Can't decide on new smoker! Halp!!

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Rec-Tec or Weber SmokeFire


  • Total voters
    30

gr0uch

Newbie
Original poster
Nov 25, 2019
28
10
So Cal
I'm in the market for a new smoker and I can't decide between two smokers. I know that in the end I probably can't go wrong.. but I still am stuck between the two.

I'm not new to smoking, but am new to the forum. As it stands I have a WSM 18, Kettle, Smokey Joe, and Weber Genesis.

I'm stuck between the Rec-Tec RT-700 and the new Weber Smokefire. I just don't know a lot about the new smokefire since there's been very little testing. I'm sure that Weber has done their research and testing... but the question is, is it enough?

RT-700 - Tried and true, it's tested and people love it. Do I need all that size, probably not but it looks cool I guess. Is the Stampede just as good? Or are all the awesome features on the Bull?

Weber SmokeFire - Is the heat diffuser large enough to truly be a smoker? Is the 600 degree temp worth the purchase along with all the other features?
 

gr0uch

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Nov 25, 2019
28
10
So Cal
I voted Weber

I was leaning towards Weber but man... so many questions there. I have a ton of Webers and they all perform like champions so I didn't think this would be much of a gamble. However, what are the chances that there are significant issues after release? hmm
 

Johnny Ray

Smoking Fanatic
Jun 22, 2019
428
396
Western, KY
I voted Rec Tec RT 700. I know several guys that have RT’s. It’s a dependable workhorse and puts out great food.
The igniter when out on mine the other day. I called RT at 2:30 pm and they shipped me a new one that afternoon. Customer service is second to none.
I’ll just throw this out. I have the RT 680 (predecessor to the RT 700) and the RT bullseye and I love both. The bullseye gets used 3 to 4 times per week.
I think a great combination would be the Stampede (if room isn’t a big issue for you) and the bullseye. This setup covers low and slow and grilling. The bullseye also works well for slow cooking too.

Johnny Ray
 
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gr0uch

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Nov 25, 2019
28
10
So Cal
I voted Rec Tec RT 700. I know several guys that have RT’s. It’s a dependable workhorse and puts out great food.
The igniter when out on mine the other day. I called RT at 2:30 pm and they shipped me a new one that afternoon. Customer service is second to none.
I’ll just throw this out. I have the RT 680 (predecessor to the RT 700) and the RT bullseye and I love both. The bullseye gets used 3 to 4 times per week.
I think a great combination would be the Stampede (if room isn’t a big issue for you) and the bullseye. This setup covers low and slow and grilling. The bullseye also works well for slow cooking too.

Johnny Ray

Haha damn, the decision is tough! I do love the way that the RT-700 looks but now the damn reviews for the Weber EX6 have me puzzled. They claim that the smoke stack draws too much smoke out of the smoker. Can this be true? Then again, if it were true then that would mean that Traeger and all others brands have it wrong.

Ahhhh!
 

mike guy

Smoke Blower
Sep 12, 2019
114
77
The weber sear thing sounds like a neat trick and it's certainly a better move towards an all in one solution. But jack of all trades master of none as they say. It may sear better than a pellet grill, but that isn't saying much since none of them do a great job at searing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, buy a smoker because it smokes. 600 degrees is below what I prefer to sear at. If you need to sear something, I think you are going to be better off using something meant for searing. A lump fired charcoal fired grill, or a charcoal starter chimney with a grill grate on it, or a cast iron pan ripping hot.

If they were talking 800+ degrees, then I might kind of lean that way, but 600 just isn't enough for my personal tastes on how to render rib eye fat. Searing steaks on a pellet grill is like using your drill to knock in a nail. It works, but you probably should have used a hammer.
 

gr0uch

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Nov 25, 2019
28
10
So Cal
The weber sear thing sounds like a neat trick and it's certainly a better move towards an all in one solution. But jack of all trades master of none as they say. It may sear better than a pellet grill, but that isn't saying much since none of them do a great job at searing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, buy a smoker because it smokes. 600 degrees is below what I prefer to sear at. If you need to sear something, I think you are going to be better off using something meant for searing. A lump fired charcoal fired grill, or a charcoal starter chimney with a grill grate on it, or a cast iron pan ripping hot.

If they were talking 800+ degrees, then I might kind of lean that way, but 600 just isn't enough for my personal tastes on how to render rib eye fat. Searing steaks on a pellet grill is like using your drill to knock in a nail. It works, but you probably should have used a hammer.

Mike thank you for your reply! That's a great way to think of it and quite frankly I'm stunned that I didn't even think about it in that way lol.

I guess at the end of the day I'm really just wanted this thing to be a smoker as I have a Genesis ll gas grill that I can sear on or even my weber kettle with some lump in it.

And with that we're all tied up and I think the next votes will probably be for the bull!
 

MileHiGuy

Smoke Blower
Mar 24, 2019
145
100
Denver, Colorado
Interesting. First I’ve heard of the Weber pellet grill. Mike has good points, I would buy a smoker if you want a smoker. A pellet grill would be handy at times but the sear would be difficult at best. My two cents...
 

sandyut

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Feb 18, 2015
4,870
3,867
Utah
Rec Tec all the way. The Weber looks nice but untested by the masses. Some say their quality in gas grills has dropped.
 
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gr0uch

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Nov 25, 2019
28
10
So Cal
Rec Tec all the way. The Weber looks nice but untested by the masses. Some say their quality in gas grills has dropped.

Good points for sure... I have a gasser from Weber (Genesis ii) and it works great. Some pieces are like thinner sheet metal but I mean if you take care of your stuff it does last.

I am for sure a fan of how heavy the Rec Tec is. The other point is I don't recall anyone ever saying "I wish I would have gotten a smaller smoker... so I think the Bull is the way to go maybe.
 
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mooncusser

Meat Mopper
May 25, 2019
206
122
near a man-made island
I'm intrigued by the Weber Smokefire, but it's a brand new offering and therefore not much information and zero real world track record. I'm in the wait and see camp.

As for the chimney letting out too much smoke, I think that's related to Weber's design choice mixed with a bit of their marketing trying to set them apart. It doesn't seem to be a problem for owners of other products. If that's a real concern for you, the Stampede has 3 vents like the Weber. I'm looking seriously at a Bull myself, and maybe get a Don Godke Downdraft for it.
 

elsos

Fire Starter
Feb 14, 2013
41
10
Scottsdale, AZ
I bought a 700 this summer, and I've used it more than I thought I would have already.
Never had a pellet smoker, but I'm very impressed by this thing. It's super sturdy, heavy and it does look pretty cool.
I've been doing jerky lately and I was having a hard time keeping the temps below 210, so I posted a comment on their website.
The next Monday the guy who does their videos called me and we talked for twenty minutes! (There was a setting I needed to change due to living in the desert)
So I'm certainly biased, but if you could pony up the cash, you can be sure it's a quality deal.
 

civilsmoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 27, 2015
4,323
5,504
Idaho
Well I didn’t vote for either but will give perspective to consider. I have a Memphis that will go from 180 to 600 with rear venting like the Weber. Here is the updated model I have.... Memphis Advantage Plus ....The open flame came out one month after I got mine....I’m close to getting ready to upgrade the PID & deflector in mine......

So a couple of things to consider......

Remember that the temp is air temp not the temp above the searing zone. 600 degrees in a pellet oven chamber is searing hot! Before you take the grill this hot make sure it is clean cause excess oils will flash and cause a fire!!! I KNOW from first hand experience!!! I’ve dumped lots of salt on my Memphis! Now what I will say is that 550 to 600 will PERFECTLY sear a bacon wrapped filet!!!! And I mean Ruth Chris good! It’s is perfect for lower fat cuts like the filet and NY but not so much for ribeyes, however the Weber design allows for the grease to drop by the heat and that is a very good thing! But not sure how it even outs the heat. My Memphis has and partial double layer sear plate and the temp across whole grill it is very consistent (very nice for all parts being cooked evenly).

I also have a green mountain grill with open flame searing. It goes from 150 to 550. It sears very nicely and gives a better flavor than the Memphis for fattier meat. Again you need to clean it before searing or you get burnt oil or a fire. So before I sear with either, I always clean the grease and the when it hits 375 I use a spray bottle to spray the sear plate. Bingo steam clean and NO burnt oil smell.

So you need to be sure you have the patience to clean if you are going to sear with it or you will not have a good experience and you will be disappointed. But if you want more cooking options then having a higher searing heat is nice.

This is an example of seared bacon wrapped filet at 550....yes the bacon is crispy!
A1AA432C-9026-4FAC-9B0B-931B9E0E988C.jpeg

So that said, the choice is yours.....I will pm you another option to consider......
 
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mike guy

Smoke Blower
Sep 12, 2019
114
77
I'm just now reading the comments that weber says other brands "draws" too much smoke out of the chamber. This is obviously marketing BS from them because a fan based fire doesn't draw. It's kind of silly for them to even insinuate that because it's not a draw based chimney. It's a positive pressure from the fan, so it's just a plain ole exhaust vent. You want a lot of positive airflow in a smoker anyway. You don't want the stale smoke rolling around the meat, you want to push air in and get it out quickly.

It's either a dumb marketing statement, or their engineers actually believe that a positive fan based pressure has chimney draw, in which case yikes.
 
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sweetride95

Meat Mopper
Jan 31, 2018
196
105
Fort Wayne, IN
Weber just doesn't have any mileage in the pellet sector yet. I would assume the Weber is going to be a solid performer, but if I had to bet $1500 on it today, I'm just not ready to pass on the Rec Tec.
 
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gr0uch

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Nov 25, 2019
28
10
So Cal
Weber just doesn't have any mileage in the pellet sector yet. I would assume the Weber is going to be a solid performer, but if I had to bet $1500 on it today, I'm just not ready to pass on the Rec Tec.

Seems that's how most people feel. Rec Tec is just tried and true and Weber well... they're just entering this market. I think I'm just going to have to order me a RT-700... Poor me! :P
 
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civilsmoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 27, 2015
4,323
5,504
Idaho
Seems that's how most people feel. Rec Tec is just tried and true and Weber well... they're just entering this market. I think I'm just going to have to order me a RT-700... Poor me! :P

I don’t think you will feel bad at all when you open that box......

....out of curiosity I went hunting for info on the Weber and most things I’ve found say they haven’t had a chance to do a full test on the smoking/roasting temps. It does sear with a hot spot in the middle with the right side being hotter than the left. I’m assuming this is cause that is the way the air flows. This tells me it will have similar heat differentials at lower temps as well.

I would go with the trued and proven true! So I voted for the rec
 
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Perfect Meat

Newbie
Oct 29, 2019
11
15
Rec Tec will obviously win this survey as there are infinitely more Rec Tec owners than there are Weber Smoke Fire owners (exactly 0).

I do not own a pellet grill yet so all of this is IMHO... but I have been researching for months on a perfect solution and have not yet pulled the trigger. I was leaning towards the Stampede but discovered that there is a difference in gauge of steel between the Stampede (18 ga body and 12 ga lid) and the Bull (14 ga body and 10 ga lid) per Rec Tec. Which to me justified the $300 difference in price. Plus the fact that the Bull sells more and thus brings the per unit cost down. Which means the Bull is probably worth more than the cost difference over the Stampede.... but I am getting off point.

So I had decided to purchase the Bull on Cyber Monday. Along comes the Weber SmokeFire. I have changed my mind in 2 days of research.

I too have a weber gasser so the ability to sear is not critical. But I have very limited deck space so if I could get rid of my gasser and replace with a cooker that can do it all that would be a great advantage. Jack of all trades is not always a bad thing. Advantage Weber

The price is of the 2 units are dead even on the surface. I would have to purchase addition items with the Rec Tec that I would not need with the Weber. Such as GrillGrates for searing. a shop vac for cleaning and Downdraft for efficiency. So slight advantage for the Weber but relatively even.

The ability to smoke meat is the unknown here. I have confidence the Weber can handle the task as it will obtain the 200 degree level which is necessary to achieve maximum smoke output. But I will give this point to Rec Tec.

Construction was a key factor in my previous research for both heat retention and longevity. The stainless steel construction of the Rec Tec vs the enamel coated steel of the weber, gives the Bull the edge. Although, the Weber has double walled construction in certain areas so it may have an advantage in heat retention. But the overall point will have to go to the Bull.

Now the weber design has several design features in their unit that the Rec Tec does not. Such as the angled auger with reverse motion on shut down. Better location of control panel. Easy clean out with hidden grease pan and pellet dump. 4 temp ports vs 2. Pellet low level alarm. All add to a better maintenance experience and more importantly "Safer" operations. All advantage Weber.

The point about the smoke stack and how it effects the flow of smoke on the cooking surface is a minor one (again IMHO) but I believe weber has a point. If the smoke stack was not an issue than there would be no market for products like the Don Godke's Downdraft. Advantage Weber.

I believe both are outstanding cooking solutions but the Weber probably fits my long term needs/desires better. You will have to decide which fits your needs/desires.
 
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