• I currently have a Masterbuilt XL propane smoker, a MES30 digital electric smoker and a Traeger. The propane smoker has served me well for many years but I haven’t used it in at least 2 years. Just to finicky to keep temp constant, especially if there is wind. The Treager is a great grill but doesn’t go low enough for good results on sausage cooks. The MES30 does great for smaller batches. Tends to be quite a bit of difference in temp top to bottom in larger batches.

    I am thinking I want a mid size vertical pellet smoker.

    I have tentatively narrowed it down to a Pit Boss Sportsman 7 series and the Camp Chef XXL wifi.

    This will mainly be for smoking sausage as my Treager takes care of my grilling/smoking regular meats.

    These are the things that are making it hard to choose:

    Pit Boss - Temp setting 100-420
    Camp Chef - Temp setting 150 - 350

    Pit Boss - Standard digital controller. According to their sight, there are no plans to offer retrofit kits when they eventually release PID WIFI units.
    Camp Chef - Has PID Wifi controller.

    Pit Boss - 55 pound hopper
    Camp Chef - 18 pound hopper

    Pit Boss - 1800 square inches cooking surface
    Camp Chef - 2400 square inches cooking surface.

    Bradley offers a really cool option that lets you make custom cook programs, load it on a thumb drive and load it in the smoker. Love that idea, but the smokers offered are pretty small. Why others aren’t all over this is beyond me. Imagine loading the entire snack stick temp ramp and time and the smoker automatically cycles through it.

    Anyway it seems like the Camp Chef is the better option for me. I guess I just need someone to tell me how great it is and push me over the edge.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors

    you have two choices buy or build !

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    Grimpuppy Jonathan If I were you I would go with the Camp Chef XXL Vertical because I’m sure Walton’s will put out some smoke schedules for them, since they are carrying them now. I believe Jon has also given that grill his seal of approval.

  • Big Green Egg Team Blue Regular Contributors Cast Iron Power User

    Grimpuppy I was thinking the same thing as you on both of those smokers. Then I found Pitts and Spitts. It is an insane amount of $$$ but I was gonna save for a PK 100 and another pellet grill so I would be spending the same amount. I got to see this thing in person last Saturday and it blew me away!!! My wife even liked it!!! The side box runs about 100F less than the barrel. So it would be perfect for summer sausage and anything that you needed to run low and slow on a smoke schedule. I just have to save now and continue to use my old Bradley until I can make it happen.Screenshot_20210427-203520_Gallery.jpg

  • Sous Vide Canning PK100 Team Blue Power User

    Grimpuppy
    Sounds like you have done your research. For me drying pre smoke period is 120 degrees. So you might want that lower set point. I can’t say much about the two smokers you mentioned. But I do know that Jonathan has run the camp chef through several different types of tests and he has given it a pretty solid stamp of approval. Personally evolved from Bradley’s to a PK100 and I love it.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Grimpuppy whats the prices of the two your looking at?

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    twilliams I was looking at the Camp Chef last night on Waltons. Its $599.99

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    twilliams Grimpuppy Lowes online has the Pitt Boss series 7 listed at $599.00. So your price points are basically the same.

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    @ndmike thats an interesting looking machine. Im like you and Grimpuppy. I’ve been shopping and ironically was up last night comparing the Camp Chef XXL and the Pitt Boss series 7. I also read as many user reviews as I could on both and will have to say Pitt Boss users gave more negative reviews, but most were positive on both machines.


  • Ya, they are both in the $600 range.

    Weird thing about the Pit Boss is they have 2 PID WIFI smokers, but they are both store exclusives. One a Walmart only item and one a Lowes only item. Both of them smaller than I am looking for though.

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    Grimpuppy let me know if you pull the trigger on one. I was leaning to the Camp Chef XXL, but @NDMike has given me something to think about with the Pitt Spitts


  • @ndmike said in Looking for a new smoker:

    Grimpuppy I was thinking the same thing as you on both of those smokers. Then I found Pitts and Spitts. It is an insane amount of $$$ but I was gonna save for a PK 100 and another pellet grill so I would be spending the same amount. I got to see this thing in person last Saturday and it blew me away!!! My wife even liked it!!! The side box runs about 100F less than the barrel. So it would be perfect for summer sausage and anything that you needed to run low and slow on a smoke schedule. I just have to save now and continue to use my old Bradley until I can make it happen.Screenshot_20210427-203520_Gallery.jpg

    That is a cool concept. My big concern is how small the smoke box is, well the price too 😂.

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    As much as I enjoy my Camp Chef horizontal pellet cooker, I don’t know why you would want something for sausage cooks that can’t get down to at least 130 F and preferably 120 F or below. Otherwise, you’re asking for hassle and not really getting anything much different than your Traeger.

    I also recommend the PK 100. It’s excellent for sausage and other low temperature (true) smoking and would make an excellent upgrade to your MES30. Once it heats up, the temperature is fairly even throughout.

  • Regular Contributors

    TexLaw said in Looking for a new smoker:

    As much as I enjoy my Camp Chef horizontal pellet cooker, I don’t know why you would want something for sausage cooks that can’t get down to at least 130 F and preferably 120 F or below. Otherwise, you’re asking for hassle and not really getting anything much different than your Traeger.

    I also recommend the PK 100. It’s excellent for sausage and other low temperature (true) smoking and would make an excellent upgrade to your MES30. Once it heats up, the temperature is fairly even throughout.

    This ^^^^

    If you want to make sausage, a smoker that is not capable of low temperature control is a instant deal breaker, regardless of other cool features it may have.


  • That is my biggest hangup. The main thing I want, the Camp Chef can not do.

    I am sure the Pk 100 would be perfect. I just can’t justify the cost for the amount of meat I do. The other thing is the sawdust. I live in NCKS. No one here carries it. Maybe someone in Salina might, that is an hour drive. We have 4 stores here that carry pellets if I need them in a pinch.

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    Grimpuppy I hear you about the cost, believe me. The PK 100 is three times the cost of either the Pit Boss or the Camp Chef. However, there’s such a thing as wasting your money because you didn’t spend enough. Regarding sausage, you’ll have the very same problem that you do with the Traeger, but your wallet will be $600 lighter. The Camp Chef is not for smoking sausage.

    Now, if you just want a PID WiFi controlloer and more capacity to do everything other than sausage, the Camp Chef might be worth your money. That’s the real question because that’s really all you’re really getting. Bells and whistles are nice, but they don’t do you any good if they are hung on something that doesn’t actually serve your purpose.

    If you’re going to get something, and you really want something for smoking sausage, then I’d go with the Pit Boss or some other option that can hold temperatures low enough.

    As far as sawdust goes, just order it from Walton’s or somewhere else. You won’t need to get it very often. You go through sawdust MUCH more slowly than pellets.

  • Regular Contributors

    Grimpuppy

    Back when I was using sawdust in my smoker, I found a local cabinet shop that would save bags of cherry, oak, and ash sawdust for me at no cost. Should not be too hard to find a source like that.

    Even finding a hardwood log you can buzz up with a chainsaw will provide more than enough smoking saw dust than even the most hard core smoker can use.

  • Sous Vide Canning PK100 Team Blue Power User

    Grimpuppy
    Sometimes miracles do happen. I found my PK100 in excellent condition on Craigslist for $275. So there is always a possibility of finding a used one out there. I order the sawdust in apple and hickory from Walton’s in large bags. Anyway, it may be worth looking around.


  • D5D2F00A-891C-4234-A900-0F1DD62431DB.png

    It appears the Pit Boss won’t do what I want either. It says 100-420 degrees but because it isn’t a PID controller, you can’t really set it where you want. I am assuming they are getting the 100 degree rating in the smoke setting.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    GWG8541 if your gonna spend the money on the Pitts spitts your better off buying the pk100

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