It’s hard to pick between an overly expensive but well-esteemed brand for grills, and it’s relatively cheaper alternative. Traeger and Z Grills present a similar story.
Traeger is very popular among the best pitmasters for being a trustworthy brand for smokers.
They’re highly sought after because of their high quality, durability, as well as their user-friendly and advanced features.
However, all these benefits come at a price.
On the other hand, Z Grills is known as one of the more budget-friendly manufacturers of grills.
They might not offer you the same features as a Traeger smoker, but they offer their best in the price that they come in.
So, should you purchase Traeger at a higher price and enjoy its many perks, or try investing and trusting in Z Grills? We know your answer!
Z Grills Vs. Traeger – A Comparison
For a lot of people, it might be easy to draw a line between Z Grills and Traeger.
Many people will prefer Traeger over Z Grills any day because of their many benefits in a seemingly simple grill. We like to disagree with this opinion.
Both these companies produce great grills to the best of their extent.
If Traeger is expensive, it gives you all the reasons for its price to be valid. And if Z Grills is cheaper, that doesn’t mean they lack anything.
To help you understand their difference further, we designed a comparison for you.
|1. Construction||Durable, offers a choice between fully powder-coated, and powder-coated plus stainless steel construction||Durable (powder-coated steel body with porcelain-coated grates)|
|2. Cooking space||Small to very large (450 to 1000 square inches)||Small to very large (500 to 1236 square inches)|
|3. Pellet hopper size||8, 16, and 20 pounds||18, 20, and 22 pounds|
|5. Waterproof grill cover||Included||Not included|
|6. Temperature range||180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit||150 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit|
|7. Temperature control||Easy and automated (PID-style)||Easy and automated|
|8. Meat probes||2 included||Not included|
|9. Direct flame access||Present||Absent|
|10. WiFi||Not included||Included (WiFIRE)|
|12. Warranty||3 years||3 years|
|13. Place of manufacturing||Based in USA with a warehouse in California, manufactured in China||Headquarters in USA but manufactured in China|
|Visit Z Grills’ Website.||Visit Traeger’s Website.|
Everything You Need to Know About Z Grills
Z Grills was only established recently in 2017. However, because of the company’s massive successful campaigning, they were able to earn a place in the market pretty quickly.
Despite being a recently established company, Z Grills has successfully competed with its rival companies in the market, as their designs are both durable and accommodating.
This is also because the founders of the company have been the brain behind the designs for many bigger companies for grills, before entering the competition independently.
From the very start, the brand has focused on making grills and smokers that are budget-friendly yet provide you all the benefits of a good smoker. So far, they have kept their promise and not forgotten their goal.
The company is based in the US, and even has a warehouse in California. But they manufacture their products in China.
The 81 pounds pellet smoker from Z Grills might be budget-friendly, but it definitely does not lack in any feature that you will be needing for a good grilling session.
The Flame Elite 600D3E is fueled by 100% natural hardwood and cooks your meat on the fan-forced convection process.
The upper temperature limit on most of its models is either 450 or 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but since it features open flame or direct heat cooking, it can reach a temperature as high as 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pellet grill is constructed of heavy duty steel and even has a stainless steel lid. It also features a digital PID control board, unlike most grills that come in its price range.
Everything You Need to Know About Traeger
Traeger is the revolutionary company that updated the design of an offset smoker to provide us with a completely new product – a wood pellet grill.
The founder of Traeger realized the brilliance in this concept and patented the idea. This means that the company that sold grills and smokers for many years without any competition in the market.
Eventually, the patent did expire in 2007. As soon as that happened, many companies instantly began designing their own wood pellet grills and smokers to compete with Traeger. Surprisingly, all of them did pretty well – Pit Boss is a great example for that!
Despite this huge change, Traeger still maintained a top-brand name in grills and smokers because of their unmatched designs, durability, and technological advancements.
Even today, they enjoy great popularity. In fact, they even introduced a huge chain of their smoking Traeger accessories to build their brand further.
Traeger 575 is yet one of the best grills that Traeger has designed. This model is also highly popular despite being slightly expensive.
One of the biggest technological advancements that this 124 pound grill features is WiFIRE technology.
This is basically a connectivity feature that allows sensors on your gill to connect to an application on your phone of course, through the app then you can control the starting and shutting off of your smoker, setting and controlling its time and temperature, etc.
Generally, this grill is also easy to use and has its controls designed for increased user convenience.
It includes hopper cleanout, turbo temp, and even meat probes.
The Pro 575 is constructed of heavy duty steel with porcelain-coated grill grates.
For easy portability, it also features all-terrain and castor wheels.
With all these features, its high price is automatically justified.
Check our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Smoke Brisket on a Traeger Smoker, here.
A Side-By-Side Comparison
Still confused? We know how to help you purchase the right product!
You would be surprised to hear that Z Grills allows you to choose between two different constructions in all of their models.
Yes! No matter which model you decide to purchase, you will be given the option to pick between a fully powder-coated steel construction, and a powder-coated plus stainless steel construction.
Traeger has all its models made of powder-coated steel, and has the grates of some newer models coated with porcelain.
Although both brands make durable grills, Z Grills has an upper hand in this case since they allow you to pick your construction yourself.
Cooking Space and Pellet Hopper Size
Traeger is known for letting you buy rather small grills, with a cooking space of just 500 square inches. However, Z Grills gives you even smaller cooking surface areas of only 450 square inches in some models!
But at the same time, Traeger has designed grills with a cooking space as large as 1236 square inches, whereas Z Grills only go up to 1000 square inches.
If you’re looking for smaller grills, Z Grills is the right option for you, otherwise you should purchase Traeger.
The same rule applies for their respective pellet hopper sizes.
Z Grills have pellet hoppers that can accommodate as less as 8 pounds of pellets, increasing to 16 and 20 pounds.
Traeger pellet hopper sizes only begin at 18 pounds, and end at 20 and 22 pounds!
Also Check Out >> Pit Boss Smoker vs Traeger
Temperature Control and Range
Both the brands offer great, automated temperature controls. Z Grills also features the PID-technology in some of its models.
Z Grills has a temperature range of 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas Traeger has a wider range of 150 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, Traeger does not offer the open flame in any of its models. Z Grills has the ability to reach a temperature as high as 750 degrees Fahrenheit because of its direct heat cooking method.
Therefore, Z Grills have a win for higher temperatures.
This causes a tie between the two brands, since both design all their grills keeping convenient portability in mind.
The biggest win that Z Grills has is that all their models have a very budget-friendly price.
Traeger, on the other hand, is known for being expensive. Their prices range between $700 to $2000, and even higher in some cases!
Again, there’s a tie between the two brands when it comes to the warranty they provide.
For up to 3 years, you don’t have to worry about any repairs in any of the grills designed by either Traeger or Z Grills.
Traeger usually does not include any additional accessories in any of their grill models.
Whereas with Z Grills you get to enjoy an in-purchase waterproof and UV resistant grill cover for your grill’s protection. They also include 2 accurate meat probes in all their grills.
However, Traeger still has an upper hand when it comes to introducing WiFi technology to their recent models, which they call WiFIRE.
Which is Better – Z Grills or Traeger?
To conclude that Traeger is better because of its multiple advanced features is both correct and incorrect. The verdict is based on your needs.
If you’re willing to spend as much money as you have to as long as you get multiple convenience features, then Traeger should be your choice.
However, if you’re looking to make a smarter purchase and do not mind a little less features on still a great model of grills, then Z Grills could be your ultimate partner.