Green Mountain vs Traeger

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Green Mountain vs Traeger Pellet Grills – Which Brand is Better?

Pellet grills are an excellent option for a backyard chef who wants the smoky flavors of authentic barbecue and the convenience of a regular grill.

They burn only hardwood pellets, which provide optimum flavors. And the technology means that keeping your grill at a steady temperature has never been easier.

Both Traeger and Green Mountain Grills make excellent and well-respected pellet grills. But which one is better for your backyard?

This showdown between the two brands will help you choose the right option.

Since pellet grills are still pretty new to most pitmasters, spend some time looking at the options before making your decision. Here’s a look at the best pellet grills for your next cookout.

Summary of our comparison between Green Mountain and Traeger pellet grills:

Traeger Grills – Brand Overview

Traeger Grills was the original name for pellet grills. They pioneered the technology in the 1980s. It wasn’t until their patent expired that other companies began manufacturing and marketing pellet grills.

Even though the company’s patent expired in 2006 and many companies now make pellet-fired grills, Traeger remains the largest manufacturer by far.

Today, Traeger is a lifestyle brand that has one of the most passionate communities in the industry.

Check out this short video to get an idea about why Traeger grills are so popular:

Welcome to the Traegerhood | Traeger Grills

Traeger makes nothing but pellet grills in various sizes. Currently, they sell four different series, ranging from 885 square inch cooking areas to travel grills with 184 square inches.

Nearly all Traeger grills feature built-in WiFi technology and complete grill control and monitoring through the Traeger App.

Besides great grills, Traeger is also a leading maker and seller of wood pellets for grills. They sell signature blends, pecan, hickory, and apple pellets for the ultimate smoked flavor.

Green Mountain Grills (GMG) – Brand Overview

Compared to the old school Trager, Green Mountain Grills (GMG) is a much newer company. Yet, it has now made its way to being a top name in pellet grills.

Green Mountain Grills GMC

Like Traeger, the company makes no other types of grill. It can be challenging to find deals on GMG grills online since they favor sales through their dealer network. They want their customers to take pride in the product, see the grills in person, and shop locally.

GMG sells their first-generation grill, the Daniel Boone, under the “Choice” category. Their newer designs of grills are labeled as “Prime.”

The Prime Grill lineup includes three sizes of grills, from the portable Trek to the large Peak. Both the mid-sized Ledge and the full-size Peak are available in steel or stainless finishes. All Prime Grills feature WiFi control.

The company also sells the commercial-sized trailer rig and a full line of wood pellet fuels.

Portable Pellet Grills & Smokers

Portable pellet grills are some of the most versatile units you can find anywhere.

The biggest issue with many portable smokers and grills is uneven and unreliable heating. This is often a problem with small gas grills, and small charcoal grills are even worse.

But pellet grills are designed to make getting to and holding cooking temperatures easy. Plus, they’re useful for smoking – something that is very difficult to do with any other type of portable grill.

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Trek vs Traeger Tailgater 20

The technology driving both the Traeger and Green Mountain grills is very similar. They feature a side hopper which you load with hardwood pellets. An auger moves the pellets into the fire chamber as necessary to maintain the temperature you have set.

Pellet grills require a power source to run the automatic auger and temperature probes. Portable options will use 12-volt power from a vehicle or 120-volt power from a standard outlet.

Our pick for a portable pellet grill is Green Mountain Trek because of its excellent overall quality and affordable price.

It is a sturdy pellet grill with a wide temperature range which makes it versatile. This pellet smoker is also features WiFi control through a phone app and is easy to use and maintain.

Green Mountain Trek Pellet Grill

GMC Davy Crockett Trek

  • Cooking Area: 219 sq.in
  • Weight: 63 lbs
  • Dimensions: 24″ x 16″ x 32″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 3 years

Traeger Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill

Traeger Tailgater 20

  • Cooking Area: 300 sq.in
  • Weight: 62 lbs
  • Dimensions: 37″ x 18″ x 36″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 3 years

Design and Build Quality

Both the Traeger and the GMG have portable designs with folding legs. But it must be noted that a portable pellet grill is still a pretty big item. It’s certainly larger and bulkier than almost any portable gas or charcoal grill.

Both grills weigh over 60 pounds, and their pellet hoppers make them pretty large.

The Traeger Tailgater 20 features a timeless barrel design that makes it look like an old-school backyard smoker. The Green Mountain Trek looks a little more like a gas grill with its shiny stainless lid and boxier design.

The build quality from both brands is excellent, but the Green Mountain Grill is stellar. They are sturdy and feature similar designs. Both are suitable for tabletop or tailgate use or can be set on their stands.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

Pellet grills are designed from the ground up to be easy to use and maintain. Both Traeger and GMG use drip pans and drip catchers to make clean-up easy.

The Traeger has porcelain-coated grates for easy clean-up while the GMC features durable stainless steel grates.

Temperature Range and Control

The GMG Trek has a wide temperature range and can be controlled from 150 to 550 degrees in 5-degree increments.

The Traeger can only heat up to 450 degrees, giving the GMG grill a clear edge if you are looking for higher temperatures.

Both grills have easy WiFi control systems that enable chefs to monitor and cook from their phones.

Cooking Space

The Traeger features slightly more cooking space, with 300 square inches beating the GMG’s 219 square inches. Both have high lids that allow for large items like whole birds or pork butts to be cooked on the grates.

Another important measure of the performance of a pellet grill is the size of the hopper. The GMG beats out the Traeger in this measure, with a 9-pound hopper that is one pound larger than the Traeger’s.

Extra Features & Accessories

There’s a lot to love about pellet grills. For one thing, the technology that makes grilling foolproof is pretty nifty.

The GMC grill brings convenience to the next level by allowing you to control it from your smartphone wirelessly and remotely. You can be in the living room watching TV and check the temperature of your food and grill. Pretty cool.

Not only does the GMC grill allow you to monitor the cooking temperature, but it also comes with a meat probe so that you can monitor the internal temperature of your food as well.

Warranty

Both grills come with a limited 3-year warranty. The Traeger offers 24/7 live technical support and online warranty claims, too.

Need a Bigger Pellet Grill?

Whether you are looking for a big and affordable pellet smoker for your backyard or a premium model with all the newest features, Traeger has a few great options on the table.

Best Mid-Range Option: Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker

If you require more cooking space for big-time barbecues, the Traeger Pro Series 34 is a great option.

This is an older version of their Pro Series lineup. It’s a durable unit that offers a large cooking area and great value for money. The grill lacks the newest WiFi and connectivity features but still has complete temperature control and probe thermometers.

NOTE: If you want to have the WiFi control feature you can get the newer Traeger Pro Series 780 model. It has a bit less cooking space and costs a few hundred bucks more, though.

Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 884 sq.in
  • Weight: 136 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel, stainless steel, and porcelain-coated grill grates
  • Dimensions: 53″ x 27″ x 49″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 3 years

Design and Build Quality

The Pro Series 34 is a well-built and beefy grill with a design that resembles traditional offset wood smokers. The total weight is 136 pounds so it’s quite easy to move the unit around on a flat surface.

The grill is sturdy and made with powder-coated steel for long life, while the cooking grates are porcelain coated for easy clean-up.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

The Pro Series 34 uses the same system that other Traeger grills do to keep maintenance and clean up easy.

Monitoring and adjusting the cooking temperature is easy thanks to the blue LED display and straightforward thermostat control with an auto-start feature.

A drip pan catches everything under the cooking area and keeps it off of the grill’s interior and firepot. It is mounted on a slant and feeds drippings into an exterior pail. That pail can also be linked with a foil liner for easy clean-up.

Temperature Range and Control

The Traeger’s Advanced Grilling Logic Digital Pro Controller keeps the grill temperature within 15 degrees of the programmed level at all times. You can set the unit to low and slow smoking temperatures starting at 180 degrees or crank it up to as high as 450 degrees for grilling and searing.

This enables versatile and precise cooking including grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, braising, or barbecuing on one unit.

Cooking Space

The Traeger Pro Series 34 has a barrel design for a maximized cooking area of 884 square inches. The grill can accommodate as many as eight whole chickens, seven racks of ribs, or 40 burger patties.

Extra Features & Accessories

Unlike some newer options, the Pro Series 34 is not digital and does not have WiFi control. But saving a little on the fancy toys may appeal to some grill owners who want to keep it simple. The Traeger’s analog control panel is dead simple to use and still allows “set it and forget it” grilling.

The grill comes with two meat probes, allowing for careful monitoring of the final product.

Warranty

Traeger grills come with a limited 3-year warranty.

Spring 2022 Update: Green Mountain Daniel Boone WiFi Pellet Grill is Now Available Online

BBQGuys online store just added the Daniel Boone pellet grill to their selection. So let’s take a closer look at it and see if this grill can challenge the Traeger Pro Series 34 reviewed above.

In short, the Daniel Boone is a great alternative to Traeger because it offers a solid cooking experience for a lower price. It also has some nice features like WiFi control and Sense-Mate heating system that allows you to get it hot even when the weather is cold.

Yet, this smoker has a much smaller cooking area than the Traeger Pro Series 34. Also, the Traeger has a more robust overall construction with better insulation and heat retention.

Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone WiFi Pellet Grill

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 458 sq.in
  • Weight: 155 lbs
  • Build Materials: Powder-coated steel and stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 56″ x 24″ x 51″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 3 years

Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone vs Traeger Pro Series 34

So can the Daniel Boone hold its own against the popular Traeger Pro Series 34?

Here is the comparison:

  • Design and Build Quality: The main difference here is that the Daniel Boone is taller with bigger vertical clearance inside the cooking area.
  • Ease of Use and Maintenance: Both units are easy to use and clean. If prefer WiFi control over analog, then the Daniel Boone is for you.
  • Temperature Range and Control: Daniel Boone has a slightly higher maximum temperature at 500 F compared to 450 F on the Traeger. However, the Traeger has better heat insulation so it’s an even match here.
  • Cooking Space: Traeger takes a clear win here with a cooking area that is almost twice as big as the Daniel Boone’s.
  • Extra Features & Accessories: Daniel Boone comes with a meat probe but the Traeger comes with two of them.
  • Warranty: Both smokers come with a 3-year warranty.

Best Premium Option: Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Ready to get serious and barbecue like a pro? Then here is our top recommendation.

The Ironwood is from Traeger’s latest lineup of grills, and it sports their best technologies yet. It’s also big enough for a party, with an enormous cooking area and a hopper big enough to keep the party going all night.

What sets this beast apart from the cheaper options is the double-lined interior that enables great temperature control and extremely even cooking. In addition, the reliable and convenient app allows you to monitor the grill and meat probe temperatures and control the cooking temperature with a push of a button.

Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Specifications:

  • Cooking Area: 885 sq.in
  • Weight: 175 lbs
  • Build Materials: Painted steel, stainless steel, and porcelain-coated grill grates
  • Dimensions: 54″ x 27″ x 47″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 3 years

Design and Build Quality

The Ironwood grill has double-wall construction for better heat retention and temperature consistency. This is a sturdy high-quality grill that is designed to last a lifetime. The unit weighs an impressive 175 pounds.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

Using the Ironwood 885 is as easy as it gets. Just program in the desired cooking temperature, and the grill’s D2 drivetrain does the rest. The hopper has a 20-pound capacity, so you won’t often be refilling even with such a large grill.

The clean-up is easy, too, with foil drip trays and an easy-to-access grease catcher pail. After about every 20 hours of use, you also need to clean the ash that accumulates inside and around the firepot. You can do this simply by wiping it clean with a rag or paper towel.

Temperature Range and Control

The Ironwood grills can get up to 500 degrees, meaning they can handle fast hot recipes as easily as they do low and slow ones.

This new model has Traeger’s newest electronics on board, the D2 controller. It has a large digital display, and it allows you to set your desired cooking temp within five-degree increments.

Cooking Space

The Ironwood has 885 square inches of cooking space as the name indicates. This means it has enough space for ten whole chickens, seven rib racks, or nine pork butts. So this guy is definitely large enough to host backyard barbecue party!

Extra Features & Accessories

This is one of Traeger’s top-of-the-line grills, and it has all the bells and whistles. First off, it has WiFIRE technology that connects the grill to wireless networks. This enables you to be able to control the grill from any device anywhere in the world.

You can control the unit from your smartphone or even from a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa. On your phone, you can use the Traeger App, which not only allows you to control the grill but also gives you access to recipes and more. This means that when you access Traeger’s recipe database the app can then actually program the grill for you according to the recipe instructions. Mind-blowing!

The grill even features a level sensor in the pellet hopper. The app can show you the pellet level and notify you if it gets low.

The Ironwood also includes a meat probe that connects the control panel for easy and precise temperature monitoring. The stainless steel side shelf with BBQ tool hooks also comes in handy.

Warranty

Like their other options, this grill comes with Traeger’s standard 3-year warranty.

Green Mountain vs Traeger – Final Thoughts

Both brands produce excellent pellet smokers and the choice really comes to personal preference.

If you are getting a portable model, the great thing is both brands have their grills available on Amazon.

When looking at the bigger units Traeger offers great options that can be conveniently ordered online. Green Mountain Grills also has some nice choices but you need to find a local dealer from their website and go to the physical store to take a look at them.

Spring 2022 Update: Bigger Green Mountain pellet grills are also now available on BBQGuys online store. See details earlier in this guide.

Have a great barbecue!

PS. If you are looking for more options, check out our article with Pit Boss vs Traeger comparisons.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Joonas!

As soon as I learned to walk, I started to assist my dad and uncles with grilling and smoking. I always loved helping them and later took over the role of the grill master in my family.

My goal is to cook tasty barbecue food, enjoy it with family & friends, and help others do the same!

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