Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D 8-in-1 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker Review
Z Grills is one of the faster-growing wood pellet grill manufacturers. A lot of their success has been founded by listening to their loyal customers and then making improvements in the design and material quality in their model line.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D takes one of their earlier successful models and reinvents it with greater cooking capacity, as well as adding a cabinet storage base. You see this in how they coyly added the marketing term “Upgrated.”
The thing that probably stands out the most is the three cooking grates inside the primary cooking chamber. This consists of an upper warming rack that offers 255 square inches. The middle rack measures in at 374 square inches while the lower rack gives you 432 square inches of grilling and smoking space.
Each rack is easily removed to easily accommodate the volume and size of the meats you want to prepare. It lets you smoke or grill a lot of food yet doesn’t take up an enormous amount of space as you might see with a lot of other 1,000 square inch grills or smokers. It even has a large cabinet cart to help store your grill tools.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D LCD display for the digital control unit. This lets you adjust the rate that the internal auger delivers the wood pellets to the firepot. Z Grills rates the temperature control to be +/- 10-degrees of target temperature with a range between 180 to 450-degrees Fahrenheit.
This wood pellet grill has an impressive 20-pound hopper, which gives it the potential to run for up to 10 hours. Just keep in mind that the higher you set the temperature the faster it will burn through wood pellets.
Any drippings that are released from the meat are gradually deposited throughout the course of the smoking session in a reusable metal drippings cup.
It’s also worth noting that Z Grills includes a waterproof, UV resistant grill cover in the original purchase, which is a nice touch that helps protect your investment. A lot of the competitors only sell a custom cover as a separate purchase.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Z Grills does their best to infuse their products with quality materials and thoughtful engineering, which you see with the Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D. This includes things like the adjustable internal wood pellet auger and the reusable metal drippings cup.
One of the really nice features is the pellet purge system. This lets you empty any remaining wood pellets after you are done with a cooking session. It prevents them from breaking down in humid conditions, which could later jam the auger.
With wood pellet grills, assembly is always going to be a labor of love. You also have to also take into account that the Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D weighs a whopping 143 pounds. It’s best to ask a friend or two to help you put it together. With a helper in tow and some basic tools, you should be able to put this wood pellet grill together in about an hour and a half.
The three separate internal racks are where the Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D starts to diverge from the rest of the pack. They take advantage of the fact that this unit is just as much a smoker as it is a grill. With the lid kept closed and given proper preheating time, the entire cooking chamber will stay at a consistent temperature.
You could load it up with droves of country sausage, or multiple racks of ribs to produce an enormous amount of smoked meat. The racks are also easy to remove, which lets you smoke larger things like a whole turkey or multiple Boston butt pork shoulders.
The fact that you adjust the temperature range inside the primary cook chamber down as low as 180 degrees also means you can start to play with some cold smoking applications. Especially with things like homemade beef sticks or skin-on fish fillets.
Yet you can also crank it up as high as 450-degrees for high heat applications like traditional grilling. Just keep in mind that like a lot of wood pellet grills there is no open flame or broiler plate. Still, it can get hot enough to grill, smoke, bake, roast, and with a cast-iron Dutch oven you could even braise. It also has the heat characteristics to do things like bake pizza, biscuits, and smoky-flavored cornbread.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D three racks measure in with an upper rack at 255 square inches. A middle of 374 square inches and the lower primary rack measures in at 432 square inches. This gives it a grand total of 1060 square inches of grilling or smoking space.
The three internal racks are a nice touch and really demonstrate just how much food a wood pellet grill like this can produce in a single session.
You also have to give a thumbs up to the waterproof and UV resistant cover that Z Grills includes in the purchase.
Ease to Clean
The hopper purge feature lets you efficiently drain the wood pellets out. If you were to leave pellet in on a very humid day, the natural lignin binding them could degrade leaving you with a hopper jam-packed with solid wood fibers.
Beyond that, the grates need the usual scraping, but they have a protective nonstick coating for easy release. The reusable grease collection cup is also easy to pour away and wash.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D is backed by a nice 3-year warranty plan. This is pretty much on par with its closest competitors. Though there are some units with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D has the internal cooking capacity to prepare an enormous amount of food for hosing large groups of people. It has the cleanup features and versatility to let you explore and expand your skills as an outdoor chef. The storage cabinet and the protective cover included in the purchase are also nice touches that make this wood pellet grill worthy of your investment.
If there’s something to complain about with the Z GRILLS ZPG-1000D it’s the lack of a wireless control app or WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity, which you see with some of the competitors. It also doesn’t include a meat probe in the purchase, which you see in other units in this range.
- Three removable cooking racks
- 1060 total square inches
- Waterproof, UV resistant cover included
- Digital controls with LCD screen
- 20-pound hopper with pellet purge
- No wireless connectivity
- It is heavy to assemble and move
- No meat probe