Post updated June 14, 2021: We’ve updated this post to add information on the latest Green Mountain Grills smokers (Ledge & Peak grills). Also to confirm that GMG grills continue to be incredibly popular with our customers!
For the last few years a debate has been raging among pellet grillers about which grill is better, Traeger or Green Mountain Grills. This article will compare the features and construction of both company’s grills and show why at Friendly Fires we believe that Green Mountain Grills (GMG) are your best choice for pellet grilling.
Traeger was the originator of the pellet grill and for that reason has a large following. Green Mountain Grills have built on that foundation and created what we believe to be a superior product.
Since the Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone / Ledge model and the Traeger Pro Series 22 are both similar in size, features, and price we will mainly base our comparison on these two models.
One of the great things about pellet grills is the ability to set the temperature accurately. Both grills offer incremental temperature control, the Traeger in 25 degree increments, while the GMG has 5 degree increments for more accurate temperature control.
The GMG offers a slightly larger grilling area of 432 square inches, while the Traeger offers 418 square inches. Both grills can have their cooking areas increased by adding an optional upper rack extension.
A few more areas where the GMG scores points over the Traeger are the stainless steel grates that resist rust and corrosion, the peaked lid which offers more vertical cooking space, and the Sense Mate ambient air sensor – this puts the grill in Turbo Mode helping it heat up faster in colder weather.
GMG also offers an optional insulating blanket which to help in colder temperatures and also reduce pellet consumption.
See the diagrams below for information on how the design of the auger and heat shield work to provide your grill with even heating throughout your cook.
A motor turns the auger which feeds pellets into the firebox. There, a heat rod automatically ignites the pellets and a variable speed fan keeps them burning. The Venturi-style firebox is lined with vertical vents creating a burn pot cyclone of air flow for maximum heat and complete combustion of the pellets with minimal waste.
The heat shield that covers the firebox distributes the heat to both sides of the grill, causing it to flow up into the convection-style grill chamber. A sensor mounted inside the grill sends data to the on-board computer 10 times every second, and the controller adjusts the air and pellet flow to maintain the temperature you set.
WIFI on a BBQ?
Where the GMG really shines above the Traeger though is with its fantastic WIFI Smart Control functionality.
Using the free GMG app you can control and monitor grill & food temps, create and set cooking profies, and set timers and receive alerts.
We’ve had great feedback from our customers about this functionality. They love the convenience and the fun factor!
Did we mention the footrest?
Both the Daniel Boone and the Pro Series 22 feature a similar design and similar construction materials with both constructed from durable painted steel. We’ve found that the GMG has sturdier, thicker steel on the lids and overall feels more sturdy.
We’ve also noted overall tougher construction on the GMG, if you look under a Traeger you’ll see wires hanging loose whereas GMG parts are encapsulated in steel for longer durability and less rodent trouble.
Other points of note are the burn pot, the GMG has a better design to more evenly heat up and use pellets. Also, the igniter is encapsulated in steel providing a better burn and protecting the igniter for longevity, Traeger simply has it exposed.
The GMG heat shield is made from stainless steel (instead of some form of tin) AND includes a heat diffuser on the underside. The Traeger does not have this and is made from cheap metal instead.
Although we may not sway devoted Traeger users, we hope this article shows why we at Friendly Fires believe the Green Mountain Grills Pellet Grills offer better value for your money and greater performance than the Traeger family of pellet grills.
Have a look at the models we carry below, you can purchase online or in any one of our five locations.
Want to cook some Pizza in that bad boy?