While pellet grills are not new to the barbecue world, as the years go by, people are setting their charcoal and gas grills to the side and turning to wood burning pellet grills. The innovative grills came from a desire to improve an existing product to perform various tasks, including smoking, grilling, and slow cooking. So when someone decides to switch to a pellet grill, they turn to the larger name brands and tend to have similar questions. In this guide, we compare two leading pellet grill companies: Green Mountain Grills and Traeger.
Grill to Grill
"What are the main differences between a Green Mountain Grill and a Traeger?"
"Why should I buy one grill over the other?"
The questions always lead to the same response, and after years of selling GMG here is what we've learned: Temperature control, cooking surface area, storage, attachment options, and price are the main factors in separating the two companies.
We wanted to compare two grills head to head, but to do so we started with the price. Price point and features rarely line up and Green Mountain Grills are priced much cheaper than Traeger with the GMG top-of-the-line Peak Prime going for $1099.00 ($1,139.00 for Stainless) as compared to the Traeger Timberline XL at $3,799.99.
We needed to find two grills, from both companies, for the same price. That way you could see how your dollar compares with both pellet grills. At the time of writing this, Ledge Prime Plus and Pro 575 were priced the exact same, so we used those two models to give the best comparison over a range of categories.
GMG Ledge Prime Plus
Traeger Pro 575
|Price (as of 10/26/22)||$899.00||$899.00|
|Dimensions||52"(H) x 52"(W) x 34"(D)||53"(H) x 41"(W) x 27"(D)|
|Grill Total Weight||184 lb||124 lb|
|Hopper Capacity||18 lb||18 lb|
|Cooking Surface Area||458 sq in||572 sq in (418 main grate + 154 2nd warming rack)|
|Temperature Range||150°F – 550°F||165°F – 500°F|
|Control||Digital||D2 Direct Drive|
|Rotisserie Option||Yes, Sold Separately $64.95||No|
|Pizza Oven Option||Yes, Sold Separately $139.95||No|
|Storage||Folding Front Shelf, Side Shelf, and Lower Shelf||Folding Front Shelf Sold Separately $69.99|
|Low Pellet Alarm||Yes||No|
|Pellet Purge System||Yes||Yes|
|Utensil Hanging Hooks||Yes||No|
|Warranty||3 Year||3 Year|
As you can see, several of the specs line up between the two grills. The price, warranty, mobile app, hopper capacity, pellet purge system, and WiFi all match up. And while there are some key similarities between the pellet grills, there are a few differences that really stand out to us.
- The Ledge has a larger range of temperature with the lowest being 150° and the highest 550° compared to the Pro 575 at 165° to 500°.
- The Pro 575 offers 114 sq in more cooking surface area due to its additional warming rack but that doesn't necessarily mean it has more cooking space than the Ledge (we explain more below).
- While the GMG model has 3 storage options from the front shelf to the lower one, Traeger has none that come with the grill. However, you can purchase a front shelf for the Pro 575 for $69.99.
- The Traeger model does not have a pizza oven or rotisserie attachment option, whereas Green Mountain Grills make both accessories for their pellet grills to be purchased separately.
- When factoring in the weight of the grill and its mobility, the Pro 575 comes in at 60 lb less. The Ledge makes up for this, however, by providing 4 wheels versus the 2 on the Pro 575.
GMG VS Traeger Main Features Compared
When it comes to looks, Traeger's control panel is sleek looking. Every function can be easily viewed on a screen and adjusted with the turn of a knob or the push of a button. While GMG uses a simple digital control that only displays a single line of digits or letters controlled by 5 main buttons.
Although Traeger wins with the looks, we did find in the ratings and forums that the screen on the Pro 575 sometimes goes black, has white lines through it, or flickers due to poor connection somewhere on the controller. While it can easily be fixed, it can cause a lot of frustration for users. GMG on the other hand doesn't seem to have those issues.
So let's talk temp!
Some might say 150 to 165 degrees or 500 to 550 degrees, really doesn't make that big of a difference in the pellet grill world. But the higher or lower the temp you can go, the more options you have during cooks. So while the number isn't huge, the Ledge does offer the extra 65-degree range.
Here's the big thing that really separates the two grills, the Ledge's adjustable Heat Sheild just above the firepot. This gives the user better control over where the heat is directed to. While all BBQs have hotspots, GMG gives you control over heat distribution which can help counteract any hotspot during a cook. The Pro 575 does not offer this.
Green Mountain Grills shine when it comes to attachments because they make their own branded rotisseries and pizza ovens. Versus Traeger has no cooking attachments available with the Pro 575. Instead you can purchase other branded products (BBQ Hack, etc.) that are made to work with a wide range of grill models. Of which, some work better with one grill than another.
Size and Cooking Surface Area
When shopping for a pellet grill, Traeger offers more options with all of their grills available in two sizes. Whereas, with GMG, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher model for more size (Trek to Ledge to Peak).
When you look at numbers, Traeger wins out in size simply because they have a warming rack. While GMG does not have this feature, an upper rack can be purchased to make up for the size difference or a Pimp My Grill 2 Rack System to double the cooking space. While the warming rack on the Traeger is great for cooking something like ribs it'll need to be removed to smoke a ham or full brisket. So when you look at size from that perspective, GMG actually has more space.
The lid on the GMG Ledge is peaked which allows for beer can chickens and large turkeys. A large complaint about the Pro 575 is the head room. So depending on the type and size of meat you plan to cook, one grill outranks the other.
The GMG Ledge wins this one hands down! It does not lack storage anywhere, from the side shelf to the front folding shelf to the lower cart shelf. Additionally, it has hooks to hang utensils and tools. The Pro 575 has no single feature for storage included, however, if you purchase the Ironwood or Timberline series your options improve. You can also add on a front folding shelf for the Pro 575 for $69.99.
Looking at the two grills side by side, a few key features stand out: Lids, Windows, and Wheels.
The peaked lid design of the GMG Ledge is definitely favorable when it comes to cooking space, but there is something to be said for the sleek barrel like design of the Pro 575.
The GMG includes a window on the pellet hopper and lid making it easy to monitor pellet levels and peek into the grill without letting out smoke. On the Traeger, you can add a pellet sensor add-on and monitor your pellet levels via the app which is a great feature, although this will cost you more.
While the wheels are very similar in terms of thickness and quality, the Traeger Pro 575 only comes with 2 versus the 4 on the GMG Ledge. The Traeger is lighter and would be easier to lift up and move but with the GMG you wouldn't need to lift it at all to move it. The GMG Ledge wheels are smooth whereas the Traeger Pro 575's are all-terrain.
Both brands offer WiFi with app control on their pellet grills (with a few exclusions). While both mobile apps have similar features, they have very different looks. Traeger's app, however, ranks better in the Apple store whereas GMG's app ranks better in the Google store. If we go with overall ratings from users, Traeger wins this one.
|GMG App (As of November 2022)||Traeger App (As of November 2022)|
|Apple Store: 2.8 Stars
Google Store: 3.7 Stars
Apple Store: 4.8 Stars
Google Store: 3.4 Stars
So back to the main question: Which pellet grill is the better buy?
When you compare what you get with a Green Mountain Grill versus a Traeger at the same price point, GMG clearly offers the better deal. From the storage to the design to temperature control, the GMG offers excellent technology and features at a better price point. To get the same features as the GMG Ledge on the Traeger, you would need to purchase a Timberline or Ironwood series for hundreds or even thousands of dollars more. But even then you still wouldn't have any of the attachments that a Green Mountain Grill does.
So in conclusion, while Traeger seems to focus on its modern looks, GMG concentrates more on the user and versatility.
Green Mountain Grills
TREK | Portable Tailgater
LEDGE | Middle Range Option
PEAK | Big Daddy