In the world of BBQ, there are fierce debates over which grill or smoker is the best one. That’s why in today’s article we’re doing a comparison of rec tec vs yoder pellet grills. While Yoder has a lot of brand recognition in professional BBQ circles, it also sells at a premium when compared to the more affordable Rec Tec grill.
So, is the Yoder really worth that much, or is it all hype? That’s the question we aim to answer today, and we’ll be diving deep into their features, warranty, construction, hopper size, features, and price to find the answer.
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. However, you should be aware that these brands make many different models that align with different price points and cooking capacities.
We’ve done a pretty in-depth review that I recommend that you read, but if you haven’t got time for all that, here’s the important bits!
Rec Tec vs Yoder: What’s the difference?
When comparing Rec Tec vs Yoder, there are a few key differences that you should know about before making your decision. Here’s a chart to help you out!
|Rec Tec Bull 700||Yoder 640 S|
|Hopper Size||40 lbs.||20 lbs.|
|Cooking Surface||702 sq inches||1,070 sq inches|
|Warranty||6 years on everything||Iffy, see full review for info|
|Made in USA||Not entirely||Yes|
|Extras||Everything included||Extras to buy|
|Check Price on Rec Tec||Check Price on Yoder|
In short, if you’re just feeding your family and friends, you probably don’t need a competition quality smoker. While the Yoder does use high-quality steel, there are definitely some things we don’t like about, such as the iffy warranty that it comes with.
If it was our money, we’d save some cash and go with the Rec Tec. It’s still a high-quality grill that will serve you very well and for a long time. For those that want the full review, keep reading to see what we like the Rec Tec better, or compare models and prices here.
In a minute, we’ll be on to the full Rec Tec vs Yoder review. First though, let’s talk a bit about why you’d want to get a pellet grill in the first place. Why wouldn’t you just use a plain old charcoal or propane grill?
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.
This is very, very useful when trying to time a cook which could take many hours. You can know exactly how much fuel you need to add to keep the fire burning, and you can be sure that the pellet grill will deliver constant and even temperatures, where as with lesser quality grills, such as regular charcoal ones, your temps can be iffy, and your surface heat is more often than not, not even at all.
Pellet fed smokers and grills are also much more efficient. They feed pellets evenly into the fire so that there is no wasted fuel like with a charcoal grill, and pellets also tend to provide a much better end product, making them a favorite of those who participate in BBQ competitions and need dependable and consistent results when cooking.
Rec Tec vs Yoder Showdown! Which grill is the best?
Okay, now that that’s out of the way. Let’s get down to our comparison. We’ll take a look at both of these grills separately, compare their features, and then give you our top pick at the end, along with our reasoning for that pick. Let’s get started with the first grill on our agenda, the Rec Tec Bull 700.
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 for it. If you compare the rec tec vs yoder, you’ll quickly see that there are some serious savings here, but will you be missing out on anything? We don’t think so.
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 when it comes to rec tec vs yoder.
As someone who has used crappy teflon pans before, I really don’t want the same effect from a very expensive smoker. No flakey bits for us please, thanks Rec Tec!
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, and for most people, this grill will be the perfect size.
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. While it’s not the end of the world, and you could easily top it off if you wanted to, if you mess up your timing, then you could be an unhappy camper when your Yoder runs out of fuel.
This is likely not an issue for a professional cook team that is glued to their smoker at an event, but the average Joe smoking at home is likely multi-tasking. For us, that’s an annoyance that we’d prefer to avoid.
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. Rec tec vs Yoder on portability? : point for Rec Tec.
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. While we understand that shipping heavy grills ain’t cheap, I’d rather save an extra bucks, sorry Yoder.
Some people also 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, not an issue for us, but we know for some people, this is a pain point, and they prefer to buy only American made goods if they can.
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 means that when it comes to convenience, when comparing rec tec vs yoder it’s a no brainer. Rec Tec is the clear winner. If you’re too busy to babysit your grill, then being able to monitor your cook using your smart phone while you get some work done in your office, get started on your chores, or play with your kids is a huge bonus.
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.
If you’re a hunter, then you’ll likely appreciate being able to make your own deer jerky, and we also appreciate devices which pull double duty.
- 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.
While the Rec Tec Bull 700 is one of the most popular models that they have available, there are also may other great models for sale. Some of our other favorites include the smaller and more portable RT-340, and the larger and more versatile beast or chuck wagon models, which are great for events, churches, clubs and other venues where you need a lot of cooking space to feed everyone.
Yoder only seems to make their grills in one size, enormous. So, if you’re looking for something that’s portable, you’d best look elsewhere. However, Yoder does have a lot more large-scale models, hence their status with competition cooking environments.
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. So, the Rec Tec vs Yoder debate is really more focused on cost and how much you want to pay for one of these smokers.
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. However, be prepared to pay for the name brand, the extra steel, and the hefty shipping costs that come with it.
However, Yoder’s tend to have 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. Though for most people, this is over kill unless you cook for your church, frequent events, or other instances which would warrant such a behemoth of a grill.
It should be noted though that there are some things that we really don’t like about this grill. For example, 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 for something that costs a small fortune. Rec Tec offers most of these things standard, and when it comes to Rec Tec vs Yoder, we just can’t help but feel we’re getting the shaft here by not purchasing a Rec Tec which already comes with all this stuff.
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 own controller software from scratch.
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, potentially saving your cook from unforeseen circumstances.
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, and if you have your heat set on a Yoder, you can brag to your buddies about it over ribs and beer. When it comes to rec tec vs yoder, some BBQ purists swear by Yoder, but we just don’t think they live up to the hype. If their warranty was better we’d feel a little more comfortable, but the fact is, their grills are just over kill for the BBQ hobbyist, and a waste of money for those that don’t cook for crowds frequently or go to competitions.
- 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 in the Rec Tec vs Yoder debate.
It’s reliable, durable, affordable, and it has enough features that it can please every backyard BBQ enthusiast. 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 in our opinion.
Rec Tec’s customer service is also top notch, and their warranty is just better than the one that’s offered by Yoder. There are no long disclaimers about different parts or worries about warranty denials, they just stand behind their product and they’re ready to make it right if you have a problem. Yoder’s questionable warranty is honestly puzzling for something that costs so much money, and it greatly impacted our decision when choosing the rec tec vs yoder smokers for our top pick.
Rec Tec 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. We’d recommend their products any day, and that’s what we’d put on our patio if it was our money going to a grill without hesitation.