Here’s the first interview of our new series “Know your maker“. Our goal is to interview and understand the stories behind our favorite grill and smoker makers. We’re happy to have Jason from Green Mountain Grills with us today.
1. How did you start, and why did you get involved in the Grill making business?
We started GMG because the owner loved the pellet grill concept. He had a competitor’s built-in grill in his outdoor kitchen and felt he could make some improvements to technology available at that time.
2. What were the biggest struggles and problems when you started??
The pellet grill was not widely known or accepted in 2008. The naysayers believed that pellet grilling would remain a tiny niche market. Dealers were slow to gravitate away from charcoal and gas.
3. What distinguishes you from other companies in the grill making world?
Traditional marketing through established dealers underpins our business model. While most of our competitors offer Internet sales of their complete product line, we disdain that approach. A pellet grill is not an impulse item. Dealers who offer valuable floor space, free information to potential customers, and service after the sale need to make a fair return on that investment. We do not approve of the rampant practice of using a dealer’s store to showcase products to customers who can then go home and purchase for a few dollars less from an Internet retailer.
4. What do you think is the biggest challenge for you right now?
Our biggest challenge is building an infrastructure that keeps pace with our explosive growth in sales. Also, we need to stay focused on customer wants and needs so that we continue to offer customer-centric innovations.
5. What’s the most popular product that you sell?
The Green Mountain Daniel Boone grill is our most popular product. A user can use the Wi-Fi option to store complicated repeatable cooking instructions (recipes!), update firmware, and soon share grilling experiences, ideas, and techniques with others. It rightly reigns as the best value pellet grill on the market.
The Green Mountain Daniel Boone grill.
6. Are you still improving your products?
All the time. Our goal is to produce the most trouble-free product we can build at the lowest price we can so that everyone who wants to can enjoy the pellet grilling experience. We have specific things in the works which will keep us at the forefront of innovation, but we are not ready yet to offer our competitors the advantage of knowing what we are doing.
7. What would you recommend a beginner to get as a first grill and why?
I would recommend a beginner to cook over an open fire. Learn that first and then look at different options of BBQ’s. After you learn how food cooks over an open fire, anything on any grill becomes a breeze.
8. What’s your number one practical recommendation for a beginner?
Always keep in mind that we eat with our eyes. Keep food attractive and simple. Also, focus on the internal temperatures of foods and what it takes to get them to safe and delicious levels. Use the commonly-accepted guidelines for safe internal temps. Keep records of what you nailed and where you failed. Replicate the successes and build on them. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember that a recipe is only someone’s opinion. It is not a set of orders.
9. Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about Green Mountain Grills.
We are really committed to small business throughout the world. The vast majority of our products are sold through small businesses.
10. What’s a common mistake beginners make?
A couple of issues spring readily to mind. First, many beginners follow a recipe’s stated cooking times far too closely. Each piece of food will cook differently, depending on grade, starting temperature, ambient temperature, how many times the lid gets opened, etc. Recipes are great guidelines, but the griller still needs to get the internal temperature to a safe and palate-pleasing internal temperature. Second, most beginners fail to spend enough time prepping the food
. Anxious to get the food on the grill, they neglect important details like pulling the nasty tendon from the chicken thigh or peeling the impermeable membrane from a rack of ribs.