There was a time when Traeger and Louisiana had almost full control over the pellet grill market. That is, until Green Mountain pellet grills came along.
Green Mountain aims to provide the best quality pellet grills complete with cutting-edge wifi capability at the most competitive prices. Do these models live up to their expectations?
Find out about the best Green Mountain pellet grills.
Green Mountain Jim Bowie Pellet Grill
If you are looking for a pellet grill with plenty of cooking space, big hopper capacity, superb temperature control and excellent customer service, then you should consider the Green Mountain Jim Bowie pellet grill. It has all of these characteristics and much more. Unsurprisingly, it is the flagship model of Green Mountain’s pellet grill range. This high end grill also has wifi connectivity to extend benefits that come with sophisticated technology.
There are several features worth looking at. The Jim Bowie pellet smoker is equipped with a digital controller, peaked lid to accommodate large sized meals, hard rubber tires for mobility, and a vast tray with hooks for your utensils.
Quick Start Up
The Sense-Mate is a thermal sensor that accurately monitors the exterior temperature. This high-tech feature facilitates thermal stability and allows the grill to maintain the right temperature despite adverse weather conditions.
For instance, when the weather is very cold outside, then the Sense-Mate will take note of this and activate the Turbo mode. The grill will start generating the right amount of extra heat to counter the cold. This will also reduce the time that the grill takes to reach the required temperature so that you can start cooking your meals without a long wait. Since waiting time is one of the key drawbacks of pellet grills this feature is very helpful.
The venturi-style firebox is engineered to ensure efficient combustion . The grill also has casters at the front so that you can haul it around more easily.
The hopper fan is thoughtfully designed to maintain positive pressure. Positive pressure prevents hot combustion gases generated by the firebox from going back into the hopper where it can start a fire in the hard wood pellets. This problem is commonly called burn-back. It is not just annoying but also a safety hazard. The likelihood of such mishaps can be reduced by maintaining positive pressure.
A dome thermometer monitors the temperature of the grilling space with a high level of precision.
Shutdown and Cleanup
The grill initiates the shut down process automatically as soon as the grilling time is over. Moreover, it also activates the ‘fan only’ mode to blow away ashes from the firebox after grilling is complete. As a result, you must do less work after you are done with grilling. It would be safe to say that no one will mind reducing the clean up work that must be done post grilling.
Ease of Use
Firing up the grill for your barbecue session is easy and pain-free. You just need to press one of the arrow buttons on the controller to activate it. The controller will show the default temperature which is 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Using the arrow keys you can then raise or lower this value in increments of 5 for the right temperature. After that, you can press the ignition button which will initiate wood pellet combustion within a few seconds. The grill is very user-friendly and even new grilling enthusiasts will be able to operate it without difficulties.
Temperature control is very accurate and precise. This is in accordance with expectations that you would have as regards the leading pellet grill brand. The grill reaches the set temperature in just 10 minutes which is not bad for smokers. The temperature swing is not more than 5 degrees. This is very impressive since temperature variations of up to 20 degrees are considered acceptable for pellet smokers. Not only is the startup time very low, the heat level is also very stable throughout the duration of grilling.
There is also a blinking light to inform you when the temperature is stable. After starting up the grill, you should wait a few minutes for the light to start blinking. This shows that the heat level matches your set temperature. You may now place the food to start cooking.
Thanks to so many user friendly options, the grill is very simple to use. The thermostat is very easy to program. You can set temperature anywhere between 150 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a high level of precision since the temperature increment is very low at 5 degrees. As a result, the unit about as accurate as indoor home ovens. This is an important quality to look for when you are considering a high end pellet smoker.
There is hardly anything that you cannot do with this pellet grill. The unit generates plenty of smoke to infuse an irresistible smoke flavor in your barbecue. With this grill, you can also sear food quickly since it can approach a temperature of 500 degrees. This is more than enough for browning and searing – temperatures above this can lead to charred food if you are not careful enough.
Since the heat level is so consistent and stable, this grill is a top choice for those who want to craft the perfect barbecue. As the grill maintains the interior at the target temperature very precisely during the cooking session, the unit is capable of competition level grilling. The cooked meat that comes out of this grill is tender, succulent and flavorful.
One of the best things about this grill is the wifi connectivity. This feature was previously considered a luxury, but now it is slowly but surely transforming into a necessity thanks to the ease that it can convey to busy users.
There was a time when you had to be constantly attached to the pellet grill to ensure that all is going well. But thanks to wifi capability, you can now monitor progress at leisure on your smartphone. Just think how good life can be when you are relaxing on your sofa or bed while the grill cooks in the background. You just need to glance at the smartphone app from time to time to see how things are going. You can also set up temperature and shutdown alerts to notify you when important steps are initiated and completed.
If you are a very busy person, who would love to grill but cannot do so as a result of your busy schedule, then wifi is a must have. You can do important things while the grill works for you and keeps you updated. Wifi signal is very strong and it can work even when there are several walls between you and the grill.
The wifi electronic controller must be purchased separately since this is an optional (but very handy) feature.
Daniel Boone Boone Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
The Daniel Boone is designed for those who want to save space and need to keep their purchase within a strict budget. So this is the right grill to have if your backyard is small or if you would like to save cash. It is therefore a good choice for beginners and those who will be cooking primarily for a small family.
The cooking space of this compact grill extends to 458 square inches. The grilling grates are made from high quality stainless steel for strong resilience to corrosion and thermal effects.
One feature that owners will appreciate is the ease with which the grill can be installed. For most pellet grills and smokers, you have to attach the control unit and hopper to the main body. The Daniel Boone on the other hand comes pre-assembled with these parts. This reduces the complexity of assembly and installation.
Construction Quality and Heat Efficiency
The build quality is good. The grill is not made from stainless steel but it is constructed from powder coated steel which will not rust so long as there are no scratches. The grill therefore has good durability for its price point. It will be a good idea to keep the grill indoors when it is not in use.
To keep the grill economical and affordable, the company employed single layer construction rather than double layer steel. Double layer of steel can reduce heat losses since it has an air gap which is a very good insulator. You might think that you will not enjoy these benefits with just a single steel layer.
If you want to minimize heat losses, you can purchase a thermal blanket separately. The benefit of this arrangement is that the overall weight of the grill will be much lower as will be the cost. You will be able to enjoy the benefits of double construction without its drawbacks. So the single wall construction along with a thermal blanket may be an even better option than double walled lining.
The thermal blanket will offer greater benefits during the winter months when heat losses are more pronounced. You can minimize heat losses to improve thermal efficiency – that is, you will make the most out of your expensive wood pellets and reduce their consumption as well as costs.
When you press the ignition button, the grill reaches the set temperature in about 15 minutes.
The rubber wheels and caster wheels allow for improved mobility. Since it is supported by a total of 4 wheels, you will have to do less work when hauling the grill to the right spot.
Since the increments are just 5 degrees, the set temperature will be extremely close or perhaps even equal to your required temperature. Such small temperature differences have virtually no effect on the final quality of your meal. Other low end models allow only 3 to 9 heat levels within their temperature range. Hence, the Daniel Boone is much more accurate than many other competing models.
Thanks to wifi control, you will enjoy plenty of convenience. With this technology you can afford to relax while the grill works for you and keeps you updated about progress via the smartphone app.
The Daniel Boone is a ‘set and forget’ type of grill thanks to wifi connectivity. The app is very to use. You can key in the required temperature and cooking time very easily and let the smart app handle the rest. You can set the temperature anywhere between 150 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Low Pellet Alarm and Shutdown
There is also a low pellet alarm which is activated when the pellet stock is running low. You can therefore replenish wood pellet stocks before it depletes and puts out the flame. You will no longer face the frustration of seeing your food being ruined as a result of the unit running out of wood pellets.
Shutdown is initiated with the ‘fan only’ mode. As the name implies, only the fan is running during shutdown to put out the flame.
The grill works silently. This is a desirable feature since even high end pellet grills produce some level of background noise during operation.
Uniform Heat Distribution
The grill is designed to allow for the uniform distribution of heat over the cooking surface. This really matters because uneven heat over the grilling grates can mean that some parts of the surface will heat the food more than other areas. This can possibly lead to variations in quality, which is something that everyone will certainly want to avoid. With even heat distribution, you do not have to worry about certain items cooking more rapidly than others. You can ensure that everything is done at the same time and take and take them off all at once.
The food coming out of this grill has a delicious smoke flavor and aroma. The meat is tender, juicy and succulent. As far as taste is concerned, this grill is top notch.
Thanks to the digital wifi controller, you can set various parameters using your smartphone. With the app, you can key in your temperature, set the timer, monitor grilling progress and even search for exciting new recipes.
One major con of this grill is that it has room for just one meat probe. Other high end grill models allow for 2 probes. Although you can ensure thorough cooking with one meat probe it would be better to include room for two.
The grill employs design innovation to ensure versatility. Underneath the grilling grates, there are two perforated plates that can slide relative to each other. When positioned correctly, the perforations are in perfect alignment so that direct heat can pass through the holes. You can also slide the plates so that the perforations are not aligned.
Direct heat will not pass through the plates towards the food. This position is perfect for indirect heating. With this simple yet innovative arrangement, you can carry out both direct and indirect heating simply by sliding the perforated plates relative to each other. Green Mountain refers to this nifty arrangement as ‘open flame technology’. Unlike other pellet grills, you will not need a separate searing box to directly heat your barbecue.
Another innovative design feature is the peaked lid. Most grills have a rotund lid to give the traditional round look to grills. The lid of this grill does not have a semi circular cross section. Rather, the cross section has a peak which resembles a triangle. This added height is advantageous when you are cooking relatively big items like whole chickens and turkeys.
The firebox also has a venturi style design to enable cyclone combustion. This heating method leads to more efficient use of wood pellets. You can therefore use less pellets for the same food quantity and keep wood pellet costs under control.
One key safety feature of this grill is the fan which works to maintain positive pressure difference at all times. This simply means that the fan prevents sparks and hot gases coming out the firebox from entering the hopper. These sparks and hot gases can start hopper fires. The fan ensures that your cooking experience won’t be marred by a hopper fire.
Related read: Best Wood Pellet Grills
The steadily rising popularity of Green Mountain pellet grills prove that you cannot go wrong with these appliances.
Should you decide to go along with Green Mountain, then keep in mind that the Jim Bowie is a high end model geared towards those with larger cooking needs while the Daniel Boone has smaller capacity and is suitable for those on a budget.