Traeger and Louisiana Grills used to be pretty much the only game in town for pellet smokers less than a grand, but Green Mountain Grills changed that in 2008 and has run up significant sales numbers. They make two residential smokers, one large trailer smoker and recently introduced a small portable model. They also offer pellets, sauces, rubs and various accessories.
In 2014 Green Mountain drastically lowered prices on their residential models making them a best buy. We always liked Green Mountain, now we love them. Jason Baker of Green Mountain explains, “We have dramatically lowered our prices to allow the WIFi units to come in at better prices. The move towards WiFi will be interesting. We hope to bring a whole new consumer into the pellet grilling umbrella.”
WiFi adds about a hundred bucks to our posted MSRP for GMG's full size Daniel Boone and Jim Bowie models and fifty bucks for the portable Davy Crockett. No other pellet smokers anywhere near GMG's price range are offering WiFi control. Download the GMG ap to your smart phone to enable a point to point connection to the pellet controller. You'll get system malfunction and low fuel warnings - the ability to turn the cooker on and off - monitor and control internal meat temp, cooking temp and timer – you can even store time/temperature based profiles of your favorite recipes. For example, "Tri-Tip Beef Roast" STEP 1: Cook at 225° until the internal meat temp hits 110°, STEP 2: Crank to 500° for browning until the meat registers 135°, STEP 3: drop cooking temp to 150° to keep warm.
GMG doesn't sell much on the internet, but the company website has a dealer locator to help you find their products. The dealer network is expanding and GMG products can now be purchased in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Africa. The cookers are assembled in China, but management, sales and distribution are headquartered in Reno, NV.
The Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone is their most popular model. Green Mountain includes some features not common in lower price pellet smokers and that often cost extra even in higher cost cookers. There's a standard meat probe feature that reports the internal temperature of what's being cooked to the controller read-out, a low pellet alarm, a work surface on both sides, and tool hooks. The touch pad digital controller allows cooks to enjoy set it and forget ease of use. All grates are stainless steel. The peaked lid has 13.5 inches of headroom. Our posted MSRP is for the basic black powder coated steel model. A shiny stainless steel lid model is available for about a hundred bucks more. GMG claims the temperature range is 150 to 500F.
Green Mountain refers to their two piece drip pan as Open Flame Technology. It consists of one large drip pan with a grid of small holes and a smaller heat shield on top with a corresponding grid of holes. The heat shield slides left to right. When the holes line up, one can see the flame in the firepot. This is meant to expose meat to a searing open flame. We've seen variations on this idea from other pellet manufacturers. It sounds good on paper, but generally doesn't do much. Pellet firepots are small and the flames generated are not powerful enough to make much difference at the grate surface.
Options include a "turbo" mode that automatically kicks in at ambient temperatures less than 35° F to help the cooker get up to operating temperature faster.
Optional Wi-Fi control lets the cook relax in or outdoors and monitor or even change what’s going on without lingering on a hot or frigid patio. Don't waste your money on the optional lid thermometer. The built-in digital thermometer will be way more accurate than this ancient heat estimator. If you want to double check your digital controller accuracy, don't rely on a bi-metal dome thermometer which can be off by 50 to 100° F, plus it's in the dome not down by the cook surface. You'll need a good digital thermometer to double check. Insulation blankets and fitted covers are also available.
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.