Camp Chef VS Traeger: Which Pellet Grill Should You Buy in 2024

camp chef vs woodwind graphic showing woodwind and trager pro pellet grills

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If you’re looking to drop around $1,000 on a brand-new pellet smoker, Camp Chef and Traeger should be near the top of your list.

Both Traeger and Camp Chef have a wide range of grills, so we’ve decided to keep things fair by comparing the Traeger Pro 780 with its nearest Camp Chef rival, the Woodwind 24.

At the bottom of this comparison review, we’ll also give you some popular models from other brands to consider.

  • Adjustable smoke levels
  • Sidekick adds versatility
  • Ash cleanout system
  • Accurate PID controller for stable temperatures
  • Excellent App and WiFi connectivity
  • Inferior app
  • Less prep areas
  • No searing options
  • Adjustable smoke levels
  • Sidekick adds versatility
  • Ash cleanout system
  • Inferior app
  • Accurate PID controller for stable temperatures
  • Excellent App and WiFi connectivity
  • Less prep areas
  • No searing options

Who makes the best pellet grills between Camp Chef and Traeger?

Both brands produce a range of wood pellet grills at different price points. We’ll give you a quick overview of the two brands before getting into the nitty gritty comparison.

  • At the bottom of the range, Traeger and Camp Chef pricing is competitive, with the DLX Wifi currently $50 cheaper than the smaller Pro 575
  • At the high end, the Camp Chef range maxes out at $1799.99 for the largest Woodwind Pro 36 with SideKick Sear, while you can spend up to $3799.99 on a Timberline XL (and that’s without any accessories)
  • All Traeger grills (except their portable options) include WiFI and one of the best-designed apps out of any pellet grill we’ve tested. Camp Chef offers WiFi on most of their grills, but the experience is more mixed.
  • The Traeger lineup does not include direct searing options, while Camp Chef allows you to add to your grill with the SideKick, and some of their grills include a slide and sear system.
  • If you want smoke control with Traeger, you’ll need to go for one of the more expensive Ironwood or Timberline series, while the Camp Chef offers this on all models with the Gen 2 PID controller.

Camp Chef Woodwind 24 VS Traeger Pro 780

Camp Chef Woodwind 24Traeger Pro 780
Hopper capacity22 lb18 lb
Cooking surface area (sq in)811 (429 main grate + 382 secondary)780 (570 main grate + 210 secondary)
Direct flameSlide and Saer or with sidekick add-onNo
Meat probes41
Temperature range160º F – 650ºF165°F-500°F
ControlGen 2 PID controller with digital displayD2® drivetrain
StorageSide shelf includedFolding front shelf sold seperately
Pellet purge systemYesYes
Warranty3 years3 years
PriceCheck latest priceCheck latest price

At the time of writing, both grills are selling for the same price.

Brand History

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the grills we’re putting head to head, let’s take a little look at their manufacturers.

Traeger Brand History

The first Traeger pellet grill was developed by Joe Traeger in 1985, and he would go on to patent it in 1986. This patent gave Traeger somewhat of a monopoly over supplying pellet grills, and the company remained a small family-run affair that operated through a limited number of stores.

When the Traeger patent expired in 2006, competition from other companies started to pick up, forcing Traeger to expand. Traeger outsourced their production to China in 2010, which led to a dip in quality, and a knock to its brand reputation.

Since then, Traeger has rallied. Their current line up of grills features cutting-edge technology and a level of quality that fans of the brand say is reminiscent of their early, US-made, models.

Camp Chef Brand History

Unlike Traeger, Camp Chef cut their teeth making utilitarian and straightforward outdoor cooking equipment, starting with the well-regarded Pro 60 stove in 1990. All Camp Chef products are designed in the US but manufactured in China.

Since 1990, they’ve turned their hands to stoves, smokers, fire pits, quality cast iron cookware, and now, pellet grills.

In 2016, Camp Chef was acquired by Vista Outdoor Inc, which has since split into two public companies, with Camp Chef a part of the new Revelyst division.

Today, Camp Chef has a more diversified range of grills with large vertical pellet smokers, gas grills and the Apex range of gas pellet hybrids.

Camp Chef Woodwind 24 VS Traeger Pro 780

Now we’ve got a better idea of the kind of reputation Camp Chef and Traeger Grills have, let’s take a closer look at the two grills we’re putting head to head.

Camp Chef Woodwind 24

Read our full Camp Chef Woodwind review.

The Camp Chef Woodwind got a fairly minor facelift in 2023 with a new black lid and all stainless steel body.

What we like about the Woodwind:

  • The smaller 24″ Woodwind gives you more space than the larger Traeger Pro 780 with you 811 square inches in total, split between the upper and lower grill grates.
  • Camp Chefs Smart Smoke Technology allows you to dial up or down the level of smoke between 1-10
  • The ash cleanout system allows you to empty the ash from the firebox by merely pulling a lever so no more pulling apart your grill to vacuum after each cook!
  • Compatible with the SideKick attachment, which gives you the option to add a 16,000 BTU propane burner to the side of your grill with either flat top or sear grates.
  • If you don’t want to add the entire SideKick system, you can use the slide and sear to create a small searing zone in the middle of the grill.

What the Woodwind could do better:

  • The app experience isn’t as polished as the Traeger, and depending on your house and grill location, you may have issues with the WiFi signal.
Camp Chef Woodwind 24
  • Adjustable smoke levels
  • Sidekick adds versatility
  • Ash cleanout system
  • No cabinet door

Traeger Pro 780

After going through all the features on the Woodwind, the Traeger Pro comes across as quite a basic grill.

It’s clearly Traeger’s strategy to keep the Pro as their entry-level, grill, and then try and tempt buyers to upgrade to the Ironwood or Timberline range for more advanced features.

What we like about the Traeger Pro:

  • The app experience on the Traeger is the best out of any pellet grill we have tested. You can also expand the functionality with the pellet sensor so you get low pellet alerts on your phone.
  • The Pro is beginner-friendly with easy-to-use controls and a subtle smoke flavor that will appeal to the masses.

What we don’t like about the Pro:

  • Significantly fewer features than the Woodwind, including no adjustable smoke levels, no direct searing, and no side shelf

Traeger VS Camp Chef detailed comparison

We decided to compare the Woodwind and Traeger Pro across seven crucial categories including; warranty, temperature control, pellet hopper capacity, clean out, customer service, appearance, and WiFi/app experience.

Temperature controller

Unfortunately, the Traeger Pro has developed a bit of a reputation for its Pro WiFire Controller not being able to hold a consistent temperature. The stated temperature of the Pro Controller is +/- 10º F, but many customers have reported temperature swings that are much larger than that.

Adjusting grill temperature on the Traeger Pro 780.

I’ve tested this on my own pro and never noticed any issues, but I wanted to mention it because I’ve read of others running into problems.

The Camp Chef temperature controllers offer a range of +/- 10º F across their range, which, while it isn’t fantastic, is at least consistent. 

They also include the Smart Smoke Technology, which gives you the option to dial in smoke from 1-10.

The Woodwind can also support up to four temperature probes, compared to only one on the Traeger.

Overall, the Camp Chef has more consistent temperature controllers and greater utility with the Smart Smoke settings.

Pellet hopper capacity

The Woodwind has a slightly larger hopper with 22lb capacity compared to 18lb on the Traeger.

The Woodwind also gives you a small window to keep an eye on pellet levels

The Traeger doesn’t get a window, but you can add an optional pellet sensor that will let you monitor your pellet levels via the Traeger app.

Clean out

The Woodwind wins this category hands down.

What puts some people off buying a pellet grill is that they are messy to clean out, especially in comparison to a gas grill or an electric smoker.

The Easy Ash Cleanout System lets you simply pull a lever and it empties all the ash and unburned pellets into a small burn cup on the bottom of the machine, which you can just empty out. Quick, easy, and absolutely ideal.

The Traeger isn’t horrible, you just need to remove the grill grates, drip pan and baffle and then vacuum out everything.

Customer service

Both Camp Chef and Traeger have a reputation for excellent customer service. Both have US-based customer service teams, with Traeger based in Salt Lake City, Utah and Camp Chef based in Cache Valley, also in Utah.

While it’s anecdotal evidence, I do hear more positive things said about the customer service from Camp Chef.


The Traeger Pro series is available in all black or black and bronze. I personally prefer the all black look but at least you get a choice.

The Woodwind has no options, but I do like the black lid, legs and hopper with the silver body.

This one comes down to personal preference.

WiFi/app experience

Both the Woodwind and Pro can be connected to WiFi and controlled via the app.

Using Traeger’s WiFIRE system, the Pro can be easily connected to the Traeger app for remote monitoring and control.

The app is feature-packed and includes access to Traeger’s extensive recipe library.

Traeger app screenshots
Traeger’s App is the best of any we’ve tried.

The app on the Camp Chef has similar features, although it’s not quite as slick or well designed as the Traeger.

Camp Chef Application scheens shots

Standout features

One of the common complaints about pellet grills is they don’t get hot enough to sear meat properly. Camp Chef has addressed that issue with the SideKick

The SideKick attaches to the side of your Woodwind and provides you with a 16,000 BTU burner that will quickly get up to temperatures up to 900º F (482°C) to ensure you can get the perfect sear, or perfect reverse sear, every time.

Camp Chef DLX 24 with attached sidekick system and frying bacon
Camp Chef SideKick with flat top.

You can opt for the SideKick with either a Flat Top or Grill grates for extra versatility.


Both the Traeger Pro 575 and the SmokePRO DLX come with a three-year warranty, so there’s not much to choose between them there. 

The warranties are also basically the same, offering to repair or replace any defects in material and workmanship under normal use and maintenance. This excludes paint or finish, and is voided if the damage is caused by neglectful operation misuse, abuse, overheating or alteration.

Alternatives grills to consider

Of course, the Pro and the Woodwind aren’t the only grills on the market. With Traeger you can step up to the Ironwood series which gives you a bit more size, super smoke, mode, and better insulation for more steady heat.

Here are some other options that have caught our attention recently. 

Pit Boss Sportsman 820

If you don’t think you’ll take advantage of all the bells and whistles on either the Pro or Woodwind, The Sportsman is a compelling option at a fraction of the cost.

The Sportsman offers a generous 849 square inches of cooking space and comes with some nice ease of use features like the removable side shelf, front shelf and the all important bottle opener.

Pit Boss offer a five year warranty on all their grills which is better than most of the competition.

Pit Boss Sportsman 820 Wood Pellet Grill
  • Great size for the price
  • Porcelain-coated cast iron grates perform well
  • Includes front and side shelves
  • No WiFi
  • Small searing zone

Woodwind Pro

If you like the sound of the Woodwind and have an extra $200 to spare, then upgrading to the Woodwind Pro is no-brainer.

For the extra cash, you get the Smoke Box, which is a separate chamber where you can burn wood chunks, charcoal, or extra pellets to really amp up the smoke flavor.

The construction quality has also been beefed up, and you also get a fan-only mode for cold smoking.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pro
  • Better smoke flavor with the Smoke Box
  • Improved seal and build quality
  • Expand functionality with Sidekick
  • Smoke box could be bigger and easier to clean

Wrapping it all up

If we had $1,000 to spend and had to pick between Camp Chef and Traeger we’re buying the Camp Chef Woodwind every time.

You get a slightly larger grill with way more features, including adjustable smoke level, four temperature probes, easier ash cleanout and the option to add the SideKick.

The Pro isn’t a bad grill, but the sligthly better WiFi and app experience isn’t enough to make us switch.

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