Posted by Damiral Brisket Bear, May 2023
Camp Chef Woodwind Pro: Setting Up Your Ultimate BBQ Smoker
Is a Pellet Smoker for me?
If you’re here reading this then you, just like me, love a good BBQ but may be thinking is a pellet smoker what I’m after? Well now more than ever I can honestly say yes, it is!
Barbecue, to me, is all about sharing my passion for cooking and discovering amazing new flavors with family and friends. These experiences create core memories of fantastic meals enjoyed in great company, evoked by the aroma of smoked brisket, a glazed rack of ribs, or even a roast chicken - you get my point. Any tool that can make this process more convenient, time-efficient, or frequent is something I wholeheartedly embrace, I’M ALL IN!
Enter the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro, which checks all those boxes. With the ability to control and monitor my barbecue's temperature, time, and smoke level from my phone via Bluetooth while socialising, or even remotely over Wi-Fi from an entirely different location, I can manage a cook before a Friday night gathering... and that's simply …PRICELESS!
The answer? An unequivocal, resounding YES - a million times over, without a doubt!
But First - Do Pellet Smokers Even Get Enough Smoke?
Food smoke levels are such a personal preference, what tastes smoky to one may not even register on someone else’s radar, but Camp Chef have covered this with an adjustable smoke level to dial in how much smoke you want from your pellet feeder… but maybe your BBQ BLOOD RUNS THICK and you want “real charcoal” or “solid wood flavours” well the game changer is, Camp Chef have covered that too.
The integrated smoke box allows you to add wood chips, wood chunks, charcoal, anything that you desire, to smoulder away to add a little EXTRA flavour profile to any type of cook, and levelling up your low and slow barbequing experience on a pellet smoker. The best part? You can do this as often as you like without even disrupting your cook.
This brings me to my last point before I get into the set up and first thoughts. Just because it can be plug and play / set and forget it doesn’t have to be! You can man your grill and add your smoking chunks as regularly as you like, finessing the details that some bbq enthusiasts LOVE to tinker with. Maybe add some charcoal for the first 30mins, then maybe some cherry wood for the next hour, the adjustability can be as little or a much as you desire.
The adjustability enables you to tune your culinary craft to your heart's content.
- Damiral Brisket Bear
The Set Up
This would have to be one of the most convenient set up and build processes I have had in a very long time and I'm no stranger to frequent Ikea and Bunnings builds.
First thing, the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24” comes in 2 boxes, 3 if you opt for the sidekick attachment (gas hot plate), all were easy to self-manage. STAY SAFE this does recommend two people to build, but I managed very comfortably on my own.
This is one of the most convenient set up and build processes I have had in a very long time
The boxes are labelled one and two, with one being your main unit and where you want to start.
The box cover slips straight off once you cut the packing straps allowing all four sides of the box to drop down exposing the barbecue, this was an amazing touch, you will find your instructions under the lid of the grill once you remove the plastic wrap.
You have the option of paper instructions or a digital download via a QR code. The download itself (for me anyways) took a little bit of time and the instructions were the exact same as the booklet, you are just presented with a 3D model that helps to show you where exactly you are in the set up process - super cool but for me there’s no school like the old school, so I opted for the instruction booklet.
The instructions move you step by step with clear pictures, from step no.1 through to step no.26 with each step having its own little component bag marked with the corresponding step number.
This made the entire build very easy to follow and all you require is a Phillips head screwdriver.
The entire process shouldn’t take you much longer than 1 hour if you are doing it with a partner.
The Basics of the build process
…so you can know what to expect without reading entire step by step process. You start by tipping the unit on its back, open the unit’s lid and remove the build instructions from inside the smoker.
Steps no.1- no.7 will be to attach the legs, and wheels.
Once completed you can stand the unit up for the remainder of the build.
I can’t state enough how easy and fluid this build process is, the clear step by step pictures and individual screw packets marked with step process required make this entire build hassle free.
Adding the hopper and final components will follow from here on through the rest of the build. Everything is a bolt on-part and no over complicated fiddly building is required at all.
Burn In & The Side Kick
With the build complete the final step will be the initial burn-in of running the pellet smoker as per the instructions - normally is a quick burn off to remove factory oil and residue for the surfaces before your first cook.
NOTE: if you opt for the sidekick gas grill and want to run a standard LPG gas bottle you will need to buy an adapter for the gas fitting, these will run you around $12AUD on Amazon with next day delivery
My first impression is this is a well-made unit. It’s solid, well thought out and the set up / build process is designed to make your life easier to get you grilling ASAP. The grill has been made for the average cook and the pit master that want to play and adjust, it’s the perfect blend of both worlds. Some of my TOP points I have noticed right away that I believe are game changing on this smoker:
SMOKE BOX – not only having the ability to vary your pellets’ smoking levels but to have this smoke box to add lump charcoal, briquettes, smoking wood, or smoking chips is incredible.
WIFI / BLUETOOTH – the ability to monitor and adjust your cooks remotely without buying more accessories is amazing. The app is seamless and user friendly.
INTERNAL FOOD THERMOMETERS – this smoker comes with 4 x corded temperature gauges that plug into the unit for you to set up 4 individual tracked cooking temps.
THE LITTLE THINGS – two things I noticed that might not seem like much but are game changers 1. There is a pellet dump on the hopper so when you’re done with cooking and storing the unit away you don’t have to scoop out your unused pellets, just dump the whole hopper back into a storage bag 2. The ash catch can - after each cook there is a little dump tray to remove the burnt off pellets’ ash reducing the amount you need to clean out the smoker.
SIDE KICK – having a hot plate right off the main smoker has so much potential. I’m more than excited to throw down a reverse sear tomahawk using this system. Smoke on the smoker, then add a crazy steak crust right on the sidekick.
This smoker has set some high standards off the bat starting so smooth and well thought out. I look forward to putting it through its paces learning the ins and out, testing its capabilities and seeing if it has any weakness?
Has Camp Chef installed a gimmick smoke box to shhh the internet trolls OR will this be the game changer to every pellet smoker nah sayer? AND destroy all other pellet smokers on the market?
Will the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro 24” have any downside to what appears to be one of the most solid BBQs in this space?
…Only time and cooks will tell!
I look forward to bringing a full review answering these questions, for a short reel on the build process or to watch what cooks this smoker can smash out while we review this unit head to @camping_australia or @brisket_bear
Brisket Bear 🤙🏻
Phone: 03 90880386
Address : Bendigo, VIC 3550
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