Camp Chef Smoke Vault Review

The Camp Chef brand is known across many to offer quality products for cooks and food enthusiasts everywhere. Today, we evaluate the Camp Chef Smoke Vault.

Ease of use



Editors Overall Rating

Detailed Review of Camp Chef Smoke Vault

Smoking food can be difficult to achieve if you’re without a smoking buddy, but the Camp Chef Smoke Vault promises to be your one-and-only companion for smoked food. This product helps make smoking different types of food easier, as opposed to just putting them on a traditional rack while flames are burning underneath. This particular smoker operates with the use of propane, and many deem this trait to be an advantage as cleanup becomes quick and straightforward.

Many smokers promise ease of use on the market, but most of them fail to deliver. Luckily, this model from Camp Chef sticks through with that promise as it offers smooth operation. Evenly smoked meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, or other ingredients is simpler to do than using some smokers, and it’s even suitable for use for beginners and veterans alike. You can even expect to achieve decent or excellent smoking results (depending on your skills) in a quicker fashion as opposed to using standard wood or charcoal smokers.

Aside from it being an effective food smoker, this model is durable, and you can’t deny its classic yet pleasing design. As with any similar device, this unit should only be used outdoors as the smoke can get everywhere. Camp Chef even throws in some cooking ideas, tips, and recipes to aid you in becoming a world class food smoker, if that’s your goal. If it isn’t, then serving perfectly prepared dishes at a Sunday barbecue is now easier to do with the Smoke Vault this time around, especially if you’ve been using the traditional charcoal or wood smoker before.

  • Control of heat and smoke is accurate
  • It has a lightweight design, but very sturdy.
  • Its construction utilizes high-quality materials.
  • Adjusting the heat delivers a quicker and more robust response than most smokers on the market.
  • It has a large cabin, which makes it an ideal cooking companion for serving food for large groups of people.
  • The push button ignition quickly ignites the temperatures regardless of outdoor weather conditions.​
  • Major assembly required, but it does come with a detailed instruction manual.
  • Its thermostat is not as accurate as you might’ve initially hoped.

Best Features of Camp Chef Smoke Vault

Easy-to-Read Thermometer

Albeit the thermometer found in the Camp Chef Smoke Vault is not the best, it can still give you a pretty clear estimate on the status of your food inside the cabin as they get smoked. If you don’t possess an oven thermometer to help you get more accurate temperature readings, then the built-in thermometer on this product is still a good place to start as the values found in it are still easy to make out, even from quite a distance.

Smoking Racks (Adjustable)

Make no mistake as the Smoke Vault is one of the more “petite” smokers out there as compared to its brethren found in a similar product category. Some might not like this design choice, and yet some chefs might think it to be a fitting choice if space is an issue. The cabin is still spacious enough to hold reasonably large pieces of food, such as a good-sized turkey. Inside, you’ll find two smoking racks that are adjustable to help you correctly position your food for even smoking. There’s also an additional tray for smoking jerky.

Quick Push Button Ignition

The traditional smoker design would often use a match-type ignition to start smoking your food. This process is not just cumbersome for most, but it can also be time-consuming. The Smoke Vault eliminates the need for matches with its push button ignition that’s very easy to use. Users would only need to push it, and the device will start producing the smoke required to heat your food evenly. You no longer have to fan flames to get an even level of smoking with this unit.

Compact Dimensions

The Smoke Vault has dimensions of 18 x 16 x 30 inches for its width, depth, and height. When the legs are attached, the total height increases to 44 inches. If you’re new to the world of smoking food, then the immediate thought that comes to mind is that this smoker is large. However, when comparing it to other similar products on the market, it does offer a more reasonable size than most. Nonetheless, the cabin is still large enough to hold a bunch of your favorite foods for you to cook using the smoking method.

Easy Installation

Many smokers tend to be purchased not as a complete model, but they come in bits and pieces. It is because some assembly is required to make packaging and delivery easy to deal. Some similar products, however, requires more effort than most during the installation process. The Smoke Vault, on the contrary, has setup procedures that are quick and straightforward to do. With additional pairs of hands, you might even be finished and ready to use this machine for about 20 minutes.

Sturdy Steel Construction

Despite its more compact size than most, the Smoke Vault has a durable steel construction. It’s not only heavy, but it also means you’ll be smoking your favorite dishes for many years to come. The steel components are also easy to clean as you can just wipe off the dust, dirt, soot, and sometimes bits of grime off of the walls with a clean, wet cloth. However, it’s still advised to give it a deep clean once in a while to extend its longevity.

As for its total weight, it weighs 65 pounds, which might not be as heavy as compared to its siblings or relatives within a similar product category, but you might still need extra help if you want to move it around when required.

What You Get in The Package

The Camp Chef Smoke Vault doesn’t come fully assembled, but it will arrive with all the necessary parts for you to smoke your dishes to perfection. Some of the items included in the package are:

  • Two (2) adjustable smoking racks
  • One (1) water pan
  • One (1) detachable base tray (porcelain; for easy cleanup)
  • Three (3) adjustable damper valves
  • One (1) easy-to-use and read thermometer (between 50 and 400-degree values)
  • One (1) push button ignition
  • One (1) smoking rack for jerky
  • One (1) heavy-gauge steel wood chip tray

Our Verdict

Overall, we view the Camp Chef Smoke Vault to be a reasonably priced device for any cook willing to spend more just to achieve that evenly smoked perfection as opposed to using traditional methods of smoking. This product comes with a reasonable amount of features, and there’s not a lot of shortcomings that comes with the package either. Ultimately, it does offer a fair amount of value for the money you’re going to spend to acquire it.

Assembly does seem to be complex at first, but the easy-to-read-and-follow instruction manual included in the package makes the setup process simple. With another set of hands, you can be done with the installation process in less than an hour. It is advised, however, that you should assemble the Smoke Vault at the location as to where you’re going to use it permanently. It does weigh a hefty 65 pounds for the entire device, so moving it by yourself can be tough to deal.

Camp Chef made it possible for a smoker to be durable and easy-to-use with the Smoke Vault. There’s a straightforward and quick ignition button that provides a matchless method to ignite the temperatures inside the cabin of the device. Adjusting the heat to provide perfectly smoked food is also simple to do, but it’s stronger than others. One slight tweak can send temperatures flying, so do be warned on that regard.

Other than the easy assembly and easy-to-use button ignition, other highlights of the Smoke Vault include an easy-to-read thermometer and an air tight seal, which is a major factor many chefs are looking for in smokers. The thermometer has values that are clear enough to be read from afar, although its performance does leave more to the imagination. Perfectly even smoking is achievable because of its air tight seal. However, it would be better if this smoker does have a strategically placed see-through window so that users don’t have to open the door just to check the status of their prepared food.

While it does have its set of weaknesses, the Camp Chef Smoke Vault has the set of features, build quality, and performance to offer a worthwhile smoking experience for chefs of all skill types. Even though you might still be a beginner at the craft, using this product won’t require you to learn rocket science to deliver evenly smoked food to the table.