I have been singing recteq’s praises for years. I shouted their name from the tops of the mountains but still refused to call them the number one before the RT-590 arrived. It was the beauty & the beast combined and established recteq as more of an outdoor grilling phenomenon than an ordinary pellet grill manufacturer.
This is not to say the RT-700 is actually bad or lacks any features. Rather, it’s a massive upgrade over the former. It’s noticeably beefy, provides more space, and comes with a smokestack instead of rear smoke vents. It’s also compatible with the optional smokebox.
But it costs $300 more than the RT-590, and I won’t buy it until I start having 30 or more guests at a time. Given I’m not that sociable, I know it’s never going to happen.
Both grills are absolute value for money and have more things in common than there are differences. However, some differences are significant, and you may want to learn about them before making a purchase.
I’ll compare the two models head to head, delineating the notable similarities and differences. However, before this, I want you to take a look at what each grill has to offer.
Once known as The Stampede, the RT-590 features the most angular build amongst the entire recteq lineup. It has an octagonal-shaped barrel to save space and provide the same headspace and clearing above the cooking grate as the RT-700.
Built mostly of stainless steel, the grill stands stocky and solid–the barrel and all the internal components are shiny stainless steel; only the lid and the body and black powder-coated steel, but even they’re notably sturdy. There’s also a bottom shelf to reduce the number of kitchen trips.
Recteq’s naming strategy is to name a grill after its primary cooking area. The RT-590 has about 590 square inches of grilling space, upgradable to a total of 760 sq.in. with an optional secondary shelf. The hopper capacity is about 30 lbs., which translates to about 30 hrs of non-stop cooking with a full hopper. The hopper is attached to the side–just above the controller–to save space.
The Stampede has a temperature range of 180°F-700°F, which you can set in five-degree increments via the side control panel or the recteq Wi-Fi app. The grill uses a PID-based temp controller that’s accurate up to ±5°. You also get two meat probes with the grill.
Not only that the RT-590 is beautiful, but it’s compact and easy to move–also thanks to the high-tech, easy-rolling wheels–and takes up minimal real estate on your patio.
What you get from other manufacturers for $900 is usually trash in the name of a pellet grill. It’s a shame to compare them to the RT-590, which has a 304 stainless steel firepot, a 304 stainless steel heat deflector, and a steel drip pan.
The 5mm thick, 304 stainless steel grate is no joke. It’s heftier than those found in comparable pellet grills from other manufacturers.
The RT-590 includes recteq’s flagship HotFlash Ceramic Ignition system, which has been rated at over 1 lac lightning cycles. A ceramic ignitor is definitely superior to a metallic one because it’s more durable.
As for the performance, the RT-590 produces wispy white smoke in plenty, both at low and high temperatures. Also, it doesn’t flame out and re-ignite at low temperatures, which is very common in cheap pellet grills.
Long story short, I can’t recommend the RT-590 enough. Though backed by a 4-year warranty, it looks so durable that I think it will outlast me.
Once known as The Bull, the RT-700 is recteq’s flagship model with a conventional, round barrel and bombproof construction. When you see it, you think it’s “the last of the dinosaurs,” but you’re wrong. Recteq produces even bigger grills, like the RT-1250 and 2500. Though not the biggest in the recteq family, the RT-700 is still the behemoth of a grill.
It has everything the RT-590 has in terms of features, plus a few extra features/compatible accessories. Design and cooking space are also two significant points of difference.
The RT-700 has some 700 square inches of primary cooking area, expandable to 1050 sq. in. with an optional second shelf. The pellet hopper has a storage capacity of 40 pounds.
The barrel and the internal components are hefty, shiny stainless steel. The lid and the body (legs) are black powder-coated steel.
The RT-700 has a substantial smokestack, which you can remove to add the Smokebox accessory.
The RT-700 is tougher and more durable overall than the RT-590 because of its thicker body, internal components, and legs.
Recteq RT-590 and RT-700 Differences
Here are the key differences between Rec Tec RT-590 Vs. Rec Tec RT-700.
Size and cooking capacity
The main difference between the two grills is that the RT-700 is bigger. It measures 50″ high by 56″ wide by 32″ deep and weighs 190 pounds. The RT-590, in contrast, measures 43.5″ high by 44″ wide by 24″ deep and weighs 150 pounds. The hopper capacity also varies 40 pounds for the RT-700 and 30 pounds for the RT-590.
With a primary cooking area of 590 square inches, the RT-590 can cook 6 whole chickens, 75 chicken wings, 30 burgers, a 24 lb turkey, 5-6 baby back ribs, or 4 pork butts at a time.
With a primary cooking grate of 700 square inches, the RT-700 can fit 8 whole chickens, 100 chicken wings, 40 burgers, 25 bone-in pork chops, 5-6 baby back ribs, and 6 pork butts in one go.
I borrowed the specs and numbers from recteq’s website, and there’s no denying that–based on my experience as well as others’–some of them are slightly exaggerated. However, they’re still relevant for comparison.
Compared to the RT-590, the RT-700 has a more rugged construction–almost all components are bulkier, not only because they’re bigger but also because they have thicker walls.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of a few of the components:
|Body/walls||1.2mm Stainless Steel||1.7mm Stainless Steel|
|Grate||5mm Stainless Steel||.25″/6mm 304 Stainless Steel|
|Drip pan||1mm Steel||2.3mm 304 Steel|
|Heat deflector||1.85mm Stainless Steel||1.9mm 304 Stainless Steel|
|Firepot||316 Stainless Steel||3.5mm 304 Stainless Steel|
The RT-590 has the most angular, aesthetic build amongst all recteq models–the geometrically shaped barrel not only saves space but also makes the grill stick out. On the other hand, the RT-700 has a traditionally shaped round barrel.
In the RT-590, the legs stand precisely perpendicular to the body or the barrel, as opposed to the RT-700, whose legs are somewhat spread-out to support a hefty barrel.
The pellet hopper on the RT-590 is located on the side, but the RT-590 has the pellet hopper on the rear.
The RT-700 has a smokestack, unlike the RT-590, which has smoke vents on the back of the cooking chamber.
Last but not least, the RT-590 has the logo debossed on the steel lid, which is not as impressive as the RT-700’s large stainless steel slab bull logo.
As I’ve already mentioned, the pellet hopper on the RT-590 is on the side, which translates to a larger auger system and more distance for the pellets to travel. Indeed, the auger runs half of the barrel’s length of the RT-590. This serious design flaw can lead to an auger fire or even a pellet hopper fire.
The pellet hopper on the RT-700 is located on the back, which means less distance between the hopper and the firepot and, in turn, less or no risk of grill fires at all.
Except for the sear kit–since the same sear kit model is available for both grills–the RT-590 and 700 have their separate, dedicated accessories. For example, there’s a separate competition cart for each grill.
If you don’t already know, the sear kit is a set of three interlocking sear grates with raised rails and holed valleys on one side and a flat opposite surface. You can sear, reverse sear, or grill food items based on how you place the sear kit (facedown or upright).
As for the competition cart, think of it as a massive trolley that not only houses your grill but also improves its maneuverability and increases it to a comfortable cooking height. If your height is above average, you’ll probably need this accessory.
The Smokebox accessory, however, is available only for the RT-700. It’s a huge box with three stainless grates that attach to the side of your grill using the existing ventilation holes. The drip pan in the accessory’s bottom flows directly into the existing drip bucket, providing a mess-free setup.
Recteq also sells all-weather grill covers for the two grills. You’ll probably need one for the RT-590 because it has open vents that can let in rain and moisture.
If you want to buy the cover for the RT-700, you should first decide on whether you want the Smokebox or not. The standard RT-700 won’t fit your grill with the Smokebox attached, so, in this case, you should opt for the RT-2500 BFG cover.
The RT-700 features an interior light for night-time grilling; the RT-590 doesn’t.
Recteq RT-590 and RT-700 similarities
Coming from the same manufacturer, the two grills have more things in common than any differences. To pinpoint the most significant shared features are as follows:
- Both grills have the same temperature range, i.e., 180°F-700°F.
- Each of the two grills produces wispy white smoke even at a higher temperature. There’s no question about the performance of any of the two.
- Both grills feature a 304 stainless steel firepot, heat deflector, and steel drip pan. Indeed, save the steel body and the lid; everything from the cooking chamber to the micro-polished handles is stainless steel.
- Both feature a ceramic ignitor rated at over 100,000 lighting cycles.
- Recteq’s attention to detail can be seen in grills, silicon thermal caulk over the seams in the cooking chamber, and the pellet hopper.
- Both grills have two big, high-tech wheels on one side and two smaller swivel casters on the opposite side.
- Both grills feature a PID controller.
- RT-590 and RT-700, both models have WiFi connectivity, allowing you to control and monitor remotely via the recteq app.
- Both recteq models follow automatic, preconfigured startup and shutdown sequences, saving you time and ensuring greater safety.
- Two meat probes come pre-bundled.
- There are no pellet-purge doors, so you have to scoop the remaining pellets out.
- The RT-700 has a 6-year warranty. The RT-590, on the other hand, is backed by a 4-year warranty.
Rec Tec RT-590 Vs 700: Final Verdict
I’m as much a recteq fan as any member of the “recteq mafia,” I also tend to be very opinionated. However, I often feel myself oscillating when choosing between the RT-590 and the 700. Being an introverted person, I don’t think I’ll need the RT-700 any time soon. However, I’m here to address whether you should buy it or not rather than tell you about my personal preferences.
If you’re an outgoing person or a hunter, you should decide on nothing smaller or less powerful than the RT-590. It’s more sturdy, stable, and durable than any comparable pellet grill of a similar size. It’s also compatible with the smokebox should you need more space or smoke sides.
The RT-700 features a proven, time-tested, failsafe design. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’ll have a hard time finding any buyer complaints about it. Since it comes with a smokestack, you probably don’t need a grill cover.
The RT-590, on the other hand, looks somewhat flimsy compared to the RT-700. However, it’s more beautiful and compact than the other recteq models.
The pellet hopper on the RT-590 is located on the side, which creates many problems. First and foremost, this design poses a risk of a grill fire.
I haven’t had any such incidents with it, but there’s a possibility… that even a toddler can recognize it. After all, what’s the point of moving the auger, and such a large auger, under at least half of the cooking chamber’s length? Saving space at the cost of a fire hazard… recteq’s sense makes no sense.
If you buy the RT-590, you’ll need to buy the grill cover to stop rain from entering the open smoke vents. The grill cover for the RT-590 costs you another $66, further narrowing the gap between the two grills’ prices. I’ve heard that recteq has modified the vents in the newer versions of the RT-590 to fix the issue. If this is true, you probably don’t need recteq’s all-weather cover.
In the end, the question of whether you should buy the RT-590 or the RT-700 boils down to your budget and cooking requirements.
Again, I prefer the RT-590 because it’s affordable and compact and I don’t need extra cooking space than it has. But the RT-700 is, no doubt, a better grill than the RT-590.
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