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View Full Version : My New Camp Chef DLX Pellet Pooper


airedale
12-11-2015, 06:33 PM
As I mentioned in another thread, I lucked into a cheap Traeger/Costco "Century" aka Lil Tex Elite when I was looking for a cooker for our lake place. I set it up and did three cooks over the Thanksgiving weekend and, from that, decided that I needed to have one at home as well.

I bought the Camp Chef DLX instead of another Traeger, however. Sometimes the first thing you buy just teaches you what you really wanted. In my case I wanted little more room in the cook chamber, an easy way to empty the pellet hopper to change flavors, and an easy way to empty the ashes from the fire pot. The CC gives me all that while in other respects is is basically a Traeger clone. I bought the CC sight unseen and assembled it today.

I'm impressed. The overall quality is the equal of the Traeger and there is a lot of good attention to detail. For example, the screws, washers, lock washers and nuts for the chimney came lightly assembled on the chimney itself rather that being anonymously thrown into a mixed bag of hardware. The screws for the right side shelf (which Traeger does not offer) go into threaded inserts (like the Rivnets used on airplanes) rather than just being sheet metal screws. Because of the squared-off back, the chamber is two piece; a round lower and the upper. There was a generous application of RTV gasket before these were assembled. No leaks. The only small complaint I have is that the upper shelf, instead of being made wider to capitalize on the squared-off back, is the same width as the Traeger shelf.

Overall, I'm very happy I bought the CC. It's superior to the Traeger in several useful ways. It was also $530 on Amazon, shipped, where the equivalent Traeger lists at $750 or $800.

The best software in the world is the stuff you just bought and haven't installed yet. So ... I've run the cooker at 300deg to bake off the oil and cure the paint. Now I have a small pork roast in there. I'll report back.

IamMadMan
12-11-2015, 10:26 PM
Congratulations on your new addition.

Camp Chef has always produced good items with common sense built in the design. I have a multitude of their products and I recently their 3X Expedition Modular Griddle / Stove unit in lieu of a Blackstone. I can deep fry with 3 pots for chicken wings, use as a griddle, cook in the large dutch oven, or any combination of the above. They make many other accessories for it as well. I just pick and choose what I want.

I also have the 24" Smoke Vault that I use as a warming oven to hold trays of food keeping them warm without overcooking for large cooks / events. The shelves are stainless steel not plated, and the burners are solid cast.

SmittyJonz
12-11-2015, 11:49 PM
I don't see the pics..........:confused:

food4thot
12-12-2015, 12:00 AM
I don't see the pics..........:confused:
http://www.michaelandjudystouffer.com/judy/images/20090717_Prairie_Bunny_smile_9684_250px.jpg

airedale
12-12-2015, 11:25 AM
I don't see the pics..........:confused:OK, OK! Actually, one of my hobbies is photography and I know for certain that shooting a black object indoors without studio lighting is hopeless. So that is my excuse.

Now the CC is outside so here are a few:

http://i.imgur.com/F4wnOv4.jpg

Not much to say here. One odd thing about the design is the very complicated pellet hopper door. On the Traeger the door is very simple; it's the whole top of the pellet hopper, flanged on the sides to keep water out. Here, the door is flanged, there is a mating flange in the top of the pellet hopper and the channel that the door flange goes into has multiple drain holes. It's going to work just fine but it's a surprisingly complicated solution to a simple problem IMO.

There are lots of pix of the CC on the internet, but when I was shopping I did not find anything that clearly explained the pellet hopper emptying system. So here you go:

http://i.imgur.com/vYRXjhy.jpg
This is the knob that opens the pellet drain door. It has a safety latch that must be lifted, then the knob is pulled straight out. The same design is used on the other end of the cook chamber to open the ash door at the bottom of the burning chamber.

http://i.imgur.com/0PjAEgi.jpg
This is the pellet drain door in the bottom of the hopper with the drain knob pulled halfway. Since the door is in the flat bottom, the only pellets left after draining are the ones actually in the auger. Just a few minutes worth.

(Yes, I have removed and tossed out the auger "safety guard" to make it easier to get at the pellets. Even if one were stupid enough to be messing around in the hopper with the auger running, it moves so slowly that I don't see how any sentient being could be caught by it. For customers who leave the guard in place, CC provides a hilarous little metal rake on a stick. This lets the customer rake all the pellets to the drain door without risking his fingers. I am not sure what happens if the little metal rake is captured by the auger but it is not going to be pretty.)

http://i.imgur.com/c9UZCB3.jpg
Here is the pellet drain chute. Note the fussy little welded-on hook for a bucket handle. There is a lot of that kind of detailed design stuff on the smoker. I think I'll end up just putting a 5 gallon bucket on the deck under the chute. I don't think there is enough room to actually hook the handle.

So there are your pix, brethren. My pork roast last night went well as far as the smoker is concerned. It held temp nicely, etc. This is the first time I've tried to do a roast, though, so it was good but not great. Next time I'll give it more smoke time before I turn the temp up to finish it. Maybe try a different rub, too. No pix as most of it was converted to sandwiches last night.

SmittyJonz
12-12-2015, 01:17 PM
What size is the cooking grate? What is the food capacity? How long will it run on one hopper load. Does it come in Camo?

airedale
12-12-2015, 01:31 PM
Here is the CampChef page: http://www.campchef.com/smokers-grills/wood-pellet-smokers/camp-chef-pellet-grill-smoker.html It claims 429 sq. inches on the main rack vs Traeger at 418' but that is not the full story because the square back of the CC gives you a lot more useful height at the rear of the chamber. My relatively-inexperienced-BBQ-er eye says I think I can put two small to medium packer briskets on it.

Assuming this is not one of the web pages that keeps switching pictures, you should be able to see two turkeys on the smoker here: http://www.campchef.com/smokers-grills/wood-pellet-smokers.html They pretty well fill it up.

Edit: At the lake I filled the Traeger hopper to within an inch or two from the top and cooked a pork shoulder for 14 hours/225deg in below-freezing but not windy conditions. There was probably at least another hour of pellets when I shut it down. This was without an insulating blanket. I just spent $17 on a movers' blanket at Home Depot. I'll sew that to suit and expect a big improvement in pellet utilization. Re camo, I doubt it.