If you’re in the market for a new grill, Z Grills has just released a new and advanced model, the Z Grills 700D4E. This grill is brimming with features and conveniences that are designed to enhance your cooking experience.
In this article, we’ll review the 700D4E but also go over all its features and take a look at some of the highlights of this new grill. We also tested this grill and will share the results of our first cook with you. So if you’re ready to upgrade your outdoor cooking game, read on!
A little Background on Z Grills Pellet Grills
You have likely heard of Z Grills before, as they are one of the most popular pellet grill brands on the market for years now. Z Grills launched in 2016 and has since become a leader in the pellet grill industry thanks to its advanced grilling technology, innovative designs, and price.
Their grills are known for being some of the most durable and easy-to-use wood pellet grills on the market.
Many people are unaware that Z Grills is a major pellet grill manufacturer. That’s right; if you own a pellet smoker from another brand or are familiar with pellet grills, you might spot some similarities. That’s because Z Grills likely had something to do with the manufacturing of those pellet grills. Before starting their own brand, they made grills for most of the grill brands you are familiar with.
Z Grills directly competes with brands like Traeger, Pit Boss, and Camp Chef, with the Z Grills 700 series being the strongest rival. The 700 series has been a long-time bestseller and popular grill. Z Grills took their 700 lineup and spiced it up with even more features found in more expensive pellet grills.
The 700 Grills Lineup:
The 700 models come in a variety of configurations, but they all offer the same 697 square inches of cooking space, hence the 700 designation in the model names.
The Z Grill 700 series all have similar designs. The main differences between the models is the main frame or cabinet, features like wheels, meat probes, a storage area with an enclosed cabinet and doors, and the type of PID controller. We’ll get more into these features later.
Models including the letter “D” in their names will feature a closed storage area with two doors and four caster wheels.
Models marked with the letter “C” will not include a storage area, but you will get the same type of cooking chamber, four legs and four wheels, two casters, and two plastic all-terrain wheels.
Lastly, models marled with the letter “B” are also 4-leg freestanding grills with two all-terrain wheels. In short, the B series is the hardest to move around.
Add the letter “E” to any of the models mentioned above, and you get a stainless steel lid.
The most noteworthy difference between all these models is the type of temperature control system. Some grills feature an older controller type with a digital board. This is a more cyclic controller system where the grill turns its internals “on and off” to reach the set temperature, whereas the newest models, like the Z Grills 700D4E, feature a fully smart and digital PID temperature controller.
A digital PID temperature controller does better at keeping steady temperatures because, instead of operating on “on and off” cycles, it uses a little computer brain to tell the grill when to start and stop feeding pellets for better temperature control and to keep a consistent temperature with fewer temperature spikes.
This is all because the digital controller can manage and change things like fan speed and stop exactly when it needs to stop, unlike other cyclic controllers where even if the grill has reached the desired temperature, the system still needs to finish its cycles, which equals to more temperature variance.
Also, new PID controllers can work with and communicate with two temperature probes.
The Z Grills 700D4E Pellet Grill
The Z Grills 700D4E is a new model from Z Grills. It’s a pellet grill that comes packed with features that will make your grilling experience better. The 700D4E operates at a temperature range of 180 to a maximum temperature of 450 degrees.
It has a digital controller and stainless steel components such as a cooking chamber lid for better heat retention and even comes with a grill cover.
This grill also includes two temperature probes to monitor the cooking process and display the meat’s internal temperature right on the controller LCD display.
Porcelain-coated grates are ideal for smoking meats because they provide the meal with a nonstick surface. Therefore, if you cook for a long period of time, the food is less likely to stick to the grates and crumple when you move the meat or take it from the grill.
Lastly, the hopper capacity in the grill is 20 pounds; that’s plenty of wood pellets for an entire day of smoking meats. At smoking temperatures, this grill will burn approximately 1 pound of pellets per hour. So a 20-pound pellet hopper should be able to keep your Z Grills grill running for about 20 hours, or long enough to smoke a large brisket or pork shoulder.
What’s New on the Z Grills 700D4E
A lot is new. The Z Grills 700D Pellet Grill is the predecessor of the Z Grills 700D4E, and a lot has changed. The grilling space remains the same, but the biggest change is the controller. Z Grills has listened to what people want and has made some much-needed improvements that are clearly noticeable on the 700D4E.
First, this Z Grills model includes an excellent digital PID controller, which wowed us throughout our tests with how simple it was to operate and how efficiently it controlled temperature.
You can see the digital controller in action during startup and how simple it is to get this grill started in this video.
The controller has a big LCD control panel that is backlit. The LCD display shows both the programmed temperature and the “actual” temperature of the cooking area at all times.
Second, the hopper capacity remains the same, but the hopper now has a hopper cleanout door, which is perfect for emptying wood pellets or changing pellet flavors.
Lastly, if you want to use this grill as a pellet smoker, the meat probes will help you keep an eye on food temperature and monitor the cooking process.
Also new in the 700D4E is the new design of the smokestack cap. Before, you had a bell-shaped cap. Now there is a new cap design that helps keep grease and juices from flowing out of the smokestack, eliminating the possibility of making a mess on your floor.
Z Grills 700D4E Pellet Grill Review
The first thing you will notice about Z Grills is how affordable their pellet smokers and grills are. The build quality is comparable to or higher than that of other pellet grills in this price range. The grill is constructed of durable, heavy duty steel and is powder-coated.
The second thing you’ll quickly notice is that this is a good-looking grill. We love the look of the stainless steel lid and handle, and the closed cabinet makes this grill look good.
Assembling this wood pellet grill only took about an hour, and Z Grills includes all the tools you need for the assembling process, including gloves. All the parts are clearly marked with numbered stickers, so you don’t have to guess what parts to grab based on images.
Simply follow the instructions and grab the part numbers referenced in the manual.
We also enjoyed how well this grill came packed and protected from the factory. All the pieces were accounted for, and nothing was damaged.
The grill fully assembled measures 47 inches long and stands 52 inches tall from the wheels to the end of the smokestack cap.
With the cabinet doors open, the opening of the storage area is 24 inches wide, 15 inches high, and 15 inches deep, with 16 inches to the door lips. The storage area is also ventilated. There are small openings on the storage area back wall. This is plenty of space for a few bags of pellets, grilling tools, and cleaning gear.
To finish with the exterior, the grill is neatly put together. The stainless steel hopper lid is great for placing plates and even tools on. On the side of the controller, there is a sturdy handle to help move this hundred-plus pound grill around.
The cooking chamber ( the main barrel ) is 20 inches tall and 28.5 inches wide.
The Interior and Cooking Area
The cooking area in this grill is split between two cooking grates. The main cooking grate measures 26 inches long by 19.6 inches wide for a total of 504 square inches of cooking space, and the top or warming rack measures 26 inches long by 7 inches wide, or 193 square inches of cooking space.
The total cooking capacity of this grill is 697 square inches.
Remove the main grates, and you have access to the grease plan and baffle plate.
The grease pan is made out of thin steel and just sits on top of the baffle plate. To remove it, simply pick it up and move it out of the way. I highly recommend placing aluminum foil on your grease plan to avoid having to clean it later.
Next, you will see the baffle or firepot cover, which is locked in place by a set of grooves.
Staring, Cooking, and Using the Z Grills 700D4E
Staring the 700D4E is as easy as turning on your kitchen oven, press the power button, set the grill to the “smoke” setting, and wait for for the flame to come on and the grill’s temperature to rise. Once the grill is up to temperature, set the desired cooking temperature and smoke or grill your heart out.
If you are using the 700D4E as a smoker, the smoke setting will help you infuse as much smoky flavor as possible during the initial period of the cook, but then you want to set the temperature to something like 225 or 250 degrees. Unlike a charcoal grill, where you’ll need to pay close attention to the fire and consistently manage the fire, the grill will do all the work.
To shut off the grill, simply turn the temperature knob to the “off” setting. You will hear the fan come on, and it will keep running for about 10 minutes to burn off any leftover pellets in the firepot.
Cooking on this grill has been an absolute delight. Not only is easy to get this grill on and going, but there aren’t any distractions, no fuss, or gadgetry to get in the way of a good cooking session.
Our first Cooking Test for this Z Grills 700d4e Review
As you can see in the pictures in this article, we put some hours on this grill and have done plenty of testing to find the good and the bad.
For our first test, we smoked a rack of ribs, which we cooked all the way until done at 250 degrees. We started the cooking process by placing the ribs on the grill, setting the temperature, and inserting one of the meat probes, then walked away.
During our first cook, we wanted to test two things: how consistent was the PID controller at controlling and providing a constant temperature, how accurate were the meat probes; and, of course, smoke flavor.
Heat retention in this grill is good, although if you open the front lid too often for too long, the temperature inside the cooking chamber will drop quickly. Grills with thick double wall insulation or at least side wall insulation might retain heat better, and double walled construction does help improve efficiency, but if you leave the lid open on any pellet smoker, you will quickly lose heat.
However, leaving the lid open during our test led to great discoveries. First, the grill does get back up to temperature quickly and soon after sensing a temperature drop.
Second, unlike other grills, the 700D4E, gets back to temperature without overshooting the set temperature. In only a few instances, we noticed the grill overshot the set temperature, but it was by only a few degrees.
We also noticed the fan changed speeds based on the set temperature, helping keep a healthy flame and a consistent temperature.
Lastly, this grill is quiet. When set to smoking temperatures of around 225 to 250, you can barely hear the auger and the fan running. Once the grill is cooking, besides a bit of smoke coming out of the smokestack, it is hard to tell the grill is even on. We have owned and tested many pellet grills, and let me tell you, some pellet grills can be annoyingly loud.
At times, I wish I had a way of adding more smoke, although the ribs turned out great and the smokey flavor was there.
The shape of the grill and multiple layers of metal between the flame and the food create a conventional indirect heat cooking environment, great for smoking meats and not burning thin cuts of fat and meat.
The digital PID temperature controller does improve fuel efficiency, and this Z grill reaches its target temperature quickly and keeps a steady temperature through the cook. The LCD temperature display is easy to read and shows you all the information you need.
- Stainless steel pellet hopper lid
- Two meat probes (temperature probes)
- Grease bucket
- Grease tray
- Pellet hopper clean-out door. This is to empty unused pellets or swap pellet flavors.
- The storage area is great for storing grilling tools and pellet storage buckets.
- Main grate: 504 sq. in.
- Warming Rack: 193 sq. in.
- Total: 697 sq. in.
- Hopper Capacity: 20 lbs
- Height of Cooking Surface to Lid: 9 in.
- Temperature Range: 180-450 °F (indirect heat)
- Grill Grate Material: Porcelain-coated steel
- Dimensions (in.) 48 L × 22 W × 51 H
- Weight: 132 pounds
Z Grills offers a great warranty. The Z Grills 700D4E pellet grill comes with a three-year warranty.
The digital PID controller does an excellent job at temperature control.
Included temperature probes: very nice to have them included for free.
The pellet hopper clean-out door is easy to use.
No wifi connectivity.
The Z Grills 700D4E is a high-quality pellet grill that offers great features at an affordable price. The pellet grill market is flooded with options, but few can make good, affordable pellet smokers.
This grill is easy to use and produces excellent results, making it great for backyard warriors and experienced grillers alike. The digital PID controller ensures accurate temperature control, while the two meat probes help you monitor your food as it cooks.
We have logged many hours using this grill and, overall, have been very pleased, especially when you look at its price.