Frequently Ask Questions About Z Grills

Z Grills Basics

Got a new Z Grills? Start here to learm the basics


  Our first priority is your health and safety. Read our response to COVID-19.
  What are the pellets made from?

Our grilling pellets are 100% natural hardwood and are free of chemicals, additives, binding agents, and artificial flavorings.

  Will the wood pellets expire, or do they have a shelf life?

Our wood pellets do not expire, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure your pellets don’t degrade. Store your grilling pellets in a dry and cool place, and keep them clean and sealed, taking care to avoid moisture, dirt, and hot temperatures.  

  How do I complete the initial startup and burn-in?

Before cooking on your new grill, you’ll need to perform the Z Grills Initial Startup and Burn-in process. We have a convenient video walking you through the process, which typically takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Check out this video basic operating steps. Be sure you have enough pellets to run your new BBQ grill on HIGH for at least 45 minutes and perform the process outside or in a space with good air ventilation.

  What is the correct way to cook on the grill?

Z Grills stand out from traditional gas BBQ grills because you don’t need to babysit your food! In fact, opening the lid over and over to check on your food can cause temperature fluctuations, causing your food to take longer to cook.

  1. Ensure that the controller dial is in the Shut Down Cycle position before turning on the power switch.
  2. Open the grill lid and turn the controller dial to Smoke. Once you see lots of smoke, close the lid and set the desired temperature, which is any setting from Smoke (160 degrees) to High (450 degrees).
  3. Wait for the selected temperature to be reached before putting your food on the grill.
  4. Be sure the lid stays closed while cooking!
  5. Use food probes to monitor the internal temperature of your food; different foods can require different internal temperatures to be considered safe to eat.
  6. Enjoy the best meats and veggies you’ve ever had from the best grill you’ve ever owned!
 How do I turn the grill off?

To turn off your grill, turn the controller dial to Shut Down Cycle. The fan will run for around 10 minutes before the grill turns itself off. Be sure to let the shut down cycle complete before turning the grill off or disconnecting the power. If you’ve been cooking on High, turn the dial to Smoke for 10 minutes before turning to the Shut Down Cycle. 

  Can I cook on the SMOKE setting?

Yes! The first hour of cooking is a great time to use the Smoke setting to ensure your meat gets that delicious smokey flavor. When you use the Smoke setting, the temperature can range anywhere from 158 to 194 degrees, and you’ll find that the smoke will come in cycles instead of being constant. After you’ve used the Smoke setting for an hour (or for your desired length of time under an hour), you’ll need to bring your grill to a higher temperature to ensure your food is properly cooked.

  What temperature can the grill heat up to?

The Z Grill can operate from 160°F on the Smoke setting up to 450°F on the High setting. The actual temperature will swing above/below the target temperature especially during the initial heat up period, when temperature settings are changed or if the lid is opened for a period of time.

  Are temperature swings normal?

Yes! When cooking with a Z Grill, you may experience temperature swings, particularly during the initial heat-up period. Temperature swings can also occur if the lid is opened or if temperature settings are adjusted.

  How long does the Ignition Rod stay on?

Once you turn the controller dial from Shut Down Cycle to Smoke, the ignition rod will turn on for five minutes in order to ignite the wood pellets. The ignition rod is no longer needed after this short period, since the fire in the firepot will continue to ignite new pellets as they fall in.

  How quickly do the wood pellets burn?

The wood grill pellets used in Z Grills burn at about 2.2 pounds per hour at high temperatures (more than 356 degrees) and 0.66 to 0.88 pounds per hour when cooking low and slow (Smoke setting or 225 degrees). A 22-pound bag of pellets can last anywhere from 10 to 25 hours depending on temperatures and conditions. The 700E model will use pellets faster than the 450A due to the larger surface area.

  How much electricity does the grill use?
  Why does it take so long for the temperature to drop?

When you lower the temperature on your grill, it could take up to an hour for the temperature to adjust. Pellets must be periodically delivered into the firepot to ensure the fire doesn’t go out altogether. The process to gradually reduce the temperature while still maintaining the fire can be a lengthy one. The best way to reduce your grill’s temperature is by turning your controller dial to Shut Down Cycle. Once the temperature has dropped enough, turn the dial to your desired temperature setting. This will turn on the ignition rod and deliver pellets into the firepot.


  My grill isn't working properly, how can I get help?

You’re in the right place! Browse our FAQs for more information about your Z Grill. You can also consult your owners’ manual, which has a detailed troubleshooting section. If you still can’t find your answer, please contact us through our website’s pop-up chat or submit a product support request.

  My grill is making squeaking or clunking noises.

It’s normal for your Z Grill to make some squeaking or clunking noises. The auger slowly rotates to push pellets from the hopper into the firepot. The auger is designed to be quite loose and can move forward and backward slightly, allowing it to break through longer wood pellets. (Note that the auger does not run continually; it only turns on once every two minutes to deliver pellets into the firepot.) If your wood pellets are longer than 1cm, they will make more noise in the auger as they are being broken. Ideally, your wood pellets should be less than 1cm in length.

  My grill isn’t starting, but the controller screen is lighting up.

Ensure your firepot is clean of ash and vacuum it if necessary. Remove the grease tray and baffle plate to see if pellets are dropping into the firepot. Check to see if the ignition rod is turning a dull red color after 4-5 minutes after turning the grill onto Smoke mode (from the Shut Down Cycle).

  My grill isn’t starting, and the controller screen is blank.

Connect your grill to a different power supply and ensure the power hasn't tripped in your meter box. If your power supply is okay, disconnect your power and check to see if the fuse in the back of the controller has blown. If the fuse is okay, please contact us as your controller may need to be replaced.

  There is smoke in the wood pellet hopper, and my grill is already in the Shut Down Cycle.

Smoke may begin to rise from the pellets in the hopper if there is a backburn running up the auger feed tube to the firepot. Smoke may occur because of wood dust, running the grill at a high temperature and constantly opening the lid, having too much ash in the firepot, or turning the grill from High immediately to the Shut Down Cycle. Turn your controller dial to Smoke and open the grill and hopper lids to release the smoke. If the smoke has stopped after 10 minutes, turn the grill to the Shut Down Cycle. If not, remove all pellets and run the controller on High until all pellets have cleared the auger tube. Return the unit to the Shut Down Cycle, then do a thorough cleaning of all pellets and ash. Complete the initial startup procedure to prime the auger tube with pellets for normal operation.

  There is smoke in the wood pellet hopper, and my grill is in the middle of a cook.

Open the hopper and grill lids and remove your food if desired. Turn the controller dial to the Smoke setting. If the smoke has stopped after 10 minutes, turn the grill back to the target temperature and resume cooking. If not, remove all pellets and run the controller on High until all pellets have cleared the auger tube. Return the unit to the Shut Down Cycle, then do a thorough cleaning of all pellets and ash. Complete the initial startup procedure to prime the auger tube with pellets for normal operation. 

  The temperature on the display is very different from the dial setting.

Close the grill lid and let the grill run for 10 minutes or more to see if the temperature stabilizes. If the temperature is off by 50 degrees or more, check if the firepot is empty of ash and ensure you are using fresh, dry pellets.

  The temperature on the display is jumping around rapidly.

This may indicate a loose temperature sensor connection. For 700 models, check the cable connection between the grill and the controller. For 700 or 450A models, disconnect the power, remove the two screws on the front of the controller, and gently pull the controller forward. You will see two skinny white sensor cables, which should be tightly secured into the blue or green terminal block. If they are loose, the temperature reading may be inaccurate. If none of these steps solve the issue, please contact us.

 There is a huge amount of smoke.

Excess smoke may occur if the firepot is overfilled with pellets and they ignite. This most commonly occurs if there is a large accumulation of ash in the firepot, which inhibits the normal operation of the ignition rod. To prevent this, vacuum out your firepot between every few cooks.

 The controller screen shows an error.

See our video on basic operating steps to understand what each error message means.

  • Er1: Temperature Sensor Failure. Ensure that the Temperature Sensor cable plug is properly connected, and the sensor cable connection is tight on the controller board’s blue terminal block. If your grill is still not working, replace the temperature probe.
  • Er2: Incorrect Startup Setting. Switch the grill OFF and turn the controller dial to the Shut Down Cycle position. Switch the grill back ON and turn the controller dial to Smoke to start normal operation.
  • LEr: Low Temperature Error. This message displays when the grill’s internal temperature has been below 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. The grill may have run out of pellets, or the ignition rod may not be operating.
  • Her: High Temperature Error. This message displays when the grill’s internal temperature has reached higher than 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn your controller dial to the Shut Down Cycle position and turn the grill OFF. Open the grill lid, switch the grill back ON, and turn the controller dial to the Smoke position. Wait until the controller display shows a temperature under 194 degrees, then close the grill lid and turn to your desired temperature. You may also see this message if your grill is in direct sunlight; open the grill lid and move your grill into the shade to reduce the temperature.

Shipping & Return

  Do you ship overseas?

Currently, Z Grills only ships to the continental U.S. and does not offer shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Islands, any P.O. box, or other countries.

  How long will it take to get my order?

When you buy a grill from Z Grills, your order may take up to 3 business days to process and may not ship until the next business day. Deliveries typically arrive 3-8 business days after the order has been processed, but this ETA may vary based upon weather conditions or holidays. Z Grills ship for free. Please see our “Shipping Policy” page for more information.

  What shipping carriers do you use?

We work with all major carriers and local courier partners. If the logistics violence transport situation occurs, please contact our customer service team in time.

  My order is delivered but I only received part of my order. Why is that?

Depending on the products you ordered, they may require multiple boxes or packages to safely ship your product. And if your order has multiple items, they may be shipped from different warehouses and arrive in different boxes on different dates. However, our website currently only allows us to add only one tracking number for an order. So even though you only received part of your order, your order is shown delivered by default. Read More >>

  Can I return my product?

We always aim to provide the best grills and grilling accessories on the market, but if you do need to return an order, we’re happy to help. Simply email us for more information and see our “Warranty and Return” page for more information.

Maintenance & Repairs

  How do i clean the grill?

Use warm, soapy water to wipe off extra grease and keep your grill looking and operating like new. Do not use oven cleaners or abrasive cleaning liquids or pads on the outside grill surfaces.

  Ignition rod replacement

Your ignition rod may need to be replaced after extended use or if there is a product fault. You’ll know it’s time for a replacement if it blows the fuse in the controller, causing the grill to fail to ignite the wood pellets. If you are within your 3-year warranty period, simply contact us for a free replacement ignition rod. We have a convenient step-by-step guide to help you replace your ignition rod. Please click here.

Chat Us

Live Chat Now

Talk to a real human who really cares and get instant answers to your questions.

Email Us

Send us a message at . We'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Call Us

833-ZGRILLS or 833-947-4557

We are here for you Monday through Friday, 9:00 am. - 5:30 pm. (Holiday hours may differ.)