The Camp Chef SG24 pellet grill claims to be a capable smoker that can double up as a grill. In my experience, pellet grills are usually good at smoking while their grilling ability is usually basic at best. However, I took a detailed look at the SG24 (I assume SG means Slide and Grill) with an open mind and the results were somewhat surprising.
Camp Chef sent me this grill, so I have had most of the season to play around with it. Here, I will go over my experience with the SG24 WIFI (which is the new updated WIFI controller), complete with an ownership experience review, key details about the product, and important pros and cons.
|Camp Chef SG24 WIFI||CHECK PRICE|
|Camp Chef SG36 WIFI||CHECK PRICE|
Camp Chef SG24 Overview and Specs
The SG24 is at the mid-end of Camp Chef’s pellet grill offering, which as it turns out, their best selling pellet grill line. At the bottom of the price range, the SmokePro XT models provide basic functionality. While the SmokePro SG series features the latest and greatest in terms of features and technology. Camp Chef also has the Woodwind line of grills, which are usually a bit higher in price and have more convenience features and premium construction.
Overall, I feel that the SG24 represents the sweet spot between features and price. This mid-range model can be versatile and the newly updated feature set provides all the bells and whistles people might want from a modern pellet grill. It competes directly with the Traeger Pro series but at a more economical price.
Camp Chef SG24 WIFI Specifications
|Cooking Space||811 sq. inches|
|Hopper Capacity||22 lbs.|
|Slide and Grill For Searing Temps||Yes. Claims searing temps of 650F.|
|WiFi Connectivity||Yes with Camp Chef Connect|
|Adjustable Smoke Level||Yes (Scale 1-10)|
|PID Temp Controller||Yes|
The grill has several interesting and modern features, especially the Slide and Grill technology, which enables you to expose your food to direct flames by activating the “grill mode”, giving you access to up to 650F of direct heat. There are plenty of convenience features as well, including an easy ash cleanout system, a bright digital display easily visible under a bright sun, and sear box compatibility.
Smoking / Grilling Performance
This is the most crucial area of testing that determines whether a pellet grill is good enough for a recommendation. Let us take a look at how the Camp Chef SG24 performs on both fronts.
First of all, for fans of low and slow smoking, the SG24 is a good option as it can go as low as 160F and has a huge 22 lbs. Pellet hopper capacity. Such a low temperature can also be used to keep food warm for extended periods of time.
The most impressive thing about the smoking performance for the SG24 for me was the degree of control the grill provides over the smoking process. With the smoke number control, you can set a custom smoke level anywhere from one to ten and the grill does the rest, producing the appropriate amount of smoke. This works well as you can use lower settings to smoke delicate meats like chicken or fish without overwhelming them with strong smoke flavor or choose to ramp things up while smoking a brisket or ribs for a more robust, deep, and well-rounded smoky flavor in addition to a more defined smoke ring.
With the large amount of rack space inside, you can smoke a lot of things at one time. Another important convenience feature is the WIFI controller, which you can now use to define or change the smoke number. The Camp Chef Connect app also constantly pulls data from the grill and lets you monitor smoke levels, temperature levels from the interior of the grill as well as the meat probes, and other variables.
When it comes to grilling, most pellet grills provide basic performance at best and the SG24 is no exception. While it is touted to facilitate direct heat grilling, it is difficult to get the unit to reach temperatures above 500F and that is just not enough to achieve a sizzling grill. Searing is out of the question and you have to be satisfied with grilling small items like burgers if you want results worth writing home about.
A judicious option is to add the optional sear box accessory which sits to the side and provides a dazzling hot flame using LPG fuel. This can open up various grilling and searing opportunities.
Can a Camp Chef Pellet Grill Sear a Steak?
Whenever we do a long term test on a pellet grill, we test the searing capabilities of the grill. I tried it on the SG 24 WIFI. Since it has the slide and grill feature that allows direct fire heat to the grills, I had high hopes for its searing potential.
As you can see in the photo above, we have some reasonable sear marks in the steak. I did not get that crust that I get when I’m using my gas grill on high heat or when I pan sear a steak. I feel the Camp Chef did better at searing compared to other pellet grill manufacturers but it still does not achieve the sear a steak deserves.
Thankfully, Camp Chef offers their Sidekick attachments that allow you to mount a small gas grill to the pellet grill. The Sidekick grill will definitely sear a steak better than the pellet grill itself. More on the Sidekick below.
Overall Fit and Finish
The Camp Chef SG24 does not disappoint when it comes to fit and finish. The unit feels sturdy, reassuring, and gives off the feel of quality and reliability. The black aesthetic is courtesy of an all-metal construction with every surface treated with anti-corrosive agents. The reassuring feel of weight and heft is present in all component parts and the unit is well-insulated to keep the heat in. It is not the best fit and finish but better than other entry level pellet grills.
Slide and Grill
The Slide and Grill feature converts this pellet smoker into a direct heating grill. This is achieved by simple manipulation of the controls, which moves the central heat diffuser away and exposes the food to a direct flame, thanks to a drip plate that is fitted with slanted slits that let the flame through. While the heat output is still limited, the direct access to the firebox means that this unit can be used for basic grilling duties without having to make sweeping changes or modifications.
Camp Chef Connect
The Camp Chef Connect app is key to making the best use of the WIFI capabilities of the unit. The app connects to the grill via wireless and can be used to control and monitor many aspects of grill usage. You can set your smoke level, grill temps, monitor your grill temps and temperature probes.
The app is really handy when doing long cooks with brisket. You can easily get away and run a couple errands while keeping an eye on the brisket through your smart phone.
Adjustable Smoke Setting
Having control over the amount and intensity of smoke is a useful feature for any pellet grill and the SG24 makes it easy by letting you select a smoke number. You can choose any number from one to ten and the grill will adjust the level of smoke it produces accordingly by automatically adjusting the burn rate and the pellet feed rate from the hopper. This way, you can use lower levels of smoke for delicate cuts of meat and push things to the max for tougher cuts like brisket or ribs.
I found this setting to be somewhat finnicky. When I selected a very high level of smoke (6-10 setting), I noticed that the temperature did not stay consistent in the grill. I did a brisket on the SG24 and used my Thermoworks Signals wireless temperature probe kit to monitor the grill temp and the brisket temp. The picture below shows how the grill struggled to keep the temperature consistent. If you set the smoke level lower from 1-5, the grill managed to provide very consistent temperatures.
Easy to Use Controller
The digital controller is a breeze to use, even if you operate the unit in direct sunlight. The large digital display is easy to read from the distance and the control scheme is simple to use. You have a large central knob that controls ignition, heat and smoke levels along with a master power switch. Connectors for the included dual meat probes are also located on the front control panel.
I found the control know a little touchy to control but you get used to it. The large control knob acts as an “enter” button and also is used to scroll through the menu options. You can also use the Camp Chef Connect App to manage a lot of these functions which I find easier to use.
This is where Camp Chef takes their pellet grills to another level and makes them extremely universal. Why keep a gas grill and a pellet grill, when you can have one unit really do it all? Camp Chef has created these attachable accessories for their pellet grills. The Camp Chef Side Kick sear box is attached on the side of the pellet grill and fueled by propane. Now you can have a searing hot grill for steaks, pizza or anything else that you want on hot and fast heat.
|Sidekick Kit Attachment||CHECK PRICE|
|Sidekick Pizza Attachment||CHECK PRICE|
|Sidekick Griddle Attachment||CHECK PRICE|
The ownership experience with the Camp Chef SG24 has so far been satisfactory. The unit arrived well packaged and was not damaged in transit. Overall, assembly was easy, and seeing how heavy the unit is, it was not laborious to assemble or move around. The assembly instructions were very easy to use. If you get stuck on assembly, Camp Chef is there to help. Below is a video to aid in assembly.
When I did have some questions during assembly, I contacted Camp Chef customer care and received excellent solutions over the phone that took care of my problems. The grill also comes with a 3-year comprehensive warranty that, while not the longest in the market, is enough to instill peace of mind.
Do I Recommend?
Overall, I would recommend the Camp Chef SG24. Here are my overall thoughts.
What I like About the Camp Chef SG24 WIFI
· Advanced features, including adjustable smoke level and easy ash cleanout system
· WIFI support with the Camp Chef Connect
· Value for money at this price range
· Excellent packaging and quality of construction
What makes Me Angry About the Camp Chef SG24 WIFI
· Grease Bucket is located in a spot that can easily be dumped out when removing the cover.
· The top chimney can be a pain when taking the cover off or on.
· When first igniting the grill, you need to keep the lid open. Once the grill is fully lit, you can close the lid. You do not have to worry about this step with Traeger models.
At this price point, the Camp Chef SG24 is a solid pellet grill that delivers a superlative performance and comes with some excellent features that complement the sturdy build quality and consistent results. It competes directly with the Traeger Pro Series grills and brings extra features to the table.
The Sidekick accessories and attachments is what really sets Camp Chef apart from the competition and you can truly consider this grill to replace your gas grill and act as your smoker.
Overall fit and finish is behind Traeger but does that really matter? The unit is also easy to keep clean with the ash cleanout system. Overall great product, especially at this price point.