Still Deciding - Rec Tec 680 or GMG Jim Bowie

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Dec 30, 2014
Southern California
Hi All -

Been away for a while but I have been checking the forums. During this time I recently picked up a 2nd MES 30" smoker. I got great deal on it. $25 from a church warehouse. It was barely used. It is missing the remote but I downloaded the Android app and got my mobile to operate it. Have used it a few times and so far no problems.

Anyway, for the past 6-9 months I have been researching pellet smokers. I'd like to take this step up mainly because of lack of cooking surface area. I have smoked whole packer briskets in my MES' but I have to separate the round from the flat which kind of defeats the point (same with ribs). Cooking times become extremely long. Also anything involving direct flame or searing has to go to my Weber or gas grill. That being said I still love my MES' and plan on keeping both.

I am leaning towards the 680 because I like the 6 yr. warranty. If I purchase from Amazon, I can get an additional 2 years for like $78. The firepot is in the middle of the pit which to me seems like you would get more even temps across it. Metal seems to be better quality too.

However, I like the JB because of the increased over head space and it's lighter. I'd be moving it back and forth from garage to patio. Local dealer I talked with was real nice and expertly answered all my questions so I know if I have any issues he'd resolve them too. Price is hard not to take into account as well. I want the JB non-wifi. I have wifi on both my MES' and keeping a connection is sometimes hard to maintain. Don't want the hassle.

Not going to go more into detail regarding the 680 or JB because I've read a lot of good stuff here and over at PH forum (awaiting admin to approve membership). So does anyone know if GMG is going to have another Black Friday sale like last year. I know they have a Fall Sale going on now. I'd really be hard pressed to pass up on a deal like that. Only thing preventing me from pulling the trigger on either unit is the possibility of another GMG Black Friday sale.

Thanks for any input or insight into either unit.

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I'd recommend the RT, but I admittedly am biased.  Temps are rock solid and it is much sturdier construction (which is why it is heavier).  Do some reading on the wifi on the GMG's - lots of issues for lots of people.  You will get some that say it's the bomb, but I can't get over the number of issues they have had with it.  I think they released it too early - but again - I am biased.
Hey Fellas - I went ahead today purchasing the GMG JB non-wifi all black. Couldn't get the wifey stamp of approval to shell out the bucks for the Rec Tec 680.  I kinda shot myself in the leg with already having 3 smokers and I have to give the MES I got for $25 (Digital w/ window on a stand) to one of her church friends

That being said, I am very pleased with my JB so far. It took me 3 hours to assemble
: Son forgot wallet for high school dance so I had to run it up to him. Then we forgot about his doctor's appointment so had to deal with that. Lastly, daughter's play date with her friend didn't happen as planned so a trip to Yogurtland to cure the crocodile tears. Other than those real life issues, set up was a breeze. I watched a couple videos on YouTube including GMG's web site prior to set up.

Initial burn was fast and easy. It got up to 350 in about 8-10 minutes. At 5pm it was still 76 degrees outside with only a slight breeze so I am sure that helped. Temp on the digital readout matched the temp on dome therm so I was happy (no wild variances). Didn't perform any testing inside the pit because by this time I was hungry. I also drilled the probe hole a little wider so I could fit my ChefAlarm too.

Heading over to Costco tomorrow to get some tri-tip and then Asian market for salmon and anything else that looks good. I'll post some pics and write up.

Check the actual grate temp with an independent thermometer (like a Maverick, iGrill or Tappecue) against the digital readout.
Congrats on the new pellet cooker! I'll bet you'll be very happy...the people I know who own a GMG all rave about them!

Lookin forward to seeing some qview! Thumbs Up

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