If you are looking for a new grill, you have probably come across two popular brands: Z Grills and Pit Boss. So, in this article, we will compare Z Grills vs Pit Boss to help you determine which wood pellet grill is best for you.
These two pellet grill companies are popular because they provide good, affordable pellet grills. Both Z Grills and Pit Boss pellet grills provide excellent features and value.
Both manufacturers are selling low-cost pellet smokers, so we will look at performance, build quality, and features to help you decide which one is right for you.
We compare Z Grill and Pit Boss head to head to see where they differ and where they are equal and where they are better.
Introduction to Z Grills vs Pit Boss Pellet Grills/Smokers – Grills Brand Overview
The History of Pit Boss
This pioneering brand was born in the Canadian province of Alberta. The company started in 1999 and later moved from producing pellet stoves to making pellet grills. Now headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Pit Boss sells more than 20 pellet grill products.
Pit Boss is part of the Dansons family brands. Dansons also offers grills such as Country Smokers and Louisiana Grills. The Dansons company began as a small business in 1999 and quickly became one of the leading pellet grill brands worldwide.
Pit Boss remains one of the most popular brands, but Z Grills is not far behind. Z Grills have been popular among customers in recent years as a cheap alternative. The Pit Boss range includes both horizontal and vertical pellet cooker products. However, Z Grill sells mainly horizontal pellet grills, so here is a comparison.
While Pit Boss has introduced newer models at slightly higher prices, the Pit Boss brand is focused on value-oriented pellet grills. Pit Boss also offers charcoal grills and gas grills at affordable prices.
Related: Pit Boss VS Traeger
The History of Z Grills
The Z Grills are an emerging player in the pellet smoker market. Their first product launched in 2017 after a successful crowdfunding campaign and an aggressive goal of building a high-performance pellet smoker at a very good price.
Z Grills was not a stranger to pellet grills. This company has helped other big brands design and manufacture barbecue grills since the early 1980s. Z Grills was a manufacturer that later became an e-commerce best-seller. Z Grills sells directly to consumers, eliminating the need for a middleman and keeping their prices well below the competition.
The Z Grills headquarters and main warehouse are in California. If you need help, there is a call center in the city of Salt Lake. Z Grills offers more than 5 pellet grill series, with new WiFi and portable models added recently to their lineup.
Z Grills is known for being a budget-friendly pellet grill brand. Z-Grills have two big things going for them. First, they ARE the manufacturer and sell directly to the consumer. This business model saves a lot on costs, and the company can offer incredible deals to its customers and keep their grill prices low. Second, Z Grills has grill models at every price range in the pellet grill market, attracting customers with all budget types.
See Also our Z Grills Vs Traeger Article.
Let’s Compare These Two Pellet grill Brands
Z Grills vs Pit Boss Build quality, reliability, and durability
Both Z Grills and Pit Boss Grills are built out of steel, either powder coated or painted, depending on the grill model’s construction. These two grills are very similar and is expected in budget grills.
Pit Boss’s newer grills, the Pro Two models, feature thicker, heavy-duty steel construction, and their high temperature resistant coating is also better. The cooking grates are porcelain-coated cast iron and sit on top of a direct flame grilling system. Don’t expect the high-quality stainless steel construction found in premium pellet grill models.
Z grills, however, have upped their game and are building new grill models and adding quality stainless steel complements to them, such as stainless steel lid doors, side tables, and other components. This is quite impressive to see from a budget pellet grill manufacturer.
Z Grills builds their grills using heavy duty powder coated steel, and the grill grates are porcelain coated steel. During our research, we found that Z Grills’ approach to simple, affordable grills is resulting in better working and more reliable grills. By keeping many bells and whistles out of their grills, they have managed to also keep reliability and durability up.
Early Pit Boss grills were less reliable than Z Grills. My comment on building quality comes amidst a huge number of reviews on grills like the Pit Boss Austin XL, whose paints peel, allowing the grill to rust. Also, early controls had soaring failure rates. Pit Boss’s reliability problems relate directly to the aggressive use of innovative technology in product design and production methods by Pit Boss.
The button line: These grills are not built like a Traeger or Yoder, but Z grills have remained more constant in other construction and quality plus, keep improving by adding stainless steel parts to their new grills, including double-walled construction in more recent models, so Z Grills earns the win here.
Pellet Hopper Size
The pellet hopper size is often used as a marketing tool and grill manufacturers like to lure you using pellet hopper sizes.
This is one area where these two brands have something for everyone. Pellet hopper sizes will vary from model to model and is not a factor I would consider to determine if a brand is better than another one. Why? Because hopper sizes are sometimes used like horsepower in a car. Marketing departments love using big numbers, but the truth is that a large hopper won’t make your grill better than another.
When it comes to Hopper capacity buying a grill with adequate pellet hopper capacity is more practical than going for the biggest.
First, you will not go through 30 pounds of pellets in a single cooking session. Even if you are smoking meats, the average pellet grill, even a larger grill, burns about one to two pounds of pellets per hour. At smoking temperatures, this is more like 1 pound of pellets. So a 20-pound hopper filled at capacity can last from 16 to 20 hours.
Second, you do not store your pellets in the hopper, so don’t think that a larger pellet hoper will allow you to store your pellets in the grill.
Lastly, You can often add and mix pellets during the cook.
The button line, the average pellet grill, has a 16 to 20-pound pellet hopper, but Pit Boss has models with a huge hopper capacity of 32 pounds.
So if hopper capacity is your thing, then Pit Boss grills currently has models with large hoppers.
The Button Line: Pit Boss has larger hoppers.
Cooking Space, Size, and Cooking Capacity
These companies share similarities in this area, as both have grills in various sizes. Both brands have small portable models and larger free-standing grills. The main difference is the cost per square inch.
Z Grills models offer you more square inches of cooking space per dollar. This means that you can get a larger cooking chamber for less money. Larger means more cooking capacity.
The Bottom Line: Every grill brand has every kind of cooking chamber size you can imagine. The question is, how much do you pay for those square inches. Z Grills, aggressive pricing wins here.
WiFi and Smartphone Apps
Z Grills just released a new wireless series called the MultiTasker. Pit Boss did not provide wireless access on their older models, but they came up with a clever solution. At present, many Pit Boss new models come with WiFi connectivity, and a “legacy” controller allows you to retrofit older models with WiFi connectivity.
Pit Boss wins by default because Z Grills is unable to provide wireless access to their older product lines.
Neither of these two brands shines in the high-tech department, but this is one reason these grills are more affordable. One can say that both brands got a late start to the WiFi game, but they both have it.
However, Pit Boss has a slight advantage here. Pit Boss designed a legacy wifi controller which can be retrofitted to older grills and turn your wood pellet grill into a WiFi-ready grill. The Pit Boss Wifi legacy controller can work with most Pit Boss grills.
On the other hand, Z Grills currently offers one WIFI wood pellet grill model. Yeah, one. The Z Grills MultiTasker is a new model and was introduced in 2021.
The bottom line: If you want Wifi, Pit Boss will offer more flexibility and models than Z Grills. Z Grills focuses more on grill build quality, and we hope to see more WIFI models soon.
Z Grills smokers and grills are available and offer temperatures ranging from 160–455 degrees. The temperature can be set in increments of 25°. It means smoking slowly, baking, roasting, and even grilling is easy.
With Pit Boss, the variations vary slightly by model. They generally range from 190 to 600 degrees and have 25-degrees increments. Pit Boss grills have a slight advantage here thanks to the direct flame grilling system. Pit Boss has a patented burn pot slide-out system that allows for direct flame access, great for searing.
Z Grills is releasing new models with their own version of a direct flame access system, which lets flames make it to the cooking space for searing and grilling.
Both brands offer direct-flame access grilling, which allows for higher cooking temperatures. Pit Boss has been offering this for longer, so it is available in more of their grills. Pit Boss grills do offer a high temperature range, so they take the win here.
Warranty and Customer Service
Z Grills provides a three-year warranty as well as a 30-day return policy. On the other hand, Pit Boss is now giving a five-year warranty on all new models.
Customer service at Pit Boss receives positive feedback, and customers appear to be satisfied with their service.
Button Line: Put Boss is giving a longer warranty.
The prices for Z Grills and Pit Boss models are close, and both are inexpensive pellet smokers. However, this is one of the biggest differences between Z Grills and Pit Boss. Z Grills take this one.
Bottom line: Z Grills are less expensive than Pit Boss.
This is one area where you should not expect to see any record-breaking technological advancements. Both Pit Boss and Z Grills are now using PID controllers and meat probes to control and manage the grills. These are inexpensive grills, and technology is one area where costs are reduced.
Some models include side shelves, closed storage cabinets with shelves, and all-terrain wheels. The Z Grills have more convenience across their entire range, but the technology between these two grills is pretty equal.
When it comes to features, these two brands are pretty equal.
Z Grills and Pit Boss use gravity-fed grease management systems that drain into a disposable handy bucket hanging out of the side of the grill.
Some Z Grills models have ash cleaning systems that consist of removable ash cups. Other models have removable trays.
Most Pit Boss models require you to use a small shop vac to clean out the ashes. Both brands offer models with pellet clean-out doors to empty unused pellets although Z Grills only added this feature to their newer grills.
While we would like this feature to come with most models, the slide-out ashtrays make the Z Grill the winner in this segment.
Other Features and Technology
Although the cost of these grills is low, you get some decent benefits. Several models include side shelves, storage, and all-terrain wheels.
Both brands now use digital PIDs, the standard in pellet grilling and what you want in a new pellet grill. Verdict: Z grills have more convenience across their entire range.
A little more about Pit Boss
Pit Boss was formed in the 2000s and the first pellet grill company to enter the market after the Traeger patent expired. Pellet smokers are not all Pit Boss offers ( they make a good charcoal grill, too). The company also offers a wide range of charcoal or propane barbecue grills.
Grills are not the only thing this company is known for. Their wood pellets are also selling well, and their competition blend is very popular. Z Grills also offers their own wood pellets and even creates sales bundles, including tools, accessories, and, yes, wood pellets.
Pit Boss offers “Offset” and Vertical Pellet Smokers
Pit Boss also offers vertical pellet smokers offering increased capacity and better temperature control for low and slow meat smoking.
Pit Boss vertical smokers are not intended for open flame grilling and their temperature range is generally from 190 to about 400 degrees F.
Top Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grills
Pit Boss is making a wide range of pellet grills in different price ranges. There are a few Pit Boss budget grills that are very popular.
The Sportsmans Series
The Sportmans series is a basic model that offers an adequate cooking surface for most families. These grills are lighter and portable, making them a great compact grill for trips.
The Pro Two Series Pit Boss Grill
The Pro Two Series is a new kind of pellet grill for Pit Boss. These grills are built out of heavy gauge steel have WIFI, meat probes, large pellet hopper capacity, and cooking space.
Top Z Grills Pellet Grills
Z Grilles are widely recognized for being versatile and simple in use, plus a very affordable option. Z Grills has updated their controls, and now most settings can be changed by pressing and holding a single button.
Z Grills-450B (waterproof Grill Cover Included )
The 450 B series was released in 2021 and is the successor to the top-selling 450A. Much remained the same, but the 450B has a new digital PID controller.
These models have 452-square inches of cooking space and feature 15 lbs capacity hoppers. Z Grill-450B PRO is constructed from powder coated steel to ensure long-standing durability. You also get a weatherproof grill cover to protect the grill against sunlight, rains, snow, and sleet, if needed. The temperature range in these pellet grills is 160°F to 450°F.
The Z Grills-1000D
The 1000D is one of Z Grills models that offers a lot of space and plenty of cooking grates for a large family or large cookouts. Other pellet grills in this size range cost double the price of this model.
The 3 cooking grates in the primary cooking chamber are basic coated steel wire and can hold pounds of food.
This grill is quite easy to use, and the grill is large enough for most people. The smoker can control the cooking temperature through an easy-to-use 8-channel auto temperature controller that controls the smoke temperature. The grill is constructed using quality materials.
Z Grills-700E ( 700 series )
The Z grill 700-E is an all-around good grill and known for offering good temperature control. The fan forced convection cooking is made easy in these 700s.
New – The Z Grills 700DE
The 700 DE is Z Grills new addition to their top-selling series, the 700 models. This grill has a new LCD PID controller and lots of room to grill or smoke your favorite BBQ dish.
The Quick Version: Z Grills vs Pit Boss
For good value, the two grill brands Z Grill and Pit Boss, have been regarded by many customers to be the best choice. The two manufacturers offer an excellent selection of sizes and packaged features that you don’t feel like you are getting a cheap pellet smoker.
The pair perform extremely well. We found that temperatures are slightly higher in some Pit Boss models because of their slide and grill heat shield, which allow you to cook over an open flame.
As far as quality, these two brands are the same, basic powder coated steel, although Z Grills is upping their game by adding stainless steel components to their new grills.
As far as Price is hard to beat Z Grills deals and bundles.
Which is better? Z Grills vs Pit Boss
Two brand names at similar prices, with different sizes and styles. Which is the best? When we compare Z Grill vs Pit Boss you’ll notice Pit Boss had the leading place across two important categories, including temperature range and warranty. Z Grills offer better temperature control and better price.
The Bottom Line:
If you are looking for an inexpensive grill, well built, good pellet hopper capacity, and again, good price, Then check out Z Grills.
If you are willing to pay a little bit more, get slightly better quality but a longer warranty, then Check Out Pit Boss grills.
Whats the main difference between a Z Grill and a Pit Boss Pellet Grill?
Price, Price my friends. There will be a lot of hoopla on the Internet, but the main point is that Z Grills is a manufacturer as well as a competitive e-commerce brand. This means they can sell directly to customers, with considerably lower overhead, and offer you great deals on their grills.
Pit Boss is an older company and has been in the market for a while. Quality is about the same, and neither brand is a tech giant.
Conclusions on Pit Boss vs Z Grills Pellet Grills/Smokers
Well, you are probably asking which one would. I choose? Well if price is a major deciding factor, I would sure go with Z Grills. Other companies like Camp Chef are also offering good grills at this price range.
However, Pit Boss also make good grills offer one of the best warranty in the market.
A few years ago, I would say, Pit Boss all day, but the new models that Z Grills is putting out are hard to beat. With Z Grills you get a lot for your buck.