Outdoor grilling has been practiced for ages, and technology now allows people to make slow-smoked meats right at home. Some years back, gas and charcoal grills were commonplace, but they are quickly being replaced by modern pellet grills. Not only do they provide an easier way to grill your BBQs, but they are also designed for even heat distribution. Pellet grills are highly versatile and don’t require constant babysitting when cooking your briskets. Traeger grills are definitely a market leader when it comes to pellet smokers. However, Green Mountain Grills are known for their Wi-Fi functionality. Z Grills, on the other hand, bring budget pellet grills to the market. So, which pellet grill should you choose? Below, we dive into detailed comparisons of Z Grills vs. Traeger vs. Green Mountain grills to help you make an informed choice.
An Overview of Z Grills
Z Grills is a new player in the market, having made it to the scene in 2017. This was after a hugely successful crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign that raised around half a million dollars.
Z Grills intended to fill the “budget” gap of pellet grills since no brand was catering to low-budget consumers. Z Grills didn’t disappoint, and a few years later, the brand has established its name as a reputable company that sells reliable products. Z Grills aren’t exactly new to the market, since they have been working behind the scenes for over 30 years, helping other manufacturers build barbecues.
Z Grills have a warehouse in California, but the smokers are manufactured in China.
An Overview of Traeger
Traeger is an established brand that came up with the very first pellet grills in the early 1980s. People fell in love with the set-and-forget wood smoker, and it quickly became a hit, encouraging Traeger to patent the idea in 1985.
This allowed the company time to design better models that were more reliable and of high quality. After 20 years of complete monopoly in the market, other barbecue manufacturers jumped into the pellet smoking business, creating healthy competition and innovation. Today, Traeger is still one of the most premium and popular brands that build pellet smokers.
An Overview of Green Mountain
Green Mountain Grills joined the pellet smoking bandwagon in 2008 and has since gained a loyal following, thanks to their high-tech, well-built pellet grills. They became popular in 2014 after lowering their prices, making their brands more affordable.
Top Z Grills Models
If you are looking for a budget pellet grill, then Z Grills is the brand to check out. Their grills work by burning wood pellets to create heat and smoke to flavor your meals. Some of its popular models include:
Z Grills 7002
This model comes equipped with several advanced features, including:
Electronic auto-start ignition
Digital auto temperature control
LED temperature display
Waste oil collector for easy cleaning
Automated electric feed system
Z Grills 450B Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
The Z Grills 450B Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker is the company’s best-seller due to its high-quality build and incredibly low price. Some of its outstanding features include:
Huge grilling space covering up to 459 square inches
A temperature range of 180 – 450 degrees Fahrenheit
An automated electric feeding system
A 10-pound hopper and foldable side shelf
Top Traeger Grill Models
Until 2019 when Traeger released the latest grills, most of their grills were more traditional and required manual operation for your barbecue. Some of its popular brands include:
The Traeger Tailgater is a highly portable pellet grill with an impressive cooking surface of 300 square inches. It doesn’t have plenty of advanced features but offers:
Digital Pro Controller for precision temperature control
EZ fold legs for easy portability
Traeger Ironwood 885 Pellet Grill
This model offers the best overall quality and is on top of Traeger’s premium line of pellet grills. Some of its outstanding features include:
A massive cooking surface area measuring up to 885 square inches
WiFIRE technology that lets you control cooking from your smartphone, and Alexa support
D2 Grill Controller
Locking caster wheels
Traeger Pro Series
This is the base model of Traeger’s pellet grill family lineup and is available in two sizes. It now comes with Wi-Fi technology and other features like:
WiFIRE and Alexa support
Large grilling space
Top Green Mountain Models
Green Mountain grills come equipped with a Wi-Fi system that lets you control cooking from your smartphone. Its popular brands include:
Daniel Boone – the best-selling model that features a large cooking surface that measures up to 458 square inches and a peaked lid design with up to 13.5 inches of headroom to cook a whole turkey.
Davy Crocket – is the most portable model. It is sturdy, with excellent build quality, and comes with digital thermostat control to take the precise temperature of your meals.
Jim Bowie – offers an even larger grilling surface that measures up to 658 square inches. The rest of its features are similar to those of Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket.
To Consider Before Your Purchase
These brands all have unique features and capabilities. Before making your pick, it's crucial to understand what they offer. Here are some of the factors you should consider when shopping for a pellet grill.
Z Grills feature a temperature range of 180-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Traeger pellet grills temperature range can now go to a maximum of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, except for the Renegade models.
Green Mountain’s temperature range starts from 150 degrees Fahrenheit and goes up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes fitted with a digital display that shows the smoker's temperature.
Ease of Use
Unlike its competitors, Z Grills isn’t WiFi-enabled, meaning it requires manual operation.
Traeger now features an updated temperature controller and comes integrated with WiFIRE technology.
Green Mountain grills use a WiFi-enabled grilling system that lets you operate it via your smartphone. It also comes with a remote temperature control setting and timer options.
Cooking Surface Area
The cooking space you choose will vary depending on your specific needs. For instance, if you frequently host a lot of guests, you’d want to consider the Traeger Timberline lineup that offers up to 1,300 square inches of grilling space.
Green Mountain grills are more suitable for small families or camping with the smallest pellet grill having a cooking space of 200 square inches.
When investing in expensive appliances like pellet grills, it makes sense to consider the product warranties. Most of these brands come with three-year warranties, and they all have a good reputation for customer service.
On top of the warranty, Z Grills offers a 30-day money-back guarantee when you purchase their models via their website.
Hopper capacity varies based on the size of the grill. So, no matter the brand you go for, choose a pellet grill that offers sufficient hopper capacity. You don’t want to be refilling your hopper every hour, considering that most pellet smokers burn one to two pounds of pellets per hour.
Obviously, your pick will be influenced by your budget. Z Grills are the most affordable pellet grills among the three, with all their models being well-manufactured. However, if you want more capacity, you may want to look at the various Traeger or Green Mountain grill options.
What Do They Say on Other Sites?
“Loving my Traeger Ironwood 885
Have always wanted a smoker than can grill or roast. The Ironwood 885 does all that and more. I had no issues pairing the app to my iPad and Android phone and can monitor cooking from anywhere in the house. Cooking shrimp and scallops today and ribs and chuck roast tomorrow. It has worked flawlessly on pork loin and multiple chickens. I consider all these different items as practice for my first Traeger brisket that we will cook in the coming weekends. The grill is also well built and feature rich. Looking forward to cooking on it year round.” (Mark P. on Amazon)
Didn't realize it required an AC converter. It is DC only source. Grill was too low as it needed to be placed on a table or stand.” (John on Walmart)
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