Camp Chef vs REC TEC Reviews

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Last Updated on January 21, 2021
RT-700
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Our Top Choice...

Key Features

  • Wi-Fi technology control for precise cooking
  • Stainless steel cooking chamber
  • 2 meat probes with controller connection
  • 200 lbs. pellet bundle and grill cover

camp chef vs rec tec

There are hundreds of grill manufacturers on the market that are fighting for your attention. With so many advertisements and companies claiming they are the best, it can be difficult to sort through all the information. 

Grilling is an essential component of the American experience and backyard gatherings. Whether you are cooking for yourself, the family, or for the whole party, you are going to want a grill that can guarantee consistent results. A quality grill is necessary for serving successful meals time and time again

There are 4 main types of grills: Pellet, charcoal, gas, and Kamado. Each of these grills has a specific function and purpose for the type of food that is going to be cooked on it.

Gas grills are used for high heat and even sears when cooking meat. Charcoal grills provide extra flavor which mainly comes from the increased amount of smoke. Pellet grills use wood pellets to provide a distinct flavor that you can’t get from other types of grills. The sealed aspect of the kamado grill traps smoke and moisture for a unique flavor. 

While there are many kinds of grills to choose from, the REC TEC 700 is the best you can find for your next backyard barbeque.

Brand Overviews

Both Camp Chef and REC TEC are known for their innovative features, durability, and versatility. It can be difficult to choose between the 2 brands, but with some research, you can decide on a make and model you’ll absolutely love.

Camp Chef

Camp Chef was established in 1990 with the goal of rethinking how camp cooking was done. It was started as a way to revolutionize the camp-cooking industry. The brand offers camping grill systems, cast-iron components, and pellet grills. 

Camp Chef prides itself on family, community, and customer service. It has a strong reputation with customers because of its products’ portability, versatility, and durability

If you are paying over $500 (which you will be if you choose either of these brands), it is important that you get the features you are paying for and not just the brand name. 

Camp Chef products tend to be slightly less expensive than REC TEC. All of the Camp Chef grills, even down to their smallest 20” grill, are designed to give you an excellent grilling experience while also helping you deliver excellent meals.


REC TEC

REC TEC was founded in 2009 by 2 friends who wanted to build high-quality grills and sell them at a fair price. Although some of the pieces are built in China, they are assembled at their headquarters in Georgia. 

Like Camp Chef, REC TEC prides itself on community and making the customer a part of that community. It believes wood pellet grills are the best for flavor. What sets REC TEC apart from other companies is its careful attention to the technology it puts in its grills for optimal performance and controlled cooking temperature

Although REC TEC is younger than Camp Chef, it is known for its outstanding customer service that operates 24/7. The company truly embodies what it means to put the customer first. It is easy to see why it has such a loyal customer base. 

REC TEC’s Wi-Fi technology is more advanced than Camp Chef. REC TEC also overtakes Camp Chef simply on construction. Almost all of its grills are made completely of stainless steel and are built to last. Even if they don’t last for some reason, REC TEC’s unparalleled warranty has you covered. 

If you’re going to be making a substantial investment on a grill, then you want to make sure you are getting what you pay for. REC TEC is meticulous in its craft and painstakingly makes sure that every component on its grills is optimized for performance and bringing you the best experience possible.

Camp Chef vs. Rec Tec Grills Reviews

1. Best Overall - REC TEC 700

RT-700
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Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi technology control for precise cooking
  • 2 meat probes with controller connection
  • 200 lbs. pellet bundle and grill cover

With heat deflectors, stainless steel grates, firepots, and drip pans, you can rest assured that this grill can last you a lifetime. The REC TEC 700 is built to last, which can be seen in everything from its build quality to its components. 

The Wi-Fi capability allows you to control your grill remotely, giving you the flexibility to move freely and not have to hover over your grill. REC TEC prides itself on its temperature hold capability so that you do not have to worry about changing the temperature to account for fluctuations. 

The built-in interior light is designed for night cooking so your backyard barbeque doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. The 700 comes with a self-cleaning shutdown mode which essentially removes the need for cleaning the firepot. The ceramic ignitor rod has been assessed to run through 100,000 lighting cycles. 

The customer service from REC TEC is unmatched. They give out the founders’ cell phone numbers so you can have direct contact with people you can trust. They are focused on the customer and the grilling experience, rather than just the money. 

The 700 model has a temperature range from 200°F to 500°F in 5° increases that allow for smoking, searing, grilling, broiling, roasting, baking, and more. 

REC TEC designed this grill with performance in mind, but also with important safety features. The stainless steel lid stops the lid from slamming down without breaking or bending. Furthermore, the grease bucket won’t get knocked off due to the stainless steel spill-proof bucket hook.

Pros

Practically entirely made from steel
40 lbs. hopper allows for 2 days of cooking
6-year warranty
Extremely heavy-duty

Cons

Ashes are difficult to clean out
Difficult to change out/dump wood pellets

2. Runner Up - Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill

PG24CL + PG14
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Specifications:

  • Sidekick propane burner with stove or griddle options
  • Equipped with four meat probes
  • Slide and Grill technology for both direct and indirect cooking

One of this model’s distinct features is its 10 levels of smoke intensity. You can control temperature, smoke level, and timers all from your smartphone. Another key feature is its ability to switch from indirect to direct flame cooking. All you have to do is pull a knob and you’re ready to go. 

The Wi-Fi controller offers flexibility and ease-of-use. The full-color PID control panel includes the readings of the meat probes for accurate temperature regulation. The PID controller also features a function that dumps remaining pellets so you can easily change pellet flavors if need be. 

The Camp Chef Woodwind 24” has a temperature range stretching as low as 160 degrees for intense smoking all the way up to 500°F for searing. This Camp Chef grill is equipped with Smart Smoke technology which holds the temperature within 15°F of where you set it. 

It is built with a stainless steel lid and firepot, while the rest of the body is manufactured with powder-coated steel. The 797 sq. in. of cooking space features enameled-steel with a 2-piece upper rack that is nickel plated for increased durability. The upper rack can be adjusted to different heights so you can fit all any kind of meal in the provided cooking space. 

A fan runs continuously so that the food is cooked evenly and to the desired effect. The bottom of the grill has two heavy-duty wheels that offer easy portability.

Pros

Slightly cheaper than the REC TEC top choice
More compact than the REC TEC
Multiple grates for maximum use of space
Easy ash cleanup with built-in ash cup

Cons

No precise temperature control

3. Best Budget - REC TEC 340

RT-340
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Specifications:

  • 2 mesh, non-stick grill mats
  • Weighs 100 lbs.
  • 2 meat probes 
  • 20 lbs. hopper

With precision engineering and built of high-quality materials, this pellet grill can bake, smoke, or roast your meats using Wi-Fi capabilities. You have 2 meat prongs that can digitally assess the internal temperature of your meats, making your cooking process even more precise. 

The REC TEC 340 has a great price point, and the foldable, locking legs and rollerblade-style wheels that glide effortlessly make this a highly portable unit. There’s no messy charcoal to deal with because this grill uses pellets, bringing a lovely, smoky taste to your dishes. 

You can also monitor the progress of your cooking through the Wi-Pellet Wi-Fi Technology, so you can mingle at your barbeque and not be chained to the grill. With both an automatic lighting feature and an automatic shut-down feature, you won’t get stuck in the dark and your grill won’t be left running if something goes awry. 

With its superb technological advances, you can go from 200°F to 500°F in 5° increments and can even maintain a cooking temp of 500°F for high-heat recipes. You can also smoke your meats at a low temp with the Lo Extreme Smoke setting. Enter cool-down mode with just one push of a button for easy clean-up. 

The stainless steel hopper has a locking mechanism and a piano hinge on the lid, so you can ensure that your pellets remain untouched and dry when you’re not using the grill. When closed, you can use the top of the hopper as a place to put cooking tools or platters.

Pros

Stainless steel firepot
User-friendly interface with modern technology
Sturdy legs and easy-grip handles for increased safety

Cons

Not as portable as you might think
Have to purchase additional lower shelf to stabilize the grill separately

4. Best Compact Grill - Camp Chef Woodwind 20

WiFi Woodwind Pellet Grill & Smoker
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Specifications:

  • 160°F to 500°F
  • Smoke control with 1 to 10 settings for ultimate smoke control
  • Slide and Grill lets you grill directly over flames
  • Ash Kickin’ Cleanout makes clean-up easy after every grilling session

The Pit Boss PB336GS 2 burner grill offers a slightly different approach to outdoor cooking. Heated by 2 high-quality burners, this grill’s cooking surface is a 4.7 mm thick pre-seasoned cast-iron griddle top with 289 sq. in. of cooking space. 

The burners are separately controlled, so that you can keep one side of the griddle hotter than the other if you need to. It has 4 non-slip legs so that you can place it on any surface, and is great for home use or preparing meals while camping

It only weighs 25.3 pounds and runs off a 1-pound propane tank, letting you easily bring gourmet cooking capabilities to a picnic, camping trip, or tailgating party. The griddle top of this grill is very easy to clean, letting the griller scrape the mess into a convenient built-in front grease tray, leaving no mess to worry about. 

One great thing about this griddle top grill is it allows you to cook food like eggs, fajitas, and stir fry right on it, without having to worry about pots and pans to scrub later.

When you’re done cooking, you just have to wipe and oil your griddle, and it’s ready to be used again. Remember, with cast-iron products, water can lead to rusting, so clean and oil as recommended in the owner’s guide.

Pros

Easily portable even without foldable legs
Small size makes it transportable and great for small families
Wi-Fi connectivity makes remote grilling a breeze
Weighs just 88 lbs.
Very easy to assemble

Cons

Only 10 lb. pellet hopper capacity
Not compatible with the optional Sidekick

5. Best Bundled Deal - REC TEC RT-590 Bundle

RT-590
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Specifications:

  • 772 sq. in. of cooking area
  • 30 lbs. pellet capacity
  • The bundle package includes 200 lbs. of premium pellets
  • Also comes with a cover and 2 non-stick mesh grill mats

The REC TEC RT-590 Bundle is a great deal that includes an incredibly durable and sturdy grill, a cover, 2 mats, and 200 lbs. of pellets. This grill is super-sturdy as it weighs 100 lbs., and it’s made of stainless steel so there won’t be any chipping or flaking of paint.

This pellet grill has a unique octagonal cooking chamber to give you even more surface area to cook on, topping out at a whopping 772 sq. in.. Cooking a lot for your family has never been easier due to the Wi-Fi capability of this grill to take the monitoring and timing of the grilling off your To-Do list. 

This grill allows you to cook meals at incredibly high temps, 500°F, or smoke foods at temps as low as 180°F. The Proprietary PID Controller maintains constant temperatures inside the chamber so you never have to worry about the temperature rising too high or falling too low.

The ability to set the temp by 5° increments makes your cooking so precise that you’ll never have to worry about overcooking. Since the grill lets you know when your food is ready, every meal is perfectly cooked. 

If you’re so inclined, the foldable legs let you easily pack up this pellet grill and transport it in the back of your truck to tailgating parties or camping.

Pros

Heavy weight makes it very sturdy
Wi-Pellet Wi-Fi technology makes monitoring food from your smartphone easy
Unique octagonal cooking chamber
Proprietary PID Controller sets temperatures exactly
Weighs 100 lbs.

Cons

Too heavy for some people to move easily
Wheels may slide out while moving

6. Best Additional Features - Camp Chef Woodwind Wi-Fi 24-Inch Pellet Grill with Propane Sear Box

PG24CL + PGSEAR
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Specifications:

  • Ash cleanout cup makes clean-up a cinch
  • 797 sq. in. of cooking area
  • 25,000 BTU/hr
  • EZ hopper release

This pellet grill from Camp Chef has more features than many of its competitors, and it is a great grill and smoker. With 429 sq. in. of cooking area, this grill can cook foods up to 500°F. With the sear box and side griddle, you extend your cooking area even more.

Use Wi-Fi connectivity and the PID controller to cook your meals from the palm of your hand. This allows you to spend more time with your friends and family. 

The sear box lets you sear your meat before extensive grilling to seal in all the juices and flavor. The side griddle allows you to whip up other tasty treats without taking up valuable grill space. If you need more space, there’s a second grilling shelf

Clean-up is a snap with this grill. The ash cleanout system makes getting rid of ashes simple so you’ll never have to use a vacuum to clean out your ashes again. This model also has a hopper cleanout system, which makes it even easier to maintain the performance and longevity of this grill. 

To perfect the cooking process, this grill includes an internal meat temperature probe so you can check the progress of your meal digitally. The shut-down mode is built-in, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing another accessory for your grilling needs. 

With such a large surface area to cook on, you can prepare all the different elements of your meal at once. Shutdown and clean-up are made infinitely easier with the added features.

Pros

Retractable deflector plate to help with air and smoke flow
Grease management systems make grease fires infrequent
Sear box seals in flavor
Built-in control panel with LED display
4 probe thermometers

Cons

Can be difficult to assemble

Final Verdict

RT-700
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The REC TEC 700 is hands-down the best pellet grill on the market. REC TEC continues to raise the bar and provide a superb grilling experience. You are going to be making an investment in this piece of equipment, but it is well worth the price. From its complete stainless steel body to its 6-year warranty, there is no reason that this grill should not be at the top of your list. 

This grill is built to stand the test of time. If something goes wrong or malfunctions, REC TEC will gladly replace it. They put the customer first and never take your business for granted. There are countless pellet grills on the market but this one is in a league of its own

The choice is simple: If you are looking to make an investment on a grill that guarantees performance, durability, and efficiency, then look no further than the REC TEC 700. We’ve made a product breakdown focusing on the benefits and advantages in our REC TEC 700 Product Review. read here 

We also made a product review of the best Rec Tec grills.


Brand Comparisons

Both Camp Chef and REC TEC manufacture high-quality, effective pellet grills. Both include standard features, like large cooking surfaces, temperature range and control, hopper capacity, and warranties. Here is how these 2 brands stack up against each other. 

Temperature Control

When you’re considering temperature control, you’re actually looking at 2 different aspects of the grilling process – how precisely you can set your temperature and how well the grill maintains that temperature. 

REC TEC and Camp Chef grills provide consistent temperatures because both of these brands produce extremely well-made grills that maintain heat consistently and well. Their stainless steel, no-frills construction makes temperature control one of their best functions.

For temperature precision, the older models of Camp Chef pellet grills could be set in increments of 25°F, which was standard. With the introduction of Wi-Fi capabilities, Chef Camp grills now can be set in 5°F increments, making them exceptionally precise

REC TEC does a superb job in temperature precision as well. These pellet grills let you set your temperature at 5°F increments, so you know exactly at what temperature your food is cooking.

You know, the Traeger grill was one of the first grills to have a digital temperature screen display. It’s also one of the top grills that we recommend because of its quality temperature control. We made a guide comparing REC TEC VS Traeger that you can read.

Temperature Range

When you’re smoking foods, you use temperatures between 225°F to 275°F. When you need to char or sear something, you’re working with temperatures above 400°F, and hopefully more like 500°F. 

Both brands soar to temperature heights of 500°F. On the low end of the spectrum, Camp Chef models tend to be able to go a little bit lower than REC TEC, at 160°F compared to REC TEC’s 180°F. For this small difference, Camp Chef is a superior model, especially if you smoke a lot.

Accessories

Both REC TEC and Camp Chef pellet grills are incredibly user-friendly. Both produce models that have Wi-Fi capabilities to let you check the progress of your cooking remotely.

Camp Chef has a slight edge because they offer some features that REC TEC does not, like the sear box, side griddle, and flat-top grill accessory. Although both brands offer grills with built-in meat thermometers, Camp Chef has a model that has 4, which is an amazing benefit to any griller who has multiple types of meat on the grill. 

Hopper Capacity

This may not be one of your top concerns when looking at grills, but there’s nothing more annoying than having a too-small hopper and running out of pellets halfway through a grilling session

Camp Chef has pretty standard hopper sizes, ranging from 18 to 22 lbs. capacity. REC TEC, on the other hand, has more variety of grills. Their smallest grills have 20 lbs. hoppers and their largest models have hoppers that can hold up to 40 lbs. of pellets

We also made comparisons for Traeger and Campchef, and both have the same hopper capacity. However, we found that Traeger extends its cooking control by being able to monitor the grill through your smartphone. We have a Campchef VS Traeger guide for a more in-depth review.

Warranty

For grilling pros, a solid warranty is often the first thing that they look for when purchasing a new pellet grill. The industry standard for pellet grills is a 2-year warranty

Depending on the specific model you’re looking at, Camp Chef’s usually last about 3 years, whereas at REC TEC can have anywhere from 2- to 6-year warranties available for their pellet grills. We did not only limit our search for the best warranty deals because Pit Boss also has 5 year warranty offer. We have these details and more in our guide REC TEC VS Pit Boss.

We also did a review on how Camp Chef would fair against other brands. Please take a look at our Camp Chef vs Pit Boss.