If you're reading this article the likelihood is that you're a fan or grills and you really want to know if the RT-590 (Rec Tec Stampede) is worth the money… Well, you've come to the right place.
In this article, we're going to do a deep dive into what the RT-590 is, what it does, and most importantly whether it is worth your hard-earned money.
Who is Rec Tec?
“The first year he sold 60 grills. And now we can sell 200 in a good, really banging day”
Rec Tec (also known as Recteq) was started by two high school graduates in 2009 after their used car business went bust. One of whom is a now successful BBQ chef, Ray Charns.
After switching fields, and convincing Ron Cundy, his soon to be business partner, to leave his job at an Atlanta law firm the two began designing grills.
Rec Tec soon became one of the fastest-selling pellet grill companies in the world, not just the USA. Now, Rec Tec is more than a pellet supplier.
They are selling a lifestyle; this includes their showroom, with an onsite grilling porch, they run masterclasses and put out tonnes of daily content online.
“We have six warehouses now and by the end of the year, we’ll consolidate and move into 250,000 square feet of the former Quad/Graphics in Columbia County.
We went from 2009 having one flagship model to now having nine models, two of which aren’t even pellet grills-the Matador which is a gas wok, and the WyldSide, which is an Argentina style cooker, so logs, charcoal, whatever you want to burn in there basically.”
RT-590 product details
The RT-590 is a pellet burning grill/smoker.
This grill comes with a large hopper - with enough room to hold around 8 hours worth of pellets. It also comes with an electric temperature control system that allows you to control how quickly the pellets are fed into the burner.
The cooking space on this grill comes to a total of 772 square inches.
On the right side of the grill, there is a storage hook. This hook can be used to store the water bucket as well as any cooking equipment you require. Under the grill, there is a mesh shelf with roughly 1000 square inches of storage space.
The majority of the grill is made from grade 304-stainless steel. The hood of the grill has an enamel coating to help insulate it. The area around the hopper has a matt black coating on it.
The dials on the electronic control panel are made of the same grade 304-stainless steel.
This is a wood pellet burning grill. It is best to burn Rec Tec brand pellets, as you may otherwise have trouble with your pellet feeder clogging.
Here are the pros of the RT-590, you'll notice there are quite a lot of them.
We wouldn't normally mention Amazon review ratios in a review, because… well, they're just not factual.
However, this is a statistic we cannot ignore. This grill doesn't have a single review of less than four stars. Yes, you read that right, its worst review is a four-star review.
Have you seen that anywhere else on Amazon, we don't think we have? Whilst these reviews aren't fact if you see that many people on the internet agreeing about something it's worth taking note of.
Over our many years of testing out grills, we've learned that one of the most reliable ways to estimate a grill's quality is to look at the kind of warranty the manufacturer offers.
A one-year warrant - thumbs up. A two-year warranty - double thumbs up. No warranty - run like the wind, don't look back, this grill is trouble.
The RT-590 has a four-year warranty.
That says to us that Rec Tec trusts this product and believes it has a lengthy shelf-life. We think seeing a manufacturer back their product this way is a signifier of a quality product.
The grill itself is a robust beast made from grade 304-stainless steel. Once you purchase one of these they are going to be in your lives for a long time. It has an enameled lid, and easy-grip handles.
The whole grill has a gorgeous, classic finish that will never go out of style.
Lots of Grilling Space
This grill is big, not Pit Boss big, but still pretty big.
This grill comes with 772 square inches of cooking space on the bars. That's more than enough to cook two briskets and a handful of steaks at once.
If you have a big family, or often host BBQs then this is the minimum size grill you should be looking at. Having a large grill like this allows you to cook multiple things at once, taking the pressure off you as you host.
We would prefer that amount of grilling space to be spread across two shelves, to make the overall size of the grill more manageable.
Practical Design - Lots of Storage Space
This may sound like a small thing, but once a well-designed grill walks into your life you won't know how you lived without one.
The RT-590 has a useful hook on its sign to hold its water bucket and any cooking tools you need. It also has a shelf below the grill with roughly 1000 inches of storage space.
This space will be useful both whilst you are using the grill and whilst it's in storage.
Holds A LOT of Pellets
Big grills need a lot of power to keep it running.
Our biggest grill-based pet peeve is when the grill's hopper isn't big enough to cook a whole meal.
We'll explain, there is nothing more annoying than having to repeatedly refill the hopper throughout the day to keep the grill going.
The RT-590 doesn't have this problem. All you need to do is fill the hopper with pellets at the start of the day, then stop worrying about it.
With this feature, in particular, you can tell that the RT-590 is designed by people who love and understand how grilling works. This is a really small feature, but it adds so much value to the grill in our eyes.
The RT-590 also has a few downsides, here are what we think they are:
As grills go, the RT-590 is on the expensive end of the spectrum.
We'll keep this short here, but will go into more detail in our conclusion.
Difficult to Build
Like most large items, grills are very rarely delivered fully assembled.
This isn't often a problem, however, once in a blue moon there comes a grill that you need a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering to put together. The RT-590 gets pretty close to this point.
It's not often we get tempted to stop building, but with this we were close. However, we were really glad we persevered.
As we mentioned above, this grill has a lot of cooking space - 772 inches to be exact - however, this is all on one shelf.
If you're familiar with grills you may know that other companies who sell large grills spread the cooking area over multiple shelves.
PitBoss even has a grill, with three shelves, that offers over 1200 square inches of cooking space, and it is still physically smaller than this grill.
That being said, this is something that we can accept because it ticks so many of our other boxes.
So, is it worth the money?
We absolutely think that the RT-590 is worth the money.
Although, it seems like a large initial expense, knowing that this grill will last us for years it doesn't seem as expensive.
If you break the price down into a yearly price, it will give you a better idea of what you're paying for.
As a lower quality grill may only last for a year.
This is a well-made grill, with a generous warranty that we believe will last for years if treated correctly.
Our one major gripe about this grill is the size to the cooking space ratio. We understand that you need a big grill to get a lot of cooking space. However, there are other brands that have handled this issue better.
If this grill was smaller, it would be the perfect girl.
However, if you do have a lot of storage space to spare then you will struggle to find an issue with the RT-590.
Another thing it is worth noting is that you will struggle to use non-Rec Tec pellets in the hopper. Rec Tec, however, has a very poor range of pallet flavors.