Green Mountain Grills VS Traeger: Which Pellet Grill Should You Buy?

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Since they started selling in 2008, Green Mountain Grills have gained a loyal following thanks to their high tech, well-constructed pellet grills.

In this guide, we will run through the main differences between pellet grills from Green Mountain Grills and Traeger.

We’ll also look at some of the top grills from each company to help you decide which pellet grill is right for you.

This is another part of a series of articles we are doing to see how Traeger grills compare with the competition. You may also want to check out our guides to Pit Boss vs Traeger and Camp Chef vs Traeger.

Green Mountain Grills vs Traeger Pellet Grills – Head to head

Comparing grills from different companies is hard.

Price point and features rarely line up, so it’s very hard to make fair comparisons.

To find out which company makes the best grill for your needs, it’s better to start by understanding which features are most important to you.

With that disclaimer in mind, here are some of the general differences between the two brands to help you decide which grill to buy:

  • Until the latest Traeger models were released in 2019, Green Mountain Grills had the edge in technology. All their grills are available with Wifi.
  • Although Traeger recently added Wifi to their Pro, Ironwood and Timberline grills, the Davy Crockett from Green Mountain Grills is the only portable grill to come with WiFi.
  • Green Mountain Grills are significantly cheaper than their equivalent Traeger model.
  • Traeger offers a wider choice of grills in different sizes and configurations
  • Traeger has much larger grills, the Jim Bowie has 658 square inches of cooking space while the largest Traeger gives you 1300.
  • All Traeger models are available to buy online whereas GMC favors their dealer network.
  • While it’s not a big difference GMC beats Traeger on maximum temperature with their grills maxing out at 550°F compared to 450 – 500°F (depending on model) for the Traeger.
  • Both companies offer a 3-year warranty

If you look through the barbecue forums and Facebook groups you’ll find plenty of fans of both companies.

The general consensus does seem to favor Green Mountain Grills though.

We are especially big fans of the Davy Crockett, which we included on our round-up of the best pellet grills.

Out of the full lineup of Traeger grills, the best value for most people would be the Pro 575.

Brand History

Overview of Green Mountain Grills

Green Mountain Grills (GMG for short) have been in business since 2008, but it wasn’t until they lowered their prices in 2014 that they became a true contender.

GMG is at least partially responsible for the widespread adaption of WiFi capability in pellet grills.

While Traeger now includes WiFi on all their new 2019 grills, GMG has always given you the option on their three main grills.

GMG has decided to focus on its dealer network, and so they are not very easy to find for sale online.

Overview of Traeger

Traeger was the original inventor of the pellet grill concept.

The company was formed in the 1980s when Joe Traeger developed the concept from his experience with pellet burning stoves.

The new company quickly patented their invention, which gave them a monopoly market for the next twenty years.

Throughout that time Traeger remained a small family company. When their patent ended in 2006 a rush of new competitors entered the market and started putting pressure on the company.

The brand really exploded in popularity when a private equity group bought the company.

Today Traeger is the largest manufacturer of pellet grills by far, selling over $300 million worth of grills every year.

Top Green Mountain Grill Models

Unlike a lot of manufacturers, Green Mountain Grills have a very simple and easy to understand line-up of grills.

They sell three models of pellet grill intended for general use. They also offer a commercial-sized trailer.

On the larger Daniel Boone and Jim Bowie you can choose between black or stainless steel for a slightly increased cost.

You can also get the non-WiFi version for a bit of a discount.

I would recommend buying the WiFi models even if you don’t think you’ll use that feature. The technology allows GMGs to release updates to the firmware on the grill to make it run better over time.

And you can always impress guests when you pull out your phone to control your grill!

1. Davy Crockett WiFi Pellet Grill

If you want a portable pellet grill there simply aren’t a lot of great options on the market.

The Davy Crockett is definitely one of the best though. The manufactures market this as a grill for tailgaters, campers and people with RVs who want to cook anywhere.

The legs fold up to form a carry handle. One person could carry the grill if they had to, but ideally, you would use two people.

The build quality is excellent and the materials are heavy and made to last.

The grill ships with a few accessories to help you power the grill from a variety of sources.

The portable features are great, but the Davy Crockett can stand on its own as a decent small sized grill even if you never plan to travel with it.

You get excellent temperature control thanks to a digital thermostatic controller which lets you dial in the temperature in 5°F increments.

The combination of features and build quality at a highly competitive price led us to pick the Davy Crockett for the title best portable pellet grill in our round-up of the best pellet grills.

The Davy Crockett is the only Green Mountain Grill you can buy online.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

2. Daniel Boone

The Daniel Boone sits in the middle of the GMG lineup and is their best selling model.

You get 458 square inches of cooking space all on one large grill rack. The manufacturer claims this is enough to fit 7 racks of ribs.

The peaked lid design gives you 13.5 inches of headroom which is plenty of space to stand up a chicken or cook a turkey.

The pellet hopper capacity is 18 pounds and there’s even a pellet alarm to let you know when you are close to running out. This feature is only available on the most expensive Traeger Timberline models.

The digital controller is fairly standard and allows you to set the temperature anywhere between 150° – 550°F.

Find your nearest dealer on the GMG website.

3. Jim Bowie

The Jim Bowie is the big daddy of the Green Mountain Grill family (not counting their commercial trailer).

It has a lot in common with the Daniel Boone, only the cooking space is increased to 658 square inches.

This doesn’t make it a huge grill by any standards. To give you some perspective the most expensive Traeger Timberline comes with 1300 square inches of cooking space (for a much higher price).

Other than grilling size there really isn’t a lot of differences between the Jim Bowie and Daniel Boone. They both share the same 17-pound hopper.

Find your nearest dealer on the GMG website.

Top Traeger Grills

Compared to Green Mountain Grills, the Traeger lineup is much more varied with grills at many different sizes and price points.

This comparison will only skim the surface, so if you want to learn more about the various models of Traeger, I suggest checking out our post on Traeger Grill Reviews.

One thing to watch out for when comparing grills, Traeger updated their lineup in 2019 and slightly changed how they name their grills.

For all the 2019 models, the product name includes a number that tells you the cooking surface.

For example the Pro 780 has 780 square inches of cooking surface.

On older grills, the number refers to the size of the main grilling rack. E.g. the Pro Series 34 has a 34″ x 19″ grilling rack.

This should help you know if you’re looking at a 2019 model or one of the older ones.

The Traeger Pellet Grill Family Lineup:

  • Traeger Tailgater – Traegers portable grill competes directly with the Davy Crockett, with 300 sq inches and a lot less tech. We prefer the Davy Crockett for the price.
  • Traeger Pro series – The “base” model of Traeger’s main grill lineup comes in two sizes and now includes WiFi connectivity. Depending on size, the Pro sits between the Daniel Boone and Jim Bowie in price.
  • Traeger Ironwood Series – The Ironwood offers larger sizes along with new features such as DownDraft Exhaust and TRU convection. You also get Super Smoke mode, the option to push a button and ramp up the smoke produced. Even the smallest Ironwood will set you back more than the Jim Bowie.
  • Traeger Timberline series – The largest and most expensive option comes with all the features of the Ironwood plus futuristic pellet sensing technology that lets you monitor your pellet levels on the app.

The 2019 models do close the gap with Green Mountain Grills when it comes to technology.

But GMG offers comparable tech at a much lower price point.

Other brands to consider

If you still haven’t decided between a Traeger or Green Mountain Grills, you might find one of the many other manufacturers more suitable.

Let’s quickly go through

Newcomer budget brand – Z Grills

If you want the best value for money Z Grills is a tempting option.

They haven’t been selling grills to the public for long, but they’ve actually been around for a long time producing grills for other companies.

We’ve even heard rumours they used to manufacturer grills for Traeger!

The most popular model they sell is the Z Grills 700E which was updated in 2019 to improve the temperature controller.

Another mid-range option – Camp Chef

I would say Camp Chef and Green Mountain Grills are at a similar level in terms of price and build quality.

I’m a big fan of the popular SG 24 Deluxe.

You give up a bit of tech that you would get with a GMG as there’s no WiFi connectivity.

The Camp Chef has the best solution for searing that we’ve seen on a pellet grill.

Instead of gimmicky adjustable plates, they just give you the option to add on an optional sear box.

They also sell the larger Woodwind which we loved when we reviewed it.

Wrapping it up

I hope this article has helped you decide between a Traeger and a Green Mountain Grill.

If you don’t want to stretch your budget, GMG offers some excellent technology and features for a lower price point.

They also are a pretty clear winner in the portable grill category.

Last update on 2021-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Responses

  1. HI thanks for taking time to review these pellet grills, I guess difficult to do a comparison based on cooking though (having to buy each one to do it!). Im looking to buy one for a small commercial venture rather than backyard smoker. Ive been edging towards the Traeger 1300, to go with capacity in general. Are there any others out there (UK based so low and slow is still taking off here but getting more exciting but models are few and far between).

    1. Hey John,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right, but I’m trying to get more side by side comparisons done for sure! For larger pellet grills you could also look at the offerings from Yoder or REC Tec. I’m afraid I”m not familiar with what is for sale in the UK though. Best of luck to you.

  2. Super helpful Thanks! I was trying to decide between the Traeger, which was my initial thought, and the GMG Danial Boone. Our GMG local dealer was very helpful and I think with the addition of Grill Grates it’s going to be the way to go. I don’t think I could go wrong with either, but I like the hands on advice and service from our local dealer.

  3. I replaced my old Traeger pellet grill with the GMG Daniel Boone Prime WiFi grill and I am quite impressed. While it is not entirely fair to compare an older Traeger model (BBQ075) with the latest from Green Mountain Grill, I still feel that GMG is a much better value and superior quality over Traeger. First, the overall build quality of the GMG is superior to the Traeger. Its a sturdier design (almost 200 pounds!). Second, it comes with both a front and a side table, including utensil hooks. Third, the startup is automatic: just hit the power button and it goes through a computer controlled 1-2-3-4 startup sequence. When it hits 150 degrees you are ready to set your desired temperature and begin grilling. It includes 2 food probes and a low-pellet sensor which I particularly like. Fourth, the iPhone app works flawlessly. First you connect the grill to your home network, then switch to “server mode” and you can monitor & control the temperature while you are away from the house running errands. And finally, with the black market Friday sale, I paid about half what a Traeger Ironwood 650 costs – and it still does not have all the features of the GMG. After several excellent meals on this grill, I can honestly say the GMG has earned a place in our backyard.

  4. Thanks for what I think is a very objective and fair comparison of the two companies and their products. It’s very hard to find pellet grill reviews that are objective and not ‘sponsored’ by one of the pellet grill manufacturers.
    I purchased a Traeger grill from Costco back in 2014 and right away I had nothing but issues with it. Within just a couple of uses, the drip tray and heat baffles warped. All so severely that it was difficult to get them into their proper positions within the grill. Also, I found that it just wouldn’t hold temp…and I was using it during summer months. But the grill would fluctuate +/- 20 degrees; almost never holding anywhere near the set temperature. Overall, I also wasn’t impressed at all with the grill’s quality. So, I returned it to Costco and (sadly) went back to using my gas grill. That is, until I found out about Green Mountain Grills two years later.
    In 2016, I had heard about the GMG products and researched them. I couldn’t believe the quality and features that they offered–including Wifi–for the price. I decided on the Jim Bowie and I have been happily making outstanding BBQ ever since. And, without a single technical or mechanical issue in all that time! I am about to take advantage of their current sale and purchase a new Prime edition of the Jim Bowie. The great improvements that are on this model, along with a price that is actually lower than what I paid four years ago, is something that I can’t pass up.

  5. The quality of my brand new GMG Daniel Boone Prime Wi-Fi Black is horrendous. Within 3 months of purchase, I have two large areas on the main body where the paint has flaked off and rusted. GMG refuses to stand behind the quality of their product and told me the only option is for me to sand the affected areas and use spray paint to fix it. What a joke.

    1. My Daniel Boone was so out of square the grills didn’t fit, and the box wasn’t damaged so that’s the way it was shipped!

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