Traeger vs Green Mountain Grills: We Compare The Two Pellet Grills

Even though Traeger invented pellet grill technology, several grill companies have taken pellet grill technology to another level. Green Mountain Grills (aka GMG), are a high quality, and affordable grill that have become one of the most popular Traeger alternatives. So how does GMG compare to Traeger? Let’s compare the two grills. 

The History of Traeger & Green Mountain Grills

Once upon a time, Traeger had no competition. Traeger had the patent on pellet grill technology, so they sold the only pellet smokers on the market. However, once the patent was lifted, other companies flooded the market with pellet grills. Green Mountain Grills produced its first pellet grill in 2008 and hasn’t looked back.  

Just because Traeger is the original pellet grill, doesn’t necessarily make them the best. Don’t get me wrong, I love Traeger grills. They have some fantastic models. But how do they compare to some of the other pellet grill manufacturers? 

Pellet GrillSizeWeightCooking Area
GMG Trek 24″ H x 32″W x 16″D63 LBS219 sq in.
GMG Ledge52”H x 52”W x 34”D182 LBS458 sq in.
GMG Peak52”H x 63”W x 34”D212 LBS658 sq in.
Daniel Boone51”H x 56”W x 24”D155 LBS458 sq in.
Traeger Tailgater37 W x 36 H x 18 D62 lbs300 Sq.In
Traeger Pro Series (Gen 1)53 W x 49 H x 27 D136 lbs884 Sq.In
Traeger Pro Series49 W x 55 H x 27 D145 lbs780 Sq.In
Traeger Ironwood53 W x 47 H x 27 D170 lbs885 Sq.In
Traeger Timberline58 W x 51 H x 28 D255 lbs1343 Sq.In
Size and Cooking Area Comparison: Traeger vs Green Mountain Grills

Price Difference – Traeger vs Green Mountain Grills

Green Mountain Grills are more affordable than Traeger grills when comparing comparative features. The most expensive Traeger is about $1,000 more than the most than the top-of-the-line GMG pellet grill. 

Pellet GrillPrice
Traeger Pro Series – Gen 1$600
Traeger Pro Series $900-1000
Traeger Ironwood Series$1400 to $1600
Traeger Timberline$2000 – $3799
Traeger Tailgater and Portables$450 – $530
GMG Trek (portable) $375
GMG Daniel Boone$600
GMG Ledge$850
GMG Ledge S5$880
GMG Peak$1000
Green Mountain Grills vs Traeger Grills Price Comparison

It’s Easier To Buy A Traeger

Traeger grills are much easier to purchase because they are sold in so many stores, or you can buy one from the Traeger website. Check out Traeger Grills on the official website here. Unfortunately, you can’t buy a GMG grill directly from the Green Mountain Grills website. Instead, you have to find a local dealer. However, you can still check out the GMG range on the Green Mountain website here.

Temperature Range – Traeger vs Green Mountain

The temperature range between the grills isn’t significant, however some models have a turbo start feature. This feature allows you to start cooking faster! Many grills also has super smoke mode is a feature that increases the smoke output in a short period.

GMG Daniel BoonNoYes150° to 500°F
GMG Trek (portable) NoNo150°F to 550°F
GMG LedgeNoYes150°F to 550°F 
GMG Ledge S5NoYes150°F to 550°F
Traeger Pro Series (1st Gen)NoNo150°F to 500°F
Traeger Pro SeriesNoYes150°F to 500°F
Traeger IronwoodYesYes150°F to 500°F
Traeger TimberlineYesYes150°F to 500°F
Traeger Tailgater (portable) NoNo150°F to 450°F
Temperature Comparison Green Mountain Grills vs Traeger Grills

The GMG Name Changes – Clarifying The Confusion

It can be confusing researching GMG grills because the company has changed the names of many long-standing models. I’ll do my best to avoid any confusion between the models.

The older GMG models such as the Davy Crockett, the Daniel Boone, and the Jim Bowie have now been replaced by Trek, Ledge, and Peak. The Daniel Boone Series is GMG’s most popular pellet grill model, and there are two different types on offer—the Choice and Prime. Daniel Boone Prime has more features than the Choice, but both models are excellent Pellet grills when compared to the Traeger models. The Choice series is being phased out by GMG, and they will instead focus on the Prime Daniel Boone grill. 

Traeger Pro Series vs GMG Daniel Boon (Ledge Prime)

The Pro Series Traeger model and the Daniel Boone (now Ledge Prime) are the most popular pellet grills for both companies. So in this post, I’ll do a comparison between these two models–Ledge Prime vs Pro Series. 

When you consider the pros and cons of the Traeger and the GMG, Green Mountain Grills is better value for money. Although I love Traeger, you can’t deny the price and the extra features that you get with the standard GMG models—features only found in top-of-the-line Traeger models where you have to pay extra money. 

The Daniel Boon Is Packed With Extra Features

The Daniel Boone series by GMG has some cool features such as:

  • The pellet alarm alerts you when the pellet hopper is running low on wood.
  • Both GMG Daniel Boone models have side shelving on both sides of the pellet grill with hooks to hang your grilling tools. 
  • The GMG cooking grates are stainless steel, whereas they manufacture the Traeger models with porcelain coated steel.
  • The Daniel Boone series has a touchscreen on the digital controller, which is similar to the newer Traeger models. Both GMG and the new Traeger models have built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to monitor and control your smoker from a smartphone. 
  • There is 13.5 in of vertical cooking area on the GMG, which is handy when cooking large turkeys, etc. 
  • The Daniel Boone has a temperature range between 150° F and 500° F. 

Daniel Boon Choice & Prime

For several years, GMG produced two models of pellet grills: Choice and Prime. However, the only remaining grill in this line is the Daniel Boone Choice Wi-Fi pellet grill. All the other Prime and Choice grills have been phased out. The GMG Prime pellet grills are all equipped with Wi-Fi, similar to the new Traeger models. 

Wi-Fi Technology – GMG vs Traeger

All grills are now merging with technology, which has the barbecue community divided. Hi-Tech thermometers have been around for a while, such as Fireboard, which allows you to monitor and control the temperature of your smoker remotely using your phone. Companies like Traeger and GMG have taken this technology and integrated into their grills. 

The newer Traeger models have Wi-Fi built-in, and is Traeger like to call WIFIRE. However, Traeger still offers models without the technology by selling the original Pro Series that contains a traditional digital controller. Also, Traeger allows you to bypass the Wi-Fi, and use the digital controller as a standalone unit. 

As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can monitor and control your power grill. Traeger has a safety function where you can’t ignite your grill, but you can monitor and control the temperature. This makes sense, because you know want to fire up your grill accidentally—just because your phone was in your pocket. 

The GMG Ledge Prime

The Ledge has a few upgrades from the original Daniel Boone, but most of the other features are the same. Some cool features found on the Ledge has brackets for a rotisserie, and a folding front shelf. The Ledge Prime is a well-constructed pellet grill. The total weight comes in at 177 pounds and there’s a cooking capacity 458 square inches. It also has vertical headroom of 13.5 in. 

Vertical Cooking Space: Traeger vs GMG

A feature that I always look out for is the amount of vertical cooking space, which is important for cooking turkeys, etc. Some Traeger models have more vertical cooking areas, but it depends on the design and shape of the hood. The newer Pro Series has more cooking space than the original Traeger models. The Timberland and the Ironwood have a deep hood, which is good for vertical cooking. All GMG pellet grills have a peaked hood, which gives you more vertical cooking area. 

Construction: Traeger vs Green Mountain

Green Mountain Grills constructed the Ledge with a thick 14 gauge steel. Traeger have different thickness of steel depending on the model. You can get a stainless steel lid for the GMG, but it’s only 13 gauge steel. 

The top-of-the-line Timberline has 16 gauge steel, and is fully insulated. The Ironwood has 13 gauge double-walled insulation in the middle, but not on the hood. Traeger’s entry level smoker, the Pro Series, has a thinner metal with no insulation. 

The GMG Pizza Attachment

Green Mountain Grills has some cool add-ons, such as the wood-fired pizza attachment. Traeger has no such accessory. GMG also has a rotisserie kit which is really cool, plus the usual thermal covers which Traeger also has for the Pro Series. 

Winter Grilling – Who Wins? GMG or Traeger?

If you live in one of the colder parts of the country, you might want to consider buying a grill with double-walled insulation. The Traeger Timberline is expensive, but you can grill year-round. The non-insulated models will burn through a tonne of wood pellets in the colder months, so in some cases, you may save money in the long run by purchasing the top-of-the-line Traeger.

If you live in a cold climate, a cheaper alternative would be to buy a thermal blanket for the lower to middle-range pellet grill models. Traeger and GMG sell insulation blankets for the grills with thinner metal walls.

Pellet Hoppers – GMG vs Traeger

The GMG Ledge comes with an 18 lb pellet hopper, which is the same as the Traeger Pro Series. Traeger Ironwood comes with a 20 lb hopper, and the Timberline has a 22 lb hopper. 

The Ledge Prime has a low pellet sensor, which will alert you when the hopper is running low. The Traeger Timberline and Ironwood have a hopper sensor, but the Pro Series does not have this function although you can buy the sensor as a separate attachment. 

Hopper sensors are good if you are doing long cooks, because you don’t want to run out of pellets part way through a brisket cook. 

Pellet Trap Door

Another important function of the pellet hopper is a pellet dump trap door. This is important if you want to swap out your pellet grill flavors. Not all pellet grills have a pellet dump, so this is a handy feature. The Traeger also has the dump feature with some models, but not all.

Bottle Opener

A cool feature fo the GMG is the bottle opener at the bottom of the pellet hopper. I really love how GMG has thrown in nice touches. 

Ash Clean Out

The GMG Ledge has a much better ash clean-out system when compared to the Traeger. A Shop Vac is an important piece of equipment if you have a pellet grill. Normally you have to remove all your grill grates and deflect a shield, and get your Shop Vac down to the fire pot to clean out all the ash. The GMG has a metal tube that’s connected to the firepot, and on the outside of the cooker, there’s a little door where you can insert your Shop Vac to suck out the ash. This makes a cleanup way easier. 

The GMG has a function where you can use a fan only mode which blows the ash out of the firebox—Which is a really cool feature. 

Faster Startups

In their new models, Traeger has “Turbo-Temp”, a fast startup system. However, this is only available with the more expensive Traeger models. 

The GMG Green Mountain has a 12 volt power which gives the pellet grill the ability to start up faster. The 12 volt fan can power the auger and the fan blower, as well as recovery time after the lid has been left open. 

Temperature Range

You can adjust the temperature on a GMG ledge in 5° increments. The Ledge has a temperature range of 150° F to 550° F, which is similar to the Traeger models. 

Temperature Sensor

The GMG ledge has “Sense-Mate”, a feature that monitors the temperature of the cooking chamber, and only feeds pellets accordingly. 

Keep Warm Mode

The GMG and the newer Traeger models have a “keep warm mode”. (The original Traeger series may not have this feature. )

Temperature Range

Most Traeger grills go to a maximum temperature of 500° F, whereas the Green Mountain Grills can reach 550° F. This isn’t much of a problem if you do a lot of low and slow cooking, but if you do that to cook at the high end, it’s worth considering. 

Grilling Area

Traeger models have more cooking area than the GMGs. This is mostly because of the design of the two pellet grills. Most Traegers have a second tier rack, which is used mostly as a warming rack. The GMG pellet grills have a single rack, which means less meat. 

Check the comparison chart of all Traeger models. 

The Ledge by GMG has a cooking capacity for 7 racks of ribs. 

Comparing the Tailgater vs the Trek (formally Davy Crockett)

The big difference between the two smaller grills is the GMG mini grill has Wi-Fi, whereas the tailgater has a standard temperature controller. 


Traeger and Green Mountain Grills both offer a 3-year warranty on their pellet grills. 

Portable Pellet Grills: Traeger vs GMG

The Trek Prime is GMGs closest thing to a portable pellet grill. Traeger has the tailgater and the ranger in their portable models. 

The Tailgater has foldable legs, which is handy for transporting but a pain in the rear to fold up. The model prior to the Trek (the Davey Crockett) also had foldable legs with similar issues to the Tailgater — frustrating many users. 

The Trek upgraded its legs, and they are definitely more sturdy, although more difficult to take apart if you want to transport the grill. 

The Ledge – GMG’s Middle Grade Option

The Jim Bowie

The largest grill by GMG is the Jim Bowie. It has 658 square inches of cooking area. This isn’t a great deal of space when comparing cooking area to the Traeger models. The price series has 780 square inches, and the timber line has 1300, although you pay extra money so that cooking space. 


Author and founder at Meat Smoking HQ

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