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Can't decide on new smoker! Halp!!

Rec-Tec or Weber SmokeFire


  • Total voters
    30

mike guy

Fire Starter
60
34
Joined Sep 12, 2019
That's a tough decision to make. I can't really speak to the searing performance of the smoke fire, but I'll just chime in on my general thoughts about searing with pellets to begin with.

Searing with pellets in my experience is not my favorite way to go. I have tried in a number of ways, and it's just not a great experience compared to charcoal or just using a cast iron pan, or even your oven broiler. I just don't think they make a good fuel to sear with. The burn is a bit uneven, they have a burn curve that ranges in temps, and they can give off lot of flame and produce a lot of flare ups. With those flare ups come even more grease drips which can put parts of the pellets out, and that gives off bad smoke. Even with mods to limit the food drip issue, I just can't say I like cooking hot with pellets.

My advice is to buy a pellet smoker with one purpose in mind: smoking. If you are space constrained, buy a 20 dollar charcoal chimney, a small grill grate, and load it up with lump for searing. You can grill an entire steak this way, or reverse sear several steaks in your pellet grill and finish them off on the chimney in just minutes. Or bring them inside and hit up the cast iron.

I'm sure there are a number of people that produce really good grilled and seared food with pellets. I'm not saying what I made that way was bad. It's just that personally, pellets as a fuel source takes last place for my searing preferences. Lump Charcoal Fire > Cast Iron > Oven Broiler > Pellets.

If you have the patio room, I'd personally keep my smoker and grill separate. Add a small weber kettle grill. Or a small kamado.

Hope that helps. Cheers.
 

elsos

Fire Starter
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Joined Feb 14, 2013
I'm coming in a bit late into this thread. I am also in the market for my first pellet smoker/grill. I had my heart set on the RecTec RT700 from the research that I did. I could not find any negative reviews on this grill and was all set to purchase, until I saw the Weber Smokefire. I lost about 2 weeks time in purchasing a grill because my intention was to order the RecTec RT700 on February 1st and it is now the 12th. I saw some youtube videos of the Smokefire that some youtube influencers did when they got invited to the launch party. It looks amazing. Love how it sears and you can almost cook over it with an open flame. Looking at this grill/smoker I had to have it cause it is the new kid on the block which nobody else will have. My problem from purchasing it the same as everyone else's....there is no real world testing done on it yet. I am sure it will not have any problems as Weber probably spent a lot of money in R&D on this thing but the RecTec RT700 is tried and true. I am still undecisive but hoping that by tomorrow morning I can make a decision. The RecTec RT700 does have an optional cold smokebox as well.
You know, I have and love the RecTec 700. But I'd really bet that whichever you choose, there are no wrong answers. You just learn to cook on what you have and in the end we become loyal after a few great cooks.
I've never tried to sear with it, and I don't plan on it really.
Actually I struggled between the RecTec and the CampChef with the sidekick searbox. Would be fun to have both, but a guy can only eat so much food at a sitting! Lol.
Good luck and don't regret, it's going to be fine whichever way you go. It's a blast.
 

mooncusser

Meat Mopper
180
104
Joined May 25, 2019
I'm coming in a bit late into this thread. I am also in the market for my first pellet smoker/grill. I had my heart set on the RecTec RT700 from the research that I did. I could not find any negative reviews on this grill and was all set to purchase, until I saw the Weber Smokefire. I lost about 2 weeks time in purchasing a grill because my intention was to order the RecTec RT700 on February 1st and it is now the 12th. I saw some youtube videos of the Smokefire that some youtube influencers did when they got invited to the launch party. It looks amazing. Love how it sears and you can almost cook over it with an open flame. Looking at this grill/smoker I had to have it cause it is the new kid on the block which nobody else will have. My problem from purchasing it the same as everyone else's....there is no real world testing done on it yet. I am sure it will not have any problems as Weber probably spent a lot of money in R&D on this thing but the RecTec RT700 is tried and true. I am still undecisive but hoping that by tomorrow morning I can make a decision. The RecTec RT700 does have an optional cold smokebox as well.
I was in a similar spot a couple months ago. The new Weber unit is intriguing but we won't know real world experience for a little while. I took the plunge with the RecTec and have been happy. It's a beast!

Just be aware that you probably won't find any negative reviews on RecTec's website. It's been said that they - shall we say "curate"? - reviews to keep them positive.
 

gr0uch

Newbie
28
10
Joined Nov 25, 2019
I was in a similar spot a couple months ago. The new Weber unit is intriguing but we won't know real world experience for a little while. I took the plunge with the RecTec and have been happy. It's a beast!

Just be aware that you probably won't find any negative reviews on RecTec's website. It's been said that they - shall we say "curate"? - reviews to keep them positive.

All of that may be true... however like you, I also decided to trust the Rec-Tec RT-700 and you know what? I've never looked back! This thing is a monster and handles more than you could ever throw at it. It's super consistent, the app is decent and well, the food is amazing.

I've not had any issues with it and anytime I call customer service, they're awesome man. I don't work for them, but if they paid my current salary I would! haha.

Weber is awesome, I have tons of em, however the new one is just not tested in the real world. Think of it like this, Gordon Ramsey could probably cook with the worst hardware and still turn out an amazing meal. Can amazing bbq'ers turn out an amazing meal on the Smokefire? Sure. Can we? Who knows! :P
 

The Rock

Newbie
3
1
Joined Jan 29, 2020
All of that may be true... however like you, I also decided to trust the Rec-Tec RT-700 and you know what? I've never looked back! This thing is a monster and handles more than you could ever throw at it. It's super consistent, the app is decent and well, the food is amazing.

I've not had any issues with it and anytime I call customer service, they're awesome man. I don't work for them, but if they paid my current salary I would! haha.

Weber is awesome, I have tons of em, however the new one is just not tested in the real world. Think of it like this, Gordon Ramsey could probably cook with the worst hardware and still turn out an amazing meal. Can amazing bbq'ers turn out an amazing meal on the Smokefire? Sure. Can we? Who knows! :P
Yeah, I guess you are right. I think I will buy the RecTec RT700 this weekend. I know one of the guys that replied above said to just get a chimney and put a grill grate over that for searing but honestly, it may work, but it seems a bit tacky and redneckish...lol. I got a nice backyard so I would prefer to have a proper setup. Currently I have a Kamado Joe Big Joe 2 that I purchased last year and I absolutely love it. Does everything. I prefer cooking with lump coal/charcoal compared to gas/propane. I also have a drum smoker from Barrelhouse Cooker which works fantastic when I do my ribs and Thanksgiving day turkey. I am also going to upgrade and purchase a Hunsaker Vortex drum smoker probably this summer. But for now I would like to have a peller smoker. I am not too worried about apps at this point because I have a Meater Plus (check it out on Amazon or just Youtube it up if you don't know what it is) that I think works amazing when I do my cooks. Someone else had mentioned that pellet grills/smokers are not good for searing but I've seen quite a few videos on Youtube where people are actually searing their steaks with the use of Grill Grates. I know right now RecTec is offering 20% off all accessories with the purchase of a new grill so I will gladly buy the searing grill grates with the grill. I actually work for another Pellet Grill Manufacturer. We own the factory that the Traeger grills come out of and we just started making our own pellet grills with our own brand once the patent for Traeger came up. I will keep the name of the company confidential for now but our grills are "decent" and budget friendly, similar to a Pit Boss. I just rather spend more money and get something a bit more high end on quality and performance.
 

mike guy

Fire Starter
60
34
Joined Sep 12, 2019
If you already have a Kamado grill I think you are set. The chimney work around is a cheap suggestion.
I have a similar setup. The rt 700 and a big green egg. And an offset smoker.

My main point was that was, in my opinion, pellets aren’t a good grill fuel and to stick with charcoal. I have yet to see a jack of all trades put that does it all perfectly. I know that multi cooker setups aren’t for everyone, though. And at the end of the day we’re talking the last 10% of quality, not night and day differences.

To be honest I can make a good steak on some fire and a flat rock. Or smoke a brisket Alton brown style in a cardboard box. Nice equipment and toys sure are fun though!

The grill grates that rt sells as an option are nice. Just be sure to season the heck of them with a good oil. Treat them like cast iron. They do a decent job on a steak but the temp is too low for my liking. and at the temps you are cranking the grill to achieve to preheat them, you aren’t getting any benefits of using a pellet. They burn hot so no smoke.

if you want a smoked steak my advice is a reverse sear in the RECTEC you get some smoke and then take it inside for the cast iron finish.

I felt like a cast iron inside did a better job than the grill grates. And then of course my personal perfect steak comes from a ripping hot lump charcoal fire that renders the rib eye fat and fries the steak in it. I’ve tried it all and at the end of the day I like a hot and fast type of steak on the kamado.

good luck on your eventual purchase. You can’t go wrong with all that gear in your back yard.
 
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The Rock

Newbie
3
1
Joined Jan 29, 2020
If you already have a Kamado grill I think you are set. The chimney work around is a cheap suggestion.
I have a similar setup. The rt 700 and a big green egg. And an offset smoker.

My main point was that was, in my opinion, pellets aren’t a good grill fuel and to stick with charcoal. I have yet to see a jack of all trades put that does it all perfectly. I know that multi cooker setups aren’t for everyone, though. And at the end of the day we’re talking the last 10% of quality, not night and day differences.

To be honest I can make a good steak on some fire and a flat rock. Or smoke a brisket Alton brown style in a cardboard box. Nice equipment and toys sure are fun though!

The grill grates that rt sells as an option are nice. Just be sure to season the heck of them with a good oil. Treat them like cast iron. They do a decent job on a steak but the temp is too low for my liking. and at the temps you are cranking the grill to achieve to preheat them, you aren’t getting any benefits of using a pellet. They burn hot so no smoke.

if you want a smoked steak my advice is a reverse sear in the RECTEC you get some smoke and then take it inside for the cast iron finish.

I felt like a cast iron inside did a better job than the grill grates. And then of course my personal perfect steak comes from a ripping hot lump charcoal fire that renders the rib eye fat and fries the steak in it. I’ve tried it all and at the end of the day I like a hot and fast type of steak on the kamado.

good luck on your eventual purchase. You can’t go wrong with all that gear in your back yard.
Yeah I feel your brotha. Seems like we both have a good setup. I do agree with you that nothing cooks, sears, bakes, smokes, roasts, grills, etc. like a kamado. I guess I am a hobbyist and like to have a little bit of everything. I do feel that besides a Kamado everything else is a jack of all trades but a master at none.

I do have a Himalayan Salt Rock Tablet that my wife bought for me back in August for my birthday. Still have yet to use it but I hear steaks come out amazing on it. I was also thinking of a reverse sear if I get the RecTec.

I have seen other people place a nice weighted steak press/bacon press on top of their steak for added pressure when it is on the grill grates if you are using a pellet smoker. This seemed to produce some fantastic grill marks. I think I am still going to move forward with RecTec. I am tired of looking at grills. Looked at the new Pitboss Platinum Series Lockhart and that thing is freakin ugly. I just saw the Masterbuilt GF-560 last night and that unit looks very interesting. Why are there so many damn options, it's making my go crazy. Might have to go see a therapist soon....ha ha ha.
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
506
163
Joined Feb 6, 2019
Yeah, I guess you are right. I think I will buy the RecTec RT700 this weekend. I know one of the guys that replied above said to just get a chimney and put a grill grate over that for searing but honestly, it may work, but it seems a bit tacky and redneckish...lol. I got a nice backyard so I would prefer to have a proper setup. Currently I have a Kamado Joe Big Joe 2 that I purchased last year and I absolutely love it. Does everything. I prefer cooking with lump coal/charcoal compared to gas/propane. I also have a drum smoker from Barrelhouse Cooker which works fantastic when I do my ribs and Thanksgiving day turkey. I am also going to upgrade and purchase a Hunsaker Vortex drum smoker probably this summer. But for now I would like to have a peller smoker. I am not too worried about apps at this point because I have a Meater Plus (check it out on Amazon or just Youtube it up if you don't know what it is) that I think works amazing when I do my cooks. Someone else had mentioned that pellet grills/smokers are not good for searing but I've seen quite a few videos on Youtube where people are actually searing their steaks with the use of Grill Grates. I know right now RecTec is offering 20% off all accessories with the purchase of a new grill so I will gladly buy the searing grill grates with the grill. I actually work for another Pellet Grill Manufacturer. We own the factory that the Traeger grills come out of and we just started making our own pellet grills with our own brand once the patent for Traeger came up. I will keep the name of the company confidential for now but our grills are "decent" and budget friendly, similar to a Pit Boss. I just rather spend more money and get something a bit more high end on quality and performance.

If you already have a Kamado Joe, well then IMO, you already have the best thing for searing steaks, short of "perhaps" an Otto Wilde or Salamander type device.

They sear at around 1500°F.

I agree on several points with forum member mike guy above. Personally, I think that searing steaks on a pellet grill is hardly the best way to sear a steak. But I stress that this is just my opinion and my own personal tastes.

Again, if you like to sear steaks, then your KJ and cast iron, whether you're using cast iron grates or griddle, or even if you're using a cast iron skillet sitting over your stainless steel grates, is going to do a much better job at that than a pellet grill. I own a Rec Tec Stampede, but I'm a believer in the right tool for the job.

My Rec Tec Stampede pellet "grill", does many, not all, but many, of the smoking chores around my house and some of the grilling chores. It's a great smoker. We love it. You'd have to take it by force were you to try and take it away from me. However; I don't "smoke" steaks. I sear them.

Thus my pellet grill, well it handles the overnight cooks. Pork shoulders, briskets. It handles spatchcock turkeys, and some grilling chores. Wings, ABTs, Shrimp en brochette, lobster, asparagus and other vegetables, these usually get the Rec Tec.

Ribs now get done on either my WSMs, or my KJ. They give a more pronounced smoke flavor than my Rec Tec. I can add as much wood as I like, and again, I like using lump charcoal.

Salmon, will be done on my KJ on soaked cedar planks. Whole chickens on my Joetissierie and KJ.

My choice for steaks below is my KJ classic, using Royal Oak lump charcoal and KJ cast iron grates or griddle. I am using a coffee ground based rub on these in the first few pics. My IR tops out at around 1030° F. As mentioned, I'm using Royal Oak lump, but I am told that B&B Lump charcoal actually burns hotter than Royal Oak. I'm currently experimenting with B&B and a few other lump charcoals out there, but that's another story. Here the temp has reached 1,030°F in the one instance and 1,034°F in the other instance. The dome temp is at around 800°F in both instances and I've reached 900°F at the dome thermometer on occasion. The temps at the grates or the griddle are of course hotter as they are closest to the coals. I see people with pellet grills reporting 500°F or so at the sensor in some of the pellet grills. Sure that's hot, but it's not approaching the temps I'm talking here.

But the long and the short of it is that my pellet grill, the Rec Tec Stampede, won't get this hot, nor does it produce a better tasting steak than does my Kamado Joe.

If searing steaks is your bag, and you already have a good Kamado, well then attempting to sear them on a pellet grill is IMO a step down.

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Typically speaking, pellet grills are not going to get this hot. That's not to say that they can't sear a steak, because by all indications I've read, they can. However my own attempts at searing a steak on my pellet grill, simply could not match the results that I've had on my Kamado running 800°F or so at the dome and over 1030°F at the grates. I believe that hotter is better for searing steaks. I even like steaks seared to "Pittsburgh Black" status. But I do recognize some don't prefer to sear as hot as I do, and still get results that are suitable to their personal tastes.
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Yes, the thermometer in my KJ has been changed between these pics for the 2019 model thermometer. See the change in the logo. The old one now resides in my 22in WSM.
 
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elsos

Fire Starter
38
10
Joined Feb 14, 2013
If you already have a Kamado Joe, well then you already have the best thing for searing steaks, short of "perhaps" an Otto Wilde or Salamander type device.

Personally, I think that searing steaks on a pellet grill is hardly the best way to sear a steak.

Again, if you like to sear steaks, then your KJ is going to do a much better job at that than a pellet grill. I own a Rec Tec Stampede, but I'm a believer in the right tool for the job.

Mine below is a KJ classic, using Royal Oak lump charcoal using KJ cast iron grates. I am using a Coffee ground rub on these. My sensor tops out at around 1030° F. I'm using Royal Oak lump, but I am told that B&B actually burns hotter. My pellet grill won't get this hot, nor does it produce a better tasting steak than does my Kamado Joe.

If searing steaks is your bag, and you already have a good Kamado, well then attempting to sear them on a pellet grill is IMO a step down.

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Ooh, it's about lunch time here! Man, those look really good! :)
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
506
163
Joined Feb 6, 2019
Ooh, it's about lunch time here! Man, those look really good! :)
Thanks.

I have done reverse sears using my Rec Tec to bring the steaks to temp, and then taking them home on my Kamado Joe, allowing it to do the "heavy lifting".

The first pics show seasoning, and placement with temp probes into the Rec Tec Stampede. But when it's time to bring the heat, they go onto the KJ at 1,030°F plus on cast iron grates.

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elsos

Fire Starter
38
10
Joined Feb 14, 2013
Thanks.

I have done reverse sears using my Rec Tec to bring the steaks to temp, and then taking them home on my Kamado Joe, allowing it to do the "heavy lifting".

The first pics show seasoning, and placement with temp probes into the Rec Tec Stampede. But when it's time to bring the heat, they go onto the KJ at 1,030°F plus on cast iron grates.

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Oh, stop it. :)
Excellent stuff man.
 

SlowmotionQue

Smoking Fanatic
506
163
Joined Feb 6, 2019
Oh, stop it. :)
Excellent stuff man.
Thanks.

I figure that for searing steaks, the only way that I can get "perhaps" better, would be to go to one of these. Searing at 1500°F or more.

I intend to purchase one when the weather breaks, so I'll soon find out. But it's also why I laugh some when people talk about searing steaks on a pellet grill.


 
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