Camp Chef Woodwind Review

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

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!



Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

Related Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reader Reviews

54 Reviews

  1. Chris B says:

    I’ve been eying the Woodwind to purchase. I was curious if you have the same grease fire concerns with the slide and sear feature on the Camp Chef like you did in your review of the Pit Boss 820?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Yes, the Woodwind has similar issues. Just be careful while using it and keep your grill fairly clean and you should be fine.

      1. Chris B says:

        Thanks. Appreciate the reply and all your reviews. Very helpful in my purchasing decision.

  2. YoHoHo and a rack O'ribs says:

    I have a long term usage question. I want to buy one but many reviews complain about rust after a short time. What’s your experience?Thx

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      I haven’t had a rust issue on any Camp Chef grill I’ve owned, but I live in an arid desert.

    2. Craig Brown says:

      BIG ISSUE! They claim to have a had a bad batch of paint. in 45 days the entire from t of the body of mine had rusted. Contacted Camp Chef and they offered to send me a new grill body. Ummm, I just spent $1300 on a smoker 45 days ago and now I need to disassemble every compannat of it and do a complete rebuild? I bought mine locally in St. Louis (St. Louis BBQ Store is the best) to ask for assistance. They arranged me getting a new grill through their rep. I appreciate the final outcome but Camp Chefs initial offer was a major disappointment.New smoker is 60 days old and no rust!BTW- I love how it cooks!

  3. Ed Outland says:

    I have a Woodwind 36″er with Sidekick Griddle and Grill (Propane) and PID too.I also still have the 24’er with Sear Box and no PID as a backup for group smokes! Far and away better than my previous Traeger’s that I owned for a decade!

  4. GrillaNate says:

    Hey Grill, I’m looking at getting the Woodwind SG 24 pellet grill, but I’m not sure whether I want to spring for the WiFi feature or not. One thing that might help is — Do you know if I could control the grill’s fan with a third party thermometer like the Firebase?


    1. GrillaNate says:

      Oops I meant Fireboard thermometer, not Firebase. Here’s the link:

    2. Hey Grill Hey says:

      As far as I know you can!

  5. Francis says:

    Digital temp gauge electronics – will storage outside with a good cover protect the elements from malfunctioning. I have had issues with other digital electronics!!

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      It’ll do just fine outside! I rarely cover mine up and I’ve never had an issue with water.

  6. denny busbea says:

    a few times my woodwind wouldnt start the auger runs the rod gets hot fans not working keep covered and clean dumped pellets added fresh pellets went through shutdown please help

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      Hey Denny! I would call Camp Chef. They have really great customer service and can help you out.

  7. Bryan Griller Sorensen says:

    2 comments. I am smoking a Brisket using the woodwind for the first time today. It’s 97 Deb outside. I was hoping this grill would hold a tighter temp range. I’m averaging at best 210 to 240 with it set at 225. I dii like a less smokier neat so I didn’t use low smoke. Is \_ 15 deg sound right? Also both temp prope read over 300 and one was in a cold brisket and the other I just left in outside ambient temp. Do you think I have a bad controller?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about that variation in temperature. It seems a little bigger than others, but it could be due to a number of things (type of pellets, height of vent on your smoke stack) and may not be a controller issue. For the probe temperatures, I’d give customer service a call. You might have a kinked or faulty probe that they would be happy to replace.

      1. Griller says:

        Update: Called customer service they sent me 2 new probes. The brisket turned out amazing!

        1. Hey Grill Hey says:

          That is great news!!

  8. Lori says:

    What flavor of pellets do you use?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      It depends on what I am cooking. I like to use hickory and cherry a lot. I do try to post which flavor wood I am using on most of recipes as well.

  9. Brian says:

    I have just bought a Woodwind and I’m having problems with temperature spikes on high smoke at 2:20 in hits 360° has anybody else had this problem?

    1. Tom says:

      My grill will reach 250 or so on high smoke before dropping back to 220. 1st check your pellets. They should be hard & shiny. Make sure you don’t have a lot of sawdust in your pellets. Soft, dull pellets burn too quickly. Sawdust will burn very quickly leading to temperature spikes. If you’re still having trouble contact Camp Chef.