This is a new section of the site called "User Reviews". I will be inviting members of prominent Owner Groups on Facebook to write a honest and independent review about their personal grills and smokers.
Up first is Mike Schildt from the Camp Chef Smoker Smokers groups with his review of the Camp Chef SmokePro, XT Pellet Grill.
Camp chef smokepro on amazon
Mike recently purchased a Camp Chef SmokePro XT Pellet Grill in Bronze and went for that particular model because the next model up was $200 more and the only extra it had was a hopper clean out - something he didn't mind as he wasn't planning on changing the pellet flavors. He also didn't get the side shelf which wasn't a big deal as he got the Sear Box accessory which goes where the shelf usually attaches.
Now over to Mike:
"If you think you will be changing pellet flavors often you may want to upgrade to a model with the clean out - you just move a lever and all the pellets fall out into a bucket or bag.
I’ve been making BBQ for 35 years, started out using an open pit fueled by charcoal and wood, moved on to a cement smoker, then many barrel & kettle type smokers. As I got older I wanted something easier so I tried electric - that became unreliable due to electrical components not working properly, that brought me to a pellet grill.
So far I absolutely love it. I feel I’m getting the best of everything I’ve ever used; the flavor of an open wood fired pit, there’s lots of airflow so the smoke is constantly being refreshed giving you that open pit taste, pellet choice also helps that flavor. I use Lumberjack Char Hickory and cherry which gives great flavor and color to the meat.
I’m also getting the ease of an electric, pretty much set it and forget it within reason. You may choose to spritz your meat but that’s about all the babysitting it needs. I never trust the meat probes that come with a smoker and since it’s only 1 probe I don’t even bother checking it. I use an aftermarket thermometer, a Tappecue to be exact.
|Meat Thermometer with Wifi, Makes Grilling & Smoking Meat Easy, Comes with 4 Color Coded Probes,...||100 Reviews||$199.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Tappecue is quite expensive, however this alternative is very reasonably priced and has over 2,000 positive reviews:
|ThermoPro TP-08 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Meat Thermometer Dual Probe for Grilling Smoker BBQ...||2,201 Reviews||$65.99 $45.99||Buy on Amazon|
The only downside I’ve seen so far with this grill is the amount of smoke flavor in large cuts of meat. Pellet grills don’t give you near the smoke flavor as a dedicated smoker - remember they don’t claim to be a smoker, it’s a grill. It’s an easy fix though with a smoke generator. I use a 12” A-Maze-N Tube. I would rather have that than have chicken, for example that tastes over smoked, so for me it’s not an issue at all.
Ok, let’s discuss a couple other must buys in my opinion. As I mentioned earlier, the Sear Box - it’s $200 but can pretty much take the place of a gas grill and do a lot more. It mounts to the side of the Camp Chef and gets up to around 800° and is great for small things like burgers and hotdogs. To get the most out of it you can smoke a steak on the grill then finish on the Sear Box. It completely transforms the flavor - that thing is awesome!
Also buy yourself one of those mesh veggie baskets you use on a grill and use that on the Sear Box for grilling vegetables, it’s out of sight!!!
Next, the Jerky Racks are a must have. It's a $65 investment but it adds a ton of room to the grill. It’s 3 additional shelves that slide into the grill - you can use all 3 or just 1 or 2, whatever works. You can use all 3 when doing jerky obviously or you can do a load of wings. You can leave just 1 in and get 2 extra briskets or butts on there, very versatile.
Other than that get yourself a Camp Chef cover and you’re set, oh and you’ll need a propane tank for the Sear Box. Have fun!!!"
Mike has also provided us with some great photos of the different food he has cooked on the grill - if this doesn't make you hungry then I don't know what will:
That was a great review by Mike with some very useful insights. If you were on the fence about getting a Camp Chef then I'm sure this review has helped.
If you would like to submit a review of your smoker or grill then please get in touch via the contact form on the "Contact Us" page. We would love to hear from you.
Don't forget to check out our Top 10 Pellet Grills list here.