Rec Tec Stampede Review (RT-590): Is It Worth Your Money?

Rec Tec is a rising star in the world of pellet grilling.

In a relatively short period of time, the company has gained a dedicated cadre of followers.

As a fan of great barbecue, I couldn’t help but wonder: Do their products line up with their reputation for quality and durability?

To find out the answer, I put together this Rec Tec Stampede Review.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Pellet Grill

Before getting into specifics, let’s go over the specifications that you should keep in mind when shopping for a pellet grill.

Pellet grills, sometimes called pellet smokers, are fueled by small, compact cylinders made of compressed hardwood. The pellets are loaded into a hopper on the side of the unit and fed into the main body of the grill with an auger. An electric control panel allows you to set the temperature in advance, making the operation largely hands-free.

Depending on your selected temperature, it can take a while for a pellet grill to heat up. That’s why many outdoor chefs still prefer to use a gas grill, which can be ready to cook within minutes. If you have the time and patience to deal with them, however, wood pellets can imbue your barbecued foods with a lovely smoky flavor. They also cook the food more evenly, making them a good choice for low-and-slow cooking applications.

Here are a few pertinent considerations to take into account as you begin your search:

Budget

As a general rule, pellet grills are more expensive than their charcoal-fueled counterparts. If you’ve only purchased charcoal grills in the past, you might be in for some sticker shock. Bear in mind, however, that most pellet grills will offer more versatility and sophistication for the price.

Size

Think about how often you’ll be using the grill, how many people you’ll be cooking for, and what ingredients you prefer to work with. A grill that offers 450 square inches of cooking space can hold about 15 decent-sized burgers, and is a good fit for families of 2 to 4 people. If you have a large family or enjoy entertaining, you should probably look for a larger unit.

Construction

Look for a heavy-duty steel construction with a tight-fitting lid. This will help the unit hold its heat (see Temperature Control and Heat Retention, below).

Cooking Grates

The grill grates should be made of either heavy-gauge stainless steel or cast iron. Often, cast iron grates will feature a porcelain coating to help prevent corrosion and keep food from sticking to them during cooking.

Hopper Capacity

This number typically correlates with the size of the grill itself. For example, a 15-pound hopper is sufficient for a grill that offers 450 square inches, but a grill with a cooking surface of 800 square inches should have a larger hopper.

Temperature Control and Heat Retention

How quickly does the grill reach the desired temperature? Is it capable of holding that temperature over long periods, or does the fire burn too hot or too low? Does the food cook evenly and on schedule?

Rec Tec Stampede Product Information

RT-590 | Wifi Enabled | Wood Pellet Grill | Built in Meat Probes | Stainless Steel | 30lb Hopper | 4 year Warranty | Hotflash Ceramic Ignition System

Here’s what you’ll find when you unpack your new Rec Tec Stampede:

  • Octagonal stainless steel cooking chamber with polished “bull horn” handles and powder-coated lid
  • Stainless steel drip pan and attached bucket
  • 4 rollerblade-style wheels with locking casters
  • 30-lb capacity hopper
  • Lower wire mesh shelf for storage
  • Restaurant-grade stainless steel cooking grates offering 772 total square inches of grilling space
  • Built-in control panel with ceramic ignition system

Pros:

  • Unique, attractive design
  • High-capacity hopper
  • Main grilling area offering 592 square inches, with a second shelf offering an additional 180 square inches
  • Ample storage space
  • High-quality construction

Cons:

  • May be too bulky and awkward to fit in some outdoor spaces
  • Time-consuming assembly
  • High price point

Check Price on Amazon

Rec Tec Stampede Review: Features & Benefits

RT-590 | Wifi Enabled | Wood Pellet Grill | Built in Meat Probes | Stainless Steel | 30lb Hopper | 4 year Warranty | Hotflash Ceramic Ignition System

In this section, I’ll go over the points we discussed earlier to help determine whether the Rec Tec Stampede (also known as the RT-590) meets the criteria.

Budget

The Stampede is on the pricey side, even for a pellet grill. It costs noticeably more than most grills of this size. Fortunately, Rec Tec offers a package deal that includes grill mats, a customized grill cover, and a hearty supply of pellets. This helps take the sting out of the high price tag.

Size

With a grand total of 772 square inches of cooking space, this unit is suitable for large families and frequent entertainers. If you don’t need all that room, the main cooking surface measures just 592 square inches—still generous, but easier to manage.

Construction

Rec Tec’s grills are built to last, featuring a durable stainless steel construction throughout. The company uses 304-grade stainless steel, which is one of the types that’s frequently used in restaurants.

The cooking barrel has a unique octagonal shape, giving the interior a roomy quality. The porcelain-enameled lid fits tightly and is outfitted with a pair of horn-shaped handles for easy gripping.

Cooking Grates

Like the rest of the main components, the grilling grates are made of 304-grade stainless steel. They don’t require any seasoning prior to first use, but they should be washed both before and after. The metal conducts heat well and delivers impressive grill marks.

Hopper Capacity

The hopper on the Rec Tec Stampede holds up to 30 pounds of pellets, which translates into about 30 hours of cook time. That means you don’t have to worry about reloading the hopper during long smoking sessions.

While this is an impressive capacity, you should clean out the hopper in between uses. If pellets are allowed to sit unused in the hopper for too long, they can become damp and moldy.

Temperature Control and Heat Retention

The control panel is quite user-friendly, offering a temperature range of 200 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You can control the temp in 5-degree increments, and the heat holds remarkably steady during the cooking process. This unit is also Wi-Fi compatible, which means you can adjust the temperature using your smartphone or tablet. I think the heat retention alone is impressive enough to make the Stampede worth the price.

Check Price on Amazon

What Customers Are Saying

Given what I’ve learned about the Rec Tec Stampede, I was curious to find out what other users might have to say about it. The reviews I found online matched up with what I thought—this is a high-quality grill with a stellar reputation.

Customers praised the Stampede across the board, claiming that the unit arrived in good condition and was simple to put together. I was unable to find a single report of poor results—unusual, given that pellet smoking can be a tricky prospect. The rugged construction was often cited as another plus, and many users reported consistently delicious results.

Possible Alternatives

Let’s say the Rec Tec Stampede is out of your price range, or you don’t need a grill with this much cooking space. Whatever your reasons, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of possible alternatives that might better suit your needs.

#1 Traeger Pro Series 575

Traeger TFB57GLE Pro 575 Grill, Black, Fulfilled

The Traeger name is synonymous with pellet grilling, having been a giant in the industry since the 1980s. This offering features 575 square inches of grilling space and an 18-pound hopper, giving it a slightly smaller footprint than the Stampede. It also costs significantly less, so if budget is a concern, then this might be the unit for you.

How They Compare

  • Value—Traeger
  • Size—Rec Tec
  • Construction—Rec Tec
  • Cooking Grates—Rec Tec
  • Hopper Capacity—Rec Tec
  • Temperature Control and Heat Retention—Rec Tec

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, click here to give the Traeger Pro Series 575 a second look.

#2 Z Grills ZPG-700E

Z GRILLS ZPG-700E Wood Pellet Grill Smoker for Outdoor Cooking with Cover, 2020 Upgrade, 8-in-1

This bargain-priced unit offers a similar amount of cooking space, with a total of 700 square inches. Though the temperature range is not quite as generous—180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit—it’s suitable for smoking and other low-heat cooking applications. Porcelain-coated cast iron grilling grates are easy to care for and deliver great grill marks. The heat retention is a bit spotty, but the unit imparts an excellent smoky flavor.

How They Compare

  • Value—Z Grills
  • Size—Rec Tec
  • Construction—Rec Tec
  • Cooking Grates—Z Grills
  • Hopper Capacity—Rec Tec
  • Temperature Control and Heat Retention—Rec Tec

Click here to learn more about the Z Grills ZPG-700E.

#3 Pit Boss 700FB

PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill, 700 sq. in.

This behemoth from Pit Boss also features a 700-square inch surface area and porcelain-coated cast iron grids, but it’s even less expensive than the ZPG-700E. With a temperature range of 180 to 500, it’s also the most versatile alternative. The construction is decent, but I think the grease management system could use an upgrade.

How They Compare

  • Value—Pit Boss
  • Size—Rec Tec
  • Construction—Rec Tec
  • Cooking Grates—Pit Boss
  • Hopper Capacity—Rec Tec
  • Temperature Control and Heat Retention—Tie

Think the Pit Boss 700FB sounds like a good deal? Click here to find out more.

The Bottom Line

So, with all that I’ve learned, do I believe the Rec Tec Stampede is a decent choice?

In a word: absolutely. While it doesn’t come cheaply, the quality aligns with the cost. If you’re willing to make a big investment upfront, you can expect to use this grill for many seasons to come. Because it heats so quickly and efficiently, it’s versatile across a broad range of cooking applications. You can use it for everything from smoked meats in the winter to grilled bratwurst in the summer, and all to great effect.

Click here to take a closer look at the Rec Tec Stampede. Here’s hoping that your pellet grill purchase brings you everything you were hoping for.

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