Camp Chef Woodwind Review: Likes, Dislikes & Is It For You?

Camp Chef Woodwind Review

The Camp Chef Woodwind’s got a lot going for it. WiFi, an updated PID controller, stainless steel components, a full color screen, smart smoke, and, the awesome Slide n Grill for direct flame cooking. But, the price seems super reasonable, so, can it actually be any good?

In this Camp Chef Woodwind review, we dive into the nitty gritty of what this smoker’s really like to cook on. We cover it’s build, capacity, performance, included extras and what’s available as optional add-ons (psst… Camp Chef do some good ones!) to help you decide if it’s the right grill for you.

While you’re reading it, keep in mind that the difference between the Woodwind WIFI 20, Woodwind WIFI 24, and, Woodwind WIFI 36 is simply the size. Unless otherwise stated, all of the features and usability mentioned relates to the whole Woodwind range, regardless of which size fits your family and budget best.

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Features of the Camp Chef Woodwind WIFI

Construction:

  • Stainless steel fire box and lid
  • Choice of 3 sizes to suit your needs
  • Taller head height caters to larger cuts of meat with top rack removed
  • Full color screen controller

Ease of use:

  • Updated PID controller automatically maintains temperature
  • WiFi enabled for remote control
  • Slide and Grill Technology’s Direct Flame grilling reaches 650°F
  • Smart Smoke technology lets you set the smoke level between 1 and 10 independent of the temperature
  • Patented Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system

Included extras:

  • 4 stainless steel meat probes for accurate internal temperature without opening the lid
  • Protective controller cover

In-Depth Review of the Camp Chef Woodwind with WiFi

If you’re looking for a great value for money smoker that ticks most of the boxes, the Camp Chef’s Woodwind range should definitely be on your list.

Well-built, versatile, reliable and easy to use, on the surface, any Camp Chef Woodwind seems like a good buy. But, when it’s priced so much lower than comparable Traeger’s, recteq’s and a lot of other pellet smokers out there, does it really deliver? How good is the Slide and Grill direct flame grilling? How does Smart Smoke work? And is the WiFi any good?

We dive into these questions plus more to help you decide if it’s the right smoker for your backyard.

Construction

Regardless of the size, all of the Camp Chef Woodwind range is made from both powder-coated steel and stainless steel. If you’re on a bit of a budget, this is a good mix to keep any smoker affordable, but, still have the extra durability of stainless where you really need it. And, the Woodwind’s do have the extra where you need it, with a stainless steel firebox, cooking chamber lid and chimney topper.

Overall, the Woodwind’s fit together well with a nice tight seal for proper airflow. They do feel sturdy enough to handle regular use and the wheels are large enough to move it around without too much hassle.

Inside you’ve got porcelain-coated steel for the lower racks and nickel-plated steel for the top one. They’re pretty standard but, fairly non-stick, rust-resistant, and, easy to clean so definitely do the job adequately.

Capacity

One of the best things about the Woodwind is you’ve got choice when it comes to size. And, with it means that if you’re budget is a bit tight, you could just go a little smaller instead of sacrificing quality.

But, the WiFi Woodwind comes in 3 sizes. The 20″ holds 501 square inches of cooking space. The 24″ does 800 and the 36″ gives you a sizeable 1,236 square inches to play with.

All of the models split that space over two racks with the top rack being only slightly smaller than the bottom. The more squared design of the Camp Chef’s give that extra space so that the top rack can be used for more than just wings or sides. For times when you need the extra height, you can remove half or the whole top rack as well.

The hopper capacity also somewhat correlates to the smoker size. The WiFi Woodwind 20 has a 10 pound hopper while the 24 and 36 both hold 22 pounds of pellets at their max. 22 pounds is great as it easily fits a standard 20 pound bag. But, it would have been nice if the 20″ had a slightly larger hopper. Still, you should get at least 10 hours of smoke time out of 1 fill so it’s not a major in our opinion.

Smoking Performance

Smoking on the WiFi Woodwind is definitely easy. Start it up and it reaches a good temperature pretty quickly and then all you’ve got to do is load up the goods and get busy doing something else while you wait.

The temperature is looked after by Camp Chef’s updated smart WiFi PID controller. It’s designed to stick within about 5°F of your target and does a good job of keeping it close to that, even in windy, not so great weather.

But, something different that we love about Camp Chef’s new controller is that you can actually set the smoke level between 1 and 10, independent of the temperature. This means more control over your flavor and gives you the ability to get a bit of extra smokiness for people who like it (because pellet smokers are a lighter smoke than a traditional offset).

To make things even easier, all of the Camp Chef Woodwinds come with 4 stainless steel probes. Throw one end in your meat and plug the other end into the controller and you’ll get real-time updates on exactly how done your meat is. You can even set it to send notifications to your phone when your desired internal temperature has been reached.

Pair that with the complete WiFi control and you don’t even need to go and look at your smoker until it’s time to eat. It really couldn’t be easier.

Grilling Performance

Now, if you watched the video above, you would have seen it. But, one of the big differences between the Camp Chef Woodwind and other pellet smokers is the Slide n Grill.

Regularly, the Woodwind maxes out at 500°F which some pellet smoker manufacturers will say is hot enough to grill and even sear. But, because of the indirect heat in a pellet smoker, 500°F is more like trying to grill something by putting it on a rack in a really hot oven. Yes, it’s kinda doable, but, no, it’s not great.

That’s where Slide n Grill comes in and makes this one of the most versatile pellet smokers on the market.

When you do want to grill, you simply slide a knob and the heat deflector plate opens up so the flames from the firepot underneath reach through the cooking grates to actually grill and sear over the real wood fired flame.

Sounds good on paper. But, how does it work in reality? We dig it! The Slide n Grill does do what it actually says it does and definitely increases the usability of this one barbecue. Just keep in mind, the space for open fire grilling isn’t the whole bottom plate. The section that opens up is only big enough for a few steaks at a time. Plenty for us, but, if you want a huge grill, this isn’t it.

Included Extras

All of Camp Chef’s Woodwinds come with 4 stainless steel meat probes. These plug directly into the temperature controller and show you the current internal meat temperature of whatever they’re in, both on the color screen, and, on you phone when connected to the app.

They’re not essential to using any pellet smoker. But, meat probes give you that extra feedback you need to be confident your meat is cooked safely, and, well, without having to open the lid.

Warranty

The Woodwind comes with a pretty standard 3-year warranty. It’s on par with Traeger’s and is definitely decent enough to let you rest assured that the quality is up to scratch. But, it’s still not as long as some of the newer players like recteq’s 6 years or Pit Boss’s 5 years. Still, is 3 years good enough? We tend to think so.

Optional Extras

Camp Chef have a pretty good range of optional extras that compliment the Woodwind.

First up, you’ll probably want to grab yourself a grill cover to protect the body from the elements. If you’re smoking in cooler weather, the pellet grill blanket is made to fit all the Woodwind sizes, minimizing heat loss and maximizing fuel efficiency, even in the snow.

But, our favorite add-on for the Woodwind is easily the sear box and side-kick accessories. These fit the 24″ and 36″ Woodwinds and add a propane grilling plate next to the smoking chamber for even more capability. You can sear directly on the griddle, boil up a sauce, or fry up some sides. They can even be fitted for natural gas as well.

Just keep in mind that if you fit the sear box or side-kick, it does take the space of the side shelf. So, you’ll lose that extra bit of prep space unless you add the optional front shelf too.

Cleaning the Camp Chef Woodwind

Camp Chef have made light work of cleaning their Woodwinds with the patented Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system. Basically, it’s a little container that fits underneath the firebox so the ash falls down into it and can be easily emptied, instead of having the remove the grates and heat deflector and shop vac the ash out.

It does save a decent amount of time. But, you’ll still need to wipe down the cooking grates and the heat deflector plate which catches the drippings.

You can get disposable grease bucket liners to eliminate one other messy job too.

The Woodwind’s also have a pellet hopper clean out door so you can empty any unused pellets easily.

Overall, they’re straightforward to clean and a little easier than average.

Pros of the Camp Chef WiFi Woodwind

  • Stainless steel components add durability while keeping the price reasonable
  • More affordable than most comparative pellet smokers
  • PID-style temperature controller tightly maintains temperature without you having to do a thing
  • Separate smoke setting gives more flexibility over your flavor and results
  • Full color screen is easy to use
  • WiFi connectivity lets you control everything from your smartphone, including seeing real-time updates on how your meat is going
  • Slide n Grill technology lets you grill and sear over the open flame
  • 2 full sized racks gives you more space with less footprint
  • Tall head-height caters for larger cuts of meat like turkey
  • Reliable performance gives consistently great results
  • Pellet hopper cleanout
  • Patented ash cleanout means no more vacuuming the firepot out
  • Comes with 4 stainless steel meat probes for accurate monitoring of your cook
  • 2 larger sizes are compatible with the propane powered side-kick and sear box even more versatility

Cons of the Camp Chef WiFi Woodwind

  • Difficulty connecting to the app the first time as the system needs to update and it’s a pain (not everyone has struggled with it though)
  • If you use it with either the side-kick or sear box you lose your side shelf. You can add on the front shelf but it means more expense as well

Specs for the Camp Chef WiFi Woodwind 24 Pellet Grill

Barbecue type: Wood pellet grill and smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel with stainless steel components

Grate material:  Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 800 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 22 lbs

Heat Range: 160-500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Price guide: $$$

Model: PG24CL

Assembled size (in): 49”H x 42”W x 30”D

Weight: 150 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

FAQs About the Camp Chef Woodwind

Q. Does the Camp Chef Woodwind have WiFi?

Yes. The original Woodwind series didn’t have WiFi. But, the updated model from 2020 onwards does have WiFi.

Q. Is there an easy way to empty the pellet hopper?

There’s a hopper clean out door that lets you dump any unused pellets out out of the hopper easily.

Q. Can I grill and sear on the Camp Chef Woodwind?

Definitely. The Woodwind has a Slide n Grill feature that lets you open up the heat deflector so the flames from the firepot come through and you can grill and sear over direct, high heat. You can also get a propane powered sear box or sidekick for more grilling and searing space.

Q. Camp Chef Woodwind vs Traeger 575?

For a similar price, the Woodwind gets you WiFi and Slide n Grill. So, for those alone, we’d pick the Camp Chef. But, for a full analysis of Camp Chef vs Traeger, check out our debate.

Q. Do the Woodwind grills come with a cover?

No, they don’t. You can grab one here when you purchase the grill.

Q. Can I use the Camp Chef Woodwind in colder conditions like when it’s snowing?

Yep. Because the temperature’s automatically regulated, you don’t need to do anything differently. But, it will have a harder time keeping the grill at your target temperature because of the greater ambient heat loss. If you want to minimize the extra fuel usage when the weather’s cold, simply grab an insulating blanket from Camp Chef and away you go.

Q. How many pellets does the Woodwind use per hour?

At a ‘normal’ smoking temperature of 225 deg F, you can expect to use about 1 pound of pellets per hour. In good weather conditions, it might even be down to 1/2 a pound. Turn the heat up and you’ll use more to maintain the hotter heat.

Our Verdict on the Camp Chef Woodwind Review

Without even considering the price, the Camp Chef Woodwind has some serious capabilities. Camp Chef have really listened to users and worked out a decent solution to the ‘I want the automation of a pellet smoker, but, I also want to be able to grill on it as well’ problem. For that, we see them as streets ahead of the competition, if grilling is important to you that is.

But, grilling aside, the Woodwind’s got a lot going for it. Good WiFi, a precise PID temperature controller, stainless steel components, an effective body shape that lets you do a lot, and, not 1 but 4 integrated stainless steel meat probes.

Check the price and it’s a great buy that’s going to see you through a whole lot of easy barbecued meals.

The WiFi Woodwind is without a doubt, one of the top pellet smokers out there. You really can’t go wrong.