I have tested out a few RecTeq models and was curious about the 340. I had heard mixed reviews and wanted to see what this model was really about.
The great construction quality, user friendly features, and hi-tech features should make it a great investment. However, there are some features like the shutdown function that you need to learn more about.
In this Recteq 340 review, I put the 340 through its paces and show you exactly how it performs at every level. Come on, let’s check it out!
Here is a breakdown of what this pellet grill has to offer you:
This may feel like a bit of an odd point, to begin with. However, one of the reasons that you are considering this grill is because of its small cooking area.
And, I have to say that if it is just you and a partner or if you only cook small quantities, then RT 340 may be just what you need. I was able to grill two racks of ribs at once and even managed a small brisket as well. You should be able to fit in a couple of chickens if needed.
The only thing that I do want to warn you about is that there is not much overhead space in the cooking chamber. So, if you are looking for larger beef cuts, you will need to check the dimensions beforehand.
The other thing to consider is that the RT-340 is a little small for this price point. The Traeger Pro Series 575 is not just cheaper than this RecTeq model, it also boasts a great cooking surface area as well.
However, one thing that I do like about the size and the design of the Rec Tec 340 is that it is quite portable. Despite a stainless steel construction, the grill is fairly lightweight. And, to add to this, you have the folding legs.
This means that you can easily fold up the Recteq RT 340 and move it somewhere else. Now, the main reason that I like this feature is that it allows you to store the grill in your garage or other covered space and only take it out when you need it.
This goes a long way in keeping your grill in great condition.
As far as the temperature range goes, the RecTeq RT 340 is on par with most other pellet grills. The minimum temperature is 180 F and the maximum temperature is 500 F.
The fact that this grill has such a low minimum temperature is good news for those who want to use it as a low and slow smoker. As I said I smoked a small brisket in it and the results were great!
If you do want to direct flame grilling, though, you are out of luck even with the grill set to its highest setting. This is because this grill relies solely on indirect heat. So, if you are looking for seared stripes on your steak, you are going to have to pay up for the sear kit.
I did do my due diligence and used a thermometer to check whether this grill actually met the temperatures mentioned by the manufacturers. While the temperature was off by a few degrees now and then, for the most part, the low and high temperatures were maintained as long as I had set them.
As far as temperature performance went, I was happy with it. Burgers, hot dogs, and chicken breasts were all cooked to perfection with minimal hassle.
It is easy to get caught up in how low or how high your grill can go. In reality, though, it is the temperature consistency that you should watch out for.
See, despite what you set on the temperature dial, fluctuations occur inside the cooking chamber. For the most part, small fluctuations every now and then are pretty normal for most grills.
However, if the fluctuations get too high or too low, then they can mess with how your food turns out.
Due to this, I used a third party thermometer to check the ambient temperature inside the chamber. While there were a couple of fluctuations during a long cook, the temperature only varied by a few degrees in either direction of what was set on the dial.
This is all thanks to the PID controller used by RecTeq – it works to ensure that the temperature is functioning in relation to the size of the grill. This prevents your grill from getting too hot or too cold.
When it comes to the pellet hopper, size does matter. I have to say that for a grill of the RecTeq RT 340 size, the pellet hopper is quite decent as it can hold up to 20 lbs of wood pellets at a time.
This means that you should be able to cook for about 20 hours at a stretch as long as the hopper is full. Considering that you are dealing with a limited amount of space, this is a good figure – it is unlikely that you will need to top up the hopper with more pellets regardless of what you are cooking.
I was able to smoke a brisket for about 9 hours without any issues at all. And, the hopper pellet hopper was full enough to convince me that I could have easily gone on for longer.
Pellet grills are known for being easy to use and this Rec Tec is no exception. Once you have primed the grill, it is just a matter of warming it up and you are good to go.
The control panel on the grill is organized well and this makes it a breeze to use. If you have used pellet grills before, you will have no problem figuring out how the Rec Tec 340 works.
So, if you are a beginner who is looking for a simple grill to gain experience, I would definitely suggest this one.
As I said before, the ReqTec RT 340 is a bit on the pricey end. After being able to examine this grill a bit more thoroughly, though, I would say that a good portion of the budget was spent on construction materials.
For one thing, the grill is constructed from plenty of stainless steel, including the grill grates. This is far more than many other models in the price range. As a result, this is a grill that can hold up to its fair share of wear and tear.
The high temperature powder coated lid also continues to look good even after a lot of use. Due to this, you can use the grill for several years and still keep it looking like new.
To add to this, the HotFlash ceramic ignition system is rated at 100,000 lighting cycles and this is pretty impressive!
This is why considering all of these features, it is baffling as to why the warranty is so low. The guarantee is just for 2 years while Traeger offers a 3-year warranty and Weber has ones up to 10 years.
Now, you might think that temperature probes are nothing to get excited about but this isn’t the case at all! While more and more manufacturers are including meat probes in middle range models, these aren’t always reliable. This isn’t the case with the Rec Tec 340, though.
The first thing that I like is that you get two meat probes – a lot of grills only have one. This allows you to keep an eye on two different food items at the same time.
What really blew me away, though, was the accuracy of the probes. When I tested them against another high quality probe, I found that the ones used in the RecTeq RT 340 were right on the money.
This makes it a lot easier for you to track the rate of cooking and to know exactly when your food is done. It also saves you the hassle of having to invest in other third party probes or thermometers.
The Rec Tec has taken a step into the future with the 340. They have allowed you to sync the temp probes in the grill with an app on your mobile phone. So, how well does this feature work?
Well, to a certain extent, this does depend on the WiFi connectivity in your home. If it is good, then the probes easily sync to the app and you can stay up to date on the cooking progress from anywhere in the house.
The app is pretty good if you just want to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the food. The alarms can be a bit annoying because they alert you whenever there is any kind of deviation from the set temperature. This will happen even if the fluctuations are minor and temporary.
Last, but not least, there is the shutdown cycle. I have to say that this is my least favorite feature of the RT 340. It makes an otherwise efficient grill into a frustrating machine.
See, with most grill manufacturers, the shutdown process involves the fan blowing into the fire pot for 10 to 15 minutes. This ensures that all the pellets are burned out.
With the RT 340, though, the fan blows for just 5 minutes. Then the auger begins to work, dropping wood pellets into the fire pot. This is meant to make start up easier for the next cook.
The problem is that rather than shutting down, this tends to trigger another smoke most of the time. As you can imagine, this is pretty dangerous, not to mention annoying.
To avoid this, you have to get rid of all of the pellets before shutting down the grill. Given the cost of the grill, this is inefficient to do every time that you use the machine.
I do like what this pellet grill has to offer – it is compact, easy to use, and seriously well built. I also like that the temperature control on this grill is top notch, making for a more reliable cook.
The additional features like the probes and the app go a long way in endearing me to this pellet grill.
However, should you invest in it? If it were not for the shutdown feature on the grill, I would tell you to go ahead. This function makes the grill rather frustrating to use. If you don’t mind the added effort at the end of the cook and you are new to grilling and smoking, then would make a good investment.