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Z Grills are one of the few brands that make pellet grills, and not only that they make some of the best on the market for the price.
Today I’ll be going over my favorites they make, as well as why I like them so much, and what you should look for in a good grill in general.
Our Top Choice...
Top 7 ZGrills Pellet Smokers For Your Money (2021)
1. ZPG 10002E 8 in 1 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
This is a nice pellet grill, with a large cooking surface and a wide variety of helpful quality of life features.
The total stainless steel construction is strong, and holds up well to a lot of abuse. The dark coating is also tough, and lets it stay looking nice even after a long time, shedding dust and water spots easily.
The 1060 square inch cooking area gives you plenty of room to cook anything you’d like, either grilling or smoking. The grates are a sturdy lattice that cradles the food well and ensures an even transfer of heat.
That heat is controlled by an easy to use digital temperature controller that gives you precise control of the temperature between 180 degrees and 450 degrees Fahrenheit; perfect for cold smoking, searing, and even baking since the temperature is properly maintained throughout the entire cooking process.
The 8 in 1 functionality (grilling, searing, smoking, baking, roasting, barbequing, and char grilling) gives you a versatile, high performing grill that comes in at a great price for such a huge pellet grill (which tend to be more expensive than other grills on average).
About the only thing you could really point to as being awkward is the side table. While the addition of any side table is a plus, the placement of this one under the chimney combined with how small it is makes it a bit annoying to use, but that’s overall a minor gripe.
Excellent 8 function electronic temperature controller.
Usable as both an excellent grill and a smoking machine.
Strong stainless steel construction.
Easy to use.
Awkward and difficult to get to side table.
2. ZPG 1000E 8 in 1 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
In a lot of ways, this grill is identical to our winner, the 10002E, with almost all of the same features. The grill size is the same spacious 1060 square inches the 10002E model has, and it provides a mammoth amount of space for cooking even the largest foods, with two adjustable and removable shelves.
The same 8 function usability is there, with an easy to use auto ignition system and digital temperature controller built in to make grilling simple, easy, and most importantly: consistent.
The main difference here lies in the bottom half. It trades in the sturdy combination of two large wheels and a pair of thick feet for four casters, and has a full bottom cabinet with doors instead of the simple open shelf of the 10002E.
This is a straight upgrade as far as I’m concerned. The casters are quite sturdy and make moving this grill around simple, and much easier than the other model.
Unfortunately while I think this is a lot better…I’m not sure it’s worth the roughly $100 price difference for what is essentially the same grill in all other ways. I suppose it comes down to whether you want to pay $100 for different wheels and a pair of doors or not.
Smooth gliding casters make moving this grill around easy.
Enormous 1060 square inches of total grilling space.
Large shelves are both adjustable in height and completely removable.
Doors on the cabinet provide extra protection from the elements, making it a great place to store your charcoal and the like.
8 in 1 functionality makes this a versatile grill.
Easy to use automatic ignition.
Digital temperature control and maintenance.
A bit overpriced for the differences between the 10002E.
3. ZPG L60002B 8 in 1 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
A smaller grill once more, but one with an overall great design. The same features you’d expect to see in one of these Z Grills pellet grills are all shared here. He digital temperature controls are a core facet that makes up the bulk of the grill’s ease of use and great performance.
The 513 square inches of primary cooking area (plus a 187 square inch warming rack) provide plenty of space to cook basically anything you can think of, if only one at a time instead of having the space to cook multiple racks of ribs at once like the larger 1000 series models at the top.
The cart design is better as well, with sturdy casters that make rolling such a bulky grill around easy, and doors on the bottom cart area that provide extra protection from the elements for the tools you might want to store down there (including the hardwood pellets you’ll want to keep dry and ready to use).
No side table this time, but given the way I haven’t been particularly impressed by the table design on these grills, that’s not a huge loss, though it is mildly annoying.
The one thing I have to scratch my head at is the “wood pellet grills” etching on the front of the grill. It looks bad, to be frank. Logos are one thing, but having something like that on front of your grill just looks tacky.
Great cart design with easy rolling casters and closed cart.
Decent 513 square inches primary cooking area.
Easy to use digital temperature controller.
Good hopper capacity.
Excellent stainless steel construction.
Significantly smaller than other Z Grills pellet grills, but not much less expensive.
Tacky lettering on the front.
4. Z Grills 7002E Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
This Z Grills ZPG-7002E is better than a few of the others here in a lot of ways. It provides a steadier, sturdier design than the 550B above, and in terms of size falls between the L60002B and the 1000 series (our winners), coming in at a more than adequate 700 square inches of cooking space, though some of that is taken up by the warming rack.
The sturdy design is far better than the 550B, with the same bottom as most of the other models; thick legs and sturdy wheels. The electronic temperature controls, temperature range, and all of the other good features are shared between each of the grills on this list.
And that’s really the rub: this grill falls into a weird middle ground between grills that are larger but more expensive (but not by too much) and that are slightly smaller but a lot cheaper. It’s difficult to think of a situation where you’d buy this one over others, except in the case where it perfectly hits the sweet spot for your needs and price range, which is going to be a rare circumstance.
Easy to use digital temperature controls.
Strong stainless steel construction.
Great 700 square inches of primary cooking area.
Great hopper capacity.
Falls into a weird middle ground that make sit hard to recommend against similar options that will usually be better.
5. Z Grills 450A Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
“Crude” is the best word I can think of to describe this grill. It’s seems like a weird amalgam of pieces, and then the rivets and screws are large and easily visible, as are the seams between each of the major components (the side stable, the grill portion, and the hopper) plus the strange height selector on the leading leg.
It’s annoying to look at, and speaks to a grill that will not have the same longevity as many of the others grills on this list. Everything about it feels distressingly cheap.
It’s also quite small, with only 450 square inches of cooking space…smaller than the 550B above, and yet barely any cheaper, despite the crudeness of the design.
While it shares most of the more desirable features (the digital temperature controller and all), it’s very hard to recommend this grill over any of the others.
Easy to use digital temperature controls.
Decent enough 450 square inches of primary cooking area.
Large easy to roll wheels.
7 in 1 utility.
Flimsy feeling crude design mars what could otherwise be a good grill
Overpriced for what it provides.
6. Z Grills 550B Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
This classic drum style pellet grill looks very nice, and is a sharp contrast to the usual design of Z Grills pellet grills, which trend toward a more sleek and modern looking hatch design. It’s a nice throwback grill in terms of appearance, but still contains most of the great features that Z Grills pellet grills are known for.
The same 180 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range graces this option, with the same digital temperature controls to make it stay there. That’s the main feature you want to look for in a grill like this, so that already pushes it to the upper echelons of grills.
The overall stainless steel construction ensures it remains rust free and ready to go even after a long period of use so long as you take a minimum of care to keep it in good condition, backed up by the same 3 year warranty all of these other Z Grills products share.
The size is good, 538 square inches of primary cooking area to give you plenty to work with. The main issue is the bottom half. Probably as a cost saving measure (this grill is significantly less expensive than most of the others) it has a slimmer, flimsier bottom. While stationary it’s not too bad, but it feels weirdly top heavy and wobbly. Not so much it’s likely to fall apart, but enough to make you feel uneasy.
Digital temperature controls make it easy to maintain a constant temperature.
Solid stainless steel construction.
Low price for the performance; great value.
Decent hopper capacity.
Nice throwback aesthetic design.
Bottom half feels flimsy, leaving this grill as top heavy and uncomfortable to use.
7. ZPG L60002B 8 in 1 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
While smaller than our winner, this grill has a few tricks up its sleeve that make up the difference, most importantly the fan forced convection cooker function. It essentially mimics the effects of a rotisserie (evenly cooking the food on all sides at once, and producing a crispy exterior with a juicy interior) without the need for a cumbersome rotisserie spit and the motor that comes with it.
The 600 square inch capacity is still pretty large compared to most grill, even if it’s dwarfed by the larger 10000 models. It provides plenty of space for cooking almost anything, with the minor drawback of lacking the pair of adjustable shelves that the larger models have: you’re stuck with just one grate.
Still, taking into account the price drop, and the fact that you still get the other great features (the pellet hopper and 8 in 1 electronic auto temperature controller primarily) and it has a great overall design and construction to back up the performance, it’s well worth picking up this smaller model for the extra feature it comes packaged with and its overall similarly great performance.
Easy to use.
LED temperature readout.
Electronic temperature controls.
Strong cast iron construction.
Good heat retention.
Good sized cooking area.
Has the same awkward table that the other Zgrills models share.
Most of these grills make good options to take home with you, and the only ones I’m iffy on are the final two, which suffer mostly just by being compared to the other options; they’re good options in their own right.
Each of these is competitively priced and well made, even giving brands with similar products (like Traeger) a run for their money in terms of performance. Just grab whichever one fits your size needs the best and you can’t go wrong.
What Should I Look For in a Pellet Grill?
In a general sense, the quality of a pellet grill comes down to two primary things: the construction and the temperature controls. In addition to that, keep in mind all the little things, like the hopper capacity and overall design. We have outlined below these three aspects to look for in a Pellet Grill. Also, recommend reading our Z Grills vs Pit Boss or Z Grills vs Traeger comparison review to help you differentiate the qualities of Z Grills to other grills.
Stainless steel is the standard for grills of most kinds, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a sturdy but fairly lightweight material that can stand up to a lot of abuse. It also scales up quite well, with a thickening providing more durability without adding too much to the weight or impacting the heat retention ability.
Cast iron is also a solid alternative; heavier but better for cooking overall. The mix of stainless steel for the shell and body construction and cast iron for the grates is the perfect mix.
The body should also be sturdy and have at least two solid wheels to roll around on, though locking casters are preferred.
Digital temperature controls are a must for a pellet grill; maintaining the heat with pellets in the mix is a pretty involved skill and hardly worth the effort required. These controls should be easy to use, with clear digital temperature readouts or at least clear enough etchings on the knob for you to read.
The temperature should be automatically maintained throughout, allowing for seamless transition from choosing the temperature to preparing the meat, to sitting back and watching it go to work.
As for the exact temperature, a temperature range of 180 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit is standard among these grills, good for everything from cold smoking at 200 degrees Fahrenheit or below up to the temperatures required for grilling or even baking.
Look for nice quality of life features. These include anything from a side table to under cart storage. This is also where you put a bit of thought into whether or not you care about the appearance of your grill since you have enough different options to choose from that you can afford to be picky on that front.