Traeger Ironwood 885 or Rec Tec T-340 PELLET GRILL - Need advice about potential Purchase

DallasSmoker

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I'm considering getting a Traeger Ironwood 885 or Rec Tec T-340 PELLET GRILL. I have a friend of a friend that is selling a couple month old Traeger Ironwood 885 for 800. I really like Traeger and do thinks this is good deal, but am concerned that there is potential for the pit to have an issue. I also hear stories about the Traeger pits being so so about keeping temp. Also, I know the way the Traeger ironwood smokes meat is different, so it has a different flavor profile, can anyone explain about this more in detail? On the other hand I hear that Rec Tec mades some pretty BA grills. Everyone please feel free to chime in and help me determine which pit to purchase.
 

TheHardWay

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Being on a Traeger forum, the responses to your questions may be a little skewed, haha!

With that said, I have the 885 and really like it. It is my first pellet grill, and glad I went with the 885 over the 650, which I was also considering. Having the bigger cook area is nice when you have people over and are cooking for them. I would go for the used (but almost new) 885 for that reason alone. Wish I could have found an option likes yours when I was shopping! I have heard good things about Rec Tec, so don't think you could go wrong with one quality-wise.

The only gripe I had about my 885 was the lid sealing and smoke escaping. A little digging on this site, and you'll see it is a common issue. Traeger sent me a new lid, and it still didn't seal correctly. I took matters into my own hands and re-arched the lid a little and put some $14 Lava Lock gasket on it. It works perfectly now, and the only smoke that escapes is through the exhaust, where it is supposed to.
 

jp9724

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Well being north of the boarder I wasn't able to get a RecTec, I wanted an RT-700 badly. It would have cost much more to drive all the way down and pick it up and drive it back plus pay import fees so I decided on the Ironwood 885 as it was a good deal and shipping was free. If i could have gotten the Rectec I probably would have,
Temperature upkeep is amazing on mine. Even when very, very cold(that you would never experience in Texas) it kept its heat and fluctuated very little.
As for smoke taste, yes it has an ok amount of smoke flavor when you cook at the low end of the temperature scale with super smoke on. (165-190 or so). Higher than that I haven't picked up much smoke flavor even with super smoke on.

I dont know what Rectec is like for smoke flavor, but as a pellet grill I'm assuming it wouldn't be a huge difference?
I like Rectec from what I've read for the warranty, customer service and all in all being a solid built unit.
 

bfletcher

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Welcome Dallas! I cannot offer a perspective of the Ironwood 885 compared to the RT-340 but I might be able to offer at least some helpful insight according to my personal viewpoint. I began smoking 4 years ago with charcoal and wood chunks. Then, in September 2019 I acquired the IW 885. I have not experienced any issues with it and it has worked as advertised in my opinion but when I sat down in our dining room to eat dinner its cooks delivered a taste that is different from that which was experienced by utilizing charcoal for fuel. I also like bark, especially on an item such as a pork shoulder intended for pulled pork. The IW would not provide me with the results that I had become accustomed but through some basic experimentation and tweaks I felt I was able to improve the bark.

I was not able to resist the temptation of the RT-700 and in December I also acquired one of those. First, I was physically attracted to it. And then somehow I was convinced that it would deliver a different, better taste. I camped with it during much of the first cook. For every moment of each hour that I gazed upon its beauty I saw TBS (thin blue smoke) emitting from its exhaust and I felt certain that I had made a horrible decision with the Ironwood and couldn't wait to dig in to the meal that the RT would deliver. I felt that way because there exists a significant portion of the smoke session that I cannot see smoke from the Ironwood's exhaust. Then came the moment of truth: to me--in my opinion--I could not detect any difference in taste between the IW and the RT.

About the only observation that I live with today is that just because neither of these pellet smokers yield a taste that simulates what I get from charcoal does not mean any of them yield a "wrong" flavor. As I become more used to food cooked on the pellet smokers I find that they deliver fine-tasting results.

I reserve the right to change my opinion but this is where I am today and both my IW and the RT perform well for me and I had an issue on both of them upon receipt of the product and both Traeger and Rec Tec provided a favorable customer service experience. For the record, the lids on both do leak but Rec Tec goes a step further and states that it is done by design. Good luck in your decision!
 

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