Both Camp Chef and Green Mountain Grills (GMG) are competing in the pellet grill market at the same mid-range price point, therefore its about time I did a comparison of the similar offerings from these two brands. In terms of pellet grill brand popularity/awareness, both Camp Chef and GMG are behind the likes of Traeger & Pit Boss. However, both Camp Chef and GMG are offering compelling products with slightly different strengths. As both brands produce a portable pellet grill that’s where I’ll start this comparison and then we’ll look at their full-sized pellet grills/smokers.
Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.
As Traeger is currently the biggest name in pellet grills/smokers I obviously started with Traeger vs Camp Chef and Traeger vs GMG articles. However, now its time to compare the offerings from Camp Chef and GMG directly. Camp Chef have two ranges of pellet grills, their budget SmokePro range and their premium Woodwind range, they also produce a vertical pellet smoker. Green Mountain Grills (GMG) produce a budget ‘Choice’ range of their various pellet grill sizes and then a ‘Prime’ range which feature stainless steel lids, WiFi etc.
For this comparison, I’m going to focus on the smallest/portable pellet grills that Camp Chef and GMG produce and then their largest/premium offering at the same price point, just under a thousand dollars. This can therefore give you a good idea of where the strengths of each brand lie. Right, let’s get into this!
Camp Chef Pursuit vs GMG Davy Crockett
So the Pursuit and the Davy Crockett are both portable pellet grills and also the cheapest/smallest pellet grills produced by each brand. As a portable pellet grill both the Pursuit and Davy Crockett feature folding legs to make them easy to load into the back of a car, truck or RV. They are also relatively lightweight, with the Camp Chef Pursuit coming in at 82lbs. However, the GMG Davy Crockett weighs quite a bit less at 57lbs, making it easier to pick up and carry.
Cooking Area and Functionality
As these are both small/portable pellet grills, the cooking area is obviously going to be limited. However, quite a few couples/small families use both of these pellet grills as their only grill. Therefore, don’t automatically presume these grills can only be used as portable grills for infrequent use. In terms of cooking area the Camp Chef Pursuit provides a total cooking area of 501 sq.in, with 253 sq.in provided by the main cooking grate and an additional 248 sq.in provided by an upper smoking rack. As the GMG Davy Crocket is the lighter weight pellet grill you would also be right in guessing it provides a smaller cooking area of just 219 sq.in across its main cooking grate.
In terms of temperature range, the Pursuit can go as low as 160 degrees and as high as 500 degrees. However, the Camp Chef Pursuit also comes with ‘Slide & Grill’ direct-flame access, which can provide temperatures at the cooking grate of 650 degrees. The GMG Davy Crockett by comparison has a slightly wider temperature range, going as low as 150 degrees and as high as 550 degrees. Out of the box, the Davy Crockett doesnt come with direct-flame access.
However, you can purchase a two-piece grease tray from GMG to enable the feature. Though its not as easy to use as the Slide & Grill on the Camp Chef Pursuit. On the Camp Chef to enable direct-flame access you simply pull a leaver, on the Davy Crockett you have to remove the cooking grates to get access to the two-piece grease tray to let the flames through, easier said than done if you want to turn the feature on and off during the cook.
Materials/Construction & Hopper Capacity
In terms of materials, both the Camp Chef Pursuit and GMG Davy Crockett are very similar. Both are mainly constructed from steel with a powered coated finish, and both feature a stainless steel lid which makes it easier to clean. The main difference in terms of materials/construction is the GMG Davy Crockett also features stainless steel cooking racks and grease tray which is not currently the case with the Camp Chef Pursuit.
With regards to hopper capacity, the Camp Chef Pursuit has a hopper that can hold 10lbs of pellets, whereas the GMG Davy Crockett has a slightly smaller 9lbs pellet hopper. For ‘low and slow’ cooking pellet consumption on both grills will be around 1 and a half pounds per hour. For grilling, at high temperatures, pellet consumption will increase to around 2 to 3 lbs per hour. Therefore, while the additional pound of pellets the Camp Chef Pursuit can hold will provide a longer run time, at grilling temps in particular its not a significant difference.
Control Panels & Connectivity
So both the Camp Chef Pursuit and the GMG Davy Crockett come with a control panel running a PID algorithm. What that means is both of these pellets are constantly comparing the internal temperature inside the grill against the set temperature to make constant adjustments to the pellet feed rate/fan speed. That means both of these pellet grills can maintain the internal temperature to within 5-degrees of the set temperature, which is the best temperature accuracy you will find today on a pellet grill. But what about connectivity, what about WiFi/App functionality?
The GMG Davy Crockett does come with WiFi/App support, in fact, the Davy Crockett is the cheapest WiFi pellet grill currently on the market. The Pursuit is using a version of the Camp Chef Gen 2 PID controller, unfortunately, its the version without WiFi/App support and Camp Chef Connect. It is technically possible to purchase a Gen 2 WiFi controller as a retrofit, but its not cost-effective for the additional $199 that would cost. Therefore, for its lower price point and included WiFi/App support the GMG Davy Crockett is the better deal on that front currently.
Conclusions On The Camp Chef Pursuit vs GMG Davy Crockett
While the Camp Chef Pursuit does provide quite a bit more cooking area over the GMG Davy Crockett and easier to use direct-flame access functionality you do have to pay roughly a hundred dollars more for the privilege. Furthermore, the Pursuit lacks WiF/App functionality which is found on the Davy Crockett, and the Davy Crockett features more use of stainless steel for the internal components. Therefore, personally, I currently think the Davy Crockett is the better deal. I actually think for the price/features the Davy Crockett is one of if not the best budget pellet grill on the market currently.
Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36 vs GMG Jim Bowie Prime
Now we’re going to look at the big boys from each brand. Both of these pellet grills from Camp Chef and Green Mountain Grills can be purchased for just under a thousand dollars, hence its a fair comparison. I should point out that the Woodwind WiFi 36 can be purchased as new or added at a later date with a propane Sear Box/SideKick which can provide some very useful additional functionality. However, it would add an additional $200, therefore, I’ll leave out those propane attachments for this comparison.
Cooking Area and Functionality
The Woodwind WiFi 36 is the largest pellet grill that Camp Chef currently produce, providing a total cooking area of 1,236 sq.in. However, that’s divided up with 663 sq.in on the main cooking grate (grilling & smoking) and 573 sq.in from an upper rack (purely for smoking). Likewise, the Jim Bowie is the largest pellet grill GMG produce and it offers a total cooking area of 658 sq.in across a single main cooking grate. Therefore, both in terms of grilling area and total cooking area due to its included upper smoking rack the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36 is offering more space.
As the Camp Chef promotional video above shows, there are propane accessories you can get for the Woodwind 36 or almost any Camp Chef pellet grill for that matter to provide additional cooking functionality. Likewise, for the GMG Jim Bowie, there is an optional motorised rotisserie that can be purchased. In terms of temperature ranges, its an identical situation to the smaller portable grills above. The Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36 has a temperature range of 160 to 500, whereas the GMG Jim Bowie is a bit wider at 150 to 550 degrees.
Likewise, its a similar situation with regards to direct-flame access for higher grilling temperatures around 650 degrees. Out of the box, the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36 provides their Slide & Grill feature. As standard, the GMG Jim Bowie comes with a solid grease tray, but a two-piece sliding grease tray can be purchased to enable direct-flame access. However, as before on the smaller grills, the Camp Chef direct-flame function is easier/quicker to use.
Materials/Construction & Hopper Capacity
Its a similar situation again to the smaller pellet grills, while both feature a stainless steel lid its currently only the GMG Jim Bowie which features stainless steel cooking grates, grease tray and heat deflector. Though both the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36 and the GMG Jim Bowie feature a stainless steel burn pot. Both of these pellet grills also feature a viewing window on the hopper to quickly visually check pellet levels. However, as before its the Camp Chef model which provides the larger hopper capacity at 22lbs compared to the 18lb hopper found on the Jim Bowie. Hence, only the Camp Chef can take a full 20lb bag of BBQ wood pellets in one go.
Control Panels & Connectivity
Both the Woodwind WiFi 36 and the GMG Jim Bowie have control panels running PID temperature algorithms and WiFi/App functionality. Hence, unlike with the smaller portable pellet grills, WiFi is not a missing feature on the Camp Chef model. In fact, I believe Camp Chef Connect to be currently one of the best pellet grills apps on the market for precisely controlling the cooking process/smoke levels. In terms of functionality, these two grills are very similar. However, I think the Woodwind panel has the edge over the Jim Bowie for two important reasons.
First, the Woodwind WiFi 36 control panel has a nice large screen that is angled up towards the user, hence making it easier/quicker to interact with the screen to monitor and adjust temps. The small digital readout on the Jim Bowie by comparison is just not as user friendly. Furthermore, the Jim Bowie control panel features two meat probe ports whereas the Woodwind WiFi 36 provides four meat probe ports. Hence, I believe the Woodwind WiFi 36 currently wins on the control panel/connectivity front.
Conclusion On The Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36 vs GMG Jim Bowie Prime
While I like the additional use of stainless steel for the internal component on the GMG Jim Bowie Prime over the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36, overall for the same price point I think the Woodwind WiFi 36 is the better value. The Woodwind WiFi 36 offers a larger grilling area and a larger cooking area overall compared to the Jim Bowie. It also features a larger pellet hopper and better integration of direct-flame access functionality. Finally, the large full-colour screen control panel on the Woodwind WiFi 36 and its additional meat probe ports further strengthen its position as the better option to take.
Conclusions On Camp Chef vs Green Mountain Grills
So in summary, both of these brands are producing compelling pellet grills, but I believe it currently breaks down as follows. The portable GMG Davy Crockett is the better option over the current Camp Chef Pursuit. To be honest, the GMG Davy Crocket with its PID/WiFi control panel for around $330 is currently one of the best value pellet grills on the market today. However, when it comes to the full-sized pellet grill comparisons, specifically the Camp Chef Woodwind range while the GMG Jim Bowie is a good pellet grill, but it falls short in a series of areas. Namely a smaller grilling/total cooking area, less user-friendly direct flame access functionality, smaller hopper and inferior control panel. So in a sentence, on the small end of the scale, GMG currently is the better option, on the large end Camp Chef is the better option.
That’s it! I hope you found this Camp Chef vs GMG comparison interesting/useful. You may also be interested in some of my other comparison articles such as Camp Chef vs Pit Boss or Camp Chef vs Weber. Or you may want to check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to review all your options. 🙂
Back in 2007 when I first become aware of pellet grills and smokers the only brand I was really aware of was Traeger. Traeger is really where this whole concept of cooking with pellets started in the 1980s. It was a ‘slow burner’ (pardon the pun) but since the 2010s is really when pellet grills and smokers started to get mainstream awareness, discussed alongside gas and charcoal grills. There are now over 30 pellet grill/smoker brands that I’m aware of, and the link above goes to my A to Z list of brands article.
Now, you may already be aware of a few of the other brands such as Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Z Grills and I’m sure you are aware of Weber, though you may not have known they have entered the pellet grill game. However, they are now many, many more brands to look into. Some may be what are commonly referred to as ‘Traeger clones’, but many others are offering their own unique designs and features.
A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.
In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.