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Review of RecTeq G450 Matador.

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    Review of RecTeq G450 Matador.

    Some folks asked for a review of my “RecTeq G-450 Matador Gas WOK Cooker” on another thread here on the board. Forgive the length!

    I recently retired an older burner on my back porch after many years of service! My requirement for replacement was that my big cast iron skillet and a seafood/stockpot would be used on it. I saw the Matador and decided to give it a try.

    The Matador comes with a SS round bottom pan that RecTeq calls a Wok. It is a heavy gauge pan that somewhat resembles a WOK but I would call it more of a “discada” or “plow wok”. It appears well made, 22” diameter, 3” deep, and heavy. It is reasonably easy to clean up other than food tends to stick it since it is stainless steel and that requires some scrubbing. And as one would expect, the heat concentrates above the burner influence and doesn’t distribute as well as cast iron or carbon steel.

    The frame is designed so it can be folded for transport but mine will likely stay on the back and not be a traveler. The cast iron burner is one unit but with two separate channels for a center and outer burner ring. The two concentric burner rings total 18 or 25K BTU total heat output (conflicting info from RT’s website vs. an email exchange I had with them). This is nowhere near a scorching 100k BTU Wok burner but it is passable for my needs. The burner is well made with brass plug valves and jets for the two zones. The cast in burner tips have been reamed and are uniform. (I checked them with a set of pin gauges from my machine shop.) So, the burner rings produce very uniform flames for good distribution of heat. The combustion air is adjusted by a thumbwheel on each of the on/off/throttling valve. It is very easy to adjust the flame to best performance.

    The stand is equipped with a ring and tabs to hold the large “discada” pan and also smaller pans on a grate in the middle. Unfortunately, my 14 ½” cast iron skillet was in between those sizes and tended to slip on the grates. I solved that problem with some adapters I made for it.

    I have cooked on it several times now and am learning how to adjust the burners for the applications I use it for.

    Pros:
    • The stand is sturdy and well thought out.
    • The height of the cooking grate is good.
    • Quality of the burner is good with decent fittings and good adjustment of intake air. On/off/throttling valves are brass plug valves and the jets are brass as well.
    • The windscreen around the burner is a nice touch and works fairly well.
    • The adjustable feet are a nice feature and I have leveled the unit so my big skillet is spot on level when on the grate.
    • The Matador comes with a regulator hose and adapter for a 5-gallon propane bottle. It also comes with the ability to use small propane disposable cylinders which would surely have a short life.
    • Customer service is as good as the reputation says. Mine had a shipping damaged sheet metal shroud around the burner on/off valves and they replaced it with a complete burner assembly lickity split.
    Cons:
    • A few of the fasteners were a little cheesy and did not meet my standard for quality. I simply replaced them with higher quality ones from my inventory or the local hardware store. Yes, it is made in China. Apparently, that is RecTeq’s business model for all their grills.
    • The burner could have a touch more capacity. Although I am finding that it is likely adequate for my needs since I use my cast iron skillet and big stock pot often.
    • The fabrication of the burner support and its integral peripheral ring are part of the grate system for smaller pots. It was nowhere near level as a result of an error in fabrication. I made a spacer/washer to correct it.
    • The propane regulator supply hose is a bit too short for my taste.
    • The lid for the large “discada” is a bit thin and the rivets they used attached the nameplate to it are very poorly applied. I will likely replace them since they stick down too far and get in the way when washing it.
    • I had a lot of trouble finding review information on the Matador. Its presence on Facebook is highly controlled by RecTeq. The Facebook Group for Matador owners is administered by RecTeq and my posts have not been approved since I asked questions that they didn’t evidently want answered. Their sanitizing of reviews and over control on social media gives me pause and makes me mistrust them.
    • All the reviews on the RecTeq website are obviously sanitized and that bothers me as well.
    Summary
    The burner output has been adequate for my needs thus far. The SS discada is a pain in regard to food sticking to it and the general poor behavior we all know about for SS pans is prominent in this application.

    I was surprised that my 14 1/2" skillet didn’t work on it until I made some adapters. The average user is not going to have the inclination or shop equipment needed to make those. Something like that should be included. They do market it as a burner for cooking pans in addition to the discada/Wok that comes with it.

    Would I buy it again? Yes, I would. I have no “buyer’s remorse”. I have been able to make the grate adapters and get it tuned to my liking. I have been using my beloved big cast iron skillet as I want.

    Here are some photos:

    Here with the Discada/Wok she comes with:


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    10" skillet fits well:

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    Large boiling/stock pot fits well:

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    My beloved 14 1/2" skillet with some redfish being blackened. BTW, this is the skillet that I had to make grate adapters for:

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    The adapters I made so I could use my big CI skillet. They are the 3/4" slotted tubing riding the inner burner ring. They slide down over the ring and support my big skillet giving it the clearance needed to fit the burner.

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    The burner at part throttle. I like the flame's consistency and it is easily adjusted to the proper stoichiometry with the thumbwheels at the on/off valves.

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    Browning some St. Gallen white bratwurst my son made.

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    Some fried rice being progressed. I like being able to move stuff out to the cooler edge.

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    The lid for the big pan.

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    Boiling some pork shoulder and trilogy for Cajun Boudin:

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    Last edited by Alphonse; February 16, 2021, 11:27 AM. Reason: grammar and spelling

    #2
    Really cool! Thanks for the run through of cookin with it. With your adapters you could put a traditional wok I presume.

    Comment


    • Alphonse
      Alphonse commented
      Editing a comment
      I think a large traditional wok would fit on it instead of the discada, if it is large enough. The tabs that support the discada are canted to fit a curvature and should work. I have considered buying a wok but I have the RecTeq grill coming and own a giant vintage Le Creuset frying pan that fits it. So I am likely going to wait and see on the wok.

    #3
    Wow. A very impressive review. I would like to know more about the adapters as well. Great job and looking forward to seeing more cooks.

    Comment


    • Alphonse
      Alphonse commented
      Editing a comment
      I will post some details on the adapters with a photo.

    #4
    Wow! Really impressive review! Thank you for all your work!! I have one and this really helps remind me to get it out and use it.

    Comment


      #5
      Thanks for the in depth review!

      I don't have a problem with made in china products as long as they are priced right. RT's social media also rubs me the wrong way which was part of why I ended up passing on them for a PG. And I almost jumped on one of these instead of a flat top but I was a bit concerned about longevity of the burners and stand because things rust away here like I lived on the beach or something, if they end up doing a refresh with SS burners at minimum I would take a real hard look their way.

      Still might jump on it if I ever see a good deal, would be fun for paella or frying stuff which I don't have the capability to do outdoors at the moment.

      Comment


      • Alphonse
        Alphonse commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, I think their social media is dishonest and leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth. The CI burner is better made than I expected. I was surprised it had all its tips ID's machined. The SS burners I have seen are all sheet metal so I much prefer this one.

        Yes, it would be a great paella machine. To use the discada as a fryer will require a substantial amount of oil if you need "deep fat" frying however. I found some indications of folks using it for that but I likely will not.

      #6
      I'm guessing your adapters are used to raise up your "beloved skillet" so the handles clear the windscreen / outer ring? Looks like a fun way to cook outdoors!
      Last edited by HawkerXP; February 15, 2021, 11:09 AM.

      Comment


        #7
        Thanks for the detailed review.

        Comment


          #8
          Here's a visual of the clean up needed on the SS discada (RT wok) that comes with the Matador.

          BTW, this example of fried rice hints at merits of the size of the pan. I do like that you can adjust the heat input so the outer edges of the pan are cool enough to let some cooked food rest and drain while you are cooking other ingredients in the center.

          The pan is too big to fit in our kitchen sinks or the laundry room sink. It will fit a large utility sink in the garage but I just take it to an outside workbench downstairs. I use a long handled stiff bristle brush, Dawn, Scotch Brite if needed, and the water hose to clean it up. Of course it is also easier to wash if you deglaze it with water while still on the burner. I did read somewhere that someone used ice cubes to deglaze it. If you think about the science of that it makes enough sense that I am going to give it a try.

          Click image for larger version

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          Comment


            #9
            Awesome review. I have been wondering about the utility of these cookers.

            Honestly, kinda surprised Rec-teq hasn’t tried to make an account here to sanitize your comments.

            Comment


            • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
              ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
              Editing a comment
              if there was an unlike button instead of a like button they'd have enough paid accounts to win a large chunk of monthly prizes just so they could down vote with a vengeance

            #10
            I don't get the use of stainless there. I mean, I get that it's easier in that you don't have to tell people to season it or deal with improperly seasoned pans, but that's an application that cries out for carbon steel.

            Comment


              #11
              Thanks for the great review! I have one still in the box that they threw in with the RT-700 I bought during their black Friday sale. Haven't decided if I want to keep it or not yet but glad to know it's a decent wok.

              Comment


                #12
                Originally posted by DavidNorcross View Post
                Wow. A very impressive review. I would like to know more about the adapters as well. Great job and looking forward to seeing more cooks.
                David, here are the adapters I made. They're 3/4" square tubing with a heavy wall with 1/8" wide slots milled in them so they fit on the burner ring. They are easily mounted or removed by sliding them on and off.

                BTW, I am not promoting my concept but I wanted to use my big skillet!

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                Comment


                • DavidNorcross
                  DavidNorcross commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You should market these to RecTec!

                • Alphonse
                  Alphonse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  DavidNorcross, they should include them in the kit!

                #13
                Originally posted by HawkerXP View Post
                I'm guessing your adapters are used to raise up your "beloved skillet" so the handles clear the windscreen / outer ring? Looks like a fun way to cook outdoors!
                The adapters raise the "beloved skillet" just high enough for the bottom to clear the tabs on the outer/wind ring that stick out for the RecTeq wok to sit on. So it needed supports and I made the adapters so it barely clears the tips of wok grate supports. I didn't want to get the skillet too high/far from the burner when using it.

                Here's the skillet on the burner without the adapters to hold it:

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                Here are the adapters slipped on the burner support ring ready for the big skillet:

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                Here's the skillet sitting on the adapters:

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                Last edited by Alphonse; February 15, 2021, 05:09 PM.

                Comment


                  #14
                  Great review, I have looked at this one from time to time but the SS scared me off. I have some All-Clad pans and I know one needs to be careful how food is cooked usually using some type of oil.

                  Comment


                  • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                    ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                    Editing a comment
                    hah, I too have some steel pans and every time I think I have it down... BAM something's sticking

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