Gmg jim bowie vs pellet pro 969

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by papajohn21, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. papajohn21

    papajohn21 Newbie

    I'm on the market for a pellet smoker. I've narrowed my choices to the green mountain grill jim bowie or the pellet pro 969. Price is similar, but the gmg has more technology and the pellet pro has more space. Any suggestions for the my final decision would be greatly appreciated.
  2. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    What do you like / dislike about each in your comparison?  Have you seen either in person?  Also, do you have a dealer nearby for either?

    I have a GMG Daniel Boone; I looked at the Jim Bowie but just didn't see the need for the space since it's easy to add a second rack on the rare occasion I may need more room.  

    About the GMG Wifi stuff:  First off, the wifi functionality is a supplement.  You don't have to use it; the grill works just fine from the control pad like any other pellet grill.   Of course if you're more of a "journey" than "destination" person and prefer sitting by your grill during cooks, the wifi stuff probably won't be of much use.   If you're that guy, you can save $160-200 buying a GMG without wifi.  

    While the remote monitoring and ability to change temperature without walking out to the grill is nice, the real power of the wifi is the ability to set "profiles".  These are essentially programmed cooked.  As you know, pellet grills usually give the best smoke at lower temps, so on an overnight cook you might want cook at 180F for three hours before bumping to 225F.  With a profile it's simple to set it to switch automatically while you're asleep.  You can also set a "safety" at the end of that triggering the grill to drop to "Keep Warm" once a certain internal temp is reached on the food probe.  

    Wifi is a work in progress; GMG is developing and enhancing it right now.  Some folks have had issues, though with the myriad of wifi setups and ISP-supplied [email protected] routers it's surprising there aren't more issues.   Just remember that the controller doesn't talk 5GHz, you need to keep it on the 2.4GHz side of your network.  If you're using your phone or tablet with the grill, it needs to stay on the 2.4GHz side of the network as well.  

    Also note that Apple built a restriction into iOS limiting wifi connections when an app is in the background or the phone is asleep; the results in a 10-15 second reconnect when you wake it back up on an iPhone.  Kind of annoying, but it's an Apple thing and that problem doesn't exist on Android.  Some people pick up a cheap Android phone or tablet  for this reason; Walmart has prepaid Android phones for $20-$30, or a cheap 7" tablet also works well.   This may or may not be alleviated as GMG moves towards cloud capability planned for later this year.  

    I'm happy with my GMG and would make the same choice again.  
    joes bbq ribs likes this.
  3. papajohn21

    papajohn21 Newbie

    Thank you so much for the input. I do have a GMG dealer just a couple miles from my house, and I plan to stop by there later this week to see them in person. You're right about the WIFI, I probably wouldn't use it 90% of the time, so with that price reduction, and the fact that it's just me and my wife most of the time (meaning I would probably never use the 969 inches of cooking space that the pellet pro offers), my mind is made up. GMG it is, now I just need to see them in person to decide if I'm going with the Jim Bowie or a smaller model. Thanks again, you were really helpful. I appreciate it.
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    I can't really tell you which to get...only what is more important to me.  I don't care much about all the technology...Wi-fi, programmable, etc. means nothing to me. For the same money, I'd be much more interested in the cooking space.  I know plenty of folks who eventually wished they had bought a bigger smoker.  That said, I don't know a lot about that Pellet Pro, but there are many happy GMG owners around here.

    I know...I'm not really much help [​IMG]

    Good luck!  Be sure you let us know which way you go...

  5. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    Glad I was able to help.

    Cooking space needs are very individual and often also depend on what other grills or cookers you have around.  In my case I'm usually cooking for two, sometimes for company and/or when the kids are visiting.   I have an old Weber Genesis gasser with side burner that I have no reason to get rid of, so that's my overflow cooker for anything foiled/panned or in need of a different temperature such as when crisping poultry skin after a smoke.

    On my DB I've cooked four racks of ribs, a whole chicken, a tub of beans, and a dozen brats at the same time -- all on the main grates without a secondary shelf.    With a shelf I could easily do a 14# or larger brisket plus two or three 10# butts.  Maybe if I had nothing else and hosted large groups of people I'd have reason to have a Jim Bowie, but I simply don't have or forsee the need for it.  I've done the "buy bigger" in the past and found I was better off buying the right size to begin with.  

    However, each person's situation is different and he or she needs to evaluate their own needs / expectations.  

    On the technology side -- SeenRed validates the point I made where that additional functionality isn't of value to everyone.  Nice thing with the GMGs is if you buy the non-wifi unit today and decide you want wifi next year, they don't rape you.  The price of the retrofit controller isn't much different from the up-front price difference.  

    Go have a look at them in person as you intend to and talk with the dealer.  Also check out the Green Mountain Grills facebook group, lots of helpful people and good info there.
  6. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    If you are unsure on whether to get the wifi or not, go to the GMG section of the pelletheads page.  Take a look at the posts regarding firmware updates and see if you really want to deal with all of that.  Looks like an incredible PITA to me.
  7. gpb11

    gpb11 Meat Mopper

    Yes, more people with wifi units post about problems with doing a firmware update than do people who can't do a firmware update at all.  People without a car never worry about running out of gas.    [​IMG]

    Do go look at those threads.  Then ask the posters if they got it resolved by contacting their dealer or GMG support.  Just for grins, put up a poll to see how many others have done the updates without a hint of problem.  

    I've updated my grill with two firmware upgrades; what it shipped with to v5.7 right when I got it, and then later to v5.8 after it came out.

    The first time I tried to update the firmware it didn't seem to work.  Then I actually read the instructions and realized it's a two-step process; worked perfectly once I started following the directions.  Second firmware upgrade was flawless, probably because I followed the directions.  Imagine that.  

    Of course you don't HAVE to do an upgrade if you don't want to.  Nothing forced.  If you do perform an update and there is a problem, your dealer or GMG Support will typically get it sorted out.  

    For the record, I am simply an owner of a GMG grill.  I have no financial interest or any connection (other than customer) to the company or to any dealer.   I think anyone buying a smoker should choose the one that fits their needs, and to do that it's helpful to have accurate information available.  
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  8. ducaticraig

    ducaticraig Newbie

    Have you checked out the Louisiana pellet grills? Nice to have the direct grilling option.

  9. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    I have the Pellet Pro 625 and love it. Down side for making that choice for you is they only sell direct from IL. But Dennis is a great guy and is very helpful with tips and suggestions.

    The tipping point for me was their PID controller. It does a great job of keeping temp - which is one of the big issues I see most have.
  10. vikings8480

    vikings8480 Fire Starter

    I bought a Louisiana LG700 last week and took it back due to issues with the controller, temps were WAY out of range 100 plus degree swings and the controller would freeze up.

    Last night, I ordered a GMG Daniel Boone with Wifi from the local dealer.  He's going to deliver it on Thursday.  
  11. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    Good choice either way. Heard good things on the Bowie. I had just the opposite situation, Smoke Daddy's shop is about 45 min away for me so I was able to pick up and save the freight.

    One addition I added to my pellet grill was a cold smoker. A must for cold smoking cheese and fish. I like a heavy.smoke on my ribs and I'm finding that the pellet smokers are more controlled. So I'm going to use the cold smoker to add more smoke in the first stage. I have the Big Kahuna. It permanent attaches to the grill and so far so good. Lights easily, stayed lit and pumps out the smoke.

    Again, lots of good options out there

    Good luck and enjoy

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