I purchased the new Rec Tec 700 about 4 months a go, after searching for the best pellet smoker under $1500. There are so many pellet smokers out there, it can be a real chore to narrow down your final choices. In the end, I narrowed my choices down to three pellet grills:
- The Yoder YS480S Pellet Grill – product link
- The Grilla Grills Silverbac Pellet Grill – product link
- The Rec Tec RT-700 Wood Pellet Grill – product link
What drove my decision towards purchasing the Rec Tec 700 pellet smoker was the strong loyalty that all Rec Tec owners have towards their Rec Rec Smokers. I have had so many comments on my YouTube Channel videos about the quality of the product itself and the amazing response they get from their customer service team at Rec Tec. Many people have even had the owners themselves respond to their questions during the weekend. Definitely a team of people that care about their products and the people who use them.
The other strong items that drove me towards purchasing the Rec Tec 700 were the Overall Design and Looks of the Pellet Smoker, the rave reviews of the Temperature Controller, and the 40 lb pellet capacity of the pellet hopper. You can view my initial impressions of the Rec Tec 700 below or on my youtube channel.
After 4 months of use, let me tell you the best and worst things about the Rec Tec 700 Pellet Smoker, so you can make your own decision on whether to purchase the grill.
The Best Things about the Rec Tec 700
Sleek and Fun Design
This was a primary driver for my decision to purchase the grill. This grill is bad ass and looks great on your patio. The integrated bull horns on the front look great and the design of the Pellet Hopper is real sleek. I love the way the hopper is hidden behind the grill, so all you see is the front of the grill, which looks great. This was important to me, as I knew I wanted to build a grill table for my pellet grill. You can check out the grill table I built here.
Overall Quality of the Build
The Rec Tec 700 is a tank! This thing is built to last and is built out of thick steel and stainless steel parts. They put their name and money on the line with the quality of the build too, as it comes with a 6 Year Warranty! I recommend having a friend around when you put this pellet smoker together, as it is real heavy. I kind of threw my back out when lifting it up into position. Very sturdy build.
Huge Hopper Capacity
You cannot beat a 40 lb pellet hopper capacity. This hidden pellet hopper is huge! From my approximations, you could smoke for 36 hours straight before running out of pellets! Fire that sucker up on a Friday afternoon and you would be good until Sunday morning… wow!
Quality Thick Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
I love that it comes with high quality cooking grates that should last virtually forever. A lot of companies cheap out on this part and make the customer replace the grill grates 2 years later as they become a rusty mess. These should last a very long time.
Temperature Controller is Top Notch
I absolutely love this temperature controller. It is accurate as adavertised, but the best part is the ability to calibrate the temperature to your desired temperature monitor. So, if your ThermoWorks probe is reading 10 degrees higher than the grill is reading on its monitor, you can calibrate it to your trusted temperature gauge. I was not aware of this feature when I purchased it, but this is a game changer for me.
Zero Operational Issues or Problems
I have had zero operation issues with this grill. No issues with the pellets feeding and no issues with it burning out at any point. It maintains temperature rock solid and does what it is supposed to do. Works great, like it should!
The Wireless Rec Tec App
When I first purchased the Rec Tec 700, the app was not that great. However, they have made huge improvements and now it is one of the strong points of the grill. You can turn on your smoker withe the app, you can change temperature easily, and it gives you alerts when you hit temperature limits or if the temperature is reading high or low from the set point. I now love this app!
The Worst Things about the Rec Tec 700 Pellet Grill
No Hopper Chute to Empty the Hopper
This one is not a deal breaker for me, as I do not switch up the pellet “flavor” or type of wood very frequently. If you love to experiment with different types of wood frequently, then this could be a potential reason to look elsewhere.
No Integrated 2nd Shelf for a 2nd Grill Grate
This is the one feature I really think this grill should have. At at $1200 price point, I really think there should be an integrated shelf or at least an integrated bracket for a 2nd shelf. Currently, you can purschase a second shelf that stands right on top of the main shelf. Definitely an oversight for me and the one improvement I would love to see on future grills from Rec Tec.
It takes a long time to achieve higher temperatures
This large smoker takes a real long time to heat up to high temperatures. If you are looking to grills steaks or burgers on this grill, you should know that it takes 20-30 minutes to heat up to to 450°F. I have reverse seared a few ribeyes on this grill, and it it takes quite a while to get it done with that long ramp up time.
Light Smoke Flavor
The smoker flavor from Pellet Smokers can be underwhelming, depending on your preference of how much smoker flavor meat should have. This is true for the Rec Tec 700 as well. Ideally, I wish it would give a little more smoker flavor to the meat. If you have a charcoal smoker or a stick burner, you should know that this will not give you the same results. The results are not bad… but there is definitely less smoke flavor in the meat.
Should you Purchase the Rec Tec 700?
This is a personal choice, but I have had a lot of fun with my Rec Tec 700. Before I had a child, I did not see the reason to have a pellet grill, but now I love the convenience of having a pellet smoker. This smoker really is the ultimate in convenience and performance. It maintains temperatures accurately and has the ability to calibrate to your desired temperature, which I feel makes this smoker stand apart from some of the other pellet smokers out there. Combine that with the thoughtful design and it is certainly one of the best backyard pellet smokers out there.
My favorite things I have cooked on the Rec Tec 700 are St. Louis Pork Ribs and Smoked Pork Butt. It seems to really do well with high fat content cuts, such as the ribs and pork shoulders. I have also cranked out some pretty good wings with little effort. That is the best thing about the Rec Tec… it is just super easy to use and produce quality food.
Is it worth $1200? I would say yes. I think the quality and the long 6 year warranty justify the price tag. I know this costs too much for some, but I do feel it is a good value given the high quality build. If you are looking for a lower priced smoker, they also have smaller smoker options with the same high quality temperature controller. There are also a number of charcoal smokers under $300 or so that give amazing results too. You can check out my top charcoal smokers under $300 here.
Check out all my Rec Tec 700 videos on my youtube channel here.