Z Grills 1000E Review (2024)

Z Grills 1000E Review

  • Grills
  • BBQ Gear Reviews
  • Pellet Grills
  • Z Grills 1000E Review
  • by David Gafford
  • February 17, 2021
  • BBQ Gear Reviews, Grills, Pellet Grills
  • 3

The Z Grills 1000E is a spacious wood pellet grill offering three tiers of cooking space and a sizable hopper providing up to 20 hours of smoking time without having to refill.

We've been testing this pellet grill out for the past month, in below freezing temperatures and snow, and are ready to share what we've found in this review.

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If you're considering the addition of a wood pellet grill in your future and wonder if this one might be a right fit for you, then come on in! We'll tell you what we liked, what we thought could be improved, and who we think this grill would be perfect for.

Note: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you any more than normal but it helps support our channel. Read our disclaimer for more info.

Z Grills 1000E Review (1)

Z Grills 1000E Product Specifications



Cooking Area

1060 sq. in.

Cooking Temperature Range

160°- 450°

Assembled Weight


Assembled Dimensions

L54" x W25" x H53"

Hopper Capacity

20lbs. pellets

Box Weight

(Box 1) 114lbs. (Box 2) 65lbs.

Box Dimensions

(Box 1) L32” x W21” x H25”

(Box 2) L29” x W22” x H9”

Storage Cabinet

5400 Cubic inches

Check Price

Be sure to use code: ZGRILLS to save 5% off on your order!


The Z Grills 1000E came in two boxes, and was delivered by Fedex or UPS, which is notable. Most of the major pellet grill manufacturers can’t use standard delivery services because of the size of their boxes, meaning that freight and shipping on pallets is their only way to deliver. ZGrills gets around this by having the end user do more assembly, which saves them on shipping costs as they pack to fit limits set by the shipping companies.

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The two boxes weighed 114lbs and 65lbs for a grand total of 179lbs. We were really impressed by the packaging as there was very little wasted space in the way things were packed. The larger box of the two housed the grill chamber with the lid attached, and the inside was completely filled with parts to maximize space usage. The small box housed the cart and doors along with other parts to finish out the pellet grill build. The boxes were wrapped in plastic straps, which we appreciated given the weight of the box, making sure things stayed inside as they are jostled around during transit.


We were able to put this pellet grill together in just about an hour with two people involved in the build. There is a bit more assembly involved in the Z grills units compared to some of their competitors as they seem to focus on making their pellet grills shippable via the major shipping carriers rather than using freight companies. That just means that there’s a bit more assembly required with things like attaching the pellet hopper and auger to the cooking chamber instead of it already being assembled.

Seasoning the Z Grills 1000E:

We followed the instructions and burned off the pellet grill at 450° for 45 minutes. After we’d burned all of the manufacturing oils off, the pellet grill was good to go for the 4 cooks we had planned for this review.

Check Price

Be sure to use code: ZGRILLS to save 5% off on your order!


Smoking is where this unit really shines. It’s designed to be a smoker first, and we put that to the test with a whole chicken right out of the gate. We spatchco*cked a whole chicken, rubbed it down with our sweet and spicy bbq rub and got the pellet grill to smoke this chicken for about 2 hours. The chicken was juicy and had a great smokey flavor that the whole family enjoyed for dinner.

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Z Grills 1000E Review (10)

Next we decided to smoke a pot of white chicken chili. Sure, we could make this on the gas range, and leave the pellet grill out of this recipe, but we love to add some smoke flavor to about any dish we can. We set the ZGrill to 275°, and left this pot of chili on for about an hour and a half to infuse it with wood-fired flavor.

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Valentine’s Day we knew we wanted to surprise the kids with sticky buns that morning, so we threw some butter, brown sugar and chopped pecans in the bottom of our Le Creuset cast iron skillet and topped it with some store bought cinnamon rolls and buttermilk biscuits rolled in cinnamon sugar. We set the Z Grills 1000E to 350° and baked the sticky buns for about 30-40 minutes and they turned out amazing. The smoke flavor wasn’t so intense that it overwhelmed the dish, but there was a definite smokey flavor that even the kids really enjoyed with their surprise breakfast.

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One more cook I’ll mention was that we smoked a rack of baby back ribs for dinner the other night, and they were competition-style perfect. Bite through without falling off the bone, and they were some of the best I’ve made, and I make a whole lot of smoked ribs. There’s something to be said for the simplicity of the Z Grills unit and the “set it and forget it” nature of this pellet grill that I really enjoy.

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With a top cooking temperature of 450° when the pellet grill is set to high, this unit is more smoker than grill. Also, without the ability to place food directly over the firepot to sear, even setting the unit to 450° is still cooking your food with indirect heat rather than having direct access to fire. Can this unit be used to grill? Yes. Is it the same as grilling on a gas grill or a pellet grill with flame door access? No. But here’s the deal, you can grill on this unit, it’s just using an indirect heat source because of the grease tray that’s separating your food from the fire. Just know that when you’re considering this unit, it’s more smoker than grill and you’ll be fine.

Z Grills 1000E Storage:

The Z Grills 1000E comes with a cover included in the box, and we suggest you use it if you’re going to store the pellet grill outside. We store the grill in the garage and just pull it out into the driveway when we’re planning to cook on it, so we haven’t really exposed this wood pellet grill to the elements to see how it would hold up. We like that there’s stainless steel built throughout the construction, so we’re sure that those parts would stand up to the weather if it were kept outside.

Check Price

Be sure to use code: ZGRILLS to save 5% off on your order!

What We Loved about the Z Grills 1000E

Stainless steel construction- While the entire grill isn’t made of stainless steel, it’s hard to find another wood pellet grill in this price range that consists of this much stainless for the price. ZGrills has done a nice job putting stainless steel in the places where it matters, and I don’t worry about this grill as much as I do many of the cold rolled steel pellet grills that we have sitting around when rain and snow is in the forecast.

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Simplicity- The operation of this wood pellet grill is simple. Fill it full of pellets, turn the dial to the cookign temperature that you want, and it will hold that temp for as long as there are pellets to fuel the fire. There’s no gadgets or gizmos, features or frills on this unit, just exactly what you need when you want to fire up a smoker, set it to a temperature and walk away and let it do its job.

Side shelf/hopper lid- The pellet hopper lid is much larger than any others that we’ve seen in this price range, and it actually allows for cutting boards and trays to be placed on top when cooking. So many other pellet smokers have a tiny hopper lid, and it’s difficult to use that top for anything other than holding a bottle of sauce. This hopper is a respectable shelf that we can use, and we really like that on this model.

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Easy to clean- The 1000E is an easier-to-clean unit than most that we’ve tested. The grease pan is flat rather than curved like we see on some of the competition, which means that grease will drain off without pooling, making it easier to clean. There’s also a drawer on the back of the unit that can be pulled out to clean any extra pellet residue after a few cooks.

Temperature control- Instead of the standard 50-degree settings that are found on many pellet grills today, the Z Grills 1000E has options for cooking at 25-degree increments between 180° and 375°. We like the control that gives us, and appreciate that we can cook at our favorite temp for most things at 275°.

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Storage cabinet- Most pellet smokers we see only have a bottom storage shelf and not an actual cabinet. This is a welcome addition to this unit in my opinion.

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Z Grills 1000E Review (18)

Check Price

Be sure to use code: ZGRILLS to save 5% off on your order!

Opportunities for Improvement

Power button- The power button for the Z Grills 1000E is located just underneath the dial, which certainly makes it convenient. The challenge that it’s caused for us though is that twice now we’ve gone to turn the dial down after finishing a cook, and we’ve bumped the power button to toggle the grill completely off on accident, therefore not allowing the wood pellet grill to go through the proper power-down sequence.

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WIFI- The Z Grills 1000E does not have WIFI built-in, and depending on how you cook you might want the control and connectability to your phone that you can get from other manufacturers. I’m sure that Z Grills will be adding wireless capability in the near future, as most major pellet grill manufacturers have made this move in 2020.

Cold weather cooking- If you’re cooking in cold weather, we recommend picking up the thermal blanket that Z Grills offers. The metal on the unit isn’t built to withstand temperatures below freezing and maintain consistent heat. We have found that in the 10-15 degree F temperatures that we’ve had this February that the pellet grill is running 10-15 degrees below the set temperature for most cooks. The thermal blanket should cut down on wind gusts and help the grill maintain the set temperatures in such cold conditions.

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Smoker gasket seal tape- The lid and other openings on this unit could benefit from adding some gasket seal tape to keep wind gusts out and the smoke in while you’re cooking. It should help the unit with any temperature swings caused by the weather and help dial it in for when you need temps to be rock solid.


So, overall what did we think of the Z Grills 1000E pellet smoker?

The 1000E is reminiscent of our Traeger Renegade model that we reviewed as our first wood pellet grill. That Traeger was the first pellet grill that we had ever used, and the controller on this Z Grill unit reminds me a lot of the Renegade. No WIFI, or bluetooth connectivity, and the pellet grill just flat-out ran. This grill is a set it and forget it machine, and we haven’t had any error codes or mishaps in our time testing this unit. That being said, who is this wood pellet grill a good fit for?

My opinion is that this grill is perfect for the first-time pellet-smoker. That person who wants to get into smoking, but doesn’t want to worry about managing logs on an offset or charcoal in a Smokey Mountain. It’s perfect for someone who’s getting into smoking as a hobby, and will give them the smokey goodness they desire with very little learning curve. The beginner smoker can have success right out of the gate with this unit, and all they have to do is make sure the hopper is full of pellets and their cooking temperature is set for the meal they’re preparing.

The retail price of the Z Grills 1000E at the time of this publishing is $849 and there’s currently a sale running for $190 off. If you’d like to check out the current price, just click on the button below. If you make a purchase through one of our links, it won’t cost you any more, but we will earn a small commission from Z Grills that helps support our channel, which we greatly appreciate!

Check Price

Be sure to use code: ZGRILLS to save 5% off on your order!

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David Gafford

David Gafford is the founder of The Barbecue Lab, a YouTube channel and website focused mainly on reviewing outdoor cooking and outdoor living gear. David puts his analytical and teaching skills to work, helping viewers make fully educated decisions on the equipment they purchase for their patios.But helping people get geared up in the backyard is only part of his passion. David’s real mission is to equip 500,000 people to gather their tribe and experience community by creating unforgettable experiences around food and fire.

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Article Comments

  1. Z Grills 1000E Review (25)


    July 17, 2021 1:21 pmReply

    89.99 z grill. What a scam

  • Z Grills 1000E Review (26)

    David Gafford

    July 19, 2021 7:05 pmReply

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to as nothing on our site is advertising a Z Grill for $89.99. We’re linking directly to Z Grill’s website where this grill retails for $849. But I do agree, if you see this grill advertised for $89.99 it most likely would be a scam.

  • Z Grills 1000E Review (27)

    David Levitt

    November 8, 2023 12:44 amReply

    Worst buying experience. Bought grill directly from Zgrills in June. Expected it to be shipped to receive before July 4th holiday. Received confirmation of the order and saw my credit card charged. . Never received confirmation of shipping. Tried vainly to contact a person in Customer support. Finally received email response from ZGrills after the 4th that the grill was on back order. I decided to cancel order based on the difficulty in getting ANY response or any customer service because if this is how they treat a problem before shipping the product then their after shipping response would not be much better. It took me over 8 WEEKS to receive a refund from ZGrills on my credit card. BTW Very happy with my Pit Boss grill.

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