Joe Traeger is the person who invented and built the first pellet stove and quickly patented his product. Thus Traeger Grills became the company that held the monopoly in the pellet grill production and market from the 1980s to 2006 when the patent ended.
Since then, there have been many companies that have been targeting this niche, and Rec Tec Grills is among the most successful competitors of Traeger with some excellent grills in its product line. The company was founded in a garage in Augusta, Georgia, in 2009 and has since grown into a reputable maker of high-quality pellet grills. The company renamed itself Recteq in 2020, but the products are still available under both the old and new brand names.
But how do the two compare? Read on to find out more about the head-to-head comparison of the two brands and their products, prices, and all other important features which make a grill great.
Rec Tec vs. Traeger
Traeger and Recteq are companies that both produce a wide range of wood pellet grills.
Being on the market for over 40 years, it is only natural that Traeger has a much wider variety and a larger catalog of grills than Recteq, which offers a smaller product range with similar basic features, but which prides itself with its helpful and timely customer support.
Here are the most popular pellet grills offered by the two companies compared head to head.
Most popular grills
- Cooking area: 702 square inches (it can be increased to 1,054 square inches)
- Construction: powder-coated stainless steel, stainless steel grates
- Temperature range: 200 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit in 5-degree increments
- Pellet hopper capacity: 40 lbs.
- Warranty: 6 years
- 6-in-1 versatility, Wi-Fi enabled two built-in meat probes with portholes, auto shutdown, automatic Hot flash ceramic ignition system, Smart Grill Technology temperature controller which uses PID algorithms.
- An optional 2nd shelf can increase the cooking area to 1,054 square inches, a LO setting for maximum smoke output.
- The FULL setting for temperatures higher than 500 degrees for searing, optional side smokebox which can be used for cold smoking, it comes with a grill cover, two non-stick side mats, and 200 lbs. of Recteq pellets, backed by a 6-year warranty
- Cooking area:885 square inches
- Construction: powder-coated steel, double side wall insulated, porcelain-coated steel grates
- Temperature range: 150 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit adjustable in 5-degree increments
- Pellet hopper capacity: 20 lbs.
- Warranty: 3 years
- WiFIRE connectivity, Alexa enabled, downdraft exhaust and Super Smoke mode, one built-in meat probe, dual-position sear, and smoke bottom grate for 2-zone cooking.
- D2 Grill Controller, TRU convection system, low pellet sensor alert, Turbo Temp, Pellet purge system, all-terrain locking caster wheels, 3-year warranty
Cooking area: 2,535 square inches
Construction: stainless steel, 304 stainless steel grates
Temperature range: 200 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit in 5-degree increments
Pellet hopper capacity: 53 lbs.
Warranty: 6 years
- Smart Grill Technology Controller, Wi-Fi connectivity, two 46-inch meat probes with portholes, automatic lighting and auto shutdown, Hydraulic lid system, Auto shutdown, LO setting for maximum smoke output.
- The FULL setting for achieving temperatures higher than 500 degrees, 3 adjustable and removable cooking racks, and 6 grill grates.
- Hot flash ceramic ignition system, dual interior dishwasher safe lights, Stainless steel meat hanger, and six hooks, large locking caster wheels, 6-year warranty
Cooking area: 885 square inches
Construction: powder-coated steel, double side wall insulated, stainless steel grates
Temperature range: 150 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Pellet hopper capacity: 24 lbs.
Warranty: 3 years
- WiFIRE connectivity, Alexa enabled D2 grill controller, three tiers of stainless steel grates, one meat probe.
- Low pellet sensor alert, Super smoke mode, Turbo Temp, Downdraft exhaust system, Pellet purge system,
- Integrated Grease Management System, a stainless steel front shelf and a bamboo cutting board, grill tool hooks, locking all-terrain caster wheels
Comparison between Rec tec and Traeger
Here is a Rec Tec vs. Traeger comparison of some of the essential features which a high-quality pellet grill must include.
Neither Traeger nor Recteq offers cheap entry-level pellet grills or smokers. Both grill-making companies are focused on using the highest quality materials and making the best mid-range and high-range pellet smokers and grills.
The pellet grills from the same range offered by both companies are similarly priced, but our honest opinion is that the Recteq pellet grills provide a better value for the money asked.
The pellet grills of both Traeger and Recteq can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but Recteq grills have a useful FULL setting that will allow you to achieve higher temperatures than that. In FULL mode, the grill will run at a full auger capacity and, depending on the pellets you are using and on the weather conditions, can reach a temperature of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for the lowest temperature settings, Traeger can run at a temperature as low as 150 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Recteq grills have a minimum temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall, the pellet grills offered by the two companies have similar temperature ranges, so depending on your needs, either the Traeger grills are a better choice with a lower minimum temperature, or the Recteq grills are winners in this round with the higher temperatures at FULL mode.
Temperature control is essential for any grill, smoker, and pitmaster too. This is why we will take a closer look at what the Traeger and the Recteq pellet grills have to offer when it comes to temperature control.
The Traeger Ironwood features a Pro D2 Controller, which automatically adjusts the temperature consistently throughout the cooking session. It also has dials for setting the temperature to the desired level. One nice feature of the Ironwood and Timberline Traeger grills is the Turbo
Temp setting, making sure that the grill heats up quickly back to the required temperature in case the lid is opened.
The Traeger Ironwood is capable of holding the temperature at a range of plus-minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to the patented Advanced Grilling Logic algorithms and the single built-in temperature probe.
This is a more advanced and accurate temperature control setting than some of the older grills made by the company.
On the other hand, the Recteq RT-700 grill has two built-in temperature probes and features Smart Grill Technology and advanced PID controller algorithms, which will ensure that the target temperature remains consistent and fluctuates by a maximum of 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Recteq grills also have automatic cool-down modes and lighting. Like the ones offered by Traeger, these grills have sensors that detect the opening of the lid and which will prompt the feed of more fuel to restore the temperature to the desired level quickly.
Both the Traeger and the Recteq grills have Wi-Fi connectivity and smart apps which will allow you to monitor and adjust the temperature remotely.
As a whole, both excel when it comes to temperature control. The Traeger grills perform very well when it comes to automatic temperature control. Still, thanks to the more advanced PID controllers of the Recteq grills, they prove to have lower fluctuations in the temperature throughout the cooking and thus are the winners in this round of the Recteq vs. Traeger competition.
When it comes to cooking space, both Traeger and Recteq offer pellet grills in all sizes starting from portable and compact and reaching to massive grills with 2,500 square inches of cooking space.
The difference is that Recteq has grills with larger cooking areas in most of their ranges and series, while Traeger’s largest grills are only from the more expensive ranges. So, if you want a Traeger pellet grill with a very large cooking area, you will have to pay more for a higher-end product.
Recteq has some grills which have expandable cooking space via an optional shelf.
In conclusion, we must say that this round of the Recteq vs. Traeger competition ends in a tie. The reason is that Traeger has a much wider assortment of different-sized grills, but the largest ones are also more expensive. While Recteq offers fewer size options, but their grills with larger cooking spaces come in all ranges.
Both companies are famous for their high-quality grills and are dedicated to using the best materials and production processes to create solid smokers and grills.
The mid-range Ironwood Traeger grill is built from powder-coated steel and features porcelain-enameled grates. The construction of the grill includes double sidewall insulation, which helps maintain the consistency of the temperature and of the cook, no matter the weather conditions.
The premium range Timberline 850 has a fully insulated construction for better heat and smoke retention and consistent cooking conditions no matter what the ambient temperature is. It also has three tiers of stainless steel grates and a stainless steel interior of its double-walled barrel.
As for Recteq, both the RT-700 and the premium RT-2500 grills are made of a combination of top-quality stainless steel for all of their different components. They have stainless steel grates, heat deflectors, firepots, drip pans, smoke caps, hardware, and logo. They also have long-lasting and reliable ceramic igniter rods.
But unlike the grills made by Traeger, the ones offered by Recteq are not insulated. You can purchase an optional insulation blanket if you live in a very cold area.
As a whole, our decision is that it is a tie between Recteq and Traeger in this round because we love the stainless steel build of the Recteq grills, and at the same time, we highly appreciate the partial or complete insulation of the Traeger grills.
Pellet Hopper Size
The clear winner in this round is Recteq because the RT-700 has a large 40-pound hopper size which is enough for cooking for 40 hours before the need to add more pellets. The Traeger Ironwood 885 has a hopper that is half the size – 20 lbs.
The Recteq RT-2500 has a 53-pound hopper capacity, and the Traeger Timberline 850 has a 24-pound hopper which is less than half of that.
The entire Traeger pellet grill lineup has either 18, 20, or 24-pound hoppers for the pellets, and the company sells its wood pellets in bags in 20-pound increments too. If your smoker uses 1-3 pellets an hour, a pellet hopper full of 18 to 24 pellets should be sufficient for an overnight cook.
On the other hand, the smallest pellet grill offered by Recteq has a hopper capacity for 20 pounds of pellets, which according to the company, is enough for 20-hour cooks. The other grills come with larger 30-40 pound pellet hoppers and reach up to the 60 lbs. hopper of the company’s RT-CMG Beast grill.
While such capacities are large enough for most users, Recteq definitely takes the lead when it comes to the capacity of its pellet hoppers.
On the other hand, the Traeger grills have nifty pellet sensors which will alert you when the pellets are running out, which is a clever feature, and the Recteq grills do not have pellet purge systems like the ones used for the Traeger grills.
The pellet grills made and sold by both Recteq and Traeger are expensive, high-tech appliances with complicated controls, systems, and other technologies, so the warranty given by the companies is essential for your peace of mind and is also a great way to tell how much trust the manufacturers have in their own products.
All of the grills offered by Recteq, except the models that are smaller than the mid-sized RT-700, are backed by an industry-leading 6-year warranty. The smaller ones have 2 to 4-year warranties depending on the specific model. The Georgia-based company assures its customers that its grills will well outlast these 6 years.
Recteq is also known for its very useful and timely customer support and service. As evidence of the sincere care for the customers, each Recteq grill comes with the cellphone numbers of the two co-founders of the company.
The Traeger pellet grills and smokers are all backed by a 3-year warranty. The company offers 24/7 live customer support and fast replacements.
But with a warranty that is twice as long as the one given by Traeger, we are awarding the winning spot in this round to Recteq.
Both companies offer high-quality pellet grills with numerous added features.
Both have included 1-2 meat temperature probes and built-in Wi-Fi, but there are some unique features that each grill maker has added to their products that make them special.
The Traeger Timberline and Ironwood pellet grill series have some nifty features such as Super Smoke Mode, Turbo Temp, low pellet sensors, downdraft exhaust systems, and integrated grease management and pellet purge systems.
Recteq’s grills have LO settings for more smoke, a FULL mode for higher temperatures than 500 degrees Fahrenheit, auto cool down, automatic lighting, hydraulic lid systems, and other extras as well.
While Traeger offers more of the new extra features for its larger and more expensive grills, Recteq consistently adds them to the grills from all sizes and ranges.
Traeger’s mobile app is more useful and advanced than the Recteq mobile app. It contains thousands of recipes, automatic temperature controls, and is even Alexa-enabled so that you can control the grill via voice commands for a hands-free cooking experience.
Recteq sells grills with internal lighting and with two included temperature probes.
This round is another tie between Recteq and Traeger. Who the winner is, largely depends on which specific extra features you like more.
Related: Traeger vs Camp Chef: Which is the Best Pellet Grill
In the mid-range and premium range head-to-head competition, our clear winner is the Recteq RT-700 which has more consistent temperature control, a larger pellet hopper, a hi-tech digital controller, and most of its components are made of stainless steel.
If you are looking for a better-insulated grill with a more useful mobile app and added features such as Turbo Temp, a pellet sensor, and more, you may want to opt for the Traeger grills instead.
Whichever grill and grill-making company you choose, you can be pretty sure that you will be buying one of the highest quality pellet grills and smokers on the market!