Pellet grills are versatile outdoor cooking ovens that can effectively maintain a low and steady temperature over prolonged periods without requiring any hefty adjustments.
When it comes to choosing the best pellet grill for your needs, there are many brands to choose from, two of the most popular being Camp Chef and Traeger.
Traeger is recognized as one of the original manufacturers for pellet grills, however, competition from other brands has since emerged.
Camp Chef has gained popularity for producing rather affordable grills that incorporate the basics, with many other models boasting some more advanced features.
As both brands have pretty vast offerings of pellet grills, we have focused our review on two of their most popular models.
Before we delve into our review of each of the brands, we have provided you with some background information on both manufacturers.
Brand Overview – Camp Chef vs Traeger
The roots of this brand slightly differ from Traeger. The brand was established by an outdoor enthusiast who wanted to create and manufacture products for a market that he felt was underserved.
As implied by the brand’s name, their range of cooking equipment targets campers, with their grills offering power and portability.
Over the years, their range of products has expanded beyond basic grills for campers as they now manufacture smokers, outdoor stoves, pizza ovens, cookware, and pellet grills.
As a brand, Camp Chef is known for producing excellent high-quality products. They have also mastered pretty much every design that they have attempted when creating their range of cooking equipment and products.
Many of their grills also incorporate more advanced features as they can be enabled via a wifi connection.
Many people associate pellet grills with this brand as they were the producers of the first ever pellet grill in 1985. He patented it shortly after in 1986 and this prevented competitor brands from replicating his invention during this time.
As such, the popularity of Traeger grills soared. The technology incorporated into the grills produced by this brand has essentially revolutionized the experience of cooking outdoors.
Although the patent has since expired, giving other manufacturers the opportunity to create and manufacture their own pellet grills, the popularity surrounding this brand has remained.
Whilst the brand has experienced some quality related issues over the years since the brand’s establishment, overall, their grills are known for precise cooking results, reliability, and their newer models boast the quality that the brand was once praised for.
A look at the grills
The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill delivers a strong performance without breaking the bank. As one of the brand’s more recent releases, this grill incorporates several advanced features including PID technology.
This innovative feature makes it easier to control the temperature of the grill so that it remains consistent for the duration of time that it is in use.
Each of the settings on this grill are easy to use, as they are displayed via a menu dial. The smoke settings can be adjusted from 1 to 10 to cater to different types of meat that you may cook.
You can also alter the temperature from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the requirements of different foods.
Provided with this grill are two meat probes. These accessories allow you to control the temperature of the grill, and the clear digital display will constantly inform you on how well your food is cooking beneath the grill lid.
This grill is equipped with an automatic auger which will dispense the pellets as and when required and will also shut down automatically when it is no longer needed.
If these features weren’t impressive enough, this grill also has a cord management system that keeps the wires safely out of the way. Aside from this it also incorporates a grease management system that maintains the cleanliness of the grill.
Furthermore, the Ash-Kickin Cleanout makes it easier to flush the burner and remove the ash that has built up. A simple pull of the knob will dispense the ashes from a burn cup and they will then be dropped into a removable cup.
With a total cooking area measuring 429 square inches and a cooking rack measuring 144 square inches, this grill has a generously sized cooking surface that can cater to many individuals at once.
- Power source: Wood
- Weight: 140 pounds
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds of pellets
- BTU’s/hour: 25,000
- Ease to Use: temperature control dial, easy to view low glare digital display
- Accessories: compatible with Camp Chef sidekick or sear box
The Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill incorporates many advanced features that distinguish it from its competitors. Impressively, this unit can be connected to your home wifi and controlled via the Traeger app.
As such, you can easily control the grill even if you aren’t near it. Those with an Alexa have the ability to control it by voice.
Thanks to the precise temperature control, you can control the heat of the grill according to the food that you are cooking on your grill.
As this unit is effective in retaining a consistent temperature, you can be sure that your food will be evenly cooked.
The cooking surface of the grill measures square inches which is ideal for those who are likely to be catering to larger groups of people. Furthermore, it also has an 18 lbs pellet capacity.
As this grill is equipped with a meat probe, you can control the temperature of your meat as it cooks underneath the grill lid.
In regards to innovativeness and usability, this unit incorporates a dial to control the temperature, a button to access the menu, and another button to ignite the grill. The LED display informs you of the status of the grill and lets you know how your food is cooking.
A great thing about this grill is that it features upgraded elements of previous models. As such, you can expect it to start up with speed and heat your food up faster. Furthermore, the output of smoke will also be of better quality.
- Power Source: Electric
- Fuel Type: Wood
- Weight: 124 pounds
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds
- Connectivity: WiFIRE technology
- Construction: Stainless steel tray and body, porcelain tray
Comparing the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill and the Traeger Pro 575 Wood Pellet Grill
Now that you are aware of the specifications and features of each of the grills, it’s time to see how they compare.
Below, we have highlighted the similarities and differences between both of these models, to provide you with a clearer understanding of each.
Build Quality and Appearance
The design of the SmokePro DLX and the Pro 575 are fairly similar. Both are robustly built and available in multiple color options.
Each of the grills are equipped with a removable cup, however, the SmokePro DLX has a side tray for convenient placement of condiments, etc, whilst the Pro 575 does not. They also both feature wheels that allow for convenient transportation of the grills when necessary.
Cleaning The Grills
As mentioned previously, the SmokePro DLX is equipped with a clean out ash can which makes it easy to remove the build-up of the ash. On the whole, pellet grills are now rather messy and a little difficult to clean, so it is likely that you will encounter some issues when it comes to maintaining a sparkling clean grill.
When comparing the price of both grills the SmokePro DLX is the most affordable with just under a $300 difference in the price of each.
For this reason, for those seeking affordability, the SmokePro DLX is a worthy contender. Individuals with the budget to spend a little more may prefer to invest in the Pro 575 as it is slightly more high-end.
As you can see, both grills boast many favorable features, and determining which one is best for your requirements depends on the budget that you have available and the features that you look for in your pellet grill.
Based on value, performance, and maintaining the grill the SmokePro DLX outperforms the Pro 575, as it is easy to clean and retails within an affordable price range.
Although it may lack the more advanced features such as the WIFI connectivity that the Pro 575 has, it is certainly a robustly built, substantially sized grill. Despite this, the Pro 575 remains to be an excellent pellet smoker.
For those looking for a more advanced level of intuitivity, then this is the grill for you. As it retails at a slightly more expensive price, it isn’t going to be the best choice for those on a budget, however, it has been built to last courtesy of its strong stainless steel construction.