Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B 8-in-1 Wood Pellet BBQ Smoker Grill Review
Z Grills has been slowly carving out a large slice of the wood pellet grill industry for themselves. One of the things fueling their success in recent years is their willingness to keep refining and improving their line through customer feedback, and a strong reputation for fast customer service.
The ZPG-10002B wood pellet grill represents Z Grills’ best effort to maximize internal capacity while still staying true to their quality engineering principles. The biggest thing you’ll notice is the fact that it has three racks inside the primary cooking chamber.
The uppermost “Warming Rack” measures in at 255 square inches. The middle rack offers 374 square inches and the lower rack provides 432 square inches of cooking space. All told there is an impressive total of 1060 square inches inside what is an otherwise compact wood pellet smoker.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B has a digital control center with an LCD display which provides you with micro-feeder controls to adjust the rate that the internal auger delivers the wood pellets to the firepot. It lets you adjust the temperature range inside the primary cook chamber as low as 180 degrees or as high as 450-degrees Fahrenheit.
It has an impressive 20-pound hopper, which can feed the fire pot for 8 to 10 hours, depending on your chosen temperature. The higher you set it, the faster it will burn through wood pellets. Excess drippings are gradually deposited throughout the course of the smoking session in a reusable grease collector cup.
Z Grills also offers a waterproof, UV resistant grill cover in the purchase.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Z Grills puts forth a strong effort to use quality materials throughout their line. You see this in the little things like micro-adjustable internal wood pellet auger, and the fact that they chose to give you a reusable grease collector cup, rather than a disposable one. They even built it with a pellet purge system which lets you quickly release unused wood pellets after you are done cooking.
One area where they missed an opportunity to “Upgrade” was with the connectivity of the digital control center. While it is indeed accurate and the LCD screen is handy, there is no wireless connectivity feature built into it.
Many of the closest competitor wood pellet grills have made it a point to install things like WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, along with an app that lets you monitor and adjust the wood pellet grill from your phone. If you’re the kind of outdoor chef who likes to stay close to the wood pellet grill, then this is a non-factor. Still, it would have been nice to see some type of wireless feature.
When it comes to assembly, this wood pellet grill rings in just over 130-pounds. So, it’s a good idea to recruit a friend or two to help put it together. The instructions are mostly easy to read, though there are some arguably confusing areas. With another set of hands and eyes, you should be able to get the Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B put together in 60 to 90-minutes.
Right off the bat, the fact that the Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B has three separate internal racks is somewhat rare. With all three in place, you could smoke an enormous number of skin-on fish fillets, or country sausage on the 1060 square inch racks. It’s even a great candidate for pork spareribs and riblets.
If you need to make something tall, like beer can chicken or Boston butt pork shoulders, the two upper racks slide out very easily. You can then smoke directly on the primary 432 square inch lower rack.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B lets you adjust the temperature range inside the primary cook chamber as low as 180 degrees or as high as 450-degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range gives it superior versatility to do things like grill, smoke, bake, roast, and even braise. Yet you can also dial in the heat characteristics to do things like bake pizza, biscuits, and smoky-flavored cornbread.
The side and front table are also handy for holding prep and serving trays. Though the front shelf is a little bit on the shallow side.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B features three removable racks. The uppermost rack measures in at a very reasonable 255 square inches. The middle is 374 square inches and then the lower rack measures in at 432 square inches for a grand total of 1060 square inches of cooking space.
The three internal racks are the characteristic that stands out the most with the Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B. The fact that you can easily pull them out to customize the internal space to the food you want to prepare is also a very nice touch.
The grill cover included in the purchase is also handy. This is a serious investment, and Z Grills makes sure you have a quality waterproof and UV resistant cover to protect it.
Ease to Clean
The 20-pound wood pellet hopper comes with a hopper purge feature. This is very handy for emptying the hopper after a cooking session. If you were to leave the wood pellets in the hopper for a few days during high humidity, the natural lignin binds them could degrade leaving you with a big mess of wood fibers to clean up.
The reusable grease collection cup is also easy to pour away and wash.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-10002B comes with a nice 3-year warranty plan. This is just about right for a wood pellet grill at this price point. Though there are a few competitors who offer a 5-year limited warranty.
Z Grills did a good job upgrading the ZPG-10002B. It’s got the internal cooking capacity to prepare food for a large group of people. It’s also versatile and has a wide temperature range to work with, combined with other thoughtful cleanup features.
The only thing Z Grills missed on, is by not upgrading this wood pellet grill with some type of wireless connectivity.
- Three removable racks
- Up to 1060 square inches of grate space
- A Quality cover included in the purchase
- Digital controls with LCD screen
- 20-pound hopper with pellet purge feature
- No wireless connectivity
- The front shelf is shallow
- Too heavy to assemble alone