- 570 square inches of total cooking area
- 160 to 450 F temperature range
- 18-pound capacity rear mounted pellet hopper
- One 16,000 BTU propane powered sear burner
- Steel rod cooking grates on the pellet side
- Porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates over the sear burner
- Five degree increment control setting
- Steel construction with some stainless steel components
- Made in China for Camp Chef
Full Review – Camp Chef Woodwind with Sear Station Pellet Grill
The problem with pellet grills is that they have never been great grills. They can grill. They can smoke, but they tend to be better smokers that grills. The problem is that pellet grills struggle to produce the kinds of heat necessary for serious high temperature grilling. Some higher end pellet makers have designed direct grilling spaces where the temperatures are higher, but these spaces tend to be relatively small. Camp Chef, with their Woodwind pellet grill has simply gone in a unique direction. This pellet grill has an 16,000 BTU gas powered side burner for searing and high temperature grilling.
Basically, this is a hybrid grill. It is a small pellet grill attached to a very small, direct flame gas grill. The selling point is that it gives you the ability to sear a steak as well as smoke a brisket. This is a good combination for reverse sear cooking where a piece of meat is slow cooked for tenderness before being seared for a caramelized surface.
While this sounds like the perfect solution, think about it from a practical perspective. The gas grill unit is very small and while it can produce high temperatures, it will only do it for a small amount of food. Certainly if you smoked a couple of steaks before searing them, it is a useful idea. Part of the problem of this configuration is that this is a very inexpensive unit that is both a pellet grill with all that electronics as well as a gas grill that requires a propane tank to operate. If any of these pieces fail (and there are a lot of pieces) the whole unit becomes kind of useless.
If this were a better built, higher quality grill, this would be a great product. As a combination unit, it is comparatively lightweight and not made with the highest quality control or components. It seems like a great idea, but I do recommend making this decision slowly. In the short time that this unit has been available there have been a number of complaints about the quality and usability of the pellet grill portion.