New Rec-Tec not very Happy with it.

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by dangood, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    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.

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dan, morning.....   Sorry to hear of your experience.....   That being said,  I'm impressed you are one of the few folks that doesn't continually open the door to check on your food....  You are an example of "set it and forget it" and "If you are looking, it ain't cooking"..... 

    As far as one side cooler or hotter than the other, that's normal in most BBQ's , Smokers.....   Not sure if it's normal in a Rec Tec...  I don't have one.....

    May I suggest you get a couple cabled thermometers and do a survey of temps across the smoker so you don't ruin any more meat....    Post your results here so Rec Tec owners can compare results...    Pictures of the interior set up would help....   There may be a solution or you may want to return the unit....  I would not be happy with the quality control and condition of the new smoker...  

    Did you take pictures of the "uneven" cooked bacon....   would be good to show tech folks at Rec Tec and listen to their suggestions...   Not a good testimonial about their product....

    Anyway, welcome to the forum....   Great folks here with tons of knowledge...       Dave
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Maybe I am picky but if I spent $1000+ on anything and a Company rep tells me I have a unit with a " production error " aka Defective Unit...I would have asked when my Replacment, defect free, unit will arrive...JJ
    brianr134 likes this.
  4. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    First off - they better be sending you a new drip tray and told you to do it to that one until the new one gets there - if not, demand it.

    Second - Your temp swings are not very normal.  I believe they are from you dropping the temp from 400 to 350 and the grill was having trouble dropping temp.  I don't believe you would have had these issues if you would have just turned off the grill, let it cool, and restarted it at 350.  If you have these swings on your future cooks, you have an issue and should call them.

    Third - Bacon at 350 will burn in any cooker after 45 minutes.  It shouldn't take longer than 25-30 minutes.

    It's a good unit - I've had zero problems with mine other than ignitors going out (which is expected).  Mine does run a bit hot in the summer, but I compensate by dropping the set temp a bit and monitoring temps with my Tappecue.  Any manufacturer will have some issues, but they do everything they can to make it right.

  5. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    Thanks for the replys. Dave, I wish I thought of taking pictures. I hurried and pulled the burnt bacon off hopping to salvage it.

    Jimmy, I thought the same thing, but figured if this "small fix" worked it was worth it to not have to pay freight and wait.

    I'll have to run out and get a few probes/thermometers. Any recommendations?

    Westby, The issue isn't the drip tray, according to them it's the metal flange inside the grill that the drip tray sits on being welded on too high. I'll also check to see if I have temperature swings just by setting it to a temperature and not having it drop down. Great Idea.

    I'll go test this all out and then give Rec-Tec a call with my findings. Thank You for the ideas.
  6. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    Are they sending you a new grill?  They should be - especially if they admitted it was a QC issue that should not have been shipped.  I would push the issue with them if you haven't already (unless you came to an agreement with them that you will keep it for a reduced price or additional accessories / pellets).
  7. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    No agreement, paid full price. Was told to bang it down with a wood block and hammer. I'll be getting all the info now and then contacting them again with the findings and asking for a new unit/refund. Since out it doesn't seem to be functioning properly.
  8. scottma

    scottma Smoke Blower

    Please let me know what they say after you call back...I got mine about a month and a half ago and my left side grate sits on the drip tray not the side supports.  I think i'll call tomorrow to discuss. I don't like the idea of a "known issue" being sent out. 

    I do not have any issues with the temp on mine.  

    **edited to say I just sent them an email about the issue and "hammering" the piece wasn't something I wanted to do. 
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  9. jhs1957

    jhs1957 Newbie

    I received my rec tec a few weeks ago.. I have cooked Boston butt and brisket with good results. I have noticed that my grill is saying it is 30 to 40 degrees hotter than actual temp.I run my maverick thermoter which I calibrated. Then I came across this post and my grill grates sit on top of the drip pan on the left side of the grill as you are facing it. I did not think much about it as I was more concerned about my temp but adjusted accordingly as I cooked.After reading this post and thinking about it the thermostat or thermometer sits on the left side. The drip pan sits high at that end. I know from working with ss it holds heat and I am thinking this is messing with the temp.I will be calling rec tec about this matter obviously they have let more than one of these defective grills out. Mine was shipped at end of June . I will post after I talk with them.
  10. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    I called and was told I needed to talk with a General Manager and he wasn't there today so had to leave him a message. Will see if he calls back. I also wrote on their Facebook page with the issue I'm currently having with the grill. I was pleasant and not derogatory. It led to my post being deleted and banned from the page. Seems like they are trying to keep this issue under wraps.  I also work in the steel industry and know a lot about steel. I'd think my SS drip tray sitting 1" closer to the thermometer is def. throwing temperatures off. Plus sitting higher is also causing a larger air gap on the left side. Perhaps this is why I had burnt bacon on one side of the grill and floppy bacon on the other. Mine was shipped June 15th so it must be the grills shipped around this time frame..
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    also wrote on their Facebook page with the issue I'm currently having with the grill. I was pleasant and not derogatory. It led to my post being deleted and banned from the page.

    That says a lot about Rec Tec...    Hiding customer reviews that point out problems with their quality control stuff...  Unfortunately, you were not aware of problems because they delete those reviews....

    Maybe through your credit card, you can force them to take it back....
    dangood likes this.
  12. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    I'm still within my 30 days. I may just eat the $150 I paid for shipping and send it back. Their return policy covers shipping back to them if due to a defect. Maybe I'll stay start looking at other pellet poopers.
  13. scottma

    scottma Smoke Blower

    So I just received a call from Rec Tec and on my grill its only about a half inch or less above the side supports... that probably got moved during shipment based on how its packed up with stuff inside the grill.   This is not a "known quality control" issue they knew about during manufacturing.  A slight pressing of the bracket is all I have to do to get it level again.   I've been very happy with my grill since day 1 and I did appreciate the quick follow-up call from them.  
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Scott, afternoon......   Are you suggesting Dan Good is fabricating the story about Rec Tec admitting a quality control issue ??  I may have misinterpreted your post...  if I did, I apologize..

  15. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    That might be what they told him, but I'm not fabricating. That's what I was told. Which one of us is receiving the load of bull I'm not sure. A "slight" pressing of the bracket didn't fix my grill either.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  16. scottma

    scottma Smoke Blower

    Totally not implying any fabrication....Sorry if it came off that way.  All I was told was sometimes the bracket gets bent during shipping. Dan how far off the side supports does yours sit?  I guessed as I'm at work and couldn't check.  
  17. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    Scott, At first the grill grates had a 1 inch teeter totter on the drip pan. After some bending and banging the drip pan still sits over 1/4" hig but I can position the grill grate over the raised area so it sits flush.
  18. scottma

    scottma Smoke Blower

    So your grill is much worse than mine.  Did you get a call back?
  19. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    Got an email back saying to call at my convenience. I'll call after work.
  20. dangood

    dangood Newbie

    Called and spoke with the Genera Manager Ben. Dealing with Ben I can see why Rec Tec gets labeled as having great customer service. I explained everything to him and we determined getting a replacement grill would be the best plan of action as this was not the same bent bracket issue others have experienced.

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