On paper, the Grilla Grills Chimp packs A LOT into it’s direct to customer pricing. With stainless steel internal components, insulation, WiFi connectivity, a PID temperature controller, and, a meat probe thrown in in for good measure, it’s got a lot going for it!
If you’re in the market for a quality portable smoker and you like the freedom that set and forget it going to give you, the Grilla Grills Chimp is an awesome option.
But, if you want to learn more about how this raved about grill really performs, read on. In our Grills Grills Chimp review we’ll cover it’s features, performance, extras, and, it’s warranty to help you decide if it’s the right portable model for you.
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Table of Contents
The Quick Version: Our Grilla Grills Chimp Review
The Grilla Grills Chimp is the portable model from this high-quality, value for money pellet smoker manufacturer.
Featuring stainless steel internal components, lid, grates, and, double wall insulation, the Chimp is particularly well-built, especially for a portable smoker which is actually when you need the durability the most.
Offering a decent 460 square inches of cooking space with a 15 pound pellet hopper, the Chimp’s controller gives you options. Use it’s precise PID mode for tight automatic temperature control. Or, select the SmokePro for more smoke and a little greater temperature differential.
Either way, the wide temperature range lets you cook just about any way you’d like. Smoke, bake, roast, or grill, you can set it in 5°F increments. And, the Alpha Smoke WiFi link means you can do all the work from your smartphone.
Complete with 1 meat probe, the Chimp ticks pretty much every box when it comes to build quality, ease of use, and, performance.
Ideal for anyone who wants a top-quality, great value-for-money, portable smoker that’s reliable and so simple to use, the Chimp is not only a favorite of us here at Burning Brisket, it’s also a reader favorite too.
Features of the Grilla Grills Chimp Portable Pellet Smoker
- Stainless steel grates
- Stainless steel internal components including the firepot give improved durability
- Stainless steel lid
- Double wall insulation
- Sizeable for a portable model, 15 pound pellet hopper
Ease of use:
- PID mode and SmokePro mode gives choice of precise temperature control or naturally smoky flavor
- Alpha Connect WiFi controller allows for remote operation
- Wide temperature range with ability to set in 5°F increments
- TempTamer reduces the heat drop when you open the lid
- Snap lock folding legs are quick to put up
- One meat probes that connects to the control board for accurate feedback on progress
- Waterproof cover (with this Amazon bundle)
In-Depth Review of the Grilla Grills Chimp
The whole Grilla Grills philosophy is to sell more grill for less money by cutting out the middle men and going factory direct prices direct to customers. And, they are doing a great job of it! Rivalling some of the highest quality pellet grills out there, including Traeger, Grilla Grills sell top of the range stuff for what’s about a middle of the range price.
The Chimp is a smaller and lighter version of Grilla Grills’ pellet smokers. Along with it’s folding legs, it’s a portable option that’s ideal for tailgating, car camping, beach setups or neighborhood cook-ups.
But, what’s so unique about the Grilla Grills Chimp is that unlike most portable pellet smokers that compromise on build quality and specs, the Chimp maintains a lot of the same high-end finishes and features that the Grilla Grills mainstream range boasts. So, not only is it a durable and hardcore portable smoker, there’s no reason you can’t use it regularly at home either.
But, instead of talking broad level, lets get into the details of how the popular Chimp performs.
Grilla Grills take a lot of pride in their high-quality construction. Made from heavy-duty steel with stainless steel internal components and lids, the Chimp isn’t just slapped together. Instead, it’s seams are welded, powder coated, and, caulked for 3-layered weather protection. What this also means is a better seal with less smoke and heat leakage for improved efficiency and better results.
Stainless steel grates give the best level of durability and resistance to rust. Basically, where a pellet smoker most needs it, Grilla Grills have used stainless steel instead of regular steel to make sure the whole unit lasts longer than that of the competitors. This includes the cooking chamber and hopper lids, firepot and drip pan among other things.
But, what really sets the Chimp apart from other portable pellet smokers is it’s insulated cooking chamber. They call it a Dual Wall Thermal Metal Jacket, and, it means that the Chimp can perform just as well in freezing temperatures as on a warm summers’ day, without needing to buy or drag with you, a thermal jacket.
If you live somewhere that does get cold, like us, the insulation at this price alone will probably sell the Chimp to you. But, even if weather isn’t particularly an issue for you, the extra layer does boost fuel efficiency to help keep running costs lower.
Another issue of concern for portable pellet grills are those folding legs. But, Grilla Grills have really thought it through and designed a set that you can easily put up or down by yourself without damaging anything. They’re reasonably steady even if they’re not the thickest out there. But, definitely one of the best designs we’ve seen so far.
On the Chimp you get a total of 460 square inches of cooking space. It’s split over 2 racks with the bottom one taking 340 square inches and the top quite a bit smaller at 120 square inches.
The top rack’s removable for when you’re cooking something that needs the extra height. But, slapping an extra rack of ribs, or some vegetables up top really maximizes the space in what’s a pretty compact portable model.
The internal blower fan does a good job of circulating the heat inside so you’ll find you get pretty much the same temperature no matter which grate you’re using.
As for the hopper, the Chimp holds a maximum of 15 pounds of pellets at a time. It’s pretty generous for a portable model. And, while it won’t quite fit a whole 20 pound bag, it will get you a solid 10-15 hours of smoke time. That’s more than enough for smoking on the go. And, it’ll see you through most of what you’ll want to do at home without having to refill too.
PID vs non-PID is always a bit of a debate. PID controllers will keep the temperature more steady for a consistent cook and reliable results. But, in doing so, they don’t produce quite as much smoke.
On the other hand, non-PID controllers can see the temperature swing around as much as 20-30°F +/- of your target. When the smoker has to bring the cooking chamber up to temperature again, it produces more smoke which means more flavor being absorbed into your meat.
But, by choosing the Grilla Grills Chimp, you don’t need to pick one or the other. Well, when you buy it that is…
The Alpha Connect Control board offers both PID and SmokePro modes so you can choose what’s right for your taste preference and what you’re cooking.
They both work great! You should get a noticeably more smoky tasting cook from the SmokePro mode while the PID really does see temperatures stay within a few degrees of your target.
Either way, the Chimp is totally capable of turning out some competition-winning meat.
Simply set the mode and your target temperature (you can do this in 5°F increments) and leave it to do it’s thing. You really don’t need to be checking in on your meat all the time. The convection fans do a good job of evening out the temperature throughout, and, the included meat probe that links up to the control board, means you can check exactly when your meat’s perfectly done without opening the lid, or going outside, if you’re running the WiFi too.
The Chimp’s temperature maxes out at 500°F. That means you can grill on it (any temp above 450°F) will work. But, remember that it’s indirect heat. The grates will get hot enough for a good sizzle and can even leave a reasonable sear mark. But, it’s not the same as grilling over an open flame.
You will get a bit of a smoky flavor. It’s not as strong as you’d get charcoal grilling. But, it will get the job done decently well.
We’re also going to mention that when you’re using high heat on any pellet smoker, the Chimp included, you will use a lot of pellets! While it’s pretty cost effective to run at low and slow temperature, grilling will chop through them.
Basically, the Chimp will do a decent job of grilling. But, we feel that the indirect heat and fuel usage mean it’s not optimal. It’s great for the occasional grill session. But, pellet smokers really are best at what they were designed to do, set and forget low and slow.
Grilla Grills have a 2 year warranty. It’s pretty standard for a portable pellet grill. But, the company as a whole, is known for it’s great customer service. So, if past performance is anything to go by, they should do a good job of trying to sort out any problems you have within a decent time frame.
Cleaning the Grilla Grills Chimp
Caring for your Chimp is pretty simple. Like all grills, wipe down the grates after use. Using aluminum foil over the drip pan means you can just whip it off and change it every now and then instead of scraping and cleaning it down.
But, like all pellet smokers, you’ll need to clean out any ash and unburnt pellets from the bottom of the cooking chamber and firepot every few smokes. A Shop vac will make this a heap easier. You don’t need anything fancy but this one is good if you don’t have one already.
There’s also no pellet hopper emptying door on the Chimp. It’s not ideal to store unused pellets in there. So, you’ll need to scoop and/or shop vacuum any unused ones out. You can save them to use later though.
Watch the video below if you want to see how simple it is to clean the Chimp. This video is for the larger Silverbac but the process is the same.
Pros of the Grilla Grills Chimp
- Amazing price for a pellet smoker of this quality
- Stainless steel internal components give extra durability where it’s needed
- Stainless steel grates, cooking chamber lid and hopper lid
- Choice of precise PID temperature controller or SmokePro for more flavor
- WiFi controller allows remote access
- Insulated cooking chamber improves fuel efficiency and lets you use it in freezing conditions without a separate insulating blanket
- Convection fan circulates heat for even temperature distribution
- Snap folding legs are stable and easy enough for one person to use
- Large enough capacity to be used at home as well
- Safety shutdown features when the temperature gets too high or too low
Cons of the Grilla Grills Chimp
- High heat grilling is over indirect heat which will get the job done but isn’t ideal
- No easy way to empty the pellet hopper
Specs for the Grilla Grills Chimp Portable Pellet Smoker
Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel with stainless steel lid
Grate material: Stainless steel
Cooking capacity: 460 sq in
Pellet hopper capacity: 15 lbs
Temperature range: 180°F – 500°F
Fuel type: Wood pellets
Price guide: $$
Assembled size (in): 41(H) x 38(W) x 20(D)
Weight: 90 lbs
Warranty: 2 years
FAQs About the Grilla Grills Chimp
Q. Does the Grilla Grills Chimp have WiFi?
Yes. You can control the Chimp remotely including setting temperature alarms and timers.
Q. Can I use the Chimp for grilling?
Yes. The Chimp maxes out at 500°F which is hot enough for grilling. But, keep in mind, the heat is indirect so it does work but is kind of like grilling in a really hot oven. And, it will use a heap of pellets at high heat.
Q. Is the Grilla Grills Chimp any good in colder weather?
The Grilla Grills Chimp is one of the best portable pellet smokers for colder weather because it’s got a double wall internal steel thermal jacket. This boots fuel efficiency when the weather’s not so good. And, lets you enjoy the Chimp’s full range of temperature options without needing an extra insulating blanket.
Q. Are there any particular pellets I have to use in Grilla Grills?
No. Any type of cooking wood pellet will fuel the Grilla Grills Chimp. But, we’d recommend using a high-quality pellet to maximize fuel efficiency, improve taste and reduce the ash load on the smoker.
Q. How long will a full pellet hopper last in the Grilla Grills Chimp?
The Chimp’s 15 pound pellet hopper should give you 10-15 hours of smoke time depending on how hot you’re running it.
Our Verdict on the Grilla Grills Chimp Review
The Grilla Grills Chimp is without a doubt, one of the best portable smokers out there.
Well built with stainless steel components and a heap of useful features like WiFi and a dual temperature controller, it’s durable, easy to use, and, turns out reliably incredible results.
Grilla Grills have done a great job of balancing value for money and performance. And, because of their factory direct pricing, the Chimp brings affordability to what’s a high-end smoker.
Suitable for both use at home and on the go, the Chimp should well outlast it’s warranty, delivering competition-worthy results that’ll have everyone coming back for seconds. Ideal for anyone from beginners to experienced users, the Chimp really is everything and then some.