Green Mountain Grills have built a loyal following but aren’t at the forefront of most people’s minds when they think of portable pellet smokers.
But, you’ve probably landed on this page because you’ve realised that hey, these guys have some pretty sweet features included that other brands just don’t bother with… Stainless steel components, WiFi, 12V power and an externally accessible pellet hopper really make the GMG Trek stand out from the competition.
Still, before you buy, you’ll understandably want to know what the performance is like.
In this GMG Trek review, we’ll tell you how these not-so-mainstream portable pellet smokers cook, what the build quality is like and whether we think they’re a good buy or not.
Read on to help you decide if the Trek tabletop pellet smoker is the right thing for you.
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Table of Contents
Quick Version of our GMG Trek Review
If you’re looking for a small and/or portable pellet smoker, the Green Mountain Grills Trek is solidly-built and very good value for money.
With a 219 square inch capacity you can cook for 4-6 easily (and stretch it up a bit depending on cuts you choose). There’s an externally accessible 9 pound pellet hopper. Plus, the Trek’s PID-based temperature controller does a great job of regulating the heat to smoke, grill, bake, braise or roast pretty much anything.
There’s stainless steel grates and a lid for added durability. WiFi connectivity with a meat probe lets you control the temperature and monitor the meats progress without going outside. And, it runs off 12V power with a 120V converter and alligator clips provided.
So, whether you’re using it as a small backyard pellet smoker or taking it tailgating, camping or as a regular cooker in your RV, the Trek can turn out some mighty fine barbecue.
Coming in a little more expensive than some of the competition, when you take into account the above average build quality and the fact that it has WiFi (most tabletop’s don’t), the Trek is a great buy that should well outlast it’s decent 3 year warranty.
About the Green Mountain Grills Trek
The Trek is the smallest portable pellet smoker made by Green Mountain Grills, or GMG.
Running directly off of a 12V power cord (while also including an adapter for 120V), it’s a very efficient and hands-off way to smoke, grill, bake, roast and cook pretty much anything on the go or at home.
For those of you wondering, the GMG Trek is slowly replacing the ever-popular Davy Crockett.
With a few upgrades to make it stronger, sturdier and more durable, the Trek is proving itself to be just as sought-after by tailgaters, campers, RVer’s, or even those just wanting a smaller pellet smoker to run at home.
Features of the GMG Trek Prime Pellet Grill
- Powder-coated steel with a stainles steel lid
- Stainless steel cooking grates
- 219 square inch cooking capacity
- 9 pound pellet hopper
- Venturi-style firepot creates better heat distribution and burns pellets efficiently to produce less ash
Ease of use:
- Digital PID-based WiFi controller
- 150 – 550°F temperature range with 5°F incremental setting
- Tall cooking chamber accommodates larger cuts easily
- Externally accessible hopper lets you add pellets without opening the cooking chamber (unlike some tabletop models)
- 1 meat probe
Construction and Build Quality
The Green Mountain Grills Trek is one of the only portable pellet smokers on the market that uses stainless steel components.
Life on the go can be pretty rough so the addition of a stainless steel lid and stainless steel grates to handle the extra weather, knocks and muck is, in our opinion, a welcome upgrade.
The whole unit isn’t stainless. The hopper and main body are made from powder-coated steel while a lot of the internal components are regular steel. But, overall, it’s got a really sturdy, well-built feel to it.
With the Trek, you do need to keep the unit upright. There’s no lid latches and the grate and heat deflector will fall all over the place if you tried to lay it down in your trunk. There are side handles to make lifting it easy though.
The GMG Trek is marketed as a small grill for anyone who wants to cook 4-6 nice steaks or a bunch of burgers.
What that equates to is 219 square inches of cooking space. It isn’t huge but, it is pretty decent for a portable smoker. Plus, it’s peaked lid gives you the extra height you’ll need to cook larger cuts like small turkeys, pork butts or even stand up a few racks of ribs.
So, depending on what you cook, you could feed quite a few on the Trek.
It’s pellet hopper holds up to 9 pounds of fuel.
That’ll give you around about 9 hours of low and slow smoking time before you need to refill (less at higher heat).
But, unlike most tabletop models that have the hopper inside a breifcase-like box, the Trek has a regular hopper that’s mounted outside of the cooking chamber. This gives you the advantage of being able to add more fuel without opening the main lid, letting heat and smoke out, disturbing your cook.
If you’ve used a full-sized pellet smoker before, cooking on the Green Mountain Trek is pretty much the same.
Plug it in, fill the hopper, select your temperature and wait for it to heat up.
The pellets are pushed into the firepot at the right rate to maintain your desired temperature (or very close to it) and you can literally forget about the barbecue until it’s time to eat or at least wrap the meat.
The GMG Trek’s temperature controller is PID-based. PID uses calculus to very precisely maintain the target temperature and keeps the heat much more steady than a regular controller.
The Venturi-style firepot that’s in the GMG Trek has been designed to minimize ash by creating a cyclonic airflow. But, in doing that, it also creates great quality smoke while maximizing heat distrubition.
What that looks like in terms of what you’ll be pulling off the Trek is excellent barbecue with minimal effort. Low and slow brisket, pork, ribs, chicken, fish… it can all come out tender and moist with plenty of flavor, a nice smoke ring and good bark.
Yep, it’ll probably take you a few runs to get used to using the Trek (just like it would for any other barbecue). There’s an included meat probe so you’ve got that extra feedback and can monitor the internal meat temperature. But, the Trek definitely a great option for newbies or anyone who wants low fuss.
The Green Mountain Trek runs a little hotter than most other pellet smokers, hitting a maximum of 550°F. So, it can grill and it actually does a pretty good job of it.
Out of the box, grilling on the Trek is done on indirect heat. So, the heat deflector sits between the firepot and the grill grates, blocking the flame from licking the meat and keeping the heat even but a lower in temperature than grilling over an open flame.
Perfectly adequate but nothing too exciting.
If you are keen on using the Trek to grill regularly, do consider grabbing an open flame grease tray for it. This two-piece baffle lets you choose to leave it closed, blocking the flame, or open it up for extra heat and that flame-grilled goodness you just can’t beat.
Either way, we will mention that grilling on the Trek (and any pellet smoker) will use pellets fast! It’s not super efficient but really nice to know you’re just using wood to grill instead of the unknowns of charcoal.
Powering the GMG Trek
One major benefit of the GMG Trek that you simply will not find in any other brand of pellet smoker at the moment is that it’s run off 12V direct current.
It’s safer to use and allows the system to micro-adjust the speed of the fan and auger for better temperature control and improved fuel efficiency.
But, we really just love that it’s so practical. You’re right, you can plug the Trek directly into your car or RV’s lighter port.
But, they do also supply you with a standard DC power cord so you can just run a normal extension cord to your backyard if you prefer.
And, get this, the Trek ALSO comes with alligator clips so you can run it off a car battery as well.
All 3 power options included without having to mess around and buy extra cords or inverters. It’s seriously handy and makes the slightly higher price of the Trek worth it yet again.
Like we’ve mentioned, the Trek comes with 1 meat probe that plugs into the control panel. It reads the internal meat temperature on the panel as well as the regular amient temperature. You can also send the reading to your smartphone app via the WiFi connection.
The GMG Trek also comes with the 3 different power cord options discussed above.
At the moment, because the Trek is a newer model, there’s not too much in the way of optional accessories for it.
Some of the old Davy Crockett accessories fit the Trek because it’s a very similar size.
But, we will mention the pizza oven attachment for the Trek. This sits inside of the cooking area so the pellet fire heats the included stone and bakes pizzas a lot better than if they were just sitting on the grill grate.
Because the Trek is small, the pizza oven attachment is small too. You’re looking at doing 6-8 inch individually sized pizzas, not full-sized.
If you’re specifically after a pizza oven, I’d personally buy the Ooni Fyra to compliment the Trek (it’s purpose-built and still a relatively low price). But, if you’re tight on space in an RV or camping, the GMG add-on is great.
Also worth mentioning, if you’re using your Trek at home and don’t have a tabletop to put it on, you can get the Trek Cart.
This stainless steel add-on fits perfectly into the legs of the Trek raising it to around 4.5 feet tall.
Cleaning the GMG Trek
Cleaning the GMG Trek is just like any other pellet smoker.
You’ll need to vacuum out the firepot every 80-100 pounds of pellets run through it (we have a dedicated shop vac for ash). And, it’s important to make sure you clear grease out regularly to avoid a grease fire.
You can line the Trek’s drip tray with foil so you can simply take it off and replace instead of scraping and cleaning it manually.
Pros and Cons of the Green Mountain Grills Trek
What We Like About the Trek
- It’s one of the only portable pellet smokers with WiFi connectivity
- Very wide temperature range suits all types of cooking
- Taller cooking chamber height fits larger cuts and ribs standing on a rack
- Stainless steel lid and cooking grates give that extra bit of durability
- Stable legs
- You can add more pellets without opening the cooking chamber lid (a problem on most other tabletop pellet smokers)
- Comes with 1 meat probe that sends reading to the smartphone app
- Runs off 12V direct current power but also comes with regular 120V cord and alligator clips to connect to a car battery
What We Don't Like About the Trek
- You do need to keep the Trek upright – there’s no lid latches unlike other tabletop models
- It’s a bit bulkier and heavier than other tabletop models
Should I Buy the Green Mountain Grills Trek?
The GMG Trek is ideal for people who are looking for a portable or small pellet smoker that’s:
- Well-built and durable enough to handle life on the road
- Tight temperature control via the PID-based system
- Able to be controlled remotely via the WiFi smartphone app
- Uses 12V power and/or who wants different options to run it
- Likes the idea of effortless wood-based smoking
- Wants a wide enough temperature range to smoke and grill
The Trek might not be the right smoker for you if you:
- Want to cook for more than 6 people (try the Traeger Tailgater)
- Need something that’s more compact (the Traeger Ranger is great quality as well)
- Would like it to weigh a bit less (check out the Z Grills Cruiser)
FAQs About the GMG Trek
Q. Does the Green Mountain Trek have WiFi?
Yes it does.
Q. How do I empty the hopper on the Trek?
There’s no purging door on the GMG Trek. So, you can either burn through any leftover pellets, or, scoop and/or shop vac them out of there.
Q. Can the Trek grill as well?
Yes. With a maximum temperature of 550°F, the Trek is great for grilling. Out of the box, it’s indirect heat. But, if you do want to grill over an open flame, you can get an open flame drip tray that lets you do that.
Q. What type of power does the GMG Trek run on?
The Green Mountain Trek comes with 3 options to power it. The first is the 12V direct current cord that plugs directly into any cigarette port. But, you can also use the adapter to convert to a regular 120V plug. Or, use the provided alligator clips to run it from a car battery.
Q. What pellets work in the GMG Trek?
Any high quality smoking pellet will work with the Green Mountain Trek. Find our favorites here.
Q. Can the GMG Trek be used at home?
Definitely. The Trek is great quality and an ideal size for individuals or smaller families. Set it up on a table or combine it with the Trek cart to raise it to a decent working height.
Specs for the GMG Trek Portable Pellet Smoker
Barbecue material: Stainless and powder-coated steel
Grate material: Stainless steel
Cooking capacity: 219 sq in
Pellet hopper capacity: 9 lbs
Heat range: 150°F – 550°F
Fuel type: Wood pellets
Price guide: $$
Assembled size (in): 24 (H) x 32 (W) x 16 (D)
Weight: 63 lbs
Warranty: 3 years