I have had my Rec Tec now for a little over 2 weeks and have done a few cooks on it. Thanks much again to SeenRed for answering my numerous messages on the Rec Tec!! Also have to say thanks to the guys at Rec Tec who probably will stop answering my phone calls when they see who is calling soon. It took me awhile to figure this pit out, well not really the cooking part, that was no problem. The issues I thought I was having was with the temp difference at the grate vs actual Rec Tec probe, with the help of SeenRed and the Rec Tec guys I finally realized there is no problem at all. Ron had me move the fan up a bit higher in the opening to try to smooth out temps, didnt really help. It cooked fine with no issues just a cooler temp at the grates with the difference in temps more noticeable at higher temps. At 250, they both matched (Rec Tec probe and Maverick ET-732) at the grate, at 350 there was a 15-20 degree difference, at 450 it was 30 and higher difference at times. The Rec Tec probe temp stayed rock solid. It was windy at times and that could play a factor.
Being as I never had a pellet burner and had little to no understanding on how they cooked I was worried that something was wrong or off and it was driving me insane trying to figure it out. Finally after a great explanation from Ray yesterday I finally realized its time to stop worrying about the temp at the grate so much. He says there will be a difference due the the convection currents and the best test of all would be to take something and cook it that requires a specified temp and time for example 1 hour at 350 and see if it is cooked perfectly or not. He said that is the real test and he was pretty sure it would be just fine, but said if it isn't they will make it right. That's when the light bulb went on in my head finally , the stuff I have been cooking at the temps and times listed have turned out fine and perhaps I should spend more time letting the grill cook while I enjoy a few adult beverages and stop staring at the temp probes. Ray gave me a great sounding chicken wing recipe to try and gave me a temp and time setting to see if they are cooked perfectly. I know without a doubt that if something is not right now or down the road they will make it right.
I also had a question on ash build up, again I received excellent advice from SeenRed. I didn't know what to expect on quantity of ash or frequency of cleaning. This is something that there are a few different opinions on, some leave the build up and clean it just couple times a year and some after every few cooks. I am with SeenRed on this one, I will clean it after every few cooks. I was very happy with how easy cleanup is. When all was cooled down, a shop vac and less than 5 minutes of my time had the job all done.
I used mequires spray wax on the entire outside surface of the grill to give it a little shine and protection. I mounted a shelf for a traeger texas and a bottle opener on it.
SO after all that. I couldn't be happier with the grill and the quality of food it makes! I got a 6" A-MAZE-N tube smoker that works perfect for ribs, when thats empty its time to foil. I get plenty of smoke from the Rec Tec up to about 300ish but like extra smokey so I use the tube smoker. I got the 12" tube smoker that works perfect for the longer smokes like the rack of pork I made at a little higher temp the smoke ring was awesome. The searing grates work well also. I am still on my first bag of pellets after all my testing and cooks and I am pretty impressed with that!
I wasn't able to get great pictures as all of my cooks went past dark but will post all of the pics that I have taken. I will try to get better pics in the future. There are a few cooks I have no pics of like the ribeyes and rack of pork
Summary: If you Buy a REC TEC, you wont be dissapointed!!
Edited by Deuce - 4/26/14 at 8:19am