If you’re familiar with wood pellet grills, Z Grills is surely a name you’ve heard before. The brand debuted on the market in 2017, after raising half a million dollars from the crowdfunding campaign. Their work, however, is well known for decades. In fact, it was Z Grills that were making grills for many prominent manufacturers, such as Traeger and Landmann.
Three years later, Z Grills are one of the top brands on the market. They are frequently rated best sellers, and for a good reason. Their aim was to create high-quality multi-purpose grills that don’t cost an arm and a leg and they did a great job at it.
Another thing we have to acknowledge Z Grills for is the regular upgrade of their models. They really listen to their customers, fix known issues and add innovative technologies.
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How They Work
Z Grills create typical wood pellet grills – fill the hopper with wood pellets, set the temperature and ignite it. The mechanical auger feeds the pellets into a firebox, while a sensor keeps an eye on the temperature and controls the flow of fuel. This makes pellet grills great for long cooking sessions, like making pulled pork. Even heat distribution prevents flare-ups and keeps the food juicy. There’s no need to babysit a pellet grill like you would a charcoal one – instead, you can spend the time with your guests.
Another advantage of cooking on pellets is the flavor it gives. Pellets infuse the food with a wood-smoked aroma, something charcoal and gas grill can’t do. You’ve got plenty of wood options to choose from – oak, maple, pecan, apple, etc, all of which give your food a distinct taste. Actually, a pellet grill is an ultimate 8-in-1 unit – you can bake, roast, braise, smoke, grill and sear the food on it. You can make eggs and pancakes as well as ribs and pizzas – basically anything!
It’s also worth mentioning that pellet grills are environmentally friendly. They use minimal electricity and repurposed fuel. Wood pellets are made out of compressed sawdust and hardwood chips, resources that would go to waste anyway. They have no chemical additives and they burn slow, meaning they’re the most cost-effective type of fuel. Furthermore, they require minimal electricity instead of using lighter, gas or fluid for start-up, making them the most earth-friendly type of grill.
Z Grills have upgraded all their models in 2020 with a new digital control board that gives you even more precise temperature control. The board auto ignites the grill and allows you to set the cooking temperature from 180 F to 450 F.
Z Grills offer a generous, 3-year warranty on their product from the date of purchase. The warranty applies to defects in all materials and workmanship. You can choose whether you want to repair or replace a faulty part. The warranty doesn’t include paint, burn pot, grill cover or corrosion damage.
The Z Grills Lineup
All the grills from the 700 series come with 504 square inches of main cooking area. A warming rack adds up another 190 square inches, given you a total of 694 square inches of cooking surface. According to Z Grills, that’s plenty of space for accommodating 4 chickens, 5 racks of ribs or 35 burgers at a time.
Two models from this series, the 700D and the 700E, feature a storage cabinet underneath the grill. You get 5400 cubic inches of storage room, which is enough for all of your grilling tools as well as pellet bags. Other models come with a bottom shelf which is still good enough for fuel bag storage.
The hopper capacity on models from this series is 20 pounds. Fill the hopper all the way up and you can rest assured it will last you 20 hours, more or less. It’s always handy not having to refill the fuel in the middle of a cooking process.
All the grills from this manufacturer have a neat waste oil collecting system. The grease pan is tilted, which allows the grease to flow into the oil bucket attached to the right side. Once it fills up, simply dispose of it. The bucket is made out of stainless steel, which means it’s not susceptible to corrosion.
Grills from this series feature 1060 square inches of total cooking area. The main surface takes up 432 square inches, while the rest is divided between two warming racks. This grill offers enough room for making 52 burgers at a time. Furthermore, you can easily remove a warming rack if you need more space to fit something big, like a whole turkey. The hopper on this series is the same size as the one on previous series’ models.
Besides the grease bucket, these series come with a new feature – an easy ash cleanout system. An ash pan is located underneath the main fuel compartment. Once the pellets are burned, the ashes from it will fall directly into the pan. After cooking, simply pull the pan out and dump the ash into a garbage bin.
Just like with the previous series, two models, the 1000E and the 1000D, come with an ample storage cabinet under the grill. This cabinet is the same size as the one found on 700 series models, which is pretty spacey.
New arrivals, the 10002B and the 10002E come with even more prep space than previous models from this series. Every model features a side shelf, but these two also come with a front shelf, which is great for preparing the meat before cooking it, and you can also put your tableware and seasoning there. These models don’t have a storage cabinet, instead, they feature a bottom shelf, where you can store fuel bags.
Portable Grill Series
Z Grills classify all their other models as portable grills, but we would say the name of this category is a bit misleading. You might be expecting small grills you can easily fold down and take camping, but that’s not exactly what these grills are. They are smaller than grills from the other two series, but they are still quite large. You can still bring them to a campsite, but keep in mind they’re heavy. These models come with two lockable caster wheels, which makes them easily movable around. There are three models from this category, the 450A, the 550 and the 600.
The smallest model, the 450A, is also one of the most popular Z Grills models. This grill comes with 452 square inches of total cooking surface. The main cooking area consists of 324 square inches while the warming rack takes up the rest of the space. This is still pretty large for a “portable grill”. You have plenty of space to make dinner for the whole family.
One thing we specifically like about the 450A model is that it has a front and a side shelf. You don’t need to worry about having a table nearby to prep your meat before tossing it onto the fire. The hopper on this model has 15 pounds capacity, meaning it will last through a 15-hour cooking session,
Two models from this series, the L6002E and the L6002B are basically the same, the only difference being the material the lid is made out of. These models allow for “Direct Flame” cooking and can reach temperatures as high as 1000 F. Like the name suggests, models from 600 series come with a total cooking area of 600 square inches. However, they also have the smallest hopper capacity out of all the Z Grills models – it can hold up to 10 pounds of wood pellets at a time.
This series also has two models, although they differ in quite a few characteristics. The 550A comes with 590 square inches of cooking are, while the 550B model is 530 square-inch large. The hopper capacity is also smaller with the latter. Their biggest similarity is the design. Both have a barrel-like shape, and their powder-coated finish gives them a retro, stylish look.
If you’re looking for an affordable and sturdy wood pellet grill, then you should look no further. Z Grills give you a Traeger-quality grill that doesn’t cost a pretty penny. You get the best mix of convenience, aroma and versatility. Z Grills models come in different sizes, and you can surely find one that fits your needs.
Wood pellet grills are great for backyards, but can also work well on balconies. If you have a small outside area or you simply don’t plan on cooking for a large number of people, then the 450A is a good choice for you. But if backyard BBQ parties are your thing, models from 700 series or even 1000 series are what you’re looking for. And the best part of it is, even these large grills don’t cost a monthly salary. In any case, we hope this guide has shown you everything you need to know about Z Grills and will help you make the best choice.