What About The Cooking Area Provided
The Pit Boss 700FB provides a total of 700 square inches, whereas the Rider 600 provides a total of, you guessed it 600 square inches of cooking area. However, these total cooking area figures dont really give you the whole picture.
For instance, both of these grills feature a main cooking grate for grilling/smoking and a second upper cooking rack which is purely for going low and slow. The Pit Boss 700FB has a main cooking grate of 500 square inches, whereas the Rider 600 provides just 380 square inches on the main/primary surface.
The Pit Boss 700FB provides an additional 120 square inches on the primary cooking surface over the Rider 600: Image Pitboss-grills.com
Therefore while the model numbers of 700 and 600 may make it sound like these pellet grills provide a similar cooking area, it all depends on what you want to cook. Lets say you want to cook burgers/steaks.
Well, then the 500 square inches of primary cooking surface on the Pit Boss 700FB is going to be a lot more useful than the 380 square inches on the Oklahoma Joes Rider 600. Therefore, when choosing a pellet grill always take a bit of time to look into the cooking area provided on the main cooking surface.
What Happens If Something Goes Wrong With My New Napoleon Grill And I Need It Serviced
Youre in luck! Napoleon has a service number you can contact in the event that you need assistance and possibly servicing of your grill. You can reach them at 1-866-820-8686.
Its important that you dont attempt to repair any major issues yourself. Napoleons grills have excellent warranties , so you dont want to do anything that could risk voiding your warranty.
Best For Beginner: Z Grill Zpg
The L600D is another amazing wood pellet portable grill that suits outdoor BBQ. The grills open-flame cooking will allow you to sear steaks to perfection. Starting off its features is the 572 square-inches porcelain coated cooking surface with second-tier racks. The space can accommodate more than 20 burgers, 5 ribs, and 4 full chicken.
As with most new models, you will like the proportional integral derivative temperature controller, which precisely maintains the cooking temperature all through the cooking process. With this technology, you can be assured of consistent meals every time.
Another synonymous feature is the natural smoky flavor. You dont need propane or natural gas, as the grill is fueled by natural hardwood pellets, which produce a hardwood taste that will arouse your taste buds.
The unit is also upgraded with enclosed storage cabinets, which keep your grilling utensils and other essential materials close and safe. You can also do your prep work on this additional space, eliminating the need for a tabletop.
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Z Grills Vs Traeger: Can This Brand Save You Money
Traeger is clearly a market leader when it comes to pellet smokers. They invented them, made them well-known, and now take one of the top spots on the food chain, promising quality, performance and reliability.
And, while were not denying that they deliver, just like Nike and other major brands, you definitely pay more for the Traeger stamp on the side of these smokers.
Enter Z Grills. One of the more recent companies to venture into the pellet smoker arena, theyre way cheaper and comparable with Traeger in so many ways. But, a heap cheaper is still wasted money if they dont perform as well and you end up upgrading down the road.
So, to help you choose the right smoker for your backyard, our Z Grills vs Traeger comparison takes a detailed look at the similarities and differences between these two brands in terms of construction, performance and extra features. Towards the end of this article, youll also see real Z Grills and Traeger grills taken head to head to show you what you really get for your money.
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Cooking Area Weight & Hopper Capacity
While the Traeger Pro Series 22 and Z Grills 7002C2E are of a similar size, the Z Grills does have the edge on cooking area offering a total of 697 sq.in compared to just 572 sq.in in the Traeger. But what about the size of the main cooking grate? Well, the Z Grills is larger there too offering 504 sq.in compared to 418 sq.in on the Traeger.
When it comes to weight, the Traeger comes in at 103 lbs, the Z Grills on the other hand comes in slightly heavier at 113 lbs which is to be expected as its a slightly larger pellet grill. The point is though that a single person will have no problem rolling around either of these pellet grills on their kart wheels.
The Traeger has a hopper capacity of 18 lbs whereas the Z Grills offers several pounds more with a 24 lb hopper capacity. The main difference being, where the Z Grills can take a full 20 lb bag of pellets, the Traeger cannot. To learn how much longer that 6 lbs of pellets will run in the Z Grill check out my post on pellet usage calculations.
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Heres What We Enjoyed
Great price point While it might be lacking the features of the 700D4E, theres no denying that the 700E is a large, well-made, grill for a very competitive price.
Flexibility With the adjustable upper shelf system, you have complete control over how your grill is set up.
Why Wasnt It Good
The screen is the 700Es very tiny LED screen that regulates temperature. In direct sunlight, it can be hard to see.
A great grill at a reasonable price. The 700E does have a few design shortcomings, such as the control display. However, these were corrected on the 700D4E. For our money, we would spend a little extra and get the latest version though.
See our Z Grills L6002B complete review. Now, its time to get down to basics with the L6002B.
Best Pit Boss Lockhart Review
Ok, now we have got to the big boy, the Pit Boss Lockhart, this is a very unique and huge pellet grill/smoker which Ive previously written about in my Pit Boss Platinum Series article. Something Ive discussed in the past is the pros and cons of horizontal vs vertical pellet smokers, well, the Lockhart is unique and a hybrid of the two with a horizontal and vertical smoking cabinet combined into one. I think the best review currently available on the Pit Boss Lockhart is by Paul Wickey.
Paul Wickey and a review of his Pit Boss Lockhart
The first thing I should note is the original version of the Lockhart only had Bluetooth connectivity, whereas the current version also has WiFi. If youre not sure of the significance/benefits of WiFi over Bluetooth please check out my WiFi article. A notable difference between the Lockhart and cheaper Pit Boss products referenced above is the Lockhart features interior lighting within both the lower cooking chamber and upper cabinet, a feature that comes in very handy during even cooking.
As Paul shows, to get heat/smoke into the top smoking cabinet there are two vents that can be opened up which let the heat/smoke rise. Now, the temperatures within the top chamber will be lower than those recorded for the lower cooking chamber. However, Paul notes the top chamber is not just a cold smoker, with the lower chamber set at 350 degrees the top chamber can hit 300 degrees in a 47-degree climate.
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Smoking With The Z Grills 700e
Im smoking a supermarket pork butt for 6 hours. Last minute-ish dinner invite. Normally, Id dry-brine overnight Butsimple, easy, no-fuss, fastest as possible is my motto in the kitchen .
Regular ol pork butt on sale. All I did was wet the surface of the pork and smother it in supermarket dry rub spice blend and extra salt. The water helps the seasoning stick.
The Z Grills makes smoking very hands-off, since the temperature and wood pellets are controlled electronically. The only thing that you have to do is ensure there are enough wood pellets in the hopper. Theres no sensor to tell you, need more wood!
I actually did run out of wood pellets, but caught it just in time. I had to uncover and steal pellets from my Members Mark hybrid grill to finish the 6-hour smoke.
Just checkin in on ya:
The ZGrills 700E held temperature nicely sometimes it would swing +8F, but would quickly adjust itself. My guess is that it gets hotter as new wood pellets are trickled in. The swing would never last more than a few minutes.
Six hours later.gorgeous.
Beautiful bark, smoke ring. I wasnt able to get better photos
The next day, pulled pork sandwiches:
So, why was this the best smoked pork butt that Ive ever smoked? Ill compare it to all my other methods:
The neck and the back gets simmered and made into a gravy.
For poultry, I like to add a little pan of water.
Not as pretty as presenting a whole bird at the table, but WOW super moist, smoky, rich savoriness.
Z Grills Multitasker 11002b
The Multitasker 11002B bears more than a striking resemblance to a Traeger Timberline with its bamboo chopping board on top of the pellet hopper. However, Timberline models are far more expensive than this Z Grill so Ive not used them for this comparison.
The Multitasker 11002B is the first Z Grills to some with WiFi integration: Images ZGrills.com
What the Multitasker also has in common with the Traeger Timberline is a fully insulated twin-wall cooking chamber. This type of construction helps a pellet grill reduce pellet consumption and be much more practical when using a pellet grill in winter.
- Total Cooking Area = 1,068 sq.in
- Pellet Hopper Capacity = 28 lbs
- Temperature Range = 180 to 500 degrees
- Direct-Flame Access? = No
- Availability = ZGrills.com
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What Makes Z Grills The Best
One of the reasons Z GRILLS pellet grills are one of the best is that the company focuses I improving the taste of your smoked and grilled food, and enhance ease of use.
The brand prioritizes the importance of using wood pellets and its cost-effective benefit over charcoal and propane.
The brand uses the most durable materials to create this grill.
No wonder Z GRILLS have received numerous positive reviews on Amazon and other online trading platforms.
Build Quality Looks And Appearance
Are you the type who likes to show off your grill? In that case, aesthetics matter. Check out the variety of cart styles and lid colors Z Grills offers and picture them in your yard and your Instagram feed!
The build quality doesnt change much between Z Grills models. A few feature very basic tubular carts, and most of the Basic Series have steel lids instead of stainless steel. An upgrade of a few bucks might give you more confidence your grill will last.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Z Grills
Are Z Grills pellet smokers good?
Z Grills products offer outstanding value for money. You get quite large grills made out of quality materials that also feature digital controls and maintain a steady temperature. In addition, cleaning the grills is very easy thanks to the grease bucket. All in all, Z Grills makes the best value for money pellet grills on the market.
Where are Z Grills pellet smokers made?
Z Grills is a U.S. company based out of Burlingame, California, headed by founder Jasper Yu. The company has been around for 30 years, anonymously building pellet grills for several reputable companies. Now, Z Grills has its own warehouse in Los Angeles and manufactures its pellet grills.
Which Z Grills pellet smoker is the best?
Z Grills offers plenty of quality products and all of their models have similar features. For those who are looking for plenty of cooking space and cooking versatility, the 7002E is the best choice. Those who are satisfied with a mid-sized grill that offers the same features as 7002E should go for the 450A.
What are the common problems with Z Grills pellet smokers?
Prepare The Pellet Smoker For The Grilled Haddock
Before we throw the grilled haddock on, we need to prepare your Z Grills pellet smoker.
First, fill your smoker with your favorite Z Grills wood pellets. We generally want to stick with mild wood for fish since its easy to develop an overpowering smokey flavor. But this haddock will only cook for 8 minutes on your pellet smoker, so its okay to experiment if you want to.
Preheat your pellet smoker to medium heat, about 350°F. Then, oil the grill grates with cooking spray or a paper towel soaked in olive oil.
Instead of cooking the haddock filets directly on the grill grates, well place them atop a few lemon slices.
So, envision where your filets will lay. Then, place 2-3 lemon rounds on the grill. Finally, lay the filets on top of the lemon slices
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A Little About Z Grills
They ran a successful crowdfunding campaign back in 2017 which raised nearly half a million dollars from over 1,400 investors.
The folks at Z Grills then decided to cut out the middleman and start selling directly to consumers under the Z Grills brand.
Today, it is one of the fastest-growing pellet smoker brands on the market, with 3 different categories of smokers in several different configurations.
Z Grills Portable Series
Z Grills pellet grills also come in smaller sizes if the 1000 and 700 series are both too large for your needs. They have a portable series which features their 450 and 550 grill models.
The great thing about the Z Grills 450 and 550 grills theyre the absolute best price point youre going to find for a pellet grill on the market, and you still get a quality grill even with the low price point.
These grills feature anywhere from 452 to 538 square inches of cooking surface area which is still plenty of space to cook burgers and dogs for a large gathering of people.
All of the main features present on other Z Grills pellet grills can also be found on the portable series. An LED control panel, grease management system, and heavy duty all terrain wheels can all be expected on the 450 and 550 style grills.
The hopper capacity varies by individual grill model within the portable series, but you can expect hopper capacities of 10 to 16 pounds of pellets, depending on the grill. While thats definitely a smaller capacity range than the 1000 and 700 series, the smaller grills wont burn through pellets at quite the same pace.
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Pros Of Infrared Grilling
As the market demand for infrared grills is on the rise, most manufacturers incorporate an infrared grilling feature in the traditional gas grill. The benefits of infrared grilling are as follows.
- Uniform heating surface: In infrared grilling, the heating mechanism is configured below the ceramic tile, which help in uniform distribution of heat.
- Less time for ignition: As infrared radiation is used to heat the food directly, the preheating time for infrared grilling is much lesser in comparison to other grill types.
- High temperature option: A major advantage of infrared grilling is the high temperature setting option, which can be as high as 700 Â°F. Hence, it is preferred for recipes that require elevated temperature for cooking.
- Energy efficiency: Less ignition time and faster cooking are the proofs for energy efficiency of infrared grilling over other options of grilling.
- Tasty and juicy food: Since infrared grilling requires less time for ignition and cooking, it aids in retaining the nutrients and fluid content of the food items. Many people opine that food cooked by means of infrared grilling are tastier than other ways of cooking.
Best Pit Boss Gen 1 Pro Series Review
Pit Boss currently sells the widest range of vertical pellet smokers, and for many years Gen 1 Pro Series vertical smokers have been the most commonly available. Today there are Gen 2 Pro Series vertical pellet smokers with WiFi/SmokeIT integration and there is also a Platinum model the Brunswick. However, good reviews of those vertical smokers are a bit thin on the ground. Therefore, I thought I would include what I think is the best review of the Gen 1 Pro Series vertical smoker from Andrew, the Grill Sergeant.
The Grill Sergeants review of his one year old Gen 1 Pro Series vertical pellet smoker
The reasons I like Andrews review the best is that over the year of ownership he has clearly used the smoker quite a lot, and the review is also about how to clean/maintain the smoker. I wholeheartedly agree with Andrew as I discuss in my article on BBQ wood pellets, sifting pellets to removes small bits/fines is best practice and will help the unit run better and more efficiently.
Other than an initial auger blockage error which Andrew thinks may have been due to not initially sieving his pellets, he has found the smoker to be very reliable. When it comes to cooking areas, Pit Boss vertical pellet smokers for the money provide a lot of space. As I discuss in my article on the best vertical pellet smokers, if you already own a gas grill, a vertical pellet smoker may actually be a better choice over a horizontal pellet grill/smoker.
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