The pellet grill market has been booming over the last few years in the United States, with new brands cropping up all over the place
But if you live Down Under (like I do), your choices were limited to an expensive Traeger or a cheap pellet grill from Bunnings.
The guys from Z Grills Australia are trying to change this by bringing their popular lineup of affordably priced pellet grills to market.
Z Grills Australia sent me this grill and accessories for free in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Z Grills story
I’ve been following Z Grills ever since they launched via a Crowdfunding campaign back in 2017.
We’ve covered the story behind the Z Grills parent company before in our overall Z Grills overview.
The cliff notes version is that after manufacturing pellet grills for companies like Traeger for 30 years, they decided to go direct to consumer and setup the Z Grills brand.
The brand has exploded in popularity in the United States where over 100,000 units have been sold in the last three years.
The Z Grills Australia difference
Most pellet grills never make it Down Under, presumably due to the limited market, import costs and having to convert the electronics and manage different stock.
Z Grills Australia is a local company started by Mick Humphreys after he discovered the product and decided to bring these pellet grills to Australia.
Buying a new grill or smoker can be an emotional purchase (it is for me anyway), so it’s great to know that if anything goes wrong you are dealing with a local company.
My experience with Z Grills
To be completely transparent I have to point out that Z Grills Australia approached me to ask if they could send me a free grill in return for sharing my experience on the website.
I asked them to treat me exactly like a real customer and pointed out that I wouldn’t hold back with any criticism.
I was surprised when the owner, Mick, offered to drop my grill off, but he explained that they actually hand deliver most product sales in Victoria as a way to keep shipping costs down and also a chance to meet their customers.
Depending on where you live you can pick up yourself from a local warehouse and pay no freight cost, or opt for home delivery.
The grill arrived in two large boxes, with a couple of accessories and tools on the side.
I was keen to get started, but several days of rain decided to set in so the box sat in my house while I waited for an opportunity.
While waiting, I noticed an email had come in from Z Grills Australia with a whole bunch of getting started guides and tips.
The initial startup & burn in instructions were super easy, and everything was put together by the local Z Grills guys with companion videos to match.
Far better service than you get after picking up a grill from Bunnings.
If you want to read more about what I think of the grill, I have a full review you can check out where I go through the setup process, build quality, and what I do and don’t like (or just watch the video version below).
The local Z Grills community
In the welcome email, I noticed an invitation to join a private Facebook group called Z Grills Aussie Owners Group.
The group was set up by Z Grills as a place for owners to share tips, ask questions, and has turned into a really cool community with over 1,100 members.
I’ve been a member for over a month now and I’ve noticed that everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, and there’s none of the barbecue snobbery and rude comments you, unfortunately, get on a lot of the other Facebook groups.
Mick (the founder of Z Grills Australia) seems to be super active in the group, answering questions, posting about new products that are coming and also running a few competitions.
It’s fantastic to see the owner of the company making himself so accessible to customers and definitely not something we see with many grill companies.
Product selection and ordering
As I mentioned before, Z Grills Australia has a limited selection of the most popular grills Z Grills sell in the States, plus a few extra goodies you can only get in Australia.
I got the 700E wood pellet smoker, and I think this is the best option for most people.
The grill alone goes for $1,199.00 and includes a waterproof cover, and you can add on some additional accessories.
I got the BBQ Accessory Bundle which includes:
- Bamboo cutting board
- Cast iron bbq plate for searing
- Instant read digital thermometer
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Heavy duty Z Grills apron
- Anything Goes – Damn Good BBQ rub
- Sir-Lambs-A-Lot – Damn Good BBQ rub
I also got the Koala Claw which is a handy tool for cleaning the grill grates on your Z Grills grill, and also makes it easy to grab a grill grate.
It’s a bit hard to explain so it’s probably better to just watch this video.
Z Grills Australia have also just released an add-on front folding bench which adds a huge 720 x 250 x 20 mm solid bamboo cutting board to the front of your grill.
One of my main complaints about the 700E was the lack of prep areas, so it’s pretty cool to see that the Z Grills Australia guys are coming up with their own products which you can only get here in Aus.
The bench will set you back $99.95 and requires a bit of installation, but I think it’s an excellent addition to the grill.
In terms of extra product options, there is also a Fahrenheit plate you can get if you want to display both temperatures on your grill.
By default the grill shows temps in °C, which can be annoying since most recipes you find will be in °F.
Wrapping it up
If you are looking to get a Pellet grill I highly recommend checking out Z Grills Australia.
The product is good, but what really sets them apart is the local service you get and all the free tips and help.
If you have any problems with the grill the owners are easy to get hold of, or you can just ask a question on the Facebook group and someone will help you out.
if this post sounds overly enthusiastic please note I don’t get anything from Z Grills if you decide to purchase from them after reading this review.
I’m happy to support a local company who are doing some great work in the barbecue community.