This isn’t just a pellet smoker comparison. It’s a battle royale between the two most popular wood pellet grill brands: Pit Boss vs Rec-Teq. Each one is vying for the top spot in three categories.
We sorted through all of the brands’ grills, paired them off, and rang the bell. They came out swinging. First, there’s the plain champion. Then there’s the top mid-sized model. Lastly, we have the best portable/budget grill.
Here we go. This is going to be one heck of a fight.
Pit Boss vs Rec Teq Comparison:
Rec TeQ Grills Bull (RT-700) Vs Pit Boss Austin XL 1000 sq. in. Pellet Grill With Flame Broiler:
This matchup is the fight for the best pellet grill on the market. Both of these grills are big and of great value to the serious barbeque lover.
They match each other in versatility, being able to smoke on the lower end of their respective temperature ranges and sear at the upper limit. You can slow cook, bake, and roast at points in between.
Both grills are made of stainless steel, with stainless hardware. The Rec Teq has stainless cooking grates, which will never rust. Our Pit Boss features porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. Porcelain is more resistant to sticking than any steel. So the PB-1000 wins out there.
The biggest difference is the price. The RT-700, known affectionately as the “bull grill,” costs almost $1200, while the PB-1000 has an incredible value with its price tag of just around $600. So what justifies the RT-700’s double cost? Let’s see:
- The RT-700 is easier to control. You can adjust the temp from anywhere, as long as your smart device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the grill. The PB-1000 doesn’t have Wi-Fi capability, but it does have a pretty awesome digital control board. The Wi-Fi adjustability of the Rec-Teq can come in really handy for the busy host who cannot run to check the grill every 15 minutes.
- Another advantage that the Rec Teq has is its optional extra grill rack. Without it, it has a decent 702-inch cooking area. When you add the rack, you get a total of 1054 inches. That’s over 54 inches more than the Pit Boss’s big 1000 inches.
- The Pit Boss has a flame broiler for added versatility. It can cook a London broil or lamb chops to juicy perfection. The Rec-Teq can’t do that.
- The Rec Teq has the benefits of remote monitoring and control, and it has the most cooking area with the optional second grate.
- It also has a bigger hopper that holds nine more pounds of pellets than the Pit Boss’s 31 pounds.
- The RT-700 has a longer warranty, which is a good thing to have when you’re spending extra money on a grill that has it all.
- The Pit Boss has a wider temperature range. Its lower point is 150 degrees. That’s 50 degrees lower than the Rec Teqs 200-degree minimum. You’ll appreciate that if you like to make jerky or cure meat. And the PB-1000 has an extra 50 degrees on the higher end, which is great for searing in those flavorful juices in the meat.
- If you want to broil, the Pit Boss alone can cook from above with flame.
- The Rec-Teq we’re looking at here, although incredibly well-made and packed with features, is very expensive. And it will cost even more to add that extra rack to get more cooking area than the Pit Boss. If you get all of the Rec Teq’s cool options, like the second rack, cover, and utensils, you can end up paying almost $1550. The Pit Boss comes with everything that’s available for it for around $600.
- This Pit Boss lacks that high-tech Wi-Fi capability. And even though it can smoke meats oh so slowly, its smaller hopper may have to be topped off during those day-long smoking sessions.
Those who went with the RT-700 talk mostly about how awesome it is to check the temp and raise or lower it from inside the house or the other side of the yard. This is an impressive feature that can be found on many of Rec Teq’s higher-end USA-made grills. But that’s not the only thing they talk about.
That big hopper is a hit. People say that they can smoke all day long and never even have to open the lid. The main complaint is the price. Of course, no one mentions that until there is a problem. Then you’ll hear something like “I paid over a grand for this grill, and now my chops are sticking to the stainless steel grate!”
Sticking is another gripe, but it’s usually solved by seasoning the grate by coating it with oil and heating it for several hours.
The Pit Boss has some big fans as well. People just love the value they get. According to Pit Boss BBQ reviews, this really is the best smoker for the money. That’s the definition of value, isn’t it?
The Bottom Line
With its superior build quality, user-friendly controls, impressive cooking space, and large hopper size, the RT-700 is the best pellet smoker on the market. It’s made for the chef who wants it all and will spare no expense to get it.
The PB-1000 is just as durable but lacks fancy Wi-Fi and may need its hopper refilled during extended smoking. But with an almost unbelievably low price tag, it offers the best value on the market right now.
Rec Teq Stampede (RT-590) Vs Pit Boss PB-820FB:
So, which is the best middle-size pellet grill? Again, the Pit Boss has a lower price. And again, the Rec-Teq is more expensive, but it wins out on most of the key features. It’s going to be another battle of the most impressive features versus the best value.
Thankfully, both of these also have the same stainless steel construction as their larger and more expensive siblings. Both are durable and have decent warranties. The main differences between the two are price, convenience, cooking area, and hopper size.
- This Rec Teq has Wi-Fi monitoring and adjustment capabilities as well. The company is known for this futuristic feature, and people love it.
- It also has dual meat probes, which is great for when you want to simultaneously cook two pieces of meat of different thicknesses. The Pit Boss has only one probe and one cooking compartment heat sensor. That’s not to say that you can’t cook two different cuts of meat in it. You’d just have to pay closer attention to the temperatures. And you’ll have to buy an extra meat probe.
- Rec Teq’s RT-590 has a quick and reliable ceramic ignition system. It’s been tested to light over 100,000 times. The Pit Boss has a more conventional glowing rod ignition device. It works very well, but it takes longer to get the pellets going. It’s also liable to malfunction before a ceramic ignitor.
- Rec Teq includes a 30-pound hopper with the RT-590. Considering this grill’s overall size and cooking area, it shouldn’t have to be refilled during cooking. You’ll just want to be reasonable with your temperature to avoid having to add pellets.
- All you have to do is pull the app up on your phone to see the temp in the Rec Teq. If you need to raise or lower it a bit, you can do that with a couple of clicks.
- The PB-820FB has a slightly wider cooking temperature range of 180 to 500. That’s a similar higher end, but about 20 degrees lower on the low side. Does it make a difference? It does if you are very particular about smoking. The lower temp gives the smoked flavor more time to permeate the meat.
- You get a lot more cooking area with the Pit Boss as well. 820 inches will cook quite a bit more meat at a time than Rec Teq’s 590 inches.
- All of this for a price of about $600 is a great deal for the Pit Boss.
- It’s too bad the PB-820FB doesn’t have remote controlling capabilities. That kind of convenience is a big selling point. But it would add to the cost.
- Another bad thing about the Pit Boss grill is the hopper size. It’ll hold only 19 pounds of hardwood pellets. That should be OK for most grilling and searing. But you’ll likely have to add pellets during slow smoking, and maybe even when roasting larger chunks of meat.
- The warranties behind these grills were similar at two years, but Rec Teq recently doubled the warranty period for their mid-sized grill to four years. Will Pitt Boss follow suit? Only time will tell.
- Rec Teq has that hefty price of about $900. That puts it out of the budget of many people.
- The 592-inch cooking area of the Rec Teq may be a little small for you. There’s no second rack available for this model, so you’re kind of stuck there if you go with this one.
People were glad to see a more reasonably priced Rec Teq grill that still has the same great features as the more expensive models. And they still love the Wi-Fi. The biggest complaint about this one is the cooking area. They wish that the extra rack was an option here.
Perhaps Rec Teq will take notice and make one of those extra grates to fit the RT-590. Those who smoke meat a lot are very happy with the hopper’s size. Many have cautioned that the firebox shouldn’t be filled all the way up, though.
It can be a waste. When you look at the hopper and compare it to the cooking area, you can end up with a bunch of pellets burning away uselessly after the food is done.
Some think that Pit Boss is overpriced. That’s weird when you consider the $300 disparity between it and the Rec Teq. Everyone who bought this Pit Boss is generally pleased and feels that they got a good deal.
The Bottom Line
Rec Teq’s mid-sized pellet smoker is a premium grill for those who are willing to spend a little extra for the convenience of Wi-Fi control and don’t mind the smaller cooking area.
Pit Boss has made a good pellet smoker that has more cooking area, but you’ll have to keep a close eye on the hopper. It may be a good choice for you if you need to go cheaper.
Rec Teq Grills RT-340 Trailblazer Vs Pit Boss 440TG Portable Pellet Grill:
The epic battle between Rec-Teq and Pit Boss continues in the contest for the best small smoker grill. But this is more than that. It’s also a competition for the best portable grill and the greatest of the budget grills.
So if you need to watch how much you spend, need a smaller smoker, or if you like to tailgate or picnic away from your home, pay close attention here.
- Once again, Rec-Teq wows up with its super useful Wi-Fi-enabled temperature monitor and controller. The Pit Boss doesn’t have it.
- The Rec-Teq, even though much more portable than the more deluxe smokers, still has the long-lasting fast-lighting ceramic Hot Flash pellet ignitor. The Pit Boss has the same glow rod, which is slower and less dependable, but it gets the job done just as safely.
- That nice flame broiler is present on Pit Boss’s smaller model here. Rec Teq has nothing like this, even on its bigger models that we reviewed above.
- You can broil chops and sear any kind of meat efficiently and seal in all those juices with Pit Boss’s flame broiler. Very few grills of this type, regardless of price, have this ability.
- Pit Boss has a Rec-Teq beat in another area here. It folds up very easily. And it becomes small enough to fit in an average trunk.
- The PB440TG has a cooking area of 440 inches. That gives you nearly the space of a smaller home grill in a package that you can take along with you almost anywhere.
- Both units have the same all-stainless steel construction.
- The Pit Boss is priced at around $350, which can fit into most budgets.
- You can load up to 20 pounds of pellets into the Rec-Teq. That’s a good amount of fuel for a portable grill like this.
- Rec Teq is once again the most expensive, with a price sticker of a bit over $750.
- The RT-340 has a smaller cooking area of only 340 inches, and there’s no extra rack that you can add to equal the Pit Boss’s 440 inches.
- You have to check on the Pit Boss pretty often while it’s in operation. Smaller grills tend to fluctuate in temperature, but you’ll have to stay near the Pit Boss to monitor it and make adjustments since it isn’t Wi-Fi-capable.
- The Rec-Teq is solidly built, but this particular model is somewhat top-heavy. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it weren’t likely to be used as a portable grill. You have to be very careful after you unfold it and try to move it around at your campsite or event.
Many people who have moved to the Pit Boss from another portable grill have commented on how much more space they have. And they brag about being able to broil at tailgating events. That draws a lot of attention and gives the impression that the grillers really know what they’re doing.
There have been some complaints about the hopper size. It is small, so it usually has to be refilled during extended periods of cooking. But the small hopper has also gotten some compliments. There aren’t a lot of hot glowing pellets to worry about when the cooking is over, and there’s less chance of a fire hazard.
The Rec-Teq gets some great reviews. It is very high-tech for a portable grill. The Wi-Fi is an impressive feature, especially out at events where almost everyone else has a tabletop charcoal grill or a small propane unit.
But to use the Wi-Fi feature away from home, you’ll have to use a device with a mobile hotspot. It’ll work just fine then. Overall, owners of both grills are apt to be happy with their choice years after the purchase.
The Bottom Line
As usual, the Rec Teq takes the cake for its precision design and futuristic features. All of this comes with a price, but it may be worth it for you if those extra features will actually be useful for you at home or on the road.
The Pit Boss is definitely more affordable, but again lacks the convenience of remote monitoring. It does, however, offer more room for cooking and a broiler for that bit of added versatility that is hard to find on even full-size grills.
And The Winner Is…
You’re the winner because now you know all about the six most awesome pellet grills on the market today. As far as the winning grill, that all depends on what you want out of your combo.
The overall champ is the Rec Teq Bull. It has the most amazing features and is the most durable pellet grill. But if the price is too steep, you can go with the Pit Boss PB-1000 and save about $600 without sacrificing much in the way of features.
The mid-size matchup was close, but the Rec-Teq Stampede came out ahead in the useful features category. But the PB820FB from Pit Boss came in with a lower price and more cooking area. So that’s a bit of a toss-up. The Rec-Teq is the fancy one, but Pit Boss offers a better value here.
The best budget smoker is the Pit Boss PB440TG. It’s sturdier than the Rec-Teq Trailblazer, and it folds easier. Plus it’s cheaper.
Pit Boss gets an additional honorable mention for adding a broiler to all three of these cool combos.
You vote with your dollars. So which one will you crown a champion?