Z Grills vs Pit Boss – Who Makes the Stronger Pellet Grill?

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If you are trying to decide between Pit Boss and Z grills, you have a big decision to make. Knowing how the grills compare to one another is important when you are making such a high high-dollar purchase.

That’s why we’ve created this guide – so you can get a better idea of what the grills are and what kind of features they have.

And if you are looking for a pellet grill specifically, you have probably heard about Pit Boss Grills and Z Grills. Both offer lower priced grills than many other pellet grill brands, but they offer a solid and reliable way to cook meat and many other foods.

This resource is dedicated to comparing Z Grills vs Pit Boss pellet grills.  We’ll go over everything you can expect from each brand generally, followed by a closer look at a few of the individual grills each brand offers.

Z Grills – Quick Brand Overview

Although Z grills have only been making and selling grills for the last few years, their team has been making grill components and parts for other pellet grills for almost 30 years.  Word on the street is that they used to be quite involved in the manufacturing process for other house name pellet grill brands.

Said another way, they are highly experienced and know how to make a grill that is highly functional and modern looking.

They got their start after a highly successful Indiegogo campaign and now have 10 different pellet grills from three different series. Their series are labeled 1000, 700, and Basic, and offer a nice variety of grill shapes and sizes.

Note we’ve written a complete review of Z Grills if you want to take a closer look at this brand!

Pit Boss – Quick Brand Overview

Pit Boss has been around since 1999, but they haven’t always made pellet grills. They started by making pellet heaters and also made products for other companies. One of those products started doing very well, they moved into making pellet grills sold under their own name.

Since becoming more and more popular, they have moved their headquarters to Arizona and make many of their grill components in the USA. They sell more than 20 grills in various configurations, not just pellet grills. They offer smokers, kamado, charcoal, electric, and gas grills in addition to pellet grills.

Z Grills vs Pit Boss – Head to Head

Size and Cooking Capacity

Both grill brands have series that are similar in size and capacity to one another. However, Pit Boss sells about twice as many models, so you have more options to choose from. If you are looking for the most amount of space for your money though, you will need to choose an option from Z Grills.

They have more square and cubic inches overall for similarly priced grills.  At the end of the day you can choose a grill size that fits your needs from either brand, but how much you pay for that cooking surface area will vary between the two.

Grill Aesthetics

Choosing a grill that has a nice appearance is almost as important as choosing a grill that has good internal features. A grill should match the theme and ambiance of your outdoor living area.

Both of the designs on Pit Boss and Z Grills are very straightforward with no-nonsense. This means they will match a wide variety of outdoor living areas and ensure that no matter what kind of area you have, you will have a modern grill to match.

Both of the grill brands offer the same options and have brass options as well as other accents. All the grills from both grill brands also come in the same colors, so no matter what brand you choose, you have options to get the color you want.

Since the grills are on the lower end area, you will only find some parts of the grill that are stainless-steel. The most significant difference is the cooking grates and this affects the appearance.

The cooking grates in Pit Boss are porcelain-coated with cast iron and Z Grills have the basic coated steel wire.

Since Pit Boss has coated cast iron, they are a little bit better in terms of quality and appearance. If you want a sleeker-looking grill, check into the models by Pit Boss.

Pellet Hopper Capacity

Pit Boss has larger hoppers overall than the Z Grills of the same size or the same price. Two of the Z Grills are 20 pounders, but pit Boss has larger hoppers that are 31 pounders and 24 pounders.

Generally speaking, pellet grills use about a pound of pellets per hour of cooking – so factor that into your assessment of how large of a hopper you should get.

Technology and Features

Nowadays, quite a few pellet grills are kitted out with WiFi or Bluetooth technology that connects to a phone app where you can control your grill.

None of the Z Grills models currently have any WiFi connectivity, so they might not be for you if your heart was set on a cooker with phone connectivity.

Most of the pellet grills from Pit Boss also don’t offer WiFi, but some do (like their Pro Series Elite).

Even though the prices are much lower than other pellet grills on the market, you still get some amazing features with these more affordable grills. Even some of the lowest costing models come with side shelves and closed storage cabinets.

This allows you to keep all your grill accessories close. Pit Boss’ budget grills though don’t have any side shelves and are a much more no-frill model. For the same money, you can get a Z Grill and have some storage space to make grilling and cooking much easier.

For technology, the grills are about the same. They use PID digital controllers so they are not much different from each other. In terms of technology, both of the grills from each series are very reliable and you won’t have to worry about the grill quitting or breaking you.

Cleaning Considerations

Although cleaning the grill might be the last thought on your mind when you are looking to buy a new pellet grill.  But it’s especially important to know how difficult each is to clean in the battle between Z Grills vs Pit Boss.

Both brands of the pellet grills use a gravity-fed grease management system. This helps to channel off the liquids and waste into the handy bucket hanging right outside the grill.

Some of the Z Grills also have an ashtray cleanout feature that makes cleaning even easier. The tray will just slide easily and then slide back in so you can clean it. This makes the process after grilling much easier.

The slide-out ashtray on the Z Grills makes these a much better option than Pit Boss in terms of cleaning. If you dread the process of cleaning after grilling, definitely go with the Z Grill with an ashtray.

Z Grills vs Pit Boss – Grill Reviews

Z Grills ZPG-700D4E Pellet Grill

This is a great option for Z Grills and is one of the lowest tier prices. Despite the lower price, you will still be able to have all the features you need and will be able to whip up an amazing meal for your friends and family.

This grill is a little larger than the other options and gives you more space to spread out your food. It has the latest PID controller with maximum function control. It will monitor your meat and keep you from having to open the lid every time you want to see the meat.

This construction inside the grill is double-walled, you will have an amazing grill with heat retention, accuracy, and stability. The enclosed cabinet also gives you more storage space. The four wheels at the bottom are lockable, so you don’t have to worry about the grill rolling away or being pushed into the pool or surrounding area.

The 700 series has a better hopper release system not seen on the 1000 series. The hopper release systems allow you to empty out the unused pellets or change wood flavors between cooks. It doesn’t have the cleanout system though, so you will have to go with another model if you don’t want to spend the time vacuuming the grill.

Z Grills Pioneer 450B Pellet Grill

The Z Grills Pioneer 450 is an option from their basic series. Even though it’s in the basic series, it still has all the features you need for a pellet grill. It is a more compact grill than other options, so it might be better than for smaller families or those who want to cook for themselves.

If you aren’t sure if you will like pellet grills or are worried that you will buy one and not like it, this might be a cheap price that you can practice with before going all in and buying a high-dollar pellet grill.

It’s 331 square inches and has a secondary cooking area of 128 square inches. The hopper capacity is 15 pounds. The PIC controller is updated and is extremely user-friendly.

Pit Boss Navigator 820

If you want a larger grill with more space, the Pit Boss Navigator is an excellent choice at a reasonable price point. It’s a 27-pound capacity hopper so you can cook more without having to constantly fill up your hopper.

The controller is basic, so it’s easy to use and has a single dial. This grill is amazing for beginners because the dial is so easy to use, and most options are programmed. The only downside of this grill is that it doesn’t have side shelves. This makes it harder to store things.

The cooking area is a total of 879 square inches. Direct flame grilling is available, and it’s made out of quality 14-gauge steel. It does not have an included meat probe and is also not a WiFi-capable grill.

Pit Boss 440 Deluxe

This is also a basic entry pellet grill by Pit Boss. The PID controller only has one dial and preset temperature, so it’s not as customizable as other choices. Since the PID has an algorithm though, it’s a great choice if you want to set back and have a drink while your food is cooking.

Even though it’s a basic grill, there are still some upgrades that other basic grills don’t have. You can also cast-iron cook on this grill which is perfect if you enjoy that kind of flavor. Since it’s on the small side though, don’t expect it to be able to fully get into smoking.

It has a primary cooking area of 340 square inches and a secondary cooking area of 124 square inches. The hopper capacity is 10 pounds.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, both of these brands make reasonable pellet grills that can make tasty food for you at home.  But as far as who we think is superior between Z Grills vs Pit Boss?

For our taste, Z Grills makes the better pellet grill.  The reason ultimately comes down to bang for your buck – Z Grills are well made and provide tons of cooking surface area.  When comparing these to Pit Boss’ entry priced grills, Z Grills blow them out of the water.

Pit Boss offers grills that are on the higher end of the price spectrum that perform great – but if you’re looking for a bargain priced grill, we think Z Grills is the way to go.