This post was last updated on April 17th, 2019 at 08:57 pm
That neighbourhood title of best griller on the block is in your grasp – you just need to find the right badass grill to make sure your meat is grilled perfectly! What’s more badass than precision cooking?
Precision cooking is just one of the many reasons why you are going to love the REC TEC RT-340 Trailblazer Wood Pellet Grill. That’s right, trade in that heavy propane tank for wood pellets. With a wood pellet grill, you can precisely control the temperature you are cooking your meat at!
The small but mighty grill is a REC TEC wood pellet grill that we swear by. If you are on the market for a wood pellet grill, be sure to check out our extensive guide of the best REC TEC wood pellet grills to find the one that will make you the July 4th host with the most badass grill.
This compact grill is small, but it’s mighty – it’s portable and will let you cook your meat anywhere! Bring it to the family cookout or your cottage – you won’t be sorry.
Be sure to read our full review to find out why this wood pellet grill is one of our favourites:
The Trailblazer is a replacement model for the previous baby of the REC-TEC line, the Mini. Just like that old grill, you’ll get a neat and compact pellet grill. It works just as well at home out on the patio as it does on a camping trip.
Of course, finding the right grill is just the first step towards becoming a master griller – be sure to check out our tips to help you become a BBQ master just in time for summer.
We’ll kick off with the portability angle since this the baby of the bunch.
When REC TEC retools a model, they leave the best intact while throwing in some useful, worthwhile tweaks. Overall weight is a relatively hefty 80 pounds with the hopper coming in at 15 pounds. You might think that’s a little heavy for a grill we’ve just told you is portable. The legs fold down, to make it a tad smaller.
While you’re not going to pick it up with one hand, size is relative. Compared to most regular wood pellet grills, it certainly qualifies as practical enough to take on the road. Indeed, the Trailblazer doesn’t really have much competition, so it wins by default.
What does this mean when it comes to the size of the cooking area? A total area of 511 sq. inches might not be world-beating, but you’ll certainly be able to feed a hungry family of 4 or 5. This is comprised of a regular shelf with an optional extra to bring the combined area from 340 sq. inches up to the more than respectable 511 sq. inches.
To put this into perspective, you’ll comfortably fit a whole brisket inside. Brisket, chicken, steak, the options are endless. If you are running out of ideas of what to BBQ, click here to check out our selection of recipes that are sure to give you some inspiration for the menu of your next party.
Before we push on to the nuts and bolts, how about assembly? Well, we’ve got to say this is arguably the easiest of the REC TEC range to get up and running.
Build quality is exactly what you’d expect from these grill specialists. While the company’s stated goal was to fully automate pellet grilling – more on that below – design is also uppermost. Stainless steel throughout gives a stark but commanding aesthetic crowned by those trademark bull horn handles.
The grates are also 304 stainless, giving you the durability you need along with easy cleanup. The other main draw of this type of stainless steel is the way it resists oxidation. Attention is in the details with REC TEC grills.
Getting started is a cinch thanks to the proprietary HotFlash ceramic ignition system.
Control is where this brand steps into a league of its own. The PID controller accomplishes the stated goal of automating the process without sacrificing precision or consistency. The Trailblazer is also WiFi enabled, allowing you to make adjustments from your smartphone as you relax with a cold one. The other advantage of this connectivity is avoiding the need for an external thermometer.
This smoker certainly kicks off some heat, and things get very smoky under 200 °F. The Trailblazer maxes out at 500 °F, so you’ve got a fantastic spread of temperatures to accommodate a huge menu. The PID controller performs continuous temperature adjustments and also fine-tunes the speed of the auger. This is great news if you have guests over, and you’d sooner catch up with them than fuss over a hot grill.
Another REC Tec flourish is the dual probe. This doesn’t measure the temperature in the chamber but tells you how hot the meat itself is. One quick tip: if you’ve got much thinner cuts of meat, it’s not a bad idea to use a mini thermometer just to double check.
A bonus with the Trailblazer is the fact you can also use it with the lid up giving you a little more flexibility when you’re cooking.
We certainly wouldn’t go as far as to describe the REC TEC as cheap. That said, if you’re on a tight budget or motivated purely by the bottom line, there are plenty of inexpensive alternatives. This grill is not designed for everyone, but if you’ve got some cash floating around and want to splurge on your BBQ-ing this summer, you’re highly unlikely to be disappointed.
The grill comes with 80 pounds (2 bags) of the Ultimate Blend pellets to get you up and running. Load these into the 15-pound hopper and let the Trailblazer do the rest. Every step of the way, grilling is as easy as it’s possible to be with REC TEC. The only way this becomes a negative is if you’re the kind of person who wants to get down and dirty. For most users, though, the set-and-forget nature is one of the prime attractors.
A cover and grill pad are thrown in, which is a small but important touch. Any grill you’ll be keeping outdoors should be covered, and this saves you an immediate trip to the store along with a few precious bucks.
As with all REC TEC grills, the warranty and customer care are strong. You’ll get a full two years of coverage, which should remove the sting from purchase slightly.
Since this is a pretty new entry to the market, it’s tough to find many user reviews outlining serious drawbacks. The overall quality is great, so it’s unlikely many dramatic flaws will develop in any case.
That said, no grill is perfect, and if you’re looking for something supersized for large parties in your yard, this is obviously not the model for you. The great news there is that REC TEC serves up a trio of more substantial brethren if size matters above all else.
For anyone hunting down a portable pellet grill built to last the distance, the REC TEC Trailblazer is quite literally in a class of its own. It is small enough to bring with you and powerful enough to get to blazing temperatures in no time. Bring this grill to your next family gathering, the cottage, you name it! You are a master griller and deserve a grill worthy of your passion for grilling.
William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.