Traeger vs GMG 2022 – Pellet Grill Comparisons


Hi, I’m Chris I started PelHeat.com back in 2007.

GMG (Green Mountain Grills) may have only developed their first pellet grill prototype in 2007 and then shortly after brought their products to market. However, GMG is building a strong reputation in the pellet grill owners community. Whereas Traeger, on the other hand, produced their first prototype in the 1980s. Traeger is still the market leader to this day, which was obviously helped by the fact they held a patent on how a pellet grill works for 20 years. However, Traeger now faces a lot of stiff competition. So let’s look at Traeger vs GMG and how their comparable products stack up against each other on features/price.

Traeger vs GMG
Let’s look at how a range of Traeger grills (left) compares to a selection of GMG pellet grills (right): Images – Traeger.com & BBQGuys.com

Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or other sites are affiliate links, and I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Introduction To Traeger vs GMG Pellet Grills

Unlike in my comparison articles on Traeger vs Pit Boss or Traeger vs Cuisinart, I do believe that the majority of Traeger and Green Mountain Grills products fit in the same spot in the Practical/Premium Class of pellet grills.

When I write my pellet grill brand comparison articles, I think its appropriate to choose models from each brand that match up as closely as possible on price/features.

Green Mountain Grills currently offer all their domestic/residential pellet grills/smokers for under $500, and under $1,000. Therefore, its Traeger pellet grills under those price points which I’ll compare GMG pellet grills against.

Hence, below I won’t be discussing the Traeger Ironwood and Timberline range of pellet grills as they fit in the under $2,000 category.

        Traeger Tailgater vs GMG Trek/Davy Crockett

        So the first two pellet grills I’m going to discuss and compare are the Traeger Tailgater and the GMG Trek (formally the Davy Crocket). These are both small/portable pellet grills designed for tailgating, but also for camping/RV trips.

        With regards to price, both of these portable pellet grills come in under $500, however, the GMG Trek is notably cheaper than the Traeger Tailgater.

        Traeger Tailgater

        Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill/Smoker

        GMG Trek

        GMG Trek Pellet Grill/Smoker
        • Total Cooking Area = 219 sq.in
        • Weight = 63 lbs
        • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 9 lbs
        • Temperature Range = 150 to 550 degrees
        • Typical Price = $344 to $399
        • Availability = BBQGuys.comAmazon.com & Walmart.com

        The Tailgater is not Traegers cheapest portable pellet grill, the Scout and Ranger are more affordable units. However, they offer a much smaller cooking area over the Tailgater and are tabletop units.

        With regards to the cooking area, the Tailgater provides 300 square inches. So how does the GMG Trek Compare? Well, the Trek provides a smaller area of 219 square inches.

        What about pellet hopper size? Well, the Traeger Tailgater provides an 8lb hopper, and the GMG Trek comes with a slightly larger 9lb hopper.

        At this point, the two pellet grills seem reasonably equal, and the $100 premium on the Traeger may be justified by the additional 81 square inches in the cooking area.

        However, how do the control panels/maximum cooking temperatures compare? Are both pellet grills equal when it comes to temperature control? Nope

        Green Mountain Grills Trek Pellet Grill/Smoker
        The Green Mountain Grill Trek was primarily designed to be used as a portable pellet grill/smoker: Image – BBQGuys.com

        Traeger Tailgater does now feature the Digitial Arc Controller, which provides more precise temperature control within a 10-degree range compared to the previous generation Traeger Pro Controller.

        However, its just not as advanced as the GMG control panel. The Trek features a PID control panel that also provides temperature control within a 5-degree range.

        Furthermore, the Green Mountain Grills Trek can reach a maximum temperature of 550 degrees, whereas the Traeger Tailgater is limited to a maximum temperature of 450 degrees.

        Hence, the Trek will provide better searing performance on steaks/burgers etc. Furthermore, the Trek has WiFi, yes, you can control this tiny little grill with your phone.

        Green Mountain Grills (GMG) Prime App
        You can monitor and control the GMG Trek via the GMG Prime App: Images – BBQGuys.com

        Now, some people will argue that WiFi functionality on a pellet grill is an unnecessary option that people won’t use, and it just pushes up the price. I’ve previously written about is WiFi worth it?

        Well, the price point in this comparison is null and void because the GMG Trek is actually cheaper than the Traeger Tailgater. In terms of its value to the user, well, that obviously depends on how you intend to use the grill/smoker.

        If you only ever want to cook burgers and chicken wings, yeah, you’re not going to use the WiFi functionality. However, if you do want to cook a small brisket, for example, over many hours, you may use the WiFi/App feature.

        Presuming it was safe/secure to leave the grill, you could go fishing/hunting or go for a walk etc and monitor and control the grill while the brisket cooks from your phone. Presuming you have a 4G/5G router/hotspot setup and your phone has a signal of course.

        Final Thoughts On The Traeger Tailgater vs GMG Trek

        Other than the larger cooking area, the GMG Trek has the Traeger Tailgater beat in every other area. Its cheaper and has a higher maximum temperature setting along with WiFi/App functionality.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Traeger is working on a redesign of the Tailgater as I write this. As the portable pellet grill market is really ‘heating up’, pardon the pun.

        I would expect Traeger to launch a Tailgater with better legs, their D2 Direct Drive platform and WiFire integration pretty soon. But as things currently stand, I think the GMG Trek is the better option.


        Traeger Pro 575 vs GMG Ledge/Daniel Boone

        Now we’ll look at some proper full-sized grills from each brand. The Pro 575 from Traeger and GMG Ledge (formally Daniel Boone) in Prime WiFi/Stainless steel specification are comparable in price.

        The Traeger retails for just under $900, whereas the GMG Ledge pellet grill retails for just under $800. Therefore, the GMG pellet grill is a little bit cheaper.

        Traeger Pro 575

        Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill/Smoker
        • Total Cooking Area = 575 sq.in (418 sq.in at the main grate)
        • Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
        • Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
        • Direct-Flame Access? = No
        • PID Temperature Control? = Yes
        • WiFi/App Control? = Yes
        • Typical Price = $899
        • Availability = Traeger.comWalmart.comHomeDepot.com & BBQGuys.com

        GMG Ledge

        GMG Ledge Pellet Grill/Smoker

        Total Cooking Area = 458 sq.in at the main grate
        Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
        Temperature Range = 150 to 550 degrees
        Direct-Flame Access? = Yes (Optional)
        PID Temperature Control? = Yes
        WiFi/App Control? = Yes
        Typical Price = $799
        Availability = BBQGuys.com


        The GMG Ledge in Prime specification comes with their PID/WiFi control panel with a temperature range of 150 – 550 degrees. The Traeger comes with their D2 Direct Drive platform, which is a big step up over the drive system featured on the Tailgater, and Traeger WiFire compatibility is also included.

        While I do believe Traegers WiFire to currently be the best WiFi/App solution on the market, the Pro 575 can only reach 500 degrees, which is obviously 50 degrees less than the GMG Ledge pellet grill.

        Let’s discuss cooking areas, the Traeger Pro 575 does provide 575 square inches of cooking space. However, its only 418 square inches on the main cooking rack, hence where you have access to the hottest temperatures for grilling/searing.

        The GMG Ledge, on the other hand, provides a slightly larger 458 square inches at the main grate, but it doesn’t offer the additional cooking area of a second upper rack.

        In terms of the hopper capacity for the grill pellets, the Traeger Pro 575 provides an 18lb hopper, and the GMG Ledge also provides 18lbs.

        As standard, the GMG Ledge has low pellet alarm. The Traeger Pro 575, as standard does not include a pellet alarm. However, if upgraded with the Traeger pellet sensor, that can provide a hopper percentage level to the WiFire app.

        Traeger Pellet Sensor
        While the pictured Traeger pellet sensor can be retrofitted to a Pro 575, one doesn’t come as standard as is the case with the GMG Ledge: Image – Traeger.com

        There are a couple of other notable features the GMG Ledge has in Prime/WiFi/Stainless Steel Specification which are not found on the Traeger.

        First, obviously, is the stainless steel lid which increases the durability of the GMG pellet grill and also makes it easier to clean the pellet grill. However, the heat deflector and grease drip tray are also stainless steel.

        Furthermore, the heat deflector is adjustable, it can be moved with a handle on the outside of the grill. This can be used to adjust the cooking surface temperature on certain areas of the cooking rack.

        Finally, the GMG Ledge pellet grill benefits from an ash vacuum port which you can use to quickly clean the pellet burn pot.

        Now, from time to time you are going to want to remove all the racks/heat deflectors on both grills to give them a proper clean. However, for a quick clean of the firepot, that ash vacuum port is a nice feature to have.

        GMG Ledge Hopper Window
        Little features such as a hopper viewing window or bottle opener can make notable differences to the user experience: Image – BBQGuys.com

        Another feature which is specific to the Prime specification Ledge pellet grill is the viewing window fitted to the side of the hopper and onto the cooking chamber lid.

        Pellet sensors and WiFi apps have their place. However, when you are actually in the yard/garden near to the grill, these are good features to have. You can quickly glance at the pellet hopper to see how your pellet consumption is going.

        More importantly, you can check on your food without having to lift the lid and let out heat and smoke. Granted, for either viewing window to have any use though, you have got to keep them clean.

        Final Thoughts On The Traeger Pro 575 vs GMG Ledge

        I do believe the features/functionality of the Traeger WiFire app to be generally superior to those of the GMG Ledge. However, the GMG Ledge pellet grill wins on the other specifications/features, and for a lower price point.

        This is a much closer battle than the Traeger Tailgater vs the GMG Davy Crockett. However, the GMG Ledge provides the same features as the Traeger and more for a lower price point, its just that simple really. Therfore, I believe the GMG Ledge is providing the better value.


        Traeger Pro 780 vs GMG Peak/Jim Bowie

        The last two pellet grills, which we’ll quickly compare, are the Traeger Pro 780 and the GMG Peak (formally the Jim Bowie) in Prime WiFi/Stainless steel specification.

        The reason this will be a quick comparison between these two grills is they are just larger grills to their smaller siblings discussed above. The only real difference is the cooking area. Obviously, due to their larger physical size, these two pellet grills weigh more as well.

        Traeger Pro 780

        Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill/Smoker

        Total Cooking Area = 780 sq.in (570 sq.in at the main grate)
        Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
        Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
        Direct-Flame Access? = No
        PID Temperature Control? = Yes
        WiFi/App Control? = Yes
        Typical Price = $999
        Availability = Traeger.comWalmart.comHomeDepot.com & BBQGuys.com


        GMG Peak

        GMG Peak Pellet Grill/Smoker

        Total Cooking Area = 625 sq.in at the main grate
        Pellet Hopper Capacity = 18 lbs
        Temperature Range = 150 to 550 degrees
        Direct-Flame Access? = Yes (Optional)
        PID Temperature Control? = Yes
        WiFi/App Control? = Yes
        Typical Price = $989
        Availability = BBQGuys.com


        So the Traeger Pro 780 does indeed provide a total cooking area of 780 square inches of cooking area. However, as before, with regards to the Pro 575 that could be seen as a bit misleading.

        The main cooking rack on the Pro 780 is actually 570 square inches. The cooking area on the GMG Jim Peak is 625 square inches. Therefore the GMG Peak pellet grill is providing an additional 55 square inches at the main grate.

        When it comes to the temperature range and cooking performance, this comparison is essentially the same as the cheaper/smaller Traeger Pro 575 vs GMG Ledge above. Hence, the GMG Peak has an edge with a higher temperature of 550 degrees.

        Furthermore, as I discuss in my article on pellet grills with direct flame access, the GMG Peak can be fitted with an optional perforated grease tray to let the flame reach the grate for grilling at temperatures around 650 degrees.

        What about the price between these two pellet grills? Well, the Traeger Pro 780 retails for just under $1,000, as does the GMG Peak. Therefore, I believe its the GMG Peak which is providing the better value.

        Conclusions On Traeger vs GMG Pellet Grills

        So what are my final thoughts on the current situation with regards to how Traeger vs GMG compare with their current pellet grill/smoker ranges?

        Well, as I’ve stated above, I do still believe that the Traeger WiFire app is currently the best in the business, and that does have its value.

        However, you really have to consider does the value of Traeger WiFire really add up to more than the value of the larger main grates and other features found on the GMG pellet grills? Personally, no, I would likely choose either the GMG Trek, GMG Ledge or GMG Peak if it came down to it

        That’s it! Thanks for reading, I hope you found this analysis on Traeger vs GMG (Green Mountain Grills) interesting/useful.

        You may be interested in my other comparison posts, such as Traeger vs Camp Chef, Traeger vs REC TEC and Traeger vs Weber. However, I would also encourage you to check out my Wood Pellet Grill/Smoker Guide to get a full picture of all your current options. Enjoy 🙂

        A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

        A to Z List of Pellet Grill/Smoker Brands

        Back in 2007 when I first become aware of pellet grills and smokers the only brand I was really aware of was Traeger. Traeger is really where this whole concept of cooking with pellets started in the 1980s. It was a ‘slow burner’ (pardon the pun) but since the 2010s is really when pellet grills and smokers started to get mainstream awareness, discussed alongside gas and charcoal grills. There are now over 30 pellet grill/smoker brands that I’m aware of, and the link above goes to my A to Z list of brands article.

        Now, you may already be aware of a few of the other brands such as Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Z Grills and I’m sure you are aware of Weber, though you may not have known they have entered the pellet grill game. However, they are now many, many more brands to look into. Some may be what are commonly referred to as ‘Traeger clones’, but many others are offering their own unique designs and features.

        A to Z List of The Best BBQ Wood Pellets

        A pellet grill/smoker is only as good as the BBQ pellets you put into it. The type/quality of the BBQ wood pellets you use will impact temperature performance and smoke flavour. There are many pellet flavours including Apple, Hickory, Mapel, Oak and Walnut to name but a few. However, some brands are hardwood blended pellets whereas others are 100% single wood species.

        In this article, I provide details on over 20 brands of BBQ wood pellets, their range of flavours, whether they are 100% single wood species or hardwood blended pellets, their typical price and where they are available. I also provide tips on how to get the best deal when buying BBQ wood pellets and how to test pellet quality. Finally, I discuss the new kid on the block, charcoal pellets and their special attributes compared to all other hardwood BBQ pellets.

        Chris - PelHeat.com

        Hi, I’m Chris. I started PelHeat.com back in 2007. This website is intended to be an educational resource on BBQ pellets, pellet grills & smokers. I hope you find the information useful.

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