Traeger vs. Green Mountain Grills: The Old Timer vs. New Kid on the Block

January 12, 2024
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Of the two brands, Traeger is the better option. This is because it has a wider selection, better grilling performance overall, and improved quality too. GM grills do have their own perks with lower prices and great Wi-Fi connectivity.

As a long time Traeger user, I have been hearing how well Green Mountain Grills have been performing. So, I was really excited to see how these two brands would match up when compared side by side, especially since GMG is touted as the more affordable option.

In this post, I will strategically compare Traeger vs. Green Mountain so that you can see which option is best for you!

traeger vs green mountain

Green Mountain Grills vs. Traeger Grills: General Differences

Here is a breakdown of the general differences between Traeger Grills and Green Mountain Grills. If you would like a quick look at these variations, check out this table:

Features

Traeger Grills

Green Mountain Grills

Design

Curved, modern design with a bit more variation in grill design.

More angular classic design with little variation between models.

Series and Models

Traeger has several series of grills and each series has their own lineup, resulting i a greater number of models.

Has two series - with only model in Choice and five models for Prime. The line does contain a commercial grill.

Cooking Surface Area

Traeger Grills has the smallest as well as the largest grill of the two brands.

The Green Mountain Grills does have small to medium sized grills, although the commercial grill has the largest surface area.

Hopper Capacity

The ratio of cooking surface area to hopper capacity is low. This results in needing to top up the hopper during cooks.

The hopper capacity is quite large in the small to mid-sized pellet grills.

Size

Traeger is the best choice for very small or very large grills.

GMG grills are a good option for mid-sized grills.

Temperature Range and Control

Shorter temperature range with less concise adjustments but has better temperature control.

Larger temperature range and can make smaller temp adjustments. The temperature control is good but not as good as Traeger.

Smoke Settings

Has specific smoke setting and certain models also have Super Smoke setting.

Doesn't have a specific smoke setting but you can cook food at lower temps.

Storage

Most models don't have much storage space but Timberline does have a cabinet.

Grills don't have storage space except for side shelf. 

Quality

Traeger grills are made from powder coated steel and stainless steel making it more durable.

Grills are largely made from steel which is tough but also prone to rusting.

Price

Traeger has mid-range and high-end grills but has the most expensive grill.

Has cheaper grills, but is similar in price to Traeger for mid-range grills.

The Design

Green Mountain Grills tends to have a more angular design, including with the grill lid. This can create a more classic look to the grills. There is also little variation in appearance between the models.

Traeger, on the other hand, produces grills with a more curved appearance. This adds a slightly more modern take on the grill. There is also a bit more variation in how the grills look.

Series and Models

When it comes to selection, Traeger pellet grills wins this round. This is because there are a greater number of series and models from this brand.

When it comes to Green Mountain Grills, there are two series - Choice and Prime.

Under Prime Series, there is just one model, the Daniel Boone. As for the Prime series, you have the Trek, Ledge, Ledge SS, Peak, and Peak SS.

However, one Green Mountain grill that slightly tips the balance is the Big Pig Trailer Rig, which is a commercial grill. Traeger doesn't have one with such a professional capacity.

When it comes to Traeger, however, there are several series to choose from. And, within these series, there are different models as well.

First, you have the Portable pellet grill series. Here you have the Traeger Ranger and the Traeger Tailgater.

Then, there is the Pro Series. Within this lineup, you have the Pro 575 and the Pro 780. Following this, you have the Ironwood Series with the Ironwood and the Ironwood XL.

Finally, you have the Timberline Series. You have the Timberline and the Timberline XL.

So, as you can see, Traeger has far more grills than Green Mountain grills does.

Smoke Output on Green Mountain Grills

Cooking Surface Area

When it comes to cooking space, it is important to understand the smallest dimensions as well as the largest ones. After all, if you are only cooking for one or two people, then you are only going to require a smaller cooking surface area. Conversely, if you tend to cook for larger groups, then you will need a larger space to work with.

When it comes to the smallest option, Traeger wins. This is because it boasts the portable grill, The Ranger with a surface area of 196 square inches.

However, Green Mountain's Trek isn't too far behind as it offers 219 square inches of cooking space.

As for the wood pellet grill with the largest cooking surface area, the Big Pig Trailer Rig takes the title with over 20 square feet of cooking surface area.

In case you are considering only backyard or recreational outdoor grills, though, then Traeger takes this round again. The Timberline XL has the largest surface area with 1320 sq. inches.

The largest pellet smoker or grill among the GMG grills is the Peak with 658 sq. inches of cooking space.

Pellet Hopper Capacity

The hopper capacity is an important feature when it comes to a wood pellet grill. This is because it determines how long you can grill your food for without needing to top it up.

When it comes to the smallest grills, Traeger and Green Mountain Grills are pretty even here. These grills have hopper capacities of 8lbs and 9lbs respectively.

However, when it comes to the mid-sized grills, GMG grills takes the lead here. See, the Daniel Boone grill has 458 sq. inches of cooking space but an 17lbs hopper. The Ledge has the same cooking surface area but has a hopper capacity of 18lbs.

Now, the Pro 575 and the Pro 780 have 575 and 780 square inches of cooking surface area respectively. However, their hoppers can only carry 18lbs.

Unfortunately, the Green Mountain Grills Peak isn't much better here. There is a cooking surface area of 658 sq. inches but only a 18lbs hopper.

However, with Traeger, this is a problem that persists with their premium grills too. The large and the extra large grill have a maximum capacity of 22lbs.

As a result, this means that you are more likely to need to top up the hopper during a cook, particularly if you are using the grill as a pellet smoker.

Size

As with cooking surface area, the size of the grill can matter a great deal. Some people are looking for compact options that can fit in smaller homes. At the same time, they may also be looking for more portable designs too.

Then there are those that want to make maximum use of a large backyard and splurge on a large grill.

If you are looking for a small or portable pellet grill, then I would suggest going with the Traeger. The Ranger is a tabletop grill that can be easily carried anywhere. The Tailgater is also easy to move around and doesn't take up too much space.

If you are looking for a mid-sized grill, though, I would suggest Green Mountain Grills. They have a bit more selection here. Also, I like the fact that the hopper capacity is a little bit better too.

In case you are looking for a really large grill, then you should do with Traeger. The Ironwood Series is good for large grills and Timberline is a good option for an extra-large grill.

Woman Grilling Variety of Foods Using Traeger Timberline Pellet Grill

Temperature Range and Control

When it comes to temperature range, I feel that Green Mountain Grills does it better. This is because these pellet grills have a wider range. They go from 150F to 550F.

Traeger, on the other hand goes from around 180F to 500F.

The other thing that I like about the Green Mountain grills is that you can increase the temperature in 5 degree increments. This allows you to select the precise temperature that you want to cook at.

Traeger Grills, on the other hand, only allows you to make increments by 25 degrees.

As far as temperature control goes, I would actually say that the brands are evenly matched for the most part. This is all thanks to their well-designed digital controller panels.

That being said, I do like the precision temperature control with Traeger as a result of the Smart Combustion technology. This helps to maintain more consistent cooking temperatures throughout the cook.

Smoke Settings

So, in the category of smoke settings with Green Mountain Grills vs. Traeger, which brand comes out on top.

Now, you can smoke meat and food with any of the Green Mountain Grills. However, there isn't a specific setting. Instead, you simply choose a lower temperature to cook the meat.

One of the benefits is that because the temperature range is so great here, you can easily choose a very low temperature for more delicate meats like fish, chicken, and turkey.

Now, Traeger does have specific smoke settings. Once you choose the smoke setting, the temperature automatically remains at a lower range. Now, some models also have the Super Smoke feature that allows you to add more smoke flavor to your food.

In this instance, I would say that Traeger does a better job of smoking the food.

Storage

The Green Mountain Grills don't really have storage space on their grills. They do have utensil hooks where you can store your grill accessories. There is also a side table on which you can store your food when needed.

For the most part, the Traeger models don't really have much storage space and the Ironwood Series does have side tables. However, the Timberline does have a storage space below.

Quality

When it comes to quality, the average Traeger pellet grill does have an advantage over the typical Green Mountain grill.

This is because most parts of Green Mountain pellet grills are made from steel. Now, while this is a sturdy material, keep in mind that steel is prone to rusting and damage.

Traeger pellet grills, on the other hand, are made from powder coated steel and stainless steel. As a result, this gives them a greater level of protection from wear and tear as well as the elements.

Additional Features

Now, Traeger and GMG do have one additional feature in common. I will be discussing this in the section below.

One of the differences in additional features, though, is that some of the Green Mountain grill models have an interior grill light. I think this is pretty cool and it isn't a feature that you find with a lot of brands, including Traeger.

This really comes in handy when you are cooking in the evening and want to get a better look at your food.

GMG Ledge Prime Grill with Grilled Meat

Price

When it comes to the small or mid-sized grills, Traeger and Green Mountain Grills are pretty similar in their price range. These grills are priced between $400 and $900.

The real discrepancy appears when you take the bigger, premium grills into consideration. Here, Traeger is the most expensive option by far.

With the GMG grills, the most expensive option is the Peak SS at a little under $1200. However, the most expensive Traeger model is the Timberline XL at almost $4000.

Similarities Between Traeger and Green Mountain Grills

If you have ever wondered,

Are Trager and Green Mountain Grills the same? You can be forgiven as these brands do have certain things in common. Here are some of the similarities that they share.

If you would like a quick rundown, then check out this table

Features

Traeger and Green Mountain Grills

Types of Grills

Only offers wood pellet grills

Connectivity

All grills are equipped with Wi-Fi connection

Additional Features

Grills have at least one meat probe

Only Offer Wood Pellet Grills

The biggest thing that both Traeger and Green Mountain Grills have in common is that they only have wood pellet models. Therefore, you will not find any charcoal, electric, or gas grill models in their lineup.

In doing this, Traeger and GMG are focused on creating a more authentic grilling and smoking experience.

All Models Have Connectivity

Now, having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity on grills isn't that uncommon today. However, Traeger and GMG stand out because all of their models (with the exception of the Ranger and Tailgater) are equipped with a Wi-Fi connection.

The cool thing about this is that this is a staple feature these days. After all, no one wants to really hover over their grill for the entire cook. What is nice is that these brands are offering this feature for their cheaper models as well. This makes for a better user experience.

Both the Traeger app and the Mountain Grills app work really well too.

Additional Features

The additional feature that both of these brands have in common is the meat probe. I really like the fact that even the cheaper models are equipped with at least one meat probe.

This means that you don't have to pay extra money to get your own. Another benefit, of course, is that you can keep track of the internal temperature of the food that is cooking.

Man Grilling Food and Meat on Traeger Ironwood 650 Pellet Grill

Comparing Traeger Grills and Green Mountain Grills

Here is a breakdown of Green Mountain Grills vs. Traeger Grills on a model by model basis. I am comparing pellet grills within similar series.

Green Mountain Trek vs. Traeger Tailgater

Preview
Green Mountain Trek
Green Mountain Trek Prime WiFi Control...
Traeger Tailgater
Traeger Grills Tailgater Portable Electric...
Design
Portable design but limited cooking space
Compact design but larger cooking surface
Temperature Control
Excellent temperature control
Good control but there are temperature fluctuations
Ease of Use
Simple to use
Simple to use
Green Mountain Trek
Preview
Green Mountain Trek Prime WiFi Control...
Design
Portable design but limited cooking space
Temperature Control
Excellent temperature control
Ease of Use
Simple to use
Traeger Tailgater
Preview
Traeger Grills Tailgater Portable Electric...
Design
Compact design but larger cooking surface
Temperature Control
Good control but there are temperature fluctuations
Ease of Use
Simple to use

Green Mountain Trek

Specs
  • Cooking Surface Area: 219 sq. inches
  • Hopper Capacity: 9lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150 - 550 F
  • Dimensions: 32 x 24 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 63lbs
Compact Design

The compact design means that this grill is easy to keep in small spaces. It also works well if you want to be able to transport your grill from one place to another. The cooking surface area is a little on the smaller side, so it is only really good for one or two people.

Excellent Temperature Control

The temperature control with this grill is excellent. Once you set your desired temperature, it stays on track for the entire cook with minimal fluctuations. This makes it a lot easier for you to cook food properly.

Easy to Use

This is a simple and efficient grill. Even if you don't have much experience with grills in the past, this is a simple model. As such, it works really well for those who are new to grilling.

Traeger Tailgater

Specs
  • Cooking Surface Area: 300 sq. inches
  • Hopper Capacity: 8lbs
  • Temperature Range: 180 - 450F
  • Dimensions: 37 x 18 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 60lbs
Compact Design

Considering the design, this grill is surprising compact and portable. It works equally well as a backyard grill and can also be transported as needed. Despite being on the smaller side, this grill does boast a good sized cooking area.

Good Temperature Control

For the most part, the temperature control is good on this grill. However, I did notice a few fluctuations as I was using it. While the grill did eventually correct itself, this took some time.

Easy to Use

With a basic control panel, you will be able to figure out how to use this grill in no time at all. From getting started to setting the temperature, it really is a breeze to use.

Green Mountain Ledge Prime vs. Traeger PRO 575

Preview
Green Mountain Ledge Prime
Green Mountain Grills Ledge Prime Plus WiFi...
Traeger Pro 575
Traeger Grills Pro 575 Electric Wood Pellet...
Cooking Surface Area
Good cooking surface area
Large cooking surface area
Grilling Performance
Decent cooking performance
Good grilling performance with great temp control and heat distribution. App isn't reliable
Construction
Poor construction that can compromise grilling capabilities
Durable construction
Green Mountain Ledge Prime
Preview
Green Mountain Grills Ledge Prime Plus WiFi...
Cooking Surface Area
Good cooking surface area
Grilling Performance
Decent cooking performance
Construction
Poor construction that can compromise grilling capabilities
Traeger Pro 575
Preview
Traeger Grills Pro 575 Electric Wood Pellet...
Cooking Surface Area
Large cooking surface area
Grilling Performance
Good grilling performance with great temp control and heat distribution. App isn't reliable
Construction
Durable construction

Green Mountain Ledge Prime

Specs
  • Cooking Surface Area: 458 sq. inches
  • Hopper Capacity: 18lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150 - 550 F
  • Dimensions: 34 x 52 x 52 inches
  • Weight: 182lbs
Good Cooking Surface Area

This is a pretty good cooking surface area for a medium sized grill. You can easily cook for up to four people, perhaps even more. It is also a great option for cooking a variety of different foods at once.

Decent Grilling Performance

The temperature control on this grill is pretty good, making it easy to maintain the temperature during mild climate conditions. Also, the heat distribution is pretty even, allowing to cook foods across the same grate evenly.

Decent Design

I like the compact design and how it is just the right size for a small family. However, I am not thrilled with the durability of the grill. The metal is fairly thin and parts of the grill aren't welded together, compromising on quality.

Traeger Pro 575

Specs
  • Cooking Surface Area: 575 sq. inches
  • Hopper Capacity: 18lbs
  • Temperature Range: 180 - 500F
  • Dimensions: 53 x 41 x 27 inches
  • Weight: 128lbs
Large Cooking Surface Area

The cooking surface area on this grill is pretty large. It can easily accommodate a mid-sized family and will even work for people who like to grill for crowds on the weekend. There is also a warming tray to store food after it has been cooked.

Good Grilling Performance

Between the great temperature control, even heat distribution, and simple features, this grill offers up an excellent smoking and grilling performance. As an added bonus, you get consistent results each time as well.

The only downside is that the app doesn't function too well.

Durable Construction

You get bang for your buck when it comes to quality with this grill. Everything is well-made and has been designed to last you a while. As such, it is a good investment.

Green Mountain Peak Prime Plus vs. Traeger Ironwood 885

Preview
Green Mountain Peak Prime Plus
Green Mountain Grills Peak Prime Plus WiFi...
Traeger Ironwood 885
Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Electric Wood...
Cooking Surface Area
Average cooking area
Large grilling surface
Design Features
Great features from rotisserie option to reinforced grates
Lots of features from sear grate to insulated cooking chamber
Grilling Performance
Good grilling performance
Excellent grilling performance
Green Mountain Peak Prime Plus
Preview
Green Mountain Grills Peak Prime Plus WiFi...
Cooking Surface Area
Average cooking area
Design Features
Great features from rotisserie option to reinforced grates
Grilling Performance
Good grilling performance
Traeger Ironwood 885
Preview
Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Electric Wood...
Cooking Surface Area
Large grilling surface
Design Features
Lots of features from sear grate to insulated cooking chamber
Grilling Performance
Excellent grilling performance

Green Mountain Peak Prime Plus

Specs
  • Cooking Surface Area: 658 sq. inches
  • Hopper Capacity: 18lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150 - 550 F
  • Dimensions: 25 x 63 x 52 inches
  • Weight: 212lbs
Decent Sized Cooking Area

The cooking area of this grill is pretty good. It is a little bit larger than mid-sized grills so it should work well for a group of four to six people or if you want cook lots of different foods at once.

However, for this price point, the surface area is a little small as is the pellet hopper.

Good Design Features

There is a lot to like about this grill. For one thing, you have the reinforced grates, a rotisserie mounting option, and you even have an interior grill light. So, if you are looking for a grill with some fun additional features, then this is definitely the one for you!

Good Grilling Performance

The grilling experience with this model is pretty good. You get good temperature control, good heat distribution, and as an added bonus the meat probes make it easy for you to accurately figure out the rate of cooking.

Traeger Ironwood 885

Specs
  • Cooking Surface Area: 885 sq. inches
  • Hopper Capacity: 20lbs
  • Temperature Range: 180 - 500 F
  • Dimensions: 47 x 54 x 27 inches
  • Weight: 175lbs
Large Cooking Surface

If you are someone who loves to grill or smoke large cuts, has a large family, or holds a lot of cookouts, then this is the grill for you. There is just so much of cooking space here that you will be able to easily cook enormous batches of food at once.

Unfortunately, the hopper is a little small in comparison to the rest of the grill.

Good Design Features

There are a lot of cool design features to like here. This includes the pellet sensor that lets you know when the pellet quantity is dropping. Then you also have the sear bottom grate, super smoke mode, and the double side wall interior.

Great Cooking Performance

From precision temperature control and even heating to improved grilling and smoking features, cooking on this grill is simple and intuitive. Not to mention, you get to flex your creative muscles too.

About Traeger Grills and Green Mountain Grills

About Traeger Grills

One of the reasons that Traeger is a household name is due to the fact that Joe Traeger invented the first wood pellet grill. The company was then founded in 1987 and they have been steadily improving upon the original design, taking the global market by storm.

About Green Mountain Grills

In comparison, Green Mountain Grills is the new kid on the block. The company opened its doors in 2006 and was founded by the Baker family. Their goal is to produce high quality and modern grills at a lower price point.

The Final Verdict

If I had to pick a winner from these two brands, it would have to be Traeger. Now, don't get me wrong, Green Mountain Grills has plenty of perks. I like the fact that all of their models are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, even the cheaper models.

It is also nice to have more affordable grills to choose from. And, for the most part, these grills offer a pretty impressive frilling performance.

That being said, Traeger has a few points up on them They have a wider selection, they offer better quality, and the brand has smaller and bigger models as well.

All that being said, Traeger can get pretty pricey to own.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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