A Complete Review of Camp Chef Woodwind – Should You Buy It?

As far as grills go, there are a lot of reasons why you should think of buying the Camp Chef Woodwind option. This device comes with a PID controller, WiFi, a sturdy stainless steel construction, a Slide n Grill feature and smart smoker. All of this comes for an incredibly low price, so you may be wondering is it really as good as it is advertised to be?

We’re here to answer all of your burning questions about this grill in this article today. We’re going to do a deep dive into the experience of cooking on this grill. We’ll explore how it’s built, the performance, what the capacity is like, what comes with it and other things that you can buy to further enhance the experience. This should hopefully help you to work out whether this is indeed the ideal option for you.

It’s also worth mentioning before we start that there’s only one difference between the Woodwind WIFI 20, the Woodwind WIFI 24 and the Woodwind WIFI 36, and that’s the size. As such, in this article we will simply be reviewing the whole range of products rather than going into the specifics of every one of these models, since this review would be far too long otherwise! In the event that we do end up mentioning specific models, we will explicitly state that it is the case.

The Main Features of the Camp Chef Woodwind Products

How It’s Made

  • 3 different sizes available
  • Sturdy stainless steel lid and fire box
  • Taller head height is ideal when cooking larger meats
  • Controller is fully in color 

Useability

  • Comes with a WiFi enabled remote control
  • PID controller has been updated to ensure that the device keeps its temperature
  • Can reach maximum heat of 650 degrees Fahrenheit on the Slide and Grill direct flame
  • Smoke levels between 1-10 regardless of temperature thanks to smart smoke technology
  • Cleanout system

Additional Features

  • Controller cover for protection
  • 4 meat probes made from stainless steel, allowing you to work out the temperature inside without even opening the grill

A Full Review of the Product

So, what do we think about this particular grill? Well, if you don’t want to spend a small fortune on a grill but still want something high quality that will be a real asset in your home, you should certainly consider the Camp Chef’s Woodwind products. These products have an exceptional construction, work effectively for a range of uses and they’re also simple to use, so they really are a bargain.

Of course, when you have so many great features at such a low price, it’s easy to doubt whether it’s real, especially in comparison to some of the prices you see on models like Traeger grills and more. Is this product going to give you the level of performance that you need? What’s the Slide and Grill like for grilling over direct flames, is the smart smoke system good, and what about the Wifi? Well, we have the answers – keep reading on to learn more.

How Its Built

It doesn’t matter which size you get, the construction of these grills is pretty much universally the same. They are made out of stainless steel and powder coated steel, which does make it more affordable. You will get plenty of durability in all of the right places too, so you don’t need to worry about the grill falling apart after around 2 minutes of use. You can also buy an added extra – if you want to upgrade, you can get a stainless steel chimney topper, cooking chamber lid and firebox too. 

As a whole, the device is well constructed and comes with a tight seal to ensure that the airflow is working as it should. The sturdiness means that you can use this device on a regular basis, and it’s easy to move it around thanks to the large wheels.

When you open up the lid you will see steel coated in porcelain on the racks on the bottom, whereas the top racks feature nickel plated steel instead. It’s nothing to sing and dance about as far as the industry goes, but you will still get durability, rust resistance and good quality thanks to this construction. Cleaning them is fairly easy too, which is always an added bonus. 

Cooking Space

If you don’t have a lot of space for a grill, or you need to be able to feed large groups in every cookout, there’s no need to worry at all. The Woodwind actually comes in three different sizes in total. Having choices is always great, especially when you want to cut down on costs. If you don’t have a massive budget to play with then all you need to do is decrease to a smaller option and you’ve saved yourself quite a bit of money.

So, this grill can come in 3 different sizes. You will get 501 square inches from the 20 inch woodwind. With the 24 inch woodwind you will have 800 square inches, and then you will have a massive 1236 square inches with the 36 inch woodwind.

You will get two racks in the cooking area, allowing you to space it out a little easier. The top rack is marginally smaller than the bottom rack. What’s great is that the grill has a square like design, meaning that there’s a little bit of extra space that you can use to cook a large assortment of different things. You can just take out the top rack when you need to cook larger meats too, so you aren’t restricted at all in the kinds of things that you can cook on this device. 

You are also going to get a decently sized hopper that will work along with the size of the rest of the grill. The smallest model comes with a 10 pound hopper, whereas with both of the larger options you will have a 22 pound hopper instead. This is perfect since you can just get a 20 pound bag and be on your way. We would have liked to see a larger hopper with the 20 inch option, but it’s not a terrible capacity. You can still expect 10 hours of smoking from it so in reality this is just a minor complaint.

How It Smokes

So, what’s the smoking performance like? Well, you will be pleased to know that smoking on this particular grill is a very simple procedure. First, get it running and then you will see that it gets to a good temperature very fast. Once you have got it all set up, you’re just going to need to put the food on the grill and then twiddle your thumbs for a while as you wait for it to cook. It’s simple and requires minimal effort from your end.

What’s great is that you don’t really need to worry about the temperature. It’s all under control thanks to the Camp Chef WiFi PID controller. It’s not going to deviate more than 5 degrees fahrenheit from the temperature of your choice, and it will consistently stay in this temperature range unless you decide to change it. It even holds up in windy and rainy weather, though we wouldn’t recommend outdoor cooking in this weather if you can avoid it.

There’s another thing that’s great about the controller, too. If you wish to change the smoke level then this is something that you can do without even altering the temperature. You have options between 1 to 10 that you can customize to your liking so you can truly get the taste that you’ve dreamed of. You’ll have perfect control, which is always a benefit when it comes to a smoker.

If you aren’t sure about the internal temperature but you don’t want to mess with the air flow, all of these smokers will come with 4 stainless steel probes. You can simply put one of them into the meat and then put the other into the controller and you will be able to see the temperature inside of the meat whenever you want to see it.  It’s possible to get the device to send you phone notifications to tell you when the temperature is correct for you. 

All of this is made even better by the fact that the whole unit can be controlled by WiFi, so you can check on your cooking right from your seat without having to move. It doesn’t get any better than this! 

How It Grills

So we’ve talked about how it smokes, but what about the grilling performance? You can look at pretty much any video that you find online and see an example of how this unit grills. One great thing about this grill in comparison to other pellet smokers though is that you have a nifty little feature known as the Slide and Grill.

You can usually get a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit from Woodwind smokers, which is usually enough to sear and grill according to a lot of smoker manufacturers. The problem is that many pellet smokers will simply give you indirect heat, meaning that the 500 degrees basically does nothing to the food. It’s essentially like putting the food in your standard old oven and calling it a day. It works, which is always something, but it’s not really the kind of thing that you want when you’re looking for those delicious flavors from a barbecue.

Thankfully, the Slide n Grill is here to save the day. You could easily call this machine one of the most versatile in the realm of barbecue.

With this feature, you just need to slide the knob on the grill and a heat deflector plate will open. This means that the flames coming up from underneath will get through the grates and then create that grill and sear effect that you want oh so badly in your barbecue food. You’ll get a wonderful wood fired flame to add additional flavor to your meats.

It sounds fantastic, and honestly when you try it out it works just as well as it sounds. It means that you get so much more useability out of the barbecue – it really is exactly as advertised, if not better. It is worth noting though that the whole bottom plate isn’t the space for open fire grilling. You can only use a certain amount of the space for grilling – the equivalent of a steak or two. It’s ideal for a small group but perhaps not when you’re feeding the 5000. 

Added Items

In addition to everything that we have mentioned above, you will also get 4 stainless steel meat probes with your purchase. You can grab these and plug one of them onto the temperature controller and the other end can go into your meat so you can see what the temperature is inside. You can see your results on a color screen and on your phone if you have installed the application. 

You don’t technically have to use these when you use a pellet smoker – people have been getting by for decades without them. With that being said though, extra information is always useful when you want to have the perfect results when grilling. You also aren’t risking letting any heat escape so you don’t compromise the cooking process by checking on your meat.

Warranty

You will be pleased to know that you will get a fairly decent warranty of 3 years with the Woodwind. It’s very similar to the warranty that you get with Traeger and it’s more than enough to give you the peace of mind that you need that the quality is good enough to go the distance. Of course, the warranty isn’t quite as long as what you would get with recteq, for instance, who offer 6 years of warranty, or you can get 5 years from Pit Boss. 3 years is still pretty fantastic though.

Add Ons – Sold Separately

One great thing about Camp Chef is that they offer a bunch of great additional things that you can buy to go with the Woodwind.

One thing that you should think about getting right off the bat is a grill cover. This will help to keep the grill protected from the weather when it’s not in use. If you are a person who likes to smoke in cooler weather too, the pellet grill blanket is suitable for whatever Woodwind grill you get. It’s perfect for ensuring that you reduce the amount of heat loss and get the most out of your fuel, regardless of the weather.

Perhaps the single best thing that you can buy separately though is the side kick and sear box items.  These will work with the larger 24 and 26 inch woodwind models, and they will essentially give you another propane grilling plate.This is put next to the grilling plate so that there’s even more that you can do with the device. You can use it for griddling, broiling or even frying your side dishes. They work for natural gas too, which is quite useful.

You do need to be mindful of the fact that fitting the side kick or sear box does mean that you’ll have less space on the side shelf, which may not be a big deal for you but it is something worth keeping in mind.

The Cleaning Process

Now onto everyone’s least favorite part of grilling – cleaning up the aftermath. Thankfully you should have an easy time cleaning after you use the Woodwind items since they come with a patented Ash Kickin- Cleanout System. This is super handy!

You just put the container beneath the firebox and the ash will go straight into it. This allows it to be emptied more easily, and you won’t need to go through the hassle of removing the grates, the heat deflector and then using a shop vac to remove the ash.

It’s a real time saver that we are sure you are going to appreciate. It is worth noting though that it’s still necessary to wipe the cooking grates and the heat deflector grate after use. This shouldn’t be too difficult though. 

In addition, it’s possible to get disposable grease bucket liners, and these will help you to minimize the messy cleaning work you have to do. There’s a clean out door on the pellet hopper too so removing pellets you haven’t used is a breeze. Ultimately the point we are trying to make is that the cleaning process is simple, and arguably much more efficient than you would find on many other devices. 

Pros Of Camp Chef Woodwind Models

  • Aren’t super expensive in comparison to other pellet smokers on the market
  • Very durable thanks to the stainless steel make up of certain parts
  • Temperature controller means that dealing with the temperature is easy and requires little effort on your end
  • Simple to use full color screen
  • Smoke settings available to allow you even more customization when smoking your meats
  • Wifi connectivity allows you to control the device from a distance. All you need is your smartphone! You can even get updates right to your phone so you will know exactly when it’s time to serve
  • 2 full sized racks provide you with ample cooking space
  • Slide n Grill technology is perfect for cooking right over an open flame
  • Fantastic, consistent results every time
  • Can be used for larger meats thanks to the tall height
  • Cleanout system for hopper 
  • Ash cleanout system
  • 4 stainless steel meat probes means that monitoring the cooking has never been easier

Cons

  • It can sometimes be challenging to get connected to the app initially since you are going to have to update the system first, and this can be quite annoying to do
  • You will lose functionality of the side shelf if you install the sear box or side kick. The alternative is buying a front shelf add on but this costs even more money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this device have wifi functionality?

Thankfully yes – this device can connect to wifi, though the original woodwind models didn’t. Everything from 2020 onwards comes with wifi connectivity.

Can you empty the pellet hopper easily? 

Yes, you can use the clean out door on the hopper in order to easily get rid of any pellets that you haven’t used. This is ideal for fast cleaning after a grilling session has been completed. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm3W9-uQsWQ&ab_channel=PostalBarbecue