Z Grills vs Pit Boss: Which Brand Offers the Best Grilling Experience?

Z Grills vs Pit Boss

If you are looking for a reliable household grill, you’re probably familiar with two major players in this market: Z Grills vs Pit Boss Grills. Both companies have been producing quality products that provide endless fun during backyard get-togethers and trips to the beach, but how do they compare?

To help you decide which is right for your needs, we’ll take an in-depth look at both Z Grills and Pit Boss—what makes them different from one another, what each brand offers that sets it apart, and their pros & cons. With this comprehensive comparison guide, rest assured that by the end of it all, you’ll have all the facts to make an informed decision about choosing either Z Grills or Pit Boss for your next outdoor adventure!

Z Grills Overview:

Z Grills may be one of the newer players in the pellet smoker industry, but don’t let that fool you. With a solid reputation as a company working behind the scenes for over 30 years, Z Grills has plenty of experience, and it shows.

From their California HQ, boasting pop-up restaurants, grilling classes, and jogging paths, Z Grills stands out as a company that values quality and innovation. And with over ten pellet grills in three series, ranging from 1000 to the Basic, customers have various options to fit different needs and budgets.

One of the standout features of Z Grills is its commitment to ease of use. They’re known for producing good-quality, affordable grilling products that are easy to transport and have ample cooking capacity. There are even models that come with temp control.

Most of Z Grills’s products are built in China, but some models are assembled in the USA. Still, the company is all about making its products accessible to as many people as possible, so their compact size and ease of transport make them an excellent choice for outdoor cooking enthusiasts who like to take their grilling on the go.

Quick Fact: Z Grills is a reliable and innovative company that offers great products perfect for any grill lover.

-Brief History

Founded in 2017 with over 30 years of industry experience, Z Grills quickly soared to popularity in the wood pellet grill market, solidifying its place as one of the most sought-after brands. Headquartered in Burlingame, California, the company is spearheaded by visionary founder Jasper Yu.

-Features and Benefits

Z Grills are equipped with a variety of features and benefits that cater to outdoor cooking enthusiasts, including:

Cooking Space: Z Grills generally offer a small to medium-sized cooking area, with select models featuring slightly over 500 square inches of cooking space.

Compact Design: The compact design of Z Grills makes them convenient to store and transport.

Versatility: Z Grills facilitate diverse cooking methods such as grilling, smoking, roasting, and baking.

Advanced Capabilities: A few Z Grills models have advanced features such as WiFi connectivity, enabling you to monitor your cooking and adjust the temperature remotely.

Pit Boss Overview

Hailing from the Great White North in Alberta, Canada, Pit Boss is a pioneering brand that has been breaking ground since 1999. From humble beginnings as a pellet heater manufacturer, they soon transitioned to making pellet grills.

Today, with over 20 pellet grills in various configurations, along with smokers, kamados, charcoal, electric and gas grills, and even a three-headed beast of an all-in-one gas grill, charcoal grill, electric smoker, Pit Boss stands out for its affordability and versatility.

Designed for the outdoor enthusiast, these wood pellet grills and smokers offer a gamut of cooking options, from grilling to smoking and even baking, all at a fraction of the cost of their competitors.

But affordability doesn’t mean compromised quality. Our innovative design offers generous cooking spaces, precise temperature control, and user-friendly features to elevate your culinary experience. These grills make sure performance is good. And some models even offer WiFi connectivity, enabling remote temperature control and monitoring.

They’re built to last, utilizing only high-quality materials and construction methods to ensure durability and long-lasting performance.

Their slogan, “Bigger, Hotter, Heavier,” captures their ethos of creating top-quality, affordable grills that are bigger, better built, and boast wider temperature ranges than their competitors.

-Brief History

Pit Boss, a subsidiary of the family-owned Dansons Group, has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of top-notch wood pellet grills and smokers since 1999.

The brand aims to offer outdoor cooking enthusiasts affordable, high-quality grills.

Today, Pit Boss has expanded its product line to cater to diverse cooking needs and preferences. It’s worth noting that, like Z Grills, Pit Boss products are produced in China.

-Features and Benefits

Highlighted below are some of the primary features and advantages of Pit Boss grills:

Superior Materials: Pit Boss is renowned for utilizing premium materials in their pellet grills, such as porcelain-coated grates, heavy-duty steel construction, and stainless steel components. These materials ensure optimal durability and longevity.

Digital PID Control Board: This cutting-edge feature is present in Pit Boss’ high-end products; it enables precise temperature control, guaranteeing that your food is always cooked to perfection. The digital display makes it easy to monitor and adjust temperature settings as required.

Fan Forced Convection Cooking: Pit Boss employs a cooking system that leverages a fan to distribute hot air throughout the cooking chamber, ensuring uniform heat distribution and shorter cooking times. This characteristic also removes hot spots, ensuring your food cooks evenly.

Innovative Flame Broiler: Some Pit Boss pellet grills feature a state-of-the-art flame broiler lever that instantly lets you switch from indirect to direct cooking. It produces classic grilled flavor and sear marks, making it ideal for preparing steaks, burgers, and other meats. The flame broiler is easily adjustable, allowing you to regulate the heat and flame for precise cooking.

Pellet Purge System: Pit Boss pellet grills, like the Pitboss Austin XL, have a “Pellet Purge System” that streamlines the process of cleaning the pellet hopper.

Z Grills vs Pit Boss: Comparison

When it comes to comparing Z Grills and Pit Boss, both brands offer quality grilling products with advantageous features.

-Build Quality and Appearance

When it comes to pellet grills, there are many options out there. Two brands in particular, Pit Boss and Z Grills, are worth considering. But how do they stack up against each other? Let’s take a closer look.

First off, let’s talk design. Neither brand is particularly flashy but offers color options, like brass or copper accents. In terms of material, you’ll find a mix of powder-coated steel and some stainless steel here and there. While Z Grills offers more material choices with their mixed powder-coated designs, stainless steel cooking, and hopper lid, Pit Boss’s steel is generally thicker and more heavy-duty.

When it comes to cooking grates, both brands use porcelain-coated steel. While it’s rust-resistant and easy to clean, it could be more impressive than stainless steel.

What about insulation? If you’re planning on smoking in colder weather, remember that only Z Grills’ 700D4E model is currently built with double-wall insulation. Pit Boss’s vertical range is also an insulated design.

Quick Fact: So, what’s the bottom line? Both brands offer solid build quality, but Pit Boss is the way to go if you’re looking for a smoker that can handle heavy-duty use.

-Size and Cooking Capacity

Regarding size and capacity, it isn’t easy to choose between Z Grills and Pit Boss.

However, Z Grills outshines the competition with their generous cooking spaces, both in square and cubic inches.

With the ability to cook more at once, thanks to their models with three tiers of cooking surface, Z Grills is a hit among those who love smokers and the ability to cook for a crowd.

It’s impressive to see how much thought went into the design of their grills, allowing for more burgers and briskets.

Despite Pit Boss selling around twice as many models, Z Grills takes the lead when it comes to cooking capacity and flexibility.

-Cooking Space

Z Grills is an excellent choice for outdoor cooking enthusiasts. Their range of high-quality grills starts at about 450 square inches of cooking space and gets as large as 1000 square inches, offering a versatile selection of sizes to meet your needs.

Most people are drawn to the 700 Series, which provides ample space for families to smoke leftovers or entertain guests. However, Pit Boss boasts an impressive variety of sizes, including portable tabletop models with around 250 square inches of cooking space, mid-sized options of approximately 700 square inches, and larger vertical models with nearly 2,000 square inches of cooking capacity.

While the size of the Z Grills range is enough for most people, Pit Boss offers an even wider selection for those seeking specific sizes, including portable micro-grills to extra-large pellet smokers that cater to hunters or those processing their meat.

Quick Fact: both brands offer terrific options, but Pit Boss’ wide array of models and sizes makes it a great choice for anyone looking for greater variety.

-Temperature Range

The temperature range is a major factor when choosing between Z Grills and Pit Boss smokers. Z Grills smokers can go from 180 to 450°F with settings in 25°F increments. If you’re looking for a grill with direct flame, the Z Grills 600 Series can get up to 750°F. On the other hand, Pit Boss offers a wider temperature range ranging from 180 to 500°F for most of its models. It’s worth noting, however, that Pit Boss’s vertical pellet smokers don’t generate as much heat and are unsuitable for grilling.

One standout feature of the Pit Boss is its Slide Plate Flame Boiler, which enables an open flame. This feature gives an edge if you want a pellet smoker for regular grilling and can reach much higher temperatures (they estimate up to 1000°F).

All in all, Pit Boss edges out Z Grills regarding temperature range. So, if you’re looking for a grill with a wide range of temperature settings, even if open-flame grilling isn’t important, PIT BOSS is the way to go.

– Temperature Control

Temperature control reigns king when using an automated pellet smoker, even more so than temperature range. Why, you ask? Because consistent results are crucial in any cooking process, and good heat distribution ensures your meat cooks evenly.

Luckily, Z Grills recognized this need for precision and updated their temperature controllers to the more accurate PID style in 2021. Setting your temperature with any of the 2021 models will result in fluctuations of only about 5°F.

The previous year’s models may not have had the PID controller, but Z Grills’ regulation was impressively reliable, staying within around 10°F of your target.

In contrast, Pit Boss lacks PID controllers, resulting in more drastic fluctuations of up to 20°F. However, this fluctuation is ideal for those seeking more smokiness in their meat – more fluctuation means more smoke as the unit heats up again. Nevertheless, the temperature distribution on Pit Boss models we’ve used is not nearly as consistent as on Z Grills.

To sum up, Z Grills takes the cake with their choice of PID and non-PID models and impressively even temperature distribution. When it comes to temperature control, look no further than Z GRILLS.

-Best Features and Technology

Z Grills and Pit Boss offer great options at reasonable prices for those looking for a mid-range pellet grill. But while Pit Boss may skimp on the bells and whistles, Z Grills stands out with its thoughtful extras and impressive performance.

Take the side shelves, closed storage cabinets, and handy four wheels that come standard on many of Z Grills’ budget-friendly models. And with both companies using PID digital controllers (the gold standard in pellet grills), you can go right with either option.

But where Z Grills truly shines is in its attention to detail. With meat probes that plug straight into the control panel and a waterproof grill cover included with almost all smokers, they’ve thought of everything to make your grilling experience a breeze.

While Pit Boss may offer a single meat probe and extra port for a second (sold separately), you won’t find a cover included with your purchase.

In the battle of Z Grills vs Pit Boss, the winner for those seeking a budget-friendly option with extra perks has to be Z Grills.

-WiFi and/or Smartphone App – -WiFi

When it comes to grilling, having WiFi connectivity can add convenience and ease to the process. However, not all grill models are created equal in this regard. Let’s look at two popular brands: Z Grills and Pit Boss.

Searching for “WiFi” on the Z Grills website might leave you empty-handed, as none of their products offer this feature as a standard option. On the other hand, Pit Boss has recently launched the Platinum Laredo with WiFi, allowing for remote control of your grill.

If you already own a Pit Boss without WiFi, fear not! A new control panel with Bluetooth and WiFi can be retrofitted onto most Pit Boss models. While it’s not as seamless as a grill with WiFi from the start, it’s a solid option for those who can’t live without it.

In summary, if WiFi connectivity is a must-have feature for your grilling needs, Pit Boss is currently leading the charge.

-Pellet Hopper Capacity

In our review of six grills, four boast hopper capacities of 20 pounds or more. For those who enjoy the ease of all-day smoking sessions, the convenience of not reloading or being stuck with a pound or two of excess pellets can’t be underestimated.

In our review, Pit Boss comes out on top for hopper size, offering a 31-pounder and one at 24 pounds. Two of the Z Grills featured come with 20-pound hoppers.

While the numbers favor Pit Boss, consider if such a substantial hopper is necessary for your needs. Remember that Z Grills and Pit Boss offer 20-pound (or larger) hoppers across most of their products, allowing for lengthy smokes without topping up your hopper. So in terms of hopper capacity, it’s a tie.

-Clean Out

Z Grills and Pit Boss utilize a gravity-fed system that channels it into a bucket outside the grill.

While this may be a standard feature among many grills, Z Grills takes it further by including an ash cleanout tray on one of their models.

This convenient feature allows for easy cleaning and maintenance of the grill, ensuring it’s ready for another round of cooking in no time.

Note: it’s still a standout feature that makes Z Grills the winner in our book.

-Warranty and Customer Service

Both brands get good feedback and offer reasonable customer service. With Pit Boss, you get a mighty 5-year limited warranty on all grills, one of the best in the segment. Meanwhile, Z Grills offers a 3-year warranty and has a 30-day refund policy on unused grills if you change your mind.

However, regarding customer support, Z Grills comes out on top. They boast an extensive customer support system with a helpful website and a hotline for any questions. With a 3-year limited warranty covering parts and labor, Z Grills is on par with most pellet grill makers.

On the other hand, Pit Boss goes above and beyond the competition with their 5-year limited warranty, which covers both defects and workmanship.

So, in the end, while both brands offer excellent options to their customers, Pit Boss stands out as the winner with its superior warranty.

-Overall Thoughts on Value for the Price

Pit Boss and Z Grills are two popular brands that offer fantastic bang for your buck when it comes to grilling. But which one reigns supreme?

Z Grills smokers are perfect for those on a budget, priced most at under $500. In contrast, Pit Boss smokers tend to have higher price tags due to their advanced features. While Pit Boss does offer a few models under $500, many of their budget grills cost more than $500, with some even crossing the $1000 threshold.

However, it’s important to note that Pit Boss smokers often come with larger cooking spaces and advanced features. This makes them a great choice for frequent use or large events. Meanwhile, Z Grills smokers are a more affordable option for quality smokers at a lower price point.

With that said, we have to give this round to Z Grills. They excel at offering budget-friendly options that don’t require sacrificing quality or features. For example, their Z GRILLS ZPG-10002E, boasting over 1000 square inches of cooking space, sells for under $600. It’s no wonder Z Grills is a winner in the hearts of bargain-hunting grill enthusiasts!

-Durability and Maintenance

While Z Grills products may not be as durable as other pellet grills on the market, proper maintenance can improve their performance over time. In contrast, Pit Boss grills are known for their high-quality construction and use of durable materials, like heavy-gauge steel and porcelain-coated grates, making them a reliable choice for grill masters who demand the best.

When it comes to keeping these grills in top shape, both Z Grills and Pit Boss require regular cleaning and care, from washing the cooking grates to changing the grease tray and ensuring that the pellet hopper is free of blockages. So if you’re in the market for a quality pellet grill that will last, look no further than these trusted brands.

-Pellet Hopper Capacity

One essential factor to consider when selecting a pellet grill is the hopper capacity. If you’re keen on indulging in an all-day smoke session, you would want a pellet hopper that can accommodate a bag of pellets or more without requiring frequent refills.

In this review, we’ll explore the hopper options offered by two popular brands: Z Grills and Pit Boss. When analyzing the data, we found that most of the products from both brands have hoppers that can hold at least 20 pounds of pellets. However, Pit Boss reigns supreme, with larger hoppers holding up to 31 pounds.

While the hopper capacity on both brands’ grills correlates with the grill size, Z Grills mostly offers hoppers with 16 or 20-pound capacities, except for the 600 Series. On the other hand, Pit Boss provides more variety, with most models having at least 18 pounds of hopper capacity.

The larger models hold up to 55 pounds, ideal for a long smoke session. Better yet, most of the Pit Boss models feature pellet cleanout doors, which makes emptying the hopper a breeze.

While Z Grills models may not all have pellet cleanout doors yet, it is a feature the brand is introducing slowly. However, some models have a door, so review the specs before purchasing.

Ultimately, both brands have their pros and cons when it comes to hopper capacity. Pit Boss may be the better option depending on your specific needs, since it offers more significant hopper sizes. Nevertheless, both brands’ models can accommodate an entire bag of pellets for a long-lasting cook, so it’s anyone’s game.


Z Grills are a great choice if you’re looking for a smoker that is easy to transport and store. These smokers are designed with a compact and lightweight structure, perfect for camping trips or moving around your backyard.

On the other hand, Pit Boss smokers tend to be larger and sturdier, offering a more spacious grilling area. While less portable than its counterpart, they are still portable enough to move around your backyard or take you to a nearby park.

In summary, Z Grills is the way to go if you are searching for a more portable smoker. However, if you prioritize a sturdier build and larger grilling area, Pit Boss smokers are the best choice.

Overall, Z Grills vs Pit Boss Winner

“After careful consideration and evaluation, I am proud to name Z Grills my ultimate winner. Now let me be clear, this isn’t to say that other brands – like Pit Boss – aren’t worthy of praise. There is much to like about the features and functionality of a Pit Boss pellet grill.” 

Overall, both Z Grills and Pit Boss smokers offer great performance for the money. While Pit Boss has a superior warranty, more variety in hopper size, and larger grilling areas, Z Grills is the clear winner regarding price and portability.

So if you’re tight on budget or need a smoker you can take on the go, Z Grills is a great option. However, if you’re looking for something with a larger hopper capacity and grilling area, or need more durability and warranty options, then Pit Boss is your best bet. Ultimately, it all depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Whatever you decide, you can rest assured that both brands offer quality grills that will last years.

Recommended Z Grills

Recommended Pit Boss Grills

FAQs About Z Grills vs Pit Boss

Is Z Grills a Chinese Company?

Yes, Z Grills is a Chinese-based company specializing in producing quality grills and smokers.

Are Pit Boss Grills Made In The USA?

Pit Boss grills are made in the USA using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship.

Is a Z Grill Any Good?

Yes, Z Grills are a great choice for those looking for quality grills at an affordable price. Their smokers are designed with efficient technology and sturdy construction lasting years.

What Are the Common Limitations of Pellet Grills?

The main limitation of pellet grills is their inability to reach temperatures above 500F. Additionally, they require regular maintenance to ensure peak performance over time. Additionally, some models may have a smaller hopper capacity than others.

Final Thoughts: Z Grills vs Pit Boss

Z Grills and Pit Boss are two highly-regarded brands in the outdoor cooking arena, offering a range of high-quality pellet grills and smokers. Affordability and versatility are some of the standout features of Z Grills, whereas Pit Boss boasts exceptional quality and innovation.

However, with both pellet grill brands having their strengths and limitations, choosing the right one will depend on your specific needs and cooking preferences. So why not read on, and let’s see which one reigns supreme?

In our in-depth comparison of Z Grills vs Pit Boss, you’ll see that Pit Boss claims the lead in almost every category, including construction, temperature range, cooking space, and warranty. Nevertheless, experience proves that Z Grills has better temperature control with a consistent even distribution, producing stunning results every time.

So, while we are biased towards the temperature control of Z Grills, Pit Boss has an impressive Slide and Grill feature, giving you access to the actual wood pellet fire for that next level of flavor intensity. Choosing between these two great brands will ultimately depend on your preferences and requirements.

And if you still need clarification or want more information, explore our site. We’ve got plenty of advice, reviews, and dinner-saving tips to help you on your flavor adventure. With our help, you’ll be sure to find the perfect pellet grill for all your outdoor cooking needs.

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