So you love to grill, and you want to smoke, but you just don’t have room for both in either your outdoor space or your budget?
If only there were one device that could take care of all your outdoor cooking needs!
As it happens, there are 2-in-1 options available that might solve all your problems, including this tubby looking beast. (And I say that with respect and affection.)
But can a single unit really do the work of both a smoker and a barbecue and do both jobs well?
In our Camp Chef SmokePro DLX pellet grill review, we’ll answer these questions and more.
If everyone’s ready, let’s go in-depth with this fascinating grill!
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What is the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill?
Although it looks like a standard barbecue that has put on a few pounds, the SmokePro DLX is anything but standard.
Unlike the grills most of us are familiar with, though, the SmokePro burns wood pellets for heat and smoke. Wood pellets are compressed sawdust, and they come in a variety of “flavors” just like chips do.
You fill up the hopper with pellets, set your desired temperature on the electronic keypad, and the machine does the rest. An auger continuously feeds pellets into the burn chamber where they are ignited by an electric heat rod.
The interior of the smoke chamber is set up much like a standard barbecue with a main grill and an upper grill.
Because of the configuration and the temperature range the SmokePro is capable of, you can smoke, roast, bake, and grill.
What you cannot do, however, is sear. There just isn’t enough heat generated to get the job done, though you can readily cook your burgers, other meats, and veg.
A Few Words About Camp Chef
The company was established in 1990 and has its headquarters in Utah.
The first Camp Chef products were portable stoves for campers, but since then they have branched off into all manner of outdoor cooking equipment.
The current product line-up includes flat top grills, pellet grills and smokers, portable ovens, fire pits, cast iron cookware, coolers, propane water heaters, and even outdoor movie screens.
You can buy online direct from Camp Chef, through Amazon, or in-store at places like Dick’s, Gander Mtn., Bass Pro Shops, and Wal-Mart.
Why Do People Choose Camp Chef Products?
Camp Chef has done an excellent job of positioning itself as a brand made for outdoors enthusiasts by outdoor enthusiasts. They seem to understand their target market and offer a wide range of quality products to support their lifestyle.
Reviews of their stuff are almost always positive, and they took one of the top spots in our roundup of the best pellet smokers in 2019, so you know they’re making quality merchandise that pleases users – and that’s what matters most.
Review of the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill and Smoker
Let’s take a close look at one of Camp Chefs more popular products: The SmokePro DLX Wood Pellet Outdoor BBQ Grill and Smoker.
What Comes Inside the Box?
Other than the largely disassembled smoker, you also get the porcelain-coated cooking grate, porcelain-coated warming rack, drip tray, grease catch bucket, heat diffuser, ash trap, and temperature probe.
The SmokePro DLX is undoubtedly well packed in the box, but expect to do a fair bit of assembly. They kindly provide an Allen key to help you out.
The unit certainly looks robust and sturdily built – everything fits together nicely, and I like the little bucket they give you for the grease to flow into.
This smoker certainly has a presence, thanks to the large cooking chamber and the massive hopper on the side. Happy to see they’ve provided a worktable on the side, too, as well as a pair of wheels for moving it around.
It’s a good-looking smoker, with its charming chimney and conical hood. If you buy the bronze model, it’s especially attractive. Despite the chunky dimensions, it doesn’t seem overwhelming, as many horizontal and offset smokers do.
Control-wise, it appears easy to operate. The temperature dial is easy to access, and the digital read-out makes it simple to tell how hot it is inside. Everything is clearly labeled, so there should be no confusion.
All in all, the first impressions of the SmokePro DLX are all good.
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill Specs
- Exterior Dimensions: 47.24”H x 43.7” L x 34.25”D
- Weight: 140 lbs
- Material: Powder-coated steel
- Ignition: Electric “hot rod”
- Fuel Source: wood pellets
- Hopper Capacity: 18 lbs
- Total Cooking Area: 429 sq. in. main, 141 sq. in. warming rack
- BTUs: 25,000
- Temperature Range: 160 – 500F
If all this has piqued your interest, you can:
Key Features of the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
Load up the hopper with up to 18 pounds of your favorite pellets for hours of smoking time.
How much you go through will depend on time and temperature, but for most jobs, you won’t need to refill.
Gotta love a self-feeding fire!
The auger speed controls the temperature by delivering the pellets in the right quantity. It’s pretty impressive technology, actually, and it takes out a lot of the guesswork.
LED Temperature Readout
You won’t have to guess where the needle is pointing on the thermometer with a digital display. You can even read it in the dark if your smoking goes long.
Temperature Selection Dial
It’s straightforward to get the temperature you want. Just turn the dial to the number and let the auger do its job. User-friendly much?
A probe-style thermometer is so useful, it’s almost hard to believe Camp Chef includes it in the box.
You don’t want to slice open your meat to see if it’s done, nor do you want to leave the lid open for a long time while you stick in a thermometer.
Simply feed the probe through the special hole and plug into the main panel. Press a button to switch from internal to probe to find out if it’s ready!
A chimney, or some sort of vent, should be a must on all smokers to ensure proper flow, and to minimize soot buildup inside the smoker. You can’t always count on the weather to cooperate, so it’s nice to have a cap over the chimney to keep the rain and snow from getting in.
Pellet Purge System
Removing the pellets from some grills can be a pain, but not with the SmokePro DLX.
Simply pull the knob, and the hopper empties from the bottom. Not only is this great for removing unused pellets, but it also gives you the option to change pellets part way through a smoking.
Ash Cleanout System
Ash is an unavoidable problem any time you burn wood, no matter if it’s chips, charcoal, or pellets. Dealing with it can be messy, and it tends to get everywhere.
Underneath the burn chamber, there’s a cup attached and ready to collect the ash. Just pull a handle to open up the bottom of the chamber and voila! A cup full of ash.
A side shelf can be a real life-saver, no matter whether you’re smoking or grilling. Having that extra space to rest utensils, or set down a tray of meat while you open the lid, can be incredibly handy. Another nice touch from Camp Chef.
You’ll never learn everything you need to know about a product just from a list in a manual. Here are some good-to-know facts you won’t find on the spec sheet.
Ease of Use
So much of what this smoker does is automated, making it very user-friendly, even for people who aren’t very familiar with smoking.
From the push-button starter to the automatic auger, and, finally, the shutdown mode, it’s incredibly simple to operate.
About the only thing to keep an eye on is the pellet hopper, and it’s so large, you’ll rarely need to refill mid-smoke.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s fire, there’s ash! Messing around with ash is the dirtiest part of smoking, but the SmokePro DLX has this taken care of.
Simply pull on the ash dump knob, and the accumulated ash falls through the bottom of the smoke box and into a handy collection cup, ready for you to dispose of.
Other than that and a scrape of the grill (as you would with any BBQ), there’s not much else to do on a regular basis.
Camp Chef recommends a deep clean every 50 hours of use. Vacuum out any loose debris, and gently scrape off any buildup. Wipe down the interior and any removable parts with warm, soapy water. Rinse it off, let it dry, and you’re ready to go!
There is a decently large Facebook group specifically for Camp Chef smoker owners. It’s about 5,400 members strong, with hundreds of new posts going up each day. You can check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1864698883811514/
You can contact Camp Chef via a toll-free phone call from Monday to Thursday, 7a-5p (Mountain Time), by email, snail mail, online form, or live chat. They maintain social feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, plus they have a blog on their site.
So far as I can tell, their customer service must be very good. At least, I can’t seem to find anyone complaining about them, and there is ALWAYS someone complaining about almost everything. To me, that implies things must be going very right in this department.
Available Upgrades, Accessories and Attachments
- Sear box – a 16,000 BTU propane burner that mounts where the side table typically goes
- Jerky rack
- Rib rack
- Pellet grill blanket
- 3-year “Hassle-Free” warranty on all parts
- No coverage for paint
- Does not cover abuse, neglect, misuse, accidents, and modification
Quick Tips To Get the Most Out of Your Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
- Remove wet pellets to prevent auger stoppage
- For winter smoking, but a pellet grill blanket to keep in the heat
- Try a variety of foods and cooking styles – bake, roast, smoke, grill: try it all!
- Switch pellets part way through smoking to blend flavors
What We Like
- Automatic temperature control
- Well thought out convenience features (ash dump, pellet chute, probe)
- Handles all outdoor cooking jobs
- It doesn’t have to be all black
What We Don’t Like
- It doesn’t sear without adding the sear box (which is really just a small propane grill attached to the side), but then again, most smokers only smoke
- Have to switch the display back and forth from internal temperature to probe temperature instead of having a display for each
- Not all the ash is going to end up in that cup, and you’ll likely still need to vacuum out the smoker – better than nothing, though!
Should You Buy the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill?
This is a remarkably versatile piece of equipment that will open up a ton of backyard cooking possibilities for anyone adventurous enough to take advantage.
Unlike many multi-purpose items that are the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none,” this grill is really good at just about everything. If you add on the sear box, you could readily replace both a smoker and a standard barbecue with this one unit.
Mind you, this level of quality and versatility doesn’t come cheap. This is a very good quality smoker, and it shows.
Yes, it’s an investment, but it seems to be worth every penny. Yes, we wholeheartedly recommend this very cool smoker and grill. The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX will completely change your backyard cooking game.
If you’d like more details, follow the link below:
Other Models Might Suit You If:
- You don’t have access to electricity where you plan to use it
- You already have a grill you’re happy with, and you just want to smoke
- You plan on smoking very large quantities at once
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill Not For You? Here Are Some Great Alternatives
If you’re not entirely convinced this is the grill for you, that’s ok! There’s more where that came from!
Camp Chef SmokePro SE Pellet Grill
If you can’t quite justify the price tag on the DLX, but you’re sold on the whole combo-unit, pellet grilling, Camp Chef experience, the SE might be the way to go.
It comes with the same size main grill (no upper grill, but you can buy it separately), temperature control, auto-ignition, automatic auger, 18 lbs capacity hopper, and so forth.
About all you’re giving up are the LED temperature readout and the plugin probe. However, you’re gaining a shelf between the legs, so that’s cool.
If you can live without the display (there’s still a hole for a probe), you can save a good chunk of change and still have a great smoker to brag about.
REC TEC RT-680 Wood Pellet Grill
Pellets are a great way to easily deliver delicious smoky flavor to your meat with a minimum of fuss. If pellets are what you want, but you think a larger smoker is what you need, this whopper may be the solution you’re looking for.
It has all the automated features you need for easy operation, plus a massive hopper that holds up to 40 lbs of pellets.
Want to know more? Read our full review right here. <insert link to article>
For a quick look, you can check out the Rec Tec Pellet Grill on Amazon.
Wrapping Up the Review
If you didn’t know much about pellets before reading this article, have we got you intrigued?
With all the automation packed into this very cool smoker and grill, there’s not much need for guesswork, or dealing with a steep learning curve as you master the art of smoking. Having the ability to grill as well as smoke is a nice bonus, too.
Go ahead and take a moment alone with the SmokePro – you can read about it on amazon here, and even buy one if you’re ready.
So, now that you’ve finished our Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill review, are you convinced this is for you? If so, congratulations! The search is over – nothing left to do now but order and start anticipating some amazing meals with your family and friends.
And, of course, we welcome your comments, concerns, and non-philosophical questions – we do barbecue, not existentialism – in our comments section below.
Thanks for your time and your attention. Happy smoking!
Product image credits: © Amazon.com