I picked up a Z Grills Cruiser a few weeks ago and have had a blast seeing what I could do with this portable pellet grill. I have mainly been using this guy on the tailgate of my truck so I could get a feel of what it would be like to take it on a camping trip or down to an LSU football game.
Stick with me and I will give you a quick review of the Cruiser 200A so you can figure out if it is the right grill for you!
How Big is the Z Grills Cruiser 200A?
There are three important size aspects in a portable grill:
- Physical Dimensions
- Cooking Capacity
- Hopper Size
Let’s look at each in a little more detail.
Physical Dimensions of the Cruiser
Since we are looking at a portable pellet grill then we need to talk about size.
If you are interested in how much room it will take up in your storage space then it has the following dimensions:
- Width: 25 inches
- Depth: 20 inches
- Height: 13 inches
The Cruiser weighs 40 pounds when empty but it will end being full of pellets at some point which will put its weight at just under 50 pounds.
I can pick this grill up and move it around pretty easily by myself but, if I had to carry it for a significant distance then it would nice to have a second person help.
Cooking Capacity of the Cruiser
Even though this is a portable grill it has a surprising large amount of cooking area.
In the video below I show how you can easily fit a dozen chicken drumsticks (over four pounds) onto the grill with no problem.
The Cruiser is also large enough to handle an eight pound Boston Butt. I butterflied the butt to get more smoke flavor into the meat and it still fit on the Cruiser with no problems.
If you want to smoke ribs on this grill then you will need to cut them in half first.
The pellet hopper on this grill can hold 8 pounds of pellets which is the same hopper size you get on the mid sized Z Grills 600D Series.
Eight pounds of pellets is plenty of fuel to grill chicken, brats and burgers. You could even get away with smoking a chuck roast for 5-6 hours as long as you stir up the pellets every couple of hours to make sure they are sliding into the auger.
Things I Love About the Z Grills Cruiser
The main things that I love about the Cruiser are:
- Great Smoke Flavor
- Easily Portable
- Cool Underneath
Great Smoke Flavor
The number one factor that I look for in a pellet grill, portable or not, is how well does it perform.
In the cooks I have done so far I have been able to get crispy skin on chicken cooked at high temperatures and wonderful smoke flavor on pork butts cooked low and slow.
I love that this little grill can out down such a great smoke ring on a pork butt!
The Grill is Easily Portable
I love that I can take a highly capable pellet grill with me wherever I want to go.
If you are in an area that doesn’t have power you can always use an inverter to plug it into you car or use a portable lithium ion power pack like a Jackery.
I also appreciate that the grill has handles on both sides so you can easily pick it up. I know that it seems obvious that a portable grill would have carrying handles but if you look at the comparable Traeger Ranger you will see that Traeger’s portable grill does not have handles.
The Grill is Cool Underneath
Even when the Cruiser is running at its top temperature of 450F it is cool enough underneath the grill to use on a plastic or wooden table.
I really like using he Cruiser on the metal tailgate of my truck (it’s the perfect height!) but I also like knowing that I could use it on a park bench without doing any damage.
Where the Z Grills Cruiser Could be Better
There are two areas where I the Cruiser could be improved upon.
The first issue is that the control panel comes with a spot to plug in a meat probe to monitor the internal temperature of your meat without opening the lid. Unfortunately, the grill does not come with a meat probe and you cannot buy a compatible meat probe from the Z Grills website.
I tried using a couple of the meat probes I have lying around but none of them fit into the opening on the control panel.
The second issue is that the pellet hopper is located inside the grill body. This means that you have to open the lid and lose all of your heat anytime you want to stir the pellets or add more to the hopper.
It would be nice if you could access the pellet hopper without having to open the grill.
Overall Impressions of the Z Grills Cruiser 200A
The Z Grills Cruiser is a fun and fully capable portable pellet grill.
The grill is large enough for most everyday needs and will easily feed 4-6 people.
The Cruiser is easy to transport, looks great and is a blast to use.
If you want to check out the Cruiser for yourself then here is the link to the Cruiser over at the Z grills website.