Back in June of 2023, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s launched a Cabela’s-branded line of pellet grills. While store-brand pellet grills have happened before, this one is a little more eye-catching and has some interesting similarities to a well-known company. At Angry BBQ we strongly believe that Camp Chef makes the pellet grills for Cabela’s.
While pellet grills all have a certain overall look, there are some features that companies decide to distinguish themselves on. So let’s take a look at the new Cabela’s pellet grills, compare some of their features and physical characteristics with some Camp Chef offerings, and connect-the-dots for some corroborating evidence, shall we?
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Are Cabela’s And Camp Chef Connected In Any Way?
First, we need to look at why Bass Pro Shops made an announcement about Cabela’s and the line of pellet grills. Back in 2017, Bass Pro Shops purchased Cabela’s for somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion.
As for the relationship between Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops and Camp Chef, you can find Camp Chef products at both stores. That appears to be as far as the official relationship between the companies goes.
Cabela’s Pellet Grills
In the announcement published in June, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s gave a quick overview of the three new pellet grills. There are two 24” models and a 36” model (who else uses that naming convention? That’s right, Camp Chef.) There are some key similarities across all the models, including an ash cleanout system that is pull-out operated and drops the ash into a cup on the bottom of the grill (just like Camp Chef.)
Also of note is the “Smoke Control” function that Cabela’s boasts helps “ensure optimal smoke performance” and it uses a similar 1-10 setting system as Camp Chef’s “Smoke Number” settings. Now let’s take a look at the specific models and their features.
Cabela’s Deluxe 24 Pellet Grill
The Deluxe 24” model is the basic model, and it has 570 square inches of cooking space spread across the main rack and a second upper rack. It comes with a PID controller and is capable of temperatures ranging from 160°-450°F. The pellet hopper holds up to 18 lbs of wood pellets and you can keep an eye on the pellet level with the window. It also has a clean-out system so you can either swap flavors or store your pellets if you’re not going to be smoking for a while.
The exterior is all powder-coated steel except for the lid handle which is stainless steel. It comes with a side shelf and sits on four legs with two wheels.
Cabela’s Pro 24″
The Pro Series 24” takes the same basic idea as the Deluxe and packs extra space and features in. It still has the same 160°-450°F temperature range, but it boasts 811 sq in of cooking space thanks to a larger upper rack and 22lb pellet hopper capacity. It also has “slide and sear technology” which allows for direct flame access to the firepot. The Pro Series’ PID controller is also WiFi-enabled so you can connect it to your phone and use the Cook With Cabela’s app.
The final difference between the Deluxe and the Pro Series 24” models is that the Pro Series has a bottom shelf and adds two swivel casters to the bottom legs.
The Pro Series 36” model is exactly the same as the 24” model except it features 1,236 sq in of cooking space. Otherwise, the PID controller, the pellet hopper, and the slide and sear technology are all the same.
How Similar Are The Cabela’s Pellet Grills To Camp Chef Pellet Grills?
If you noticed, we highlighted some interesting features that are, at least in some ways, very similar to features on Camp Chef pellet grills. There’s a lot of physical similarities as well. In fact, if you compare the Camp Chef SG24 that we reviewed to Cabela’s pellet grills, you’ll notice an awful lot of physical similarities.
For instance, the pellet hopper has the exact same view window and an almost identical controller in the same location. The chimney is in the same location but Cabela’s pellet grill has a slightly slanted chimney cover rather than the conical cover of the SG24.
The Cabela’s Deluxe 24” model is the most similar to the Camp Chef DLX series, whereas the Cabela’s Pro Series is essentially the Camp Chef SG series that includes the WIFI controllers.
Also, remember that Cook With Cabela’s app? If you check out some of the information on the app, it looks suspiciously like Camp Chef’s app, just color-swapped to Cabela’s colors.
Vista Outdoors Investor Call Drops A Major Hint
That’s a whole lot of similarities, but there’s no official proof, right? The closest we got to official confirmation was during an earnings call for Vista Outdoor, Camp Chef’s parent company, at the end of July 2023. In it, Camp Chef is only mentioned once and gets exactly one sentence. The new XXL Pro vertical smoker comes first, but the second half of the sentence drops some incredibly interesting information.
“Some big wins and new product launches in the quarter include, Camp Chef released the new XXL Pro Vertical Smoker and placed its first store-in-store concept with Bass Pro Shops.”
That second part, referencing Bass Pro Shops, seems to be subtly confirming that Camp Chef keeps furthering their partnership with Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s.
Wrapping It Up
It’s not unheard of for different manufacturers to produce multiple brands of an item. It happens quite frequently in the food industry with one producer making food for multiple companies. However, it’s quite interesting that Camp Chef is producing pellet grills for an unaffiliated brand, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, especially when you can purchase Camp Chef products at those stores.
However, it’s an opportunity to deepen a partnership as well as offer a more introductory level of pellet grills without explicitly compromising on the Camp Chef brand and quality. It will be interesting to see if other brands partner with other stores to do this in the future.