Camp Chef Woodwind Facelift Pellet Grill Review

camp chef woodwind pellet grill in front of house

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The Camp Chef Woodwind has been one of our most recommended pellet grills over the years, so we were excited when they launched the Woodwind Pro.

In our Woodwind Pro review we loved the addition of the Smoke Box and beefed-up construction quality, but were worried that the asking price would put the Pro out of reach for many.

So we were happy when Camp Chef announced a new facelift of the original Woodwind, with some nice improvements.

I’ve been cooking on the new Woodwind over the last few months, and in this review, I’ll be sharing what’s new, if it’s worth buying, or if you should just upgrade to the pro.

Camp Chef sent me this grill for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Camp Chef Woodwind overview & first impressions

The Woodwind is available in two sizes. You can get the mid-sized 24″ model, which comes with a combined 811 square inches of cooking surface, or spend a little extra and get the 36″ model, which will give you 1236 square inches to play with.

For this review, we went with the 24, which I think will be the model most people will go for.

Both models get a facelift with a black lid and all stainless-steel body.

The digital PID controller on the Woodwind is one of the best out of any pellet grill we’ve tested. Setting your grill temperature is easy, but the more interesting feature is the option to set your smoke level.

Let’s get the main specs out of the way, run through my first impressions, and then get stuck into my experience cooking on the Woodwind.

Camp Chef Woodwind 24 Specifications

Cooking Area811 sq in (429 lower rack + 382 upper rack)
Pellet Hopper Capacity22 lbs
Temp Range160º F – 500ºF (up to 650° with direct flame grilling)
Shelves & StorageTwo side shelves, one front shelf
Temp ProbesFour meat probes
ControlerColor screen PID controller
WiFi/AppYes
ConstructionStainless steel
Warranty3 years
PriceCheck latest price

The Woodwind uses a slide and grill technology that is similar to what Pit Boss offers with their pellet grills. This lets you create a high heat sear zone by exposing the direct flame.

I measured 650-700°F with the grill set on high and using direct flame mode. Strangely, this feature isn’t available on the Pro model.

This feature worked better than I expected, but I was much more excited by the promised searing capabilities of the SideKick attachment.

I’ll go through all my experiences using that attachment later in the review, but for now, I’ll just say I highly recommend getting it.

When you opt for the sidekick attachment, you do have to give up some prep area. I’ll make that trade every time, but I did want to point that out. You can get an optional front shelf attachment, which is easy to install and adds some much-needed prep area.

What I like:

  • Ash Cleanout System – By far the easiest pellet grill to clean out of the many I’ve tested.
  • Smoke Level Adjustability – You can adjust the level of smoke which is great when smoking low and slow
  • Cooking Surface – the cooking surface was deeper than I’m used to and allowed plenty of room for smoking. Briskets and pork shoulders had plenty of room.
  • Accessory options – You can add some great functionality to this grill including the sidekick and front shelf.
  • Direct Flame Slider Rod – Gives you decent searing capability if you decide not to get the sidekick add-on.
  • Temp Probes – This is the only pellet grill I’ve seen that comes with 4 temp probes. Most grills only give you 1 or 2 temp probes.

What I don’t like:

  • No cabinet door – You get a storage shelf, but there’s no door to keep things protected from the elements.
  • Prep area – If you go for the SideKick, there is hardly any prep area unless you purchase the front shelf. While I don’t prep at the grill, having some space for moving things on/off the grill is helpful.

Personally, I would spend the extra $200 and go for the Woodwind Pro. Having the ability to add extra smoke flavor by burning wood chunks or charcoal is really nice, as is the beefed-up construction quality and a fan-only mode for cold smoking.

That said, the base Woodwind is still a fantastic grill, for the rest of this review, I’ll go through all my experience cooking on it.

Camp Chef Woodwind 24
4.6
The Camp Chef Woodwind is a feature-packed pellet grill and smoker. The design makes it easy to adjust the smoke level, easy to manage your cook with the versatile upper rack system, and easy to clean up after the cooking is done.
Pros:
  • Adjustable smoke levels
  • Sidekick adds versatility
  • Ash cleanout system
Cons:
  • No cabinet door
CHECK CAMP CHEF PRICE CHECK AMAZON PRICE

Unboxing and assembling the Woodwind

The Woodwind grill was packaged tightly using plenty of cardboard, styrofoam, and clear plastic. You can scroll through the photos I took to see what the assembly process is like.

All bare metal was coated well with an anti-corrosion coating. All parts appeared to be protected quite well.

I completed the entire assembly in about 45 minutes using mostly hand tools and, occasionally, a cordless drill with a Phillips bit. (This probably would have taken 30 minutes, but I accidentally put the legs on backward and had to fix that.

Pro tip: The shorter legs go opposite the firebox and are where you attach the wheels.

Build quality

All painted parts have thorough and smooth coatings.

Overall, the Woodwind proved to be good quality. My only issue when installing the grill was one of the screws to attach the side shelf didn’t screw in flush, and it’s not as secure as it should be. It’s fine, but I will eventually replace that screw so the shelf is firm.

The grill comes with rubberized wheels, similar to what you would find on rollerblades, but only on one side. The grill did feel a bit heavy, so I wouldn’t recommend moving it a ton.

Most of the grill is made of painted steel. The legs and barrel of the grill are a little thicker steel and provide a sturdy foundation. 

The pellet hopper lid is a thin steel, as expected, and as is common with most pellet grills. There’s also a narrow window on the front side of the hopper so you can keep an eye on your pellet level without opening the lid.

Initial Fire Up

I found the initial fire-up to be the easiest of any pellet grill I’ve used so far.

Load the hopper up with pellets. It’s a 22lb hopper, so you can empty the industry-standard 20lb bag of pellets right in.

The grill controller has a feed function that is very useful. At the touch of a button, it feeds pellets without the igniter being activated. For the initial burn-in, this was really helpful. In most grills, you either have to put a small number of pellets inside the burn pot or hold down a feed button until pellets drop into the burn pot. 

Here, I pressed the feed button and waited about 5 minutes for the pellets to drop into the burn part and then turned it on. (If you ever run out of pellets, this is a great feature as well. But, hopefully, that won’t happen)

Per instructions, I set the grill to 350° with the lid open, and then after about 10 minutes, closed the lid and let it come up to temp. They recommend a burn of 30 minutes before cooking but I let it run for an hour. 

After that, the grill is ready for some cooking!

Cooking on the Camp Chef Woodwind

Before writing this review, I put the Woodwind through a couple of cooks to really test it out. Here are my observations after a few months of regular use.

I love it! When I first put the grill together I was worried that it might be too small because it didn’t seem very wide and I felt like I would run into space issues when smoking a brisket or cooking multiple items at once. 

Upon opening the lid and especially after my first few cooks, there is plenty of grill space. The grill has more depth to it than I’ve experienced on any other grill and it really comes in handy.

On some of the other smokers I own, two pork butts would have been the max I could fit.

On the Woodwind, I could easily fit 3-4 pork butts on the lower rack and still have the upper rack to use. Spacing is obviously important, especially when cooking for a large crowd or cooking large meats and the Camp Chef Woodwin had plenty.

I also enjoyed playing with the ‘Smoke Level’ capability. Running on levels 1-10 this allows you to add more smoke to your cook if desired. One knock that pellet grills typically get is that they don’t have as strong of a smoke flavor

While I don’t think the ‘Smoke Level’ bridges that gap completely, it certainly took a big step forward. 

For my pulled pork, I ran a smoke level of 7 for the first 3 hours before dialing it down as I finished the cook. Running a higher smoke level, temp swings can occur but, with that, the amount of smoke increases more. A lower smoke level = steady temps.

Running a high smoke level at the beginning gave me a chance to add smoke flavor while the bark was developing and then see out the rest of the cook at a steady temp. It was one of the best pulled porks I’ve ever made.

Another feature I really loved, is the ash clean out system. With the slide of the rod that empties the ash right into a “coffee cup” cleaning a pellet grill has never been easier. Normally when running a longer cook like pulled pork, you need to remove the innards of the grill and use a shop vac to clean out all the ash. With the ash clean out system, you can directly empty the ash into the “coffee can” and empty it.

 I would still recommend a shop vac for deeper cleaning but, you will need to do this less frequently than a traditional pellet smoker, and that is a win in my book.

Ease of operation

This is the reason why you buy a pellet grill to begin with, and I’m pleased to say the Camp Chef Woodwind did not disappoint.

Just turn it on, set the temp using the dial, set the “smoke level”, and the grill will do the rest.

I found the temp probe design simple but effective. It allows the probes to be used without smoke and heat escaping from a large gap in the lid and closes off the hole when not in use)

Best of all, the phone app will notify you when the grill reaches the set desired temperature.

The slider rods and locking plates for the pellet chute, ash cleanout, and direct flame grilling are well-designed.

The slider rod on the pellet chute opens a slot located at the bottom of the hopper. When you pull the rod, the slot opens and allows pellets to drop if you want to swap wood type or remove them for storage.

The ash cleanout feature is innovative making it the easiest to clean pellet grill I have tested to date. The slider rod attaches to the a flat plate below the burn pot. When the slider rod is pulled, it moves the plate and drops burnt pot ash into the cleanout cup. The locking plates prevent the slider rods from moving accidentally while the grill is in use. 

The versatile upper rack system is also grilling gold. The two half-rack systems can be placed side by side to be used as a full rack or one rack can be slid under the other to open up access to more of the grilling area. I found this to be very useful.

The grill controller also has a feed function that I found to be very useful. The feed function allows the user to feed pellets without the igniter element being activated. This is great for not only feeding pellets initially through the auger system but also for clearing remaining pellets from the auger to prevent them from swelling and causing an auger jam. 

What are the storage and prep areas like?

The Woodwind does provide a little bit of prep area in the form of a shelf, but that real estate is lost if you add the SideKick flat top or sear box.

In my case, I had the SideKick installed. So I lost this area. You can still balance a plate or chopping board on it when not in use, though.

There is a little bit of prep area on top of the pellet hopper, but it is minimal.

There are also no hangers for grill utensils, which to me, is disappointing. There is a shelf underneath the grill that could be used for storing a bag of pellets.

As I mentioned in the intro, Camp Chef does offer an add-on front shelf for the Woodwind for an additional prep area.

Camp Chef Pellet Grill Front Shelf

Add a convenient front shelf to your 24" Camp Chef pellet grill for more prep area. The shelf can be folded down when not in use.

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How good is the temp accuracy & consistency? 

While smoking at low temperatures, the accuracy seems to be pretty close.

But in my tests, the Woodwind appeared to be off quite a bit as the temps increased toward grilling temperatures. On the plus side, the grill was fairly consistent once it reached its set temperature.

I’ve included more detailed testing details in the section below.

How useful is the App?

The Camp Chef App has a lot of functionality, allowing the user to change the temp and smoke level on the fly, set up to four meat probe doneness temperatures, and shut down the grill.

The probes can also be named in the App.

The App has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities.

With all that said, this App is not without its issues either. I found the App randomly lost connection on a regular basis. It’s easy to get it connected again, but it is a little aggravating.

However, this seems to be a problem that many pellet grill manufacturers tend to struggle with when it comes to their Apps.

Interestingly, there seems to be a big gap in performance between Apple and Android users, as the Camp Chef app rates an impressive 4.5/5 on the Apple App Store and a disappointing 1.9/5 on the Google Play store.

It looks like the App was last updated on 20 December 2023, so it’s good to see Camp Chef is actively improving the experience.

Ease of cleaning

Here is where the Woodwind shines. The people at Camp Chef put enough forethought into their grills to come up with a far superior way to clean out the ash left in the burn pot.

The quick cleanout “coffee can” and sliding rod/base plate mechanism makes it super easy to clean the grill after use. Most other pellet grills require a shop vac.

camp-chef-clean

Grill grate performance & quality 

Everyone has their preference when it comes to grill grate material.

The grates are made with a porcelain-coated finish, which makes it difficult to get grill marks when searing but food seems to release with more ease, and they’re really easy to clean.

At the end of the day, I’m using a pellet smoker primarily for smoking vs grilling, and so the ease of cleaning and food not sticking means more to me than anything.

However, if you want a different material, there are several 3rd party companies who offer different grate options.

Is the SideKick worth it?

All pellet grill manufacturers love to wax lyrical about how versatile their grills are.

Despite claims of “6 in 1 cooking”, the truth is most pellet grills make far better smokers than grills due to their inability to sear at high enough temperatures.

The slide and sear is one option to get around this limitation, but Camp Chef has come up with a clever attachment that goes a step further.

The Sidekick is essentially a propane burner that attaches where the prep shelf would normally be.

The Sidekick replaces the popular Sear Box attachment. While the sear box was a dedicated sear station, the Sidekick gives you more versatility:

  • Use the burner to warm sauce or boil water for vegetables or pasta.
  • If you choose the steel griddle, you can fry bacon, onions, eggs, or anything you wouldn’t want on the main grill.
  • Or go for the grill box and reverse sear steak all on the same grill.

If you are going to get the Woodwind, spend the extra and opt for the Sidekick.

It is worth the extra! Yes, it runs on propane and it doesn’t disappoint. It put out 30,000 BTUs of heat and IT IS NOTICEABLE.

I cooked breakfast on the included heavy-duty griddle. I also tested it out by searing some steaks on it using the SideKick Sear. Believe me when I say this beast of a burner can be used to heat up anything, including a stock pot.

I was pleasantly surprised by the usefulness of the grill box when used with the Sidekick.

The grates are made of enamel coated cast iron and very sturdy. A little goes a long way when it comes to heat from the Sidekick.

I accidentally turned it up too high and left it for only a few minutes. When I returned, the temp gauge was maxed out. I measured the temp with my IR temp gun at almost 1100°F! Needless to say, I didn’t make that mistake again.

You can purchase the Woodwind and Sidekick as a package or buy it on its own.

Camp Chef Sidekick Grill Accessory

The propane powered 28,000 BTU single burner attaches to most Camp Chef pellet grills, allowing you to griddle, grill, sear and boil.

Check Latest Price

Besides the Sidekick and Grill Box, Camp Chef offers a range of other accessories.

BBQ Tool Set- These accessories, while nothing exotic or exciting, are built sturdy to last for years of grilling. If you can pick these up for a reasonable price, go for it, especially if you can use them for camping gear also. 
Grill Cover- I consider a grill cover a must-have for pellet grills to protect the electronics. The Woodwind grill cover is made of a tough material that fits snugly over the grill to keep your prized possession well preserved. From the grill covers I have tested, this is one of the strong ones.

Testing the Woodwind

I used my trusty ThermoWorks Signals to test the real temperature of the Woodwind at different locations on the grill.

Time to come up to temp

After initial startup, it takes about 11 minutes to reach 225°F.  For grilling, it will take you a little longer, about 18-21 minutes for 450°F. 

Temperature accuracy test

Grill SettingLeftMiddleRight
225°F (smoke level 1229°F233°F252°F
225°F (smoke level 10)235°F239°F258°F
450°F510°F550°F640+°F

There is a noticeable temp variance between the left, middle, and right side of the grill.

These numbers aren’t the end of the world, but are helpful to know and understand as to how to use the grill. There must be a natural pull of heat toward the right side of the grill, even when smoking low and slow. It could be possible that my grill was not quite level, but I don’t believe this to be the case

  • At lower temps, actual gill temp accuracy was off by 0~8° in the middle of the grill
  • At high temps, actual gill temp accuracy range was 0~100° off in the middle of the grill

I’m a little surprised by these numbers at higher temps. I would have expected them to be a little closer. A user would need to be aware of this while grilling so they do not overcook their food.

Although the accuracy is off at times, I will note that the temperature consistency is spot on. There is very little swing in temperature once the grill gets to the set temperature.

Wood pellet usage per hour

For these tests, I used Camp Chef premium hardwood pellets but I would assume similar performance with other pellets.

The tests were conducted on an 80°F day.

  •  Average consumption rate at 225°F: ~¾ lb per hour
  •  Average consumption rate at 500°F: ~1¾ – 2 lb per hour

I’m happy with these results, although you should expect worse efficiency with the larger Woodwind or if cooking in cold weather.

Alternatives to consider

The $800-$1200 pellet grill price range is crowded with competition. Check out our full guide to pellet grills for a comprehensive list, and here are a few of the main Woodwind alternatives worth considering.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pro

If your budget can stretch, the most obvious choice would be upgrading to the Woodwind Pro.

Going from the Woodwind 24 to the Pro 24 will cost you an additional $200, and. for that you get:

  • Smoke Box for burning wood chunks or charcoal for extra smoke flavor
  • Fan Only Mode for cold smoking
  • New ‘Down & Out’ ventilation system that is supposed to give more even heat and smoke throughout the cooking chamber
  • Higher-grade stainless steel

The Pro doesn’t include the slide and grill feature, so if you’re not going to get the SideKick but still want to be able to sear, the base model may actually be a better option for you.

Considering it’s not a huge price jump, I think it’s worth it.

Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 1200 DLX

If WiFi isn’t important to you, but you still want a pellet grill that can sear like a champ, you should look at the Rider 1200 DLX from Oklahoma Joe’s

We reviewed the second generation of the Rider, which comes with an improved PID controller and dual temperature sensors in the cooking chamber. Something we don’t often see.

The sear plate on this grill is one of the best we’ve seen, getting hot enough for a really good sear.

Oklahoma Joe's Rider DLX 1200 searing zone with tri tip steak
The searing zone on the Rider 1200 DLX pellet grill

While you don’t get WiFi, you do have some nice quality of life features like an ash catcher, two grease drain buckets, plenty of shelf space and great wheels.

Should you buy the Camp Chef Woodwind?

By now, it should be clear that I like the Woodwind.

I cooked chicken quarters, wings, chuck roast, Boston Butt, New York Strips, ribs, pork chops, and cheeseburgers without overcooking or drying anything out. Everything turned out juicy with a nice smoky flavor. 

If you are looking for a pellet grill/smoker that is easy to use, easy to clean and maintain and is going to last for years, then you should give this grill a hard look.

If you don’t want to spend the extra $200 on the Woodwind Pro, the facelifted Woodwind is still a fine choice. You’ll be able to cook great food with minimal effort with the base model.

The Woodwind really comes into its own when you combine it with the SideKick attachment.

Camp Chef offers a large range of accessories and options for the Woodwind line. 

Camp Chef Woodwind 24
4.6
Pros:
  • Adjustable smoke levels
  • Sidekick adds versatility
  • Ash cleanout system
Cons:
  • No cabinet door
CHECK CAMP CHEF PRICE CHECK AMAZON PRICE

As always, feel free to ask questions in the comment form below if there’s something that you want to know about this grill. Reader feedback is always welcome too!

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30 Comments

  1. Ryan-

    Thanks for the review. I have a Woodwind wifi 24 but haven’t tried the grilling feature yet, I was considering doing the reverse sear, does it come up to heat fast enough to simply go from smoking to searing?

    Also they do make a front collapsible shelf, which was a must have for me.

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Jeremy.
      Totally agree of the front shelf. It’s a must have. These grills, including all other pellet grills, don’t really crank up the heat that fast. It takes a little bit to go from say 225F to searing hot. You can still reverse sear with these grills, you will just have to take a very specific approach.
      There are 2 options I would recommend:
      1. If you have the Sidekick add on with the grill box or the griddle, use it. It puts out a ton of heat and its a quick move from pellet side to gas side.
      2. If you don’t have a Sidekick, I would wrap the steaks (or other meat) in aluminum foil and sit them off the grill. Then crank up the temp as hot as possible and slide the rod for direct flame mode. Then when it gets hot, put your steaks back on. It you are concerned of the steaks cooling down too much, you could always wrap then and place them on your top rack in the left corner of the grill. I’m thinking you are probably looking at about 10 minutes to get the grill searing hot.
      Hope that helps.

  2. Do they make a grill that does not use wifi. Not everyone needs a wifi unit. ?

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Rick,
      I don’t believe they do, at least, not in the Woodwind any way. You don’t HAVE to use the wifi though. The Woodwinds can use Bluetooth on your phone as well. And even then, you don’t have to use the app at all in order to use the grill. You have a lot of options as to how you want to use your grill.

  3. Ken Pizzagoni says:

    You mention temperature variances with the Woodwind. Which pellet smoker would you recommend that has more consistent temperature?

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Ken,
      There are 3 categories that come into play here; so it depends on which one you are referring to. The 3 categories are: 1. temp consistency (pertaining to temperature swings) 2. temp variances (how temp differs from left, middle, and right side of grill) and 3. temp accuracy (display temp versus actual temp inside the cooker). We have found that pretty much ALL grills we have tested have some forms of all 3. Some are a little better than others pertaining to these categories. The Woodwind was great at temp consistency, fair at temp variance, and poor at temp accuracy. It was certainly better at smoking temps and not so great when it got to grilling temps. This is mitigated some by making sure the grill is preheated well also. If temp swings are your concern; the woodwind is top notch. If variances are your concern, other grills we’ve tested have been a bit more consistent through the 3 cooking zones (Pit Boss, Memphis, Weber,etc). If temp accuracy is your concern (especially at high temp), you are probably better off with any other grill.

      Final conclusion: it really just depends on how you like to cook, and what you want to be able to control. The Woodwind does give you some adjustability that doesn’t come with other grills. And no matter what grill you get, the most important thing you can do is: GET TO KNOW YOUR GRILL. Knowing how your grill cooks makes all the difference in the world.
      Hope this helps!

  4. Ross Wolverton says:

    Does the ash clean out slide plate burn through and need replacing after long term use?

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Ross,
      I’m sure it will eventually, but it seems to be holding up very well. I would be surprised it it didn’t last for at least 3 years or so of moderate use. Plus, it is extremely easy to change when that time comes.

  5. Ryan,
    Great review, ive been researching pellet grills for a couple months and was leaning toward the woodwind. This will be my first pellet grill, im used to having a 4 burner gas grill.
    I like the convenience and quick cooking capability to gas, but understand the better taste in a pellet grill. Is cooking on the pellet style that much more inconvenient? Also size, you used the 24. I was leaning toward the 36 though. How many burgers do you think you can cook on the 24 at once. Sometimes we host larger parties thats why i ask. I also have a black stone 36 inch griddle if needed to back up. Thanks

    Rick

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Rick,
      Coming from a gas grill background as well, I know exactly what you mean. Sure my family did a lot of smoking growing up, but when it came to grilling, we used gas predominantly. Truth be told, I was skeptical the first time a tested a pellet grill. Sure, I like the flavor of charcoal cooked food, but had ZERO plans of going through that whole process to cook my food every time. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that pellet grills are that happy medium between cooking with the taste of charcoal with the speed and convenience of gas. I can really only think of two areas where gas is better than a pellet grill: heat up time and clean up.

      1st point: Nothing is faster than gas when it comes to start up times. You just can’t beat it. Turn on gas, ignite, 10 minutes later, you got serious heat. When pellet grills are not that fast, they ARE still just as convenient. Most pellet grills can be turned out, set the temp, and walk away. 15-20 minutes later you are ready to grill. Yes, it takes longer, but still just as easy to get ignited and up to temp.

      2nd point: Since it is gas, there is no ash cleanout. It wins this area by default. However, Camp Chef Woodwind has done a fantastic job in this area. They have an ash pot that the ash will drop into via a slide plate. All the ash drops into something the looks like a coffee pot. You just un hook it and dump. Simple as that. Sure there is some ash that is dispersed around in the bottle of the grill barrel, but it only needs to be cleaned out every once in a while. To me, the clean up is significant outweighed by the taste of the food.

      About 24 vs 36: Now you have reached the size paradox. I say that because there are trade offs between a smaller grill and a larger ones.
      24 = Pros: faster heat up times, less pellet consumption, less recovery time from opening lid
      Cons: Less room for smoking large quantities of meats, smaller batches of food able to be cooked for large parties
      36 = Pros: more smoking space, more grilling space
      Cons: longer heat up times, more pellet consumption, more recovery time from opening lid

      Hopefully, the above information will help you make your decision.
      There is nothing wrong with having a larger grill/smoker, just be aware that it will take a bit longer to heat up and take more pellets to run and recover slower. So it really depends on your normal cooking habits. Depending on the size of your burgers, I would say that you could cook 12-15 burgers are a time on the 24.
      Let me know if you have any additional questions, and thanks for reading the articles!

  6. John Hopp says:

    I bought a SGX 36 a year ago, it’s doesn’t have WiFi. I’m happy not having WiFi it just works better for me. Yes the woodwind had great features as stated within this blog by Ryan Black. WiFi can be added.
    I had a Green Mountain before and wasn’t unhappy with it. It was hard to clean. Oh one thing my grill burns the pellet up very little ashes to vac. I also put aluminum foil over dip pan.
    Sorry I hit & missed with my thoughts, my mind just works that way st my age.

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hey John,
      Thanks for the feedback. The wifi isn’t for everyone. Some like it. Some couldn’t care less. Some use other methods such as the Thermoworks Signals, Smoke, or Smoke X as their monitoring agents instead of the grill/smoker itself. It’s really about doing bbq how YOU want. And I’m glad these various grills are giving people the ability to do that. I also like the competition and seeing these companies push the envelop with new technology and features!

  7. Hey Ryan,
    I want to buy a pellet smoker for my husband as a surprise gift. I think primarily he will use as a smoker. However likes to sous vide and prob like to sear at high temps. He’s also a tech guy so I think wifi good. Everything about this grill sounds great except for the temp variance. Do you think this is the one I should go with or I was looking at a Traeger. Thoughts? Thanks

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Rachel,
      The grill is actually quite accurate at smoking temperatures. It was at grilling temps that it was off a fair amount. Since, you said he would mainly use as a smoker, that would be right in his wheel house. And with the cool tech features this grill comes with, he has quite a variety of cooking methods he could explore. And for searing after sous vide, the side kick, assuming you got this also, would put some serious char marks onto any meat. Even the direct flame mode would give you quite a bit of searing power as well.

      As for some of the temp variation from left, middle, and right; I have found that some grills can equalize those temps a little better if they are preheated at a bit higher temperature than you are planning on using for about 15-25 minutes, depending on ambient temperatures. Traeger is a great brand as well. I don’t think you would go wrong with either choice. Both are grills any husband would be ecstatic to get for a surprise gift!

  8. Hey Ryan,
    How accurate are the food temp probes? I’m looking at getting a Woodwind 24 with sidekick to replace a worn out gas grill. Can the sidekick with the grilling fixture be used to make small (4 burgers or chops) but quick meals like gas grills can? Thanks for your review.

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for reading! The food probes are accurate. I would have all confidence in relying on them. With that said, my personal preference is to use leave in food probes as a guide and then confirm with a quick read thermometer. The accuracy of leave in probes can vary a little, but the placement of it can cause the temp to vary a little also. Because I this, I usually pull my food off a few degrees early and check several times with a quick read thermometer. With that said, if you’re not anal retentive like me, Camp Chef’s temp probes will serve you just fine.

      The Sidekick with the deluxe grill box will absolutely work as a miniature gas grill for you. Essentially, the Sidekick is the same thing as a side burner of a gas grill, except jumbo is size and nature. With 30,000 btu’s it is more like a turner fryer gas burner. But with the Sidekick versatility system, it can be used with a grill, or the grill box, or a pizza oven. Back to your question; yes, it can definitely cook quick meals; anything you can think of. Burgers, chops, vegetables. The deluxe grill box can heat up and be ready to cook in about 5 minutes. I really like having the option to use it when time (or just plain laziness) is of the essence.

  9. Hi Ryan,

    I’ve been tossing between the Woodwind and the Traeger Ironwood. The big disappoint for me with the Traeger is that the WiFi has to be 2.4ghz rather than the 5ghz that I currently have. Do you know if the Woodwind will work with the 5ghz WiFi?

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Zach,
      I will have to refer you to Camp Chef’s customer service to answer the question on the wifi as I only ever used the 2.4 ghz wifi at my house. The 2.4 has such a broad range compared to 5 ghz, I just naturally use it, especially since this grill wouldn’t be transferring a lot of data.
      As far as the two grills you are tossing around, I believe you won’t be disappointed if you ended up with either of them. Both are worthy grills to have.

  10. Michael Steve says:

    Hi Ryan,
    This is very thorough review and and excellent read. I just bought a Woodwind 24 and am will use it today for the first time. Your review provided more useful information than I could find anywhere else, including Camp Chef’s manual or on YouTube. I appreciate the time you put into this review and the unbiased info you provide.

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hi Michael,
      Thank you for the feedback and kind words. We try to provide solid, honest information for our readers to help them make informed decisions. We are also make an effort to record more videos to include with the reviews as well to give our readers additional support. Stay tuned! I’m glad we were able to help you. Enjoy the new grill!

  11. Ryan, how about cold smoking something like cheese or salmon for lox? Can we accomplish that with the woodwind?

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hey Peter,
      Yes and no. No, you can’t cold smoke with the Wood wind AS-IS. It was never set up to deliver temperatures low enough for cold smoking. The “YES” comes in as you could use a smoker tube or maze smoker box INSIDE the wood wind which would allow you to cold smoke. In summary, it’s possible, but will require supplemental equipment.

  12. Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for your detailed review. I’m just about sold on the Woodwind especially when you mentioned above that the big temperature accuracy differences are when you’re grilling as opposed to smoking.
    I’m new at smoking, but correct me if I’m wrong; I’m thinking that the accurate temperatures are more important when you’re smoking meat as opposed to grilling it. Is that correct? Your thoughts?

    1. Ryan Black says:

      Hey Sandy,
      Yes, If I had to choose, I would choose to be more precise when smoking than grilling. When grilling, the fire temp could vary by 25-50 degrees and it wouldn’t change my cook much other than changing the amount of time the food stayed on the grill. More than likely, the food would not burn or become too dried out.
      When smoking, a sustained changed of 25-50 degrees could play a pretty big difference. Notice I said “sustained change”. I say that because pellet grills internal temps will naturally rise and fall in waves, but the AVERAGE temperature tends to be close to where the grill is targeting on the display panel.
      Hope that helps.

  13. Terry Parnell says:

    I have a older woodwind that I moved not long ago. The last time I was going to use it after the start mode the display showed crazy temperature reading I set at 275 and got reading from 475 to 525. Could I have jarred something loose or is my display going bad also with temp probe did not even get to the 275 set point. Could you give me suggestions of what to look at. Thanks

  14. I know that this review is over a year old but I was wondering about the DLX 24 and how it stands up against the others in that price range?

  15. Thanks for the in-depth review. I have been researching pellet smokers for a couple of months and haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
    This is the 1st review I have seen of the Woodwind and it has just about convinced me that for the price, etc. this is an overall best choice. All pellet smokers seem to have, like a lot of products, their pros and cons. The consistent smoking temp of the Woodwind vs. the grilling seems to get me over the line in choosing.
    Thanks again!

    1. Appreciate it Joel. The Woodwind is a great smoker, especially if you plan on using the SideKick down the line.

      You could also consider the 2nd Gen SmokeFire, or even the new Woodwind Pro if your budget can stretch.

  16. Do not buy from Camp Chef. I bought the 4 burner griddle and it warped on the first use and they blamed me for using it wrong. They do not honor there warranties and customer service is a joke. Buy a Blackstone or anything else and stay clear of Camp Chef

  17. Ryan Stephens says:

    Do not buy from them. Unable to get reliable person on phone. Call backs take 3-4 days. Only way to get someone is call and say you need dealer support to get a human on the phone. Replacement parts are offered but you don’t get them. Regardless of the product quality nobody should have to deal with this much frustration trying to get an eleven dollar part.

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