Before Camp Chef launched their current top-of-range Woodwind pellet grill line in 2017 their original pellet grill range was the SmokePro. This range of pellet grills is still offered by Camp Chef today and is positioned as their entry-level offering. A SmokePro is a great place to start for anyone on a tight budget that is yet to own and experience the great taste of food cooked on a BBQ wood pellet grill. With this post, I wanted to cover the differences in features between each model in the Camp Chef SmokePro range. Furthermore, I’ll discuss what features the Woodwind range has which the SmokePro range does not. What you may not know is you can upgrade a SmokePro with an important feature found on Woodwind pellet grills.
The Camp Chef range of pellet grills is very comparable to the first generation Traeger Pro Series in terms of physical size. However, the Camp Chef SmokePro range actually comes in at a bit lower price point. Hence, the SmokePro range is seen by some to offer better value, especially for someone looking to purchase their first pellet grill who is not completely sold on the benefits of a pellet grill over charcoal or propane. It is also important to note all Camp Chef pellet grills benefit from their patented quick ash cleanout system which is not found on alternative grills from Traeger or Pit Boss.
Introduction To The Camp Chef SmokePro Pellet Grill Range
As the commercial above shows, all models in the Camp Chef SmokePro BBQ pellet grill range can grill, smoke, bake, roast and braise. Now some of the models in the SmokePro pellet grill range can also broil and you cook directly over the flames from the burning pellets. They all feature an electronic controller which regulates the pellet feed auger on and off to achieve and maintain the set temperature. However, not all models in the Camp Chef SmokePro range feature the same electronic controller. The larger units have a more advanced controller featuring single/dual meat probes and a digital temperature readout.
Before I jump into the ins and out of the features of each of the models in the SmokePro range I want to further emphasize that every Camp Chef pellet grill, including every SmokePro model benefits from their quick clean out ash pot. Pellet grills generally require more cleaning than a propane grill to remove the ash from pellet combustion sitting in the bottom of the grill. However, you don’t have to clean a Camp Chef pellet grill as frequently due to the quick release ash pot as seen in the video below:
The Camp Chef SmokerPro Pellet Grill Models
Below I’m going to go through the Camp Chef Smoker Pro range in size order. However, its important to note the differences between the different models is not just the size of the cooking area. With the larger more premium units they also have more advanced control panels, larger pellet hoppers and the option for direct flame grilling.
Camp Chef SmokePro SE 24
The smallest pellet grill/smoker in the SmokePro range is the SE 24. This is actually the cheapest Camp Chef pellet grill you can buy. Its also worth noting its comparable in price to Camp Chefs portable pellet grill the Pursuit 20. However, the SmokePro SE 24 benefits from a surprisingly large pellet hopper for a grill of this size at 18lbs. Granted, it cannot take a full 20lb bag of BBQ wood pellets like the larger units listed below can, but this is a very compact grill.
The SmokePro SE 24 is a great little grill as a low-cost introduction into the world of wood pellet grills. However, it does lack several features compared to the larger pellet grills and features which Camp Chef are generally known for. For instance, the temperature controller on the SE 24 has no digital readout. Therefore to judge what temperature the grill is at you have to look at the analogue temperature gauge on the grill lid.
Secondly, there are no external meat probe connections. On larger/higher spec SmokePro/Woodwind models there are one, two or even four external meat probe ports. The SE 24 also does not have the option of flaming/broiling your food as it doesn’t feature the sliding firepot heat baffle. However, even lacking these features as I’ve stated above, this is a great little entry level pellet grill. Partly because even though this is an entry model you can still upgrade it with the propane Sear Box/Side Kick accessories. If not a set of GrillGrates is a good idea to provide high-temperature grilling/searing performance.
Camp Chef SmokePro XT 24
The next model up in the SmokePro range is the XT 24. You may not think its provides any more cooking area over the SE 24 (429 square inches). However, the XT 24 provides 570 square inches. The reason being, the SE 24 only has a single rack whereas the XT 24 benefits from a lower and upper cooking rack which accounts for the additional cooking area. However, its not just the cooking area which is increased over the SE 24 as you can see in the video below.
The support legs on the SmokePro XT 24 pellet grill are much thicker/sturdier than those featured on the SE 24. While the SE 24 and XT 24 feature the same 18lb pellet hopper as you can see from the video above, the control panel has been upgraded. The controller on the XT 24 features a digital temperature readout and external meat probe connection. While this grill still does not feature direct flame broiling found on other models below its a nice little step-up in cooking performance over the SE 24 for only a small increase in price. The XT 24 is also offered in just black or with a bronze hopper and grill lid.
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24
Now I must admit when I first started to compare the specs between the XT 24 and the DLX 24 I was struggling to work out what the differences were between these two grill models. For instance, they both provide the same cooking area of 570 square inches over two racks. Furthermore, they both use the same controller with a single meat probe port. The more I looked at the grills I then noticed the two subtle differences between them.
First, the support legs on the DLX 24 have been upgraded over the XT 24. The second difference is the pellet hopper. Does the DLX 24 hold more pellets? No, it still holds 18lbs. However, as you can see from the video above it does feature the pellet hopper cleanout/purge shoot. Now, this may not seem like an important feature, but it is a nice feature to have. For instance, let’s say you’re in the middle of a cook and you want to change from say oak pellets to apple. Well with the pellet purge shoot its so much quicker/easier to do this compared to the XT 24. Again though, there is no direct flaming broiling possible with this grill.
Camp Chef SmokePro LUX 36
Moving up from the DLX 24 to the LUX 36 the most significant difference is the increase in cooking area. The DLX 24 pellet grill offers a total of 570 square inches whereas the LUX 36 has a cooking area of 874 square inches. However, its not just an increase in size which differentiates the DLX and LUX models. The LUX also features a bottom utility shelf. Whether you intend to use this self or not it provides the additional benefit of providing increase rigidity to the support legs when moving this larger/heavier grill around on its caster wheels. Talking about the caster wheels, on the LUX you also have the option to lock them to stop them swivelling when needed.
Other than the differences mentions above though the DLX 24 and LUX 36 are very similar. Both models use the same 18lb pellet hopper with purge shoot and the same control panel with meat probe sensor. The main reason you would want to consider upgrading from the DLX 24 to the LUX 36 is the additional 304 square inches of cooking space. As again, the LUX 36 does also not feature direct flame broiling. For that feature, you would have to opt for the most premium pellet grill in the SmokePro range, the SGX.
Camp Chef SmokePro SGX 36
The largest and highest spec pellet grill within the SmokePro range is the SGX 36. And most notably, a feature of this grill which no other SmokePro model benefits from is slide and grill technology offering direct flame grilling at up to 650°F. The cooking area on the SGX 36 is another step up again over the LUX 36 offering a massive 1,236 square inches. And that doesn’t include the additional cooking area if you opted for the optional propane Sear Box/Side Kick.
The only thing which the SGX lacks compared to the LUX is the utility shelf underneath the pellet grill. I must admit, I’m not quite sure why Camp Chef chose not to include it. However, where the SGX does one-up the LUX is with the control panel with two meat probe connections and not just one. So the SmokePro SGX is very comparable to the first generation Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill range. Therefore, below I just wanted to quickly summarise what are the benefits of upgrading from a SmokePro to a Woodwind pellet grill.
Camp Chef SmokePro vs Woodwind Pellet Grills
I have a separate post on the Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill range. So please read that post for the full rundown on those models. What I want to do here is just quickly reference what features the Woodwind offers over the SmokePro range.
Direct Flame Broiling
As stated above, only the SGX in the Camp Chef SmokePro range features direct flame broiling at up to 650°F. However, more (not all) of the models in the Windwood range feature direct flame broiling. Therefore, if its a particular feature your after you may want to carefully consider your options. For instance, while the SmokePro SGX 36 does feature direct flame broiling it is a very large grill. Hence, if you don’t have the storage space that’s going to be a problem. Furthermore, the SGX 36 does not benefit from the PID WiFi-enabled control panel fitted to second-generation Woodwind pellet grills, more on that below.
Increase Use of Stainless Steel
While some of the larger/higher-spec models in the SmokePro range feature stainless steel upper cooking racks, other than the fire pot that pretty much is the only stainless steel you will find. However, on the Woodwind range every grill, even the tinny WiFi 20 features a stainless steel lid. Some of the larger/higher spec Woodwind grills feature upper and lower stainless steel cooking racks. Stainless steel is not only easier to clean due to lack of corrosion, but it also means your grill will have a long life.
The Benefits Of The PID WiFi Control Panel
As the name suggests the WiFi control panel featured on second-generation Woodwind pellet grills is WiFi-enabled. Hence, once the app is downloaded the grill temperature can be monitored and adjusted remotely from your phone. You can also control the smoke level from 1-10 while still maintaining the set temperature. No SmokePro pellet grill features the PID WiFi controller. Therefore, if this is a feature you would find useful you should consider upgrading the Woodwind pellet grill range.
UPDATE: SmokePro grills now come with the Gen 2 WiFi controller which also offers PID functionality. You can also upgrade old SmokePro pellet grills with this new controller for use with the Camp Chef Connect app.
SmokePro Pellet Grill Owners Review
After browsing and watching several videos of owners reviews on SmokePro pellet grills the one I’ve decided to share in this post is from Scott of the YouTube channel Aristogrub. The reason I like Scott’s video review the most is first, he’s owned the grill for 2 years. I generally prefer to feature owners reviews on grills after they have been used over an extended period of time so they have good feedback on the features they do and don’t like. Furthermore, Scott discusses the features of his grill compared the newer/upgraded Woodwind pellet grill range.
Something Scott does discuss in his review is that rain gets past the lid on the hopper and into the wood pellets. When this happens your wood pellets will absorb the water, expand and go bad, potentially jamming the auger. Now, this is why pellets make excellent animal bedding, but its not great for your pellet grill. Hence, you do need to protect your pellet grill from rain showers. Furthermore, you should empty the hopper when not in use and use a cover. The SmokePro DLX that Scott owns as shown does feature the pellet purge shoot, so emptying the pellet hopper is quick and easy. However, as Scott also shows, on the control panel there is a ‘feed’ setting so you can also push the pellets out of the auger tube and out of the grill through the patented Camp Chef quick-release ash cleanout pot.
Conclusions On The Camp Chef SmokePro Pellet Grills
So what are my final thoughts on the Camp Chef SmokePro range? Well, from someone who has been involved in the pellet industry for more than a decade the feature set of the SmokePro range would appear basic compare to say the Woodwind line up. However, I often forget that not everyone is familiar with the benefits of pellet grills over charcoal and propane. Therefore, in many cases to recommend the Woodwind range or other premium/more expensive models of pellet grill such as the Traeger Ironwood or Timberline for a first-timer is not going to go down well, especially on a limited budget. Therefore, I personally think, if you have never owned/experienced a pellet grill before, the SmokePro range is still an excellent place to start. It won’t break the bank, and after using it along with the wide range of pellet flavours you can cook with you won’t want to go back to using a charcoal/propane grill again.
That’s it! Thanks for reading. If you want to check out more details on these pellet grills visit Campchef.com. They also have some low-cost finance details to spread out the cost of a pellet grill over time. I’ve also got a post on the Camp Chef SideKick vs Sear Box you may want to check out. If you would like to learn more please check out my wood pellet grill/smoker guide. 🙂