features and specifications. Then, we’ll delve into how they differ and determine which one might be the best fit for your culinary needs. Let’s begin our exploration of these two popular Dutch ovens.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Material
|Staub Dutch Ovens are constructed from high-quality cast iron, which is renowned for its excellent heat retention and even heat distribution. The interior is coated with an enamel glaze that prevents rust and food from sticking.
|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.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Weight
|Staub Dutch Ovens tend to be on the heavier side due to their cast iron construction. While this weight is excellent for retaining heat, it might be a concern for those who prefer lightweight cookware.
|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.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Heat Retention and Compatibility
|The Staub Dutch Oven excelled in heat retention. It maintains the temperature throughout the cooking process consistently. It is versatile and suitable for various cooking methods. It performed exceptionally well on both the stovetop and oven.
|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.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Lid Fit
|The tight-fitting lid in Staub Dutch Ovens ensures a snug seal, trapping moisture and flavor inside the pot, making it ideal for long-simmering dishes.
|The Camp Oven‘s lid fits securely, although there was some moisture loss during cooking.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Handles and Product Design
|The Staub Dutch Oven features ergonomic handles, although I find the space a bit narrow. It makes it slightly challenging to lift the pot, especially when wearing oven mitts.
Despite this handle design concern, the Dutch Oven’s overall product design is stylish and aesthetically pleasing. Its striking enameled exterior adds an elegant touch to the kitchen, making it a versatile piece suitable for cooking and serving.
|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.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Colors
|Staub offers various elegant and vibrant colors to match your kitchen decor.
|Cabela’s Camp Oven comes in a traditional cast iron color, which is ideal since it is made for outdoor use.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Maintenance and Cleaning
|Maintaining the Staub Dutch Oven is a breeze. The enamel interior is resistant to staining and remarkably easy to clean. After hours of slow-cooking the short ribs, I only needed a brief soak and a gentle scrub to have it looking as good as new.
|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.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Durability and Performance
|Staub Dutch Ovens are renowned for their durability and performance. They can last a lifetime if well-maintained and are a chef’s favorite for slow-cooked stews and braises.
|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.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Warranty
|Staub provides a lifetime warranty with certain limitations for their cast iron cookware. This warranty addresses functional, material, and manufacturing defects found in cast iron cookware.
|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.
Staub VS Cabela’s: Price
|Staub Dutch Ovens are an investment with a price point that reflects their quality. They may not be the most budget-friendly option, but their longevity and performance make them worth it.
|There is only a bit of a price difference between Staub and Cabela’s.
A cooking experiment was conducted to assess and objectively compare the performance of each Dutch oven. I prepared Red Wine Braised Short Ribs and focused on three critical aspects when evaluating these Dutch ovens: searing, moisture retention, and the resulting flavor.
The Staub Dutch Oven exhibited exceptional browning performance. Its even heat distribution and perfectly fitting lid enabled precise control during browning, resulting in a wonderfully caramelized exterior on our red wine-braised short ribs. On the other hand, the Cabela’s Camp Oven, while proficient in this regard, couldn’t quite replicate the precise browning achieved by the Staub.
Braising revolves around the preservation of moisture within the dish. I carefully observed the moisture retention of each Dutch oven during the slow-cooking process. Keeping a consistent and moist environment is essential for achieving succulent and tender short ribs.
In this regard, the Staub Dutch Oven excelled. The meat from the Staub Dutch Oven is exceptionally tender and juicy. Its texture is also smooth and complements all the other ingredients perfectly.
Ultimately, the paramount factor lies in the flavor of the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs. Both Dutch ovens produced a rich and flavorful sauce. However, during the tasting, I discerned that Staub‘s creation was more indulgent and delightful.
How We Tested
My cooking experiment commenced with the searing of the short ribs, allowing for a thorough evaluation of their browning capabilities.
Following the searing phase, I transitioned to the braising process, where I conducted a meticulous assessment of each Dutch oven’s moisture retention abilities. This step is pivotal in achieving the desired tenderness and juiciness in the final dish.
Upon completing the braising, my focus shifted to the ultimate taste and tenderness of the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs prepared in each Dutch oven. My evaluation delved into the depth of flavors and the level of meat tenderness achieved.
In conclusion, after a thorough evaluation and cooking test, it’s clear that the Staub Dutch Oven emerges as the winner in the Staub vs. Cabela’s comparison. As a seasoned restaurant chef with a decade of experience, I’ve had the privilege of working with various kitchen tools and cookware, and the Staub Dutch Oven has proven its excellence.
Staub Dutch Ovens are renowned for their exceptional quality, and they live up to their reputation. They are constructed from high-quality cast iron, ensuring excellent heat retention and even heat distribution. The enamel glaze on the interior prevents rust and food from sticking, making it a durable and easy-to-maintain choice.
While the Cabela’s Camp Oven is a solid option, it falls slightly short in certain aspects when compared to the precision and performance of the Staub Dutch Oven. Staub’s superior browning capabilities, moisture retention, and the delectable final flavor of dishes make it the preferred choice for those who seek culinary perfection.
While Staub Dutch Ovens may come with a higher price tag, their longevity and exceptional performance make them a worthwhile investment for home cooks and professional chefs alike. In this culinary showdown, the Staub Dutch Oven reigns supreme, delivering outstanding results in every aspect of cooking.
Take a look at the list of the best Dutch ovens this year.