Rec Tec Stampede review

Rec Tec Stampede review – Is this the king of grills?

If you’re looking for a new grill that can truly do it all, then a pellet grill is likely to be a prime choice. These excellent grills allow for maximum flavor thanks to their smoking abilities, while offering an efficient burn rate, even cooking temperature and tons of possibilities.

The king of the pellet smoker grill is likely the Rec Tec, and you’ve no doubt seen them recommended everywhere, but do they live up to the hype? In this article, we’ll be doing a full review of these grills, including talking about any issues that people may have experienced.

We’ll do a short walk through of the features and then a comparison to other grills that Rec Tec makes as well so that you can make an informed decision.

A Review of the Rec Tec Stampede

So, what’s so great about the Rec Tec you may be wondering? Why would you purchase it over a potentially cheaper grill like a Traeger that you can pick up at any Home Depot? The answer to that question is quality.

Unlike cheaper grills, the Rec Tec Stampede uses stainless steel in all the important areas for durability.

One look at the Rec Tec’s polished stainless steel features, and you’ll see the difference in quality. They offer an amazing product that’s backed by a 4 year warranty, and it’s easy to see why they can offer it.

While there are some cheaper grills out there, such as the green mountain grills, they commonly have issues with cold spots and “cheap” accessories like knobs or coated surfaces which don’t always hold up to wear and tear, unfortunately.

The Stampede features an all stainless steel cook box, so there’s no worries about cracking or chipping like with coated materials, and this particular grill comes with a unique octagon shape, which allows for a bigger cooking surface while maintaining a smaller profile.

That makes the Stampede a good “middle of the road” grill that offers fantastic capacity without being ridiculously heavy, and it also makes it an exceptional value when compared to Rec Tec’s bigger grills. Many cheaper grills will have limited cook space, and it will be frustrating to cook for more than two or three people, but for the Stampede, that’s not a sacrifice that you’ll have to make.

The Stampede offers a generous cooking area and insanely accurate temperature controls.

To put that into terms that you actually care about, the Stampede can accommodate five full size racks of ribs and it’s big enough for beer can chickens and even turkeys. That makes it large enough for families while still being portable enough to take on trips if you want.

However, our favorite feature of Rec Tec’s grills is just how versatile they are. While pretty much any pellet grill will allow you to cook up some burgers or chicken, Rec Tecs offer much more than that. These pellet smokers also work as dehydrators and even allow you to bake tasty desserts.

A Rec Tec grill allows you to bake, sear, grill, broil, roast and dehydrate, which allows you to pretty much cook a full course meal just with your grill! Plus, it offers two temperature probes, which allows you to monitor two cooks at once.

If you’ve also been eyeing a smoker or a dehydrator, then a Rec Tec is a great choice, because it will allow you to do absolutely everything without needing to buy separate machines.

The Stampede can also be used to make tasty desserts and doubles as a dehydrator for jerky.

All of Rec Tec’s grills have extremely accurate temperature controls, and their better quality materials often allow the grills to reach and maintain temperature easier than cheaper competitors without producing any cold spots. This is likely due to thicker cook box materials which hold temp better than cheaper counterparts which may use thinner steel.

These grills are also WiFi enabled, and the app for them is pretty cool. The Stampede uses a PID algorithm temperature controller, which you can control wirelessly from your smart phone to manage your cook, making Rec Tec’s grills the ultimate in set it and forget it cooking.

Rec Tec’s excellent smart phone app lets you monitor and control your cooks without getting up from the couch.

Up until this point, our review has mostly focused on the merits of the brand itself, but what about comparing the Stampede to other Rec Tec grill models? Is this grill the one you need?

Rec Tec Grill Comparison

In most cases, the features differences between the Rec Tec grills will be minor. When deciding which one to buy your decision will mostly be based on capacity and use case.

Rec Tec offers grills that weigh anywhere from 55 to 200 pounds, so what do you want to do with your grill? If portability is your biggest concern, then the Bullseye is the smallest of their grills and will be the easiest to bring with you for camping, Rving or boating.

Here’s a quick side by side comparison of the grills in this range to compare capacities and features. (You can generally assume 1 hour of cook time for every pound of hopper capacity.)

Rec Tec Grills comparison chart

  • Trailblazer RT-340
  • $
  • Fits 3 racks of ribs
  • 340 in cook area
  • Weighs 80 lbs
  • 41 inches high
  • 15 lb hopper
  • 2 meat probes
  • Folding legs
  • 2 year warranty
  • 30 day guarantee
  • Buy This Model
  • Stampede RT-590
  • $$
  • Fits 5 racks of ribs
  • 592 inch cook area
  • Weighs 140 lbs
  • 41 inches high
  • 30 lb hopper
  • 2 meat probes
  • Unique taller shape
  • 4 year warranty
  • 30 day guarantee
  • Buy This Model
  • Bull RT-700
  • $$$
  • Fits 6 racks of ribs
  • 702 inch cook area
  • Weighs 195 lbs
  • 50 inches high
  • 40 lb hopper
  • 2 meat probes
  • Platter shelf
  • Tool hooks
  • 6 year warranty
  • 30 day guarantee
  • Buy This Model

As you can see, for the most part, the features for these grills are pretty similar. There’s no difference in quality between them if you go for a cheaper grill, and in most cases, you’ll be upgrading based purely on cooking space and hopper capacity .

However, the Bull does have a few bonus goodies that the other two grills don’t have. This includes some stainless steel hooks for tools and towels, and the controller seems to be higher up for some reason, making it more convenient.

The controller unit for the Bull is also a shelf, which can be used to hold platters, which the Stampede doesn’t have unfortunately. However, the cook space upgrade when going from the Stampede to the bull is only a slight improvement, so you may choose to save some cash here and get the Stampede.

We also included the Trailblazer in our comparison chart, which is the tailgate grill that Rec Tec offers. This grill is their lightest offering, and if portability is important to you, then you may opt for this model, though as you can see the cooking space is very limited here. You’ll likely struggle to cook for more than a few people on the Trailblazer.

It also has the shortest warranty at just 2 years, and the more expensive grills get the bigger warranties if that is important to you. Though Rec Tec’s grills all have modular components, so even if you need to fix something out of warranty you can simply buy an individual part to do so, where a different brand may refuse to sell them to you, forcing you to buy another grill!

The Verdict

All in all, the Stampede is an excellent grill, and it’s likely the best bargain that Rec Tec has to offer. Thanks to its unique shape it offers a large cooking surface without being overly bulky or expensive.

It’s large enough that you can cook for a decent sized family or small party without things getting cramped, but it also will be easy to move if you want to relocate your event. You can use it for cooking damn near everything, and it will fit the bill on most occasions.

The Stampede is likely Rec Tec’s best value between cook space and price.

While we wish that the Stampede had the handy shelf that the Bull has, it’s not a huge deal breaker, and a small side table can easily remedy this problem. You can upgrade to the Bull for a few hundred more but the cook space gained is minimal for the expense honestly.

However, Rec Tec offers a 30 day guarantee on all of their grills. If you test it out and decide that it’s not big enough or you don’t like it you can get a refund, no questions asked. Click here to check out the Stampede.