If there’s one pellet smoker that really gets us excited, this is it! There’s a lot of hype around Rec Tec’s most popular grill, the RT-700, also known as the Bull. And, while we usually ignore the ‘latest and greatest’, this smoker screams great quality and even better value for money.
With stainless steel components where it matters. and, a best of it’s kind, PID temperature controller, the Rec Tec RT-700 does pretty much everything, and, it does it well.
But, we didn’t just decide this off the bat. In this Rec Tec RT-700 review, we share our research and experience to help you make the best purchasing decision on your new pellet grill!
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Table of Contents
Features of the Rec Tec RT-700
- Approximately 20% stainless steel components
- Stainless steel cooking grates
- Huge 40 pound pellet hopper for 40+ hours of cook time
- HotFlash ceramic ignition system designed to last more than 300 years
- Modular design allows for easy component replacement
Ease of use:
- PID-style controller maintains temperature precisely
- Temperature range allows for smoking, grilling, searing, baking and even dehydrating
- WiFi enabled for remote control
- LO setting creates maximum smokiness
- FULL function gets hotter than 500°F
- Automatic shutdown
- 2 meat probes
- Interior light
- Stainless steel hopper lid doubles as a warmer
- Snag-free tool hooks
- Industry-leading 6 year warranty
In-Depth Review of the Rec Tec RT-700
The Rec Tec RT-700 is easily one of, if not the, top rated smoker by user feedback ever. And, we love it too!
In designing this mid-sized pellet smoker, Rec Tec haven’t overlooked aspect, creating a unit that performs like a beast and is built like the bull it really is.
But, lets get into the nitty gritty of what you’re really getting with the RT-700.
The Rec Tec RT-700 features a stainless steel cooking chamber, stainless steel grates, stainless steel firepots, stainless steel heat deflectors, a stainless steel smoke cap, stainless steel hardware, and, stainless steel drip pans.
They’ve driven a dump truck and a steamroller over a firepot and have never yet had a firepot fail them in the whole history of the company.
The rust and corrosion-proof, ceramic ignitor rod has been rated for over 100,000 lighting cycles. That’s enough to last for nearly 300 years worth of regular smoking and grilling.
In fact, Rec Tec have done away with any gimmicky features that create weak points in a grill’s construction and have instead designed a modular unit where it’s easy to replace components individually if need be.
This thing is built. to. last.
All of the grills in Rec Tec’s line-up pretty much have the same features. They’re just different sizes to fit your cooking needs and budget.
So, the RT-700 is Rec Tec’s large pellet grill.
You’ve got a modest but roomy 702 square inches of cooking space on the one level (it’s actually 2 racks to make cleaning easier). That’s enough to fit six racks of ribs laid flat. But, it also gives you enough height for full turkey’s or beer can chickens.
If you were hoping for a bit more room, there is an optional extra rack. It sits above the main cooking grate and gives an extra 352 square inches to cook on, bringing the total to 1,054 square inches.
In terms of hopper capacity, the Rec Tec RT-700 holds a HUGE 40 pounds of pellets at one time. This can give you more than 40 hours of continuous cook time. But, it’s also fully fine to fill it up less on those shorter cooks.
When it comes to pellet smoker performance, better temperature control = better results. And, the Rec Tec RT-700 takes the cake with it’s PID-style Smart Grill Technology™ Controller.
It’s the same kind of technology that’s used in commercial breweries and bakeries to keep the temperature regular enough to create reliably repeatable results each and every time.
But, what’s really going on inside a Rec Tec is that their PID algorithm is using temperature and fuel rate data to determine exactly how many pellets are needed to maintain or reach your set temperature. And, this thing’s not just responsive. As it gets closer to your set temperature, it’ll start slowing down the pellet consumption so it doesn’t overshoot your target. If you open the lid, it’ll start adding more fuel straight away so you’ll reach that sweet spot sooner after you shut the lid.
Whatever’s going on inside your grill or outside with the weather, you can expect the RT-700 to stay within about +/-5°F of your target. Oh, and you can set it in 5°F increments too. This thing is super precise. And remember, super precise means super consistent results each and every time.
The temperature range on the Rec Tec RT-700 is 200-500°F. The coolest settings might seem a little higher than other pellet smokers that will go as low as say 150°F. But, most users won’t need to smoke lower than the 200°F mark anyway. And, if you do want to, there is a LO setting that takes the temperature down below 200 for maximum smoke production.
There’s also a FULL setting that’ll take things over the 500°F mark for extra hot searing. But, we’ll get on to grilling in the next section.
The premium nature of Rec Tec’s grill line up means that of course it has WiFi too!
So, yes, you can control the RT-700 remotely from your phone. Using the app, you can set the temperature, check the actual, see the current meat probe readings, and turn it off when it’s done.
Grilling on the RT-700
Not every pellet smoker gets hot enough for you to grill. But, the Rec Tec RT-700 gets a tick in this box too. With the temperature maxing out at over 500°F using it’s FULL function, it does get hot enough to grill well and the stainless steel grates leave nice sear marks too.
If you want to take things up a notch though, Rec Tec also make awesome sear kits for the RT-700. These are pretty much 3 interlocking, aluminum panels that replace one of the normal cooking grates. The aluminum gets hotter than stainless for even higher heat, while the shape reduces burning and creates incredible sear marks. Check our the video below to see how they work.
Rec Tec’s aim to make their grills the gold standard means that they haven’t just stopped at the basics.
The RT-700 also comes with dual meat probes to monitor 2 cooks at the same time, a stainless steel hopper lid that doubles as a warmer, tool hooks and an oh-so-great, washable interior light that lets the heaven’s shine down on what you’ve just created.
In fact, the RT-700 Bundle you can get on Amazon also includes a grill cover, 2 non-stick mats and a massive 200 pounds of Rec Tec pellets (one of the best – read our review here). It’s literally everything you need to not only get started pellet smoking. But, it’ll keep you smoking and grilling for a good few months too.
Rec Tec say that they want you to be able to hand this grill down as an heirloom. But, how do you actually know they mean it?
Well their 6 year all-inclusive, industry-leading warranty is a good hint.
There literally isn’t any other pellet smoker on the market that offers a similar warranty. It covers everything part of your new smoker and Rec Tec is known for their amazing customer service. It’s one of the big reasons this is one of the top rated smokers on the market. If there is a problem, you can trust Rec Tec to fix it.
You even get the cell numbers of both of the company’s co-founders with every purchase. Gimmicky? We think not. They care. They’re there. And, we’re here for it!
Yes, the Amazon Rec-Tec RT-700 bundle does include everything you need for pellet smoking and grilling. But, there’s a heap of cool add-ons and accessories you can get for the RT-700 if you want to. These include:
Cleaning the Rec Tec RT-700
Two things are important to know about cleaning the Rec Tec RT-700.
First, they have this amazing automatic, self-cleaning shutdown mode that means you only need to clean the firepot every 3-5 cooks. Big tick!
And second, there is no pellet hopper purge door.
Now, we’re usually all for the pellet clean-out features. As you might know, you really shouldn’t be leaving unused pellets in the hopper because they’ll absorb moisture over time which causes a heap of problems that mean poor cooks. But, we heard out Rec Tec’s reason for not including a pellet clean out door and are now convinced that they’ve made the right call with this one.
In a nutshell, creating an opening in the hopper itself gives moisture an easier way in. And, during long cooks, you don’t want your up to 40 pounds of pellets slowly losing their crispness.
So, no opening means that unless you live somewhere that’s really humid, it’s okay to leave your pellets in the hopper. Rec Tec say up to 6 weeks is okay. And, when it’s time to clean them out, you can simply use a scoop. Or, check out this wet/dry shop vac that hooks onto a 5 gallon bucket which you should be using for storage anyway (bucket not included so remember to grab one too).
Other than that, the stainless steel drip tray and grates are easy to wipe down. You should also clean out any ash inside the grill every 100-120 pounds of pellets. Really, it’s pretty easy. But, here’s a video that shows you what to do if you want more pointers.
Pros of the Rec Tec RT-700:
- High-quality build with premium materials
- Huge pellet hopper lets you cook for up to 40 hours continuously
- Ceramic ignition system should last through almost 300 years of smoking and grilling
- Wide temperature range lets you smoke, grill, sear, bake and dehydrate
- PID-style temperature controller is best of it’s kind and will keep the heat within about +/-5°F
- Reliable performance makes it so easy to get consistently good results
- WiFi lets you control the whole unit remotely
- Dual meat probes give accurate feedback on how your cooks are going
- Washable interior light
- Self-cleaning shutdown mode reduces the need to clean the firepot
- Safe to keep pellets in the hopper between cooks for a few weeks
- All-inclusive 6 year warranty
- Great value for money pellet smoker considering the quality and inclusions that you get
Cons of the Rec Tec RT-700:
- No pellet hopper clean out door might bother some people
- No open flame grilling. The optional sear plates do get amazing results so we don’t think this is a weak performance area, but, needed to mention it here
Specs for the Rec Tec RT-700 Wood Pellet Grill
Barbecue material: Stainless steel and powder-coated steel
Grate material: Stainless steel
Cooking capacity: 702 sq. in., or 1,054 sq. in. with optional extra rack
Pellet hopper capacity: 40 lbs
Heat range: 200 – 500°F +
Barbecue type: Wood pellet grill and smoker
Fuel type: Wood pellet
Price guide: $$
Dimensions: 54″(W) x 36″(D) x 50″(H)
Weight: 195 lbs
Warranty: 6 years
FAQs About the Rec Tec RT-700
Q. Do I need to use Rec Tec pellets in the RT-700?
No. You can use any brand of pellets in the Rec Tec RT-700. But, Rec Tec’s pellets are one of the best as reviewed here.
Q. Does the warranty still apply if I buy off Amazon?
Yes! The RT-700 bundle ships directly from Rec Tec and is covered by the same bumper to bumper 6 year warranty.
Q. Are there hot spots on the Rec Tec Bull?
It gives pretty even temperature across the grill. The fire is in the center with the heat deflector over it and it does a good job of evening out the heat distribution.
Q. Where are Rec Tec grills made?
Same as most smokers these days – China. But, that doesn’t mean it’s poorly made. Premium materials, good quality control and an even better warranty.
Q. Why is the RT-700 more expensive on Amazon than through Rec Tec?
This one is a bundle that includes a cover, 2 mesh non-stick grill mats and 200 pounds of pellets + free shipping. You’re looking at the smoker only through the Rec Tec website here.
Q. How long does the RT-700 take to heat up?
It should get to just under 300°F in less than 10 minutes.
Our Verdict on the Rec Tec RT-700 Review
When it comes to pellet smokers, you simply won’t find better quality, performance, or, value for money than you get with the Rec Tec RT-700. They say this thing is the gold standard and it really is!
With a price that’s on par with mid-range Traegers, the RT-700 gives you the highest quality components, the longest warranty, accurate and precise temperature control and great customer service if anything does happen to go wrong.
Great for anyone and everyone, the RT-700 has been designed for you to hand down to your kids’ kids.
Basically, if it’s in your price bracket, buy it!
The Rec Tec RT-700 is designed to last and outlast all of it’s competitors so it’s the one an only pellet grill you’ll ever need to buy. You can’t go wrong with this one.