in 2018 the fine folks over at ApolloBox.com reached out and asked if I would be interested in playing around with a new grill model from Z Grills, the 7002B. The thought of spending hours putting together another grill did not get me excited and I almost told them no.
In the end I changed my mind and asked them to send it over. That was the best decision I made for the whole grilling season!
What I Love About the Z Grills 7002B
There are several reasons why I really enjoyed this grill and they fall into the following general categories:
- Easy to Assemble
- Easy to Use
- Massive Size
- Budget Friendly Price
- Three Year Warranty
The 7002B is Easy to Assemble
I almost didn’t get this grill because I dreaded the thought of spending hours putting the thing together. My fears were completely unfounded. The grill arrived neatly packaged and had simple, easy to follow instructions for assembly.
Heck, it even came with all of the tools I needed!
My total assembly time was just over an hour. EASY!
Even though this grill comes with a nice cover I am still storing it inside my garage. That makes the heavy duty wheels an important feature since I am constantly rolling it out to my driveway and back.
Moving the grill is super easy.
The details on the grill are a simple but nice touch. It has an attractive badge on the lid and stainless steel handles on the grill and hopper lids. This is a handsome grill.
The 7002B is Easy to Use
The temperature controller is very easy to use and is set with 25 degree increments. The grill typically takes about 30 minutes to reach the desired set point and stabilize. Once it hits its set point the temperature has been incredibly steady.
The 7002B has a 20 pound pellet hopper. I have burnt hundreds of pounds of pellets through this guy and the hopper design has consistently been able to keep the auger fed without my intervention.
I have run the grill at 250F to slow smoke tri tip.
I have run the grill at 400 F to grill up crispy chicken wings.
I have smoked pork loins and chicken breasts at 275 and 325 to see how it laid down smoke on boring meats. I used it to cook up some chicken drumsticks just because I was feeling good and wanted to burn some pellets.
I have been impressed with the smoke ring that this cooker lets you throw down. The smoke flavor from the pellets is on point and not overpowering.
Massive Cooking Area
The cooking surface on the 7002B is pretty massive. The product literature advertises 700 square inches but those inches are split between the primary cooking grate (~500 square inches) and the secondary elevated grate (~200 square inches).
I rarely use the elevated grate since the lower grate offers up so much space.
I can easily fit two full sized packer briskets on the lower grate which is more than enough meat for me at one time.
Budget Friendly Price
These grills are marketed as great alternatives to Traeger grills and it is easy to understand why.
Z Grills is highly aggressive in their pricing and it looks like they are consistently trying to price this model at about half the price of a Traeger Pro 575.
Z Grills almost always has some good sales going on where they either discount the price of this grill or throw in a free cover, etc. If you are in the market for a new pellet grill then head over to Z Grills and check this guy out!
Three Year Warranty
Z Grills pellet grills are backed by a three year warranty which is on par with the industry leader, Traeger.
It makes sense that the warranty between these two brands would be the same since Z Grills is the same company that manufactured Traeger grills in China for many years. See Z Grills vs Traeger for more information.
They figured out how to make a high quality grill for a major manufacturer and have incorporated the same robust design elements into their own products.
Where the Z Grills 7002B Could Be Better
While I really like the 7002B there are a few areas that could use improvement. The areas for improvement include:
- No Pellet Cleanout
- Lack of Advanced Technology
- Requires a Shop Vac for Cleaning
- Limited Top Temperature
No Pellet Hopper Cleanout
There is no easy way to remove unused pellets from the hopper when you are done cooking.
If you want to change wood flavors or protect your pellets from humidity in between cooks you might need to get yourself a small shop vac.
Lack of Advanced Technology
The 7002B does not have many of the advanced features that are found on other models of pellet grills.
There are no built in meat probes, the temperature controller does not have a PID system and there is no WiFi connectivity.
You do not need any of these features to make amazing barbecue but some people love to use the latest and greatest technology and the 7002B is lacking on this front.
The lack of advanced “gadgets” is not such a bad thing though as this is one reason why the grill is so affordable.
Shop Vac Required for Clean Up
An essential part of using a pellet grill is keeping the inside of the grill clean. The area underneath the grease tray is especially important.
Almost all pellet grill accumulate grease and sawdust underneath the grease tray. It is important to clean the lower body of the grill on a regular basis as it is easy for the sawdust and grease to combust and produce one heck of a fire.
To clean the inside of the 7002B I have to use a Shop Vac and it is a bit of a pain in the neck. I don’t like hauling the Shop Vac around and cleaning it out afterwards.
The need to use a Shop Vac to clean the internals of a pellet grill is a problem common to most pellet grill brands.
Limited Top Temperatures
When I first got this grill it would hit a top temperature of 425F. After a couple years of use the top temperature declined to about 375F.
I have talked with the company and it sounds like the decreased temperature is a problem with the control board. I haven’t bothered asking for a replacement because it just isn’t that important to me.
These top temperatures are perfectly fine for grilling chicken wings they fall short when it comes to searing steaks.
Basically the 7002B is an amazing smoker and a “just okay” grill.
How Does the Z Grills 7002B Last?
I have had this grill for several years now and published a walk through review of how it has held up.
The only problem I have ever had was when the connection between the internal thermocouple and the control panel got wet and threw off an error code.
It took a few minutes of drying things out with paper towels and the grill was back in perfect shape.
What I am Cooking on Now
I recently upgraded to the Z Grills 1000 series and gave my 7002B to a good friend who routinely uses it for wings and briskets.
You can read why I love the 1000 series even more than the 700 series in this one year review of using the Z Grills 1000.