If you are interested in, or are an avid enthusiast of pellet grills, you have definitely heard of the companies REC TEC and Traeger.
Both companies make high quality, well-known and loved products and pellet grills. So, which one should you buy from? If you have narrowed it down to the two of these companies, how on earth do you choose?
We will be taking a detailed look at both REC TEC and Traeger to see which one is truly the superior company with the best products. Between quality of products, customer service, pricing, customer reviews, and sizing, there is a lot to consider.
Click to jump straight to each topic:
What are REC TEC and Traeger?
REC TEC and Traeger are both high quality, established companies that specialize in grills that use pellets to cook meat. Let’s look at both companies separately.
REC TEC is a much newer company – it was established in 2011 by two friends hoping to create a better product than what they had been using to grill over the years
They started out in their garages selling their products after making many prototypes to find the perfect combination. After that they opened up their first physical store in Augusta, Georgia. Now, 7 years later they sell their products all over the United States.
Their focus is having the highest quality, especially when it comes to temperature control. They use Smart Grill Technology to ensure that the flavors and temperatures are perfect every time you use their grills.
Traeger is a company that has been around for quite a bit longer. They were established in 1985 and have always been the most popular brand to buy pellet grills from.
This company has been around longer than any other company selling pellet grills, so they have had more time to perfect their products and design. They offer over a dozen different designs with different features, colors, shapes, and sizes.
What is Unique About Them?
Now let’s compare the unique qualities and designs of the two companies and their grills.
Because this company is still fairly new, they came into the pellet grill world with smart technology already in place on the first grills they began selling. Their patented technology for temperature control allows you to maintain temperatures over much longer periods of time, and you are able to adjust the temperature in 5-degree increments, Their range also goes up to 500 degrees, which is 100 degrees higher than Traeger’s highest temperature.
REC TEC offers 4 different kinds of pellet grills, the first one being their REC TEC Grills Bull (RT-700) which offers 1054 square inches of cooking space. They also have the REC TEC Grills Stampede (RT-590), the Grills Trailblazer (RT-340), and the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill (RT-680). This is definitely an area where Traeger has the lead, considering that they have so many more options for grills than REC TEC does.
This company also offers so many customization options – which is definitely a win for them. With their grills you are able to add extra shelves, wood pellets, sauces, etc. This is one option that you don’t get when buying a Traeger grill.
As far as customer service, there have been overwhelming, multiple positive stories about REC TEC and their service. A lot of reviews have mentioned that managers in their customer service department will call them back even if it’s a weekend or holiday. The only downside we could really see when it comes to their customer service is that they do not have a dealer network yet, which could do a lot for customer convenience and satisfaction.
When it comes to Traeger, they have the many, many years of experience to explain the quality of their technology in grills. They were even one of the first companies to include a digital temperature control in their products. Over 30 years they have been able to perfect the smart grill to come up with a design that maintains temperature perfectly. Like we mentioned before however, the only downside would be that their grills only go up to 400 degrees, while REC TEC products go up to 500.
Traeger also has an absolutely incredible range in different choices for pellet grills. They offer over 20 different products of different shapes, sizes, and materials. One of their most popular grills is their Renegade Pro Grill, which has been advertised on TV and comes with two bags of pellets, chicken rub, a chicken throne, a pizza grilling kit, and a three-year warranty. That is pretty hard to beat.
Their customer service is also considered to be one of the highest rated when it comes to grill companies. No matter what the issue is, the company is willing to fix or replace whatever happened. Having that nice three-year warranty is definitely a big help too. On top of that, Traeger products are also sold by third party vendors like Amazon, so if you need replacement parts you can look other places too.
As far as pricing is concerned, it is really difficult to compare the two companies – since Traeger has such a large selection of products, the range will not mean as much in the comparison.
REC TEC’s products range from their cheapest pellet grill at $599.00 to $1199.00 as their most expensive option. As for Traeger, their products go from $499.00 to $1999.00, but it’s over a much wider range of different products.
Looking at the features that the two companies offer for grills around the same price, they look to be pretty comparable overall. Traeger’s Texas Elite Pellet Grill and the REC TEC Grill Stampede are both $899.00 apiece. When we compare the two, the Texas Elite does have a larger cooking space at 646 square inches (compared to the Grill Stampede’s 592), and most of the other features are pretty similar as well. However, Traeger is still the definite winner when it comes to product choices.
Public Perception (Other REC TEC and Traeger Reviews)
Now let’s take a look at what other customers thought of the companies.
The subject that comes up in most of the reviews online about REC TEC is how wonderful their customer service is. A lot of people who bought their products have mentioned having wonderful service whether they have to email, call or go see them in person. A few reviews even mentioned talking to the co-founders when big issues arose, and that they were able to fix everything without a problem. Overall this is the number one aspect that got people excited about REC TEC products.
Something else that came up frequently was the temperature control. A lot of reviewers mentioned that previous grills had inconvenient hot spots or just bad control all together. However, when they tried the REC TEC brand, they were pleasantly surprised by just how perfectly controlled it was. If they set it to a temperature it would stay there until they changed it. The only downside mentioned as far as the temperature was concerned was that the grill did, of course, heat up more if placed in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
Reviews also frequently mentioned the pricing when talking about the products. While searching for the perfect pellet grill, they found that the prices were extremely reasonable for the same features and high quality that other companies offered at a much higher price. The money and quality balance is definitely in the customer’s favor when it comes to REC TEC grills.
As far as downsides are concerned, the only big one that we saw in reviews online were the fact that the igniter is said to go bad occasionally. When customers discovered this and had to call customer service to fix it, their fantastic team was usually able to resolve the issue quickly. They also have a very helpful video online if it needs to be fixed as well – however it is an important aspect to keep in mind if it is something you would like to avoid altogether.
One of the most frequently mentioned features that reviewers really liked about this grill was that it would start up even in completely freezing weather. No matter what the temperature was, users were able to start up the grill, get it up to the perfect temperature, and then cook food on it without a problem.
Another quality that customers loved was how easy the grill was to assemble after having it delivered to their home. While other grills had given them issues in the past, their Traeger grills were said to be fairly simple and straightforward, making them a convenient choice for the future as well.
Reviewers also loved how it was perfect for grilling or smoking any type of meat or food that they wanted. No matter the temperature, type of food, or weather outside, they could make what they wanted to with ease.
For negatives, there were a few mentioned in the reviews as well.
The first one that came up a few times from customers was temperature irregularity. This wasn’t a widespread issue, but there were a few users that complained that the temperature could not be regulated easily and that it was frequently off by 20 degrees or so. Again, this wasn’t an issue for everyone, but it is a good thing to keep in mind,
One other negative that was mentioned in a few reviews that if the product was shipped to their homes, sometimes they would come with broken wheels, legs, or other vital part of the grill. Their customer service department was, of course, able to ship out new parts right away, but they still had the inconvenient experience of having to contact them for new parts for a brand-new grill.
How They Compare: REC TEC Vs. Traeger
After looking at all the information we could find on these two companies, there definitely is a clear winner.
Traeger, being around for 30 years, having all that to perfect their products and to expand their business much further than REC TEC, is definitely the winner. They have a far bigger selection of products for their customers, and their expertise level cannot be beat.
However, when it comes to customer service, after looking at the customer reviews, we definitely think that REC TEC has a lot going for it. There were virtually no negative reviews about any representatives from the company – every customer that had to talk to them was pleased afterwards. While Traeger is also said to have an excellent customer service department, REC TEC did win this round.
What We Think
With time, we may see REC TEC rise to the same level as Traeger, once they have had years and years of experience. However, for a company that just started in 2011, they are doing a fantastic job for themselves.
Each company has a lot to offer, and you can’t go wrong choosing one or the other. If you have bought from one of the companies before, what was your experience like? Would you buy from them again?
Last Updated on August 6, 2020 by Judith Fertig