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

green-mountain-grills-vs-traeger

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Since they started selling in 2008, Green Mountain Grills (GMG) 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.

Green Mountain Grills Ledge Prime Plus Pellet Grill
Pros:
  • Includes front and side shelves
  • Peaked lid gives you extra headroom
Cons:
  • No warming rack means less total space
Check Latest Price at BBQ Guys

This is another part of a series of articles 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:

  • Green Mountain Grills are significantly cheaper than their equivalent Traeger model with the top of the range Peak Prime going for $1,099.00 compared to $2099.99 for the Traeger Timberline.
  • GMG grills generally offer less surface area due to their single grill rack design while Traeger utilizes an additional “warming rack” which boosts the number but this doesn’t always translate to more real estate (more on this below).
  • The portable Trek (formerly Davy Crockett) from Green Mountain Grills comes with WiFi while the Traeger Tailgater does not.
  • While it’s not a big difference, GMGs 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

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

To help you compare we’ve selected two of the most popular grills that Traeger and Green Mountain Grills sell, and compared them across a range of categories.

At the time of writing the Ledge and Pro 575 were priced identically, but be sure to check our links for the latest price.

GMG Ledge Prime PlusTraeger Pro 575
Dimensions52x52x34 in53x41x27 in
Hopper capacity18 lb18 lb
Cooking surface area (sq in)458 sq in575 (425 main grate + 150 secondary)
Direct flame NoNo
Meat probes21
Temperature range150°F – 550°F165°F-500°F
WiFiYesYes
ControlDigitalD2® drivetrain
StorageFolding front shelf and side shelf are includedFolding front shelf sold separately
Pellet purge systemYesYes
Warranty3 years3 years
PriceCheck latest priceCheck latest price

While the price and specs are close, there are some key differences. The GMG includes the front shelf, while Traeger offers that as an optional accessory that will set you back $69.99.

The GMG also has less total grill area but has more than the Traeger with the secondary warming rack removed, which is how mine is usually configured.

In the rest of this review, we’ll go through the similarities and differences in a little more detail, and also give you more of the brand history to help you make an informed purchase.

GMG VS Traeger top features compared

Size

Traeger offers more choice with all of their grills available in two sizes. With GMG you’ll need to upgrade to a higher spec model for more size.

In a direct comparison, Traeger wins out in size. This is because they have a warming rack. This is fine when you are cooking something like ribs, but if you need to smoke a ham, or full brisket you’ll need to remove the rack and at that point, the GMG actually has more space.

The warming rack on the Traeger gives you more space but isn’t always practical.

Temperature range

GMG grills win this one, although the difference is fairly small.

The digital controls on the Traeger allow you to set temp between 165-5000°F.

With GMG you can select between 150°F to 550°F while the Traeger maxes out at 500°F. If you want to cook really low the GMG is also capable of hitting 150 compared to 165 on the Traeger.

App experience

Both brands offer WiFi with app control on all their grills (with the exception of the portable Tailgater).

Traeger app is well polished and comes with some nice features

App experience is subjective so I like to compare the average rating on the Apple and Googe Play stores.

Green Mountain Grills average app rating:

  • Apple Store – 3.1/5 from 371 ratings
  • Google Play – 4.7 from 878 ratings

Traeger average app rating:

  • Apple Store – 4.8/5 from 144,000 ratings
  • Google Play – 3 from 3998 ratings

This makes me scratch my head as Apple users seem to rate Traeger a lot higher, while Google users love the GMG app.

I’m not sure if this is a reflection of the app performing differently, or says more about Apple and Google users…

Storage

GMG wins hands down when it comes to storage. The fold-down front shelf is included for free on the Ledge model. You also get a shelf on the side with hooks to hang tools and a cart with a shelf which is handy to keep a few bags of pellets off the ground.

The Traeger has more of an open design, with no shelf under the main grill body.

There is no storage space beside the lid of the grill hopper on the base Pro model. The Ironwood gets a side shelf as standard, and the Timberline gives you the front shelf as well.

Design

I like the peaked lid design you get with GMG, although there’s something to be said for the classic barrel look of the Traeger.

The GMG also includes a window on the pellet hopper. On the Traeger, you can add a pellet sensor add-on and monitor your pellet levels via the app which is a great feature, although this will cost you more.

Wheels are very similar in terms of size and quality.

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 grills (excluding the portable ones), GMG has always given you the option on their main grills.

GMG has decided to focus on its dealer network, so they are not very easy to find for sale online although you can now get the full range at BBQGuys.com.

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.

Traeger is currently suing Green Mountain Grills

Traeger and Green Mountain Grills are going through a legal battle over the use of technology in their pellet grills.

Traeger filed two patents in 2016 related two the use of cloud or mobile applications for controlling an outdoor grill.

In 2018 they sent cease and desist letters to Rec Rec, Memphis Grills, and Green Mountain Grills telling them to stop selling wirelessly connected pellet grills.

GMG fired back with a suit against Traeger in the US Patent and Trademark Office, with Traeger quickly filing a lawsuit against GMG for patent infringement.

Derrick Riches has an excellent write-up of the whole saga on his website if you would like to learn more.

In my opinion, this is an unfortunate example of a large company trying to bully a small one. The truth is WiFi-enabled pellet grills have been around since 2012, long before Traeger filed any patents.

If Traeger wins, the whole industry will be hurt by the lack of innovation. Let’s remember that over the decades where Traeger has no competition they failed to improve or innovate on their grill designs.

If you are a grill buyer what does this mean for you? Nothing in the short term. In the long term if Traeger wins this suit could potentially put GMG out of business, which might affect any warranties or customer service.

Our hope is that common sense prevails and the suit is dismissed.

Top Green Mountain Grill Models

Green Mountain Grills have recently updated their lineup of grills with two ranges and new product names.

If you are looking at reviews you might see the old names and some of the older models are still being sold by third parties, so this is definitely something to look out for.

The main range is called “Prime”. All grills come with WiFi smart controls and then Prime Plus gives you a few upgrades including a collapsible front shelf and interior grill light.

The Choice lineup of pellet grills refers to the original lineup and seems to be getting phased out. The GMG website currently only lists the Daniel Boone.

1. Trek Prime WiFi Pellet Grill

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

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

GMG has replaced the foldable legs which was the one part of the Davy Crockett design we didn’t like.

green mountain grills davy crockett pellet grill on table
The folding legs on the original Davy Crockett were awkward to use

Now you get four sturdy legs that are screwed on and make the grill more stable, although slightly less portable.

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.

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 Trek for our favorite budget portable pellet grill in our round-up of the best portable pellet grills.

The portable features are great, but the Trek can perform as a decent small sized grill even if you never plan to travel with it. There’s a Trek cart you can buy separately that turns this into more of a full-sized grill.

2. Ledge Prime Plus WiFi Pellet Grill

The Ledge replaces the Daniel Boone as the middle range option in the GMG lineup.

At first glance, it looks very similar but you now get a collapsible front shelf, interior grill light, stronger grates, and a peaked lid with a window.

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

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 pellet hopper capacity is 18 pounds and there’s a window on the front and a pellet door on the back for removing unused pellets between cooks.

The digital controller has been improved and allows you to set the temperature anywhere between 150° – 550°F.

The Ledge comes in all black, or you can pay $30 extra and get it in stainless steel.

3. Peak Prime Plus WiFI Grill

The Peak (formerly Jim Bowie) is the big daddy of the Green Mountain Grill family.

It looks exactly like the Ledge, only stretched out so now you get 658 square inches of cooking space.

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 (with a much higher price tag).

You have to be careful making the comparison though because it all comes down to how much “usable space” you get. A lot of the extra space on the Traeger comes from the additional warming rack. If you want to cook any large items you’ll want to remove this, bringing your actual real estate down.

Top Traeger Grills

Like Green Mountain Grills, Traeger has three grills in their main range. Each grill is available in two sizes, and the sizes increase with each model.

  • Traeger Pro – 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– 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 – 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.

You’ve also got the Traeger Tailgater which competes directly with the Trek, with 300 sq inches and a lot less tech.

If you want to learn more about the various models of Traeger, I suggest checking out our post on Traeger Grill Reviews.

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

If you want better searing options look at Camp Chef

I would say Camp Chef and Green Mountain Grills are at a similar level in terms of price and build quality, but the Camp Chef has the best solution for searing that we’ve seen on a pellet grill.

I’m a big fan of the popular Woodwind pellet grill.

Instead of adjustable plates, like you see on a lot of Pit Boss grills, 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.

If you want to save money look at Z Grills

Z Grills 700D4E

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

The company has been around for a long time producing grills for other companies. They used to manufacture grills for Traeger!

The most popular model they sell is the Z Grills 700D4E which we have a detailed review for.

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.

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21 Comments

  1. John Farrell says:

    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. David Wallace says:

    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. Rick Goulian says:

    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. Doug Brumfield says:

    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. Jon underwood says:

    Are green mountain grills manufactured in China? I want to know where they are made.

    1. Like the vast majority of grills they are manufactured in China, although the company and distribution is located in the United States.

    2. In China and Traeger grills are also made in China.

    3. Brenden h says:

      Every pellet grill is made in china to cut the cost down American made are too expensive the major companies are American but the grills are made in china

  6. Devin Starker says:

    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. James Smith says:

      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!

  7. Nate Tolle says:

    I purchased my GMG 4 years ago now and have yet to have a problem. I wanted to write this because I see a lot of people that want to compare the features of different grills but a lot of people dont talk about the construction of the grill that was honestly what sold me on GMG. At the time when I purchased my I was working in a fab shop and had ll years of working on equipment and metal fab. the electronic side was not something I was worried about but the longevity was. I looked a Treager grills and said i was not going to pay that much for a grill that then I opened the lid it was like i was opening a cheap grill at Walmart and not a 6,7,800 dollar grill. I then continued my search and found a reviewed about the GMG. I then looking at the specs and looked for material thickness as that what my number one thing I was looking at. I also seen that the GMG was by far heavier then any Treager. That was what told me it was built better and heavier. I looked at my first GMG and was sold I could open the lid and it was rigid and I felt like i was opening a grill that was worthy of the 6,7,800 dollars. I continued looking into other grills and found that same thing like i did with Treager and just kept coming back to the GMG. I later purchased 2 of them and fell in love. The longest lasting grill I have ever had and still works like the day I bought it.

  8. Dwight Olson says:

    I have the Davy Crockettgrill,med size Traeger.Camp Chef XXL vertical smoker (2400sq in cooking surface) They all have wfi. They all are great grills.They each have their own niche. Davy C goes to all the horse showsbecause its portable and durable.I build stands for these for the local store that sells them.It brings them up to same height as other grills,ajustable legs,commercial countertop shelf below the grill

  9. You forgot to mention that GMG offers a pizza oven (excellent pizza!), as well as a cooking flat plate that covers the entire grill surface. I rarely remove the pizza oven. It will get up to about 900 degrees F. I can remove the pizza stone and use the metal underneath to roast my peppers for Chili Rellenos, I also use a cast iron skillet inside the pizza oven (with or without the stone) regularly (to finish those rellenos etc). This allows quick cooking with top and bottom heat for a steak, any meats really, as well as veggies etc. The pizza oven also allows baking, try making bread or even brownies or muffins! Remember that this pizza oven will cook like a convection oven so adjust accordingly.
    GMG is not just a smoker any more. One can cook just about anything just like gma used to do in a wood fired oven! When I need a long slow cook I remove the pizza oven and set up for what the grill was designed for. Last comment: so far everything from the cold smoke feature to slow bbq to baking leaves the PERFECT amount of smoke (muffins are so good in wood fired ovens!). Not overpowering like some smokers!

    1. I’ve had both …. I’ll never get rid of my gmg.. …by fat the best . And the pizza oven attachment is awesome

  10. Thomas Goodwin says:

    Green mountain by far has best tech support and customer support. I have 4 of their grills in my family. First one a Jom bowie still going strong after 7 years. Second is my Davy crockett though an early model it has been a champ. Only issue was an ignitor and tech support gave me a work around over the phone all the while my new ignitor was shipped and st my house before i returned from camping 3 days later. My son and son inlaw both have Daniel boone models. They both have been ultra reliable other than a temp sensor on my sons grill which tech support took care of post haste. If you want a reliable smoker with great tech support and now they have probably all bells and whistles to go along with reliabilty. I want a new one very much but till my Jim Bowie dies im a loyal user.

  11. I’m new to pellet grills, just bought a gmg prime and so far so good. Have done chicken thighs and a a brisket, both turned out perfectly using the provided cook book. So far very impressed with the flavors of smoked meat and looking forward to smoked ribs and a turkey

  12. Dwayne Radbourne says:

    The big issue I have with the gmg is the power supply. I’m on my 4th and they are $100 a shot. My grill is a year old.

    I have 2 old treagers. Eastwood as it was called 5 to 7 years ago never had a issue with it.

    The xl which I purchased in the early 2000’s I have replaced the controls, fire pot, igniter on it. Only cost me 80 bucks. Still working great.

    I only use pellet grills I don’t own a gas one. I do like both products just the power supply sucks on the gmg.

  13. Hate to say it, as an owner of the POS GMG I would have to say they don’t compare to a treage at all. Treager has a quality that GMG will never ever achieve.

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