In today’s article, we’re going to be comparing the Rec Tec grill to the Yoder to find out which one is the best smoker. We’ll be comparing a variety of different criteria, including their cooking surface size, hopper size, features and price.
All of the grills compared in this article will be pellet style grills, and we’ve tried to choose grills which match up as closely as possible to provide an accurate comparison of quality vs price.
Why pellet grills?
When it comes down to it, pellets provide a ton of benefits over charcoal. For starters, they just make food taste better. However, they’re also a much more efficient fuel source, and you can pretty much dependably bet that pellets will burn at a rate of about a pound per hour.
Pellets feed into the smoker, so there’s not a bunch of wasted fuel like what you have with charcoal grills, and pellet smokers tend to provide a much better end product.
Rec Tec RT-700 Bull Wood Pellet Grill
The first grill we’ll be looking at is the Rec Tec Bull. This is one of our favorite grills, and it offers some extremely nice features and a high-quality build, especially for the price that they’re asking.
Rec Tec makes all the important bits of their grills from stainless steel, which includes the fixtures like the handles but also the entire cook box. This prevents the interior of your smoker from cracking or chipping off into your food. The Yoder features an inferior painted cook box surface, so points off for that.
This grill has a sizable cooking area that can accommodate 6 full racks of ribs, and it’s big enough that you can cook beer can chickens and large turkeys inside it as well. That’s plenty of food to feed a large family or even a small party without any issues.
The hopper capacity is also very spacious, offering you 40 pounds of pellets for cooking. In contrast, the Yoder has room for just 20 pounds. This could be a problem, because while on average, pellet smokers burn fuel at a pound per hour, in certain circumstances they could take twice that.
This is especially true if the weather outside is a little chilly, and if your hopper capacity is not up to snuff, then you might actually end up having to remember to refill it half way through your cook.
The Rec Tec also weighs a lot less than the Yoder. If you ever want to move the Yoder, good luck, it comes in at 335 pounds! The Bull, while not tiny, is a much more manageable 195 pounds. Though if you want a smaller model, Rec Tec makes them as light as 80 pounds for tail gating.
However, some people do like the heavier gauge steel that the Yoder is made from, but is it worth the extra cost? That will likely be up to you. However, for our dollar, the Rec Tec is an exceptional grill that blows other brands like the Traeger and Green Mountain out of the water.
It is not, however, a competition grill, and if that’s what you’re look for, then the Yoder might be worth the expense. If you’re just looking to cook good food though, then the Rec Tec is an exceptional value, and it will be more than worth the purchase price.
The Bull comes with a 6 year warranty, and the company allows you to try their grills for 30 days risk free. Plus, Rec Tec offers free shipping for their grills, which Yoder does not offer. This can easily add an additional $250 to the cost of your grill if you go with a Yoder since they’re so damn heavy.
Some people dislike the fact that the Rec Tec is not entirely made in the USA, but they are assembled here. They get some of the parts from China, but they do excellent quality control, so that’s not a concern unless you insist that everything you buy be made 100% in the United States.
Rec Tecs also come with way more extras than Yoders do, and if you decide to get a Yoder you’ll also need to spring for thermometers, while the Rec Tec Bull offers two included dual meat probes for you to use.
You can also monitor your entire cook using their free smart phone app, because the Rec Tec is WiFi enabled. Yoder offers no such feature, and you’ll have to manually babysit your cook if you go with their smoker/grill combo.
This makes the Rec Tec a much more convenient choice if you’re too busy to babysit your grill. It’s easy to monitor your cook from your smart phone while you get some work done in your home office, or while you watch your kids.
The Rec Tec also offers a lot more convenient cook modes for you to utilize which allow you to essentially have it double as a dehydrator for jerky or allow you to use it to bake desserts if you want to bring a lightweight version camping.
- Free shipping
- Full stainless steel cook box
- 6 year warranty
- 30 day risk free trial
- Larger hopper capacity
- 2 dual temp probes included
- WiFi temp monitoring
- Grills, bakes, sears, dehydrates
- Not made entirely in the USA
- Not a competition level grill
- Smaller cooking surface
- Slightly thinner steel
You can check out the Rec Tec Bull here to see more reviews and to get pricing. However, there are other models available too if you’d prefer something bigger or smaller.
Make no mistake that Yoder makes exceptional smokers. They are a trusted name for a reason, but you should keep in mind that your money won’t stretch nearly as far with these grills.
That means you need to decide where you want to compromise on quality and value. If you plan to frequent barbecue competitions, then the Yoder may well be worth the price. It’s a heavy duty grill that will last a life time.
It also has a much larger cooking capacity than the Rec Tec Bull does, and if you plan to cook for your entire block, then the Yoder might fit the bill. This Yoder model can likely pack in double the meat when compared to the Bull if you really stack it, and that’s never a bad thing.
However, there are some things that we really don’t like about this grill. While Yoder does use heavy duty steel, which helps to insulate the box, we don’t care for the interior paint coating which can scratch or chip off.
Yoder claims that this design will allow you to “touch up” the grill when it wears down, and this would be fine on the outside. However, high temperature paint is still just paint, and after a while it will begin to chip off into your food. Thus, we prefer Rec Tec’s stainless steel cook box.
We’re also not really a fan of the fact that nearly everything is an “add on” when it comes to Yoder’s grills. The “price” of the grill is really for the bare bones, and you’ll need to shell out hundreds of more dollars if you want “extras” like thermometers, or even the hole for the thermometer probes so you don’t have to close the lid on the wires in your cooker!
You could easily spend way over your budget on this grill once you get all of the add ons, and it’s rather annoying to be honest that at least some of this stuff is not included. Rec Tec offers most of these things standard, and we just can’t help but feel that we’re getting the shaft here by not purchasing a Rec Tec.
Yoder’s warranty is also confusing and a bit troubling. Rec Tec offers a 6 year warranty across the board for the Bull, but Yoder only offers a substantial warranty for the cooking chamber.
For electronics, the warranty is capped at 3 years, and for the igniter it ends at just 1 year. No other parts of the smoker are warrantied past 6 months other than these mentions at all, which is puzzling to say the least. Why only 6 months for everything else?
Even manufacturers of cheap junk usually give you at least a full years warranty, and that’s rather troubling. Especially for a grill that puts such a huge dent in your wallet.
However, while the warranty for the electronics is rather short, the electronics themselves are rather special. While Rec Tec uses a PID controller which certainly does the job, Yoder has in-house programmers which have created their controller.
They claim that this firmware has undergone thousands of hours of testing to allow the controller to adjust to environmental issues, such as the door frequently opening, cold meat being added and other actions which could impact the cook temperature.
Do these small fluctuations matter enough to pay a premium for the grill? We don’t really think so, but it’s pretty cool anyway.
- Heavier gauge steel
- Competition quality
- Larger cooking capacity
- Made in USA
- Custom controller software
- Questionable warranty
- Smaller hopper
- Painted rather than stainless
- No temp probes included
- No WiFi controller
- Many extras to buy
- Add $250 for shipping
Winner: Rec Tec Bull RT-700
For our money, there’s no contest here. The Rec Tec is simply a better value. While the Yoder may offer a little thicker steel, its features just don’t compare to the Rec Tec, and for the majority of consumers, this grill will be the winner.
The Bull’s WiFi controller and companion app is awesome for monitoring your cook, and they don’t make you buy the features you want a la carte. Or, the features that should be standard for that matter.
Rec Tec’s customer service is also top notch, and their warranty is just better. There’s no long disclaimers about different parts, they just stand behind their product and they’re ready to make it right if you have a problem.
They also offer exceptional value, for a high-quality smoker that will last you for years to come. That free shipping doesn’t hurt either though, and those savings easily makes the Rec Tec an even better deal than it already is.
You can get the Rec Tec Bull with free shipping here, but there’s also some larger or smaller models available as well depending on your cooking needs. However, when it comes to the Rec Tec vs Yoder debate, all of Rec Tec’s models are simply a better value.