Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill – Which One Is Best For You?
Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill. This is a matchup that has been heating up the market lately. In this article, we are going to take a look at both of these grill brands and see which one comes out on top.
Both offer top-notch, high-quality products that will enhance your cooking experience and add a unique touch to whatever you like preparing. Both brands include features such as precise cooking temperatures and automatic hopper refilling. As such, choosing between them can be confusing because their designs resemble each other so much.
While there is no perfect answer to this question, we put together this comparison article hoping it helps make the decision easier for you: which one is better for you? Which one should you buy? Keep reading for the comparison between traeger vs green mountain grill!
Who Makes Traeger
Traeger Grills are part of the Traeger Wood Fire Grilling family. The company started in 1988 and quickly became a top brand for pellet grills, outdoor cooking products, and accessories just to name a few.
Today, Traeger produces four different lines of products: Classic Series, Premium Series, Stainless Series, and Camp Chef Pellet Grill & Smokers.
The company is known for its excellent service record so if you decide to purchase one of their products it’s unlikely that you will have any issues with them in the future. It also has great customer reviews on Amazon so you can read what other buyers have to say about each individual model if you’re still not sure which one to get. We wrote a review of the best pellet grills on the market which you can read here.
Who Makes Green Mountain Pellet Grills
Green Mountain Grills (GMG) is an American company based in Vermont and they make all sorts of outdoor cooking products including cyber barbecue grills, clean green BBQ systems, and outdoor kitchen appliances. GMG was founded in 2008 by passionate BBQ enthusiasts who wanted to provide superior products with unmatched customer service. At present, they’re one of the most popular brands for pellet grills and smokers in the country. They also sell high quality accessories such as replacement parts and pellets.
What Type of Grilling Experience Do They Offer?
Traeger and GMG both produce high quality grills that offer many benefits to the users who invest in one. These include: easy to use, energy efficient, high performance, provide accurate temperature control for cooking, automatic hopper refill system, and even assistance in monitoring food through its thermometer probe. All these features are quite similar across their models meaning that you can expect to get the same type of experience with any purchase you make from either company. The main difference lies within how they’re designed and their physical appearance which we discuss next.
Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill Comparison
I think there is still no clear winner between Green Mountain Grills or Traegers as they each have pros and cons to offer consumers – but more of that later on.
So let’s get down to brass tacks shall we?
At the time of this writing, Green Mountain Pellet Grills can be purchased on Amazon for around $800 – $1100 depending on model and features, whereas you will need to add another 100-200 bucks or so on top of that price range to get a comparable Traeger Grill.
I would highly recommend comparing both brands very carefully before making a decision as I think the most important consideration is your cooking needs and not necessarily which one looks better in your backyard. Both make very good smoker grills and ultimately it comes down to personal preference in most cases!
The one area where GMG really does have an advantage over Traeger is cost – Green Mountain Grills are usually significantly cheaper than Traeger Grills at the same size.
For example, my favorite size of grill from Traeger is their 18″ Smokey Joe smoker which retails at $499.99 on their site. I was lucky enough to find a sale for this model and got it for about $350 so I am not sure if there is still any sort of difference between retail price and online sales (or if they just tacked on shipping).
As far as other models go, you can expect to pay about 10-20% more depending on how big of a grill you want/need
Overall, I would say that Green Mountain Grills fall into the lower end of the price range while Traeger falls somewhere in the middle; however, they both offer great value for what you get.
Green Mountain has these really nice slick blue and black designs that look super modern and classy – not to mention, they buy colors like burnt orange, pink (yes you heard right), etc. Traeger’s design is very similar to GMG in many ways; it also uses color to differentiate the different models instead of giving each model a unique name.
This can be good or bad depending on your point of view; I like it because I don’t have to learn an entirely new vocabulary when I look at my grill’s knobs and buttons – but it can be bad in that you probably will never want every model they make.
My particular review unit came with a black frame, black hopper lid which housed the heating element, and stainless steel panels. I really like how it looks because it reminds me of a spaceship or something mechanical from a marvel comic book – very cool.
Finally, I would like to point out that many Black Friday deals are going on right now for Green Mountain Grills – Click Here to check if any are happening near you!
In terms of maintenance, there is no difference between Green Mountain or Traeger grills. They both have their own ash cleanout system that works much better than other brands.
In fact, I have found that it is a lot easier to clean the grill itself with a good bristle brush and some nice hot water – aside from a few hard-to-clean areas around where the hopper meets the grill body, this thing has held up very well over time.
Size of Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill
The size of grills offered by Green Mountain Grill are also pretty great – you can get as small as a 16″ model or as large as your typical half-barrel smoker. Even at their smallest size they still pack an impressive BTU output (~8000 BTUs) which is more than enough for almost any cookout you might want to throw together.
Traeger offers a slightly larger line of grills, with their most impressive coming in at around 25″ wide and 30″ tall (including the hopper). As such they can accommodate more meat for cooking. However, you will need to pay attention to your grill’s footprint as it may either cause problems fitting on your deck or patio – mine barely fits and I would not recommend getting one any bigger than this.
One common complaint that was heard from owners of both Green Mountain and Traeger Pellet Grills before my review is how difficult they were to manage temperature-wise.
This is especially true if you have ever tried cooking anything high in protein, like chicken breasts or pork chops, as you were forced to use a scorched earth strategy where you would basically burn everything to cinders and pray. With the advent of more precise digital thermometers and controllable heat zones with the Green Mountain grills, this problem has been mitigated slightly;
However, it is still not fixed entirely. This is where the Traeger grills excel – their new Pro Controller (their answer to GMG’s Digi-Q) allows you to precisely control your cooking temperature by adjusting fan speed and pellets in its hopper.
My personal experience has shown that both brands build long-lasting grills that will last for years on end with proper maintenance. Both come with solid warranty’s and mine have held up very well over the years without ever needing warranty work. Only time will tell how long these grills last, but I have no reason to believe that they won’t be the last smoker I ever buy!
This is one of the most important aspects in my mind when it comes to Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill. The price of pellets can be much higher than other forms of smoking fuel, so having a grill that is more efficient with its heat output is always welcomed.
Both brands have released new models in recent years that consume less fuel per hour over their predecessors – this seems to have yielded results since reviews are quite positive.
Traeger offers slightly better efficiency in all their current models thanks to their patented “Smart Grill” technology and precisely controlled burners; however, Green Mountain has made significant strides forward as well by increasing the amount of pellet hopper capacity and incorporating a firebox which also acts as an additional heat zone.
The other major upside of using these grills is that because it uses pellets instead of propane or charcoal, the heat output you get is much more consistent. This allows you to cook things like meat (especially chicken) at lower temperatures for longer periods of time without encountering flare-ups and burning your food.
I love this fact about pellet powered smokers because it means I don’t have to baby my grill over-night; I can confidently leave the meat in there overnight since I know if anything happens, it’s not my fault – it’s the smoker’s!
One additional benefit to note is how easy both brands make adding woodchips into the hopper – simply unload them through an internal side door and you are good to go. This makes them perfect for adding chunks of wood for smoke flavor – especially if you have a smoker that has been difficult to maintain temperature with.
With both smokers you can get them with or without legs. The benefit of the legs is that it raises the grill up off of your deck/patio, which allows more airflow underneath; this helps control temperature more precisely and also reduces the risk of cooking on a wet surface.
I would recommend getting leg extensions for some models if you do not already have some, as they help raise your grills and keep them sturdy while cooking and cleaning underneath – just clip-on and go!
Both brands offer relatively similar legs in terms of build quality and design, so I won’t go into too much detail here about each one.
Overall, I tend to prefer the Green Mountain Grill’s leg design because their double-braced design prevents the legs from bowing under heavy weight – this is really helpful when you are pulling a half-full hopper of pellets out to dump them.
As far as aesthetics go, Green Mountain Pellet Grills have always been much more pleasing to my eye than Traeger smokers. The reason for that is because they tend to follow the classic BBQ look with stainless steel construction and painted exterior, whereas Traegers come in a variety of colors and finishes (including pink!) that just aren’t as classy as those made by GMG.
Traeger does offer their Pro Series models now in black powder coat with stainless steel doors which I would consider one of the most attractive pellet grills on the market for under $1000.
This is another feature that sets Green Mountain Grills apart from Traeger; the ability to control the pellet grill via smartphone, tablet, or computer. The biggest upside of this is being able to adjust your grill’s temperature while you are at work – no more rushing home before 7pm just because it started raining outside.
However, having Wi-Fi capability does have its downside as well: battery life. GMG specifies only an hour’s worth of battery life for their DigiQ controller – not nearly enough time to check on your grill after hours if you are also using the wi-fi functionality.
I have found that this is actually a bit high as I can usually kill my phone battery by lunchtime if I have my phone tethered to the controller. As such, it helps to buy a small external battery pack for your phone to leave outside with your grilling gear because there is nothing worse than forgetting you are cooking dinner!
Ease of Use
Green Mountain Grills are very easy to use – they have relatively small grilling surfaces so you can fit a good amount on them, even if you only have limited space.
However, their biggest drawback is that they require more ‘fiddling’ than other brands to get the best results – this isn’t too big of an issue considering most people using pellet smokers are looking for something easier than charcoal or electric smokers, but it is still worth noting.
Traeger Grills are almost ridiculously easy to use thanks to their digital controller and adjustable feed rate made possible by its hopper system. They also work great for recipes where you need hot and fast cooking as well as those dishes which need a slower cook.
Overall of Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill, both are easy to use – it basically comes down to your personal preference!
There is no doubt that Traeger has the upper hand when it comes to customer support – they have set up actual call centers where people can call and have questions answered by real technicians who know what they are talking about!
Green Mountain Grills do not offer this option – instead, you will need to contact them through email only at email@example.com. I have not had any issues with the response time or quality of their customer service but I was just always expecting to get a call back when emailing them.
Top Traeger models?
Which are the best Traeger models on the market right now? At this point, I would have to say it depends on what you are looking for. Traeger offers an incredible selection of options but some of their most popular ones include:
Traeger Pro Series 575 Pellet Grill:
The Traeger Pro Series 575 Pellet Grill is the perfect choice for those who want to have the best of both worlds. It offers all the features of a standard pellet grill, such as digital controls and automatic feed, while also including a smoker box that allows you to use charcoal.
The grill has a cooking area of 570 square inches, which is plenty of space to cook for large crowds. The porcelain-coated grates are easy to clean and provide even heat distribution, ensuring that your food will be cooked evenly. The grill also includes a built-in temperature gauge so that you can always ensure that your food is cooked at the right temperature.
The Pro Series 575 is made from high-quality materials and is backed by a five-year warranty from Traeger. This grill is perfect for those who want the best of both worlds – the convenience of a pellet grill combined with the versatility of a smoker box.
The pro series 575 is traeger’s midsized grill, perfect for those who want the best of both worlds – capacity and portability. with 575 square inches of grilling area, this grill can handle all of your needs, while its built-in legs and transport wheels make it easy to take with you wherever you go.
This is a great grill for anyone who has limited space in their yard or porch and still wants to enjoy pellet-fired BBQs. It only weighs 60 lbs but packs in a ton of features including: stainless steel construction, built in meat probe, and wood chip loader.
Traeger Pro Series 575 Pellet Grill features:
- Weighs 60 pounds
- Stainless steel construction
- Built in meat probe
- Wood chip loader
Traeger Timberline 850:
This is a great grill for people who want to get into pellet grilling but do not want to make the large financial commitment. It features 420 square inches of cooking space, an internal hopper, and has a digital controller for easy use.
Maintenance is also made easier by its ash clean out system. This unit requires very little maintenance due to the integrated ash clean out system on this machine which you to dump the ashes without opening the lid. This process makes it easy to dump the ashes without having to take any other steps or actions.
The digital controller is also very nice for setting different cooking parameters like food temperature and grilling time. We all want convenience in anything that we do, whether it’s using appliances, buying products, utilizing services; you name it! The digital controller allows you to adjust this grill to meet your desired cooking style (i.e., everything from low and slow to hot and fast).
Traeger Timberline 850 features:
- 420 Square Inches of total cook surface area with multiple configurations that allow you to cook anything from appetizers to entrees
- Built in top load wood chip loader
- Digital thermostat makes it super simple and easy to dial in your desired temp
Overall, I would say that if you are looking for a great entry-level pellet grill then go with the Traeger Timberline 850 – I know so many people who have bought this grill and LOVED IT! Otherwise, if you are looking for a more luxurious grill with all of the bells and whistles, then I would highly suggest taking a look at the Traeger Pro Series 575.
If I had to pick just two Traeger models that offer great value over other brands it would be the Pro Series 575 or the Timberline 850 simply because they pack so much into such a small price range!
Top Green Mountain Grills models?
Which are the best Green Mountain Grill models on the market right now? Similar to Traeger, it really depends on what you are looking for. Green Mountain Grills offers a wide variety of sizes and price ranges so there is definitely something for everyone!
Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
One of their most popular models is the Davy Crockett Pellet Grill which is a small, portable smoker that is perfect for taking with you camping or tailgating. At around $300, it is also one of their more affordable options.
- Weighs only 57 pounds
- Patented SideFire Box
- Pellet hopper holds up to 20lbs of pellets
- 380 square inches of cooking surface
- Dual fuel capability allows you to use it as a grill, smoker, or oven
Daniel Boone Pellet Grill
Another popular model is the Daniel Boone Pellet Grill which offers a little more cooking space at 619 square inches and comes in at around $500.
- 619 square inch main grilling area with a total of 725 square inches when the upper rack is added
- Pellet hopper capacity of 18lbs
- Touch screen controller with easy read meat probe
- Ten year warranty on the body and one year on the electronics
- Remote control and internal meat probe for added convenience and accuracy
Lil’ Tex Elite
Premium models include things like the Lil’ Tex Elite which has a side loading pellet hopper and electronic auger, giving you easy access to your pellets without ever having to open the grill. If money is no object, their top of the line model currently goes for around $2200 – it features over 700 square inches of cooking space with all stainless steel construction!
- 728 square inch main grilling area and a total of 816 with the upper rack
- Stainless steel construction
- Touch screen controller with meat probe and built in thermometer
- Pellet hopper holds up to 20lbs and has a window for monitoring pellet level from the outside
If you are looking for something a little bigger, they also have the Daniel Boone model which comes in both electric and propane versions as well as multiple sizes; this grill starts at around $500 and goes up with price.
It really depends on how big of a grill you are looking for when consider Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill – GMG has amazing options in both their Junior and Pro models which are incredibly popular among serious backyard cooks. Their smallest model, the Davy Crockett Jr, offers about 180 square inches of cooking area while their largest can hold up to 700 pounds at once!
If you are looking for the top end option, look no further than their Big Block model which offers 800-850 square inches of cooking space and starts around $1600.
Why I love my Green Mountain Grill?
I have been using my Green Mountain Grill (Stainless steel) smoker for over 3 years now and it’s still going strong! The thing that I love most about this unit is that it’s portable and comes with a handle. I can literally move this smoker from one end of my yard to the other in a matter of minutes making it super easy for me to cook wherever I want!
The fact that you can purchase an 18-inch grill online for under $300 makes it such a great value – there really is nothing even close to the quality and low price point offered by GMG.
Because many people buy their grills online, I figured it would be useful to compare some prices on what you should expect when purchasing head to head with Traeger:
Here are some other videos showing off the cast iron grates and things like “instant start” and how to use it. (If you watch the videos, I think most of them are pretty funny.)
Here is an older video showing off the smoker but it gives you a good idea of what they look like in action.
Their customer service has always been stellar with me – I had to call them one time about something and got someone on the phone immediately who was very helpful. They also give you great instructions for maintenance/cleaning which is critical if you want your grill to last as long as possible!
Definitely not necessary right away – especially if money is an issue for you, see if you can get by without having any extras! If at some point later on down the road you decide to buy some extra accessories, you definitely won’t regret it.
If you are looking to pick up the grill here is a link to Green Mountain Grills on Amazon – I highly recommend them!
I know that many people will be turned off by the price but both of these units use wood pellets (which can be purchased in bulk) which means that they really aren’t all that expensive when you consider how much propane/gas/charcoal you would need to buy.
Why I love my Traeger Grill?
I’ve had my Traeger now for about 2 years and overall I think it’s a great unit. If you are looking to grill on a budget, this might not be the best option (although if you look at some of their sales and really shop around they can offer amazing value) but once you move up to one of their higher end models it becomes much more competitive with Green Mountain Grills.
The biggest draw for me using the Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill is that I get amazing “low & slow” style BBQ especially when smoking ribs which always turn out fantastic! My friends rave about how good my ribs taste – in fact, between my wife and I we have probably smoked over 100 racks of pork spare ribs which was what started the whole blogging thing in the first place!
One of my favorite tools when smoking ribs is a wireless meat thermometer which I use to make sure that the ribs are finished at the right time. (If you don’t have one, make sure you get one here .)
The other great thing about this smoker is that they offer 2-3 different sizes – depending on your budget and space available, you can either buy a smaller model like I did or invest in something larger if budget isn’t an issue for you. I personally think their best value lies between the Pro and Elite models but it totally depends on what your needs are! Here is a table showing off some of their different offerings:
From a pricing standpoint, Traeger offers one of the best values in grills on the market. Their pellet smokers are priced so competitively that Green Mountain Grills is a much better deal for you even when you factor in their shipping costs.
I have seen them offer amazing sales where two people can get a grill shipped to their doorstep for free but just keep an eye out and follow them via Facebook or Twitter to be notified about any upcoming deals!
All-in-all it’s a great pellet smoker and I highly recommend it!
Green Mountain Grill vs. Traeger: Final Thoughts
Overall, both these grill brands make solid choices and it really comes down to personal preference on things like size and cost (which admittedly favor GMG slightly). If you are looking for a good smoker at a good price and don’t need all of the bells and whistles then Green Mountain Grills is probably more your speed.
However, if you want something with lots of features that will allow you to cook different types of food without having to mess around with different grills, then Traeger is probably a better choice for you.
Green Mountain Grill:
- Easy to use
- Relatively inexpensive
- Small surface area and requires more ‘fiddling’ than other grill brands to get the best results
- Large temperature range with large cooking surface (make sure to get one of their larger models if you want something that will fit in your house)
- Lots of features that can help cook various foods
- Reasonably priced when you factor in online prices
- Expensive for size
- Smaller temperature range than GMC’s (i.e., not as good for high heat roasting)
All in all, if you are looking for a classic BBQ style grill that is easy to use without having any bells & whistles, Green Mountain Pellet Grills are a solid choice. Their grills consistently put out high-quality barbecue and have stood the test of time over the years so far with many users still having their first GMG’s from 10+ years ago!
If you’re looking for a more customizable grill that has tons of features and options, then Traeger Grills is probably going to be your best bet – they have been one of my favorite brands since I got into smoking several years ago now.
Traegers offer an above average amount of cooking space in some models and come with more bells and whistles than any other pellet grill manufacturer on the market – this is especially true if you want to move up to their Pro-Series models which come with stainless steel construction and nicer features such as wifi controls (no need to run back and forth from the house anymore).
Grills aside, I am a huge fan of both brands and use them frequently throughout the year! I hope this article helped clarify some of the main differences between Traeger vs Green Mountain Grill.
If you have any questions about either smoker that were not addressed here, please feel free to post them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them for you!