Camp Chef vs Traeger Pellet Grills: Which One Wins

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Last Updated on July 13, 2021

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

Camp Chef vs Traeger Pellet Grills

When it comes to picking the perfect grill, there are a lot of factors that might go into your decision. Quality is a prime factor, as you want to make sure you buy a grill that lasts. Depending on how much you grill or the number of people you would normally be cooking for, the size and capacity of the grill may also be a consideration.

Whether you plan to use it permanently in your backyard or pack it with you on a camping trip may determine the type of grill that is best for you. Also, the cost is a factor, as grills can have a wide price range.


Click to jump straight to each topic

Brand Overviews 

Camp Chef and Traeger are both well-known, high-quality grill manufacturers that make great cookers for the outdoors. While the Camp Chef brand makes many kinds of grills aimed at versatility for people who love the outdoors and traveling, Traeger specifically makes pellet grills. As the original inventor of pellet grills, Traeger has perfected this art, with Camp Chef and many other manufacturers imitating and improving on Traeger’s expired patent. 

Both grill companies craft great grills that make cooking and barbequing a fun experience. When picking between the two, consider how often you use it, where you will use it, and how much space you have for it. Based on that, you can determine your budget, the type of grill, and what your primary uses might be.

Camp Chef

As the brand name suggests, Camp Chef grills are designed for camping and portability, providing you great cooking experiences wherever you go. Since 1990, Camp Chef has been making grills for the outdoor men and women who want to take their cooking experience outside while camping or tailgating.

They first started with camping grills, flat-top grills, and portable grills, making high-quality products that were well-designed, practical, and efficient. Since, they have made pellet grills, pizza ovens, dutch ovens, stoves, and much more. They have also made a number of attachments or add-ons to work with their cookers.

Camp Chef is well-known for making durable grills that can easily endure travel and outdoor camping setups. The quality of their products is seen in the continued use you will get out of it cooking by rivers, mountains, deserts, and more for dozens of camping trips to come.

Traeger

When it comes to pellet grills, Traeger is a well-known brand that delivers a high-end barbeque experience. Traeger made the first and original pellet grill, designing and patenting its unique cooker in the mid-1980s. We made a separate review for this uniquely designed cooker

On the outside, Traeger grills look a lot like a traditional smoker. The main difference is that instead of a smoke box, they have installed a wood pellet hopper. An internal mechanism and auger light the wood pellets to create heat and smoke, cooking your food with a lot of extra smoke and flavors.

This technology was developed by Traeger and has revolutionized the outdoor cooking experience. Traeger’s patent expired in 2006, which allowed a number of competing grill manufacturers to make their own pellet grills with the same groundbreaking technology.

Brand Comparisons

If you’re in the market for a new pellet grill, you can’t go wrong with either of these tried-and-true brands. Both Camp Chef and Traeger have been making grills for a long time, and have the wealth of experience that comes with it.

Each brand offers an array of products to suit any aspiring grill master. With impressive temperature ranges, digital controls, extra-large hoppers, and automatic augers, both brands know their way around a grill.

Here’s a rundown on how each brand stacks up against the other.

Temperature Range

Both brands have impressive ranges when it comes to how low and how high they can go. Most of the offered products cook using an outstanding number of techniques, including braising, broiling, slow-cooking, or BBQing at high heat.

Both have upward limits of 500°F, with Trager going as low as 165° and Camp Chef to 160°. These are standard for the industry; however, Camp Chef stands out in that this brand offers a Side Sear Box, which can hit upwards of 900°F. It’s a pricey extra, but it lets you sear pieces of meat to seal in moisture and add extra flavor.

Temp Control

Traeger’s lineup has many technological advances, from the more basic Digital Elite Controller, which is still pretty impressive, to the ultra-fancy WiFIRE system that lets you monitor and control the temp on your grill from your smartphone.

Camp Chef doesn’t trumpet the more technical aspects of its grills’ controls, although this brand also sports Smart Smoke Technology. Camp Chef celebrates the precision at which their grills hold the temp. Camp Chef has a heat controller that can hold the internal temperature to within 10° of where it is set. They figure that their customer base favors simplicity and easy-to-use interfaces over the high tech gadgetry.

We also expanded our search in comparing the differences between the brands. We recommend the article comparing Camp Chef versus REC TEC. Find out who is the winner in terms of temperature control.

Technological Aspects

For a chef, grilling technique is important but don’t forget to consider technology. Along with temperature control devices, both brands share details like automatic augers, which supply a steady stream of pellets when needed. They also both carry models that come with meat prongs so you can check the internal temperature of whatever you’re cooking.

Traeger revels in cutting-edge technology, and for those who embrace tech as well, this brand offers a slew of options. Camp Chef tends to stick to the idea that simpler is better. They have honed the cooking methods and ranges with their products, and maintain a consistently solid product.

Hopper Size

A pellet guide would be helpful in knowing about hopper size. Both brands break about even with hopper size. The capacities of models from both Camp Chef and Traeger hold similar amounts of pellets – 18 to 20 lbs. – that will be sufficient for up to 12 hours of smoking meats.

Some folks want a grill that you can adjust to within a degree and can oversee cooking straight from your Smartphone. Others simply want a grill that will be precise and simple.

Both Traeger and Camp Chef have made impressive names for themselves in the grilling industry. Both offer the highest level of versatility when it comes to range of cooking methods and capacity. Depending on your needs and lifestyle, there’s sure to be a grill that will perfectly deliver wood-fired goodies for your family.

Final Verdict

When it comes to the differences between the two great grilling brands, Camp Chef and Traeger offer a number of great features, and it can be hard to choose. Using a pellet grill can bring your barbequing experience to the next level, by providing the smokey wood flavor that makes great grilled meals. We’ve made a separate article highlighting the best pellet grills used to cook smoky & flavorful foods

Of the Camp Chef and Traeger brands, one model stands out above the rest. The Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 Wood Pellet Grill is versatile, lightweight, and powerful. At just 22 lbs., and boasting 25,000 BTUs per hour, you can bring this pellet grill with you to any cookout, camping, or tailgating event. With a 22 lb. hopper capacity and 2 layers of grill top of maximum cooking space, you can whip up a great smokey-tasting grilled meal for all of your family and friends.