The pros, the cons, and the facts about this mid-size Camp Chef wood pellet grill.
In many ways, the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill is the perfect example of a mid-range grill in practically every way, including features, price, and size. There’s nothing ordinary about the way the Woodwind does its job, however. Sure, it performs the same tasks in the same way as most other pellet smokers, but it performs them at a higher level, and this is where the true value of this grill comes in to play.
This grill is ideal for any grillers who are making the switch over to wood. If you are someone who barbecues often, you obviously don’t want to start with the cheapest or most basic model possible. Given your general skills, that’s destined to be a waste of money and time.
The Woodwind will not only get you familiar with wood-fired grilling, but it will stand you in good stead as you move from beginner to intermediate to expert. Even if you choose to upgrade to something larger or more powerful later on, you can keep this one as your backup, or use it to smoke your meats.
Benefits Of The Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill
I’m a fan of Camp Chef for several reasons, but I can’t lie. One of the reasons is their spokesman, the Grill God. That guy cracks me up—but he tells no lies as he hypes the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Smoker, which has several advantages, particularly for advanced grill masters who are nevertheless new to cooking with wood and using pellets to smoke their food.
Take a couple minutes to watch this video to see the Grill God in action and you will see what I mean.
Set It And Forget It Temperature Settings
For one thing, the temperature settings are practically foolproof. Picking out the perfect temperature isn’t rocket science on this grill. The control panel makes it easy, and because the Woodwind implements Smart Smoke, you can rest assured that the actual cooking temperature of your food will always be within 15 degrees of the temp you set. It’s not perfect, but it’s still impressive.
An Auto Fueled Pellet Feed System
Pellet smokers come with automatic pellet feeding augers and this is the case with the Woodwind. This means that it feeds pellets into the firebox when needed on its own to maintain your set temperature.
As long as there are pellets loaded into the hopper, there is no need to worry about stoking the fire to maintain the temperature. It’s a huge convenience not having to worry about maintaining the fire compared to a charcoal grill.
A Versatile Cooking System
One of the great things about pellet grills is their ease of use and versatility when compared to your standard gas grill. When buying a new grill, why not look for one that gives you more cooking options to broaden your skills and creations.
With a temperature range between 160 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s easy to devise all kinds of ways to cook on this grill. Choosing how to cook, not what to cook for each meal becomes the real challenge. Smoking, braising, roasting, baking, grilling or BBQing are all realistic options with the Woodwind. You can pretty much cook however you want on this pellet grill.
An Ash Removal System For Easier Clean Up
One of the things that prevent grill enthusiasts from switching over to a wood-burning grill is the clean-up. With gas, cleaning up is usually limited to the grill grates. Anytime you burn a tangible fuel, such as charcoal or wood, you have to deal with the ashes, which can be a real pain.
The Camp Chef Woodwind Smoker, however, is one of the only pellet grill brands that offers an ash clean-out system that makes it a breeze. You simply open a little trap door on the underside of the grill to get to the ash cup beneath it. Dump it and you’re done. It only takes seconds.
A Pellet Hopper That Can Easily Be Drained
Changing the smoke flavor profile is a simple process on the Woodwind and a real frustration of mine with most other pellet grill brands. Being able to easily switch from mesquite pellets to a milder flavor like apple pellets is something that you will really come to appreciate. The pellet draining system is also great for removing and storing your pellets between uses.
Using The Camp Chef Woodwind Grill
That whole ease-of-use philosophy extends to actually barbecuing on the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill, as well. There’s nothing complicated about it, which is another worry that wood-smoking novices often have.
It features an electric auto-start ignition. Starting it is as easy as filling the hopper—which holds up to 18 pounds of pellets – and setting your temperature using the setting select system. The auger feeds the pellets into the firebox instantly. You then simply insert the built-in stainless steel meat probe into your food and let the Woodwind take care of everything else.
Camp Chef Woodwind Smoker Description And Features
The meat probe is just one of the features included with the Camp Chef Woodwind Grill. For such an affordable model, it’s chock full of helpful add-ons and standout details. That’s one reason that it’s considered such a valuable buy for your money. Let’s start out with all the temperature highlights.
Precise Smart Smoke Temp Control With The Dual Probe Controller
The meat probe is just one way to monitor temperature control. The modified Ortech style controller is similar to those used by Traeger pellet grills. It is a multi-position dial controller that has a dual LED readout that toggles between displays so that you can keep an eye on the temp of the grill itself and what’s going on inside your meat.
Back to that spiffy Smart Smoke technology, it ensures that the temperature of the grill—that, in turn, affects the temp inside of your meat—never strays farther than 15 degrees of your set temperature. Because of the way the auger stokes the fire, however, the range is typically closer to your desired number, whether you start low at 175 degrees Fahrenheit or go all the way up to the high setting at about 500 degrees.
Expansive Cooking Space
Who needs a grill with a stamp-sized grilling space? You might as well use a George Foreman. The Woodwind doesn’t play. The primary grilling area is 429 square inches. That will let you grill up to 20 burgers or 4 rib racks at once.
Up above, there’s a helpful warming rack that spans 141 square inches. The warming rack can be removed to accommodate larger foods like whole turkeys, beer can chickens or large roasts.
An Even Cook
While the grill automatically feeds and burns the real wood pellets, a powerful convection fan runs continuously. That has two benefits. For one thing, it ensures that the heat is distributed evenly. For another thing, the fan also blows and circulates the smoke steadily, which means that every piece of food on the grill gets the best of that rich, smoky flavor.
Patented Ash Removal System
Not only does the Woodwind offer full automated cooking, it almost cleans itself too for a fully automated experience. Well, there is actually some work required but the folks at Camp Chef made it as easy as possible with their patented Ash Removal System.
Even though pellet grills create a lot less ash than charcoal grills, they still require regular cleaning. This could be a huge pain with many pellet grill models, but not so with the Woodwind. Simply slide the “Trap Door” under the firepot aside and the ash falls into a removable cup for easy disposal. Now it’s easy to avoid an ash clogged firepot that could impede the cooking performance.
Pellet Hopper Drain Chute
Just like with the Ash Removal system, the folks at Camp Chef came up with a way to make pellet removable easier. Just open the chute door to drain unused pellets so you can keep them fresh and dry between uses or to change to different wood types.
Locking Wheel Caster For Mobility
The Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill has casters, so it’s easy to move from place to place. If you’re a grilling guru who frequently moves from backyard to front yard to porch, you need something that transports effortlessly.
Upgrade To The Woodwind With Sear Box
As I mentioned earlier, for an extra $200 you can upgrade to the more expensive version with an included LP gas fueled sear box that can reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This thing gets hot for the perfect reversed seared finish to your steaks.
Who Is The Camp Chef Woodwind Grill For?
As mentioned, Camp Chef Pellet Grills are ideal for people who know their way around a grill already but want to cook with wood. You have an idea about temperature control already. You may not be familiar with wood grilling and smoking, but you’re in the ballpark. You’re a beginner, but not really. You don’t need a grill with training wheels.
It’s also great for beginners who want a set it and forget it wood fire cooking experience.
It’s competitive price, mid-range size, easy heat control and Smart Smoke settings make it an easy grill to consider. It provides great value for your dollar and if taken care of properly, should last you for years to come.
Why You Should Think Twice
The Camp Chef Woodwind is a very good mid-range pellet grill for the money it costs. But if you are looking for a more premium grill with additional features, this grill may not be for you. There are better performing and better grills out there but it will cost you. The Woodwind is a great grill to get your feet wet with, though.
Pros And Cons
- Effortless clean-up with the purge system
- Roomy cook space
- Shelves for storage
- Firebox and lid is constructed from stainless steel for durability
- Smart Smoke technology
- No Wi-Fi capabilities
- Small hopper
- Need to pay extra for the sear box
Prices And Warranties
At just $699 without the sear box and $899 with one from most retailers, the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill is definitely affordable. It’s about average for a medium-sized grill. The cost sits firmly in the middle.
Now for my favorite part of this Camp Chef pellet grill review: the brand offers a No-Hassle Warranty. They promise to fix any defect in the materials or the workmanship, although the warranty doesn’t cover the finish or the paint. If any of the parts fail you, they’ll replace them. However, the guarantee depends on the premise that you’ll care for the grill.
The Bottom Line
All in all, I can get behind the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill. It’s a solid, durable grill for this price range. I want to point out again that if searing is important to you, the model with the sear box is available for an extra $200. If that’s not important, the price is right on this one, and the features are awesome.
I really like this grill at this price point and I am not the only one. Read the reviews for yourself and you will see a lot of happy people. With its versatile cooking capabilities, easy ash clean out system and quality construction, it is worth taking a closer look at this grill.
If you would like to leave a comment or have a review of your own to share on the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill, please do so below. We always welcome your input and I would love to hear about your experiences with it.
At The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs. If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission. This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue. Your support is truly appreciated
Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill
INNOVATION AND FEATURES8.5/10
DESIGN AND STYLE9.0/10
- Good Value
- Effortless clean-up
- Roomy cook space
- Smart Smoke technology
- Firebox and lid is constructed from stainless steel
- No Wi-Fi capabilities
- Small hopper
- Need to pay extra for the sear box