In the hot pellet grill market, Z Grills has become a major manufacturer by focusing on low-cost products. The Z Grills 700 Series Pellet Grills are their flagship units and can be found through many retailers as well as through Z Grill’s online store. The question you need to ask is, are you sacrificing too much for a discount price?
- Who is Z Grills?
- Where are Z Grills Made?
- Why Z Grills?
- Z Grills 700 Series
- Z Grills 700D4E Review
- Z Grills vs Grilla Grills
- Z Grills vs Traeger
- Z Grills vs Pit Boss
- Series 700 Pellet Grill Models
- About Me
- Affiliate Disclosure
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Who is Z Grills?
Z Grills started out as a bbq grill, smoker, and pellet grill manufacturer for other major brands. You can still see similarities between Z Grills and other companies’ products. In 2016, Z Grills was launched so they could promote their own grills (while still manufacturing for a few other brands). Today, they are known for their budget pellet grills and offer a complete line of associated products from wood pellets to tools and apparel.
Z Grills is actually Jiangsu Zgrills Technology Co, Ltd, based in Yangzhou City, China. They make pellet grills under the name YOYO Grill as well as Z-Grills. Being one of the largest pellet grill manufacturers, it only made sense that they would launch their own brand. In North America, Z Grills is managed by offices in Ontario, California.
Where are Z Grills Made?
All Z Grills products are manufactured in the Jiangsu Province of China.
Why Z Grills?
The vast majority of wood pellet grills sold in the world are made in only a few factories in China. Jiangsu Zgrills Technology Co. is one of those companies. They have, and in some cases continue to, make pellet grills for companies like Traeger, Pit Boss, and Grilla Grills. They have years of experience in this market.
Z Grills has taken the strategy of building low-cost pellet grills. They have grills that sell for well under $500USD, though these are small and simple grills. Over the years, Z Grills has watched the industry and largely kept pace with the breakneck speed of innovation we have seen. Z Grills do not (as of yet) offer WiFi capabilities, but their controllers have become increasingly sophisticated recently.
Z Grills really markets itself to those new to wood pellet cooking. Frequently you will find their grills and smokers sold as bundles with wood pellets as well as a host of accessories. Often these bundles can be of great value. With the 700 series, a master bundle will include a cover, flatware, a smoke tube, a grill brush, bear claws, a burger press, and a ‘Z Grill’ hat. When looking to purchase a pellet smoker from Z Grills, include these bundles in your research.
Z Grills 700 Series
The 700 Series of pellet grills from Z Grills is the mainstay of their product line. In fact, the 700D4E (new for 2021) is called the ‘Flagship’. All of the 700 Series pellet grills have the same cooking area and body design. The only real difference is in the extras and whether or not it has a stainless steel lid. The important difference is in the pellet controller. Z Grills offers a very basic controller with limited temperature settings and a digital controller.
The basic pellet controller is something of a throwback classic. You get a dial that lets you select temperatures in 25° increments as well as shut down and smoke mode settings. There are two meat thermometer probe ports on this controller though. The display is a very basic red LED unit that will tell you either the cooker temperature readout or the meat temperature.
The more advanced controller is part of a new and improved pellet hopper section. It is in this part of the pellet grill where you find the auger, fans, and all the electronics that operate the grill. This improved PID pellet controller has a larger, blue LED display and a finer adjustment dial for better temperature control. While the older, more basic version has a 20-pound hopper capacity, on this unit the hopper can hold up to 24 pounds of wood pellets.
The features of the Z Grills 700 Series Pellet Grills vary by model. However, they are all built on the same cooking chamber design. The size and capacity of these grills are all the same. Z Grills states that these grills are capable of cooking 29 burgers, 6 racks of ribs, or 5 whole chickens. Of course, there these figures depend on the sizes of those food items and how you load them on the grill.
All of these grills come with porcelain-coated steel wire cooking grates. Which is typical for the price range. Few pellet grills, particularly in this price range, use a cast iron grate. These grills also have the typical grease bucket instead of an internal grease tray.
The cheaper and more basic models have little in the way of extra features. The pricier versions actually offer a number of nice features, minus WiFi connectivity of course. What you can get are the ash cleanout and pellet hopper cleanout features. Both are very nice for basic maintenance issues.
There is also a pellet hopper window on some models, and the higher-end units come with two meat probes. A stainless steel cooking chamber lid and pellet hopper lid are also available. These are not high-grade stainless steel, so I wouldn’t opt for these simply for the apparent quality of the metal. And generally, a cover is included with all Z Grills 700 Series Pellet Grills.
Considering that the starting price for the 700 series pellet grills is below $500USD you can’t expect a great deal of performance from these products. On the bottom end, they can hold a temp of 180° F., which is pretty typical. On the high end, they will hold at 450°. Compared with other pellet grills on the market, this isn’t very high. This is a good range for smoking, but you will not be able to put a sear on a steak in this range.
These pellet grills will smoke, bake, roast, and do some braising, but high-temperature grilling is outside their capability. The round shape of the grill does provide for decent convection cooking, though the lack of door seals means that the cooking chamber leaks a good deal of smoke.
- 697 square inches of cooking space
- 504 square inches of primary cooking area
- 193 square inch warming rack
- 20 to 24-pound hopper capacity
- Total product weight between 112 to 132 pounds
Z Grills come with a standard 3-year warranty that covers material defects and workmanship. Warranties of this type do not cover corrosion, wear and tear, or problems that occur from modifications or a lack of proper grill maintenance.
Z Grills 700D4E Review
What I Like
- Inexpensive – Z Grills is the leader in discount pellet grills. They have one of the largest factories and can turn out new models quickly so they always stay competitive both in features and price.
- Large Cooking Capacity – The 700 Series Pellet Grills have high lid heights and plenty of capacity. If you consider price to size, they are particularly impressive.
- Simple Functionality – While high-tech solutions have become standard in pellet grills, Z Grills are simple to operate. This can be an advantage for those who are not looking for complex features.
What I Don’t Like
- Lightweight Construction – There is always a tradeoff and for Z Grills, the great price means thinner metals and lower construction quality. These are not heavy pellet grills and can require some extra care to keep them looking and working great.
- No WiFi Connectivity – Grilling and Smoking these days seems to be as much something you do on your phone as on the grill. Z Grills does not have connectivity on their pellet grills so if that is a must-have feature for you, look somewhere else.
- Limited Heat Retention – Because of the thin metal bodies on these pellet grills, they do not hold in the heat. This is going to be a bigger problem for those looking to do some high-temperature grilling in cold weather. If it is cold enough, this grill may never reach its 450° F maximum heat.
Z Grills 700D4
The Z Grills 700D4E is labeled the ‘Flagship’, and that is what it is, the flagship grill of the 700 Series. This model has almost everything that this series of Grill has to offer. This model generally sells for $700USD depending on where you buy it and which bundle you choose. Z Grills lists it at $975, but it is almost never offered at that price. This is a perpetual discount designed to make you think you are getting a great deal. You are not.
What you do get with this model is the new, updated PID pellet controller, the hopper cleanout, and the stainless steel components. For 2021, this is a new model. Of all the 700 Series pellet grills from Z Grills, this is the model to buy.
Z Grills vs Grilla Grills
As I said above, the Grilla Silverbac pellet grill is nearly identical to the upscale 700 Series grills from Z Grills. They have the exact same cooking space, hopper capacity, and general appearance. What the Silverbac offers however is WiFi Connectivity and a maximum cooking temperature of 500° F. The Grilla Silverbac also offers a 4-year warranty, over Z Grills’ 3-year.
Of course, the Silverbac costs more. At $900USD, you are paying for the upgrade, but the Silverbac is a real upgrade and one you should consider before making this purchasing decision.
Z Grills vs Traeger
The most comparable Traeger Pellet Grill to the Z Grills 700 Series is the Traeger Pro Series 34. This matches closest with the Z Grills 7002C. They both have a basic pellet controller and similar size and construction. The Traeger offers about 50 square inches less than the Z Grills, but aside from that, they are much the same.
Again, it is the price difference that divides these grills. The Traeger will run you about $750USD whereas the Z Grills 7002C is around $500. They both have 3-year warranties, but the Traeger weighs about 20 pounds more, because of its more solid build quality. Of course, Traeger is the most recognized name in the industry.
Z Grills vs Pit Boss
When it comes to grills comparable to Z Grills, Pit Boss is closest. Both companies strive to hit the lower end of the price range. If you consider the Pit Boss 820 Pellet Grill, you will see that it is very much like the Z Grills. You can get this Pitt Boss for around $650 so, even if the price is close. When you consider the controllers, size, weight, and features, the Pit Boss is nearly the same grill. In case you are interested, Pit Boss is the world’s best-selling brand of pellet grill.
Series 700 Pellet Grill Models
There are several grills in the 700 Series from Z Grills and new ones are added every year as the older and more basic models are retired. Below I highlight a few of the current models and what they have to offer.
Z Grill 7002C
The 7002C is actually a very good compromise of features from Z Grills. The cart is simplified, so no waste of materials here, and it avoids the stainless steel parts, which help hold down the price. But then it offers the improved PID controller with the pellet window and 24-pound hopper. You also get the Fast Heat Recovery feature which allows you to feed pellets quickly into the firepot. With this feature, you can quickly (and manually) get the temperature back up after having the lid open for a longer period of time.
This model runs a little over $600USD.
Z Grills 700E
The 700E is a classic version of the 700 Series. It has an enclosed cabinet but an older, more primitive controller. This is a basic function pellet grill, but with a nice appearance. Consider this the form-over-function grill. You do get the stainless steel lids. This model costs about ten dollars more than the 7002C above. I don’t recommend it as much, but some people do prefer a better-looking grill.
Z Grills 700D3
The 700D also has the larger, enclosed cabinet, but the improved PID controller. The hopper capacity on this model is 20 pounds and you do not get the pellet hopper window. Losing a few pounds of pellet capacity isn’t much of an issue, and the window really is more a gimmick than a feature. This model is a basic black unit and again, costs a little over $600.
It is important to point out that Z Grills is a discount Pellet Grill brand. They aim at the bottom of the price range and make some of the most affordable pellet smokers you can buy. They do this with lightweight materials and quick manufacturing. This is, plain and simple, the truth. You do get what you pay for.
On the other hand, these pellet grills work. Yes, you can certainly buy better, but for the price, they are definitely hard to beat. If this is what you can afford, they go for it. I won’t promise you that it will be great or that it will last for many years. It won’t. But for now, it will get you by and still do a good job smoking giving you smoke flavor and good food.
I have been writing about Barbecue & Grilling for 25 years. I have cooked on almost every grill or smoker ever built. In that time, I have endeavored to match people with the grill or smoker that is right for them. I believe that the right product is the one that you find easy to use, capable of doing everything you want, and with good reliability. If you have a good first experience, you will be back for more. In this way, we grow barbecue for the next generation. I want you to make memories that your children will cherish.
This article and the website it appears on use sales affiliates to cover the cost of operation. If you choose to purchase a product through the links provided, a portion of that sale will go to me. It helps me create content, so I can help you and others have the best barbecue experience. I am grateful to all my readers over the years that have been so kind as to assist me in my exploration of outdoor cooking. Thank you.