They had quietly been manufacturing more expensive grills for companies like Trailer before deciding to sell their own brand direct to the public. The prospect of buying a Trailer quality grill at a severely reduced price proved tempting for many, and Grills have quickly become one of the most popular pellet grills available.
In this review, we’ll take a detailed look at their most popular pellet grills, and see how they compare with other brands like Trailer. The Grills design is very similar to brands like Pit Boss and Trailer.
In our video review of the Grills 700E we show how this popular design works, and what we think of it after grill and smoking on it. While they are often called pellet grills ”, I really think of them as smokers or ovens since they specialize in maintaining steady temperatures over long hours.
PelletGrills are great for people who don’t want the hassle or mess of cooking with charcoal but want more smoke flavor and convenience than gas or electric smokers can provide. Grills currently sell four main models of pellet grill in a few different configurations.
Starting with the 450A which comes with (you guessed it) 450 square inches of cooking space, and going all the way up to the new ZPG-1000 you have plenty of choice with different color configurations and storage options. The 7002E is the base version of the most popular model, with a total cooking area of 700 square inches and a 20-pound hopper.
The difference between these two models is a bit confusing, the main thing we could find is the 700E has a top temp of 475° while the 700D maxes out at 450°. In terms of price, you’re looking at roughly half the cost of the Trailer for a similar set of features.
These pellets are stored in a hopper and this is located at the side of the grill. There is a mechanical auger that feeds the pellets in the firebox where they are ignited by a rod.
The Pros of this are that you can fill the hopper, set your temperature, and go on with your day. The word pellet grill is in my opinion, not an accurate description.
The reason is that they can maintain the temperature over a long period of time. I will also give a link here to their website where to find them at an affordable price.
450 Square inches grill area 15 lbs hopper Fold-able shelf Bronze colored I was not able to find a lot of people who talked about their experience with the Grills RPG 450A model but the ones I found give it an average of 4.3 stars. My little higher rating is based on the fact that there were a few complaints about packaging and that has nothing to do with the quality of this pellet smoker.
538 sq inches 10 lb hopper Fold-able shelf Black color Temperature, once the desires temp is reached, varies by about plus or minus five degrees: very acceptable.
The metal slide to guide grease to the bucket should really be angled a bit more to be more effective. End of season cleaning requires some scrubbing as a result.
Will do anything you ask of it: my only real wish is that the pellet hopper were large enough to handle a really long cook without refill. This is a Z -grill that received a little higher rating and is available in 5 different colors. It looks like this is one of the most sold model grills since I could find a lot more information about it.
What I noticed was the low number of bad ratings compared to many other pellet grill reviews I did. The assembly seems to be very easy and all you have to attach are the legs and the chimney and I read that it takes about 20 minutes to do that.
(Back to Top) Assembly takes about an hour for the more complicated models. I like the nice heavy-duty wheels make it very easy to move around. The temperature settings are easy to use and as soon as reached, it stays pretty steady although there are complaints about that also like in most pellet grill reviews I did.
(Back to Top) After doing the Z -Grill reviews and comparing it to the Trailer (and some other brands like Grille grills), because the claim was that they are a Trailer clone I can only say that many pros and cons are the same and even the average customer star ratings of comparable models are almost the same. The complaints in the lower ratings about temperature fluctuations are not much different from any other pellet smoker I reviewed.
There are many who call the design excellent and phase the solid construction. One thing I found that was coming back several times that these grills are not doing too well in searing.
With temperature fluctuations of around 10 degrees, it might not come close to the Rec TEC’s, but they are also in a different price range. Overall the Z -grill pellet smokers are highly recommended and are comparable, but more affordable than many other brands.
Since the Z -grill basically has the same electronic parts as many other pellet grills, you can expect the same accuracy as for instance a Trailer. The reason is that the auger is designed for pellets that are uniform.
Eddie van Taken has many years of experience in the field of cooking. With this experience and working with professional kitchen equipment, he is reviewing grills, smokers, and all other types of tools needed to cook some great meals.
With his passion for outdoor cooking, he has used many grills and pellet smokers. Consistent temp is key to slow smoking and this beast packs the features for mouthwatering fall off the bone ribs.
Our top must haves: temp versatility, decent hopper weight capacity, feeding automation. We’ve compiled a list of the best pellet performers with a break down of what each has to offer in a range of price points.
The new 2019 model also comes equipped with the temperature and pellet feed control upgrade, which auto-ignites and lets the user fine tune temps between 160 and 450 degrees for cooking quick and hot or low and slow. The auto-feed system maintains an even and consistent temp and smoke output, keeping the pellets flowing through the belly of the beast because you’re a grille, not a babysitter.
Additional features worth noting are the 25,000 BTU burner, the digital pellet purge system, LED temperature readout, easy to clean and dump grease bucket collection system, locking caster wheels, stainless steel construction with high heat resistance to prevent corrosion and top durability. The RPG also hits the top spot because the pricing on this model is reasonable given all the features packed into it and the overall quality of the feed and smoke.
There are more expensive grills on our list with a few more bells and whistles, but they don’t outperform when it comes to the value for cost calculation. If you have a bigger budget you can spring for the discretionary upgrades in the Camp Chef we highlight next, but the RPG still tops out for a quality grill with the best all-around experience and value.
The Woodwind is an exceptional smoker grill that offers a well-rounded experience for new and veteran pellet users, along with a few upgrades at a price point closer to the $1,000 mark. Like the Grills, the Camp Chef offers auto-start ignition and a dual LED temperature display with a slightly larger range of 160-500 degrees.
The smart smoke technology is designed to allow for precision temperature selection with a variance of +/- 5 degrees, just like the Grills, which means if you’re a control freak grille or a carefree cook, you can pretty much set it and forget it. A few fun features that I like on the Camp Chef are the attached bottle opener, streamlined grease management system, and the simple ash clean out.
I really love the versatility of being able to take this smoker box on the go, it’s the perfect addition to a road trip with the family, camping or even all day tailgating. Camp Chef packs in all the essential features and all the great automation you enjoy with their stationary grills.
Like the Woodwind, the Pursuit offers an electronic auto-igniter, automatic augur, and simple temperature selection with dual probes for meat and internal box temps with the same LED readout. My favorite feature on the Pursuit that the RPG and Woodwind don’t have is the slide and grill technology.
While it falls a bit short of the Pursuit in terms of ease of use, and quality of construction, it’s a great lower budget grill. I prefer the wheeled suitcase style of the Pursuit for travel, but this works just fine if the walk from the car to grill spot is short.
The Davy Cricket includes a single meat probe, a peaked lid in case you’re cooking full size chickens, and a drop downside rack with utensil holders for prep and storage. Cook size is 219 square inches and the hopper capacity tops out at 17lbs, which is pretty generous compared to the Pursuit.
The most interesting feature is that GMG added Wi-Fi tech, so all temps can be monitored on a smartphone using their app. The cast iron cooking grids are porcelain coated and the overall construction uses stainless steel components.
Another mid-range option in the smoker category, the Cuisinart is a solid backyard favorite with respectable ratings for quality. The overall design features all-terrain wheels, a side handle and pop up table for storing condiments and tools while cooking.
This beast includes a crazy 40lb hopper and a total 1054 square inch cooking area encompassing both racks. It is also a smart grill with Wi-Fi technology that monitors temperature, pellet volume and feed, as well as automatic shut down.
Other notable features include: dual meat probes, automatic lighting, stainless steel cooking grates, a ceramic ignition system, a bottom shelf for storage and utility hooks for storing tools. The automatic temp control keeps temperatures within a +/- 20 degree spread (a wider range than our top performers) and allows for low and slow cooking on the “smoke” setting.
I do love all the storage on this grill, especially the tool caddy rack with room for condiments and hanging utensils. This mini Camp Chef is a great smaller alternative to the full size version at a lower price point that makes it more accessible to a wider range of grill budgets.
Like the larger version, it features smart smoke technology, a meat probe, electronic auto-start ignition, and a dual LED temperature readout for monitoring internal food and cooking temps to fine tune the experience. This last 6-in- 1 offering from Trailer doesn’t look like any other smoker on this list and could easily be mistaken for a regular gas grill with no barrel or smokestack.
Cooking capacity is fairly generous at 589 square inches, which is large enough to hold 4 chickens, 4 racks of ribs or 20 burgers at once. The overall construction is strong, made primarily of stainless steel with a roomy enclosed lower cabinet for storage.
The digital elite controller is reminiscent of an oven dial and makes setting smoking temps easy and precise. You don’t need a ton of space to house this guy, and you can set it up on just about any table-top or sturdy surface.
The hopper is pretty generous for the overall small size, accommodating up to 3.5 pounds of hardwood pellets, serving a 256 square inch total grilling surface. If you’re serious about grilling and smoking on the go, this Country Smoker model is perfect for a long camping trip or extended tailgate party.
It’s also imminently flexible, offering six cooking features, including: grilling, smoking, roasting, bracing, baking and of course, barbecuing. The overall construction is durable and high-quality stainless steel with a folding front shelf, lower storage rack, wheels for easy maneuverability and an adjustable damper on the smoke stack.
This is a great set up for someone serious about classic smoking looking for a grill large enough to accommodate a significant quantity of meat at one time. This is a beautifully designed pellet smoker from Ozark that is a great mid-range option for drillers seeking something average sized, but not massive.
It offers 305 square inches of primary cooking area which is enough space to accommodate about 10 full size burgers at once. It’s also designed to be versatile, so you can switch between grilling, slow smoking, baking, roasting and braising at a range of temperatures.
It has an easy ash cleanup system and a fun bottle opener attached right on the pellet hopper, so you have everything you need right at your fingertips. It’s got the old school barrel shape and offers a smooth smoking and grilling experience for both newbies and old pros.
At 573 square inches, the Smokers is one of the bigger barrel style smokers and offers enough space to really smoke up a storm. It has a generous size pellet hopper at 18lbs and includes an easily accessible under-mounted ash can that makes clean up quick and easy.
This is the ideal size for an average backyard set up at 380 square inches of grilling area and all the features needed to get the job done with ease: a fold down front rack for prep, a lower mounted tool caddy with hooks, easily accessible ash can and a cool touch front handle. The Renegade is also one of the more versatile options with the capability to grill, bake, smoke, roast, braise and barbecue.
Big, powerful and full of all the cool bells and whistles with the hefty price tag to match. It comes with 4 meat probes and get this, is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible, so you can monitor all the tech inner-workings of your smoke and grill process right on your smartphone.
The PID controller helps regulate smoke and temperature to precision tune your cooking for the perfect results. Slide and grill technology allows for cooking over direct flames, and you can get the temp up to 650 degrees for when you’re ready to get your Banana on.
This grill is also sidekick compatible, so you can add on an optional side burner for extra cooking space as needed. The hopper capacity is 20lbs, so you’re not constantly refilling and a large lower cart rack is ideal for storing necessary tools.
A collapsible front shelf helps with loading up the grill and an extra side table is ideal for prep and storage as you cook. This is a great grill if you have a small BBQ stand or restaurant and need to smoke large quantities of meat on the regular.
Trailer considers this a portable smoker due to its small size and while I don’t see it being the easiest to transport to your favorite tailgate, you can collapse the foldable legs and load it up in the back of your truck. Total grilling size is 300 square inches with an included meat probe to monitor cook temps.
Another heavy hitter, the Austin falls into our 1,000+ club for cooking area and is ideal for feeding big groups. The little guy offers a 390 square inch total cooking area with porcelain-coated grill grates and warming rack.
The lower cart is compact, but roomy enough to store a few essentials and the side mounted table is a good size for prep work. The vertical style gives you lots of room to work with and the 77550 from Pit Boss includes five porcelain-coated adjustable racks and 1830 square inches of cooking space.
The hopper is HUGE on this guy with a 40+ lb capacity that Pit Boss claims lasts over 24 hours, making this pellet smoker a set it and forget it operation. Another versatile offering from Ozark, the Stag is capable of smoking, grilling, baking, roasting and even braising just about anything you’re feeling inclined to toss in there.
Dual side shelves are a handy addition for prep and resting finished meat and the lower cart rack is just big enough for essentials. This is a great larger sized vertical smoker with a pretty reasonable price tag that’s especially attractive if you’re newer to the smoking game and not ready to invest in a Trailer or Pitons just yet.