Comparing Camp Chef vs Traeger: Which is Better?
Are you trying to decide between Camp Chef and Traeger grills? If so, you are likely wondering which one is the better choice for your needs. This blog post will offer a thorough comparison of Camp Chef vs Traeger products, including an unbiased assessment of their features and benefits. We’ll take a closer look at these two popular options in terms of quality, durability, cost-effectiveness, design functionality, value for money and more – allowing you to make an informed decision that best suits your specific requirements. So whether you’re looking for the ultimate camping companion or just want to nail that perfect backyard barbeque flavor every time – read on as we help set out the debate between Camp Chef vs Traeger!
Traeger Grills history
Traeger, a renowned brand in pellet grills, traces its roots back to 1985 when Joe Traeger developed the first-ever model. The subsequent patent in 1986 granted Traeger a significant market advantage, resulting in a small, family-run operation confined to limited stores.
However, when the Traeger patent expired in 2006, competitors began to emerge, compelling Traeger to expand its horizons. In 2010, production was outsourced to China, leading to a dip in quality and tarnishing the brand’s reputation.
Nevertheless, Traeger has made a remarkable comeback, particularly in 2019 with the introduction of a cutting-edge grill lineup. These models showcase advanced technology and a level of craftsmanship reminiscent of their early, US-made counterparts.
Camp Chef history
Camp Chef, in contrast to Traeger, began their journey by crafting practical and uncomplicated outdoor cooking equipment. It all started with the highly acclaimed Pro 60 stove in 1990. Although the design of all Camp Chef products originates from the US, they are manufactured in China.
Since their inception, Camp Chef has diversified their expertise to encompass stoves, smokers, fire pits, superior cast iron cookware, and now, pellet grills.
Although Camp Chef may not offer the extensive range of options that Traeger does, their Woodwind and SmokePro series have captivated many due to their exceptional craftsmanship and favorable value for money.
Comparing Camp Chef Vs Traeger Pellet Grills
Before we compare the top pellet smokers, let’s take a closer look at how Camp Chef and Traeger measure up against each other in terms of the key buying factors. This overview will provide valuable insights into their features and capabilities, helping you make an informed decision.
|Build Quality||Premium materials, double-wall construction||Premium materials, robust construction||Tie|
|Cooking Space||Diverse lineup, various sizes||Three main sizes, versatile secondary surfaces||Camp Chef|
|Warranty||3-year limited, 45-day refund policy||3-year limited, 30-day refund policy||Tie|
|Temperature Range||160°F to 500°F, intelligent controllers||160°F to 650°F, slide and grill mode||Camp Chef|
|Temperature Control||Pro D2 Controller, precise PID technology||Gen 2 & Woodwind controllers, PID technology||Camp Chef|
|Pellet Hopper Capacity||18lbs, Pro D2 Direct Drive||18lbs, efficient hopper design||Traeger|
|Clean Out||Basic cleanout, ash and pellet disposal||Easy Ash Cleanout System||Camp Chef|
|Customer Service||Renowned, positive feedback for support||Renowned, US-based teams||Camp Chef|
|Appearance||Bronze and black color options||Bronze and black color options||Camp Chef|
|WiFi/App Experience||Traeger WiFIRE system, extensive app features||Similar functionality, sleekness||Traeger|
|Standout Features||Innovative BBQ Sear Box attachment||Powerful Sear Box attachment||Camp Chef|
|Price||Starts around $700, higher-end options||Budget-friendly range, starting at lower price||Camp Chef|
1)Build Quality and Construction
Both Traeger and Camp Chef employ premium materials, such as stainless steel and cast iron, ensuring the durability and robustness of their carts/stands.
Moreover, Traeger gains an advantage with the double-wall construction featured in the Ironwood and Timberline Series grills.
This additional layer, whether in the form of side walls on the Ironwood or a full firebox on the Timberline, effectively regulates the internal temperature by creating a barrier against outside temperature fluctuations.
As a result, Traeger grills provide exceptional temperature control, offering an enhanced grilling experience.
Traeger offers a diverse lineup of six main grills, each with its own unique capacity. In each series, you’ll find two options to choose from.
Camp Chef pellet smokers boast three different main cooking surface sizes: 663, 429, or 253 square inches. Notably, the smallest grate is featured in only two models, including a portable pellet grill.
To provide even more versatility, secondary cooking surfaces come in various sizes, opening up a world of possibilities.
Both Camp Chef and Traeger offer a 3-year limited warranty against manufacturer’s defects, ensuring peace of mind in your purchase.
Additionally, Camp Chef provides a 30-day refund policy for unused equipment (minus shipping costs), while Traeger extends this policy to 45 days.
The coverage provided by both brands is quite similar. Not only that, but both brands are renowned for their exceptional customer service, meaning that any issues you may encounter should be efficiently resolved.
When reviewing all six grills, you’ll find that they boast the same temperature range of 160 °F to 500 °F. Additionally, both models provide intelligent and user-friendly temperature controllers. Now, the question remains – how do we determine a winner?
Here’s where two of the Camp Chef grills stand out from the Traeger grills – they offer direct, over-the-flame cooking. With Camp Chef, you can achieve an impressive 650 °F on the main grate when powered at full capacity. Hello, grill marks!
In terms of pellet smokers, both Camp Chef and Traeger hit a maximum temperature of 500°F, which is more than sufficient for grilling and searing. However, Camp Chef takes it a step further with their slide and grill mode. By simply sliding a knob, you can effortlessly switch between indirect heat and direct heat, allowing you to cook directly over the pellet fire and reach higher temperatures of around 650°F.
Traeger’s game was definitely elevated with the development of the Pro D2 Controller, which they generously incorporated into all their new grills. It’s undeniably a top-notch unit that is user-friendly.
However, Camp Chef also stepped up their game with the introduction of the new Gen 2 and Woodwind digital controllers. The Gen 2 controllers, featured on the SmokePro SG 24 and DLX 24 (reviewed below), are not only user-friendly but also boast intuitive design and spacious displays. The Woodwind controller is truly a work of art, showcasing a large, full-color display and a simple combination dial/button that conveniently presents all the necessary information in one place.
Moreover, their controllers are equipped with PID (Proportional–Integral–Derivative) control technology, a highly advanced algorithm that significantly minimizes temperature fluctuations. With this technology, you can stay within a mere 5 °F of your desired temperature, ensuring precise and consistent results.
Although it would be preferable for all Camp Chef grills to include the Woodwind controller, similar to how Traeger incorporates the Pro D2 in each model, we still declare Camp Chef as the victor in this category.
6)Pellet hopper capacity
The Traeger Pro 575 and Camp Chef models both have a capacity of 18lbs, leaving little room for differentiation. However, the Traeger Pro 575 stands out with its innovative Pro D2 Direct Drive.
With an industry-first brushless motor, the Pro D2 Direct Drive ensures durability and extended lifespan compared to traditional models. The Turbotemp feature efficiently compensates for the lid being open, swiftly reaching optimal grilling temperature by increasing the pellet feed.
For added convenience, Traeger offers an optional pellet sensor, allowing users to monitor pellet levels effortlessly through the Traeger app. Furthermore, the Pro D2 Direct Drive possesses a remarkable pellet jam solution, employing a reverse auger drill to eliminate any blockages. This feature addresses a common issue encountered with pellet grills.
The inclusion of the Pro D2 Direct Drive, exclusive to only seven of Traeger’s grills, clearly gives Traeger the upper hand. While the Camp Chef’s hopper and pellet feed setup perform adequately, it lacks the versatility offered by the Pro D2 Drive.
Camp Chef and their SmokePRO DLX emerge as the clear winner in this regard. One common concern a few individuals have when considering a pellet grill is its cleaning process, especially when compared to a gas grill or an electric smoker.
However, with the introduction of the new Easy Ash Cleanout System, the task becomes incredibly effortless.
Just a simple pull of a lever empties all the ash and unburned pellets, depositing them into a conveniently located burn cup at the bottom of the machine. It’s a quick, easy, and highly convenient solution that any grill enthusiast would find absolutely ideal.
Both Camp Chef and Traeger are renowned for their exceptional customer service. Both companies have US-based customer service teams, with Traeger operating from Mt. Angel, Oregon, and Camp Chef from Cache Valley, Utah.
Although anecdotal, it is worth noting that Camp Chef tends to receive more positive feedback regarding their customer service. This demonstrates their commitment to providing outstanding support to their customers.
The SmokePRO DLX and Pro 575 have a strikingly similar appearance, leaving little room for differentiation. However, the SmokePRO DLX sets itself apart by offering color options in both bronze and black, adding a touch of personalization to its design.
Both the Woodwind and Pro models can be seamlessly connected to WiFi, giving you complete control right from your phone.
With Traeger’s innovative WiFIRE system, the Pro 575 allows for convenient remote monitoring and control, enabling you to master your grilling experience.
Not to mention, the app is loaded with a plethora of features and provides access to Traeger’s extensive recipe library, ensuring your culinary adventures are taken to new heights.
While the Camp Chef app offers similar functionality, it may not boast the same level of sleekness and refined design as the Traeger.
Camp Chef has effectively tackled one of the most common complaints about pellet grills – their inability to generate sufficient heat for proper meat searing. Introducing the SmokePro BBQ Sear Box, a game-changing solution.
This ingenious attachment effortlessly attaches to the side of your Pro 575, equipping you with a powerful 16,000 BTU burner. With swift temperature rise capabilities of up to 900º F (482°C), achieving the perfect sear, or even the sought-after reverse sear, is now within everyone’s reach.
Camp Chef’s pellet smoker range is priced lower than Traeger’s, making it a more budget-friendly option. With Camp Chef, you can find models starting at a lower price point, and the majority of their range falls in the $700-$1,000 USD range. Even their most expensive models are just slightly higher than this range.
In contrast, Traeger starts at around $700 USD but quickly surpasses the $1,000 mark, reaching about $2,000 for their top-of-the-line models. Although Traeger’s higher price can be attributed to certain differences, Camp Chef remains a great choice for those on a smaller budget. Let’s delve deeper into the impressive features that Camp Chef offers.
Alternatives grills to consider
Introducing the Pro 575 and the Woodwind DLX, Traeger offers exceptional grills. However, don’t stop there – elevate your grilling game with the Ironwood series. This range not only provides increased size but also features super smoke mode and improved insulation for consistently steady heat.
But wait, there’s more! We’ve curated a list of other intriguing options that have recently captured our attention.
Wrapping it up: Camp Chef vs Traeger
The Camp Chef Woodwind Wi-Fi 36 rose to the top as our preferred winner in our face off of Camp Chef vs Traeger. If the Camp Chef doesn’t have everything you need from a pellet grill, fear not!
Each brand had something great to bring to the table and one of them is sure to be a perfect fit. We hope you’ve gotten all your questions answered about these two grills here so that you’re ready to start shopping with confidence.
In any case, don’t forget to keep visiting our website for more product reviews and brand comparisons, recipe ideas, and awesome grilling tips that will ensure success for every cookout.
Please share your thoughts with us if you’ve used either of these grills or if you just have some awesome advice about how to get the best out of them. And always feel free to reach out with any questions – we’re here for you!
Pitmaster Lives in Eugene, USA. Bio: I’m Billy McCallum, and I love barbecue. I’m the president and founder of Billy Mac’s Bar & Grill, with over 20 years of experience in the field. I’m an exceptional pitmaster and grill expert who uses charcoal, wood, and fire to craft extraordinary culinary masterpieces. My mission is to educate others how to master their grills and cook a diverse range of foods on them. I have extensive expertise smoking briskets, pork shoulders using charcoal, wood, or propane grills/smokers.
I also review kitchent appliances such as grills, smoke, and more. I’ve tried out almost every model available, so if you’re in the market for any of these items be sure to check out my reviews!