Are you curious what smoker Midwest Foodie uses? Spoiler alert, it's the Z Grills-700D3 Wood Pellet Smoker! Here's my honest Z Grills Review!
Smokers used to be reserved for those hardcore barbecue fanatics - but not anymore! These days, there are tons of wood pellet grills on the market that are meant for home cooks like you and me! The hardest part is figuring out which one will fit your needs best without breaking the bank.
You want something that is easy to assemble and simple to use that adds great flavor to your food and doesn't take hours to clean. If you're new to smoking (like I was) I highly recommend checking out the collection that Z Grills has to offer! Their products have features that are competitive with other brands in the wood pellet grill space, but their prices are significantly lower.
The Z Grills-700D3 Wood Pellet Smoker has been the perfect addition to our backyard patio set up and I can't wait to break down all the specs so you can decide if it’s the right grill for you, too!
Full disclosure - Z Grills gifted me this wood pellet grill. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
What is a Z Grill
- The Z Grill is a high-quality wood pellet fueled 8-in-1 grill that utilizes hardwood pellets and advanced technology to burn cleaner, maintain a steady temperature, and infuse everything you grill with a wood-smoked flavor. With this grill you can smoke, grill, sear, roast, braise, bake, barbecue, and char-grill.
- The Z Grill is heavy-duty and meant to last, but more than that, Z Grills is determined to make wood pellet grills user-friendly and affordable! They’ve been in the game for nearly 30 years, so they really know what they’re doing.
- All their grills are also backed by a 3-year warranty so you can have peace of mind when it comes to investing in this outdoor kitchen equipment.
- The Z Grill 700D3 comes partially flat-packed, with the cooking chamber and hopper components already fully assembled which was really nice.
- Z Grills provides detailed written assembly instructions and a video that walks you through the entire process.
- It doesn’t require any major or unusual tools, so the whole thing comes together pretty easily (in about an hour).
- We did find it helpful to have 2 people when putting it together. I do think it’s possible to do it by yourself, but it’s always easier with someone else!
- The grill cart is on wheels too which makes it super easy to move around.
How it Works
- The Z Grill circulates the heat with a forced-convection system. Once the pellets are loaded into the hopper, they are moved by an auger to the fire and ignited.
- The temperature controls allow the user to set a temp that is maintained as the heat is circulated throughout the cooking chamber. The temperature range spans 180-350 degrees. It also has a smoke setting that usually cooks around 175 degrees and a high setting that cooks up to 450 degrees.
- The smoke setting is a great way to infuse a ton of smoke flavor into your food right away. I also like to preheat the grill on the smoke setting.
- There are two cooking grates. One smaller upper grate for keeping foods warm and one larger rack on the bottom for direct grilling/cooking.
What to Cook
- Honestly, everything! You will be shocked by all the foods that you can smoke on this wood pellet grill! It's perfect for burgers, chicken, steaks, veggies, and more.
- Some of our family's favorite recipes that we've made on the smoker include:
- As one of the larger models, the Z Grill 700D3 is about 51” high, 48” long, and 22” wide. The hopper capacity is 20 lbs. of wood pellets.
- Between the warming rack and the bottom rack, which includes 697 square inches of cooking space, the 700D3 boasts that it can cook 29 burgers, 6 racks of ribs, or 5 whole chickens at one time.
- However, Z Grills makes a variety of grills that vary in size so there is bound to be one that fits your space and needs. And because they don’t need to reserve space for a propane tank, there is extra storage below!
- Z Grills is proud of the set-and-leave ability of their grills with PID temperature control.
- The Z Grill 700D3 has this feature, so you can choose a temp and know that the grill’s convection heat distribution will maintain that set temperature throughout cooking.
- This precise temperature control is a huge advantage over standard grills and with the easy-to-read display, you can tell what temp the grill is cooking at with just a glance.
Ease of Use
- The Z Grill 700D3 is a fairly straightforward grill/smoker that is super easy to use, even for a newbie. Simply pour the pellets into the hopper, set the temperature, and add whatever you'd like to cook!
- As someone who is relatively new to grilling and smoking, I'll admit I was intimidated. However, I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to use this wood pellet grill.
Storage and Prep Space
- As I mentioned earlier in this Z Grills review, the Z Grill 700D3 has cabinet space in the base of the grill where the propane tank of a traditional grill would normally be. This is a great spot to store your disposable aluminum pans, extra wood pellets, grill brush, and other cooking tools.
- For this particular grill model, there is no prep space or counter-type area. However, other Z Grills models do have this option and you can also purchase a front shelf accessory to put on your 700D3.
- Personally, I do most of my prepping inside so I’m not too worried about there not being a ton of prep space included on the grill. I do use the pellet hopper lid as kind of a side shelf to hold any utensils or spices that I might need quickly which is nice.
- If you’re comparing pellet grills, you’ll find that Z Grills are considerably less expensive than their competitors. You’ve probably heard of a Traeger grill and might even be considering getting one but I’d recommend doing a little comparison research before you shell out the big bucks. Z Grills offer many of the same features as Traeger grills - like PID controller and WiFi - but at a considerably lower price point.
- Compared to the average, higher quality propane grill on the market, the Z Grill 700D3, as well as the other Z Grill options, are fairly similar in price, and in many cases actually less expensive. For the quality and versatility of the Z Grill, it is definitely worth the few extra dollars you might spend.
- As far as cleaning, there is nothing special needed for the Z Grill. I like to use this simple grill brush before and after each smoking session. If things get a little extra dirty, I'll just use hot, soapy water and a cloth to wipe down the grill grates.
- They do recommend wrapping some of the components - like the grease tray and grease bucket - in tin foil to help with the clean-up process.
- A small shop vac will be super helpful in cleaning out the grill as well. This 3-minute video is really helpful in learning how to clean your grill.
- It's also super easy to remove unused pellets from the grill. There is a small latched door in the back that you can open and the pellets come right out.
- The Z Grill 700D3 comes with a rain cover, but you can also purchase other accessories separately.
- On their site, you'll find everything from gloves to griddles to grill mats! They've literally got almost every grilling accessory you can think of!
Good for Beginners?
- Though a pellet grill may seem foreign to a lot of home cooks, using one is pretty straightforward, and the Z Grills team (and website) are always available with information.
- On their site, you can find how-to videos, manuals, and FAQs.
- In terms of overall use, the Z Grill is easy to set up and use, and even takes a bit of the pressure off with its temperature features that can help make sure your food is cooked perfectly without any guessing.
- The temperature probes also make it easy to know when your meat is cooked through. I love that it displays the temp of the grill itself and then the temp of each of your meat probes, all in one easy-to-read panel.
- Some of the other models available are the Z Grills L6002B which is smaller but still has the smoker feature, the slightly larger Multitasker 11002B with Wi-Fi, and the Smoke Engine 550B2.
- They all come with the same company support and guarantees, it’s just a matter of what best suits your cooking needs and outdoor space.
- It's fair to say, I'm pretty much obsessed with my Z Grill. Between the ease of use, beautiful design, and all the delicious meals you can make on the Z Grill, it's easy to see why!
- Honestly, the highlight of my weekend, other than finding new places to hike, is always trying a new recipe on the grill! I can't wait to see what other delicious dinners this summer brings!