Traeger Ranger Portable Grill And Smoker
Why youll love this:
Traeger doesnt make a ton of portable grills, and it may just be because they got this one so right to begin with.
This is an excellently made portable smoker, with all the features I look for in something like that.
Its compact, lightweight, and travels well. The latching lid makes it safe to store all your tools inside and then travel however you need to.
You get about the average amount of grilling space for a portable grill, which is a good 184 square inches enough for a good sized meal for a decent group of people.
Despite the portable nature, it keeps all the nice features Traeger grills are known for, including the advanced grilling logic and other accuracy increasing tools, like the internal meat probe and keep warm function. This means that even on the go, you dont have to sacrifice quality and ease of use.
While a bit pricier than other portable grilling and smoking options, the quality speaks for itself. Its the full Traeger grills experience, just in a smaller package. The only real gripe I have is the size and weight. This is definitely more of a tailgating or campground grill its too bulky and heavy to take on a hike or deep camping trip.
What We Didnt Like
- Fairly pricey.
- On the bulky size for a portable grill or smoker.
High End Grill Brands
If youre looking for a quick hitting list of brands who manufacture high end grills, check out the below names. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the brands below make excellent quality grills and any would be a welcome addition to any outdoor kitchen. Weve done deep dive reviews on many of the brands, so click the below links for an in depth review on each.
Its worth pointing out again that this is a high end gas grills round up so some of the premium brand names like Kamado Joe, Traeger, etc. are left off intentionally.
Rec Tec Vs Traeger Pellet Grill
Take it from me, purchasing a pellet grill is one of the best investments a BBQ lover can make. Having the ability to add flavor and character to tons of different smoked dishes is a pleasure not everyone has.
With many brands on the pellet grill market, finding something that is worth it can be difficult, especially when all these companies claim to be the Best Grills Ever.
On your searching into the unknown, you may have come across two specific brands. One being Rec Tec and the other being Traeger.
In this article, were going to put Rec Tec vs. Traeger in a head-to-head battle, with an overview of each brand as well as comparing the specifications of each. There’ll also be a few individual product reviews at the end if youre interested in either of these companies.
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Our Top 7 Best High End Gas Grills
In this section of our guide, we will share with you our top picks. We want you to know every little detail of each grill so that you can make an informed decision if you decide to purchase a high end gas grill.
For each of these reviews, you will find detailed explanations specific to the grill in question. We will also share with you the pros and cons for each grill and let you know if there is anything that could potentially be a downside to the grill, or even just something to be aware of.
We have a lot of ground to cover so lets get started!
Are Infrared Grills Hard To Clean
The basics of cleaning an infrared grill are the same as for any grill, but take extra caution in cleaning the heating element and infrared surface. At least twice a year, an infrared grill should be inspected for wear, paying close attention to any damage to the heating element, the infrared plate and the grate.
Also Check: Grilled Hamburgers On Traeger
What Causes My Grill To Smoke
When you use the grill for the first time, it may produce some smoke. A lot of warm oil or fat causes smoke. If there are no food particles or there is no grease on the other side of the grilling plate. Make sure the side of the grilling plate you are not going to use is clean and dry before you turn the plate.
Best And Worst Infrared Gas Grill Designs
To give you an idea of whats out there and what the various designs cost, Ill cover a few of the more popular ones, in a wide range of prices so you really get a sense of context. Most folks have a sense of the difference between a Viking range and a Kenmore whereas the difference between a Char-Broil and a TEC might not be so clear to most folks.
Weve all seen the Char-Broil brand wherever we see grills and yet TEC is not a brand many folks have heard of. Indeed most folks equate Char-Broils TRU infrared with the technology itself. So lets do a comparison and cover some things to watch out for when shopping for an infrared gas grill.
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Tec Stpfr2lp Sterling 44 Propane Gas Built
2.0 by user reviews
Cook up the perfect home-grilled meals with the TEC Sterling Propane Gas Covered Grill. This TEC grill is equipped with a stainless steel heat zone separator, so you can always know the temperature of the grill in order to achieve perfect results each and every time. Featuring an infrared burner, it gives you access to higher levels of heat while you grill food. It features an electronic ignition, helping you quickly fire up your grill.
This propane gas grill distributes heat evenly across the cooking surface to ensure consistent results every time. Equipped with a built-in design, this grill can be used to build a sophisticated outdoor kitchen area in your yard. It includes a stainless steel grill grate, supplying an easy-to-maintain, durable, non-stick surface. This grill has self-cleaning technology, which cleans the grill by elevating its internal temperature.
- Features an infrared burner, offering access to higher levels of heat while you cook
- Built with a glass panel to ensure uniform heat distribution
- Electronic ignition ignites the grill quickly
- High-end infrared burner is not ideal if you are attempting to cook something slowly
- Stainless steel cooking grate gets dirty easily and requires intense cleaning
- Features an electronic ignition, losing its functionality quickly if it gets too dirty
How Do You Operate A Rec Tec Grill
Once you turn the grill on, the processor of the smart grill will begin to energize the igniter rod inside of the grills firepot. From here, it adds the fuel in order to begin the fire, and after a few minutes of waiting you will be able to smell and see the smoke. After a while, the smart grill processor will add more pellet fuel for you to reach the temperature that you need. It will keep this temperature up while you cook.
Also Check: How To Clean Traeger Exterior
How Does Infrared Cooking Work On A Gas Grill
On a gas grill, the infrared plate sits just above the gas flame. These plates can be made of ceramic, glass, or metal.
This video does a good job of explaining a bit more about infrared grilling.
The heat from the flame is absorbed by the infrared plate and then transferred to the food as infrared heat.
When cooking with infrared heat, other methods of heat transfer also happen within the cooking chamber.
- For instance, the metal cooking grills absorb some of the heat from the infrared plate. The heat is then transferred to the food via conduction at the points where the food comes into contact with the cooking grate.
- Some convection also occurs as the hot air moves around inside the cooking chamber and is reflected off the dome.
- Conduction also occurs when the surface of the food absorbs the heat and the heat is then transferred toward the center.
My Final Thoughts On The Patio Fr 44
They were the first to make infrared grills, and they aim to stay at the top of the industry. The Patio FR grill series is a good step in that direction.
In my opinion, the patented radiant glass panels make all the difference. Its because of these panels that the infrared cooking surface heats evenly. The unique cooking grids, with their patented U-channel design, complete a genius grilling idea.
The versatility of this grill is what sells me most on it. I believe professionals and newcomers alike are going to love the Patio FR grill series.
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Infrared Grill Vs Traditional Gas Grill: Which Is Better
Simply put, Infrared Grilling = High Temperature Radiant Heat while Open Flame = Traditional Blue Flame Grilling.
Youre on the hunt for a new grill, so youre faced with a decision: charcoal or gas?
You head to the hardware store and start perusing your options. Then, an eager sales rep starts telling you about this amazing new grill that they have in stock. Its cutting edge! It heats your food quickly! It uses less gas than atraditional grill!
Whats this mysterious thirdoption? Its called an infrared grill.
Now, the concept of theinfrared grill is nothing new it has been around since the1980s, originally invented by TEC Grills.But it still involves technology that few grill masters are familiar with. Ofcourse, you want to make an informed decision.
So, how do you decide if you should buy an infrared grill vs and gas grill? Read on as we cover how infrared heating works, and compare the pros and cons of these two types of grills.
Using Infrared technology in outdoor gas grills was invented and patented by TEC Grills in the 1980’s. This innovative concept in cooking brought intensely high heat, caramelizing the exterior of your food while locking in the juices. This technology is what you find in Steakhouse restaurants. This technology uses radiant energy, not air to cook the food. Eliminating dried out food.
What is an Infrared Grill?
Pros/Advantages of Infrared Grills
Heats Up Quickly
Even Heat Distribution
Less Prone to Flare Ups
Stand Out Features: Treager
There was a time when Treager lagged behind in adding modern tech to their grills. The Timberline range is WiFi and app-enabled, and you can even use your Amazon Alexa to make it voice-activated.
The Traeger app also hosts a lot of recipes and other content alongside the usual temperature monitoring and timer functions.
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Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Pellet Grill
Why youll love this:
Heres a smaller Pro Series. Its as good as all of the other Pro Series options, just a bit smaller. You get about 3 square inches less space than the one with the Echo Dot functionality, which isnt a bad trade given it costs about 2/3 what that one costs overall.
If you like this size, but dont need the wifi capability, this is an excellent deal. It comes with all the other great features that Traeger grills are known for electronic temperature control capability that makes smoking easy and efficient.
The construction is good, and it has that nice sawhorse design that makes it much steadier than the straighter legged design several of these grills share.
The only real issue with this grill is that theres not much to write home about here. Its just well made and great for what it is, but so are all of these other grills.
- Great price for the size.
What We Didnt Like
- Nothing particularly unique about it compared to other Traeger grills.
Pros: Infrared Grills Cook Food Quickly
Because of their mega-high temperatures, infrared grills cook very, very fast. And for some types of grilling, that happens to be exactly what you want. The most notable example of this is steak.
The key to cooking a steak is cooking as quickly as possible over as high a heat as possible. The hotter and quicker, the better. The reason being that steaks get tougher the longer they spend over the heat. Your goal with cooking one, then, is to sear the outside and produce a flavorful brown crust while ensuring that the interior remains tender and juicy.
And an infrared grill with its cooking temperature approaching 1,000 F happens to be perfect for that. It might only take a minute on each side and even less for thin cuts like skirt steak.
Another advantage to infrared grills is that they aren’t prone to flare-ups since anything that drips from the food is instantly vaporized when it hits the glass or ceramic.
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Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill:
Would you rather stick to the traditional way of grilling? Given the flavor those provide, I wouldnt wanna argue!
For the best results, check out the Weber Premium charcoal Grill that isnt only super cute to look at but also delivers exceptional performance.
With a 363 square inches of grilling area, it utilizes the power of a charcoal burner with the dampers to give your food a controlled amount of heat. You cannot sit back and relax with this like you can with the RT-700, although traditional grilling is not about relaxing! Nevertheless, the one feature thats easy with this one is the one-touch cleaning system.
How Hot Will A Rec Tec Grill Get
200-500 degrees FahrenheitVariable temperature: Rec Tec runs anywhere between the heat of 200-500 degrees Fahrenheit. Wi-Fi Enabled: Download the Rec Tec Grill app on your phone and turn the grill on/off from anywhere. Get your grill geared up right before getting out of the office to come back some delicious seared food!
Are Infrared Grills Worth The Cost
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If youre in the market for a new grill, youve probably been bombarded with the term Infrared. If you listen to the sales reps, they say its a must have feature when shopping for a grill.
Infrared burners promise incredibly fast searing, perfectly even heat distribution and the ability to hit temperatures that you could only dream of reaching with a commercial grill.
But before you shell out extra cash, its worth understanding what infrared actually means, and the pros and cons of infrared grilling.
So lets have a closer look at how infrared works.
Rec Tec Vs Yoder Final Verdict
So, when it comes to choosing the best grillers and smokers what company would you like to go with? Undoubtedly, affordable grillers and smokers lie with Rec-Tec. If you are looking for a grill that you can take home, you must go for a Rec Tec model depending on the size of the crowd you want to feed.
To make an even well-educated decision, dont forget to check Rec-Tec vs Camp Chef comparison here.
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Build Quality Looks And Appearance
Are you the type who likes to show off your grill? In that case, aesthetics matter. Check out the variety of cart styles and lid colors Z Grills offers and picture them in your yard and your Instagram feed!
The build quality doesnt change much between Z Grills models. A few feature very basic tubular carts, and most of the Basic Series have steel lids instead of stainless steel. An upgrade of a few bucks might give you more confidence your grill will last.
Traeger Pro Series 34
Why youll love this:
This Traeger Pro Series 34-Inch is the big boss and the largest grill that Traeger makes.
If you want to set the grill up on a cart or table of your own, you can pop it off the included base, but many shoppers will prefer using it on that base, which has four wheels that turn it into a cart. You can use this cart to move the grill when you need to clean it or when you need more room on your patio.
A dust bucket, which is a staple on Traeger grills, has the companys logo on the front and collects all the ash sliding and falling out of the grill to reduce the risk of those hot ashes causing a fire. It has an auto ignition, grates coated in porcelain and a digital temperature control.
We have the similar product chosen by the expert in our best pellet grill reviews.
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What Is Infrared And How Does It Work
Before we drill down into the pros and cons of grilling with infrared, its worth understanding a little bit of the science behind it.
Infrared burners use radiation to cook food.
- Infrared radiation heats food when electromagnetic waves of energy are emitted from a heated surface. Infrared burners work off this principle.
- These waves travel at the speed of light and can travel in any direction. This means that they are extremely efficient at heating food.
- Some may worry that these electromagnetic waves could harm their health. However, if you consider that one example of infrared radiation is the heat that comes off the glowing coals of a fire, it is clear that this is a perfectly natural heat transfer system.
TEC, or the Thermal Engineering Corporation, introduced commercial infrared cooking technology in the 1980s. However, it was not until the early 2000s that infrared griling really started to take off. This is because the patent on the technology expired. All of a sudden, infrared grills started to pop up all over the place.