Rec Tec is quickly gaining popularity as a pellet grill maker and I was curious to find out what the Rec Tec Stampede had to offer.
It turns out that with its high quality construction, user friendly controls, great grilling capabilities, and efficient features, this grill is well worth the investment.
In this Rec Tec 590 review I will consider its top features, dig into claims, and determine how well it compares to other makes and models. Let’s begin!
Here are the main specs of this Rec Tec grill:
Now, let’s consider the various features of this wood pellet grill:
One of the things that impressed me straight off the the bat with this Rec Tec grill was the quality. First of all, the frame boasts a stainless steel construction, but that’s not all. Practically every element of the RT 590 is made from 304 stainless steel, including the firebox, heat deflector, and drip pan.
Of course, at this price point, this isn’t too surprising. After all, if you are going to invest $1000 in your wood pellet grill, you are going to want it to last you for a while. Still, it is nice to find that Rec Tec has made an effort.
As an added touch, the grill isn’t painted. This may not seem like such a big deal but it means that you don’t have to worry about the exterior of your grill chipping or flaking or getting scratched up. In short, your RT 590 will look better for longer.
As with all Rec Tec grills, this comes with a four year warranty. Barring any internal issues, though, it is unlikely that you will need to call up customer service anytime soon.
The other thing that I quite enjoyed about the Rec Tec Stampede was its design. It is a medium sized pellet grill, but it has been built to be as compact as possible. As you will have noticed, it doesn’t have the same barrel shape as other pellet grills.
Instead, it has an octagonal cooking chamber. This isn’t just for aesthetic purposes although I have to admit that it looks pretty cool paired with bull horn shaped handles. Rather, it is so that you are able to maximize space.
Therefore, while this pellet grill offers up plenty of interior space, it takes up as little space on the outside as possible. This is something that you will certainly appreciate when you need to store it.
It goes without saying that temperature control is one of the key components of any pellet smoker or grill. The good news is that the RT 590 seems to have this well in hand.
The only gripe that I have here is that the low temperatures on the Rec Tec Stampede aren’t that low at all. At least, this is true for smoking. A truly great smoker needs to have a minimal temp of about 180 degrees Fahrenheit, while this pellet grill only starts at the 200 mark.
On the other hand, the higher temps make it an excellent option for all other types of cooking. From grilling to even baking, there is very little that you can’t do with this model.
When testing and reviewing pellet grills, I also like to take note of how easy it is to get to your desired temperature. Even with more expensive models, this can be a difficult feature to find.
Keep in mind that if you have only primarily used a gas grill in the past that pellet grills can take a bit longer to heat up.
With the RT 590, though, it is a breeze. To start off with, this grill works off of PID controller technology. This ensures accurate monitoring of the temperature and guaranteeing that you get the same results each and every time.
To add to this, the temperature control is all managed on a digital display. This allows you to adjust the temperature as minutely as you want.
What I really like, though, is that the display shows you the temperature that you have set as well as the one inside the cooking chamber. Therefore, you can see when they line up, making it easier to estimate how long your food is going to take to cook.
For many, the size of the cooking area matters a great deal and I have to agree, it is pretty important! As far as space goes, the RT 590 is on par with other medium sized pellet grills.
The grilling chamber has enough space for 30 hamburgers, four pork butts, and four rack of ribs. This is pretty decent for a small to mid-sized family and can also serve you well for a small gathering.
Now, in addition to the primary cooking surface, there is a second shelf. It can act as a warming rack or even to slow cook foods with the lid closed. Thus, this can come in handy as well.
Particularly when cooking for a crowd, one of the top things to investigate with wood pellet grills is the pellet hopper. For the size of this grill, I quite like the capacity. According to Rec Tec, it should be enough for a 30 hour cookout.
This can’t be guaranteed as there are other factors to think about, the capacity is more than enough for tackling a larger party. You should easily be able to get through a long cook without needing to add extra wood pellets.
Not only does this mean less hassle for you but you also get to continue grilling and smoking without interruption.
It should be noted that you are allowed to adjust your pellet feed rate, particularly the minimum rate. This comes in handy when the weather changes or if you are using wood pellets with a lower or higher burn rate. You can guarantee consistent temperatures this way.
Coming from a hardcore BBQ family that I have always had access to some of the best grill brands in the country. However, after giving the Rec Tec a whirl, I have to admit that its grilling performance puts it on par with all of the greats.
My favorite part of the RT 590 has to do with its temperature control and maintenance. Even when compared to other grills at the same price point, I have to say that the RT 590 comes out on top.
This is because it is pretty good at matching the internal temperature to the controls. The stainless steel grill has also been built for heat retention, ensuring that the food cooks faster.
The cooking grates seem to be of high quality as well, allowing for proper heat distribution across the grates. As such, you are unlikely to undercook or overcook the food if you are paying attention.
If you haven’t had much experience with a pellet grilling before, then it can be a bit overwhelming. Compared to charcoal grills and even gas grills, pellet smokers tend to be the trickiest of them all.
That being said, I have to say that the Rec Tec Stampede was a relatively easy pellet smoker and grill to use. One of these reasons was the ceramic ignition system. With a single push of the button, the grill comes to life, saving you a lot of time and trouble.
In general, though, the startup process is simple and quick. Even if you haven’t used such a grill before, let alone Rec Tec grills, a read through of the manual should familiarize you with the grill.
There is also the fact that much of the RT 590 is self monitoring, including the PID control system. This, combined with the fact that the controls are easy to use and that the display lets you know exactly what’s going on, makes it one of the easiest options on the market.
Wood pellet grills can be some of the most annoying to clean up after. This is why it is so unfortunate that the RT 590 doesn’t have any special functions to clean the grill up.
This isn’t to say that this model is difficult to clean up. The maintenance is the same as with any other pellet grill. You can use a shop vac to get the ash pot clean. As for the grease, it is drained into the grease management system for easy removal. To make this process even simpler, I’d advise you to line the pail with aluminum foil.
As for the cooking grates, using a brush to clean them off after each cook is the key to keeping them clean.
That being said, it would have been nice to have a hopper purge function or something similar to ensure that you clean out the grill within minutes.
At this price point, you would expect some special features from your pellet grill. Well, there are a couple of surprises with the RT 590.
One point on the board for the Rec Tec Stampede is that it has not one but two meat probes! I haven’t come across too many grills that have more than one meat probe and I have to say, it is a pretty good feature.
It comes in handy when you are cooking two different types of food at the same time and want to keep an eye on the internal temperature of each of them.
Even if you are smoking or grilling the same foods, these probes are great for monitoring the internal temperature of foods of different shapes and sizes. This way, you don’t risk taking food off the grill too early or late. Best of all, you can see both temps on the screen, at the same time.
Of course, what really puts RT 590 on the map is the smart grill technology. You are able to sync the grill with the Rec Tec app. Therefore, you can keep an eye on the temperature from inside via your smartphone.
I have found this feature to be particularly useful on days when it is just a little too cold or hot to remain outdoors for too long.
Here is a list of the pros and cons for the RT 590:
The next two comparable grills are the RT 340 and RT 700. So, how well does the 590 hold up against the competition?
I have to say that the RT 590 does come out on top. The 340 is cheaper but also smaller and more compact. To add to this, it also lacks the Wi-Fi features of the 590. Now, the 700 has more space and smart technology – it naturally comes with a higher price tag, too. However. I don’t like the bulky design and prefer the streamlined design of the 590.
Yes, for its build quality, grilling capabilities, and additional features, this Rec Tec model is worth its price tag.
This pellet grill will reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
These grills have been gaining quite a reputation for themselves. Although they aren’t on the same level as Traeger or Weber, they are moving up in the industry.
Here’s the most important question, though – does the RT 590 offer the best bang for the buck? If you are only used to charcoal grills and their lower sticker price, then the higher cost of this grill may shock you.
It is worth it, though. The high quality, the way that it performs, all those little bells and whistles make it worth the while, even for novices.