Z Grills have been revolutionizing the pellet grill market ever since they parted ways with Traeger and started selling direct to customers in 2016. Their 700E model is well-priced with a high-build quality, moderate capacity, durable construction, and an attractive warranty.
While you won’t find any fancy features like insulation or Wi-Fi and App connectivity on 700E, it does its job well. After all, Z Grills are after getting the basics right to offer a commendable, all-around smoker that’s cheaper than its competitors. Now, our Z Grills 700E review runs through its full specs, pros, cons, and hands-on testing. Let’s dive in.
In summary, Z Grills 700E Grill is a pellet-fueled smoker equipped with easy to use controls and reliable temperature regulation. Its basic design makes it affordable and ideal for novice grillers. This mid-sized pellet smoker boasts a 697 sq. inches cooking area, which is adequate for your everyday family use. Despite its 8-in-1 versatile feature, 700E performs better at low and slow temperatures. Nonetheless, its included waterproof cover and two meat probes make it a great value for your buck. Let’s explore further what Z Grills 700E Grill has to offer.
As mentioned, 700E Grill uses compressed natural wood pellets for fuel. Once you fill the hopper with pellets, you only need to set the desired temperature and the grill will do the rest. (Well, you’ll still need to place your meat once the desired temperature is reached.)
Let’s look at that process in more depth.
The 700E grill boasts a simple yet sleek design that’s a welcome addition to your patio or porch.
It boasts a cabinet-style design to house your BBQ accessories underneath the cooking chamber. Its cart is sturdy and comes with 4 locking caster wheels for easy maneuverability. Once you set the grill on a spot, two wheels lock securely in place for more permanent placement.
The grill also boasts a commendable waste management system. The excess grease drips into a tray that’s easy to remove for discarding and cleaning purposes.
The entire smoker is made of stainless steel making it rust-resistant. The finish results in a sleek look that fits in with any outdoor cooking décor.
On the downside, the grill lacks double-walled insulation, which may make it lose heat faster. It also lacks a lid gasket, and as such; leaks smoke during startup.
700E uses pellets that are essentially compressed capsules of scrap wood like sawdust, which are 100% food safe. (When the pellets are lit, they impart smoky flavor into your meat.)
Once the pellets are loaded into the (20 lbs.) hopper, they’re fed into the firebox by an automatic auger system. There, the pellets are ignited and the equipped fan distributes heat and smoke throughout the cooking chamber. (The result is a convection style cooking which results in evenly cooked food.)
The 700E grill also boasts a digital control system. You just place your food, turn the dial to set the temperature, and let the smoker takes it from there. The grill can steadily hold the temperature between 180°F and 450°F. Thus, it’s possible to roast, smoke, sear, grill, and bake on the cooker.
The startup procedure entails switching the controller to smoke mode (with the lid open). Once you see the smoke coming out and hear a whooshing sound from the pellets igniting, shut the lid and set the desired temperature. As noted, the temperature must fall between 180°F and 450°F.
You can monitor the food temperature while it’s cooking with the included meat probes. Here, just plug the meat probes into the controller, then feed them into the cooking chamber via a hole – specially designed not to let smoke or heat escape.
However, 700E’s small LCD screen can only display one temperature at a time. As such, you’ll need to press the “probe temp” button to show the meat temperature. The screen displays the grill temperature by default.
Still, on performance, the grill is easy to maneuver and move around thanks to its 4 caster wheels.
Let’s explore the 700E grill’s full specs in detail.
Z Grills 700E grill boasts a 697 sq. inches’ surface cooking area. This area is divided into two: the lower rack area amounting to 504 sq. inches and the upper rack area 193 sq. inches. As such, the grill is ideal for a group of up to 6 people. It’s also suitable for your everyday family use.
Better still, its racks are removable to create extra cooking height if needed.
As mentioned, Z Grills 700E is fueled by compressed wood pellets. These pellets are essentially compressed capsules of scrap wood like sawdust, which are 100% food safe.
The pellets contain different wood flavors – from oak and hickory to cherry and mesquite. Thus, they impart a smoky flavor into your meat when lit.
Z Grills produces and recommends high-quality pellets for their grills. As noted, their brand pellets come in a variety of wood flavors, including oak, cherry, and mesquite. Besides the high quality, these brand pellets also produce minimal ash, which is a plus when cleaning. (Z Grills brand oak pellets cost $25 per 20lb bag but you can use any pellets so long as they’re of high quality.)
When it comes to the consumption rate, many factors must be considered. Think of the style of cooking and the surrounding weather wind and temperature conditions. Generally, though, you can expect to use about ½ a pound of Z Grills pellets per hour when low and slow cooking. And about 2 pounds of the brand pellets per hour when high and fast cooking.
In terms of heating duration, the cooker takes an average of 10 minutes to reach 225°F and an approximate 35 minutes to reach 450°F.
While the grill is fueled by wood pellets, it’s powered by electricity. 700E uses an automatic electric feed system to move the pellets from the hopper to the firebox. It also uses battery-powered dials that serve to control the temperature.
The 700E grill can hold up to 20 lbs. of wood pellets. Better still, the brand pellets are very efficient – ½ pound can burn for 1 hour in low and slow temperatures.
Furthermore, the grill uses an auger mechanism that slowly feeds the pellets into the firebox. That, in turn, protects the heat while preventing fire embers from being toppled by cold pellets – further enhancing the fuel usage efficiency.
Therefore, you can comfortably smoke for hours without the need to refill the hopper.
700E grill has a powder-coated steel body, a stainless steel lid, a cast iron cooking chamber, and easy-to-clean porcelain-coated cooking grates.
While its insulation runs thin and lacks a smoke gasket, the grill is a great value for the money. After all, it holds temperature as needed, fits together well, sturdy enough, and is pretty light for portability purposes.
Z Grills 700E grill has clever packaging and an easy assembly process. Its parts are easy to identify as the manual provides clear assembling instructions. It takes an average of 90 minutes to assemble. And while you can do it on your own, it’s better to ask for help when attaching the auger or pellet hopper.
The grill includes a waterproof cover, which makes it easier to leave the grill (fully assembled) outdoors. And you can transform the packaging into a kids’ playground.
Once the 700E grill is fully assembled, it’s time for the trial run. Here, follow the straightforward initial setup and burn-in instructions. Start the fire and let it burn at high temperatures (450°F) for 45 minutes. That helps burn off any residual oil.
According to Z Grills, the 700E grill boasts an 8-in-1 versatile feature. That makes it ideal for grilling, smoking, searing, roasting, char-grilling, baking, braising, and barbequing.
It can steadily hold temperatures between 180°F and 450°F. its inbuilt temperature controller keeps the temperature within +/- 25°F. That lets you set the temperature by just turning the dial.
Based on our observations, the grill has expected temperature differences between the left, middle, and right areas of the cooking chamber. It also does not attain the maximum temperature advertised, with ease. Note, this could be the effect of the outdoor weather conditions – wind and all.
And while the temperature variations are rather minimal at low and slow temperatures, they can be quite prominent at high temperatures. That means, when smoking, it does not matter where you place the meat. And seeing that this grill is best for smoking, then you have nothing to worry about.
Overall, the powder-coated steel body and stainless steel lid are easy to clean. The cast-iron cooking chamber and porcelain grates are fairly non-stick, which further enhances the ease of cleaning the 700E grill. The individual racks are easy to remove and clean too.
Added to that is the genius waste management mechanism. The excess grease drips into a tray that’s easy to remove for discarding and cleaning purposes. Z Grills do recommend adding a layer of aluminum foil over the tray to further ease the cleaning process. If some grease drains into the bucket on the side, clean it with soapy water.
And while you should clean the ash (preferably) after every use, the grill produces little ash when compared to similar devices. (Side note, cleaning the ash is easier when your remove the grease tray and baffle plate. Because then, you can easily use a shop vac to clean out all pellet dust. You can also sponge it up, but vacuuming is easier.)
Despite the basic control panel, 700E is a set-it-and-forget-it device that allows you to step away when cooking is in progress. That, in turn, eliminates any cooking r fire-related incidents and injuries.
Its hopper capacity is also large enough to prevent the need for refilling pellet when cooking is in progress.
Added to that is 700E’s stable design which eliminates any possibilities of toppling over. What’s more, using pellets instead of, say, propane gas is safe in itself. It’s essential to note that the insulation runs thin so don’t allow your kids or pets to play around the grill when in use.
Added to the stable design is a well-polished device to remove any sharp edges or corners.
The grill is set on four caster wheels for easy maneuverability. Two wheels lock for more permanent placement on a spot.
Besides the wheels, 700E is more compact and lightweight. It weighs 144 pounds and measures 48 (L) x 22 (W) x 51 (H) inches, making it ideal for home use.
The durability of the 700E is largely determined by its maintenance. Thus, you should thoroughly clean the grill 1-4 times a year (depending on use).
When cleaning, be sure to change the grease tray aluminum foil cover, scrape off built-up grease, and vacuum to remove any pellets particles in the cooking chamber.
Z Grills recommends removing unused pellets after every use – to prevent the pellets from getting damp. Remember we had mentioned that the pellets should be stored in an airtight container in a dry place.
On the downside, it’s fairly hard to remove the unused pellets. You can try removing the auger guard and scope the pellets out.
Besides cleaning, keep the grill covered to protect your investment. After all, moisture can be damaging to the grill’s electrical components. Luckily, 700E includes a free waterproof cover – so no excuses!
You should also follow the manufacturer’s usage instructions to maintain the grill in good condition and also benefit from the 3-year warranty if need be.
Z Grills 700E grill comes equipped with 1 waterproof cover and 2 meat temperature probes. The probes boast a rubber casing to eliminate the need for gloves. They also offer several standard accessories, such as BBQ gloves, basting brush, and bear claws for shredding pork.
The brand also packs a few tools you may need when assembling the grill. Such tools include a wrench, screwdriver, and the screws needed to hold different parts in place.
The enclosed cabinet is large enough to accommodate some barbeque accessories, the meat probes, and a few bags of pellets. At least the cabinet compensates for the ‘mean’ prep area. That is the lack of a side shelf.
The only available prep area is on top of the hopper. And while it’s large enough, it’s somewhat high for prep work.
Given the fair price, you cannot be too fussy about the grill’s build quality and durability. So don’t expect a well-insulated, super heavy construction.
What you can expect though, is a device void of weak points and defects.
Z Grills 700E grill is well constructed for the price. All the parts fit securely as well. Thus, you can expect the device to last you a couple of years – in case of minimal movements, assembling, and de-assembling.
On the downside, the metal runs a little thinner. That coupled with the thin insulation means the grill cannot reliably hold heat in wintry conditions. But that’s a performance issue, not a durability issue.
In case the thin construction worries you, Z Grills has a generous 3-year warranty and a 30-day money return guarantee to put your mind at ease. (Note, the money guarantee return policy is only viable if you purchase the grill through their website.) Besides, Z Grill has commendable customer care and services. Their agents are eager to help you sort out any problems.
As noted, the grill is covered by a 3-year warranty but there’s a catch. First, the warranty is only viable if and only if you’ve been using the grill as per the manufacturer’s usage instructions. Two, only the original user is eligible to benefit from the warranty. Three, Z Grills holds the final say as far as repair or replacement of the grill is concerned. And four, the warranty is only applicable within the borders of the United States of America.
Z Grills 700E grill is on the affordable end of the spectrum.
And when it comes to pellets, you can get Z Grills brand oak wood pellets for $25 per 20lb bag. You can also use cheaper pellets provided they are high quality.
As we concluded our Z Grills 700E grill review, there’s no doubt that the grill is well-thought-out. It’s probably the best grill for budget-conscious buyers.