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Camp Chef Pellet Grill Reviews – Which Model is Right for You?

A look at Camp Chef the company, their pellet grill line up, a review of 5 of their top models, and buying advice plus the pros and cons of each model, so you know which is right for you.

Last Updated: February 5, 2021

Two camp chef pellet grill photos side by side

By the end of this article, you’ll know more about Camp Chef Pellet Grills as a company, how good their grills are, and which one is best for your needs.

The pellet grill market has a lot more players than back when Traeger had a monopoly. The choice is good, though – it gives consumers more options, and competition forces manufacturers to provide better products, better prices, and better value.

One of the top names out there now is Camp Chef. But who are they, what do they bring to the table, and why should you consider giving them your money?

Great questions. I will answer them all.

We’ll dive into the history of Camp Chef and how the grilling community views them. We’ll take an overall look at their lineup and see how they stack up against the competition before reviewing 5 of their most popular grills, including a rare portable pellet grill that’s actually portable, and the Woodwind Wi-Fi 36, the top pick in my roundup of the best pellet grills for the money.

Plus, I’ll tell you what to look for in a pellet grill to be sure you make the best decision for your lifestyle, today and in the future.

Open up – I’m about to fill your mental hopper with knowledge!

Camp Chef Brand Overview and Reputation

An American company, Camp Chef got its start back in 1990 building camp stoves. Their first model, the Pro60 portable propane stove, is still made to this day. Made by campers for campers, they’ve gone on to include many home grills in their catalogue.

In addition to cookers, Camp Chef sells a range of cast iron products, thermometers, utensils, folding tables, pots & pans, fire pits, and fun camping gear like weenie roasters, over-the-fire popcorn poppers, and a propane-powered water heater. Hello, glamping!

Camp Chef is outdoor-forward, and a lot of their products have a rustic vibe. Having said that, you’ll find plenty of premium features on their pellet grills. Overall, they’ve tried to provide an upgraded pellet grilling experience, but without the sticker shock you sometimes get in this category.

Customer service is very important when you purchase any big-ticket item. My research indicates overall satisfaction among those who’s had to deal with Camp Chef to sort out an issue, including examples of full replacement grills sent at no cost.

A quick search revealed four Facebook pages for Camp Chef, including the official account and three fan groups, including one just for smokers. The three fan communities total over 42,000 members. That’s evidence of a popular brand with a dedicated following. Groups like these are great resources for troubleshooting and swapping tips.

Overview of the Camp Chef Grills Lineup

Camp Chef’s roster of grills has expanded to include portable camp stoves and smokers, flat-tops grills, and pellet grills.

Since we’re here to talk about pellet grills, I’ll give you the breakdown. There are 9 distinct models, and several of them are available with add-on accessories (more on those later). A few models also come in multiple colors. As of the time of writing, there are 18 separate model numbers on the pellet grills page of the Camp Chef website.

Several models offer Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring of your cook session. Camp Chef also makes one portable pellet grill, and it’s included in our review section.

How do Camp Chef Grills Compare to Competitors?

Before we look at a few grills, let’s spare a moment to compare Camp Chef to others in the pellet grill arena. We have dedicated comparison articles I highly recommend you check out here: Camp Chef Vs Traeger pellet grills, and Camp Chef Vs Pit Boss Pellet Grills, but keep reading for the comparison summaries.

Camp Chef sells a strong mix of grills in different configurations. That puts them right in the same ballpark as companies like Z Grills and Traeger, but well behind Pit Boss. They’ve got several sizes to choose from, as well, though none have the third tier of racks found on a few other pellet grills. On the other hand, they have an exceptional portable model, and not many can say that.

Of course, a pellet grill is only as good as its thermostat and controller. Fortunately, Camp Chef has one of the best, utilizing Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) technology for accurate temperatures. Displays are large, interfaces are intuitive, and all models we reviewed include at least 2 meat probe thermometers, which are essential to achieving perfect doneness. Several models include wireless connectivity for smartphone monitoring. We’d rank the thermostats among the best in the biz.

The features continue, with excellent grease management systems, access to direct-flame grilling in many models and easy ash clean-outs. The direct-flame access alone sets them apart from many pellet grills.

Their 3-year warranty is acceptable; it’s not up with the longest on the market, but it’s on par with most companies.

They’re not quite up there with Traeger in terms of pricing, but they are in a different tier than Z Grills. The value (aka bang for the buck) is untouchable.

Camp Chef Pellet Grill Reviews

Let’s explore five of Camp Chef’s best grills to see what they can do for you, and see if we can find your next pellet grill.

1

Woodwind Wi-Fi 36 With Sidekick

♔ Recommended

If you hadn’t noticed, this is a really large grill. The main grate is nearly 3 feet wide; that’s a ton of space for anything you care to grill, roast, or smoke. Want to see how big you can go? Watch this video – a 64-pound whole hog smoking in a 36” Camp Chef grill.

Fortunately, the hopper holds 22 pounds (more than a full bag) of your favorite pellets, so there’ll be no need to add more during a session. But wait! What if you want to change pellets? No problem; there’s an easy hopper clean-out system, so you can pour your pellets back in the bag before switching to another flavor.

With a 160°F to 500°F temperature range, you can smoke even the most delicate foods at the low end, or turn up the heat for roasting, baking, or quick grilling.

And we love the Slide and Grill feature. Just pull out the knob to expose the firepot, giving you access to direct, over-the-flame cooking. Now you can sear your meat to perfection before finishing to the doneness you like. Very few pellet grills allow true searing.

The brains of the operation is the PID controller. With a large display and hook-ups for 4 meat probes (included), it’s just what you need for accurate temperatures and perfect cooks without guessing when the food is done.

Not that you’ll spend much time touching it – it’s WIFI-enabled, so you can run the show from your smartphone. Shouldn’t everything have an app?

Clean-up is easy, with the ash dumping into a removable cup under the cookbox and the grease management system funneling drippings into a handy can at the side.

We can’t forget to talk about the Sidekick cooking station. You’ll love this small-but-mighty propane burner attached to the right side of the Woodwind WIFI 36. Pumping out 28,000 BTUs, it’s perfect for making sides, sauces, soups, and more. You could even cook up a couple of burgers or chops while the main cookbox is in use for smoking.

Big, rugged, versatile – this is a heck of a pellet grill that delivers performance and quality.

Specs

  • Primary cooking area: 663 sq. in.
  • Secondary cooking area: 573 sq. in.
  • Hopper capacity: 22 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 160°F to 500°F; direct flame cooking up to 650°F
  • Sidekick cooking area: 231 sq. in.
  • Sidekick BTUs: 28,000
  • 3-year warranty

Pros

  • Large color display with a weather-resistant cover
  • Comes with 4 meat probe thermometers
  • Slide and Grill feature for direct flame cooking/searing
  • Smoke Number system to add/reduce smoke volume
  • Sidekick grill for cooking sides, sauces, more
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi-enabled; monitor everything on the app

Cons

  • Sidekick occupies the only prep space
  • Sidekick requires a propane tank and space to put it

Are you in love yet? Go with that feeling and get to know the Camp Chef Woodwind WIFI 36 with Sidekick here:

Check Price on Amazon

2

Smokepro Sgx 36 Wi-Fi

♔ Recommended

Let’s save a lot of time here; this is virtually the same grill as the Woodwind WIFI 36 (reviewed above). The cooking area is the same, as are the hopper, the PID / WIFI controller, and the clean-out systems. You even get the Slide and Grill feature for direct flame cooking and the pellet dump for switching flavor profiles.

What you don’t get are the Sidekick propane cooking station and the bottom shelf. You also get 2 included meat probes instead of 4. Giving up the Sidekick actually creates an advantage – the Smokepro SGX 36 has a large side shelf for preparing food.

It’s a powerful, versatile pellet grill with a lot to love and a ton of cooking space. If you feel like a propane cooker isn’t something you’ll use, and you don’t mind giving up a couple of probes, you’ll save some cash without feeling like you’ve missed out on much.

Specs

  • Primary cooking area: 663 sq. in.
  • Secondary cooking area: 573 sq. in.
  • Hopper capacity: 22 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 160°F to 500°F; direct flame cooking up to 650°F
  • 3-year warranty

Pros

  • Large color display is easy to read
  • Comes with 2 meat probe thermometers
  • Slide and Grill feature for direct flame cooking/searing
  • Smoke Number system to add/reduce smoke volume
  • Color-coordinated side shelf for prep
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi-enabled; monitor everything on the app

Cons

  • Might be too large for compact suburban patios
  • No lower shelf for storage

There is so much value here, it’s amazing. Take a long hard look at this one before moving on. It just might be the one for you.

Check Price on Amazon

3

Smokepro SG 24

♔ Recommended

Love the Smokepro SGX 36 but don’t have over 5 feet of linear space to set it up? The SG 24 may fit the bill.

This slightly more “compact” pellet grill has all the bigger sibling features (which are detailed in the previous review) in a smaller footprint. I love that it even has the same size hopper; you can dump in up to 22 pounds of pellets for those extended smoke sessions.

You also get the Slide and Grill feature, so you can flame-broil and sear to your heart’s content.

Take note of the upper grill’s size, too; it’s not a lot smaller than the main cooking area, which means you can smoke even more meat at once.

Specs

  • Primary cooking area: 429 sq. in.
  • Secondary cooking area: 382 sq. in.
  • Hopper capacity: 22 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 160°F to 500°F; direct flame cooking up to 650°F
  • 3-year warranty

Pros

  • Large color display is easy to read
  • Comes with 2 meat probe thermometers
  • Slide and Grill feature for direct flame cooking/searing
  • Smoke Number system to add/reduce smoke volume
  • Color coordinated side shelf for prep
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi-enabled; monitor everything on the app

Cons

  • No bottom shelf for keeping pellet bags off the ground
  • Secondary grate is almost the same size as primary, making access to the back of the lower grill awkward

This is a terrific smaller pellet grill that delivers big performance. Check out a bunch of pics and more specs here:

Check Price on Amazon

4

Smokepro Dlx 24 Pellet Grill – Bronze

Recommended

You need to pay attention to this review if you’re looking for a robust pellet grill experience on a tighter budget.

Key to any good pellet grill is the digital controller and thermostat. Luckily, the DLX 24 has the same brain as the SG-series grills, including PID technology, and 2 included meat probes.

There’s no WIFI connectivity, but you’ll have no trouble running your cook from the controller, with the simple interface and large digital display.

You do get the Smoke Number system, ash clean-out, grease management system, and pellet dump included on the more premium models. That’s a lot of built-in value!

Specs

  • Primary cooking area: 429 sq. in.
  • Secondary cooking area: 141 sq. in.
  • Hopper capacity: 18 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 160°F to 500°F
  • 3-year warranty

Pros

  • Large, easy-to-use digital display and controller
  • Includes 2 meat probes
  • Smoke Number system to add/reduce smoke volume
  • Hopper window to view pellet reserves
  • Attractively priced

Cons

  • No wireless connectivity/app
  • No direct-flame cooking option (you can buy a bolt-on sear station)

The Smokepro DLX 24 does a great job straddling the line between premium and budget, with well-chosen inclusions and exclusions from higher-priced models. It’s a pretty easy impulse buy, and might be easier to explain to your spouse partner when the box arrives.

Check out our full review of this product, or click here for pricing and more details:

Check Price on Amazon

5

Pursuit 20 Portable Pellet Grill

Recommended

Sometimes, “portable” means “full-size but with handles.” In this case, though, it means genuinely portable for pellet grilling on-the-go.

The cookbox on the Pursuit 20 is pretty close to being a cube. That means while it’s not that wide, it has plenty of space inside. With only a 5-square inch difference between the upper and lower racks, it’s like doubling up on cooking surface. You could take out the upper rack, too, to accommodate tall items.

The folding legs allow the Pursuit 20 to stand tall enough to use comfortably but also to slide into your pickup, SUV, or RV easily. In fact, you can still cook on it in the folded position, which is epic for tailgating. And the 10-pound hopper will keep you tailgating for hours.

We were thrilled to see that you get most of the full-size features for life on the road, including the Slide and Grill flame-cooking zone and the PID controller with large display and 2 meat probes. There are really next to no compromises made to make it portable.

While its size probably prevents it from being your go-to grill at home, too, if you camp, cottage, or tailgate a lot, this grill could be your new best friend.

Specs

  • Primary cooking area: 253 sq. in.
  • Secondary cooking area: 248 sq. in.
  • Hopper capacity: 10 lbs.
  • Temperature range: 160°F to 500°F; direct flame cooking up to 650°F
  • 3-year warranty

Pros

  • Large, easy-to-use digital display and controller
  • Includes 2 meat probes
  • Slide and Grill feature for direct flame cooking/searing
  • Smoke Number system to add/reduce smoke volume
  • Folding legs and locking lid for easy transport
  • Can be used with legs folded for tailgating/tabletop operation

Cons

  • No wireless connectivity/app
  • Too small for smoking/roasting large cuts

If you’re specifically in the market for a portable grill, pellet or otherwise, the Camp Chef Pursuit 20 has to be on your radar. Take a peek here:

Check Price on Amazon

How to Choose the Right Camp Chef Grill for You

To better help you make the best choice, here are some key criteria to weigh in your mind before pulling the trigger on a picture.

Size and Cooking Area

Honestly, this may be the single most important consideration when buying any grill. Think about how many people you’re cooking for and what you plan on cooking, and go from there.

For example, if you have just a small family and don’t entertain much, a small main grate may be enough. But, if you’ve got a large clan, or love to have people over for a cookout, it’s better to have more available space, even if you don’t use it all every time.

Also, what food do you like to cook and eat? If you like tackling huge briskets and whole turkeys, you’ll want plenty of not only square inches, but also cubic inches. But, if steaks and burgers, and maybe ribs are more your thing, you could get by with less space overall.

Try to think ahead, too; what’s good enough now may be limiting in the future if you plan on expanding your family or your menu.

Build Quality, Looks and Appearance

Generally, within a single manufacturer’s lineup, the build quality is pretty similar. But, you may find slight variances that will make a difference in your situation. Let’s say…

Looks aren’t everything, of course, but they’re important to some people. It’s totally ok to base a decision on appearance if you like your backyard just so! Do you have other equipment you want to match? Do you like to post to Instagram? Do you simply have a color preference? These are all important questions – you’ll have to live with your new grill in your outdoor space for years to come.

Hopper Capacity

Most Camp Chef pellet grills come with a 22-pound hopper. That’s an ideal size for dumping in an entire 20-pound bag of pellets.

If you’re looking at a home model (and not a portable) and the hopper is less than 20 pounds, think about whether you might sometimes want that extra capacity. It may not turn out to be a deal-breaker, but it might help convince you to upgrade.

Technology and Feature Differences Between Models

Camp Chef has kindly installed the same tech in all their digital controllers. But, there are some small differences in features, notably the presence or absence of WIFI connectivity. Is this a feature you might use? If you like to step away and entertain or watch the game, it could be. But, if you tend to hover around the grill, anyway, it might be a place where you can save some cash.

The other big difference between Camp Chef grills is the Slide and Grill feature. If you love to sear steaks and chops, this is a must-have feature – unless you don’t mind adding on the optional sear station for an additional cost.

Price and Value

Never confuse these two things: price is what you pay, and value is what you get for your money. All the Camp Chef grills we looked at offer excellent value, so you can’t go wrong.

But, it may be that you could spend a bit less and get exactly what you need. Or, perhaps stretching the budget a bit might get you upgraded features you’ll come to love. Think carefully about your current and future needs and wants.

Final Thoughts

Buying a new pellet grill isn’t a snap decision. After reading this article, I hope you can see why a Camp Chef grill might be the right choice for you. Did you find the grill of your dreams today?

If not, stick around and browse the site for more reviews until you’ve got it pegged. And, we’ve got all kinds of gear to learn about, plus tips and tricks to get maximum enjoyment out of your new pellet grill.

Thanks for hanging out with us today. Be sure and spread the word and help us continue to be the best source for grilling knowledge on the ‘net.

Hi, I’m Jim! I’ve been grilling for nearly 20 years over charcoal, wood, and gas. Now I’m happy to share my experience and discoveries with you.

When I’m not writing about barbecue, I’m usually writing about food anyway, at a food marketing agency. Aside from my family and the perfect steak, my passions include travel and all things Disney.

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