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1200$ budget

new2theq

Newbie
5
11
Joined Feb 12, 2016
Hey all, I'm looking at buying a pellet smoker/grill. I'm giving up my MES for pellets. My question is for the gurus on what smoker would you buy with the 1200$? I would like charcoal but man, I really don't want the cleanup or have a lot of time to watch it. I was about to order the RT-700, but I'd like to hear from people who do this a lot more than me. I do appreciate all the input.. just wanting to be informed.
 

sandyut

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Feb 18, 2015
I love my RT-700 had it about 2.5 years. zero complaints, 100% love. before that i used a 14" WSM. I like the rec tec.

I did a exhaustive comparison shopping spreadsheet (true). Very happy with the rec tec choice and highly recommend them. simple, great food comes off it, rock solid temps, the company is super responsive and helpful - all good!

AND welcome to SMF - you have arrived.
 

jbandy

Newbie
7
2
Joined Apr 10, 2021
Hey all, I'm looking at buying a pellet smoker/grill. I'm giving up my MES for pellets. My question is for the gurus on what smoker would you buy with the 1200$? I would like charcoal but man, I really don't want the cleanup or have a lot of time to watch it. I was about to order the RT-700, but I'd like to hear from people who do this a lot more than me. I do appreciate all the input.. just wanting to be informed.
Although I love my Masterbuilt Gravity Series Smoker, I also have an RT 680, and have had it for many years. I can say nothing bad about it. And, certainly, the company is fantastic with their customer service.
 

BBQ Bird

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
85
82
Joined Jan 14, 2021
Hey all, I'm looking at buying a pellet smoker/grill. I'm giving up my MES for pellets. My question is for the gurus on what smoker would you buy with the 1200$? I would like charcoal but man, I really don't want the cleanup or have a lot of time to watch it. I was about to order the RT-700, but I'd like to hear from people who do this a lot more than me. I do appreciate all the input.. just wanting to be informed.
Before you give up on charcoal, I'd figure I throw in my 2 cents and reccomend the Masterbuilt Gravity Series. All 3 models are under $1200, cleanup is pretty easy, and they are as set and forget as a pellet grill. I'm loving mine.
 

tx smoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,762
6,165
Joined Apr 14, 2013
I love my RT-700 had it about 2.5 years. zero complaints, 100% love. before that i used a 14" WSM. I like the rec tec.
As Dave said, RT- 700 all the way. I've had mine about the same amount of time and love it. It's one of 7 cookers on the patio and sees a LOT of cooking duties. Very versatile from low & slow to hot and fast. You can do pretty much anythig on it. If I could only have one cooker, this is the one it'd be.

Robert
 

Preacher Man

Smoking Fanatic
715
770
Joined Sep 28, 2018
As I was typing about the Masterbuilt Gravity Series, BBQ Bird BBQ Bird beat me to it. I've never used it myself, but I've talked to other guys who have and they have said nothing but good things about it.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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Joined Jun 30, 2018
If I was in the market for a pellet pooper, Rec-Tec would be at the top of the list.
If you're after the charcoal flavor, you can always use charcoal pellets.
Food for thought.
 

chesterinflorida

Fire Starter
39
18
Joined Nov 10, 2020
I’d look at the Grilla Grills Silverback AT. For $999 you get the equivalent of the Recteq with comp cart. I actually like the design of the Grilla AT better as it still has a shelf .

Grilla just released their WiFi system so it has that now as well as an insulated smoking chamber. Also has a pellet dump feature.

Best value in the midrange Pellet Smoker game right now. If you don’t need the comp cart part, you can get the regular Silverback for $829 and it includes an enclosed base.
 

new2theq

Newbie
5
11
Joined Feb 12, 2016
Thanks guys, you made my decision easier about the RT. I plan on picking up a charcoal smoker to play with when I have time. Never even knew that there was such a thing as gravity fed charcoal smoker. Can you add wood chunks to that as well?
 

chesterinflorida

Fire Starter
39
18
Joined Nov 10, 2020
There are a lot of Gravity Fed Smokers on the Market. The Masterbilt is really the only low cost option (although I think I have heard of a Charbroil coming out soon).

I have a Southern Q Limo Jr. and have it hooked up to a Fireboard temp controller. It maintains temperature as well as anything, and can run as long as I want it to with simply adding some more charcoal to the chute ( you do have to empty the ash from time to time as well). You can add wood. Chunks in with the charcoal or below the charcoal chute on the ash pan and embers will fall from the ash and smoke the wood chunks.

Other makers of good quality Gravity Smokers are Stumps (they were the originators), Assassin, Humphreys, TK, Miron Mixon, Deep South and a few more. A decent mid range unit is made by Old Country. All of these can be run without a temp controller but can be easily hooked up to one.
 
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Smokin Okie

Smoking Fanatic
333
170
Joined Jun 27, 2018
Back last fall, I did a lot of research on pellet smokers and my pick was Recteq , the 590 . I was about ready to pull the trigger when I found a Masterbuilt 560 for half price ( $250 ) at Walmart. That put my pellet smoker on hold. And I'm still playing with this MB, so I won't offer an opinion on that.

Bottom line, my choice was Recteq , in the price range you're talking about. That said, I've not owned one ....... so FWIW.
 

slapshot1

Newbie
11
11
Joined Oct 2, 2016
Hello everyone. I'm in the same position as the OP about what to buy, with the same budget. This will be my second pellet smoker (the first one was nothing but problems but Ill write that off to that brand). All of my research also indicates the Rec Tec 700, is THE way to go, and I would honestly already have bought one. However I'm only cooking for my fiance and I. I really don't need something the size of the RT700. However, several people have told me that the smaller Rec Tec is just not at the level of the RT700. Any thoughts, expertise and assistance would be appreciated.
 

jbandy

Newbie
7
2
Joined Apr 10, 2021
Hello everyone. I'm in the same position as the OP about what to buy, with the same budget. This will be my second pellet smoker (the first one was nothing but problems but Ill write that off to that brand). All of my research also indicates the Rec Tec 700, is THE way to go, and I would honestly already have bought one. However I'm only cooking for my fiance and I. I really don't need something the size of the RT700. However, several people have told me that the smaller Rec Tec is just not at the level of the RT700. Any thoughts, expertise and assistance would be appreciated.
 

jbandy

Newbie
7
2
Joined Apr 10, 2021
I would say that you should also check Camp Chef. But, I am quite partial to my Masterbuilt. Masterbuilt now has a model 800, that is a bit smaller than my 1050, and has very cool griddle you can use the way you use any griddle.
 

new2theq

Newbie
5
11
Joined Feb 12, 2016
something ive noticed after spending more time on here searching the forums is it seems that the pellet smokers skimp on smoke. is this true? I was hoping to add more than my mes30. i do have a tube as well but tbh its never done quite what i thought it would.
 

slapshot1

Newbie
11
11
Joined Oct 2, 2016
I would say that you should also check Camp Chef. But, I am quite partial to my Masterbuilt. Masterbuilt now has a model 800, that is a bit smaller than my 1050, and has very cool griddle you can use the way you use any griddle.
I've read good things about Camp Chef, and I know they have some great features for cleaning, but are they built even close to as well as the Rec Tecs? Will they hold up for the long run? Just asking, I've not seen a Camp Chef in person.
 

chesterinflorida

Fire Starter
39
18
Joined Nov 10, 2020
Hello everyone. I'm in the same position as the OP about what to buy, with the same budget. This will be my second pellet smoker (the first one was nothing but problems but Ill write that off to that brand). All of my research also indicates the Rec Tec 700, is THE way to go, and I would honestly already have bought one. However I'm only cooking for my fiance and I. I really don't need something the size of the RT700. However, several people have told me that the smaller Rec Tec is just not at the level of the RT700. Any thoughts, expertise and assistance would be appreciated.
The RT 590 is on par build wise as the RT 700. Has most of the same features ie controller, auger, materials. I know several people that have both and they are equivelent.

The Grilla Grills are also on par, so check them out as well, although I do not think they have a similar size to the RT 590.
 

bigfurmn

Smoking Fanatic
667
421
Joined Feb 25, 2016
Hello everyone. I'm in the same position as the OP about what to buy, with the same budget. This will be my second pellet smoker (the first one was nothing but problems but Ill write that off to that brand). All of my research also indicates the Rec Tec 700, is THE way to go, and I would honestly already have bought one. However I'm only cooking for my fiance and I. I really don't need something the size of the RT700. However, several people have told me that the smaller Rec Tec is just not at the level of the RT700. Any thoughts, expertise and assistance would be appreciated.
Just curious as to what unit you have now? Not to hammer on it but curious what we are comparing against. Thanks.
 

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