The Z Grills Digital Temperature Controller
One ff the reasons Z Grills are referred to as Traeger Clones is how similar the temperature controller is on Z Grills compared to the previous generation Traeger pellet grills. If you review my post on how to replace a Traeger controller you will see what I mean. Many Z Grills use the same dial temperature controller with a digital temperature readout. This gives many Z Grills a temperature range of 180 to 450 degrees.
Quick video from Z Grills on how to use the temperature controller on their pellet grills: Video ZGrills.com
However, 450 degrees is not really hot enough for proper searing. Hence its why Camp Chef with their pellet grills offers the option of a propane Sear Box or Sidekick for high temperature searing. It is possible to get higher cooking temperatures than 450 degrees and superior searing performance on a budget/economy pellet grill though.
For instance, the Cuisinart Woodcreek and Twin Oaks can achieve 500 degrees. However, the Cuisinart pellet grills also feature cast iron grill grates which are not featured on Z Grills. Cast Iron grates help to hold and build up temperature which provides for improved searing performance. Therefore the actual grilling performance of Z Grills is not best in class.
Replacement Z Grill Temperature Controller: Image
This limitation is fairly common on other makes of pellet grill in the Economy/budget class. However, Camp Chef SmokePro pellet grills can be upgraded with the more advanced Gen 2 PID WiFi controller.
What Our Customers Are Saying
Outstanding smoke flavor and even cooking. I chose the Zgrills pellet grill because I trust the product. The grill offered more than I expected. There are no hidden factors. The pid controls are user friendly. Disassemble the easy parts. Use a brush on the wasted material. Put the parts back in place. That’s it. Sweet! I recommend this product.
Very good. I have cooked on Mak grills, Camp Chef, Green Mountain and Pit Boss and of course Traeger. This is my favorite grill. Easy to clean. Works perfectly. The PID controller with smoke mode is a winner. Fit and finish is excellent. I will only own a Z Grill from now on. You just can’t beat the price with the quality of the grill.
I added comments to my order to send me two different types of pellets and they did. I got my smoker not that long ago and am working my way through the pellet types to see what I like best.
I used the thermal blanket on my Z Grill while smoking a pork butt in 20° weather. Temps never fluctuated during the smoke. Magnets in the blanket help keep the blanket in place. It works great!
So far I love this smoker. I wanted one with a PID controller to help better control my temperature. Ive only smoked pork belly burnt ends and ribs so far. Im actually in the process of smoking a brisket for Super Bowl. Smelling so good. Its easy to clean and easy to use. Very happy with it so far.
Best Z Grills Reviews 2023
We have the five best Z Grills featured in this review. As you can see, all the models here are smokers/grills in one. This means that when you purchase any of these grills, you will get a smoker and a grill in one. Youll be able to enjoy the true value of a multi-cooker grill which is often more expensive compared to regular grills and smokers. And with Z Grills, youll get these multi-function grills at the most affordable prices online.
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Just Looking For The Skinny On The 700e
If you dont want to read this whole review then, basically, the Z Grills 700E is an affordable, but basic, mid-sized pellet smoker. It performs well at low and slow temperatures with reliable temperature regulation and easy to use controls. It can also be used for grilling. But, keep in mind that its indirect high-heat and wont work the same as a dedicated grill, and, itll chop through pellets quickly to do so.
In terms of build quality, the 700E is on the cheaper end, but, is very well done. Theyve saved on the expense by forgoing the extras like WiFi instead of sacrificing the quality of what is there.
With two meat probes and a waterproof cover included, its a great value for money package thats backed by a decent warranty and the durability to outlast it.
Why Z Grills Is The Best
Z Grills grills are the best because these grills focus on fuel efficiency, enhancing the taste of grilled and smoked food and improving usability. The brand makes sure that their grill emphasizes the use of wood pellets instead of costly fuel like propane and charcoal.
All Z Grills are made from the toughest material and have the round or barrel design. This design is known to improve the way food is cooked with a wood pellet grill and improve the efficiency of wood pellets. No wonder this brand has a large number of recommendations and positive reviews online.
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Z Grills Zpg 7002e 2020 Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
An upgrade of the previous Z Grills wood pellet grill and smoker is the ZPG 7002E 2019 model. This is an 8-in-1 grill that will also be able to grill, smoke, bake, sear, braise, char-grill, barbecue, and roast. It uses fan-forced convection cooking that reduces the need to place your food in a rotisserie.It comes with a unique temperature as well as a pellet feed system that will automatically add wood pellets to the fire. The new upgraded digital control system will maintain the heat from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.This will create the best amount of smoke ideal for cooking, smoking, and grilling. All you need to do is to set it up and relax no need to constantly check on your grill temperature.
- With Smart Smoke Technology that automatically that will load the feed system to maintain temperature.With Smart Digital Controllers to keep temperatures to keep the temperature at the desired amount.With 6-in-+1 uses making it versatile and able to cook using different functionsLightweight at 84 poundsComes with spacious grilling and cooking space with an additional wire rackHigher hopper capacity so you can set this up and leave it aloneComes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
Another plus when using this Z Grill model is the large grilling area. You will get 700 square inches of cooking space plus a hopper capacity of about 20 pounds. You can slow cook a large chunk of meats with this grill capacity.
Temperature Profiles In A Z Grills Pellet Grill
I did a couple tests to map out the heat distribution patterns on this grill. The tl dr version is that the distribution is fine but you need to cook on the grill to learn for yourself.
For the first test I set the grill to 225F and, after it stabilized, spent an hour recording the temperature off of the control panel and came up with this range of values:
- Lowest Temperature: 219F
- Average Temperature: 223F
- Maximum Temperature: 232F
The grill stayed impressively tight towards the target temperature. This test was done under ideal conditions and would probably show different results under extreme cold or windy conditions.
Next, I used digital thermometers to measure the temperatures across the bottom and top cooking grates. The temperature varied by about 20 degrees from one side of the grate to the other. There was also a 10-20 degree difference between the bottom and top grate.
While the top grates got hotter than the bottom grates in this test it was with an empty smoker. I have found that when I load this guy the meat on the top grate cooks slower than the meat on the lower grate. The meat on the lower grate soaks up the heat before it can get to the top grate.
Next up was a high temperature Biscuit Test.
At high temperatures the grill runs hotter on the left than the right which is the opposite of what was seen at low temperatures.
So yeahyou can get this grill really hot
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Z Grills Review Wrap Up
Bottom line, I thought I would never talk about any other smoker than the Traeger. While I love the Traeger and use it all the time, the Z Grill is a viable option and one not to be overlooked. The Z Grill has better price tags and offers a lot more than the Traeger.
While I thought Z Grill was just a generic smoker, it is anything but. I was completely wrong and this smoker was head and shoulders above what I expected. The Z Grill is high quality, easy to use, and works like a champ. If you are looking for a smoker, you have to look at the ZPG-700D3 / ZPG-700D4E.
While they offer a wide variety of models, they do have two new models they just introduced.
Which Z Grills Is The Best
Of the five Z Grills featured in this review, the best has to be Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker. The main reason for this has to be the grills tough body which can withstand years and years of grilling. Next reason is that has a large total cooking capacity of 700 square inches. With this grill, you will be able to grill more food to perfection plus cook using different methods like baking, braising, roasting and so many more.
We know that the Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is the best because it has all the features that Z Grills has. First is the Smart Smoke Technology which is managed by an automatic electric feed mechanism which maintains the temperature from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. A Smart Digital Controller lets you keep within the cooking temperature range.
You will be able to easily set this up using a small dial located at the front of the hopper. Just turn it and you are ready to cook. We recommend the Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker for first time grill owners as well as those who have owned grills before. Its fantastic features and exclusive design adds more value for your money and will surely bring out the best in your cooking.
Whats not to love when you have a large 513 square inches of main cooking space and add 187 square inches of space on the wire rack and youll get 700 square inches of total cooking space. This large cooking area can accommodate up to 20 burgers, 5 whole chickens or about 6 racks of delicious ribs.
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Z Grill Wood Pellet Grill Sizes
The lowest-priced and most affordable Z Grill pellet grills are the 450 and 550 series, these are also promoted as their portable pellet grill range. While they are small and compact the legs do not fold up on these pellet grills. Hence Im not sure about their viability as a truly portable pellet grill. For instance, they will not be as convenient to move around as a Pit Boss Tailgater or Traeger Scout/Ranger.
The 450 Series are the cheapest/smallest Z Grill wood pellet grills: Image ZGrills.com
In terms of cooking area, the 450 and 550 series provide 450 and 538 square inches of cooking area respectively. The 450 features a 15lb BBQ pellet hopper. With the 550 series though the pellet hopper situation is rather odd. On the product listing, they show two versions, the 550A and the 550B.
The 550A features a reasonably large 20lb pellet hopper, hence it can take a full 20lb bag of wood pellets in one go. The 550B, on the other hand, features a much smaller 10lb pellet hopper, hence a smaller hopper than the 450 series at 15lb?!
While the 550B provides a larger cooking area over the 450 series it actually features a small pellet hopper: Image ZGrills.com
The 700 series all feature a 20lb pellet hopper and come in a range of colour and cabinet options: Image ZGrills.com
The 1000 series Z Grills benefit from a pellet hopper emptying chute and an ash removal draw: Image ZGrills.com
My Experience With Z Grills
The first pellet grill I ever cooked on was a Z Grills 7002B. I immediately got hooked on how simple the grill was to operate. Cooking on a pellet grill was easier than cooking on a gas grill and the food tasted a whole lot better.
I cooked on the 700 series for two years before upgrading to the Z Grills 1000 2E in 2020. The 1000 series grill has turned into my Go To grill and I love it.
We now keep my older 700 series grill at my friends workshop where it is used as a dedicated chicken wing cooker.
I am also trying out Z Grills new portable pellet grill and am liking what I see so far.
By the way, in 2022 Z Grills made major upgrades to the 700 series grills. You can now buy the 700 D4E or 700 D3 and get a grill with a PID controller, integrated meat probes, LCD display and hopper cleanout. My original 700 model was great and these upgraded versions are even better.
The 1000 Series Grill is My Favorite!
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Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Smoker
Were sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock
Award:BEST FOR CAMPING
WHY WE LIKE IT: A highly mobile, high-performance option built for use on rough terrain and uneven surfaces, with advanced digital control and monitoring features and an easy-clean design.
- Full control with Android and iOS
- D2® drivetrain for fast heat up and superior smoking
- All-terrain wheels for take-anywhere functionality
- Slightly smaller cooking area than some models at 575 square inches
The Traeger Pro 575 is a high-performance pellet smoker/grill built for mobility and precise control. Patented WiFIRE® technology allows you to monitor and adjust your grill remotely using Traegers app on your mobile Android or iOS device, while an upgraded D2® drivetrain for a quicker startup, faster heating, and maximum smoke output for consistent, professional results. But, before you stop here, read our Traeger vs Rec Tec comparison post.
How Good Are Z Grills
The Z Grill is a wood pellet grill. Wood pellet grills give you that beautiful, smoky flavor that you just dont get on traditional grills . There are a variety of wood pellets available with different flavors, and you can get them from Z Grills direct or theres a range of pellets suitable for z grills on Amazon.
You can use the Z Grill to grill, bbq, smoke, bake, roast, braise and sear, pretty much anything youd cook in your kitchen. People are smoking their own bacon and salami, baking cakes, searing cakes, slow-cooking meats, your imagination is your limit, really. There are a lot of recipes on the website.
You can cook your food low and slow, like ribs, pulled pork and briskets. You can make your own smoked ham or bacon, or sausages with a smokey flavor. Cook pizza, cake, and steak, its a grill and oven in 1.
Learn more about how Z Grills work on their website!
They market themselves as the affordable wood pellet grill and judging by the prices and the functionality, this is quite true. You can find a price comparison above, and on their website. Their official video:
There are videos for the assembly of your z grill too, like the Z grills zpg-7002e below.
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Size And Cooking Area
How many people you plan to cook for and what kind of food you like are key considerations. A small family may not need a huge cooking surface unless you entertain frequently and need to fill the grate with chops, dogs, or burgers.
Think about what you might like to smoke, too. For example, if youve got picnic shoulders on the brain, be sure you pick a grill with ample width and height.
Look at where you plan to park your pellet grill, too. You need clearance from the walls and room to move around a hot grill safely.
Things I Would Change About Z Grills
I love my Z Grills, and think they are great value compared to Traeger, but there are a few things that I would like to see improved upon.
For starters, while I appreciate the fact that the grill comes with a cover, the cover is not high quality. My cover faded to grey within 6 months and is developing tears along the front. On the plus side, at least the faded color matches the duct tape I am using to hold the cover together.
Another nice feature that should be easy to implement is a dump feature on the pellet hopper. Sometimes you will want to empty the pellet hopper because you want to change wood flavors or maybe the pellets have gotten damp and have swollen into sawdust.
The only way to remove the pellets from the hopper on a Z Grills is to scoop them out by hand. A pellet dump mechanism would make these grills a little nicer.
It would also be nice if Z Grills came with at least one built in meat probe. I use a stand alone meat probe for monitoring the internal temperature of meats but there are a lot of grill manufacturers that have one built into the control panel.
The last improvement that I would suggest is some sort of latch that holds the grease bucket in place. The bucket loosely hangs on a hook and I have accidently knocked the grease bucket off my grill many times. It makes a mess that is extremely hard to clean.
That grease bucket is also one of the reasons that my dog hangs around the grill while I am cooking.
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