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I'm new to the pellet smoking game, as I've just picked up a RecTec.  What are the thoughts on the best brand of pellets to purchase?  I've read pretty bad things on Traeger due to a lawsuit.

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For those who like the Traeger for set and forget convenience, you can also get similar convenience using one of the fan controllers on a WSM or kamado.

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3 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I'm new to the pellet smoking game, as I've just picked up a RecTec.  What are the thoughts on the best brand of pellets to purchase?  I've read pretty bad things on Traeger due to a lawsuit.

I really like Lumberjack 100% Hickory.

https://www.atwoods.com/department/outdoor-recreation/grills-smokers/charcoal-fuel/lumber-jack-hickory-bbq-grilling-pellets-20-lbs.html

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A buddy bought a Rec Tec RT700 a few months ago, and I have to say I'm intrigued. He's turned out some pretty great quality briskets on that thing...great bark, great smoke ring, fully rendered fat in the point, and he says it's been 100% trouble free. I'm at a point where set it and forget it and get a good night's sleep is sounding pretty good. The App seems cool, too. We went fishing last month, and he put ribs on the smoker for his family before we left. He was able to control temp and see the meat temp from his iphone, and called his wife and told her when to wrap and unwrap them from Rockport. Pretty cool. I'm going to see how he likes it in a year, and may pull the trigger then. For now, I've filled the water pan on my WSM with sand, and just ordered a Cajun Bandit door and charcoal ring. Hopefully that helps with my temp fluctuation issues and I can get it dialed in. I haven't been happy with a brisket from my WSM since I got it. 

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Ive had a Traeger for several years.  Can’t beat the convenience, and once I learned how to use it correctly (which didn’t take long) it has been cranking out really good bbq.  Great thing iOS being able to turn it on quickly to do things like smoke steaks for a reverse sear.  And you can’t beat being able to throw on a brisket and go back to bed

Edited by AustinMT

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So, it's established that the traegers and their cousins are "set and forget".

What about using a WSM with one of those computerized fan deals on the lower vent?  Anybody use that?

 

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20 hours ago, Gil Bang said:

So, it's established that the traegers and their cousins are "set and forget".

What about using a WSM with one of those computerized fan deals on the lower vent?  Anybody use that?

 

I don't have an electric fan/temp controller, but I do have a WSM. Out of the box, I wasn't all that impressed with the WSM (coming from an offset stick burner). The factory door is trash and leaks like crazy, it's a pain in the ass to clean, and the the factory cover sun rotted in less than a year so every time it rains, the lower chamber fills up with water. It also takes some finagling to keep temp consistent. I've filled my water pan with sand, so it holds temp better now, and I just ordered the cajun bandit replacement door and larger charcoal ring. We will see how it goes with those mods as far as holding temp and extending cook time. That doesn't make it any easier to clean out after a cook, or any easier to get started. One of the most attractive things about a pellet smoker to me is that it's almost instantly ready when you turn it on.    

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Just now, Pescado_Rojo said:

I don't have an electric fan/temp controller, but I do have a WSM. Out of the box, I wasn't all that impressed with the WSM (coming from an offset stick burner). The factory door is trash and leaks like crazy, it's a pain in the ass to clean, and the the factory cover sun rotted in less than a year so every time it rains, the lower chamber fills up with water. It also takes some finagling to keep temp consistent. I've filled my water pan with sand, so it holds temp better now, and I just ordered the cajun bandit replacement door and larger charcoal ring. We will see how it goes with those mods as far as holding temp and extending cook time. That doesn't make it any easier to clean out after a cook, or any easier to get started. One of the most attractive things about a pellet smoker to me is that it's almost instantly ready when you turn it on.    

I really like my WSM, but it's a fucking defective product the way it catches rain.  Seems to me that each component could fit OVER the lower component just as easily as going in the lower component.  Same mating surface, just reversed, would eliminate the way it scoops rain. 

I'm going to invest in the new door as well. 

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4 hours ago, Pescado_Rojo said:

I don't have an electric fan/temp controller, but I do have a WSM. Out of the box, I wasn't all that impressed with the WSM (coming from an offset stick burner). The factory door is trash and leaks like crazy, it's a pain in the ass to clean, and the the factory cover sun rotted in less than a year so every time it rains, the lower chamber fills up with water. It also takes some finagling to keep temp consistent. I've filled my water pan with sand, so it holds temp better now, and I just ordered the cajun bandit replacement door and larger charcoal ring. We will see how it goes with those mods as far as holding temp and extending cook time. That doesn't make it any easier to clean out after a cook, or any easier to get started. One of the most attractive things about a pellet smoker to me is that it's almost instantly ready when you turn it on.    

The bolded is, verbatim, my complaint with the WSM (I have 2 -- 18 and 22).  I just really hated cleaning that motherfucker and it seems to grow mold every single time I open it.  Life has gotten hard with a 2 year old and I've come to value my time a bit more lately (worse now during Q4 -- I work in healthcare and I hate this time of year).  

 

I'm breaking out a pork butt and some steaks this weekend.  We'll definitely see the utility of this bad boy pretty soon.

 

Also, FWIW -- I "liked" or followed or whatever the RecTec fb page.  Found a vet moving to Alaska and couldn't ship the smoker b/c it was too expensive.  I ended up getting it for $800 plus a bunch of add-ons he initially purchased with it in Feb '19.  The downside is that the warranty didn't transfer but I called RecTec customer service and they basically said they don't honor transferred warranties officially, but always work w/ the new owner as long as it's within warranty.  As an example, I damaged my wifi antenna in transpo, called them up, and they sent out a new one, free of charge w/ 2 day shipping.  

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Yesterday my dad and stepmom gave me, my BIL, and my stepbro gift bags full of Traeger rub/sauce, a brochure, and a check.

Just called my buddy in Leander who is an avid cook and he raved about his Rec Tec. . .so I've got some research to do.

What is the particular knock on Traeger?

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Yesterday my dad and stepmom gave me, my BIL, and my stepbro gift bags full of Traeger rub/sauce, a brochure, and a check.
Just called my buddy in Leander who is an avid cook and he raved about his Rec Tec. . .so I've got some research to do.
What is the particular knock on Traeger?
From what I've heard, it's on the lower end of pellet grills quality wise and the PID controller is sub-par. They also were sued for false/deceptive marketing or something on their pellets

Prime rib from Christmas. It was awesome. I overcooked it by about 5 degrees from searing but it was still spectacular

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Yesterday my dad and stepmom gave me, my BIL, and my stepbro gift bags full of Traeger rub/sauce, a brochure, and a check.
Just called my buddy in Leander who is an avid cook and he raved about his Rec Tec. . .so I've got some research to do.
What is the particular knock on Traeger?


Buddy at work has a rec tec and loves it, he brings in some damn good stuff from time to time. Another guy at work has a traeger and has said a few times that he thinks the rec tec turns out better brisket, that the smoke flavor is more pronounced. That's all I got

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A buddy that’s a big Traeger fan boy says their problem is they make smokers at four or five different quality levels. He said their entry level stuff is crap, but he has one of their higher end models and it’s been trouble free for years of multiple cooks a month. I’ve never heard a bad thing about Rec Tec. I follow them on FB, and I’m a member of one of their user groups. Seems like they are pretty trouble free, but when there’s a problem their customer service is pretty great. 

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Mother in law got me some sear grates and seasoning from rectec for christmas. Unfortunately I already have the seasoning she gave me so I called them to see if I could exchange it for another. They asked which one I wanted and just shipped it to me free of charge.

Their customer service really does kick ass

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23 hours ago, immamac said:

Does anyone have a Yoder YS series pellet grill? They look awesome. 

They do look pretty cool.  I considered that and RecTec and it's the customer service that won me over.  You sound like someone who's been watching ATBBQ youtube channel!

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Just ordered the Rec Tec 590.

Need recommendations for the best pellets to buy as I bought the cover, the shelf, the sear plates, but no pellets.

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16 hours ago, BearSchlong said:

Just ordered the Rec Tec 590.

Need recommendations for the best pellets to buy as I bought the cover, the shelf, the sear plates, but no pellets.

Lot of guys seem to like the B&B pellets. 

Also, if I were you, I'd make sure to empty my pellet hopper after every cook...especially with the humidity in SETX. If your pellets soak up moisture out of the atmosphere, they will swell up and clog the auger and feed tube. I've seen pictures on the Rec Tec FB page of guys having to disassemble their hoppers to get what looks like wet sawdust out of their augers. Store leftover pellets in a bucket with a lid...maybe even throw one of those dehumidifying cups in with them. 

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1 hour ago, Pescado_Rojo said:

Lot of guys seem to like the B&B pellets. 

Also, if I were you, I'd make sure to empty my pellet hopper after every cook...especially with the humidity in SETX. If your pellets soak up moisture out of the atmosphere, they will swell up and clog the auger and feed tube. I've seen pictures on the Rec Tec FB page of guys having to disassemble their hoppers to get what looks like wet sawdust out of their augers. Store leftover pellets in a bucket with a lid...maybe even throw one of those dehumidifying cups in with them. 

I go back abandoned forth between Traeger pellets and B & B pellets — both work fine.  B & B pellets are cheaper.

Live in Austin and have never had an issue with the pellets swelling, but obviously not as humid as SETX

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