The Skinny:

  • Stainless steel components supported by ample shipping protection
  • 2,408 square inches of space to handle a truly huge volume of meat
  • Mix it up between 4 meat racks, 3 jerky racks, and a sausage rack with 12 hooks
  • Smoker operates between 140–350 degrees Fahrenheit, although cooldown is slower
  • WiFi PID controller gives a bird-eye’s view of your network from anywhere

When you think of the Camp Chef XXL WiFi vertical pellet smoker, think of a feature-friendly smoking experience that’s kind to the wallet without sacrificing on results.

If you’re looking for an Economy-class pellet smoker that delivers on outstanding features, we feel this wireless pellet smoker is a solid choice. It really isn’t hard to see why: it offers convenient temperature regulation options, even heating across all those stainless steel racks, and a whole assortment of design details that keep cleanings simple and smoke-outs even simpler. For customers whose budget is backed up against the ropes, Camp Chef has built a winner with a few surprises inside.

Quality:

With good construction and protective packaging, Camp Chef took no major shortcuts when it comes to quality.

The Camp Chef XXL Wi-Fi vertical pellet smoker features a single-layer cabinet built from stainless steel, that metallic champion of outdoor living construction. When it came time to determine build quality, Grill Master Randy clocked the door and walls at 18-gauge stainless steel, whereas the drip tray landed at a solid 16-gauge, and the baffle at a reasonable 14-gauge. These kinds of thicknesses aren’t out of the ordinary for a smoker at this price range, and we were happy to hear no compromises happened here.

  • All 4 stainless steel meat racks measured 3.2 millimeters thick apiece — stretching 21.5 inches wide by 14 inches deep, this model offers over 2,400 square inches of serious smoking real estate. That’s a lot of room to pack full of brisket, sausage, bacon, and any other meat you can get your hands on. One thing caught Randy’s attention, however: the single-layer cabinet wasn’t quite enough for touch-safe insulation. You’ll probably want to keep those fingertips to yourself while it’s hard at work, funneling trays of delicious jerky your way.eaking of the cooking grids, a very pleased Chef Tony measured them at 8mm thick with — you might want to hold your breath for this one — 304-grade stainless steel. Of similar quality were the flame tamers: 19-gauge, 304-grade, and packed nice and tight with ceramic briquettes. Naturally, these briquettes are an excellent choice for absorbing, retaining, and slowly dispersing heat across the entire cooking area; even before fingertips touched a burner, we were excited to see how this machine performed.

Another great perk for homeowners? Shipping quality. Every single piece was well-packed in the box, wrapped with thick cardboard or Styrofoam. Maybe don’t push the box down a flight of concrete stairs, but we’re confident it’d take some real rough handling to damage the components. Once unpacked, assembly took Randy just under an hour from start to finish. He did comment that he thought the manual could’ve been a little clearer for at-home customers — especially on the parts labeling — but he found it neither a long nor difficult process.

Performance:

This smoker shows excellent temperature consistency and smoke output for its class, though cooldown lasted longer than expected.
  • If there’s anything Grill Master Randy loves more than getting his hands on a new grill or smoker, it’s cooking with it. As an appetizer, he heated it up for some preliminary testing. With thermocouples on each rack, Grill Master Randy was pleased to note a 5-degree temperature difference from the smoker’s average — on an Economy-class smoker, that’s higher consistency than we anticipated.

    Seeing as Camp Chef suggests a range of 140–350 degrees Fahrenheit for this unit, Randy wasted no time putting it through its paces. (“Right on the money,” he told us.) Of course, anything can get hot quickly with the right motivation, but simmering down can be the tougher trick. He raised an eyebrow at the unit’s cooling time; the Camp Chef XXL took a surprising 37 minutes to brush off the heat, despite its single-wall construction.

For a low-and-slow cook over 11 hours, our pit master smoked 3 briskets at 10–12 pounds apiece, 2 slabs of baby back ribs, and 2 big sheets of wild-game jerky. As expected, the Camp Chef XXL WiFi Vertical Pellet Smoker performed admirably: not only did it keep the chosen temperatures stable, but it gave great smoke output. One long smoke later, that meant delicious, finger-lickingly smoky flavors.

Features:

We can’t decide what’s more impressive: the inclusion of a WiFi PID controller, or the sheer amount of features.

Features are where this vertical pellet smoker really shines. Every inch of the interior is all about making your meat taste as magnificent as possible — no matter how much of it you have at once. That’s the kind of approach you can take when your smoker includes 4 stainless steel racks, 3 jerky racks, and a hanging rack. We found a dozen hanging hooks supplied with the smoker, plus a branded grease bucket and easy-use ash cup; a bottle opener is attached to the side, along with a convenient built-in towel bar. All 4 wheels boast locking casters for confident placement.

But all that’s only part of the picture. The pull-out pellet chute, for example, allows you to swap wood pellet flavors in a pinch. Concerning temperature regulation, the XXL ships with 2 temperature probes, and Camp Chef was kind enough to add a pair of probe entry ports in the side wall. That means fewer reasons to pop open the door and release smoke or heat, especially after the smoker worked so hard to wrap your meats with a flavorful vacuum. Additionally, a viewing window is fitted onto the pellet hopper so you can always monitor your fuel levels.

All that being said, the standout here might be the WiFi PID controller. Typically, this feature isn’t a given below the Practical class of barbecue smokers; finding one on an Economy pellet smoker really impressed our grill master. It integrates with the Camp Chef Connect app, offering great control from the same wireless network. And, as those operational tests proved, the standard 5-degree error margin held strong even during a long smoking session. Camp Chef clearly set out to deliver a smoker with all the trimmings at an economic price point. Setting aside small nitpicks, they clearly succeeded — and Grill Master Randy comfortably gave the unit his “Better” smoker rating.