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What's a step up from Campchef/Traeger level? Time to upgrade

BaldEagleOne

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
48
15
Joined May 10, 2018
Don't have one but think if I do I'd go with rectec! Haven't heard one bad thing about them. Wished I lived closer to Ohio and @TGRIMMOSU#1

Ryan
Hmm. I've had a 36" Camp Chef Woodwind, and I've done a couple of dozen smokes, all of which have gone perfectly. The only complaint which, I think would go along with any smoker, is cleaning it after a smoke. But if I had to look for a smoker again, I'd look closely at the Lone Star smokers because they're made in the USA, and have a database function in the app.
 

rileybowler

Fire Starter
64
51
Joined Jun 1, 2015
In 2.5 years I've had nothing but problems from my Campchef...too many failed parts and now it's starting to rust away. I consider Campchef and Traeger and others in that price range to be entry level big-box store products designed for casual users. I smoke enough that I want to now buy a step up and interested in suggestions.

My needs remain fairly basic, usually smoking for small family so that's usually just a chicken or two at a time or a brisket or maybe 3 racks of ribs. What is a good pellet smoker of noticably better quality?
I am really surprised that you have had so many problems with the Camp Chef, I own a Camp Chef DLX24 Pro and the only problem that I have had with it in 6 years is I had to replace the temperature probe which was cheap on Amazon and the ash dumper knob cracked which cost less than $3.00. I am curious which model did or do you have of the Camp Chef.
 

mr_whipple

Meat Mopper
185
243
Joined Jul 3, 2021
I am really surprised that you have had so many problems with the Camp Chef, I own a Camp Chef DLX24 Pro and the only problem that I have had with it in 6 years is I had to replace the temperature probe which was cheap on Amazon and the ash dumper knob cracked which cost less than $3.00. I am curious which model did or do you have of the Camp Chef.
I bought a DLX24 maybe 3 years ago?, and initially had several problems. Temp swings in the range of +45 / -30. They sent me a new controller and temp probe. That slowed it down to a more manageable level. Then the auger motor went... they sent me that free also. After that I kept using it with no problems. I just told myself that when it dies again it's done and I'll buy a high end model, rec tec Yoder, mak .. Then I saw a new PID style gen 2 controller one day and bought it on sale (from optics planet if I recall), and ever since installing that temp swings are small and now it has 5 degree increments and 10 smoke settings. That is the last major part I'm buying for it, and it's next failure will be its last. Camp chefs customer service is great, and maybe now that they have the new controllers issues will be less frequent, but I'm heading elsewhere for my next pellet pooper.
 

rileybowler

Fire Starter
64
51
Joined Jun 1, 2015
I bought a DLX24 maybe 3 years ago?, and initially had several problems. Temp swings in the range of +45 / -30. They sent me a new controller and temp probe. That slowed it down to a more manageable level. Then the auger motor went... they sent me that free also. After that I kept using it with no problems. I just told myself that when it dies again it's done and I'll buy a high end model, rec tec Yoder, mak .. Then I saw a new PID style gen 2 controller one day and bought it on sale (from optics planet if I recall), and ever since installing that temp swings are small and now it has 5 degree increments and 10 smoke settings. That is the last major part I'm buying for it, and it's next failure will be its last. Camp chefs customer service is great, and maybe now that they have the new controllers issues will be less frequent, but I'm heading elsewhere for my next pellet pooper.
When and if mine breaks down I am going to go with a newer model in the Camp Chef line that comes with the new PID controller or Gorilla or Recteq but I have to admit that you have had problems with your smoker and it does seem like Camp Chef worked with you.
 

mr_whipple

Meat Mopper
185
243
Joined Jul 3, 2021
Yes, they did. And in no way did they ever give me any reason to believe they were anything but sincere in their desire to help. That said, I shouldn't have to deal with them for repeated failure on a product that new. That sucks for the customer service folks as they have nothing to do with poorly designed stuff. I was just so frustrated having to mess with it. Especially the auger motor. It just hangs off the end of the auger shaft, held on by a small screw. It looks quite "trailer park" to say the least.
 

1MoreFord

Smoking Fanatic
436
196
Joined Jan 4, 2020
mr_whipple, by your account you had two problems and Camp Chef came thru for you. The more manageable temp swings were typical of pre PID controllers. Yet somehow you think dropping more cash on another brand of cooker will cut down on the number of problems. If you think that way maybe you should buy a non electric solution.
 

mr_whipple

Meat Mopper
185
243
Joined Jul 3, 2021
mr_whipple, by your account you had two problems and Camp Chef came thru for you. The more manageable temp swings were typical of pre PID controllers. Yet somehow you think dropping more cash on another brand of cooker will cut down on the number of problems. If you think that way maybe you should buy a non electric solution.
I'm not dropping any cash til this one dies, but buying something of higher quality is generally a way to get fewer problems whether it be a smoker or otherwise. I think camp chef sold me a crappy product but backed it with great customer service. Sorry... not sorry for not wanting to buy a crappy product again. Not sure what's wrong with that way of thinking.
 

1MoreFord

Smoking Fanatic
436
196
Joined Jan 4, 2020
More expensive Does Not mean higher quality when nearly everyone is using electronic components from China. I've heard horror stories from folks who have Memphis grills and others which cost thousands of dollars. Service is what counts.
 

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