Recteq 1250 one year review

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SmokinAl

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Jun 22, 2009
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Well I can’t believe it but it’s been over a year since I went the pellet route. I’ve done about 30-40 cooks on the 1250 & for the most part I’m very happy with it. A few things I learned were:
1 - don’t use recteq ultimate blend pellets, they don’t give much flavor or smoke. I found that I like LJ cherry, and LJ hickory, both 100% pure, no other hardwoods.
2 - use the low smoke setting on most foods for at least 2-3 hours. On many cooks I use the low smoke setting for the whole cook.
3 - RT customer service is top notch, #4 will explain this.
4 - the 1250 cover is a POS, mine cracked & got holes in it in about 6 months, also it is a PIA to put on & take off. Sent RT an email & got a message back the same day that a new cover was on the way, no questions asked. However I found a universal cover that I like better, so I have a brand new RT 1250 cover if I ever need it.
5 - the smoker is a tank, it looks to me like it will last a lifetime. The only thing I don’t know is how long the electronics will last, but if there is a problem I’m pretty sure that RT will keep me smokin. I do know for sure that the controller is spot on & the probes are too!
6 - they say to clean the ash pot every 16 hours, but I just vacuum it out every smoke. I also shake the dust off the pellets before putting them in the hopper, this keeps the dust off the food on a long cook. I know some say to leave the dust in the bottom of the barrel for more insulation, but I vacuum it out too.
7 - put the meat directly on the grate, don’t use a pan. This was hard for me, because I used to pan just about everything. But even just putting a grate on top of a pan restricts the airflow to the meat. I have found that with the extreme smoke setting & putting the meat directly on a grate, you don’t need any auxiliary smoke tubes. A bit more cleanup, but worth it in my book. You also get a bit of added flavor from the grease sizzling on the drip tray, much like an RF plate.
8 - use the top grate if possible, The way the smoker is designed there seems to be more smoke & air flow toward the top.
9- this goes without saying, use foil on the grease pan & grease bucket.
10 - I really like the way they designed the pellet hopper, it is split, so you can put your own blend in there. I use hickory on one side & cherry on the other. I still have some of the RT pellets left so on a long cook I will put some of them on top so toward the end I’m getting rid of them.
11 - when I first got the smoker I used the high setting to see what kind of temp it would put out, and it hit 700 degrees, but I didn’t like the way the smoker reacted. It seemed to be just too hot. So when I need a high heat sear or want to make a pizza, I use the Genesis, or my pizza kettle. 275 is about as high a temp that I run it at & even at that temp, you still get some pretty good TBS.
12 - In the end it is a fantastic smoker & I give it 4 1/2 stars and am very happy to have a pellet pooper as nice as this one!
Hope this will help anyone thinking about going pellet!
Al
 
Great review Al. If I someday decide to go the pellet pooper route I will definitely remember this!
 
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Al...How low of a temp can you do on the Recteq 1250? I looked at the website and it indicated 180F...wondering if it would go as low as 150F (e.g.: summer sausage drying-temp).

Would is work for summer sausage?
 
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I seem to get more smoke flavor with Kingsford pellets if I am running 250 or higher,
 
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Nice review Al, thanks for raking the time.
Really liking my RT1250 too.

Good tip on top shelf!

I'm using the Lumberjack pellets too, really nice flavor.

I concur on the RT cover being a PITA. Way too form fitted, they need to increase all the measurements by 2".

Which universal cover are you using?
 
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Nice write up Al! I’m a huge fan of my 1250, I am adding a shelve slot so I can drop it down to 3 inches above the bottom rack, I have the steel just need to find time to put them on.

I have pushed the envelope on the vacuuming the barrel…..I usually go 40-60 lbs of pellets, ie 50 hours…..I use ours up to 600 but that 700 is hot hot hot! I make sure it’s supper clean before I go above 290 and any time I do it’s fresh foil to avoid burnt oil smoke. However I much prefer to use the new Weber cause I can control the temp really good and it still gives a filled flavor!

Agree on the cover to…..they need to put a zipper or Velcro to open it up. My buddy just cut his up a corner and stapled Velcro on the edges

BrianGSDTexoma BrianGSDTexoma they make a foldable stainless shelf for the 590 that is the perfect hight above the bottom self from my perspective. It is very reasonable priced
 
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I have 2 RT cookers they had a special Get the 340 for $300 with the 1250. I got both. I agree the customer service is top notch. They adjusted some settings on the 340, the 1250 has been flawless. I've had mine about 6 months. Impressed!
 
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Very nice review!
The Memphis grills I used to have had the split hopper.
Never combined pellet types though.
Thank you, I kind of like the flavor of hickory & the color you get with cherry. That’s why I like that combo.
Al
Sounds like a great unit.

Jim

Glad you're happy with it Al!

Ryan

Great review Al. If I someday decide to go the pellet pooper route I will definitely remember this!
Thanks fellas!!
Al
Al...How low of a temp can you do on the Recteq 1250? I looked at the website and it indicated 180F...wondering if it would go as low as 150F (e.g.: summer sausage drying-temp).

Would is work for summer sausage?
The lowest it will go is 180. I think if I was still making sausage I would just stick with electric.
Al
Great review Al. The tip for overnight low has really helped me out! Think the top shelf the only real thing I miss with mine but the RT 590 is a great unit!
Thanks Brian!
I think there is an adjustable shelf made for your unit!
Al
I seem to get more smoke flavor with Kingsford pellets if I am running 250 or higher,
Thank you for that tip Mike, I will give it a try!
Al
Great Review. What were you smoking on before the RT?
I had a MES 40, Smoke Vault 24, WSM 22, & a Lang 36. All sold or given away!
Al
Nice review Al, thanks for raking the time.
Really liking my RT1250 too.

Good tip on top shelf!

I'm using the Lumberjack pellets too, really nice flavor.

I concur on the RT cover being a PITA. Way too form fitted, they need to increase all the measurements by 2".

Which universal cover are you using?
Thanks John,
I just bought a universal cover from WM a few years ago to cover up a large rectangular table. It’s heavy duty & it wasn’t being used, so it really fits nicely over the 1250. I need to see if I can find another one like it.
Al
Nice write up Al! I’m a huge fan of my 1250, I am adding a shelve slot so I can drop it down to 3 inches above the bottom rack, I have the steel just need to find time to put them on.

I have pushed the envelope on the vacuuming the barrel…..I usually go 40-60 lbs of pellets, ie 50 hours…..I use ours up to 600 but that 700 is hot hot hot! I make sure it’s supper clean before I go above 290 and any time I do it’s fresh foil to avoid burnt oil smoke. However I much prefer to use the new Weber cause I can control the temp really good and it still gives a filled flavor!

Agree on the cover to…..they need to put a zipper or Velcro to open it up. My buddy just cut his up a corner and stapled Velcro on the edges

BrianGSDTexoma BrianGSDTexoma they make a foldable stainless shelf for the 590 that is the perfect hight above the bottom self from my perspective. It is very reasonable priced
The idea of dropping the top shelf down 3” really makes a lot of sense to me, because you can’t put a butt on the top shelf now, & would think that maybe someday RT would give you a second set of rails that the top shelf could fit on.
Al
Over the winter we spent sometime with friends that had just purchased a RT1250 so I got to cook on one a few times. I have to say I was very impressed with that cooker.
Great review.
Thank you, they are hard not to like!
Al
I have 2 RT cookers they had a special Get the 340 for $300 with the 1250. I got both. I agree the customer service is top notch. They adjusted some settings on the 340, the 1250 has been flawless. I've had mine about 6 months. Impressed!
Hard not to be impressed!
I wish I had the smaller one as well, had I known just how big the 1250 was, I probably would have bought a smaller model. But all that space is nice!!
Al
 
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I have one of these some where. I will have to find it and run it through the dishwasher.
edit: I found it will use tomorrow with half pork butt. Going for the low at 12 hours.

BrianGSDTexoma BrianGSDTexoma they make a foldable stainless shelf for the 590 that is the perfect hight above the bottom self from my perspective. It is very reasonable priced

I think there is an adjustable shelf made for your unit!
 
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I've had my Rec Tec Mini for around 10 years now. The only repair I've ever made to it was a new fire rod (ignitor). The thing has been a rock. As Al, and a bunch of folks have mentioned, their customer service is top notch.
 
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Plan was to start that butt this evening but woke at 1am and could not go back to sleep so I put it on. That rack is pretty high. Butt about 1" from top but guess that be all right. Probably just do a 6 hour low now.
 
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I've had my Rec Tec Mini for around 10 years now. The only repair I've ever made to it was a new fire rod (ignitor). The thing has been a rock. As Al, and a bunch of folks have mentioned, their customer service is top notch.
I hope mine goes for that long too!
Al
Plan was to start that butt this evening but woke at 1am and could not go back to sleep so I put it on. That rack is pretty high. Butt about 1" from top but guess that be all right. Probably just do a 6 hour low now.
When I use the top rack, the food is very close to the top too. I think that is where all the smoke is circulating, because I can tell the difference in taste & color between the 2 racks. I also try to put the food close to the stack, thinking that most of the heat & smoke will go around the meat on it’s way out the stack.
Al
 
Al...How low of a temp can you do on the Recteq 1250? I looked at the website and it indicated 180F...wondering if it would go as low as 150F (e.g.: summer sausage drying-temp).

Would is work for summer sausage?
Waiting for this to be back in stock and I'll probably pick one up. It bolts on to where the smoke stack goes and they say typically will reduce the temp by about 30-40F so that might be exactly where you want to be.

 
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Hard not to be impressed!
I wish I had the smaller one as well, had I known just how big the 1250 was, I probably would have bought a smaller model. But all that space is nice!!
Al
Interesting to see you would have gone a size down. I've been looking at getting a new pellet grill, having previously had a Traeger Pro 575 a couple of years ago. Replaced it with a Chargriller 980. It just seems too big for *most* of what I cook. The size is nice to do two big pizzas side by side, but I rarely make efficient use of the space. I think I'd be happier with a smaller grill. But the advice you always read when asking should you go bigger or smaller is GO BIGGER.
 
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