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posted November 08, 2021

Camp Chef Woodwind Review

Gather ’round grilling friends! It’s time for a review of one of the most popular pellet grills on the market, the Camp Chef Woodwind! Camp Chef’s continued improvement of the Woodwind line keeps them at the top of the game. Boasting a range of 501 – 1236 sq. in. of cooking rack space, Slide and Grill Technology, and a massive 22-pound hopper capacity, the Camp Chef Woodwind is one of the most versatile grills available. With three models to choose from, you’re sure to crank out flawless food perfect for your friends and family.

Camp Chef sent us this grill for testing and review purposes; however, all opinions are our own.

Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill in a yard with text overlay - Camp Chef Woodwind Review.

Camp Chef Woodwind Features

The Woodwind is a great pellet grill with a plethora of awesome features. Camp Chef continues to improve on pellet smoking technology, so you’ll be ready to smoke consistent food every time.

Check out the great features of the Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill:

  • WiFi connected Gen 2 PID controller with a full-color screen
  • Smart Smoke Technology to fine-tune your flavor
  • 160°F – 500°F Temperature Range
  • Pellet Hopper Cleanout
  • Slide and Grill Technology for direct grilling
  • Patented Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system
  • Stainless Steel firebox 

Camp Chef Woodwind Assembly

Assembly of the Woodwind is straightforward. The instructions included by Camp Chef are detailed and easy to follow, allowing for quick assembly. With a helping hand, I was able to assemble the Camp Chef Woodwind 24 with basic hand tools in well under an hour.

Camp Chef is well known for its incredible service! If you have any issues with your grill, make sure to give them a call and they’ll take care of you! 

How to Use

Startup Procedure

When you’re ready, getting this grill started is incredibly easy! Starting this grill for the first time when it’s empty is slightly different than one that has already been filled with pellets and seasoned. Make sure you follow the break-in and seasoning procedure outlined in the manual before proceeding. Let’s get that smoke rolling!

  1. Fill your hopper. I recommend Camp Chef pellets as there are no added oils or binders.
  2. Select the temp. Set your desired temperature and smoke level with the controller.
  3. Preheat. Let the grill preheat for 10-30 minutes, and get to cooking!

Camp Chef Woodwind with smoke rising from the interior.

Low and Slow

Cooking low and slow on a grill that makes it this easy is a wonderful thing. I have several long cooks under my belt with a Woodwind and I’ll tell you, the grill makes for a wonderful experience especially if you’re cooking on a busy day. 

The digital controller provides a bunch of cool features that help accomplish that. It is accurate and able to maintain temperatures within 10 degrees of its setpoint. It also includes four temperature probes to help you keep a close eye on your food. All of this can be monitored on the controller itself or your smartphone right from Camp Chef’s app.

Smart Smoke Technology is another great feature provided. It allows you to dial in your flavor with 10 strength levels to choose from. I usually leave mine set at 10 unless I’m cooking for someone that doesn’t like a lot of smoky flavor. Yes, these people actually exist.

Combine all of that with the 22-lb hopper and you’ve got a beast of a smoker. On a nice summer day, I’ve found that you can get upwards of 20 hours at 225 degrees F with a full hopper, so you can easily run overnight without topping off your pellets. However, it should be noted that this efficiency will be affected depending on which model you purchase.

Hopper and controller of the Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill.

Direct Grilling with Slide and Grill Technology

Want to do some direct heat grilling on your Woodwind? No Problem! 

All it takes to transform the Woodwind into a direct grilling machine is a quick pull of the grill knob, which moves the deflector plate and allows food to be cooked right over the fire. Using this feature is a great way to grill up some burgers or brats for your family party or crank out a hot and fast steak to keep all to yourself. 

You can get a decent sear on a steak with this method, but I much prefer the one you’ll get from the Sidekick attachment if you opted to purchase that as well.

The Sidekick 

Camp Chef also included the Sidekick, one of their most popular attachments, and I couldn’t be happier about this feature. It adds a tremendous amount of versatility to an already feature-packed grill by being compatible with most of Camp Chef’s 14″ cooking system accessories.

The Sidekick really brings the heat with a 28,000 BTU/hr. burner which, combined with the BBQ Grill Box, will put a flawless sear on a steak or take you on a deep-fry frenzy. In addition to the grill box, I opted for the flat top griddle attachment as well as the Artisan Outdoor Oven. Broil, bake, sear, fry, whatever you fancy, the Sidekick can handle almost anything you throw at it. 

Camp Chef Sidekick with fire rising from the attachment.

Artisan outdoor oven on Sidekick.

Woodwind Cleanup

Not only are the racks and drip pan removable for easy cleanup, Camp Chef’s entire lineup includes one of my absolute favorite features; the patented Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system. When you’re finished with your cook, simply give the clean-out handle a pull to empty the ash into the cup for easy disposal. Make sure your fire is completely out and the grill is cool before you do this!

The grease management system helps a ton as well. All that nasty cooking gunk and grease is directed down the drip pan and into a bucket on the side of the grill for easy disposal. Camp Chef even sells foil inserts for the bucket to make this process even more manageable. 

With these two features combined, it makes those times when you need to deep clean your grill much easier, less gross, and extends the time you have between cleanings. 

Camp Chef Woodwind ash cleanout system

What We Like

Here are some of our favorite things about the Woodwind Pellet Grill from Camp Chef:

  • Ease of Use. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and produces incredible food!
  • Digital Controller and Smart Smoke Technology. Camp Chef hit the nail on the head with their digital controller, and the smoke level adjustments are a game-changer. The PID technology in the controller helps maintain a high level of temperature accuracy while the WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity is a feature many people love. The full-color screen is also a nice touch.
  • The Hopper. The 22-pound hopper provides ease of mind late at night on those long cooks. You can rest easy knowing that it’ll be a long time before you’ll need to top it off. The pellet purge also makes changing pellets a breeze.
  • Solid Construction. Camp Chef builds these grills out of fairly thick powder-coated steel except the firebox and lid which are stainless. The legs provide rock-solid stability along with durable rubber wheels. I have a Camp Chef SGX36 in my lineup that is over 5 years old showing no sign of slowing down soon.
  • The Price. You can pick one of these grills up for under $1000! 

What Could be Improved

Even though this is a great grill, there are a few things that could be improved with the Woodwind:

  • The App. Let me start by saying I’m not a huge app person. I tend to stick close to my grills during all of my cooks so connectivity isn’t a feature I prioritize. The app is mostly fine but exhibits occasional crashes and random connectivity issues. These are easily remedied by reopening the app and reconnecting to the grill, but frustrating nonetheless.
  • Shelving and Prep Area. Originally the Woodwind comes with a side shelf, lower storage shelf, and the hopper lid. When you add a Sidekick you lose a ton of real estate and a front shelf would help ease that pain. These are available as a separate add-on for the grill but are pricey for something that I feel should be included. 

Grill box on Camp Chef Sidekick.

Recipes for the Camp Chef Woodwind

Do you have the Woodwind in your backyard, or are you planning on buying one in the future? If so, I recommend trying these awesome recipes with your pellet grill.

Camp Chef Woodwind Review: Final Thoughts

The Camp Chef Woodwind is a heavy-hitter in the pellet grill market that is a great fit for any beginner or pro alike. With it, you’ll be able to produce incredible food with minimal effort that takes your backyard BBQ to new levels.

In its base form, this grill is a super capable cookin’ machine and only gets better with each accessory Camp Chef offers. The pros heavily outweigh the cons across Camp Chef’s entire lineup, so you can’t go wrong purchasing one of these beasts!

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