Have you always wanted a big outdoor kitchen? but just can’t justify spending that amount of money? Or your backyard just doesn’t agree with your dream space wise?
I think the the Camp Chef SmokePro SE might just be able to help you out.
We found the Camp Chef pellet grill is one of the smaller models from Camp Chef. However, it comes loaded with features that we expected from a bigger, more expensive grills (which we really liked).
Tucked away inside this little unit you have a huge cooking space of over 429 square inches. I managed to fit 4 racks of ribs, a few whole chickens and a pile of wings!
I understand it is hard to get a feel for a grill without using it first hand. So let me do the hard work of reviewing it (plus eating the delicious BBQ) and I’ll let you know my thoughts on it below.
Camp Chef SmokePro SE Overview
The inside of the Camp Chef SmokePro SE pellet grills chamber works like an oven. Essentially this means that you will find no cold and hot spots inside the cooking chamber. We found it always held a consistent temperature when cooking. I was really able to perfect my favourite recipes in this unit.
Unlike other barbecue smokers, the SmokePro SE comes with an in built meat probe. An ambient temperature reading gives an idea of the temperature inside of the main cooking chamber. Which gave me a good indication on how things were going.
However, a meat probe gives an accurate reading of the actual temperature of your meat, and this is what is the most important temperature.
Another feature that we can’t ignore is the easy clean ash clean out system. Generally, you will not find an ash clean out feature on other pellet smokers. It is never a hard or laborious job, but it is nice to see Camp Chef have added this feature.
I mean who doesn’t like an easier clean up?
So if a top quality, set and forget style smoker is what you are after, your in the right place.
- Weight: 110 pounds.
- Hopper Capacity: 18 pounds.
- Lower Cooking Rack Area: 429 square inches.
- Cooking Chamber Capacity: 3778 cubic inches.
- Temperature Range: 160°F – 500°F.
- Ignition: Easy start automatic ignition.
- Wheels: 2 durable wheels.
- Storage Space: One lower storage rack.
- Warranty: 3 years.
- HUGE Hopper: I found that the hopper of SmokePro SE is big enough to hold at least 18 pounds of hardwood pellets. We found that was enough to sustain our eight-hour cook. I also like that the hopper seals tight. Just in case there is some serious weather blows in mid cook.
- Delicious Hardwood Flavors: The hard pressed pellets provide the flavour and fuel. I usually use Camp Chef branded pellets as they are 100% wood with no nasty additives. Some other brands do add fillers and other chemicals to their pellets which can be harmful.
- We Didn’t Have to Overcrowd The Grill: There’s nothing worse than overcrowding your grill. This is the number one thing that prevents your food from cooking. We couldn’t contain our excitement when we saw home much room you get for such a small unit. Over 429 square inches! If you like cooking for family and friends like me, you will glad to know you can feed everyone at once. It can get quite tiresome if you have to cook in batches.
- Digital Temperature Control Unit: The built-in digital control unit has outstanding control of the temperature. We loved using the set and forget part of this digital controller. This smoker also came with a meat probe. This probe helped the smoker calculates whether to increase, decrease or maintain the temperature and for how long. You just need to ensure you fill the hopper and you can relax.
- Ability to Quickly Reach High Temperatures: We have found some pellet smokers struggle to reach high temperatures. The Camp Chef SmokePro SE Pellet Grill and Smoker can easily reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees. Due to the high temps this smoker reaches I would suggest always using heat resistant BBQ gloves.
- Really Easy to Clean: This unit an ingenious clean out design. This design allows the grease and oil that drip from the meat to drain out into a dedicated drip pan. You can easily remove, empty and clean this drip pan within a few minutes. Pellet smokers typically get a build up of ash. With this unit, all we had to was just need to pull a button located on the right side of the smoker. The ash is released into an external bucket which is easily removed and we just had to tip it into the bin. No more removing grates and sweeping or vacuuming out your grill here.
- Easily Transportable: Due to the fact the Camp Chef SmokePro SE only weighs 106 pounds and has decent sized wheels. We didn’t have any trouble transporting or moving it around. We took it camping and around wheeled it over to the neighbor’s backyard with ease.
- Adjustable Smoke Stack: The adjustable smoke stack allows you to manually adjust the smoke levels and temperature inside the main cooking chamber. It is easy to use and perfect for making the finishing touches to your longer smoked meats.
Cleaning and Maintenance
When you have an outdoor unit like a grill or smoker you have to realize that cleaning and maintenance are important!
Cleaning and maintaining your unit properly will prolonge the life of your unit and help it cook the best food possible.
Some manufacturers design features to help with these tasks and Camp Chef is no exception, if anything they have gone above and beyond with theSmokePro .
The cleaning process is very simple.When cleaning a pellet smoker there is two different kinds of mess you have to deal with:
- Pellet Ash: Camp Chef has designed easy access to the burn pot by adding a knob which when turned releases all the ash in an external bucket.
- Grease and Oil: Both the grease and oil is directed through the unit and is drained into an external drip pan.
We found that this smoker was easy to assemble and came with a very detailed instruction manual.
To set up this smoker efficiently I would recommend having a friend to help out. You can do it alone but it can be a little tricky at points. Set aside 1.5 – 2 hours for assembly.
Overall the Camp Chef SmokePro SE is a durable and well constructed unit.
Although it looks like it would be a little top heavy and a little flimsy its not.
The convenient storage rack below ads structural integrity and gives you somewhere to store your unused tools, cleaning equipment or cover while cooking.
Camp Chef Warranty Details
The manufacturer’s warranty covers all the components of the Camp Chef SmokePro SE.
Camp Chef have a ‘zero hassle warranty’ which essentially means if they have done something wrong they will fix it. They will replace any defective parts.
Note: The warranty does not include the paint or finish of the unit.
For more warranty details see the Camp Chef warranty page.
Pros and Cons
Smokepro SE Pros
- Heavy-duty steel construction.
- Set & forget functionality.
- Large cooking area of 429 sq. inches.
- Digital controls for Precise temperature management.
- Built-in sensor gauge controls.
- Can be used to smoke, grill, bake, barbecue and roast.
Smokepro SE Cons
- The manufacturer recommended its own brand of pellets. This can affect the warranty, if you don’t use them.
- Slightly heavier than other smokers in this class due to high-quality materials.
Wrapping it Up on The Camp Chef Smokepro SE
At a little over $350 the Camp Chef SmokePro SE pellet grill and smoker is not the cheapest pellet smoker on the market.
However, it does have lots of top quality features. Such as the set and forget functionality, storage racks, included meat thermometer, easy ash and grease clean out systems (just make sure you pick up a bbq brush).
Overall it is a durable build it is sure to be in your fleet of smokers for years.
In my opinion it is worth every penny you would invest in it.
If you want to buy a high-quality pellet smoker that makes cooking and cleaning easy, I suggest the SmokePro SE for you. I hope that I was able to help you decide if this was the right unit for you.
Overall Rating: 4.6 / 5
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the Smoker/Grill come assembled?
A: No, there is assembly required however, it is not hard. There aren’t many parts just the legs and the chimney.
Q: How many pounds of turkey would it hold?
A: You would be able to fit two, twelve to fifteen-pound turkeys in the smoker
Q: How many Boston butts will it hold?
A: Depends on the size of the butts. It would be able to easily fit 4 -6, 7-8 lb ones
Q: Can I use hickory wood?
A: You can use any wood as long as it in pellet form.
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