Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grills

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The most popular range of pellet grills provided by Camp Chef is their Woodwind series. However, just like the Traeger Pro Series pellet grills, the Camp Chef Woodwind range had first-generation controllers and current-generation PID WiFi controllers. Therefore, I wanted to create a comprehensive post not only covering the different models in the Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill range but also the differences between units with and without the PID/WiFi controllers. We’ll also discuss the benefits of adding a propane SideKick to a Woodwind pellet grill/smoker. Right, let’s get into this!

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grills/Smokers
Currently, the Camp Chef Woodwind 36 is the largest pellet grill in the range

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Update: You may want to check out my SmokePro vs Woodwind article to work out if you would actually get better value from a more affordable SmokePro model.

Also, please note this article does not currently reference the Woodwind Pro models.

Introduction To The Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Range

Camp Chef is definitely ‘up there’ with some of the most popular wood pellet grill brands available today, such as Traeger and Pit Boss.

For instance, I’ve previously written about the Camp Chef Pursuit 20, which is one of the most popular portable pellet grills around.

As you will see below, Camp Chefs’ approach to the design of their pellet grills is quite different to the competition, with features not seen on Traeger or Pit Boss grills.

A typical example would be their patented ash cleanout system. However, there are quite a few other unique features on Camp Chef pellet grills which you don’t find from other manufacturers.

Camp Chef launched the first generation of Woodwind pellet grills with the ‘Grill God’ commercials. Fun and silly, but at the same time, it quickly sets out the benefits of these grills compared to charcoal and propane

With the Woodwind range, its pretty clear that Camp Chef is trying to make a wood pellet grill/smoker more attractive to BBQ owners who have only previously used propane grills.

With pellets, you can get precise temperature control and a grill that feeds itself with fuel. With pellets, you get great flavour as you get from cooking with wood logs, chips and charcoal.

The significant difference is, as the commercial above states, anybody can produce great-tasting food on a pellet grill.

In comparison, it takes a lot of experience/time to produce great-tasting BBQ on traditional wood/charcoal grills.

With hardwood BBQ wood pellets you get the great taste of cooking with wood/charcoal but with the convenience of cooking with gas/propane

Now while there are very few people who would suggest a propane grill can compete with a wood pellet grill in terms of flavour.

There are some aspects of a propane grill that a pellet grill generally lacks, as I discuss in my gas vs pellet grill article.

For instance, propane grills are great for searing meat and vegetables, and they are also very convenient. With a propane grill, you turn it on, and within just a couple of minutes, you’re cooking.

Whereas even the fastest warm-up pellet grills currently available today will take around 10 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.

Therefore, with the Woodwind range, Camp Chef is offering something unique. A pellet grill with the option of either a propane Sear Box or SideKick.

In other words, the benefits of great taste and flexibility of cooking with pellets and the convenience and searing with propane in a single grill!

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Features

So let’s discuss some of the specific features of the Camp Chef Woodwind range that set it apart from the competition. Well, first, let’s discuss the patented ash cleanout system.

Now on other pellet grills, after say, 4-5 normal cooks or 2-3 long/slow cooks, there is going to be a steady build of ash sitting in the bottom of the grill.

On most grills, you will have to take out all the racks, drip liner and baffles and get your ash/shop vac in there.

Well, not with the Woodwind range. While every now and again, you will want to thoroughly clean the grill. In most instances, you can just empty the ash pot, as seen in the video below.

Now, this feature is found on other pellet grills in the Camp Chef range, including the SmokePro. However, its not found on many grills/smokers outside of the Camp Chef brand.

The patented ash cleanout system on the Camp Chef saves you time and effort

Direct Flame Grilling/Broiling

Another feature found on Camp Chef pellet grills that is missing from much of the competition is direct-flame grilling.

If you look at Traegers, for instance, they feature solid drip pan trays and fixed heat baffles over the firepot. Therefore, on a Traeger, direct flame grilling/broiling isn’t possible.

However, on Camp Chef pellet grills, a leaver can move the heat baffle, which normally sits over the firepot to one side.

Furthermore, the drip pan on Camp Chef grills has louvres (gaps) which let the direct heat/flame/smoke from the pellet fire reach the food you’re cooking.

You probably won’t want to use this feature in all cases, it obviously depends on what you’re cooking. However, with this feature available, you can broil your burgers, chicken or steak etc, at 650 degrees.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Drip Tray
The louvers on the Woodwinds drip tray allow for direct heat/flames/smoke from the firepot into your food once the heat baffle above the firepot has been moved over

Woodwind WiFi and Camp Chef Connect

Now, as I referenced at the start of this post, there are two generations of Windwood grills, and the first generation (without WiFi) is no longer available for sale.

I’ve previously written about is WiFi worth it? The answer really depends on what you’re cooking and how long you will be away from the pellet grill/smoker to monitor it.

Its important to note, WiFi and the Camp Chef connect app are not featured on the first-generation Woodwind pellet grills

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Models

As I’ve stated above, the Woodwind range has been around for a few years now and has seen upgrades along the way, and a few models have been discontinued.

Woodwind WiFi 24

The current Woodwind models I would personally refer to as the second generation of Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grills with the upgraded PID/WiFi controllers.

Previously there was a small WiFi 20 model. However, now the Woodwind WiFi 24 is the smallest model in the range and is a mid-sized backyard pellet grill/smoker

The Woodwind 24 pellet grill provides a total of over 800 square inches of cooking area
  • Total Cooking Area = 811 (429 at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 22 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 160 to 500 degrees (650+ Direct Flame)
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $899 > $1,199 (With SideKick)

Woodwind WiFi 36

The Woodwind WiFi 36 is essentially identical to its smaller sibling, the Woodwind WiFi 24, in terms of features, its just a larger pellet grill/smoker overall.

Therefore, just like its smaller sibling, the Woodwind WiFi 36 can be upgraded with the propane SideKick at initial purchase or as an addition at a later date.

The top-of-the-range Woodwind WiFi 36 pellet grill with 1,236 square inches of total cooking area
  • Total Cooking Area = 1,236 (663 at the main grate)
  • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 22 lbs
  • Temperature Range = 160 to 500 degrees (650+ Direct Flame)
  • Direct-Flame Access? = Yes
  • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
  • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
  • Typical Price = $1,199 > $1,499 (With SideKick)

Woodwind Pellet Grill Reviews

When I do my research for my pellet grill posts I like to find good quality reviews from both BBQ professionals and your average back yard BBQ owner to provide as wider perspective as possible.

As I have discussed above, older versions of this pellet grill are fitted with the first generation controller and some are fitted with the second-generation PID/WiFi controller.

Therefore, please keep that in mind when watching the reviews below.

Camp Chef took a Woodwind WiFi 24 up to see Guy Fieri to get his thoughts on this new generation of pellet grills

BBQ Guys Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Reviews

Back in 2018, the BBQ Guys did their first review of a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill the SG 24. Therefore, this grill features the first generation controller (no WiFi).

The review clearly shows the settings and controls on the first generation SG 24 controller. Note the low and high smoke settings at 160 and 220 degrees respectively and how the temperature range increases in 25-degree increments.

BBQ Guys review of the first generation Camp Chef Woodwind the SG 24

While the SG 24 could produce excellent BBQ, this review, in hindsight it also highlights the improvements of the second-generation PID WiFi controller, which has 1-10 smoke settings for any set temperature.

Furthermore, the temperature can be controlled in just 5-degree increments. In 2019 the BBQ Guys did their second review of the Woodwind range on the second generation WiFi 36.

BBQ Guys review of the latest WiFi 36 Woodwind pellet grill

As the above review shows, the WiFi integration and App adds a significant amount of versatility and flexibility to an already feature-rich range of pellet grills.

Its worth noting that the Woodwind WiFi range is currently one of the few pellet grills you can get with WiFi monitoring of four meat probes. Even the Traeger Ironwood and Timberline range can only provide WiFi monitoring of two meat probes.

Furthermore, those pellet grills do not have the option of the Sear Box accessory which the video review above does a good job at showing the wide range of circumstances where you would want to use it.

Woodwind Pellet Grill Owner Reviews

The first owner’s review I wanted to reference is by Scott Gregg. Its of a first-generation Classic 24 which Scott has been using for over a year.

I much prefer to reference long term owners reviews when I can find them. They provide so much more insight in terms of what its really like to live with a particular grill on a day to day basis and over an extended period of time.

The professional reviews above are mainly overviews. Furthermore, as you can see from Scott’s review below, he’s providing feedback on not only the features he does like but his impressions of the drawbacks with this grill.

Scott provides a highly detailed review of his experiences using the Camp Chef Woodwind Classic 24 over a year

For Scott, the convenience of the removable ash pot under the grill is a significant benefit. And he’s right, to clean a pellet grill you normally have to take out all the grates and get an ash vac in there, but not with Woodwind range.

Scott also discusses the benefits of his attached Sear Box. Just before the food has finished cooking on the pellet grill he’ll remove the chicken, burgers etc and finish them off on the Sear Box.

His comments on the potential ‘flame out‘ issue are worth paying attention to and you can read more about that in my linked article.

But for now, the second owner review I wanted to share is from Everyday BBQ & Cooking on the second generation WiFi 24 Woodwind.

A solid review of the second-generation Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24

As Mike mentions at the start of his review, you do need to take your time when unboxing and assembling any pellet grill to make sure everything is aligned properly.

Otherwise, you could be stripping threads on the screws etc. At some point, I’ll get round to writing a post on the Woodwind assembly process. Mike highlights the pellet viewing window on the hopper to quickly view the level.

Champ Chef, however, don’t as yet have a pellet sensor which plugs into the WiFi control that Traeger’s have for instance.

Though what the Camp Chef Woodwind range does have which Traegers don’t at this price point are stainless steel grill racks.

Furthermore, the Woodwind range has a stainless steel lid, again not found on other grills at this price point. There is also the direct flame grilling which is possible on the Woodwind, again a feature not found on any current Traeger models.

Conclusions On The Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Range

Compared to the competition at this price point, the Woodwind range has several features and abilities you will currently not find on many other pellet grills/smokers.

For instance, the added convenience and utility of the optional Sear Box/Side Kick should not be overlooked.

While the direct flame grilling as a feature of the Woodwind range at 650 degrees is not found on many other pellet grills, with the Sear Box/Side Kick you also have the option to finish/caramelise your food at 900 degrees.

Now, the Camp Chef Woodwind range does not feature a twin-wall insulated cooking chamber such as that found on, say, a Traeger Timberline/Ironwood.

Therefore, in colder climates, especially when using Woodwind grills during the colder months of the year you’ll want to consider the insulated jacket accessory. However, in warmer climates/summer months you should be fine.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ve also got a post on the Camp Chef Sear Box vs SideKick you may want to check out. You may also to check up on my Camp Chef error codes article.

If you would like to learn more in general please check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide. 🙂

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