Rec Tec entered the pellet grill market with the intent to create products that are different. The founders of the company stated that their main aim was to conquer the temperature control process. That is why they came up with Smart Grill Technology™. This technology allows users to control a real wood fire and also helps to produce accurate temperatures.
The founders also wanted to make their products last for many years. Both of them used to own the so-called stainless steel grills. However, they realized that most of these grills are prone to rust. That is why they decided to make all the Rec Tec pellet grills out of a heavy gauge stainless steel that can last for an entire lifetime.
Rec Tec is a relatively new company and the two founders started out selling their first grills out of a garage. However, it didn’t take them long to become popular. Now, Rec Tec is manufacturing high-quality products that won’t break the bank. They hold a product line of 5 smoker grills in different size and price range, so they must have one that will fit your needs. And, something that all these grills have in common is high-quality materials, precision engineering, and amazing customer service.
Top Pick -REC TEC Grills – RT-700 Bull
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One of the first features of this Rec Tec grill that might attract your attention is the unit’s price. The RT-700 is Rec Tec’s most expensive model. However, its cost can be justified by the fact that this grill has many high-end features and also an unmatched performance. The cooking chamber is made out of stainless steel so it will last you for many years to come. Stainless steel construction makes this grill resistant to rusting, cracking, and peeling. This grill also features 1054 square inches of cooking surface.
The unit comes with several accessories that will make your grilling experience more convenient. For example, dual meat probes make it very easy to monitor the temperature and you won’t have to frequently open and close the lid. The unit also automatically fires up and shuts down on its own. The tool hooks provide easy access to everything you might need.
Probably the most convenient feature of this grill is the Smart Grill Technology. It features a user-friendly WiFi system and also an app that goes with it.
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This smart technology allows the user to monitor and control the grilling process without even having to be near the grill. All you need to do is take a look at your smartphone and the app will display the probe temperature and presets. The entire process is automated and uses a PID (proportional-integral-derivative) algorithms that correct errors if there any disparity between the process variable and the set point comes up.
The temperature range is between 200-550F degrees, which gives you plenty of options. You can go for the low and slow cook to get the smoke into your meat. Or, if you are patient, you can do some searing. The temperature changes under normal circumstances will swing at the most of 5 degrees. You can use the app to set an alarm that warns you when the value of the grill temperature deviation exceeds the set point. In addition, you can set an alarm for the probe temperature to notify you when the desired temperature is reached.
REC TEC Grills – RT-700 Bull Overview
REC TEC Grills – RT-700 Bull Features
Large Hopper and Automatic Pellet Feeder
The hopper capacity is 40 lbs. of pellets. This means that if you fill it entirely, you’ll be in for very long smoke times. Thanks to the large hopper capacity, there is no way to run out of pellets in mid-smoke. Another great thing about the hopper is that it is divided so you can even mix pellet “flavors.”
In addition, the entire process of pellets being transferred from the hopper to the firebox happens automatically. The grill itself sets a correct rate to maintain the temperature you’ve chosen on the electronic thermostat.
Ease of Use
Using Rec Tec RT-700 grill is as easy as using a modern oven. The hardest part is probably lifting the bag of pellets so you could dump them in the hopper. But, even if the bag is too heavy you can use a scoop.
This Rec Tec grill practically does all the work for you. Even hitting the ideal temperature is a piece of cake. All you have to do is press the up and down arrows on the thermostat until you reach the desired temperature. Then, sit back and enjoy the magic.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Maintaining this grill is very easy. The unit comes with a drip tray which minimizes the amount of cleaning you need to do on the inside. However, you should wipe it every now and then. The manufacturer recommends minimal maintenance and using mild soap and water. When it comes to the grates, just take them out and put them in your dishwasher.
This Rec Tec grill was designed for user convenience. It has an LED temperature display so you can always know whether you got the temperature right. The drip tray guides the excess grease into a stainless steel bucket. This makes the cleanup easier and also protects your patio/deck from stains. In addition, the grill also includes four tool hooks, the chimney cap, towel ring, and the probe access port.
REC TEC Grills – RT-700 Bull Pros
- Made out of stainless steel.
- Comes with a 6-year warranty.
- Has large cooking and hopper capacity.
- Includes a premium cover.
- Features a digital display and Rec Tec’s Smart Grill Technology.
REC TEC Grills – RT-700 Bull Cons
- This is Rec Tec’s most expensive unit.
- Rear hopper is a bit hard to access.
- Tool hooks are almost useless.
- Mobility is limited due to the unit’s size
First Runner Up – REC TEC Grills – RT-590 Stampede
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If you were impressed with the Bull and all of its features but felt that it might be too much for you, we have a solution. Rec Tec Stampede is, basically, the Bull but in a more compact and economical package. The Bull has enough cooking surface for 3-4 full-size packer briskets at a time. However, most of us don’t need that much capacity for our typical family gatherings. The Stampede has a smaller cooking capacity, 772 square inches. According to Rec Tec, this amount of cooking space can hold five large racks of ribs. This is definitely enough to satisfy the needs of a small crowd. In addition, the unit features a 30-pound pellet hopper.
Even though Rec Tec pulled back on the size with this model, they made sure not to sacrifice the quality. Similarly to the bull, the Stampede is built out of high-quality stainless steel. The unit also features the Smart Grill Technology and the exact same PID and WiFi, controller. Dual meat probes for monitoring the temperature are included with this unit as well.
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Since the Stampede is a bit smaller, it is definitely more in line with the typical backyard grill. The compact size makes the unit more mobile. However, you’ll still want to keep it on your porch or deck instead of taking it on a camping trip.
The only downside of this unit is the warranty. The manufacturer caps the warranty for the Rec Tec RT-590 at 2-years. Even though this is a significantly shorter period of time when compared to the Bull, the warranty still covers all parts of the unit. So, if you want all the features of the Bull but in a more compact unit, then the Stampede is the perfect choice for you.
REC TEC Grills – RT-590 Stampede Overview
REC TEC Grills – RT-590 Stampede Features
Advanced Temperature Control
Rec Tec Stampede features the WiFi Smart Grill Technology which allows all users to control and monitor their grill remotely. In addition, this grill has an automatic lighting and shutdown feature. This means that you won’t have to deal with messy fire starters anymore. And, when you’re done with your grill, all you have to do is push a button so that it could enter the cool down mode. The temperature ranges from 200ºF to 500ºF in 5º increments.
The cooking chamber, hopper, lid, handle, and everything else you find on the outside of this grill is made out of quality stainless steel. This means that as long as you own the Rec Tec Stampede, you won’t have to deal with rusting or cracking. In addition, the sturdy construction ensures that the lids and the handles won’t bend or break.
Once you take a look inside the Rec Tec RT-590, you’ll find 772 square inches of cooking space and two steel cooking grates. The grates can be removed easily so you could clean them. This grill also features the HotFlash Ceramic Ignition System which is the longest lasting ignition system on the market.
REC TEC Grills – RT-590 Stampede PROs
- The grill is made out of stainless steel.
- It features Smart Grill Technology and WiFi control.
- The unit can be moved around due to its compact size.
- HotFlash ceramic ignition system is included.
- More affordable than the Bull (RT-700).
- Pellet hopper capacity is 30 lbs.
REC TEC Grills – RT-590 Stampede Cons
- The unit has a 2-year warranty.
- The smaller grilling surface is not intended for competition cooking.
Second Runner Up – REC TEC Grills – RT-340 Trailblazer
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Rec Tec Trailblazer came out as a replacement for the “Mini.” Similarly to the Bull and Stampede, this model also comes with some of the most advanced features and accessories in the industry.
The greatest difference between the Trailblazer and the previous two grills is the size. This model is the ultimate portable pellet grill. It has folding legs which allow you to use the grill on your porch or you can take it with you on the go and use as a table-top smoker. When compared to portable gas or charcoal grills, this one is a bit heavier as it weighs 80 pounds. Luckily, the grill comes with stainless steel handles that make transportation easier. Even though this model is a portable one, the grill features 511 square inches of cooking surface which is enough for small gatherings.
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What makes this grill the ultimate portable pellet grill is the fact that it includes a stainless steel body, large cooking surface, and the same state of art PID and WiFi controller just like its brothers. Once you get the Trailblazer, your trips will never be the same again. Just imagine being able to monitor the grill temperature and your food as you’re tossing the football with your friends. Even though portable gas and charcoal grills may be lighter, they can’t offer this type of convenience.
So, if you’re looking to cook with real wood but with the convenience of a pellet smoker, then the Trailblazer is the perfect choice for you. It is not the cheapest portable grill on the market, but it will surely last you a lifetime.
REC TEC Grills – RT-340 Trailblazer Overview
REC TEC Grills – RT-340 Trailblazer Features
Control Panel & Smart Grill Technology
The most distinctive feature of the Rec Tec grills is the smart control panel. The panel has a straightforward layout; you can use the red push button to check or set temperature. And, you can use the display to switch the grill and the light on/off. The up/down switch is used to adjust the temperature as well.
After you set the desired temperature, the Smart Grill Technology does all the rest for you. The unit can automatically add pellets if the grill is too cold or allow the unit to cool a bit if the grill is too hot. Thanks to this advanced technology, you can leave your meat to slow-cook overnight without having to worry about anything.
This small grill comes with a spacious hopper. Up to 15 pounds of flavored real wood can fit in this box. This amount is enough for the majority of backyard cooking since it can last up to 15 hours. One great thing about the hopper is that it won’t waste your pellets. Once you turn the grill off, the pellets stop passing through the firepot.
Evenly-Cooked Food Every Time
Imagine getting evenly-cooked food every time. Well, with Rec Tec RT-340 you can. The reasons why you can get perfect results every time are the firepot and the PID algorithm. The firepot is located at the center of the grill and it creates an even flow of heat. The PID algorithm, on the other hand, controls the temperature and allows the food to cook properly and evenly. In addition, the grill has a built-in blower fan and heat deflector that ensures even heat distribution.
REC TEC Grills – RT-340 Trailblazer Pros
- Great build quality.
- The grill can be used with the lid open.
- Small and portable unit.
- Features advanced HotFlash ignition system.
- 2-year warranty on all components.
REC TEC Grills – RT-340 Trailblazer Cons
- Not suitable for large parties.
Honorable Mention – REC TEC – RT-680
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One of the models that Rec Tec discontinued but is definitely worth a mention is the RT-680. Even though you can’t buy this model from the manufacturer, you can still look for used units online. This unit is very similar to the Bull, but you’ll probably get to save a lot of money if you decide to buy it.
The RT-680 is a pellet grill that features 702 square inches of total cooking area. The temperature range is from 180 to 500F degrees. The unit is made out of high-quality stainless steel and it features a 40-pound rear mounted pellet hopper. Similarly to the previous models, the temperature control on this unit can be started with a push of a button, making it very easy to use the grill.
However, since this is an older model, there are a few drawbacks you should be aware of. Despite the sturdy build of this grill, there are air leaks around the door. The wind can affect the heat inside the unit. And, the reported temperature inside the grill differs frequently from the actual temperature in the center of the cooking grate. If you plan to use this grill in cold weather, then you’ll have to make some adjustments. Since this model is not insulated, you may need to put a welding blanket over the grill so you could conserve pellets.
In addition, cleaning the unit might be a bit tricky as well. The firepot is not removable and ash might build up in the bottom of the unit. Many customers state that the best way to clean this Rec Tec grill is with a vacuum cleaner.
All things considered, Rec Tec RT-680 is still a decent pellet grill. It has a large cooking capacity and some of the advanced features of the newer Rec Tec grills. If you won’t mind the issues we mentioned above, then this is definitely a good unit for the price.
REC TEC – RT-680 Overview
REC TEC – RT-680 Pros
- Large cooking capacity.
- Very spacious hopper.
- High-quality build.
- Precision temperature controller is included.
REC TEC – RT-680 Cons
- There is no pellet hopper release.
- Firepot can’t be removed for cleaning.
- This model was discontinued.
Rec Tec may not be the first brand that comes to your mind when you want to buy a pellet smoker grill. But, as a new company in the pellet grill world, Rec Tec is definitely an industry leader in quality, consistency, customer service, and results. Did we also mention that Rec Tec offers an unmatched warranty?
What sets all Rec Tec grills apart from the competitors is the ease of assembly, even cooking, and the phenomenal customer service. In addition, all Rec Tec grills feature Smart Grill Technology that maintains temperature with greater precision than the competition. But, don’t let these advanced features scare you because using Rec Tec grills is super simple. All you have to do is fire the grill up, choose a temperature, and the grill will do all the rest.
If you still have doubts about Rec Tec grills, then make sure to compare them with some of the best pellet smokers on the market.