Camp Chef vs. Traeger
So, you are looking at the two well-known pellet grill brands, Traeger and Camp Chef. Traeger, of course, is the pioneer brand with a higher price tag. Compared to Traeger, Camp Chef offers a good smoker in a more affordable package.
Since both brands have significantly improved the pellet grill market, it is essential to evaluate their features and choose the one that best suits your requirements.
Origins of the brands
Before we get into the specifics of the grills we're comparing, let's look at the history of the brands.
The history of the Traeger Grill
Traeger Grills revolutionized the pellet grill by being the first to mass-market it. Joe Traeger, a pellet grill pioneer, invented the Traeger Grill in 1978. It all started when a man at a lumber yard in the small Oregon town of Klamath Falls gave Joe a five-gallon bucket of wood pellets.
From there, Joe Traeger introduced the first Pellet Grill in 1986, revolutionizing the barbeque industry by replacing charcoal or gas with pellet fuel.
Traeger transformed a family-run business into a well-known company. He created the whole genre of pellet grills and was awarded a patent for it.
Traeger believes using proper fuels to grill is essential to achieving the best flavors. Joe and Brian Traeger sold their share to a Florida venture capitalist for $12 million when the patent ran out in 2006. Trilantic Capital Partners purchased Traeger grills in 2014.
Contrary to Traeger, Camp Chef made their name by producing simplistic and practical outdoor cooking equipment, beginning with the well-known Pro 60 stove.
Back in 1990, the founder of Pro60, Ty Measom, was frustrated and inspired by the sheer size and quality of outdoor cooking equipment on the market. He knew there needed to be a more portable and powerful way to cook outdoors. After countless hours of research and development, he created Pro60—and with it, the company that would revolutionize camp cooking. No one wants to eat like Chris Elliot did in that episode in that hilarious show Get a Life.
Camp Chef began with portable and powerful high-capacity propane cookers and has since developed hundreds of products and accessories, such as barbecue grill boxes and griddles, as well as a complete line of cast iron cookware. Although its product range has grown, Camp Chef continues to garner praise from outdoor enthusiasts everywhere.
While Camp Chef doesn't have an extensive range of options like Traeger, its Woodwind range and Smoke Pro range have caught the attention of many because of the build quality and value for money they offer.
Over the last few decades, Camp Chef revolutionized how people fed their families, friends, and co-workers while camping, tailgating, and on their home patio.
Camp Chef products are manufactured in China but designed in the US.
Camp Chef Woodwind Pro Series Main Features
The Camp Chef Woodwind Pro has a grill designed to please control freaks and easygoing chefs.
Smoke box: It features a smoke box, allowing users to manage heat and flavor simultaneously. The smoke box offers a unique cooking experience with total customization. Users can control heat and flavor using wood pellets, chunks, or charcoal. The damper value allows for customized heat output.
The Smoke Box combines the taste of an offset with the convenience of a pellet grill, allowing users to smoke low and slow. The Smoke Box also allows for cold smoking using the Fan Only Mode.
Ventilation: The heat diffuser helps keep your grill running smoothly by pushing smoke and heating the sides. It then blows this out through the exhaust. It ensures the smoke and heat stay evenly distributed throughout the whole chamber.
Wi-Fi + Camp Chef connect app: The camp chef woodwind wifi line features a full-color display, weather-resistant cover, menu dial, and temperature probe ports. It connects to the Camp Chef Connect App, allowing users to monitor their cook's flavor from anywhere. The app allows setting timers, viewing historical data, labeling probes, and selecting meat types using the Smart Meat Assistant. This feature makes using a pellet grill more easy.
Stainless steel model: High-quality stainless steel holds heat and resists corrosion and rust. The interior grill made from stainless steel is 430 grade, while the butterfly valve, the gasket, and the burn cup are 304 grade steel.
Custom smoke number: The PID controller controls the smoke and temperature. You can control the precise amount of smoke you add to your cook by changing the Smoke Number. The controller gives you the most accurate grill temperature in the industry. As your smoke number goes up, your smoke output grows. As your Smoke number goes down, your temperatures hold tighter.
Sidekick compatible: The Sidekick Flat Top and Sidekick Sear are great additions to any pellet grill. You can use your existing Sidekick shelf holes to mount a Sidekick on your pellet grill and cook with propane. You can also add the compatible1 burner and 14-inch accessories to personalize your culinary experience!
Cleanout: Your pellet grill runs on hardwood pellets. The burning and smoking of these pellets gives you smoke, but it also gives you ash. Instead of pulling out your shop vac, tug the ash cleanout button on the side of your grill, and your unwanted ash will flow into the cup, where it can get cleared and disposed of in seconds.
For a casual experience, you can fill the hopper with pellets and get a signature mild smoke taste.
Traeger Grills - Pro Series Main Features
Traeger Pro Series grills is a pellet smoker offering a unique combination of wood-burning flavor and set-it-and-forget-it functionality. It allows precise temperature control and cooking of some of the most delicious meals.
These pellet grills can cook in many ways, such as smoking, grilling, baking, roasting, braising, and BBQ.
Here are some of the sophisticated features of the Traeger Pro series.
WiFIRE: With WiFIRE technology, watch your pellet grill from anywhere using the Traeger App. Also, the D2 Controller keeps your grill at the perfect temperature for best results all the time. All you need to do is choose the temperature and let your grill take care of the rest. You can control Traeger grills like an oven, making wood-fire cooking simple and easy.
Natural hardwood pellets: The best-kept secret of Traeger grills is their use of natural hardwood pellets. They are more than just fuel.
The company has specially prepared top-quality pellets to ensure that Traeger grills produce the best possible smoke and flavor.
Mobility: The Traeger Pro has durable all-terrain wheels that handle all terrain conditions.
Easy tracking: An accompanying meat probe enables the user to control the temperature of their food without the need to open the lid.
TurboTemp: Rapid heating thanks to the TurboTemp feature, which also promotes quick recovery of grill temperatures even after lifting the lid.
Swapping pellets: The hopper cleanout has a trapdoor that quickly and easily empties the hopper for changing pellets easily.
Multipurpose: The possibilities are endless because one appliance can grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ. You can cook anything from baked blueberry pie to slow-smoked lamb chops on a Traeger BBQ grill.
Let's go head-on: Traeger versus Camp Chef grills
It's time to compare these two grill masters now that we know their specifications well.
We shall accomplish this by contrasting them based on essential criteria.
Cooking space capacity
Because space is everything, we've simplified it for you. The Traeger Pro 780 and Pro 575 have cooking surfaces measuring 780 square inches and 575 square inches, respectively.
With Camp Chef Pro 24 and Pro 36, you can select a total rack surface area of cooking space between 811 SQ IN and 1236 SQ IN. The Camp Chef cooking area can now be enhanced with a Sear Box or a Side Kick, thus increasing the cooking functionality.
Pellet hopper capacity
There is a significant difference between the hopper capacity of the two models, with the Camp Chef holding 18 lbs compared to the Traeger's 22lbs. The Traeger does not provide a smaller or larger hopper capacity.
What this does mean, however, is that the Camp Chef can take a 20lb bag of grill pellets in one sitting, which is not achievable with the Traeger.
The Traeger Pro series is known for its excellent temperature retention. You can easily adjust the grill temperature with WiFIRE. You can also control the temperature from your phone or tablet.
The Camp Chef pellet grill is similar to the Traeger in that it spreads heat evenly and ensures a stable cooking experience.
The Traeger and the Camp Chef can reach a maximum temperature of 500 degrees. But the Camp Chef has an edge as it can go 20 degrees down to 160 degrees. The indirect internal temperature maxes out at 500 degrees, and the center of the grill reaches up to 650 degrees.
The Camp Chef has a built-in Wi-Fi controller and an easy-to-use knob for temperature management. You can adjust the temperature by 15 F. The Camp Chef also has smoke control, which allows you to adjust the smoke intensity in increments of 1 to 10.
Camp Chef wins this round. It has the best ash cleanout system on the market.
Some people hesitate to buy a pellet grill because it is messy to clean, especially compared to gas grills or electric smokers.
The easy ash cleanout system from Camp Chef eliminates all that by simply pulling a lever and unloading all of the ash, unburned pellets, into a tiny burn cup under the machine that you can empty. It's quick, easy, and ideal. On the other hand, if you're looking for a Traeger Pro model, it has an external grease collection that you can use as part of your routine maintenance to clean
the ash from the inside of your grill.
Traeger and Camp Chef have equally well-regarded customer service reputations and have customer service teams based in the US.
Traeger's customer service team is in Mt. Angel region of Oregon, while Camp Chef's customer service is in the Cache Valley region of Utah. With that said, online feedback suggests that the customer service at Camp Chef is more positive.
The Traeger Pro 780 and Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24 have fairly consistent prices across all vendors at $1999 and $2399, respectively. The sidekick model costs extra.
Since the prices of these two pellet grills are directly comparable, evaluating their value depends on which features each pellet grill has or doesn't have.
Also, the Traeger WiFIRE app has more content, including available-to-download pellet grill cooking settings and interactive video recipes.
The Camp Chef's benefits and main selling points are its larger cooking area, slightly larger pellet hopper, and direct-flame access, which the Traeger lacks.
Additionally, you can add a propane Sear Box or Side Kick to the Camp Chef as an upgrade. As a result, the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24 would be your best choice.
First off, both Traeger and Camp Chef produce quality pellet grills. Although assembling either of these barbecues can be challenging, the parts all fit perfectly to create a sturdy smoker that retains heat and smoke well.
Most of Camp Chef's product line has a powder-coated steel body and enamel-coated grates and lacks insulation. So, if you live somewhere that gets very cold, you can buy insulation blankets for improved effectiveness of the smokers.
Nevertheless, some of their smokers come with a stainless-steel firebox, a nice feature that increases the toughness of the part of the smoker that is most likely to sustain damage from high heat.
With Traeger, you can expect porcelain-coated grates and powder-coated steel bodies to prevent rust. Like Camp Chef, Traeger's less expensive ranges come in single-layered steel.
The two brands, Traeger or Camp Chef offer reliable 3(three) year warranties, depending on your preference. Similarly, the warranties offer to fix or replace any material or make defects under regular use and maintenance. This factor does not apply to paint or finishes, and it is void if the damage occurred because of careless use, abuse, overheating, or modification. It is well known that the camp chef service is highly regarded.
Check out the no hippie bbqs non bias review of camp chef vs traeger
The Bottom Line: Pick your favorite
So, traeger or camp chef? It is hard to choose between these two incredible pellet grills. After all, you will need to consider your needs. Besides, they both provide the best backyard cooking experience. But since we have to pick, let's go with Camp Chef.
That does not mean Traeger is not worth as much. If you decide to buy one, you are sure to love either one. But when it comes to all the features, accessories, and grill space, Camp Chef wins every time.