Are you looking for the perfect pellet grill for your next BBQ?
If you have a hard time deciding between the nostalgic and established Traeger brand and the ‘newer’ Recteq (formerly Rec Tec) products, then you’ve come to the right place!
In the article below, I’ve taken a detailed look at some of the key features of a pellet grill, and how each of these brands performs.
The Traeger brand may have a 35-year head-start, but there are a number of new competitors on the market, with the most notable being Recteq. This new brand is making waves, and building a very solid reputation as a competitive pellet grill manufacturer.
If you’re struggling to decide which brand is best for your needs, take a look at my analysis below:
In the table below, I’ve briefly identified some of the key characteristics of pellet grills, and how each of the brands matches up:
|Accessories in the basic version||√||√|
|Digital controller & features||√||√|
|Quality & durability||√|
Comparing Recteq vs Traeger wood pellet grills
Now let’s have a closer look at the notable similarities and differences between these two brands.
Recteq – Even the most basic version includes several features including a digital controller. You can also buy a number of useful additional gadgets to enhance your grilling experience. A second shelf will increase the total grilling area significantly, and the competition cart helps improve mobility.
Traeger – The new series from Traeger, just like the Recteq, comes with many interesting and useful features. In the basic version, you can expect similar features to the Recteq (advanced digital controller) plus a wide range of additional accessories sold separately. One of my personal favorites is the insulating blanket that definitely comes in handy in chilly winter temperatures.
Recteq – The temperature control on these grills is super easy. The digital controller has been perfected, and it measures consistently even in adverse weather conditions.
Traeger – Until now, I haven’t been impressed with the Traeger temperature control compared to its competitors. But after trying the latest model, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the improved results. They have FINALLY developed an accurate, precise controller. However, in my opinion, it’s still not as good as the Recteq one.
Digital controller & its features
Recteq – This product offers precision, speed, and a wide temperature range at intervals of 5 degrees F. It also includes other useful features such as the option to plug in probes and hook the controller up to a mobile device thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi.
Traeger – You can also expect a multi-functional controller with a wide temperature range and many additional features. You can set the timer, select the “super smoke” or “keep warm” programs, as well as connect to a mobile device thanks to Wi-Fi.
Recteq – Expect a 6-year warranty period! This is rare amongst pellet grills. And if that’s not enough, with your order you will also receive the two cell phones numbers of Recteq’s co-founders.
Traeger – In this case, you can sadly only expect a 3-year warranty period. Considering the hefty price of their top models, a 3-year warranty is poor.
Recteq – The more budget-friendly models don’t offer much cooking space. You are able to buy additional shelves for the RT-340 (small and mobile), RT-590 (medium size), and RT-700, but it is only when you get to the premium models that you really get substantial grilling space. Unfortunately, the premium models come with a premium price.
Traeger – There are a larger number of smaller, budget-friendly models available from Traeger. This brand doesn’t have any premium models, just a range of products within different series. I personally like the larger choice, and bigger sizes available at a more budget-friendly price.
Both Recteq and Traeger have some very attractive, smaller, and mobile options available. There are a number of pellet grills within each brand that are specifically designed with mobility in mind.
Recteq – The smallest mobile model has a tank with a 15lb capacity, the RT-590 model comes with a 30lb tank, whereas the biggest model out of the basic series of pellet grills offers a tank with a whole 40lb capacity! Is a 40lb tank even necessary?! Well, it allows for a substantial number of hours of cooking time.
Traeger –Traeger models come with pellet hoppers that have 18 to 24 lbs of capacity. While less than the Recteq, I don’t personally believe that you need anything above 24 lbs of capacity in your pellet hopper.
Also read: 4 best pellet & wood chip smoker boxes & tubes [for any grill]
Recteq – The company was founded in 2011 which means that, compared to the Traeger, it is a pretty young brand. However, it has definitely become a leader in the market and has earned the love and loyalty of many grilling enthusiasts thanks to its excellent customer support.
Traeger – This brand created the first pellet grill back in 1985! Just one year later the pellet grill was patented, and Traeger remained the only manufacturer of this type of grill for many years. This is why there’s so much nostalgia attached to this brand, and why many people choose it just because of its history.
Recteq – Everyone who has ever had to use the Recteq customer support system knows that the brand values customer service. Just take a quick read through the numerous positive reviews of this brand, you know that you’ll be in good hands if you choose one of their models. They respond to every problem and malfunction quickly and efficiently.
Traeger – Due to the history of this brand, and the larger market share, the experiences of users differ when it comes to customer support. There are loads of BBQ fans who absolutely love the brand, and rave about their customer support. However, there are also a large number of people who have had a negative experience too.
Quality of workmanship and durability
Recteq – When it comes to the RT-700 model, the quality of materials and workmanship is outstanding. The attention to detail and durability is unbeatable, plus it comes with a 6-year warranty. The brand really believes in its product.
Traeger – Traeger has improved significantly in terms of its durability and workmanship. The 2019 series showed a definite improvement in quality and it has continued to progress from there. My concern is the 3-year warranty for the Timberline series as it makes me question the long-term durability and quality of the product.
Recteq vs Traeger – Conclusion
So, which brand wins?
This is not an easy ‘win’. Both brands produce an absolutely delicious BBQ at the end of the day, but there are some stand-out features of the Recteq pellet grills that make it the number one choice in my opinion.
As I’ve highlighted above, their warranty, customer support, and quality of workmanship mean the Recteq is the winner for me.
While they have fewer models to choose from, they have spent a lot of time and energy perfecting each of their products, which they back up with their market-leading 6-year warranty.
This ‘new kid on the block’ is making waves in the pellet grill market!
Wanting to have a look at more good pellet grills? I’ve reviewed the best pellet smoker grills here (including buying guide)