Not sure where to start. I mentioned to my Wife that I would like a pellet smoker and have been looking at the Rec-Tec. Low and behold on my birthday/fathers day this year I get a piece of paper saying my Rec-Tec 680 is going to be delivered in 2 weeks. I'm ecstatic.
Well the freight shows up and my Rec-Tec is delivered, unfortunately we leave for Vegas that night. Bummer, Guess it'll have to wait to be assembled, burnt in and seasoned. When we return from Vegas I get to putting my new smoker together. After everything is complete and I go to put the grates in I notice that the Drip tray is about 1/4" or more higher than where the grill grates would sit. I place the grill grates in to make sure that this isn't some optical illusion. Nope, Grill grate sits all cocked up like a teeter totter.
I email Rec-Tec about this issue and they were quick to give me a cal backl. I spoke with one of there customer service guys and was told this was a known production error and that they tried to make sure that these units didn't go out. He proceeded to apologize that I received one of these affected units and then told me to just bend the piece of metal the drip tray sits on down so the grates can sit flush. Even mentioned I may need to hammer it down with a wood block and a hammer. Not something you really want to hear when you just dropped over $1000 on something.
Well, I decided to try out there suggestion and bent the metal flange down so the grill grates will sit flush. The drip tray still seems a bit high but the grill grates sit flush. I don't want to have to try and bend this flange down any farther as any farther looks like it would start to cause damage. So I try the Initial burn-in and season with some thick sliced bacon.
I burn in the Rec-Tec at it's recommended 400degrees for 1 hour. Then following the Seasoning procedure laid out in Rec-Tecs Youtube video I lower the grill to 350 open the lid and place the bacon on the grill mats. I shut to lid and switch over to "Actual Temperature" I watch as the temperature slowly climbs to 370. Then slowly drops to 340. Then climbs back up to 370. Then slowly drops again. Never maintaining a consistent temperature. But stays within that 30 degree window. Not sure if this is normal or not as this is my first pellet pooper. I decide to check the bacon after 45 minutes as I can smell what smells like overcooked bacon. Sure enough half the bacon is burned to a crisp. The half that was over the "too high" drip tray is burnt the half that's on the other side of the grill is still not finished. Is this normal to have that big of a difference from one half to the other?
Not sure if this is normal behavior for a Rec-Tec 680.
Did I get a defective unit?
Am I expecting more than a Rec-Tec can offer?
Could the drip tray sitting higher than its suppose to on one end cause this big of a discrepancy?
Should I try contacting Rec-Tec again?
Thanks in advance to any questions on my concerns.