When it comes to pellet grills, there is no shortage of brands or models. People love these types of cooking appliances for how convenient and reliable they are. not to mention, they can make your food all the more delicious when you pick the right pellets.
However, among the plethora of pellet grills in the market, there are 2 of them that stand out with their reliability, cutting-edge technology, and customer satisfaction. And that is Rec Tec and Traeger grills. These 2 have been around for quite some time and gained a lot of appreciation and popularity among BBQ enthusiasts. But they’ve also created some debate.
If you dive into some BBQ lovers forums that discuss grills, you might come across the Traeger vs Rec Tec dilemma, where people struggle to choose between these brands. Some say Traeger is better since it’s older, others claim that Rec Tec is more advanced and modern; so who is in the right here?
That is what we decided to investigate and create our little Rec Tec grills vs Traeger review, to see what these 2 brands can offer.
Advantages of Pellet Grills
One of the first things a lot of people wonder – “Are pellet grills worth it? What sets them apart from other types?” Well, let’s take a look at a short overview of the main benefits of pellet grills:
- Unlike gas and charcoal models, these don’t produce a lot of smoke.
- If you’re using wood pellets they provide better temperature control.
- All the best pellet grills allow for fast and even cooking.
- By using different types of wood pellets, you can add different flavors and aromas to your food.
Rec Tec vs. Traeger: A Comparison
When it comes to wood pellet types, no other brand can surpass these two. But since both Traeger vs Rec Tec claims to be the best in the industry, let’s analyze them in more detail, and see if they live up to the claim.
Brand Overview and Brief History
Let’s start our Rec Tec vs Traeger comparison by going through the history of both these brands.
Rec Tec Grill Brand Overview
Rec Tec is comparatively a new company that popped up in 2009 shortly after Traeger’s patent on pellet grills expired. Their focus has always been on making technologically advanced models apt for easy cooking. The best thing about this brand is the fact that their equipment is made of high quality and durable metal parts, so they are reliable and long-lasting. Moreover, Rec Tec reviews from users are very favorable, and people rarely complain about the bad customer service or quality of Rec Tec grills.
Traeger Grill Brand Overview
Joe Traeger built the Traeger wood pellet grill in 1985. For over 20 years, they were the sole makers of pellet grills. Their monopoly ended in 2006, but they have maintained their place at the top due to their high standards, incorporation of modern technology, and top-notch materials.
Build Quality and Construction
Both the Rec Tec vs Traeger are made of high-end durable materials.
And while some Traeger grill reviews might disagree, we think Rec Tec beats Traeger inbuilt quality and craftsmanship. Traeger grill is made of chip and rust-resistant powder-coated steel handles, stainless steel, and porcelain grates. Moreover, their ironwood grills have insulation on both walls. The more expensive Timberline series features stainless steel interior and grates. Meanwhile, Rec Tec uses stainless steel on all their products, since this material is more resistant to corrosion than powder-coated steel. Thus, Rec Tec grills are more durable than low and mid-range Traeger. Sorry, Traeger, but we think Rec Tec wins this round of Traeger vs Rec Tec debate.
While creating our pellet grill reviews, we’ve established that both Traeger vs Rec Tec has great temperature control. Moreover, both these pellet grills generate enough heat to sear meat and roast it for hours without burning. On the downside, since they use indirect heat you will need to use a skillet to sear meat.
Rec Tec can generate temperature from 200° to 500°F while Traeger has a temperature range of 165° to 500°F. But both these specs cover safe ranges for cooking different meals. All and all, Traeger has a slightly better range and an Ultra-Low Smoke option.
When it comes to the cooking area, Traeger undoubtedly wins the Rec Tec vs Traeger pellet grill comparison. And while Rec Tec does let you add a second self, high-end models of Traeger like Timberline 1300 beats that combined-cooking space as well.
Ans while Traeger wins Rec Tec mini vs Traeger battle, your model of choice depends on how many people you’re cooking for – which depends on hopper capacity.
Rec Tec has 20, 30, and 40lb hopper grills. Meanwhile, Traeger has 18, 20, and 24lb, which is rather inconvenient since pellets are sold in 20lb bags. So with Traeger, you’ll have to add more pellets as you cook.
Traeger grills use 1-3 lb pellets every hour. Meanwhile, Rec Tec uses around 1 lb pellet every hour at 350°F.
If you like to take your grill with you on camping trips, you’d love Traeger’s portable grills. They also have a special line of grills designed for tailgating. And while smaller Rec Tec grills have foldable legs for easy transportation, Traeger wins this round of Rec Tec vs Traeger when it comes to portability.
Even though Rec Tec has always featured the latest technology, Traeger has recently upped their game considerably.
- Traeger models feature D2 Controller along with a fan and auger motor with changeable speed.
- Traeger’s WiFire and Rec Tec’s Wifi feature both control it from a distance.
- Traeger has one meat probe and the Rec Tec has two to check the temperature.
- Rec Tec’s Smart Grill Technology helps regulate temperature flux to provide extremely safe grilling.
- Traeger has automatic error reporting.
Apart from these, both companies offer features that you can add with extra money.
Rec Tec offers the longest warranty in the industry – 6 years. Traeger’s warranty lasts for 3 years. Moreover, using any other pellet except the recommended voids the warranty. We agree with other Rec Tec grill reviews that Rec Tec is the obvious winner here.
Comparing Top Models
The most popular Traeger and Rec Tec models are Timberline 850 and RT-700, respectively.
Let’s take a look at a quick comparison between these 2:
|Temperature range||200F to 500F||165F to 500F|
|Cooking area||702 square inches||850 square inches|
|Number of grates||2||3|
|Special features||Wi-Pellet, Smart Grill, 2 temperature probes||WiFire, error detection, D2 controller, 1 temperature probe|
|Warranty||6 years||3 years|
This chart will help you get a bird’s eye view of the two brands.
|Rec Tec Grills||• Easy control of temperature
• Longer warranty
• Smart Grill feature
• Unparalleled customer service
• Better quality materials
• Larger Hopper capacity
|• Pricier grills
• Smaller cooking area
|Traeger Grills||• Larger cooking space
• Modern technology like WiFire, D2 Controller, error detection
• A sturdy and well-built grill
• Long trusted brand
• Special portable models
|• Shorter warranty
• Using any other wood pellet is prohibited
There are few alternative brands that offer models with comparable quality. Some of they are:
|Cooking Area||Hopper Capacity||Max Temperature||Size||Weight|
|Green Mountain Davy Crockett||219 sq. in.||9 pounds||550 °F||30 x 15 x 22 inches||57 pounds|
|Camp Chef SmokePro DLX||573 sq. in.||18 pounds||500 °F||45 x 21 x 51 inches||127 pounds|
|Z GRILLS ZPG-450A||450 sq. in.||15 pounds||450 °F||45 x 28 x 49 inches||84 pounds|
|BIG HORN OUTDOORS||700 sq. in.||8 pounds||450 °F||43 x 20 x 45 inches||107 pounds|
|Weber 23510201 SmokeFire EX6 (2nd Gen)||1008 sq. in.||20 pounds||600 °F||30 x 56 x 31 inches||204 pounds|
So overall, what can be said about the Rec Tec vs Traeger? It’s clear that both these grills have similar prices, and quality, however, they still have some major differences. While grills of Rec Tec are generally more durable and offer a great warranty period, Traeger has a lot more features suitable for easy and convenient cooking – better temperature range, larger cooking area and are a lot more portable.
So when you wish to choose between Traeger vs Rec Tec, you need to consider what’s most important to you about the grill and keep in mind all the features they provide. Overall, Rec Tec and Traeger are both respectable and great brands, and their devices are often considered some of the best pellet grills under 1000 or less.
So whichever you decide to choose, we wish you all the best and hope that your grill will bring you only positive emotions and great meals!
And don’t forget to share your advice if you have any experience using one of these brands – that way you will help more people make a good and right choice!