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Not a review, just first impressions - Woodwind 36"

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    Not a review, just first impressions - Woodwind 36"

    Way too soon to write a review, but I wanted to give my impressions of the cooker. A lot more fun to think about this than other things happening around the world.

    Overall - This is going to be a great grill/smoker. I say going to be, because until the WiFi phone app issues are resolved, it is not the cooker I wanted. Without the WiFi it is still an outstanding cooker. If the remote monitoring feature never works, I will still be happy to cook on it.

    Operation - Is a breeze. This is my first pellet cooker and Camp Chef has done great things as far as ease of operation. Being old (I refuse to say elderly!) I appreciate the large LCD display. Couldn't be easier to set temp and smoke levels. Startup and shutdown are equally simple. Time to temp is about the same or less than my charcoal kettle, which means I'll probably turn to the Woodwind more often.

    Cooking - I've only cooked three times. A whole roast chicken, baby back ribs and last night salmon filets. Each was excellent, My wife is a "smoke as a spice" person and she has ranked each dish's smoke level as just right. Being able to "dial-in" a smoke level was one of the selling points the Woodwind and I'm extremely pleased so far.

    Construction & QC. - Here is where I'm struggling and why I'm not writing a review here or on Amazon, where I purchased the cooker. I'm still wanting on Camp Chef to resolve a couple of issues. I've read reviews of cookers being delivered looking beat up. While my boxes had a hole or two, I'm pretty sure the damage I had was not all due to shipping.

    I had expected assembly, based on reviews, to take an hour or so. While I didn't track clock time, I know I spent 3-4 hours in the garage doing something. Probably an hour was spent taking care of a damaged leg receiver. Some of that time was spent just waiting for a response from Camp Chef. I called to report the damage and was asked to send photos. I received a call back within an hour, suggesting that I attempt to bend the metal, to allow the leg to slide in the receiver. I was also told that if I would try that fix, CC would "compensate me" for my effort.

    The good news is that I was easily able to bend the metal (Visegrips wrapped in cloth). The bad news is how easily I was able to bend the metal. I sent a note back, saying I was successful, but didn't receive a reply. I added two additional issues to my original note and 24 hours later got a response. They made a generous compensation offer, which I accepted. However, as I will expand on later, I believe there is a disconnect between the phone and online support.

    The second issue was that one end of the rear support rod for the heat deflector was not attached. The rod is taped on both ends and connected by a screw through the barrel. When I went to re-attach the rod (the screw had somehow remained in the end), the internal threads were stripped - both ends. This was not shipping, but manufacturing damage that should have been corrected as part of QC.

    I haven't received a response on this issue. I will try to "re-tap" the inserts. The last issue was a bent latch on the BBQ box I ordered at the same time. Again, not critical, but the damage was so obvious that it should have been caught.

    Finally, the assembly instructions could easily be improved by including a table identifying bolts and screws by size. Some of the assembly involves small screws in hard to reach places. Some tips, such as taping parts in place would be helpful.

    I called yesterday asking for help with the WiFi. I tried resets and using my wife's iPhone and nothing worked. I said I had read that the Android app didn't work but the iPhone app did. I was told that a fix sent out for the iOS broke it too and that a new app will be released this week. I didn't ask, but should have, if they will send an email notice. Today a received a note from my emailed question which didn't mention the new app, just to reset, retire etc. Based on this and on the fact CC asks you to just use one method (phone or email) makes me believe there is no coordination.

    Conclusion - I'd buy again for all the reasons stated above. But I'm not really confident that the WiFi issues will be resolved quickly.

    Barry

    #2
    I prefer well-aged.

    Comment


      #3
      Keep us posted on the support you receive. Their reputation for stellar support was one of the reasons I bought mine.

      Comment


        #4
        I had some issues with my Woodwind 24" when I bought it new in Feb 2019. They took care of all my issues in a respectable amount of time. They replaced parts as required for repair and the techies walked me through some OJT in the initial learning stages. I have yet to have a really bad cook, but had a couple that weren't stellar. Overall, I very satisfied with my unit and have some baby backs thawing out for a cook tomorrow or the next day. For the very first time, I'm going to go naked all the way on this rack.

        Comment


          #5
          My wife sent out a gentle "SOS" (sick of smoke) message so I've slowed my use. She is a superb cook and I'm extremely lucky to enjoy wonderful food 7 days a week. So I'm going to cut back to maybe one cook a week.

          I'm still working on getting the tech working. There is a new version of the app, but a quick try yesterday didn't work. On my work schedule for later today. I'll report back.
          Barry

          Comment


            #6
            Update- Camp Chef is sending a new controller. i have spent a few hours trying to get the WiFi unit to work. I believe that the issue is with the Bluetooth controller on the board. CC has asked that I return the old board for analysis. I'll report back after the controller arrives.
            Barry

            Comment


              #7
              Okay, it took a couple more days than stated earlier to find time to cook them baby backs. I got to it Thursday. Whadayathink?

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              Life could be better, but it ain't bad.

              Comment


              • GolfGeezer
                GolfGeezer commented
                Editing a comment
                Looks scrumptious dubob! Details on the cook would be nice (temp, time, wrap/no wrap, rub, sauce).

              #8
              Originally posted by BarryT View Post
              Update- Camp Chef is sending a new controller. i have spent a few hours trying to get the WiFi unit to work. I believe that the issue is with the Bluetooth controller on the board. CC has asked that I return the old board for analysis. I'll report back after the controller arrives.
              Barry
              The new controller arrived - actually just an upgrade kit, so I now have an additional 4 probes. It was pretty straight forward to replace the unit. CC sent me a special set of instructions, since those included were for the upgrade. I had some initial issues getting the controller to communicate, but once established it has worked well.

              Did the first cook last evening. I did have to restart the app a couple of times when I left Bluetooth range and returned to the kitchen. Once again, it seem to work better after the restarts. Sure was nice to monitor the probe and get the notice when i had reached temp level.

              I have no doubt that the original unit was defective. I'll return the unit to CC as soon as possible. For now just going to enjoy it.

              Barry

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                BarryT I thought the controller is Wifi, not BT? Or does it do both? Is your grill out of Wifi range from your house?

              • BarryT
                BarryT commented
                Editing a comment
                The controller uses BT to establish communication with the phone app. You have to have a BT connection to do the WiFi setup. Since I could never get BT to work on the original controller, I couldn't do the software update to fix the WiFi problem. The grill is well within WiFi range so that isn't a problem. I think it is the switch from BT to WiFi that is still and issue and caused me to have to restart the app.

              #9
              I'm actually considering a WoodWind 24" after hearing/seeing nightmare stories about the Weber. Now, reading the number of issues you guys all had.... I'm wondering if anyone makes quality goods any longer. I'm replacing a 16 year old GE Gas Grill.... only because replacement parts aren't available. In any case, any clue how their service is overseas (I'm in Switzerland)?

              Comment


                #10
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ID:	838440 My Rec Tec RT700 has been flawless. I have had it for about a year.

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                • dubob
                  dubob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  When are you going to start using it?

                #11
                Click image for larger version

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ID:	838660 That photo was the day I received it a year ago. Here it is two days ago.

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                • dubob
                  dubob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  NOW you're talkin'. 😁

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