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Grills are an interesting product. Where a lot of items sell themselves on extras, frills and similar unnecessary (but nice to have) quality of life features, grills and other cooking equipment sells itself primarily on the sheer quality of the component parts used; performance is far more important than anything else. Higher perfromance is in itself better quality of life.
Rec Tec understands this, and produces a limited line of very high quality products. We’re going to give you a few Rec Tec grill reviews, break down their product’s features, and take a quick detour to explain what, in general, you should look for when buying a grill.
This is the best overall Rec Tec grill we’ll be looking at today, with unmatched performance, though at an extremely high cost.
The construction is the first thing that should be noted. It is made entirely of unpainted stainless steel; no chipping or cracking is possible on this grill. The RT 700 comes with a bunch of very nice features built in.
The iconic Rec Tec bull horn handles not only look nice, but are surprisingly comfortable to hold for a decorative item. It is easy to raise and lower the lid on its stainless steel hinges which should last a very long time, and glide satisfyingly easy. The same goes for the lid to the hopper, which is also quite nice in that it doubles as a warming rack (the lid is perfectly flat and quite wide).
The overall construction is top notch and hard to beat.
The interior is suitably high quality as well, with a massive 1054 square inch total cooking area between the two shelves (one is removable, opening up space for taller foods). As is it’s tall enough for multiple turkeys or beer can chickens set upright, or 6 racks of ribs lengthwise, a truly massive amount of food.
The fire pot is set in the center and is made of very durable 304 stainless steel, as is the heat deflector (and integrated smoke tray) and drip pan. The ignition system is likewise high quality; the Hot Flash Ignition System is ceramic and rated for over 100, 000 cycles; it’s set to last more than a lifetime of standard use.
The heat controls, as you might expect, are top notch as well. It has highly advanced control technology, allowing for wi-fi controls via your phone or computer. It is incredibly precise, automatically regulating its temperature to match the set temperature via a proprietary PID algorithm even at extremely low temperatures (under 200 degrees Fahrenheit for cold smoking).
It can hit temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit for searing or baking, while cooling off quickly at the push of a button. Dual meat probes give you enhanced versatility in cooking multiple things at once. As a final nice touch, the interior of the grill is lit, letting you more easily see what you’re doing.
This grill is excellent in every way, and well worth its admittedly enormous price. If you’re a grilling enthusiast who needs the absolute top shelf grilling machine to do what you need to do, this is one of the best grills on the market. Everything exudes quality on this machine; it’s well put together with durable stainless steel construction and hardy reinforcements on certain parts other manufacturers might forget about like the caulking around the wire ports.
It’s versatile and will do whatever you need to do, from cold smoking to high heat searing and everything in between. An all around worthwhile buy.
Read full review: REC TEC Grills RT-700
Perfect durable construction in every aspect; high quality 304 stainless steel on all hard parts and reinforced ports and caulking where it counts.
Highly precise cooking instrument with digital controls and monitoring systems.
Very versatile in what it can cook.
Huge cooking area.
Very nice look; bull horns add a lot of flair.
Extraordinarily high price.
This Rec Tec grill is much like the RT 700. The main differences in the RT 590 are a matter of scale.
The construction is largely the same. Stainless steel all the way through, with no paint on the main body to flake or peel over time under the heat. This provides an excellently sturdy body that has great heat retention over long periods of time.
The bull horns, much like the larger model, make for surprisingly comfortable and heat resistant handles while giving this grill a striking appearance compared to more standard loop handles.
The bucket is situated nicely to catch any grease drippings with a very secure steel lop holding it in place, unlike the often less secure notches that most grills favor. This attention to detail, improving on even the very small flaws that other grills introduce by cutting corners.
The flat top pellet box is set on the side of this model rather than the back this time, giving it more of a protrusion off to the side. On the one hand, this puts it a bit more in the way by making the overall package less compact, but it also makes it way easier to access, especially if you plan to use it as a sauce warming rack or prep table, which otherwise this grill lacks (one of the few major flaws in this whole series of grills).
The very durable caulking and extra reinforcement on all the cables and such are likewise the same compared to the RT 700.
The similarities largely end there. This grill is significantly smaller than the RT 700, for one. The RT 590 has a total cooking area of 772 square inches as compared to the massive 1054 square inches of the larger model. Without the secondary shelf, this drops to 592 square inches.
While this is a huge drop, it should also be noted that 592 square inches, much less 772 is still a great amount of surface area for cooking, and plenty enough for your standard backyard barbecue, and more than enough for a family of 4 or more.
The bottom is also a change. While the RT 700 is significantly flimsier looking and more squat. Where the RT 700 has thick legs and a wide stance to carry its weight, these legs go straight down and are noticeably thinner. This give sthe grill a less secure footing when the wheels are locked, though its smaller size makes it exceedingly more maneuverable when it needs to be moved, which is admittedly not likely to be very often.
The Rec Tec RT 590 is an excellent grill with an iconic look and a far more reasonable $300 lower price than the RT 700; it make a fine addition to the collection of any grill enthusiast that doesn’t plan to cook for a small army of people.
Excellent durable construction and attention to detail.
Iconic look without sacrificing quality.
Great performance and heat control (digital, dual meat probes, and wi-fi control are available).
Easy to move around despite its size.
A slightly smaller size and lack of bottom durability compared to the RT 700.
Compared to its larger cousins, the Rec Tec RT 340 is almost cute. It’s significantly smaller than all of the other models Rec Tec makes, and there’s something kind of funny about seeing the iconic bull horns shrunk down to door handle size to fit the proportions of this grill.
Don’t let that turn you off though; this grill still has all the hallmarks of high quality that the other 2 Rec Tec grills on this list have, just…smaller.
The all stainless steel construction is still intact, which provides perfect heat retention and long term durability in every aspect of its construction. Much like the other models, the attention to detail on making sure even small aspects of the construction are up to snuff is excellent. The ring holding the grease bucket in place is one of the clearest and easiest examples, but the hidden bits are even more useful.
The caulking is excellent, as are the rubber grommets on the wire ports and integrated heat vents in all the electronics to keep them from overheating (a detail often overlooked by other electronic pellet grills).
The temperature controls are excellent, exactly the same as the RT 700 and RT 590. It comes with the same dual meat probes, wi-fi controls available from both your phone and computer, temperature range of under 200 degrees Fahrenheit (for cold smoking) to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (for searing and baking), and precise temperature control with the Smart Grill technology. The integrated automatic lighting is still nice.
The main drawback is the smaller size, though the price drop makes it tempting to take. It caps out at 340 square inches of cooking surface; a maximum of 511 square inches between the two grates. While smaller, this is still plenty large enough for a lot of food; up to 3 racks of ribs can fit (if a bit snugly) on this grilling surface.
I’m also not a fan of losing the two extra wheels and the even flimsier looking legs as compared to the RT 590, which makes it a bit harder to move around. The wheels are a bit worse and more prone to locking up.
This is an excellent grill for personal use; if you don’t do a lot of entertaining it’s plenty big enough for cooking meals for yourself, your family, and maybe a small group of friends but no more.
The size decrease is the only real downside compared to the other models, so if it doesn’t bother you this is the perfect model for a grill for personal use that has the exact same impressive quality of the other Rec Tec models without over paying for the unneeded enormous cooking surfaces.
Excellent construction of the shell and all component parts.
Great digital control options and versatility for smoking, grilling, searing, and everything else you’d ever like to do with a grill.
Excellent price compared to the others.
Flimsier bottom half and limited mobility.
Much smaller size compared to other models.
The Rec Tec RT 700 is hands down the highest performance model on this list, and provides excellent value for its price. Still, while it is the best in objective quality it can’t be overstated that in large part that comes from its size; which may be overkill for many buyers.
Each one of these models has all of the same features and quality of construction overall, for scaled down prices as the cooking surface area drops. This means which one to buy is largely a matter of preference and your own needs for the size of the cooking surface and budget. All of them are equally great purchases, it’s just a matter of your needs.
What Do I Look For in my Rec Tec Grill?
For any grill, the primary thing you’re looking for is excellent construction. This not only means sturdy materials, but how well the grill itself is put together.
Rec Tec grills excel at this above all else, and the attention to detail in their construction is excellent. Their grills are built tough, made entirely of thick, sturdy 304 stainless steel. This material is not only durable but has quite good heat retention, without being a bit TOO good like cast iron or ceramic can be sometimes.
The construction in other ways beside the material is just as good, with reinforcements in places lesser grills are often found weak and will usually need replacement parts for within a few years.
Besides that, the overall performance should be excellent, and this largely refers to heat, both in temperature minimums and maximums and how easy it is to control.
A good grill and smoker needs to be able to hit relatively cold temperatures (under 200 degrees Fahrenheit; around 180 degrees is the ideal) for cold smoking something low and slow for hours on end. But for it to be a good grill, it also need to hit high temperatures, above 400 degrees Fahrenheit for sure; this is important for searing meat like steaks or ribs in their last stage of cooking.
A good grill will provide ways for you to control these options. Many grills give you ways to do it manually (complex and thorough use of vents and baffles), while others opt for an electronic way of monitoring and controlling heat. Neither is more effective, though the latter is certainly more hassle free.
Which brings us to our last point: while quality of life features should not be the first or even second concern, they should be something you watch out for. Anything that makes your life easier improves the quality of your food; there is less stress and less opportunity to make a mistake.
These Rec Tec grills provide all three of these things, combining top notch construction and materials with excellent performance in an exceptionally easy to use package. The only potential complaint is the last criteria: the price. Make sure to choose the grill that is within your budget and needs; there’s no call to buy the largest grill you can find just because it’s the “best” one.
All factors being equal, cooking surface area is the least important thing to consider; everyone has different needs, so buy the grill that suits your own in the size department.
Check out all the latest comparisons for this amazing product here: https://www.seriouslysmoked.com/traeger-vs-tec-rec-grills-review/