Woodwind Pellet Grill Review | Camp Chef

June 28, 2017

It’s time for a Woodwind Pellet Grill Review! I’ve been cooking on my Woodwind for over 2 months now and thought it was time to give you guys an in-depth look at the newest pellet smoker in the Camp Chef line-up. You all know I’m proudly sponsored by Camp Chef because after using their products side by side with my other pellet grills, I knew I had found a brand I was eager to share with my readers and felt confident promoting. Camp Chef sent me the Woodwind to try out and to review and they specifically asked me to be completely honest-the good the bad, all of it. So here goes!

 

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Features

For my Woodwind Pellet Grill Review, I wanted to highlight as much as I could. I figure if you’re preparing to make a financial investment in a grill, you’ll want as much info as you can get. It’s pretty detailed, so stick with me. What I first noticed about the Woodwind (and the other Camp Chef pellet grill I own) was the overall weight and strength of the body of the grill itself. This is definitely a two-person assembly job, but when it comes to a smoker I wouldn’t want it any other way. Having thicker gauge steel on the actual grill barrel means more even and consistent heat, which is kind of a big deal in both low and slow BBQ, baking, braising, roasting, and hot and fast grilling. This is top priority for me and the Woodwind passes with flying colors. On my first run with the Woodwind, it fired right up, reached temperature, and held there within +/- 10 degrees F of the set temperature. Dreamy!

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Let’s chat about included features. Almost all pellet grills operate with a similar mechanism where an electrically powered auger feeds wood pellets into a firebox. The pellets are then ignited, producing smoke and heat. The Woodwind has consistently operated as advertised, every time I’ve used it, from the day I opened it. So what features really set it apart?

Camp Chef Pellet Grill

 

First up- the attached sear box. Two words here, for anybody who has struggled to get their pellet grills up to high temperatures for searing: GAME. CHANGER. The sear box is a propane-powered cast iron-laden work horse with massive fire power (reaches 900 degrees F, friends). This one feature sets the Woodwind above all other pellet grills on the market (in my opinion). It’s like having 2 grills in one. Just look at the ridiculously professional cross hatch grill marks I was able to achieve on these Reverse Seared Tenderloins. The versatility of having the wood fired pellet grill to add all the smoky flavor you want, and the convenience of a hot and fast sear station combined in one grill is basically a dream come true for me. I use it more than I imagined I would and I’m so glad it’s there!

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Second on my priority list- the ash clean out and hopper clean out features. I use my pellet grills 4-5 times a week (sometimes more) and that means I spend quite a bit of time maintaining and cleaning my grills. Having the ability to pull a lever and clean out the remaining ash in the firepot without disassembling the entire unit is such a fantastic benefit. I still break the grill down to vacuum out excess ash in the body of the grill once a month or so, but I used to be doing that every other week. So, that one feature has cut my cleaning time in half. I love it. The hopper clean out feature is less crucial, but still great to have available. Basically, if your hopper is full of mesquite pellets because you just did a really bold steak but you want to swap pellets out for something more mild, like an apple or hickory, you can just open a little trap door and empty the hopper. Then it’s simply refilling the hopper with whatever type of pellets you want to use next. This is just an example of Camp Chef thinking through the grill from the perspective of a regular user. Great feature!Camp Chef Pellet Grill Review
Bonus features- the upper shelf, the included thermometer probe, and the stainless kit. I totally understand the benefit of having an included secondary shelf in the grill. It’s awesome for things like hot dogs, stuffed mushrooms, etc. but I don’t use it a ton and sometimes have to remove it before doing taller things like turkeys, beer can chickens, hams, prime ribs, etc. I’m glad it is there for when I do need it and love that it’s removable for when I don’t. The built in thermometer probe is a super cool feature, allowing you to check the temperature of the meats on the grill with a push of a button on the control panel. Internal meat temperature monitoring is a huge deal and can contribute to a way better grilling experience, but I am a collector of thermometers (seriously, I have at least 10) so this wasn’t a make or break it feature for me. If you don’t have a thermometer, this is a sweet little bonus! Finally, the stainless kit. It looks pretty, It matches the sear box. People love stainless. For me, I find stainless steel is just a little harder to keep clean than a black grill. This is basically just my OCD self not wanting to scrub for fingerprints or water spots every time I use it. So, if you like stainless? You’ll love it. The thing looks slick, no doubt.

Woodwind Pellet Grill Price

There are two Woodwind models available. They were even nice enough to make a little chart so you can see the difference of both. Each grill has the ash and pellet clean-outs, the temperature probe, the bottom shelf, and the extra rack inside. The only major difference is the included sear box and some grill real estate. Camp Chef put together a nice little infographic for you to get a better idea of what each Woodwind model offers.
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You can order directly from the Camp Chef website or on Amazon.com, either way it is the same price with free shipping right now. However, ordering through the Camp Chef website, they include a free patio grill cover and pellets (worth$75). I do recommend you at least hop on over to Amazon and read the reviews (spoiler alert-they are all five stars) and there is a great Q&A section over there where other grill enthusiasts are helping each other out with questions. Ultimately though, I’d recommend ordering from Camp Chef directly and getting the free stuff!

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill Review: Would I buy it?

Listen guys, I know $899 is a lot of coin for a grill. But, compared to a lot of other grills in this price range on the market I feel like the Woodwind has the features, durability, and a 3 year warranty that set it above the rest. I also put a lot of stock in the customer care and service that a company offers and I feel like Camp Chef stands behind their products. I think if your budget puts the Woodwind in your price range, you’d be hard pressed to find a grill that is more reliable and versatile.

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If you want to see some reviews from other Camp Chef owners and what they are doing with their grills, you should check out the Camp Chef Smoker Smokers group on Facebook. It’s not sponsored by Camp Chef or anything, just a group of lots of happy Camp Chef owners who are nice enough to answer questions and talk BBQ. It’s a great place to see these grills in action and hear what current customers are enjoying about their grills.  If you ever have any questions for me, you can drop a comment here, on the Hey Grill, Hey FB page, or in my closed FB group for BBQ and grilling enthusiasts (just send a request and I’ll approve you!) I’m always happy to help out!

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26 thoughts on “Woodwind Pellet Grill Review | Camp Chef

  1. Loving mine, nice thorough review. I think they nailed it with this one, with the exception of a couple minor things missing (cord management and tool hooks), this has everything I need in a grill. To me this is the best all around for flavor, speed, and ease of use. I used to use an electric smoker, charcoal grill, and gas grill – not anymore.

  2. Can you tell me how easy grease is to clean out of the Woodwind? Grease is a major problem on my current gas grill.

    Thanks for a great review!

    1. Hey Paul- I find grease really easy to clean. There is a large heat deflector/drip tray underneath the grill grates. I line that with heavy duty aluminum foil and when it is dirty and greasy, I simply remove it and replace with clean foil.

    1. Any gas appliance repair man should be able to convert it for you. It’s just a matter of drilling the orifice to the correct size and puting a different regulator on it.

  3. Is it necessary to always cook with pellets in the hopper? I ask because I don’t like a heavy smoke flavor in some meats, so I want to know if I can simply dump the pellets after smoking for a period, then continue to cook at whatever temp I select until I reach the correct internal temperature.

    1. David, the entire grill is run off of the pellets. They provide both the smoke and the heat. Usually if you are grilling at any temperature over 275, you really don’t get much by way of smoke flavor, just the heat from the pellets burning. Lower temperatures are where you get a majority of the smoke flavor.

  4. Hello, I have been enjoying my woodwind but on 3 occasions recently it stopped making heat while I was trying to cook. I take excellent care of it and it stays clean and covered. Have you experienced anything like this?

    1. Hey Brad- the only time I’ve heard of people losing their fire is if they are cooking on the low smoke setting in cooler temperatures. Sometimes the fire can go out before more pellets are fed into the fire pot.

  5. Hello and Happy New Year.

    I was told by Camp Chef that the sear box has three heat settings, not just low to high temperature settings. They never measured the BTU’s or temp of the grates on each of the settings. I noticed that you didn’t mention the three settings and I am wondering if you took the time to look over that specific.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Craig- Happy New Year to you as well! On the sear box, I don’t use it on any setting other than High. When I am searing I am looking for the highest temperature I can get. I’ve used a laser infrared thermometer to measure the surface heat of my sear box grates and after preheating on high it was at 900 degrees F. If I’m looking for a lower temperature, I typically just use the pellet grill side on the highest heat setting.

  6. Do not waste money on this grill. It produces very little if any smoke. I purchased the woodwind and it will not smoke on any setting at all. Camp Chef customer service even states that their grill smokes very little if at all. Save your money and buy a gas grill and a smoke tube, it’ll be the same thing.

    1. Hey David- I definitely see smoke with my Woodwind, but more importantly to me is the flavor that i get cooking with it. Most wood fires have ebbs and flows of when they are smoking vs. smoldering. I’m sorry you’re not happy with it, but I’m sure their customer service will do their best to make you happy. I’ve never had anything but good experiences!

    2. Same thing has happened on my new WW, it will produce large amounts of smoke on “low smoke” but hardly any on “high smoke”. There is no smoke flavor unless I use a smoke tube. Very disappointed!

    3. I was surprised at the low amount of smoke that you see with pellet smokers. They do however still produce smoke (more so at lower temps), it is just a cleaner smoke. You wont get the billowing of smoke that you see with stick burners. Once I adjusted to it, I am able to produce the same quality of product as I can on my stick burner but with a lot less effort.

  7. I bought a Woodwind, not from your recommendations I have smoked on it less that 10 times, bought July 2017, the last two times the smoker after 45 minutes loses temp and drops to under 100 degrees, went through shutdown procedures, started again same thing after 45 minutes loss heat at 275 degrees to under 100 so far not sure if it is worth the $900 spent, not happy looking at the other models now, maybe just stick to the barbecue!

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