How Does A Pellet Grill Work
A pellet grill works with electricity to create a true wood-burning flame. The flame burns sawdust pellets that are stored in a container called a hopper. An auger feeds the pellets into the cooking chamber to heat them up. Air is needed to circulate the heat and smoke to cook consistently and add a unique smokey flavor.
Traeger patented the pellet technology in 1986. Fast forward to the 21st century, modern engineers were able to electronically control the auger’s movement to feed the fire chamber. Wood pellets proved to be an extremely reliable fuel source due to their known energy output by weight. Adding a digital thermometer, we can now precisely control the cooking temperature from 150 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit using our phones.
Camp Chef Vs Traeger Overall Winner
When it comes to the overall winner, its an extremely close call to us.
But based on all of the factors we outlined above, we have to give the slight edge to Traeger.
Traeger is the OG and is still the leader in our mind at delivering pellet grills that create superior flavor on your food.
If you like the bells and whistles that come on Camp Chef products namely the pizza oven, flat top grill, and sidekick burner attachments, then Camp Chef is still an excellent choice.
So all of this is to say that Camp Chef grills are still a fantastic choice but when it comes to the nuts and bolts, Traeger just still performs a little better.
So take all of this with a grain of salt! At the end of the day, you should do the research and figure out which brand between Camp Chef vs Traeger is best for you personally.
In order to help you do that, weve compiled some grill reviews for both brands so you can see from both brands in a product by product comparison.
What Smokers Are Made In The Usa
The Top 5 Electric Smokers Made in the USA in 2021 Electric Smoker Dimensions Weight Landmann USA 32948 Electric Smoker 13.2×16.6×26.7 in 30 lbs. Little Chief Front Load Smoker 11.5×11.5×24.5 in 12.16 lbs. Southern Country Electric Water Smoker 27×21.5×37 in 23 lbs. Smokin-It Model 2 Electric Smoker 24x30x22 in 114 lbs.
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Materials/construction & Hopper Capacity
In terms of materials, both the Camp Chef Pursuit and GMG Davy Crockett are very similar. Both are mainly constructed from steel with a powered coated finish, and both feature a stainless steel lid which makes it easier to clean. The main difference in terms of materials/construction is the GMG Davy Crockett also features stainless steel cooking racks and grease tray which is not currently the case with the Camp Chef Pursuit.
The additional use of stainless steel for internal components gives the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett the edge in terms of materials/construction: Image BBQGuys.com
With regards to hopper capacity, the Camp Chef Pursuit has a hopper that can hold 10lbs of pellets, whereas the GMG Davy Crockett has a slightly smaller 9lbs pellet hopper. For low and slow cooking pellet consumption on both grills will be around 1 and a half pounds per hour. For grilling, at high temperatures, pellet consumption will increase to around 2 to 3 lbs per hour. Therefore, while the additional pound of pellets the Camp Chef Pursuit can hold will provide a longer run time, at grilling temps in particular its not a significant difference.
Are There Other Pellet Grill Brands That Used To Be Made In The Usa
Another example, while a much smaller company than Traeger is Grilla Grills. They are an American owned company thats more than 40 years old with a factory based in Michigan focused on metal processing. Hence, making their own pellet grills just seemed a natural step for them to take. And for the first couple of years when Grilla Grills came onto the market they were 100% made in the USA, at the Michigan based factory. While their pellet grills were very well received by their customers, and still are, the price of their grills was stopping them from being able to grow. Hence, they chose to move the main manufacturing of their grills abroad. Though they still manufacture some of the accessories in the USA. You can read more about it here, but Ive also included a video below from Mark Graham who is the sales and manufacturing manager over at Grilla Grills.
Mark Graham explains why Grilla Grills chose to move the main manufacturing of their pellet grills overseas: Video Grillagrills.com
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Are Camp Chef Pellets Any Good
Camp Chef Woodwind is one of the best pellet smokers in the market. Many grilling enthusiasts highly recommend the 36-inch Woodwind pellet smokers for a smooth barbeque experience. Moreover, the Camp Chef has almost all the features or even better features than its competitors.
Camp chef continues to improve its products with innovation and smart technologies. For instance, the Woodwind 36 Wi-Fi with a sear box is fully packed with unique features and intelligent technologies. As a result of its innovation and versatility, the Woodwind range is the bestseller pellet smokers on the market.
Camp Chef Pursuit 20 Portable Pellet Grill Smoker
The only portable pellet grill on our list, the Pursuit features an automatic ignition and a hopper with a ten-pound capacity. The stainless steel grill grates offer 501 square inches of cooking space, and the ash cleanout system is on par with the larger Camp Chef offerings.
Im favorably impressed by the amount of grilling space available here, which is exceptionally generous by travel-grill standards. It should be noted, though, that ten pounds is not really an adequate capacity for a unit of this size. If you purchase this model, youll want to keep a close eye on the pellet level during cooking, especially if youre planning on grilling more than once per day.
There are a few other caveats: The legs of the Pursuit 20 sit at an awkward angle, making it slightly unstable when placed on softer surfaces. Try to set it up in paved parking lots or hard-packed ground when taking it on the road. Assembly takes a bit longer than with most travel-sized grills, and its larger size makes it heavier than much of the competition.
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Yoder Ys480s Pellet Grill
Let’s be honest, if you are serious about barbecue and are looking for a pellet grill, this is probably the cooker for you. Yoder is legendary for the quality of its products. This, the smallest of their line runs $1,579USD and has a huge cooking chamber for its size. This is a serious, heavy grill. Well, to be honest, while a good grill, this is a great smoker. There are larger Yoder grills than this one, but for most people, this is all you need. Yoder also has great WiFi technology. If you buy this grill, tell them I sent you.
Unique Features: Ash Clean
The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX offers many attributes that are normally only available on much pricier grills. They made the product much more enjoyable to use.
The ash clean-out system made cleaning the grill and removing any stray pellets much simpler. With other smokers that lack this feature, wed need to clean the grill after about 50 hours of smoking, and that usually involves disassembly and a vacuum.
The ash clean-out system made cleaning the grill and removing any stray pellets much simpler.
Wed probably rarely use the pellet purge system, but it came in handy if and when we needed to clear the hopper and auger for transport or cleaning.
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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 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.
This means 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.
Like I mentioned in the intro, Camp Chef does offer an add-on front shelf for the Woodwind for additional prep area.
Camp Chef Vs Traeger: How Do They Compare
So, youre tossing up between two of the most popular choices in pellet grills. Traeger is the original house name. But, comes with that price tag. On the other hand, Camp Chef promises a solid smoker in a more value for money package.
To help you decide which brand will end up in your backyard, this review takes a detailed look at the Camp Chef vs Traeger debate.
First, we dive into how the two compare in terms of construction, function and extra features. Then, we take real Camp Chef and Traeger grills head to head to show you what you get with each of these brands at each different price points.
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Are There Pellet Grills Made In The Usa In 2021
You are probably aware that many of the appliances you buy for your home while purchased from an American brand/retailer they are actually made in another country, typically China. The reason is to produce sufficient margin/profit to cover manufacturing costs, marketing and dealers percentages while at the same time offering an affordable product to consumers. As shown in my wood pellet grill/smoker guide there are lots pellet grills/smokers on the market today. Many of those pellet grills/smokers are also made in China and other countries with lower manufacturing costs. However, there are some pellet grill/smoker brands who do still manufacture their wood pellet grills in the USA, and there is probably more than youre aware of.
A Cookshack PB500, a typical example of a pellet grill still made in the USA: Image BBQGuys.com
Disclaimer: Hey! By the way any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
Find Wood Pellets & Other Pellets For Your Grill Taste The Difference
Camp Chef Premium Hardwood Pellets offer better flavor and a more efficient burn. Why? Unlike most pellets available, Camp Chef pellets are not a byproduct but rather 100% pure virgin hardwoods. No oils, chemicals or binders added. The kiln dried process creates low moisture content for a very dry, hot burning pellet. This means it burns less to maintain your desired temperature, giving you more pellets for your next barbecue and less ash to clean. These pure virgin hardwood pellets will give you consistent results bag after bag. For a better tasting, consistent burning pellet, use Camp Chef Premium Hardwood Pellets.
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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.
- Use the included steel griddle to fry bacon, onions, eggs, or anything you wouldnt want on the main grill.
- Add extra add-ons like the grill box and pizza oven.
If you are going to get the Woodwind, spend the extra and opt for the Sidekick.
It is worth the extra! Yes, it runs off of propane and it doesnt 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 Deluxe Grill Box. 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.
You can purchase the Woodwind and sidekick as a package, or buy it on its own.
Why Choose A Pellet Grill
Pellet grills and smokers are versatile. You can barbecue, smoke, braise, bake, roast, or grill. They are easy to use and provide consistent heat and temperature control. In short, smoking adds flavor and tenderizes and using a pellet grill guarantees great results.
With the touch of a button, you can experience a true wood-burning flame. Just plug in the grill, fill the hopper with pellets, use your phone or the control panel to set the desired temperature and smoke level. No stress whatsoever…
Electric and gas grills fail to add the flavor and smoke we love most when barbecuing over wood. Charcoal, especially grilling on a Big Green Egg, is one of our favorites because of the unique flavor profile. But, charcoal can be tough to light. It is finicky to keep at a consistent temperature without patience and practice. And when you are done grilling, you need to deal with heaps of ash.
We love pellet grills because they are easy to light, impart a hardwood smokey flavor of your choice, and hold consistent temperature for either smoking, grilling, or both. Best of all, clean up is easy. A 20-lb bag of natural wood pellets produces merely 1% of ash.
Grilling and smoking on a pellet grill is convenient and really enjoyable for anyone from the novice all the way to the expert pitmaster.
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Cooking A Turkey On A Camp Chef Pellet Grill
Make the best of your holidays with hassle-free turkey prep right on your Camp Chef grill and smoker in these easy steps.
Your turkey is ready to serve.
Camp Chef Smokepro Dlx Pellet Grill
The Spruce / Justin Park
We purchased the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Camp Chef is a Utah-based company that has produced outdoor and camping cookware for over 20 years, starting with camping stoves and adding cast iron pans and more recently pellet smokers to their offerings. The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX sports many features that other budget-priced pellet smokers skip. We set out to see if these features could set this Camp Chef pellet grill apart in the category, cooking everything from dry rub chicken drumsticks and lightly smoked salmon to low n slow classic pork shoulder over several weeks.
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Why Pellet Grills Are Made Overseas
Manufacturing pellet grills in America is more expense than building them overseas.
For example, Grilla Grills mentions on their website that they shifted their manufacturing operations overseas because it became harder to compete with cheaper, imported ones. The 40 year old Michigan-based company moved its manufacturing to China to reduce its production cost to make the grills less expensive.
This was a tough choice between shutting down their company or going overseas to lower their manufacturing costs in order to compete with cheaper, imported pellet grills.
So in order for more pellet grill brands to offer products made in the USA we need to buy pellet grills that are made in the USA.
Are Weber Pellet Grills Made In Usa
Verdict: Are Weber Grills Made in the USA? Although Weber is headquartered in the U.S. and has their primary manufacturing facilities in Palatine and Huntley, Illinois, they can no longer claim to be made in the USA for many of their products because they have some components of their grills that are imported.
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Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill And Smoker
Doubtlessly, the Pellet Grill and Smoker helps you a lot and allows you to cook delicious food during your trips and camping. And when you want this kind of pellet that helps you both grilling and cooking, we recommend you to go with Traeger Pro Series 34.
In addition to this, its ample surface for cooking helps you to cook a meal for many people at once. Besides, for Pellet Grill and smoker function, we choose this grill because similar to others, it has a WiFi control system that allows you to adjust temperature and other things at anytime from anywhere.
Moreover, when you buy a combo of pellet grill and smoker, its price is just under 700 with all the latest components. Plus, it has three years limited warranty and a solid, sturdy body so that you can use it last.