Steak on a pellet grill...So what can my Rec Tec really do?


Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
I have said several times in posts in this section that I really like my Rec Tec but that it was not cut out to do steaks. Truth is, that the only thing I have ever done with it for steak is to use it as a low heat smoker for raw steak before transferring it to my Weber Genesis for searing hot grilling.

Rec Tec does not make 600 degree claims. Weber's innovative design for the SmokeFire allows more heat to get up to grilling area while providing an alternative to the conventional pellet grill large drip shield that puts a large barrier between the firepot and the grates. It is kind of interesting because the very nice gas grill Costco had for sale there last year had this EXACT SAME configuration. When I posted about that grill then, some of you questioned this setup, and some reviewers did complain of inadequate heat. Some of us here, though, concluded those users didn't give the grill time to heat up properly.



When I got my delivery of Weber SmokeFire GrillMaster Blend pellets and my local Publix grocery store had a nice sirloin on sale I decided it was time to give my Rec Tec a real test.


Rec Tec doesn't claim 600 degrees, but they DO claim their grills are good for low and slow AND for regular high heat grilling. To compensate for the heat-robbing design inherent with having a thick stainless shield/grease drip tray, Rec Tec teamed up with GrillGrates to offer a section of their grates as an add-on option. The used Rec Tec I was fortunate to buy at a great price included these.

I fired her up last night with my new Weber pellets and using the GrillGrates.


It was a relatively cool night by South Florida standards - maybe high 60's. It took about a half-hour for my grill to reach 500 at which point I tossed on my sirloin. Three minutes in one direction, three minutes in another and then the flip:



There was some sizzling, but not the fiery show the new SmokeFire did at the Weber gathering many of us have seen on various video clips. It took longer to get to a medium to medium-well temperature than my gas grill would have, but by that time the Rec Tec was close to hitting 540 degrees:


I think the next time I try, I will be more patient and give the grill 45 minutes to get to a higher temperature and get the GrillGrates as hot as possible. Still, I was impressed overall with the Rec Tec's performance:



I will no longer say that my Rec Tec is not capable of doing steaks. I do agree that it is not the most efficient route. I would bet that for fast high-heat cooking there would be little if any flavor difference if done on a nice classic Weber Genesis with some wood chips in a smoker box below. That would certainly be a faster and probably more economical route to the same end.

On the other hand, my Genesis can't do low and slow with precision, ease and results like my Rec Tec.

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Looks good. I could never get the temp that high with my Mini. I love the light in that Bull.
Yes, that is a simple but nice feature. They were also thoughtful to make the cover easy to pop off and make it dishwasher safe. It only takes a couple cooks for it to get pretty sooty, but it is nice that it is an easy item to clean.
Looks like your Rec Tec does about the same job as my Camp Chef, the steak looks great. I agree that it's not the best or most economical way to cook a steak. With me the strip steak I did was a one and done. Gasser or performer will be my high heat choice in the future.
Jon that's a picture perfect looking steak. How was the smoke profile? I've found that on my MAK the higher the temp the less smoke profile I get. If I stay down around *225 the smoke profile is good. I'm looking forward to some of the comments regarding the Weber Pellet Grill.

I agree with that assessment. I didn’t notice a significant smoke effect, whereas on low and slow bbq it works well, even if not as strong as when using lump charcoal and wood chunks. I didn’t notice any difference from when I use my Genesis with wood chips in a smoke box. It was fun, though, and the neighbors knew I was up to something good!