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Tips for buying a pellet grill in 2023

Pellet grills are the hottest trend in grilling. People are switching to pellet grills rather than sticking to gas or charcoal grills because this type of grill infuses their meats with a wood-fired, smoky flavor but also heats up fast, and maintains temperature precisely, and cleans up easily. These gills seem to be everywhere these days, but the real question is how do they work? And what to look for when investing in one? In this pellet grill buying guide, we break down everything you need to know about pellet grills before you buy one.

What is a Pellet Grill?

A pellet grill is an outdoor cooking appliance that utilizes wood pellets as fuel. Unlike traditional charcoal or gas grills, pellet grills provide precise control over cooking temperature and time, thanks to their wide range of temperature settings. This feature makes them a favorite among outdoor cooking enthusiasts.

Why Are Z Grills Better?


Grilling, smoking, baking, roasting, searing, braising, barbequing, or char-grilling are at your fingertips with the push of a button.


PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) temperature control board ensures precise temperatures and perfectly cooked meals every time you grill.


The Venturi-style design creates a burn pot cyclone of airflow for maximum heat distribution and complete combustion of the pellets with minimal waste.


The auger system and a variable-speed fan adjust the pellet feed rate and oxygen supply for steady, consistent temperatures. Fire up deliciously consistent results every time.

Comparison with Other Pellet Grill Brands

While Traeger, Weber, Pit Boss, and Camp Chef are popular pellet grill brands, they do not offer the same level of temperature control as Z Grills. Additionally, Z Grills use less fuel, have larger cooking areas, and come with a more extended warranty than some of the other brands.

How Do Pellet Grills Work? 

Once they’re plugged in and the controller is activated, the rotating drill starts moving the pellets to the fire pot that houses an igniter directly from the hopper. For some time, the rod glows to set the pellet on fire, combusting the pellets and producing heat and smoke, which is then diffused by the induction fan and the grill grate’s metal plates.

Most pellet smokers burn wood pellets as fuel to produce smoke, flavor and cook all types of food. They also can smoke and cook larger quantities of food and span larger sizes than normal household appliances.

Externally, a pellet grill smoker looks like a conventional offset smoker, with the hoppers firmly fixed sideways and the firebox. It’s also called a country smoker sometimes, as it’s versatile enough to manage any recipe. Other names for a pellet grill include smoker grills, electric smokers, pellet smokers, and wood-fired grills. 

Pellet grills make crowd-feeding much easier to achieve. It gives you access to a much easier process as the models come with temperature controls (along with other features, making them perfect for novices who do not possess prior cookout experience.

how does a pellet grill work

What Makes a Good Pellet Grill?

So, you’ve been barbecuing on propane (gas grills) and charcoal, but what do people keep telling you about pellet grills? What the heck are pellets? Most importantly, what is the best grill to invest in? Who makes the best pellet grill? And What Makes a Good Pellet Grill? If you’re too shy to ask people about it, we’re here to help. Below are some of the important elements that make a good pellet grill:

A. Build Quality

Only pellet grill smokers with heavy-duty steel build are to be considered the best pellet smokers. Smokers with low price tags are often made out of wrought iron, and they either get rusted or broken up due to slight mismanagement and are less durable.

B. Temperature Control

A pellet grill’s ability is largely based on its control board, the Grill’s central nervous system. Different types of controllers, including ones that feature an LCD and one-touch button, allow users to produce great food. Ideally, the control offers temperature control between 180 Fahrenheit and 450 Fahrenheit. In addition, pellet grills feature P.I.D. Temperature controller. So, What is a P.I.D Temperature Controller?

For a good reason, P.I.D. temperature controllers are the rage in the pellet grilling community. They regulate temperatures differently than a regular, timed control, which helps lessen temperature swings. The controller stands for Integral, Derivative, and Proportional. The controller adds more positive features to the standard temperature control method of measuring temperature and feeding the hopper with pellets to reach the desired temperature.

How Does a P.I.D Controller Work?

A normal controller will time the wooden pellet feed to the firepot to reach the expected temperatures; a P.I.D., the controller, add in Integral, Derivative, and Proportional variables to control the timing of the feed more precisely. These variables, via an algorithm (yes, lots of math), adjust and adapt to variances in the set and desired temperatures and anticipate and adjust to external influences such as environmental factors like heat and wind. The P.I.D. controller senses and adapts to these influences faster and more precisely than a standard temperature controller, which helps mitigate the grill’s internal temperature swings.

C. Cooking Surface & Pellet Hopper

You should consider the cooking surface before you shop for any grill. It depends on what you want to use for – “larger backyard parties or small family dinners”? Also, note what type of food you’d like to grill. Most will comfortably fit in your typical BBQ fares, like ribs and burgers, but a large grill is better if you want to smoke a large piece of meat.

Cooking Area & Size: Small pellet grills usually feature 100-150 sq. feet of the upper rack and 450 sq. an inch of primary cooking area. It isn’t much different from larger grills that feature 500-700 sq. inches of primary cooking area. A cooking surface of 350-800 sq. inches should be enough for relatively big families. 

The size of the pellet grill hopper affects how long you can leave the pellet grill unsupervised and how often you’ll need to buy more pellets and refill the pellet with pellets. A larger hopper allows long smoking without checking the grill on every second. The pellets used per hour vary based on the grill and pellet. It also varies based on the temperature intensity – more pellets burn at a higher temperature versus a lower one. Still, lower temps mean longer cooking times and more pellets.

D. Versatility

The most fascinating and modern-era feature of pellet grills smokers is their ability to adapt to different activities. This means you can get an array of yummy food ready in minutes. Pellet grills can be used to cook all sorts of food, ranging from braised short ribs to chicken wings.

Pellet grills offer versatility to grill, bake, roast, smoke, barbecue, braise, char, or even sear all your favourite foods! The Z Grills 600 series pellet grill is designed with a direct flame option. In this mode, the cooking temperature reaches up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

E. Clean Up

If you’ve ever used a charcoal grill, you know they’re a mess to clean up. The ash box fills quickly and often, requiring frequent cleaning. But with a pellet grill, ash cleaning is way easier. First, pellet grills use 100% all-natural hardwood pellets made of compressed wood, which will burn into less than 1% of ash. This means you can burn a 40-LB bag of wood pellets and have just a ½ cup of ash left over. If the pellet grill includes an ash cleanout system, ash removal can be achieved at a lever pull – Detach an ash tray and dump the ash in the garbage. (check out our article on how to clean your z grills pellet grill),

Pellet Grills vs Gas GrillsvsCharcoal Grills

TYPEPellet GrillsGas GrillsCharcoal Grills
CostMore costlyMore affordableMore affordable
Cook TimeLongerShorterLonger
Fuel SourceElectricity and wood chipsGas line or propane tankcharcoal briquettes or lumps of charcoal
Key FeatureTemperature controlUses natural fuelUses natural fuel
MaintenanceEasy to mainEasy to maintainRequires tending

What Size Pellet Grill Do I Need?

The best pellet grill is the one that meets your needs. Choosing the right pellet grill depends on what you need it for. Do you cook just for family or regularly use your grill to entertain a large crowd? No matter what size your family or friend group is, Z Grills has the perfect high-performance grill. (Check out our article on what size pellet grill do I need)

So, now you have all the necessary information about the pellet grill buying guide. All you need to do now is choose from the many options available. Ultimately, your cooking needs, budget, and occasion will determine the choice of griller and smoker you will purchase.

Grilling gets more comfortable when you have the knowledge and the right tools. Now is the right time to make your choice, and we hope you will make a sound choice with all the information at your disposal. Cheers to your Luxurious meal!

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