Pellet Smoker - Z Grills FAQ's

Saddleback BBQ Pellet Smoker!

Size - 1060 sq inch total cooking space (432 sq inch main rack, as well as a two additional mid and upper racks) This is one of the largest smokers on the market.

Temperature Range - 180f - 450f

Hopper Capacity - 20 lbs

Product Dimension - LWH: 54 x 25 x 53 inch

Electricity Rate - 110V/60Hz/250W

Storage Cabinet - 5400 Cubic In.

Offset? - No, the pellets are burned in the middle of the smoker

Fuel Source - Your favorite type of wood pellets

Controller - Digital

What is the “smoker” setting? - Just generates a bit more smoke, uses more pellets to do this. Not all that useful.

Temperature For Different Foods - 250 for brisket, ribs, shoulders, chicken. 400-450 for steaks

Tidbits - They made Traeger’s smokers for 5 years, they’ve since gone with a new manufacturer and complaints in quality have followed.

Convection Cooking - The circulation fan distributes the heat across the entire cooking surface so your food is cooked evenly (no hotspots)

Wheels - Lockable Wheels

Warranty - 3 Years

Lid Material - Stainless Steel

Ash Clean Out - Yes

What does it fit - Whole Briskets, Pork Shoulders, Multiple Racks of ribs

What does 8in1 mean? - Grill, smoke, bake, roast, sear, braise, barbeque, and char-grill

Weight - 143 lbs

Auto Igniter? - Yes

Where is it manufactured? - To be frank, it’s made in China. This made the decision to go with Z Grills difficult. But we feel we made the right choice. Most of the well-known smoker manufacturers (Traeger, Grilla) have turned to China for production. The price point for an American made smoker is simply too high for the average consumer. It’s a sad truth.

Our goal has always been to introduce as many people as possible to BBQ. That’s why we believe so strongly in Z Grills, it’s the best bang for your buck. We researched every American manufacturer and came to the conclusion that we didn’t feel comfortable charging 3-4x the price for similar quality. Hopefully, someday we’ll have a range of products, including American manufacturers. As of right now, our only goal is to get you smoking, and Z Grills is the best way to do that.

Which is better, Traeger or Z Grills? - Both are great smokers with thousands of incredible reviews. When comparing price, it’s hard to justify spending double or sometimes triple the money for nearly an identical product. Traeger has a stronger brand and history which allows them to charge more. But when you get down to the actual quality of the smoker, we view it as a no-brainer to go with Z Grills. There isn’t a better dollar for dollar smoker on the market.

How to Start your Z Grills the First Time

  1. Remove everything. Open the hopper and grill lids. Take out the grilling racks, the grease tray and the plate that sits over the fire pot.
  2. Turn the controller dial to the shut-down cycle. Turn the switch on.
  3. Turn the dial to “smoke” and wait for the fan to start up.
  4. The auger should now slowly rotate, check to make sure. It might turn on or off a couple of times when you turn the dial to “smoke”. This is normal in the first minute or so. When the auger motor is on you might also be able to hear it.
  5. Make sure that air is blowing out of the fire pot by holding your hand over the top of it.
  6. Check that the ignition rod, which is at the bottom of the fire pot, is getting hot. Don’t touch it, it should be hot, but you should be able to see it turning slightly red (like a “hot” color) after a few minutes of being on the “smoke” setting. There might be some smoke too, this is normal during first operation.
  7. Time to add wood pellets! Pour the pellets into the hopper. You don’t need to fully fill it, 4.5lb will do for the first burn-in. Pour enough pellets in to reach the safety grate. Your wood pellets as best kept in a sealed container or bag when you’re not using them, so only fill the hopper completely when you’re using your grill for a long time.
  8. Close the lid of the hopper.
  9. Run the augur a bit longer to push wood pellets into the fire pot by turning the controller dial to “high”.
  10. The pellets will start to drop into the fire pot after about 7 minutes. Wait until you have a small pile of 10-15 pellets. It’s normal to see some smoke or even a flame or 2.
  11. Time to burn! Ignite your wood pellets by turning the controller to “shut-down cycle” and then to “smoke” straightaway. This starts up the ignition rod and your wood pellets will burn.

How to Burn-In Your Z Grill

  1. Put all your things back into the grill, the grease tray, grill racks, etc. and close the lid.
  2. Turn the controller to “high” and run it for 45 minutes. You’ll need to burn off any left-over oils from when your grill was made. It won’t smell very nice for the first 10-15 minutes, but it should disappear after this period of time.
  3. After 45 minutes, turn the controller to “shut-down cycle”, but don’t turn the power off.
  4. Leave the power on; the fan will run for 10-15 minutes to make sure all the wood pellets have burned out.
  5. Your Z Grill will automatically turn off. Once it has turned off, remove the grill racks and wipe them down with a moist cloth.
  6. Cover the grease trays with some heavy-duty aluminum foil to make clean-up nice and easy.
  7. You’re ready to cook!