Pellet grills have a lot to offer, but they are just getting started. They entered the market fairly recently and there’s not much competition. There are only about ten to six worthy brands of smokers out there. Camp Chef is undoubtedly one of them. The Woodwind is their first and most popular model – the one that brought them fame.
When a grill becomes very popular, it’s not uncommon for its manufacturer to cease making any improvements to it. Some famous grills remain unchanged even for a decade. Luckily, Camp Chef likes to make excellent products even better.
The camp chef smokepro dlx is a part of their new line of smokers. Just like any other high-end pellet smoker, it’s perfect for grilling enthusiasts who are fond of slow cooked and flavorful, smoked meat.
The SmokePro is no ordinary pellet grill. Camp Chef took all of the Woodwind Classic’s cutting-edge features and added a few new. Setting it up is a breeze. It’s an excellent choice for inexperienced cooks.
But in a lot of ways, it’s similar to other famous smokers out there. For starters, it’s expensive. So, what makes it worth the extra buck? What sets it apart?
A mid-sized pellet grill manufactured by Camp Chef.
- 570 Square Inch Total Cooking Space
- Hopper Cleanout
- Meat Probe
- Temps up to 500° F
- 25,000 BTU/hour
- Pellet Purge
- Grease Management System
- Patented Ash Clean-out System
- Shutdown Mode
- Side Shelf
- Smart Smoke Technology
Why Get It?
Pellet grills are expensive, but a smart investment. As long as you take good care of the SmokePro, it will last you for ages. Unlike gassers, there are no burners to replace almost every year. The SmokePro is also more affordable than its competition.
Most of the work is done by the smoker itself, thanks to the sophisticated technology it employs. With all of those buttons on the setup, it’s only logical that the grill comes with a bit of a learning curve, but once you’ve mastered it cooking will be effortless.
There’s no constant checking of the fuel, heat distribution or the temperature. There is an automated system that takes care of all that. Fifty years ago, such a “set it and forget it” grill was something that could be seen only in the Jetsons.
Igniting the pellets takes just a push of a button. There’s an auger that feeds the pellets into the firebox. It doses the pellets so that the temperature will remain consistent. The set temperature doesn’t vary more than 15-degrees.
The digital temperature controller itself has “Hi smoke,” “Lo Smoke,” “High,” “Feed,” and “Shutdown” settings. The difference between lo and hi smoke is that lo smoke sets the fuel to smolder rather than burn. There’s also the Dual LED temperature reader that allows you to keep a close eye on the heat. The Smart Smoke Technology really does give the competition a run for their money.
The innovative technology also prevents flare-ups. The user has nothing to worry about. You can step away from the grill as often as you want and enjoy yourself elsewhere as there’s no danger of the meat abruptly catching fire.
You can’t expect to get high heat of a charcoal model, but the 500-degrees it can reach ought to suffice. However, since the temperature range is between 160-degrees and 500-degrees, your options are almost limitless. You can use the SmokePro to grill, braise, bake, smoke, or roast. The smoker comes with a built-in meat probe. Meat probes are usually sold separately. Most of such meat probes are inexpensive, but the quality varies, so a lot of them don’t last long.
Camp Chef has made sure to equip the setup with a durable and easy to use meat probe. To use it, insert the end into the meat and check the temperature on the display. That way, you can check if the food is ready without messing up the heat inside the chamber.
To make things even more convenient, the setup comes with a box lid thermometer that allows you to check up on the heat inside the cooking chamber. The SmokePro leaves very little room for something to go wrong – it’s almost impossible to mess up a cookout.
When it comes to the cooking itself, not only is the heat distributed evenly, but there is also a fan that ensures proper airflow. Thanks to it, all of the burgers on the rack are cooked properly, no matter where they are.
The chimney at the back isn’t there only for the looks. It helps with temperature control and with the delicious smoky taste.
Thanks to the impressive pellet hopper, you’ll never have to worry about running out of fuel. The hopper can hold 20lb of fuel. But what’s even better, is the fact that the hoper allows you to alter the smoky flavor.
The dump trap door allows you to switch between different kinds of pellets easily. That way, you can infuse the food with different kinds of smoke. The combinations are endless. Safety wasn’t neglected either. The setup is equipped with a power outage bypass. In case of power failure, the hot rods won’t be affected.
The total main cooking area is 429 sq. in. and that’s not all. There’s also an extra warming rack that measures at 141 sq. in. The grill is big enough to feed an average-sized American family in one take. You can cook four rib racks or twenty burgers at once.
That’s quite impressive for a pellet grill in this price category. You can remove the warming rack in order to make room for larger roasts, beef, whole chickens or turkey. This isn’ exactly a portable grill, but it’s mobile. It’s a feature that definitely shouldn’t be taken for granted. The caster wheels make it easy to move the grill around.
Easy Cleanup and Maintenance
The patented ash removal system makes cleaning the SmokePro just as easy as cleaning a gas grill. To get rid of the ash, pull at the designated lever and all of the ash will be released into the removable ash cup. Empty out the cup into a trash can and voilà!
The grease management system will take care of the rest. The grease empties out into a bucket. Again, all you need to do is empty it. As far as cleaning smoker goes, this is as easy as it gets.
Pros & Cons
- Auto Igniter
- Shutdown Mode
- Ash Clean-out System
- Great Heat Range
- Easy to Use
- Easy to Clean
- Durable and Robust
- Sizeable Cooking Area
- Digital Temperature Control
- Meat Probe Included
- Pellet Hopper
- Smart Smoke Technology
- Included Cover
- Overall 75% 75%
- No Sears
“I was adamant about getting a smoker ever since I learned about their existence. This particular model was recommended to me by a friend who happens to be a professional chef. It seems to me that all smokers are expensive, so I wanted to make sure my money is well spent.
The DLX P24 really is ahead of the competition. The ash removal door at the bottom is what good engineering looks like. I’ve seen my friends struggle with the cleanup. That’s something I wanted to avoid at all cost.
Loading up the grill is easy and the pellet drain chute is another impressive detail. Absolutely fantastic design. I can jump from one type of wood to another without any effort and problems whatsoever.
Once it had arrived, there was not much to assemble. My son helped me put it together, so it took us half an hour, but it shouldn’t be a problem for one do it by himself.”
It’s easy for a person who doesn’t have much experience with grilling to take some features for granted. However, the grease management system, the ash removal cup, and the pellet drain chute are fantastic and rare features that you won’t easily find elsewhere on the market.
What to Watch Out For
The Achilles heel of any smoker is its inability to produce those gorgeous sears. If you want to get those mouth-watering sears, you’ll have to buy a sear box separately.
A Piece of Advice
Make sure to have constant access to electricity via a proper cord. A standard household extension does the job, but that’s not the best solution. Such cords are typically not long enough and aren’t as safe as they could be.
They could potentially pose a fire hazard when they heat up fast. A better solution would be to get a custom made cord. For that, it’s best to hire an electrician.
The SmokePro is a triumph of grill engineering. It’s really hard to find a grill that doesn’t have any serious design flaws. The only drawbacks can be ascribed to the type of fuel it uses and not it’s actual structure.
But even then, Camp Chef has managed to overcome some notorious disadvantages of pellet grills. As a result, we got a smoker that’s easy to clean, easy to maintain and easy to use.