Z GRILLS ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker Review
In recent years, Z Grills has really started to make a name for themselves by offering high-quality, good looking wood pellet grills at a price tag that’s a fraction of the competitors. This is exactly the sort of position that makes them a great entry-level wood pellet grill manufacturer as well as cultivating brand loyalty.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A is an updated version of one of the most popular units in their line. It features robust thick gauge steel construction founded on a sturdy cart base. There is a pair or all-terrain wheels as well as two adjustable feet. This makes it easy to move the ZPG-450A across a lawn or cobbled patio. If you’re dealing with a slightly uneven surface, you can easily adjust the feet.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A has a 15-pound wood pellet hopper, which will hold enough pellets for most long smoking sessions. It’s just about perfect for putting an all-day smoke on a brisket or a couple of racks of ribs.
The wood pellets are then carefully delivered to an internal firepot via a precision-engineered internal auger system. An electric element works to ignite the wood pellets, and a small fan delivers a steady stream of oxygen. The heat and smoke than waft up into the primary cooking chamber to smoke and heat the food through to your desired level of doneness.
Z GRILLS designed the ZPG-450A to be a 7-in-1 outdoor cooking appliance. Depending on how you set it up it can barbecue, bake, roast, braise, smoke, grill or sear. This is thanks to its broad temperature range from as low as 180-degrees, for near cold smoking, to has high as 450-degrees for searing off steaks and chops.
With this particular package, they even offer an accessory cover to help keep the Z GRILLS ZPG-450A clean and safe from the elements when you aren’t using it.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Z Grills doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to the build quality. They use thick gauge steel and thoughtful engineering to give the Z GRILLS ZPG-450A the durability to stand the test of time, and years of long smoking sessions. This particular upgraded model even comes with a special heat rated paint job on the lid, which adds to the visual appeal.
Assembly is relatively easy with the Z GRILLS ZPG-450A. Though it does tip the scales at 104 pounds. So, you might want to recruit a friend to help you put it together. With another pair of hands and a careful read of the relatively clear instructions, you should be able to get this wood pellet grill put together in a little over an hour.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A has a temperature range between 180 to 450-degrees. This is just right for pretty much everything you want to cook in the primary smoking chamber. On the lower temperature settings around 180 degrees, you can smoke things like link and ring sausage or a skin-on salmon fillet.
When you dial it up higher into the 225 to 250-degree range the smoke density remains high. This is ideal for classic barbecue preparation. The long cylindrical shape of the primary chamber practically begs you to smoke some class St. .
When you want to sear off a steak or make classic kabobs, you can use the digital controller to crank the heat all the way up to 450 degrees. Just make sure to give the Z GRILLS ZPG-450A a solid 10 to 12 minutes to fully preheat. If you rush this stage you won’t get the classic grill grate marks as you find on a traditional charcoal or gas grill.
The ZPG-450A is one of the smaller wood pellet grills in the Z Grills lineup. Yet it still offers 450 square inches of cooking space, which is more than you find with a lot of traditional charcoal kettle grills. It’s comparable in size and cooking capacity to a three burner gas grill, which makes it a great fit for a small family.
The all-terrain wheels and adjustable feet might not sound all that special on paper. Still, the ZPG-450A moves easily across even a bumpy lawn or a cobblestone patio, and if you end up on an uneven area, you can easily adjust the feet to keep things level.
The paint job on the lid is also another one of those finer touches. It’s not necessary. They could have simply painted it black. Still, it can serve as a conversation starter if you’re entertaining at the grill side.
Ease to Clean
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A is very easy to clean. Grease, excess marinade, and other drippings are diverted to a small grease collection cup that can be poured out and quickly washed. The grill grates are covered with a nonstick porcelain material that reduces sticking and makes for easy scraping.
Every now and then you’ll need to wipe down the temperature probe. If soot, grease, and other residue builds-up on it, the probe could start to send out inaccurate readings. This would tell the auger to deliver more or fewer wood pellets which will alter the temperature even further.
Once the grill has fully cooled down, you can place the cover over it to keep it safe from the elements.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A comes with a three-year warranty. This is very similar to other wood pellet grills of the same size. Though this grill costs a lot less for the same quality and coverage. It’s a strong statement about the overall build quality.
The Z GRILLS ZPG-450A is a high-quality wood pellet grill at a very nice price point. It’s certainly not the largest model in the Z Grills line, which makes it a nice fit for a small family or a home with somewhat limited space on the deck. It’s easy to clean, easy to maintain and this particular package includes a grill cover.
- 15-pound wood pellet hopper
- 452 square inch grill grates
- Attractive paint job
- Very friendly price tag
- 180 to 450-degree temperature range
- 3-year warranty
- Might be too small for a large family
- Weighs over 100 pounds
- No pellet purge feature