Today, grilling has become an enjoyable activity performed worldwide, and due to the increased interest of people in grilling, many grill-manufacturing companies are developing, creating and recreating new models of grills, from gas-fuelled grill to propane, to coal and pellet grills.
Choosing a particular grill that will best suit your culinary skills can pose challenging problems, especially if you are a first-time griller, and you do not know what to look out for in a grill.
This might not be a problem to professionals, but then we cannot even be sure because being a pro does not really guarantee that you would make the perfect pick among myriads of grills sold in the market.
Among these innumerable amounts of grills, there are two toppers of the pellet-grill list: the Camp Chef pellet grills and the Traeger grills. You would remember I said something about the different types of grills, of which I mentioned pellet grills…right? The Camp Chef and Traeger both manufacture pellet grills and grills from these brands are said to be amazingly efficient, durable, reliable, and extraordinary.
Instead of following the current thread of fuelling cooking gadgets with gas, propane, kerosene and what have you, Camp Chef and Traeger decided to revisit the old but unique way of cooking: that is firewood cooking. There is a belief that firewood adds this unique and second-to-none flavor to your food; I bet this explains the deliciousness found in our mothers’ and grandmothers’ foods.
The pellet grills are like the modernized traditional way of cooking. Camp Chef and Traeger have done the world a huge favor by going back into time to bring the already-forgotten-but-still-loved way of cooking into this current age in a more straightforward and sophisticated manner, not the tedious process it was being carried out then. Built-in heavy-set machines, they add the same extraordinary yummy taste that firewood adds to food.
So, what am I saying…that pellet is another term for firewood? No, it is not. Confused? Don’t be. Let’s shed a little light on what pellets grills are.
What are pellet grills?
Pellets grills are heavy-duty grills fuelled by wood pellets. They are outdoor cookers that combine elements of charcoal smokers, gas grills, and kitchen ovens; hefty right?
When I say wood pellets, what do I mean?
Wood pellets are biofuel made from compacted sawdust and industrial wastes from wood and furniture production, milling of lumber, palm kernel shells, coconut shells, empty fruit branches, and treetops.
These food-grade wood materials would have first passed through a hammer mill, then be compressed into a uniform dough-like mass. The use of wood pellets started as a result of the outrageous hike in the price of other heating fuels like kerosene, propane, gas, etc. and today; it is commonly used in homes and even factories.
That Camp Chef and Traeger produce the same type of grills would have made it difficult to pitch them against each other. But it has been observed then the fact that these two brands have manufactured quite several pellet grills has provided consumers with more options to choose from and in fact, a competitive pellet grill market has emerged.
Do you want to get a pellet grill? Which will you instead go for – a Camp Chef pellet grill or a Traeger pellet grill? Let’s look at each of these brands and their uniqueness
Going down the history lane, Traeger can be said to be the father of pellet grills. History has it that Joe Traeger, who ran a heating company in Oregon, developed the first pellet grill in 1985 and patented it in 1986. In 1988, Traeger grills swung into full-time production.
Traeger grills are equipped with features that make grilling experience easy, sweet, and memorable. Being that Traeger is the one that paved the way for other pellet grills, it knows what it takes to enjoy wood-flavored foods. Hence, it fully equips its grills to give the best in terms of steadiness, durability, accuracy, and lots more.
Traeger pellet grills are electrically-controlled. All that is asked of you is to load pellets into the hopper, and a rotating auger device feeds pellets from the hopper into a fire pot at the bottom of the cooking chamber, the pellets are then ignited by a ceramic rod. The next thing is to turn the control knob to your desired temperature and take a chill as your food is being cooked.
Traeger would have kept leading the pellet grill production if not for its expired patent which happened in 2006. This expiration became leverage for other manufacturers to emerge, and the pellet grill market became competitive.
Although Traeger’s minor setback expanded the pellet grill market and provided customers with wide options to pick from, Traeger never relented as it bounced back and buckled up for the competition. Today, it is responsible for the production of different models of pellet grills, and it seems that it is only focused on is the perfection of its patented wood pellets.
Today, Traeger is a proud owner of 21 models of pellet grills. They have recently moved production to China from the United States to meet up with the overwhelming demands of their customers. To match against one of the latest Camp Chef pellet grills, we will be picking the newest series of Traeger which is Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker.
The Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
This Traeger grill is the perfect wood-pellet grill that will bring you to achieve that ultimate wood-fired taste. It is versatile, sears even and grills to perfection.
The Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is known to be very durable with a high level of consistency that you can always trust anytime, anyway, anywhere. It has an ample cooking space of 418 square inches that can accommodate 16 burgers, 4 whole chickens or 5 racks of ribs
- Three tiers of Stainless Steel Grates
- 18 lbs Pellet hopper capacity
- 6-in-1 versatility
- Integrated Digital Elite controller
- Easy temperature setting.
- Predictability and consistency
- Large cooking space
- Cooks hot and fast or low and slow.
- Concealed Grease Management System
- All-round Powder-Coated Finish
- 4 legs with wheels
- 3-year warranty
The Camp Chef pellet grills
Camp Chef is also one of the most popular manufacturers of the pellet grill. Although they might not be able to boast of a long-term establishment like Traeger, but that does not mean they are lagging when it comes to pellet grill production.
What more would have earned them the name of “one of the most populous pellet grill manufacturers” if not for the skillfulness and efficiency put into the production of their pellet grills?
Camp Chef makes a difference by combining a high level of quality at a reasonable price. One fascinating thing about Camp Chef is that this company produces a multitude of outdoor cooking devices. They are what you can call “jack of all trades” as they also provide gas and charcoal grills.
Camp Chef pellet grills also offer a satisfying level of reliability, durability, accuracy, and delicious cooking, and their customers love them for the desired service rendered.
Camp Chef is a proud owner of 10 pellet grills as they keep putting in their best to satisfy their buyers and make grilling extremely easy perfectly. This effort is seen on all their 10 grills from the smallest SmokePro SE to the largest SmokePro LUX. Mind you; Camp Chef has only been able to produce residential grills so far.
To make this comparison justified, we will also be picking one of the latest products of Camp Chef, which is the SmokePro DLX pellet smoker.
- Great Grease Management System
- A Simple Dial Controller
- Extra Warming Rack
- Ash cleaning system
- Pellet Rake
- Grill Guide
- 4 legs – 2 have wheels
- Pellet Hopper Drain Chute
- 3-years Warranty
- Side shelves
- Customization options
Camp Chef Pellet Grills Versus Traeger Pellet Grills
Just a glance at the features above, it is obvious that these two grills are quite different, but for more clarification, let’s go deeper.
Pellet grills are very versatile as they combine elements of charcoal smokers, gas grills, and kitchen ovens. This means they will feature a wide operating temperature range, and you will always have to set the temperature to your desired level.
Aside from that, it is important that the temperature stays on your desired setting without going high or low as this fluctuation can affect the taste of your food.
The temperature range of the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX pellet smoker is from 160 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it features a convenient and straightforward dial controller which controls the temperature of your food and displays the temperature on an LED readout. This smoker heats up quickly and maintains its heat, but then you still have to be close enough to monitor your cooking.
Traeger features an Integrated Digital Elite Controller that keeps the temperature within +/- 20 degrees Fahrenheit. With the kind of consistency, this grill has, you can set your desired temperature and forget it.
There is no doubt that Camp Chef makes quality, stylish, and attractive products. This is also the same as Traeger grills. The durability of these two brands cannot be questioned as they both feature Stainless Steel components, heavy-weight body, and a perfect finish.
However, the Camp Chef pellet grills must not be left outside as this can lead to rust and decay. You need to do a cover-up after every cooking or move it to where there is shade.
Cleaning out system
Both brands offer easy cleaning systems both in terms of grease management and ash cleaning.
Customer service and warranty
Camp Chef used to offer a 1-year warranty on their pellet grills until competitions with other brands emerged. Now, the warranty has been extended to 3 years; isn’t that good news?
Traeger, on the other hand, has always offered a 3-year warranty on all its products and nothing has changed so far. In fact, they even provide a replacement part for defective ones. However, these benefits are only offered on products in the USA.
On their site, there are also community sections where any questions whatsoever are entertained, and cooking histories are shared.
Traeger has a broader range of pellet grills to make your choice from, compared to Camp Chef. This is because Traeger is only concentrated on pellet grills and can even be said to be specialized and more knowledgeable in this aspect, unlike Camp Chef that produces gas and charcoal grills alongside pellet grills. Hence, no specialization.
Traeger currently has produced 21 pellet grills while Camp Chef can boast of 10.
Ease of use
There is nothing that frustrates a griller like having a grill you cannot handle.
The Camp Chef SmokePro offers impressive features that will guide you to perfect smoking even if you were a first-time smoker. It features several control buttons that allow it to choose how you want your meat smoked and you pick your exact temperature with the temperature chip.
The Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is also very easy to use. There is no hassle with assembling or setting temperature.
Of course, price is essential when choosing a product as you would not want to buy what is above your budget.
Both brands offer grills that are cheap and expensive.
The Traeger grill is more versatile as it offers a 6-in-1 cooking ability of grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, braising, and BBQing.
Having carefully enlightened you on these two brands and what set them apart, I believe you should be able to make the right choice as to the best pellet grill that fits into your budget and also fits your cooking needs.