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Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker Review

by Burning Brisket

Standing tall and proud as the first of it’s kind, you’ll find the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker. This set and forget provides a great balance between it’s large cooking capacity, small footprint and bang for your buck. Designed to make real wood smoking easy, it’s no wonder that people are racing to get their hands on this ‘cue. Find out more about what makes this smoker stand-out in our Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker Review…

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  • XXL cooking capacity
  • Small footprint
  • Includes 4 standard cooking racks, 3 jerky racks, 1 hanging rack and 12 sausage hooks
  • Smart Smoke Technology keeps smoke levels optimal
  • Digital, automatic temperature control
  • Internal fan circulates heat for even temperature and smoke distribution
  • Includes 2 meat probes
  • Digital temperature display
  • Grease management system
  • Ash clean out system
  • Pellet hopper clean out system
  • Pellet hopper window
  • Sturdy wheels with caster wheels
  • Built-in bottle opener

Specs for the Camp Chef XXL Pellet Smoker

Barbecue type: Vertical pellet smoker

Fuel type: Pellets

Barbecue material: Steel with stainless steel door

Grate material: Unspecified

Cooking capacity: 1,950 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 18lbs

Price guide: $$

Temperature range: 150-350°F


Dimensions: 55(H) x 24(W) x 15.5(D)

Weight: 145lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Review of the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

XXL by name, but not XXL in price, the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker does it’s job big, and, it does it well. Made from 22-gauge, powder-coated steel with a stainless steel door for maximum rust protection, this smoker offers a whopping 1,950 square inches of cooking space.

Designed to let you cook those types of meats that don’t fit well in a horizontal pellet smoker, the Camp Chef Vertical comes with 4 standard racks, 3 jerky racks, 1 sausage rack and 12 hooks. This means you can cook anything and everything from large whole briskets and pork butts to home-smoked jerky, sausages and fish.

Making use of the fact that heat and smoke naturally rise, the vertical design of this smoker naturally helps to ensure an even cook throughout. But, there’s also a convection fan and the clever Smart Smoke Technology which together do an excellent job of keeping the internal cooking environment steady and even throughout.

Included in the package price are also two internal meat probes. This not only means that you’ve got a precise digital temperature display to trust in, but, you’ll also be able to keep a close eye on how done your meat is so you’ll never burn another brisket again!

The 18 pound pellet hopper is large enough to smoke away for about 12 hours in good weather conditions without touching a thing. And, when it’s time to refill, the clear pellet hopper window makes it easy to see that the fuel is getting low.

If you’re smoking in cooler conditions, we do recommend using the matching insulating blanket for this unit. It’s not that it won’t still work. But, you will be burning through A LOT of fuel to maintain enough heat for smoking when the outside temperature drops.

In terms of clean-up, Camp Chef have made this easy too. There’s the Grease Management System and Ash Clean-out System to make sure packing up doesn’t take just as long as your smoking did. There’s also the pellet hopper clean-out feature. This can be a bit tricky to use. But, trust us that it’s easier to have this feature than not when you’re trying to remove any unused pellets to store them somewhere dry and safe for next time.

Complete with a built-in bottle opener, a drip bucket and sturdy legs with castors to make moving it easy, the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker is a solid purchase that’s capable of turning out a tonne of well-smoked meat without the hassle of having to handle heat and smoke regulation yourself.

Will you have to make any mods to the Camp Chef XXL Vertical?

Because it’s at the cheaper end of the market in terms of pellet smokers, some smoke leakage is to be expected around the door. Seal it up with a LavaLock gasket if you want. Or, just get on with the job and know that you’re still getting an awesome unit for a very good price.

Pros of the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Uncommon vertical pellet smoker style gives a huge amount of cooking space
  • Suitable for large cuts of meat as well as smaller things such as chicken thighs, jerky and sausages
  • Comes with a wide range of racks and hooks for the ultimate flexibility in where you place things
  • Doesn’t take up much room on the ground
  • Set and forget technology
  • Accurate and automatic temperature control
  • Digital temperature panel
  • Includes 2 meat probes for precision cooking
  • Internal fan circulates heat and smoke so you don’t need to rotate meat
  • Large pellet hopper holds enough to burn for about 12 hours without a top-up
  • Clear pellet hopper window to make it easy to see when to add more fuel
  • Easy to clean
  • Sturdy legs with castors make it easy to move
  • Good value for money
  • Decent warranty

Cons of the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Can leak a bit of smoke around the door
  • Doesn’t have WiFi control

FAQs About the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

How long can you smoke with 1 hopper load of pellets (18lbs)? It should last about 6-7 hours at 250 degrees with heavy smoke.

Is it easy to remove leftover pellets? Super easy. The Camp Chef XXL Pellet Smoker has a hopper clean out shoot. Simply hang a bucket on the back, empty and re-lock so you don’t accidentally pour them all out next time you load up.

Is there a cover available for the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker? Yes. It’s actually included with the smoker when purchased through Amazon.com. Buy the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker here (you’ll help us earn a bit of commission to keep this site going – thank you!).

Our Verdict on the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker Review

Retailing for what’s a very reasonable price for a pellet smoker, the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker is great value for money. Packed with a whole host of temperature regulating features, this smoker holds heat well for great results without all the hard work.

It’s a great option for anyone who wants a large, dedicated, set and forget smoker that’s not going to break the bank.

Not Quite What You Were After?

You can also check out our articles on the best pellet smokers and the best vertical smokers for more reviews of these types of smokers.

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