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GrillNewbie 05-11-2013 07:44 AM

Traeger? Rec Tec? Green Mountain?
I was in Costco yesterday and made an impulse buy on a Traeger 075 Texas Grill. I figured before I open and use it I would ask the Bretheren their opinions. I've been reading here and there are a few options for a pellet smoker in the same 800-1K price range.

Traeger, Rec Tec (I do like the 6yr warranty), Green Mountain Daniel Boon (w/remote ??) and I think Yoders but that's more $$.

Which pellet smoker would you buy in this price range and why ?

Thank you, gentlemen. :mrgreen:

16Adams 05-11-2013 08:16 AM

Traeger Pellet cookers show up quite often on Craigslist. So if I were to get one it would probably be Traeger.

Richard_ 05-11-2013 08:20 AM

great customer service , I love my 070 , get busy smoking

JONESY 05-11-2013 08:29 AM

I just went through the same decision making process and ended up ordering a yoder ys640 yesterday. Its more money but has features and construction quality that I thought warranted the extra cost. My second choice was the rec tec, and that was based on reviews, price and temp control module. Honestly the traeger was last on my list.

Ron_L 05-11-2013 08:34 AM


Originally Posted by 16Adams (Post 2477538)
Traeger Pellets show up quite often on Craigslist. So if I were to get one it would probably be Traeger.

Pellets aren't brand specific. You can use any food grade pellets in any pellet grill or smoker.

Grillnewbie, what are you going to use it for? The Traeger's don't get that hot and a lot of folks complain about grilling on them. They are fine as smokers but the build quality hasn't impresses me when I have looked at them.

Green Mountain, Yoder, and Memphis all seem to be a better choice to me, but the Traeger will work fine.

I have a Memphis Pro that is great. It's more money, but cmohr74 has a Memphis Advantage and is very happy with it.

JONESY 05-11-2013 08:37 AM

Amazing Ribs has a nice product review feature that breaks down the cookers.[0]=15&&&

GrillNewbie 05-11-2013 09:02 AM

I imagine I'll primarily be using the new smoker for smoking.. I have a Kamado Joe and a nat gas Weber Genesis. I think having the ability to grill would be nice if I ever have to do 35 burgers at once (lol).

The Traeger only goes to 400F so I'm thinking grilling would be a no go. The Rectec does 500F and has a 6yr warranty. The GMDB I believe has a 3yr but I like the remote feature, but less cooking area unless you add their "optional" 2nd grate and that limits clearance (I imagine). The Yoder sounds like a quality unit but more $'s and even less cooking area.

ajstrider 05-11-2013 09:03 AM

I have been using pellet smokers for a few years now. My progression was a Traeger Texas to a Yoder YS640 back to a Traeger Texas. First off, they all cook great food all the time. People will call you a smoking cheater, but whatever, producing good food is the goal, and ease of use is a bonus.

Traeger benefits...

* Cost - of the pellet smokers, they are reasonably priced
* Ease of parts replacements - lets be honest, they have moving parts and an important RTD, so eventually things will break. Their parts are easy to get from them and other companies, they aren't anything special. They were the first as far as I know and their parts get copied by other manufacturers, so that should tell you something.
* Modifications - the Traegers are very popular and there are a lot of web information on modifications that can help make them even better. Extra shelving, firebricks, some people even install a better temperature controller (on a side note, if you get the Traeger, ensure you do NOT get just the smoke/med/high controller, get the one where you can set temperatures)
*Ease of cleaning - something about the powder coating they use is super easy to wipe off and clean for me

To answer some complaints people commonly say about the Traeger...
*Construction - yes, it is not built like a tank, yes the older ones built in america are better constructed. The ones made today are more than well enough constructed. I wheel mine out of the garage to smoke, I do not travel with it, if I did, that might be a concern, but it is built better than most backyard grills. This is a null point unless you are constantly taking it places.
*Temperature control problems - I have owned two different Traeger Texas grills and never had any temperature problems, people get over concerned with the swinging temperature, but that is how the pellet grills operate, the temperature will swing 10 or 15 degrees, but any experienced cooker will realize this is a minute point, your kitchen oven swings more than that I would bet. Firebrick mod is easy and helps this.
*Doesn't grill well - sure, 400 degrees is about the maximum you can expect to get out of the grill, some go higher, but they all seem to get to 400 easy enough. I grill burgers and dogs on it all the time. I love it, the burger fat drips onto the 400 degree grease tray and smolders and adds a great flavor to the burgers. Sure they take a bit longer to cook due to the lower temperature, but guess what, no need to flip them, the fan induced air circulation cooks both sides. How many burgers have you destroyed trying to flip them? The flavor from actual wood fire is distinct and I like it too. Searing steaks is not happening, that is a valid point. Steaks get cooked on my $100 Weber Kettle grill, hard to beat that.

Yoder information....
*construction - built like a tank for sure, overbuilt might be a better description. It is heavy and not the easiest to roll. I actually used what seemed like significantly more pellets than the Traeger due to the more airspace and metal to heat up and keep hot.
*cost - definitely costs more
*parts - Their parts are different than everyone elses and you will have to get them from Yoder, which Yoder has excellent customer service, so this may not be a problem. I have zero complaints from Yoder's customer service, do not take this comment the wrong way. They were super friendly when I ordered mine.
*Not easy to clean - the high temperature paint they used seemed to attract the grease and fat and was hard to clean off.

Like I said from the beginning, I ended up going back to a Traeger. It may not be as impressive as some of the other pellet smokers, but I like it better. I would highly recommend the Texas size and the controller that lets you choose the temperature. Traeger offers a lot of sales on the website and EZ payment offers too. So be patient and you can get a better deal maybe.

Another option is the Louisiana grills, you might take a look at them.

I don't really feel like rereading this so I hope it makes sense and helps, and doesn't end up being a bunch of words that makes no sense. Private messages are always welcome.

HuskerMan 05-11-2013 09:10 AM

Yoder is probably the best built but the most money. I have a Green Mountain Grill Jim Bowie which is the big brother to the Daniel Boone. I have had a couple issues but the customer service has been second to none and the cooks have come out good. I haven't ever cooked or seen a Rec Tec in person but have heard good things about the cookers/company. Honestly out of all the choices listed I would get the Traeger last imo. Go on over to and start reading. It should give you enough insight on to which way you want to go.

Dreggs 05-11-2013 09:37 AM

I have a MAK One Star. No problems, maxes out at about 450°.

kds99 05-11-2013 10:27 AM

I have the rec tec, great customer service. I have the owners cell phone number

If you are on the fence, give them a call and ask any questions you may have they will be more than happy to help you

Chitown_hillbilly 05-11-2013 10:53 AM

I just went through this same decision. For me it came down to the Rectec and the GMG. GMG because I like the new features with the remote and other upgrades, I would have a local dealer and Price. The Rectec based on size, glowing reviews by everyone and possible financing. Ultimately I would have gotten a GMG because after shipping it was going to be nearly $400 cheaper. I say WOULD have gotten, because I still couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money. In the end I bought a new Weber Performer Platinum because it fulfilled all my needs and was much cheaper. As much as I wanted a Pellet grill I just didn't need it or could I currently justify it money wise. Good luck with your choice. Remember their are literally thousands of Happy Traeger customers and a lot of guys that trash them that have never cooked on one.

gmag 05-11-2013 11:31 AM

Ive been looking at some videos online of pellet smokers and I am slightly falling in love with the REC TEC

JONESY 05-11-2013 11:58 AM


Originally Posted by gmag (Post 2477651)
Ive been looking at some videos online of pellet smokers and I am slightly falling in love with the REC TEC

The Rec Tec is definitely a cool cooker. The biggest downside I could come up with is headspace above the cooking grate, I believe it's 9", which doesn't seem like much to me.

kds99 05-11-2013 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by JONESY (Post 2477663)
The Rec Tec is definitely a cool cooker. The biggest downside I could come up with is headspace above the cooking grate, I believe it's 9", which doesn't seem like much to me.

I have never measured the distance above the grate. but a 18 pound turkey fits fine. I have never had an issue wear whatever I'm cooking would not fit in the grill height wise

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