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Summertime cookouts are all about the smoke. These days, you can’t call your backyard gathering a barbecue without ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and brisket to go along with your burgers and hot dogs.
If you’re a lover of all things barbeque, then one of the best ways to get that delicious smoky flavor you crave is by investing your hard-earned money into a pellet grill. Pellet grills are a great way to wood-fire food safely and easily without having to do so much as set the temperature and let the grill do the rest of the work.
If you have never tried using a pellet grill for your backyard cooking pleasure, you’re missing out on making grilling a lot easier for yourself. These jack-of-all-trades grills are usually so versatile they can do everything from baking cornbread to searing steaks, and they do it all with ease. If you want to smoke ribs, these grills can do it, then just crank up the heat closer to dinner and throw an apple pie on the grill for dessert.
The tastes of summer are always best prepared over a wood fired-grill like those that Pit Boss and REC TEC create. For the best BBQ flavor this grilling season, get the REC TEC RT-700.
As 2 of the most recognizable brands in the world of grilling, Pit Boss and REC TEC are all about creating lasting memories around a delicious meal. Both companies realize the importance of the backyard barbeque and strive to be the grill that makes your dreams come true.
In 1999, Dan Thiessen and his sons Jeff and Jordan co-founded a company called Danson, Inc. The Pit Boss brand became one of Danson, Inc.’s better-known brands fairly quickly, making a name for itself due to its products’ craftsmanship and durability.
Pit Boss has a vast line of grills that covers any number of needs. The Pit Boss Tailgater model is a popular portable grill while the Pit Boss Austin XL offers a huge grilling surface for any pitmaster’s needs. The company takes pride in listening to customer and employee feedback and then creating excellent products that people love.
Danson Inc.’s grilling popularity was validated in 2017 when it was awarded with EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. Today, Pit Boss grills are widely regarded as the absolute best value for your dollar that you can find.
Pit Boss constantly strives for improvement by paying attention to customer feedback and continuing to innovate on its pellet grill products. The brand’s family-style approach to its business means that it strives to create communities that love barbequing, outdoor cooking, and neighborhood block parties.
REC TEC is a relatively newer brand that was founded in 2009 by long-time buddies Ron Cundy and Ray Carnes in Augusta, Georgia. They have dedicated their business model to the belief that high-quality products at affordable prices are not only the right thing to do, it’s the ethical thing to do. We’ve done a product review on all Rec Tec top quality products. read here
Since the company’s inception, the pair have committed themselves to making sure their love of grilling has been transferred into their products. They want to provide quality products to consumers and their families so that when memories are made, their long-lasting and dependable grills are included in them. REC TEC strives to take grilling to the next level with every new product it brings to the market.
The company uses social media to show off what they call the REC TEC Lifestyle. To Ron and Ray, grilling isn’t just a way to prepare food; it’s about bringing family and friends together to share a meal and make great memories. They consider customers to be extended family and love to help them whenever they can.
Here are the pit boss & rec tec grills you can buy:
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
Pit Boss vs REC TEC Grills 2021 Reviews
1. Best Overall - REC TEC Grills RT-700
- Weighs 200 lbs.
- 110-volt AC GFCI Outlet
- Heavy-duty stainless steel construction
- Easy access component panel
- High-temperature RTV caulk
The standard in pellet grilling continues to be REC TEC’s RT-700. The star feature of this pellet grill is the sheer versatility of the appliance. With this smoker and grill combo, you can sear, smoke, bake, grill, and dehydrate just by pushing the on button.
The price point of this grill is one of its best features. You get more value for every dollar spent with this pellet grill than any other on the market thanks to REC TEC’s commitment to factory direct pricing. Setting the versatility of the grill aside for a moment, it is packed with technology to make your summertime grilling experience almost completely hands-off.
The cooking chamber is crafted entirely from stainless steel, which means that you’ll never have to worry about heat or smoke escaping the cooking surface. REC TEC’s Wi-Pellet Wi-Fi technology allows you to maintain full control of cooking temperature from anywhere. That means you never have to worry about staying home to man the grill if you realize you ran out of barbeque sauce at the last minute.
That same technology precisely monitors and controls the temperature inside the cooking chamber, adjusting it as needed to ensure that your food cooks at the temperature you set. The model also includes dual meat probes that eliminate any need for a separate meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of your food on the cooking surface.
Controls temperature in 5°F increments
Factory-direct pricing makes top-quality grill more affordable
REC TEC GRILLS app allows control from smartphone
Dual meat probes are everyone’s favorite
Wi-Pellet Wi-Fi technology monitors the hopper
Larger grill may be too big for some backyard spaces
200°F low temp may be too high for some grill masters
2. Runner Up - Pit Boss Austin XL Wood Pellet Grill
- 20700 BTUs
- 62.4” x 25.79” x 28.33”
- Weighs 181 lbs.
- Copper top finish
- Caster and all-terrain wheels
Pit Boss’ Austin XL boasts superior cooking at a remarkable price point compared to REC TEC. The cooking area is comprised of 2 tiers of porcelain-coated grid construction and measures a total of 930 sq. in. That means you can easily cook for at least 12 people without having to stress that you might run out of food.
The LED control panel allows you to automatically start-up and shut down your grill easily. The lid’s copper finish allows users to achieve higher temperature intensity by trapping heat inside the cookbox. Coupled with the all-natural hardwood pellet fuel allows this grill to achieve temperatures of at least 500°F which is hot enough to sear a steak easily.
This grill was designed for neighborhood block parties, backyard barbeque entertaining, and delighting friends, extended family, and neighbors with the tastes of summer. To help veteran and novice pitmasters alike achieve this, Pit Boss has included a flame broiler with this model to sear your food over an open flame.
If you’d prefer to roast, smoke, or bake on your grill– don’t worry, you can do it all with this terrific 8-in-1 appliance. The best part is that your food will have all the wood-fired flavor you want.
The hopper can easily hold up to 31 lbs. of wood pellets for hours of mess-free smoking and grilling. Cleanup is a snap with the Austin XL. Just dust out the firepot and carefully wash the removable porcelain racks and you’re ready to cook your next grilling masterpiece.
Auto start-up and shut down with LED control
Nearly 1,000 sq. in. of cooking surface
Porcelain-coated grates make for easy cleanup
Max temperature of 500°F
Includes a flam broiler for direct flame grilling
Smaller families may not need so much space
Larger grill may not fit on decks or patios
3. Best Budget - REC TEC Grills RT-590
- 110-volt AC GFCI outlet
- High temperature RTV caulk
- Vented component access panels
- Probe port hole
- Heavy duty stainless steel hardware
If you’re looking for a terrific mid-sized grill for your mid-sized family without breaking your bank, take a look at the REC TEC RT-590. With REC TEC’s factory direct pricing, this jack of all trades grill comes in at an awesome price point.
As a mid-sized model of the REC TEC family, this grill can fit comfortably almost anywhere on your deck or patio, while looking stylish and getting the job done with ease.
With 592 sq. in. of cooking area to work with, you’ll have plenty of room to grill, smoke, braise, bake, and roast. The focus of this grill model is infusing great wood-fired flavor into all of the food on the grill grates.
It’s easy to see REC TEC’s commitment to excellence in grilling with the RT-590 model. Not only are you getting a terrific price point with the factory direct pricing, but you’re also getting every cent’s worth with their attention to detail. From warranty to build components, its products are superior to most others on the market.
It’s not uncommon to catch the company owners helping their employees engage in customer service support, which means with REC TEC, you’re getting the attention you deserve. The grills are all modular, so if one component breaks, you just need to replace it, instead of replacing the entire grill. REC TEC doesn’t want to just provide you with a great grill; they want to provide you with your last grill.
Perfect size for the average family of 4
Octagonal shape offers more room for more food
Precision temperature control
Works as a dehydrator
Nearly 600 sq. in. of cooking surface
Larger families may want a bigger grill
Not the best option for inclement weather cooking
4. Best Hands-off Grilling Experience - Pit Boss Classic Wood Pellet Grill
- 20,700 BTUs
- Copper finish for extra heat retention
- Stainless Steel chassis
- 40.75” x 25.59” x 43.9”
The Pit Boss Classic series boasts itself as the best value per square inch and it doesn’t disappoint with its grill models. The 700 sq. in. of cooking surface is manufactured from stainless steel and coated with porcelain to create a modern nonstick surface that’s easy for grilling and easier for cleanup. The grill offers a second-tier cooking rack making cooking for groups of 6 a snap.
With the Pit Boss Classic, your temperatures range from 180°F to 500°F which means you can do just about anything with this pellet grill. If you want to sear, the higher end temperatures and flame broiler make it easy. Because most meat smokes at around 200°F, the lower end temperatures are more than stable to provide delicious, wood-smoked ribs, chicken, and brisket.
The entire grill is crafted with heavy gauge steel, making the durability and strength of these Pit Boss grills reliable. The onboard digital LED control board gives you total control over interior temperatures and cooking style, but the grill does all the work with its 21 lbs. hopper capacity.
Set your temperature and forget about it until it’s ready. With the Pit Boss Classic grill, you’re cooking in a completely hands-off manner, which means you have more time to enjoy the sun, pool, or sport of your choice while your food is cooked to perfection.
The alternative to the Pit Boss Classic the the Pit Boss 700FB model. we made a review here
Offers versatility with 8-in-1 cooking methods
Includes flame broiler
Wood fired taste with your choice of wood pellets
Temperatures range from 180°F to 500°F
Stainless steel racks are coated in porcelain for easy cleanup
Not for use in wet weather due to electrical needs
Families larger than 6 may need a bigger grill
5. Best Vertical Smoker - Pit Boss 3 Series Vertical Pellet Smoker
- Holds up to 45 lbs. of food
- Freestanding, vertical smoker
- Painted steel finish
- Weighs only 97 lbs.
- 25.9” x 21.9” x 52.8”
If you’re looking to focus specifically on smoking with wood pellets and not so concerned about any other cooking method, the Pit Boss Copperhead model may be one of the best options you can find.
While this model does not cold smoke, the lowest temperature on this model’s range is 150°F which is lower than almost any other smoker on the market. The top temperature of the unit is 450°F, you can easily smoke however you’d like.
You can easily check on your food with the large front window. This gives you the opportunity to peek on your chicken and sausages without having to lose all of the heat and smoke building up inside the cooking chamber. The digital temperature display takes all the guesswork out of monitoring the interior of the smoker. It offers an electric ignition switch, start-up, and cooldown cycles, as well as 10 temperature presets to make smoking easy.
The hopper can hold up to 35 lbs. of pellets which translates into 18 hours of smoking time. The hopper also includes a monitoring side window so you can see when your fuel gets low. You’ll never run out of fuel thanks to this simple innovation.
With 800 sq. in. of cooking surface available on 4 adjustable, porcelain-coated cooking racks, you’ll easily be able to create delicious food for over 10 people. It also features a drip tray that sits at the base of the unit, further helping easy cleanup.
Automatic Priming Function
Height adjustable cooking racks
External heat indicator
Wide temperature range of 150°F to 450°F
Does not cold smoke foods
May be too small for some households or grill needs
6. Best Compact Design - REC TEC Grills RT-340
- 110-volt AC GFCI outlet
- Component access panel
- Modular construction
- Heavy duty stainless steel hardware
- High temperature RTV caulk
If you’re limited on space or just want a great smoker and grill to accompany you to tailgates, picnics, camping, or the beach then look no further than the REC TEC RT-340. This awesome little grill provides all the terrific technology of the larger models, but in a compact footprint that travels well and smokes even better.
Even as a smaller model, the RT-340 includes dual meat probes so you never have to guess the interior temperature of your meats. This on-the-go grill still has the great Wi-Pellet Wi-Fi technology of the larger models, so don’t worry about monitoring the temperatures because this grill will do it for you.
The grill uses a proprietary PID algorithm to monitor and maintain the temperature, so feel free to leave the grill unmanned while you go swimming and enjoy your summer day in the sun.
Smoke, roast, bake and sear anywhere with the RT-340. The folding legs are lockable and have rollerblade type wheels that make mobility easy. It’s perfect for any road trip or small areas where every inch of space counts.
With REC TEC’s dedication to precision engineering and factory direct pricing, you get to benefit from their reputation of high-quality grills with low price points. The entire cooking chamber is manufactured from 100% stainless steel making heat retention worry-free. The automatic lighting feature makes cooking after dark possible.
Size is perfect for small families
Great compact design for on the go smoking and grilling
Precision temperature control in 5°F increments
REC TEC’s Wi-Pellet Wi-Fi Technology
2 built-in meat probes
May be too small for larger families to use regularly
Requires a generator for on the go smoking and grilling
Pit Boss and REC TEC both are top-quality brands that focus on the love of grilling and the memories that grilling creates. The companies themselves are very different, but each manages to bring family, friends, and neighbors together in very similar ways.
While both brands create exceptional grills and smokers, it’s clear that the REC TEC Grills RT-700 is the most versatile grill on the market. While the price point is a bit higher than most, every dollar spent is accounted for with the technology, craftsmanship, and love that was put into this grill by Ron Cundy and Ray Carnes.
Pellet grills have certainly come a long way. With the introduction of Wi-Fi capabilities on most models, you’re able to set the temperature on your grill within 5°F increments, which greatly reduces any errors in cooking.
Pellet grills weren’t really the portable choice before, but now, many models can go tailgating, RVing, or camping. With internal meat probes, easy cleanout systems, and greater portability, pellet grills are easy to use, move, and cleanup, even if they need generators for on-the-go cooking.
The 2 aspects of temperature control that you should consider are the precision with which you can set the temp, and how consistently the grill maintains it. Fortunately, with both of these grills, maintaining temperature is easy.
Both brands use stainless steel to retain heat and digital panels to set the temperature. All users have to do is make sure there are enough pellets in the hopper and the grill does the rest. If you’re interested in Campchef and Traeger grills we also made another comparison guide for Camp Chef vs REC TEC, and VS Traeger review that compares their temperature control capabilities, among other competitor grills.
Temperature range is important because it speaks directly to the grill’s versatility. Since most cooking ranges for smoking are very low, you want to find a grill that’s capable of lower temperature stability, especially around the 200°F to 225°F range. If you want to be able to sear, the grill has to be able to crank its temperature up to at least 450°F.
The temperature ranges on both these brands are impressive. Some of Pit Boss’ models span from 150°F to 600°F, making smoking or charring a cinch. The temperature ranges on the REC TEC models aren’t quite as broad, but they still manage to do the job just fine.
The cooking area of grilling really boils down to personal preference. If you have a small family then smaller grills and smokers may be your best bet since you don’t need a lot of cooking area. If, however, you’re planning on inviting over family, friends, and the entire neighborhood over for potlucks regularly, aside from knowing how to maximize your grilling space, it may be worth investing in larger grills with a lot more cooking space and versatility.
Both these brands have some impressive numbers when it comes to cooking space. REC TEC’s larger models start with a whopping 1,054 sq. in. of cooking space which is great for cooking for crowds, but its smaller options are terrific for portability.
Another overlooked aspect of pellet grills is the warranty that comes with them. You want to make sure that the pellet grill you choose has a solid warranty. This is the company’s way of standing by their product and showing the consumer that the brand believes it’s putting the best product available on the market.
REC TEC models have a 30-day, no-questions return policy, and a 6-year warranty. Pit Boss, on the other hand, puts a 5-year warranty across the board on their grills, but they are careful to exclude certain aspects from their warranty like rust or oxidation.