So you have decided to buy a new pellet smoker, with Rec-Tec and Camp Chef being your top two choices. You’re on the right track when you think about these smokers.
But, which pellet smoker is best for you? This article compares Camp Chef vs Rec Tec grills by highlighting similarities and differences in build quality, grilling performance, warranties, etc. We personally like Camp Chef’s series, especially the Woodwind 24 grill smoker.
We will also do a review of each brand and include a comparison summary between Rec Tec vs Camp Chef. By the end of the article, you should have a feeling for the brand, what they are all about, and find out which is the best WiFi pellet grill for you.
Rec Tec vs Camp Chef Comparison Summary
|Good material, mostly made from steel and aluminum
|Premium, solid material, mostly made from stainless steel
|Good and consistent, with good PID temperature control
|More consistent, with great PID temperature control
|Up to 3 years
|Up to 6 years
|Pellet Hopper Size
|On the smaller side
|On the larger side
|Cleaning and Maintenance
|Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system makes emptying ashes easier
|Stainless steel construction makes for easier cleaning without risk of rust and residues
About Recteq Brand
Recteq was founded by two friends, Ron Cundy and Ray Carnes, in 2009. Their mission was to design grills that were both high-quality and affordable. And that could be used by professionals and beginners alike. What began as a passion between friends has become a large organization that puts a premium on quality, innovation, and competitive pricing.
More than a decade later, the company stands out for the features and quality of its products. Their wood pellet grills are among the most popular BBQ models. Although Recteq is not the cheapest, they have a full range of features in their bull-horned drum that is sure to catch your eye.
Is Rec Tec the best pellet grill? Well, their performance and quality are among the best, with a middle-of-the-road price. Those strategies have earned them top reviews and notable mentions while getting them noticed.
Recteq was formerly known as Rec-Tec. Despite the name change, the company’s services, products, and operations remain unchanged.
About Camp Chef Brand
The original Camp Chef Company was founded in 1990, and the one we know today began in 2009. The company’s new version was established in response to a need for high-quality outdoor cooking equipment. As they have grown, the range of products they offer has expanded as well.
So is Camp Chef a good brand? Quality and affordability are paramount to their business philosophy, and their products reflect that. When you look at their products, it is clear that quality and price remain the driving forces in their success. They have also innovated, addressing the issue of whether pellet smokers can properly grill.
The Comparison Between Camp Chef vs Rec Tec Features
Before you buy, it is essential to review a few areas, no matter whether you are looking at Camp Chef or Rec teq. So, let’s compare these two companies to see how they stack up against each other.
Pellet Grill Construction
Camp Chef has the edge with construction here. Their pellet grills are well-made, smooth fit, and perform well even after many years. Besides ashtrays that can be easily removed, they also have self-cleaning burners. But, Camp Chef provides a high-quality, conventional build of powder-coated steel and stainless steel lid.
Rec teq differentiates itself by offering a high-end build. Rec teq is like what you would find in public venues or outdoor kitchens for homes which is excellent for many guests. But, if you compare it to smooth black enamel coatings, this exterior surface is more challenging to maintain.
Our Verdict: Camp Chef won our hearts with its pellet grill construction design though compared to Recteq.
It goes without saying that temperature is EVERYTHING for cooking on a pellet grill to achieve the best flavor.
Camp Chef pellet grills offer a temperature range of 150 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in 5-degree increments for smoking, charring and searing. The lower end of temperature lets you achieve better smoke, so if you are a huge fan of smoking meat, Camp Chef is a great choice.
Thanks to the Slide and Grill functionality, Camp Chef performs well as a grill too via direct flame cooking, with the ability to achieve up to 650 degrees Fahrenheit using the cooking grate. Additionally, you can up your grilling game even further up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit by attaching the propane Sear Box/SideKick cooking surface to the side of the pellet grill.
Rec Tec pellet grills on the other hand lets you cook in the range of 200 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, with 5-degree increments too. You can choose between its LO setting for lower temp range which is best for smoking, or the FULL setting when you need higher heat. Bear in mind that this is indirect heat, so you won’t be able to achieve perfection if you seek the type of searing, flavor or crust like the one from open flame cooking.
Our Verdict: Go for Camp Chef if you want a multitude of cooking styles from great smoking to searing and grilling at high heat. Otherwise, Recteq does the job just fine for smoking, baking and slow cooking.
Whether you choose Camp Chef or Rec-Tec, a pellet smoker’s ability to maintain a specific temperature is more critical than its temperature range. You’ll receive a temperature controller that offers repeatable and consistent results. This controller maintains a constant temperature for commercial purposes like breweries and bakeries.
PID controllers were designed initially for commercial breweries and bakeries. But it is now possible to find them at home. Both manufacturers claim that their devices can maintain a steady temperature in your smoker (+/- 5°F) when conditions are decent.
Camp Chef grill is of high quality and keeps the heat very well. They can be set in 25°F increments, which is standard these days. The new models that also feature their WiFi technology can be set to 5°F increments, which is not common among other brands but is still an excellent attribute for this brand.
Recteq pellet grills do a really excellent job of heat retention. These grills are made with high-quality materials, which means Rec-Tec grills will be reliable and maintain consistent temperatures. You can set Recteq grill temps in 5°F increments, an incredible amount for a pellets smoker!
Our Verdict: Temperature precision is where Rec-Tec and Camp Chef are many times ahead of other grill players in the market. After testing both brands, we found out both brands do what they’re supposed to in providing consistent yet precise temperatures, so there’s no need to worry about maintaining the temperature during cooking sessions in good weather conditions. But if we have to choose, we’d go for Camp Chef as we like how easy it is to read from the larger color display compared to Recteq’s smaller monochrome display panel.
Camp Chef and Rec Tec are priced in the middle for pellet smokers. Camp Chef pellet grills are some of the cheapest compared to Rectec. They typically cost between $500 and $800 online or most major retailers.
Recteq has better quality parts and pieces for a higher price, but you may be willing to spend that much in pursuit of a durable pellet grill. Camp Chef offers affordable options, but Recteq is definitely good value for your money.
Our Verdict: We have to go with Camp Chef for this one as we’re always for affordable yet great options.
Pellet Hopper Size
Both Camp Chef and Rec Tec have hopper sizes that vary based on the size of the grill. With Camp Chef, you can fit about 10 pounds of pellets into the smallest grill, while Rec Teq starts at 20 pounds.
Camp Chef offers a 22-pound hopper that remains the same for their larger sizes. Their RT-700 has a 40-pound hopper, while the RT-2500 Beast has a dual-hopper capacity of 66 pounds. Rec teq steps up the hopper size as the grate size increases.
Overall, both brands offer adequate pellet hopper sizes. Rec teq’s pellet hopper capacity is 18 pounds. Which is more significant than most, making it possible to add more pellets between grill sessions in less time. But, Rec teq’s are more considerable.
Our Verdict: We choose Recteq over Camp Chef as we prefer having a bigger hopper capacity.
Camp Chef pellet grill warranty is up to 3 years, with a 30-day warranty on labor and 1 year of coverage for all purchases. This is not bad, and it is in line with other pellet smoker companies.
Recteq’s smokers are designed to be passed down to your grandchildren. While their warranty will not cover that. They offer the best pellet smoker warranty in the industry: 6 years for the larger sizes from RT-700 up. During those six years, every part of the grill is covered. For the smaller models, it is 2-4 years. There are no exceptions or exclusions. Their customer service is also excellent.
Our Verdict: We love how Rec Teq is generous with its warranty compared to Camp Chef, so Rec Teq wins!
You can choose from standard sizes of 20, 24, or 36 inches when you buy a Camp Chef range. The sizes are outlined below:
- Smallest 501 square inches of space
- Midsize 800 square inches
- Largest 1,236 square inches
As with the smaller models, the larger sizes of the same range have the same features. That means you won’t have to spend more money on an upgrade.
Rec Tec offers a larger cooking surface of 20 inches, which is about 30% bigger than the standard 18-inch grill. It can cook up to 24 burgers at once, depending on the size of the burger.
For more space choices, Reqteq pellet grill offers six different sizes with the same features. They offer the following space:
- RT-340 offers 340 square inches
- RT-B380 Bullseye offers 380 square inches
- RT-590 wood pellet grill offers 592 square inches
- RT-700 offers 702 square inches
- RT-1250 offers 1,250 square inches
- RT-2500 offers 2,535 square inches
Our Verdict: Regardless of your cooking needs for two, your immediate family, or a large group, there should be a smoker option from either Recteq or Camp Chef that fits the bill. However, our vote goes to Rec Tec pellet grills due to the variety of cooking spaces without slacking on pellet grill performance.
Camp Chef has recently developed a pellet grill with Wi-Fi capability. The Camp Chef Smokepro pellet grills are available in the Elite and Pro series. The essential features of these pellet grills are the same as other pellet grills. But they come with an app that lets you control various aspects like temperature and cooking time. You can get real-time updates on the grilling process.
The Rec Teq lifestyle series of wood pellet grills feature revolutionary Wi-Fi technology. Cook from wherever you are! Once you’ve connected your Recteq to Wi-Fi. You can turn the grill on/off, adjust the set temperature up or down, and track the meat probe temperature. It’s as simple as that. You can control the grill’s settings from your couch, the golf course, or even while playing golf.
Our Verdict: We find both brands to be on par in terms of WiFi functionalities, so it’s a tie here.
Regardless of the brand you choose, you need a meat probe thermometer that is accurate and easy to read. The Camp Chef comes with an easy-to-read digital display. It also provides four integrated meat probes that alert you when your food reaches the perfect cooking temperature. On the other hand, Rec Teq grills feature two meat probes/embedded thermometers made from high quality stainless steel that provides better accuracy and dependability than most other brands.
Our Verdict: Camp Chef tends to provide more meat probe thermometers compared to Rec Tec grills, which is something we really like – it’s Camp Chef for us.
Camp Chef primarily uses powder-coated steel and aluminum for the main body. Which makes them more durable than other models. They also use stainless steel grates and cooking grids, which increase the lifetime of their product.
Rec Tec’s pellet grill is constructed of 14 gauge brushed stainless steel encased in three-inch tubular steel frames. This provides maximum durability even after extended use.
Our Verdict: In terms of material, we’d say they both offer solid materials that will last for years of cooking on their pellet grills, so it’s a tie.
Some additional features offered by Camp Chef and Recteq:
Camp Chef comes with several handy features designed to make grilling more straightforward and more convenient, such as:
- An ash cup for easy cleaning after every cookout.
- Designed to channel fat into a removable drip tray.
- An ETL certification is available for all models
- The option of cast iron grates which increases heat retention and durability
Recteq’s series offers many more features, including:
- Built-in temperature sensors can be used to track internal meat temperatures.
- With a pellet probe, you can determine when your meat or fish is done.
- A system that allows you to maintain a specific desired temperature
- Optional stainless steel grates make cleaning more accessible since they will not rust or leave residue on food after cleaning.
Our Verdict: It’s rather tough for us to decide which brand has better extra features, so we would say it’s a tie since both offer good heat retention and ease of cleaning.
Camp Chef vs Rec Tec In A Nutshell
The Camp Chef and Rec Tec brand offer a great grill that does cooking and barbecuing a pleasure. They are well-known, affordable, high-quality pellet smokers with Wi-Fi. Both are excellent choices.
Of course, it can be a difficult decision to make if you don’t know what you’re looking for in a pellet grill. The following summed up info will help you decide between Rec Tec or Camp Chef grills:
Reasons to Choose Camp Chef Pellet Grills
Camp Chef grills are compact, easy to carry, and store. A propane grill can be used indoors or outdoors using an efficient burner system. The Camp Chef grill heats quickly and without flare-ups.
The grill is made of high-quality materials, rust-resistant, supported by steel rods and stay-cool handles. It also offers adjustable air vents for adjusting heat output. With a removable drip pan, easy cleanup is just one of the benefits.
Camp Chef offers versatility via its grill accessories for outdoor enthusiasts and travelers. The grills are generally less expensive than Rec Teq. Slide and Grill functionality allows you to cook at much higher temperatures. Camp Chef grills come in a wide range of sizes, performs well, and doubles as a grill.
Reasons to Choose Rec-Tec Pellet Grills
Recteq is positioning itself as an upscale brand with stainless steel components. A firepot that seems unbreakable and industry-leading warranties to back it up.
The Recteq pellet grill uses wood pellets rather than a propane gas grill or charcoal grills to cook food. They offer today’s best combination of cooking ability and ease of use.
Their advanced digital sensor system adjusts the temperature according to food requirements; it is equipped with a timer, an audible bell that signals when to turn over food, and an automatic shut-off feature. This gives you more options for cooking under precise control. The grill features easy-to-use speed controls, digital thermometers, and rust-resistant coatings.
Read More >> Rec Tec vs Pit Boss
If cost is a significant consideration, Camp Chef may be your best option as it provides excellent value. To buy the grill that’s perfect for you, consider how often you will use it and where you intend on placing it. Knowing this information should help determine what type of grill best suits your needs and how you plan to use it.
A Look At Some Rec Tec vs Camp Chef Models
To help you narrow down your choices, we compare the features of some popular Camp Chef vs Rec Tec models for you so that when you make a decision about which one to choose, it is an informed choice.
More Affordable, Small Range: Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24in vs. Recteq RT-590
Camp Chef 24 SmokePro SG WiFi Grill and Recteq RT-590 are two most popular smokers from both companies.
Camp Chef SmokePro comes with a large cooking space of 811 square inches, with temperatures ranging from 160°F-500°F.
Compared to RT-590, which cooks at 180°F-500°F, the Rec-Tec pellet grill has a total surface area of 592 square inches for cooking.
The RT-590 comes with a 30-pound hopper. While Camp Chef SmokePro has an 22-pound of hopper capacity.
But when you compare the prices, Rec Tec 590 costs significantly higher than Camp Chef SmokePro 24″, but Recteq’s RT-590 features stainless steel parts unlike Camp Chef’s SG24 grill.
Our Verdict: We like the Camp Chef SmokePro more for its bigger cooking space and lower price compared to the Rec Tec 590. However, if your budget permits, Rec Tec 590 pellet grill is definitely a solid choice.
More About The Camp Chef SmokePro SG24 WiFi Pellet Grill
[amazon box=”B08N5GRKY3″ /]
If you’re looking for a great grill, consider the Camp Chef SG24 SmokePro with WiFi. It’s a slide smoker with 811 square inches of cooking space for a 4-pax meal that features hands-free cooking functions, thanks to its Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled features.
Like other pellet grills in its line, it also includes the versatility of Slide and Grill Technology, which lets you switch between direct flame or indirect smoking utilizing its Gen 2 PID temperature setting technology for better cooking precision. You can use the Camp Chef PG24SGC smoker to grill, roast, braise, or bake your meals at 160 to 500 degrees F.
You can add on a BBQ Sear Box for going all out with the searing action right from 480 to 900 degrees F. Also, cleaning is made easy with its unique Ash Kickin’ Cleanout system.
Holding up to 22 pounds of wood pellets at once is well suited for backyard barbecues. Just add your favorite ingredients inside and let it do the work!
The only downside is that you don’t have stainless steel lid with this but look past the stainless material, you will find yourself enjoying cooking on this grill, of which many users including us have attested to its quality.
More About the Recteq RT-590
[amazon box=”B0B5FK6HNJ” /]
If you are looking for a high quality product for your small family, consider the Recteq RT-590. The RT-590 is a wifi-enabled portable pellet grill that features smart technology and durable construction. It has a total cooking area of 592 square inches.
The PID algorithm in the RT-590 will maintain the perfect cooking temperature for your dish, no matter where you are. You can control the RT-590 with the Recteq App on your phone.
Recteq pellet grill is known for its build quality. The RT-590 is a high-quality product that features 304 stainless steel. It also has a firepot that’s easy to clean, plus a heat deflector and steel drip pan. What’s more, this smoker will give you great results every time because of its flawless performance.
This grill offers different heat configurations and a patented temperature control system for consistent, reliable heat. For example, you can choose a temperature between 180 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit to get the perfect meal every time.
Mid-Range Grills: Camp Chef WoodWind 24 in. vs Recteq RT-700
The Camp Chef Woodwind 24 is a popular medium sized pellet grill with 811 square inches of cooking space that ranges from 160°F to 650°F, while the Recteq RT-700 is a wood pellet smoker with 702 square inches of cooking surface, with the Rec Tec temperature range from 180°F – 500ºF+.
The Woodwind 24in grill can store up to 22 pounds worth of wood pellets, but the RT-700 takes it up even more by storing up to 40 pounds worth of wood pellets at a time.
Both the Camp Chef Woodwind 24 grill and Recteq’s RT-700 come with WiFi functionality and a stainless steel construction so expect to get years of use from these products. Price-wise, Recteq costs more than Camp Chef, with its price on par in Rec Tec 700 vs Camp Chef Woodwind 36 comparison.
Our Verdict: If you want to save money and buy something that will last for years, then Recteq RT-700 is not for you. It’s made for people who want the best right now and don’t mind spending it. We pick Camp Chef Woodwind 24 over the RT-700 as we like more cooking space and the higher range of temperature achievable despite the smaller hopper capacity. Another thing to note is the color display on the Camp Chef that makes it easier to read the display panel.
Camp Chef Woodwind 24 Pellet Grill
[amazon box=”B081P7SJ3V” /]
The Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 24 Pellet Grill is one of the smaller grills in its series but does not fall short on features. It retains all the smart features and versatility of a larger grill. The temperature ranges from 160-to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a PID controller that helps maintain consistent temperature settings.
The cooking surface area it offers you is 811 square inches. So you can easily fit four chickens into this pellet smoker. You can use cooking grates for better heat retention and evenness, and there’s also a utility shelf next to an open firebox where you can pan fry if necessary! The Ash Cleanout system is also pretty neat for a less stressful cleaning.
Finally, two rugged wheels allow easy movement around your yard or property. This WiFi-enabled pellet grill is perfect for high-tech home lifestyle enthusiasts.
[amazon box=”B0B5FJPH9T” /]
This Rec Teq RT-700 is a great pellet grill known for convenience, build quality, and versatility. The RT-590 is made of high-quality 304 stainless steel and features incredibly durable construction, which will last a lifetime. The Rec Tec 700 can store up to 40 pounds of pellets at a time.
RT-700 maintains a consistent Rec Tec temperature range heating system, starting from 180°F – to 500°F. There are 702 square inches of cooking space, which can hold six rib racks.
Control your RT-700 with the Recteq App. With easy on/off, precise temperature control, and unparalleled grilling convenience, all other grills are obsolete!
Large Ranged Smokers for Family Cooking: Camp Chef 36 vs Recteq RT-1250
We compare two high-quality grills: the Camp Chef Woodwind WiFi 36 and Recteq RT-1250.
Both Camp Chef Woodwind vs Rec Tec grills have the same cooking space, around 1250 square inches. They are both perfect for parties and family gatherings, with Camp Chef having a hopper size of 22 pounds and Recteq’s hopper capacity of 40 pounds respectively that is double Camp Chef’s.
Temperature Range is 160°F to 650°F for Camp Chef Woodwind 36 with WiFi, while Rec Tec 1250 offers a wider range of 180°F – 700°F+ for searing steaks and more.
The PID controller will enable you to stay connected with your grill using the Camp Chef app. At the same time, you can control the RT-1250 with the Recteq App that one of the best in the smoking industry.
Our Verdict: We opt for Rec Tec 1250 this round as we like having a bigger cooking temperature range on the grill without getting extra accessories. Plus, the 40-lb hopper means not having to top up pellets many times so the focus is on cooking instead. However, if you find yourself doing a lot more searing and reverse searing, Camp Chef 36″ Woodwind grill will be the better option.
More About Camp Chef Woodwind 36 with WiFi
[amazon box=”B081P2TT3T” /]
The Camp Chef Woodwind 36 has many features. The grill is perfect for parties and cookouts, as it offers 1236 square inches of cooking space. It also has an inbuilt hopper that can hold up to 22 pounds worth of wood pellets at one time – this makes the process easy!
One of the most valuable about this grill is its Sidekick. The Sidekick lets you add griddles, ovens, or stockpots to your Camp Chef single burner cooking system- making it VersaGrillity. This grill includes an impressive Sear Box that gets up to 900°F and sears beautifully with cast iron grates.
Camp Chef’s PID and WiFi-enabled controller will let you stay connected with your grill. You can switch between Direct and Indirect Flame mode, giving you a temperature range from 160°F to 650°F.
More About Recteq RT-1250
[amazon box=”B09FYCVBMJ” /]
The RT-1250 by Recteq is a top oven. This pellet grill has a temperature range from 180°F to 700°F with the help of a PID controller. The RT-1250 offers 1250 square inches of cooking area, which can accommodate large gatherings or parties with ease. You can fit up to 40 pounds of wood pellets inside the oven and never worry about temperature instability.
You can control RT-1250 from your mobile with the Recteq app, which provides precise temperature and requires little help from the user.
Read More: Rec Tec vs Yoder
Camp Chef vs. Rec Tec Final Thoughts
Hopefully, you found this Camp Chef vs Rec Tec comparison helpful in your quest for the perfect pellet grill. Both brands have excellent reputations and customer satisfaction that spans over many years. You can’t go wrong with either one, and it will most likely come down to preference or degree of personal opinion.
So which brand to go for – Recteq vs Camp Chef? They are both solid brands with a variety of different options.
While Camp Chef might be the more budget-friendly option, Rec Tec offers so much value for its price that it would still be worth buying even if it costs more than a camp chef.
In my opinion, Camp Chef beats Recteq in the Camp Chef vs Recteq battle. Recteq grills are beautiful and fantastic, but all things considered, including the bang for the buck, Camp Chef is the better grill.