I was browsing the Lowes website as I do from time to time to look for new pellet grill models and I came across a Camp Chef model I wasn’t familiar with, the MZGX24. Upon further inspection, it became clear this was a Lowes exclusive model which is not something Camp Chef has done previously. I also noticed the description of ‘Gen 3 PID/WiFi controller’ which got me further interested. Therefore, I thought I would write a quick article on what this ‘exclusive’ Lowes model has that other Camp Chef models don’t.
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Introduction To The Camp Chef MZGX24
First off, let’s discuss where this MZGX24 model fits within the wider Camp Chef pellet grill lineup. Well, previously Camp Chef used to brand their pellet grills as either a SmokePro or Woodwind model. The SmokePro models were the entry-level units and the Woodwind models were their premium units.
I’ve previously done a SmokePro vs Woodwind comparison article identifying the different features found in each model range. However, it now appears Camp Chef is dropping the SmokePro branding, but there is still a Woodwind branded range of products.
The MZGX24 really fits within what would have previously been regarded as a SmokePro model, but it does have a couple of features not found on other broadly equivalent Camp Chef pellet grills.
Camp Chef Gen 2 vs Gen 3 PID/WiFi Control Panel
The most notable feature which I want to discuss with this article is the ‘Gen 3’ PID/WiFi control panel which is fitted to the MZGX24. Specifically, what is the difference between this Gen 3 version compared to the Gen 2 PID/WiFi control panel fitted to other similar specification Camp Chef models (non Woodwind basically).
Well, when it comes to the core feature set, it doesn’t appear there is any difference at all. The temperature range is still 160 to 500 degrees with temperature adjustment in 5 degree increments. Furthermore, there is still two meat probe ports as there is on the Gen 2 version.
Really, the only difference is the design/layout of the control panel. The most notable improvement being on the Gen 3 version the screen is now angled up towards the user as it is on the control panels fitted to the more premium Camp Chef Woodwind models.
While the new screen position I definitely think is an improvement its a pretty minor change to call this a new generation of control panel. Its not like my articles such as the Traeger Pro Series Gen 1 vs Gen 2 or the Pit Boss Pro Series Gen 1 vs Gen 2 where there are significant differences/upgrades.
Are There Any Other Unique Features/Upgrades?
Besides the ‘Gen 3’ control panel of this Lowes exclusive MZGX24 the only other feature I can tell that has not been added to any other Camp Chef pellet grill to date is the viewing window within the grill lid.
While a viewing window can be useful in principle, in practice its only as useful as your cleaning practices. Hence, unless you clean that viewing window on a regular basis it can get dirty really quickly with smoke and fat resides which means you cannot actually see through it.
If you can keep that viewing window clean enough, sure it can provide value. It means you can monitor the cook to a certain degree without having to open the lid and letting out heat and smoke. But now comes the obvious question, how much more are you expected to pay for these additional features?
Camp Chef SG24 vs Camp Chef MZGX24
The MZGX24 is essentially a slightly modified/upgraded SG24. Therefore, both models are identical on cooking area and they have the same hopper size (22 lbs). Furthermore, both models come with direct-flame access and both can be upgraded with a propane Sear Box/Side Kick.
While the SG24 is fitted with a Gen 2 control it still has the same functionality as the Gen 3 control panel fitted to the MZGX24. Hence, both models benefit from the Camp Chef Connect app to monitor and adjust the cook from a smartphone.
As discussed above, the only real difference is the MZGX24 gets a control panel which is angled up towards the user and the grill lid viewing window. So what’s the price premium? Its just $50 with the SG24 currently retailing at $749 and the MZGX24 at $799.
Conclsions On The Camp Chef MZGX24
Do I think the MZGX24 is an improvement over the SG24? Yes, the screen on the Gen 2 control panel from the start should have been angled up towards the user instead of forcing you to bend down to read the screen.
The viewing window within the lid may be a handy feature for some, but personally it adds little value for the reasons stated above about the need to keep it really clean for it to actually be useful. Furthermore, there is no light within the cooking chamber, hence it might be hard to see in there even when the glass is clean.
Then again, the asking price is only a $50 premium over the more commonly available SG24. Hence, it could easily be argued the improvements are worth the price premium. What I would say though is don’t put too much weight into the ‘Gen 3’ branding, its a very similar the SG24 featuring a Gen 2 control panel.
That’s it! Thanks for reading, you may also be interested in some of my comparison articles such as Camp Chef vs Traeger and Camp Chef vs Pit Boss. Alternatively, check out my Wood Pellet Grill Guide page for a wide range of my articles. 🙂
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