When you use a pellet grill, the smoke from burning wood is forced under compression to penetrate through the meat for the cooking process.
However, a smoke leak through the smoker lids and you have to compromise the cooking.
So, I’ve seen a lot of folks ask whether or not they should seal their Rec Tec grills.
If you are wondering, should I seal the Rec Tec pellet grill lid?
Then my short answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
I would like to tell you, there is no definite answer to this question.
Rec Tec doesn’t recommend sealing the Rec Tec grill lid.
However, some Rec Tec owners seal their grill lid and they are very happy with the end cooking results.
Read further to get to know in detail about the sealing of your Rec Tec grill.
When Do You Need to Seal a Rec Tec Grill Lid?
When you use Rec Tec smoker or grill, you are noticing some smoke is coming out of the grill lid. This is absolutely normal.
But you don’t want too much smoke going out.
Actually, when you smoke food in the grill, the smoke adds flavor to your food and keeps the meat tender.
There is a certain amount of smoke coming through the new smoker’s lid.
But this is not that big issue. You’ll notice there is less smoke is going out as more you will use it.
Because a over period of time, the carbon build-up along with the smoker lid opening which is acts as a seal.
But if you notice more smoke is escaping than required then you can consider sealing the grill door.
Why Do You Need to Seal Your Rec Tec Grill Lid?
You’ll need to seal the grill lid due to various reasons:
When you are smoking food in your grill, managing temperature in the cooking chamber is the key trick for getting good smoky flavored and tender meat.
The smoking process turns out perfect when it is done low and slow.
It means smoking your food needs to cook at a low temperature for a long time consistently.
If your grill lid is not sealed precisely, you are losing the heat inside the cooking chamber.
And you keep trying to maintain the temperature.
In the end, you’re wasting your time trying to maintain the heat if it’s leaking out through your grill door.
So, the sealing of the grill lid plays a key role in controlling the temperature.
Maintain air flow
One of the key ways of maintaining temperature in the cooking chamber as well as preventing the burn going is air flow.
Rec Tec comes with a smokestack to help with better air flow. The Rec Tec grill has a grease port through which it can breathe.
So, if your grill lid is not sealed properly, the air flow will be hampered.
Any air going out or entering through an improperly sealed grill door is will mess with your air flow management within your grill.
If you find that too much air is escaping, you may also want to consider sealing the lid.
Lower the pellet usage
If you seal the grill lid properly, it helps to retain the heat inside the cooking chamber longer.
Sealing the lid makes a grill more thermally efficient. It means pellet burn is more efficient due to less being added and they are being more completely burned.
The temperature is definitely more stabilized and the auger running less.
Auger feeds comparatively fewer pellets into the firepot. There is less pellet consumption.
So, sealing the grill door leads to lower pellet usage.
Keep the grill lid cleaner
Another benefit of sealing the lid is that it helps to keep the surrounding areas around the grill lid cleaner.
It also clears the patina that comes with cooking on the grill. So, it keeps the exterior of the grill cleaner.
How to Seal Rec Tec Grill Lid?
So, now the important part: how to seal the Rec Tec grill lid.
Smokers/ grill meant for backyard barbecuing that uses wood burning. It helps in creating compression precisely.
This compression renders your food the barbecue flavor as it forces the smoke coming from the burning wood to go in your food/meat.
The tighter the seal on your grill door, the faster the overall smoking process.
Sealing the grill lid helps to stop losing the temperature and smoke and keeps it inside the pit always.
Following are the steps to seal the grill lid properly:
Things You’ll Need
A razor blade
Step 1: Open the grill lid widely
Opening the lid widely allows you to access the inside panel and compartment’s exterior edge.
These two surfaces should fit snugly for a tight, perfect seal.
Step 2: Clean the lid
Clean the grill lid thoroughly especially around the edges of the lid where you have to fix the gasket.
If you clean the lid precisely, the gasket will stick nicely on it.
You can use grill cleaner to clean the lid surface.
If there is any heavy buildup you can remove it by using a razor.
You can use a Simple Green HD BBQ Grill Cleaner to get rid of heavy build-up.
Hose down the inside, scrub it using a mild abrasive pad and the edge of the lid.
Let it sit for few minutes. After a few minutes of the cleaner will work.
The Simple Green BBQ cleaner will make the cleaning breeze.
Hose it off with water. Apply some alcohol on the edge to make sure things were clean and ensure good adhesion.
Step 3: Find the right gasket
You need to search for a gasket that is capable of handling your grill’s heat requirements.
Many Rec Tec grill owners have been using Lavalock gasket without any hassle.
One roll of lavalock covers all 4 sides of the lid and the entire hopper lid.
This Professional grade 1/2 x 1/8″ x14 ft long gasket perfectly fits Rec Tec grill.
It withstands high heat while blocking smoke from exiting the cooking chamber of your grill.
This flame retardant gasket is widely used by BBQ pit manufacturers.
Step 4: Install the gasket
After finding a decent gasket, you need to install it carefully.
If the gasket does not fit, you need to cut it until it fits perfectly. Then peel off its backing.
One little tip when installing the gasket, leave the roll whole don’t cut pieces to length at first.
Apply the length you require to one side.
Then peel off the backing and cut the felt leaving the backing long.
Otherwise, it would be a pain to get it to pull off.
It is very much easy to cut with a pair of scissors.
But be careful while pulling off the tape to expose the adhesive not to stretch out the cloth as it will.
You just need to install it and let the adhesive cure itself.
In this way, you can apply the Lavalock gasket to the inside of the door.
After installing the gasket, make sure the grill lid is perfectly sitting down.
Should I Seal the Rec Tec Grill Lid?
If you are planning to seal the Rec Tec grill lid, it’s totally up to you.
Rec Tec doesn’t deny the benefits of sealing the grill lid.
As per Rec Tec sealing the lid won’t void the warranty of the grill. But they recommend not to seal the lid.
They don’t suggest sealing the lid as the lid is actually designed to breathe a bit.
As per Rec Tec, if you want to keep the grill cleaner, you can install the seal on the top part of the lid.
It helps to reduce the leaking from there which would, in turn, keep that area cleaner.
But they do not recommend sealing all the way around.
So, really the answer is up to you.
If you seal your Rec Tec grill, then you’re still going to be covered under warranty and you will also enjoy some of the benefits above.
So, now you know about everything about sealing the Rec Tec grill lid.
Sealing the grill door can be the real game changer for BBQ.
You can consider sealing the grill lid if there is lot of smoke escaping through the lid and not controlling the temperature inside the cooking chamber.
Rec Tec doesn’t recommend sealing the grill lid, but many Rec Tec owners have been enjoying the benefits from it without any hassle.
So, it’s your call whether seal the grill lid or manage the cooking without sealing it.