Yoder vs Rec Tec: Best Pellet Grills Comparison [2020]

Are you thinking about buying a new pellet grill?

If so, are you wondering which brand might be the best one to invest in?

I wondered the same thing, which is why I decided to pit Yoder vs Rec Tec in a head-to-head roundup.

While the two companies have plenty of similarities, there are other distinctive features that set their products apart.

Read on to find out what these two pellet-grilling giants have in common, and where they differ.

In a rush? Here is the winner:

In this article, we’re going to review the following pellet grills:

Yoder vs Rec Tec: Product Details

In this section, we’ll tell you exactly what you’re buying when you purchase a Yoder or Rec Tec pellet grill. For your convenience, we’ve also included lists of pros and cons for each model. Note that for the Yoder smokers, we’ve grouped the pros and cons together, since these units are similar in nearly every way except for size.

Yoder Smokers

#1 Yoder YS480

  • Firebox and cooking grates constructed of 10-gauge steel
  • 20-pound capacity hopper constructed of 14-gauge steel
  • Cart-style design with attached casters
  • Two integrated food probes
  • Adaptive Control System (ACS)
  • Grease management system
  • Optional slide-out shelf

#2 Yoder YS640

The Virtual Displacement Damper allows grillers more control over the YS640’s temperature. This grill is also much larger than the YS480.

  • Firebox and cooking grates constructed of 10-gauge steel
  • 20-pound capacity hopper constructed of 14-gauge steel
  • Cart-style design with attached casters
  • Two integrated food probes
  • Adaptive Control System (ACS)
  • Grease management system
  • Optional slide-out shelf
  • Virtual Displacement Damper system

Pros of the Yoder YS Series:

  • Generous warranty program
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Strong, durable construction
  • Large cooking surfaces
  • Oversized hoppers

Cons of the Yoder YS Series:

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy and time-consuming to assemble
  • VDD system can be finicky and confusing to novices

Rec Tec Pellet Grills

#1 Rec Tec RT-340

REC TEC Grills | RT-340 | Bundle | WiFi Enabled | Portable Wood Pellet Grill | Built in Meat Probes | Stainless Steel | 20lb Hopper | 2 Year Warranty | Hotflash Ceramic Ignition System

  • 100 percent stainless steel construction, including the grilling grates
  • 20-pound capacity hopper with locking lid
  • Straight-legged design with rollerblade-style wheels
  • Foldable legs
  • Dual meat temperature probes
  • Proprietary PID controller
  • Grease management system with drip bucket
  • Removable second shelf

Pros:

  • Relatively large hopper
  • Foldable legs for ease of transport
  • Good package options available
  • Highly versatile

Cons:

  • Balance makes it difficult to shift once it’s set up
  • Doesn’t perform as well in high humidity
  • Needs Rec Tec pellets for best results
  • Drip bucket is on the small side

Check Price on Amazon

#2 Rec Tec RT-590

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

  • 100 percent stainless steel construction, including the grilling grates
  • 30-pound capacity hopper with locking lid
  • Cart-style design with rollerblade wheels
  • Dual meat temperature probes
  • Proprietary PID controller
  • Grease management system with drip bucket
  • Removable second shelf

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • User-friendly
  • Durable construction
  • Excellent temperature control

Cons:

  • WiFi app is fairly simple
  • Wheels are on the small side for a grill of this size
  • Cumbersome design

Check Price on Amazon

#3 Rec Tec RT-700

REC TEC Grills | RT-700 | Bundle | WiFi Enabled | Portable Wood Pellet Grill | Built in Meat Probes | Stainless Steel | 40lb Hopper | 6 Year Warranty | Hotflash Ceramic Ignition System

  • 100 percent stainless steel construction, including the grilling grates
  • 40-pound capacity hopper with locking lid
  • Cart-style design with four rollerblade wheels
  • Dual meat temperature probes
  • Proprietary PID controller
  • Grease management system with drip bucket
  • Removable second shelf

Pros:

  • Generous amount of cooking space
  • Oversized hopper
  • Versatile
  • High pellet efficiency

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Huge, bulky design
  • Too heavy to move across the yard
  • Some interior components are prone to rust

Check Price on Amazon

Yoder vs Rec Tec: Features and Benefits

Yoder Smokers

Construction and Durability

Yoder uses 10-gauge steel for the main cooking chamber and grilling grates. The cart and hopper are constructed of 14-gauge steel for extra durability. These models feature enough storage space to hold all your barbecue tools, plus an extra bag of pellets if necessary. Note that they’re also very heavy, so try to set them up in a permanent spot.

Size

The YS480 is outfitted with 800 square inches of cooking space. The 640, meanwhile, offers a whopping 1070 inches. For this reason, these units should be considered by serious grilling enthusiasts only.

Cost

Be forewarned: Yoder products are expensive, even by pellet-grilling standards. The good news? They’re built of quality materials and come equipped with a generous warranty package (see Warranty, below).

Temperature Control System

The digital control panels on the YS series are simple to use, with illuminated LED readout panels. These models also boast an impressive temperature range of 150 to 600 degrees, which is far better than the industry standard.

Efficiency

Yoder smokers tend to consume one-and-a-half to four pounds of pellets per hour, depending on the cooking technique you’re using. That makes them noticeably less efficient than some of the competition, especially considering the fact that the hoppers can only hold 20 pounds of pellets at once.

Read more on how long do pellets last in a pellet grill.

Technology

The Adaptive Control System (ACS) allows you to download the Yoder app to your smartphone or tablet. From then on, you can remotely control the temperature of your grill—without ever leaving the couch. The Virtual Displacement Damper (VDD), available only on the YS640, gives you even greater control.

Warranty

Yoder offers the following warranty package on the smokers in the YS series:

  • Ceramic igniter: 1 year
  • Control System: 3 years
  • Main cooking chamber: 10 years

This guarantee helps to offset the high price tag of the Yoder models, and proves that the company has the utmost faith in its products.

Rec Tec Pellet Grills

Construction and Durability

All Rec Tec grills are constructed of 304-grade stainless steel, inside and out. That includes the cooking grates, as well as the generously sized cooking chambers. The lids on Rec Tec grills are wide and roomy, making it easy to roast whole chickens or even turkeys for Thanksgiving. The only issue we have is with the wheels, which are on the flimsy side, especially for the larger units.

Size

The RT-340 boasts 340 square inches of grilling space, with an additional 171 inches available on the optional second shelf. That’s generous for a travel grill and sufficient for families of four to six people. The RT-590 is slightly larger, with 592 square inches in the main cooking area and an additional 180 available when you add the second shelf. With a grand total of 1054 square inches (702 on the main grate), the RT-700 is the largest of the three.

Cost

You can expect to pay top dollar for a Rec Tec grill. Even the RT-340, which qualifies as a travel-sized grill, is set at a higher price point than most of its competition. Given the quality of the construction, however, these units still offer decent value for every dollar spent.

Temperature Control System

The digital control systems on the Rec Tec models are some of the most sophisticated you’ll find. All three of the units listed here are equipped with a PID controller and digital LED readout. The dual meat temperature probes are high-quality and generally accurate. This puts Rec Tec on par with Yoder in this category, even with the bar raised high.

Efficiency

When it comes to pellet consumption, Rec Tec earns high marks. We’re particularly impressed with the RT-700, which burns through pellets at a very reasonable rate, considering its massive size. Remember that every pellet grill tends to yield better results with its own brand. If you choose to buy generic pellets, you might be disappointed with the efficiency, as well as the quality of your results.

Technology

These Rec Tec grills are equipped with Wi-Fi capability. While their app isn’t as sophisticated as some of the competition, it’s very user-friendly. Even beginners who are apprehensive about the technology should be comfortable with this feature.

Warranty

The bigger the grill, the longer the warranty. That’s how Rec Tec plays the game, anyway. It’s a nice benefit, even if their guarantee doesn’t quite match Yoder’s in terms of longevity. The RT-340 is covered for two years from the original date of purchase, while the RT-590 is covered for four years. Being the largest of the three, the RT-700 is outfitted with a six-year warranty.

Firing Up the Yoder Grills

How well do the Yoder smokers work when they’re put to the test? While searching the Web, I learned that they’ve left quite the trail of satisfied customers in their wake. Their size and durability was soundly praised, and most users reported excellent results with smoked chicken and whole turkeys. The generous warranty and professional customer service department were appreciated by many. In all, it’s obvious that Yoder is doing all they can to remain competitive in the field.

Firing Up the Rec Tec Grills

Customers also had high praise for the Rec Tec models. According to their experienced fans, these units turn out consistently delicious results, while burning through an average of one pound of pellets per hour. Even novices were startled at how easy the grills were to use, especially with the Wi-Fi option. It was mentioned that the units perform better when used in conjunction with Rec Tec pellets, but that’s true of most pellet grills. And in terms of flavor, the Rec Tec pellets are reportedly superior anyway.

General Guide: Important Features to Look For in a Pellet Grill

If you’ve purchased a pellet grill in the past, you’ll already know that one size doesn’t fit all. There are certain specifications that you should bear in mind before you plunk down your hard-earned cash. If you’re a first-timer, you should find this information particularly useful.

Construction and Durability

It goes without saying that an outdoor grill should be tough, durable, and made with quality materials. What does that mean? First of all, make sure heavy-gauge steel is used in the construction of the cooking chamber itself. If specifics are available, look for 10-gauge or higher. As for the grilling grates, they can be made of cast iron or restaurant-grade stainless steel (304 is the preferred grade for these applications). A porcelain coating might make the grates easier to clean, but be careful—some lesser manufacturers will use this trick to cover up low-quality cast iron.

Size

Only you can determine how much cooking space you’ll need. As a rule of thumb, you might want to look for 72 square inches per person, but the total number depends on how many ingredients you’re grilling. For example, if you’re a family of four and you like to grill potatoes to go along with your steaks, you should look for a unit with a larger cooking surface.

Cost

This is another subjective category. You should determine in advance how much you’re willing to spend on a pellet grill, and look for models that suit your budget. While all pellet grills are relatively costly, most of them are built to last.

Temperature Control System

Unlike most gas or charcoal grills, pellet-burning units feature digital control panels that allow you to pre-select the temperature. If dual probes are included, they’ll keep an eye on the interior temperature of the grill and let you know when the meat is finished cooking. An LED readout display is a huge plus, particularly if the numbers are illuminated.

Efficiency

Pellet grills will typically burn through one pound of pellets per hour on average. Low-and-slow cooking applications will use less fuel, while a hotter fire will naturally go through more. Larger units tend to be less efficient than their smaller counterparts.

Technology

If possible, invest in a unit that offers Wi-Fi adaptability. This means that you can download an app that allows you to control the temperature of your unit from a distance. If you frequently entertain, then this is a major perk.

Warranty

Try to give your business to a company that stands behind its products. Many manufacturers will offer a one- to three-year warranty on defective parts. Make sure you know what is and isn’t covered before making a purchase.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of quality models here, no question about that. But which one stands out from the crowd?

It’s a difficult decision, but I would award the crown to the Rec Tec RT-590. The size should be sufficient for most average-sized families, without overwhelming the backyard or patio area. The temperature range and efficiency are top-notch, and it’s versatile enough to turn out smoked chicken and expertly seared ribeye in the same afternoon. The WiFi capability is a huge plus, especially since the heat tends to remain steady within 15 degrees of the preset temperature. All in all, the RT-590 is a superior product that’s easy to recommend. Click here to check its price.

We hope this matchup has provided you with the information you were looking for. Best of luck, and happy grilling!

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