Z Grills 700E Wood Pellet Grill Review

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Z Grills has been shaking up the pellet grill business since 2016, when they stopped producing grills for Traeger and began selling straight to the public.

The 700E is their best-selling grill, so I was eager to get my hands on one and test it out.

In this review, I’ll go through my experiences cooking on the Z Grills 700E, including what I enjoy and what I don’t.

Z Grills Australia provided me with this grill for free in exchange for an honest assessment. My views and opinions are all my own.

Z Grills 700E overview & first impressions

Z Grills 700E Wood Pellet Grill Review

The 700E is a good value for money for those wishing to get started cooking with a pellet barbecue.

This barbecue lacks sophisticated features like WiFi and App connection. Z Grills has concentrated on nailing the fundamentals while keeping the pricing low. At the time of writing, the 700E was $250 less expensive than the Traeger Pro 575.

Do you prefer video? We have a detailed video review where I discuss what I like and dislike about the Z Grills 700E.

That’s astounding when you consider you get 694 square inches of cooking space (119 more than the Traeger), a closed cart, and a somewhat bigger hopper.

Let’s go through the entire specifications and discuss the benefits and downsides as well as some hands-on testing.

Cooking Area 694 sq in (504 main rack + 190 top racks)
Pellet Hopper Capacity 20 lbs.
Temp Range 180°F – 450°F
Shelves & Storage One shelf on pellet hopper plus storage cabinet
Temp Probes Two meat probes
Construction Stainless steel
WiFi/App No
Warranty 3 years
Price Check latest price

The grill is composed of stainless steel, but the insulation looks to be weak, and there was a lot of smoke pouring out the door during startup. This is not unusual for a low-cost smoker, and I had no issues with temperature retention.

What I like:

  • Outstanding value for money This is without a doubt the 700E’s most notable feature. You get a large pellet grill that is easy to use and produces great meals for less than rival manufacturers.
  • System of split upper racks I appreciate that you may choose to utilize one, two, or none of the higher racks. Because there isn’t much space between the top and lower racks, you may choose various setups to optimize your grill real estate for whatever you’re cooking.

What I don’t like:

  • There is no mechanism to drain unused pellets. Most manufacturers advocate discarding unwanted pellets after cooking, and grills with pellet chutes, such as the Camp Chef Woodwind, make this simple. To perform this on the Z Grills, you’ll need a tiny vacuum.
  • Be cautious while shutting the lid. This can vary depending on your height, but I discovered that while I was closing the grill, a little (but extremely hot) region below the lid handle kept getting too near for comfort.
  • In direct sunlight, the temperature display is difficult to read. The screen is fairly tiny, and I found it difficult to check the temperature in the middle of the day.

One may argue that the 700E lacks many of the convenience features seen on competing pellet grills such as the Woodwind or Traeger.

You do, however, lose out on a few nice-to-haves such as WiFi, adequate searing capabilities, and pellet drainage.

However, if all you want is a good-sized pellet grill that makes it simple to prepare wonderful barbecue without a lot of trouble and without spending a fortune, the Z Grills will not disappoint.

Sure, it won’t survive for decades, but neither will most of the more costly competitors.

Unboxing and setup

Z Grills 700E Wood Pellet Grill Review

The grill came in two huge cardboard boxes that were properly wrapped. The primary cooking chamber was delivered in a single piece, with different components ingeniously placed within.

Z Grills comes with a few tools (screwdriver and wrench) as well as all the screws you’ll need in a neat small container.

The directions are simple to follow, and it took around 90 minutes from start to finish. It could be done by one person, but there were a few areas were having a helper came in handy (attaching the pellet hopper + auger, for example).

Setting up the 700E

I followed the basic setup and burn-in instructions when the grill was completely constructed. The procedure was simple, including starting the fire and then running it at high temperature for 45 minutes to burn out any remaining oil.

I did notice some oil on some of the components, therefore I suggest that you complete these instructions before cooking on your new grill.

Cooking on the Z Grills 700E

I cooked a variety of foods to evaluate how well the 700E would work in various situations.

Most people would buy this grill for its low and slow capabilities, so I spent the most of my testing time there. It apparently reaches 450°F, which is hot enough to roast but probably not hot enough to sear.

Ease of operation

Cooking on the 700E was a breeze for me. The controls are straightforward. Switching the controller to smoke mode with the lid open is the start-up process.

The auger begins to rotate, feeding pellets into the burn pot. When you see smoke pouring out, close the lid and adjust the temperature to anything between 180F and 450F.

You can check the temperature of your food as it cooks by inserting the probes into the controller and feeding them through a specific slot intended to prevent heat or smoke from escaping.

Because the small LCD panel can only display one temperature at a time, you must push the probe temp button to see it, as it shows the grill temp by default.

The grill is portable thanks to four caster wheels, two of which lock to keep the grill in position.

How the 700E performs at smoking

With no direct searing possibilities, I would advocate smoke as the major application for this grill.

I used the 700E to smoke a pork shoulder for pulled pork and set it up for a low and slow simmer at 250F.

The technique was quite straightforward, and utilizing the meat probe made it simple to check the temperature throughout the cook.

Although there wasn’t as much bark development as I would expect on my charcoal smoker, the pork took on some excellent color.

I confirmed the pork with my Thermapen after it reached 165F and then covered it in foil to assist it power through the stall.

The pork pulled well, was juicy, and had a great smoke ring.

My wife and I agreed that the smoke taste was much more mild than when we cooked pulled pork on our Weber Smokey Mountain.

She favored the Z Grills because of their more mild taste. Personally, I like a bit more, but there’s no doubting it was tasty.

You can leave the grill on the Smoke option, which maintains the temperature incredibly low and generates more smoke, so I’m going to try that for the first hour or two the next time I cook.

But can you grill on it?

Z Grills tout 8-in-1 cooking capabilities and promise to grill and sear. I was suspicious of this claim since the temperature only goes up to 450F and there is no simple way for opening up the fire pot for direct flame grilling as on certain Camp Chef and Pit Boss models.

I preheated the grill to high heat, then placed a couple chicken thighs on it.

I was ecstatic when I heard the thighs sizzling on the grill grates.

However, by the time they were finished, they just had line grill lines on the outside and no crust.

Don’t get me wrong: the chicken was juicy and wonderful, with just a hint of smoky flavor.

You won’t get deep grill marks and appropriate searing to enhance the Maillard process.

But if you want something quick, simple, and delicious, this will suffice.

I also discovered that marinated meat cooked really nicely since the sugars in the marinade did not burn and adhere to the flesh.

Storage and prep areas

With a closed cart design, the 700E provides enough storage. That is the primary difference between the 7002E and the somewhat less expensive 7002E.

The enclosed storage cabinet is spacious enough to hold a few bags of pellets, meat probes, and BBQ accessories.

The prep space isn’t as large. I wish there had been a side shelf. As it is, your only prep space is on top of the pellet hopper. It’s big enough to carry a plate (and a drink), but it’s too high to do any prep work.

Grill grate performance

The porcelain-coated cast iron grill grates are built of. In the hand, they felt light and inexpensive.

As I noted in the grilling part, I couldn’t achieve excellent sear marks, but the food didn’t cling and the grates were simple to clean after each cook.

You get one huge grill grate on the bottom and two smaller ones on the second level, so you may use only the bottom or just one grate above depending on what you’re cooking.

Build quality

At this pricing range, you can’t be too picky about construction quality. You won’t get incredibly hefty, well-insulated construction, so I was more concerned in how well everything came together and whether there were any visible flaws or weak places.

The cover is constructed of stainless steel, while the chamber is built of cast iron. Everything seems light, yet it all fits together well during installation.

Some weld marks were visible around the screw holes.

How tough is the Z Grills 700E to clean?

Z Grills recommends covering the top of the grease pan with aluminum foil.

This worked nicely to collect most of the drips, and after a few cooking, it was simple to crumple up and discard.

Some grease may drain into the side bucket, which can be cleaned with soapy water.

To clean up the pellet dust, remove the tray and baffle plate and use a shop vac.

You could certainly soak it up, but a vac would be much simpler.

This video from Z Grills Australia depicts the complete cleaning procedure well.

After each roast, Z Grills recommends discarding any unused pellets (pellets becoming moist is a major source of problems). Unfortunately, there is no convenient method to unload pellets.

Remove the auger guard and scope them out before using a vacuum to clear out the majority of the auger.

Testing & benchmarks

We run every grill we evaluate through a series of established criteria to determine how quickly it heats up and how much temperature variation you will encounter.

Time to come up to temp

It took me 11 minutes to reach 225F from the start of the first setup.

While the grill registered 225F, it took an additional two minutes for our thermometer to register 225F in the center of the grill.

Switch the grill to Smoke mode and wait until you see smoke and hear a whooshing sound from the pellets igniting. After a few minutes of starting, you may adjust the temperature to your liking.

It took around 25 minutes to reach the maximum temperature after starting up. Even after an hour at maximum power, the grill had not hit the promised maximum of 450. Instead, it reached a maximum temperature of roughly 420F.

Temperature accuracy test

Setting up a temperature probe on the left, center, and right side of the grill with my beloved ThermoWorks Smoke X.

I wanted to compare the temperature at various spots on the grill to what the grill was telling me.

The Z Grills probe, which is connected to the controller, is placed on the grill’s far left side, closest to the hopper.

Grill Setting Left Middle Right
225°F 222°F 225°F 221°F
450°F 418°F 420°F 395°F

I was glad to observe that the grill temperature was quite consistent at a regular low and slow setting of 225F.

As you can guess, the more heated it becomes, the greater temperature variation we see. When the grill was set to maximum heat, there was a 25-degree difference between the centre and right.

In terms of variation, this is about what I would anticipate, albeit I was disappointed that the grill did not reach the maximum specified temperature.

The temperature was 74 degrees Fahrenheit, but there was a strong breeze that may have had an effect.

It is crucial to note that these findings may differ depending on your environment and perhaps the kind of pellets you use.


Z Grills provide the expected range of basic attachments. BBQ gloves, bear claws for slicing pig, and a basting brush are all recommended.

If your grill did not come with a cover, I would strongly suggest purchasing one.

You must safeguard your investment by keeping the electronics and any pellets left inside dry.

You may purchase Z Grills brand oak wood pellets for $25 per 20Lb bag, or you can use whatever brand you choose.

Other grills to consider

There are a few different Z Grills choices to consider if you want to keep inside your budget.

If you don’t need as much room, the somewhat smaller L6002B we evaluated is a good option, while the new 1000D has extra grill area and an additional side shelf.

Outside of Z Grills, Pit Boss is probably your best affordable choice. The Sportsman 820, which we just reviewed, is a touch larger and comes with a sliding plate for direct flame searing (albeit the zone you can sear in is rather tiny).

If you have a few hundred dollars to spare, I would choose the Camp Chef Woodwind, which has a superior build quality and a solid slide and sear mechanism for a little more adaptability.

Final verdict

If you want a simple smoker with few bells and whistles, the Z barbecues 700E is an excellent starting point into the world of pellet barbecues.

We even went so far as to declare the 700E our top budget smoker option.

It makes a fantastic smoker, and although its flexibility is overstated (it can bake and grill), you won’t get the same amount of crust as you would on a hotter grill.

Sure, there isn’t a WiFi app for operating the barbecue from your phone, but we’ve seen that even grills costing more than $2,000 may suffer with unreliable applications that often disconnect.

Z Grills are best purchased through their official website since they often include goodies like as a grill cover, thermometer, and free pellets.

As usual, if you have any questions concerning this grill, please leave them in the comments section below. Reader comment is always appreciated!


Are Z Grills as good as Traeger grills?

In conclusion

If you don’t mind a bigger grill without some of the more contemporary amenities, the Z Grills 700D4E is a better bargain than the Traeger Pro 575, particularly if you’re cooking for a large party or a variety of meats at once.

Is Z grill worth it?

When compared to the usual, better quality propane grill on the market, the Z Grill 700D3 and other Z Grill alternatives are reasonably priced, and in many instances, less costly. The Z Grill is well worth the few additional dollars you may invest for its quality and adaptability.

Are Traeger and Z Grills the same?

WiFi), therefore they are attempting to compete directly with Traeger with certain of their products.Traeger versus Z Grills Pellet Grills: An Overview

Traeger is currently more focused on its luxury options, while Z Grills is an economy brand. Z Grills, on the other hand, now offers pellet grills with premium features (PID).

Are Z Grills made in China?

Smoker brands you’re familiar with, such as Pit Boss, Lousiana Grills, Camp Chef, and Z Grills (not mentioned above), are manufactured in China, not the United States. Dansons LLC, situated in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a US-owned corporation that owns the Pit Boss and Lousiana Grills brands.As a result, other popular pellet grills

How long do pellets last in Z Grills?

The wood grill pellets used in Z Grills burn at roughly 2.2 pounds per hour at high temperatures (greater than 356 degrees) and 0.66 to 0.88 pounds per hour during low and moderate cooking (Smoke setting or 225 degrees). Depending on the weather and circumstances, a 22-pound bag of pellets may last anywhere from 10 to 25 hours.

What is the number 1 rated grill?

Gas Grill Weber Spirit II E-310

This is the greatest grill available. It includes everything you need for a backyard cookout with the family. It features a huge cooking surface, is simple to set up and operate, and most importantly, it provided the most delicious food on the test. It does all of this and more at a very cheap cost.

What happens if Z Grill runs out of pellets?

If the hopper is empty but the temperature hasn’t decreased yet and there are still pellets visible in the auger tube (the tube isn’t empty), you’re in luck! Simply add new pellets and the grill will continue to operate normally.

What is the difference between Z Grill and Pit Boss?

The primary difference between these two wood pellet grill businesses is that Pit Boss values quality and its products are somewhat more costly than Z Grills’. Pit Boss grills, for example, feature superior construction such as porcelain-coated cast iron, but Z Grills often uses basic coated steel wire.

What is best to smoke on Z Grill?

The Top 20 Z Grill Recipes
Brisket that has been smoked. When people see the 6+ hour cook time on smoked brisket, they typically say to themselves, “That’s just not for me.” …
Ribeye Steaks with a Smoked Finish.
Z Grills with a whole turkey.
Meatloaf with Smoked Meat.
Grilled Pellet Spare Ribs Smoked.
Cornish Game Hens, smoked.
Smoked Bratwurst.
Grilled Pellet Turkey breast that has been smoked.


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