From Weber to Pit Boss, there are a lot of grilling and smoker brands with decades of quality products behind them. So, when you hear of a younger brand like Z Grills you might be hesitant to give them a chance. Lucky for you, we have been exploring Z Grills products more and recently got to work with the Z Grills “Backyard Warrior” Pellet Grill & Smoker (7002C2E). In today’s Z Grills Review I’m sharing how it works, its design, features, and performance, and our thoughts on its overall value.
Z Grills Review
- Z Grills Company Info
- Backyard Warrior Design
- Backyard Warrior Features
- Backyard Warrior Performance
- Backyard Warrior Value
Read our previous TIA Z Grills Review: Z Grills Review – Is this Top Dog or Should You Pass it Up? Or, read more TIA Grilling Reviews.
Brief Z Grills History & Overview
First of all, who is Z Grills? Z Grills formed in 2016 as a pellet grill manufacturer that selling directly to consumers. However, Z Grills is just a small faction of the larger Jiangsu Zgrills Technology Co., which has supplied the industry with quality pellet grills and smokers for over 30 years. They have even manufactured products for competing major grill and smoker brands, such as Traeger and Pit Boss (BBQ Revolution).
So, Z Grills may be “new”, but the company knows what it’s doing in terms of quality and business.
As mentioned, Z Grills sells directly to consumers to provide them with the best pricing and exclusive offers. The Backyard Warrior, like most Z Grills products, comes with a 30 Day Return and 100% Money Back Guarantee policies, along with a 3-year warranty.
If you do experience issues with your Z Grills products, the company provides 24 Hour Customer Support with a U.S.A. Call Center based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s check out the Z Grills “Backyard Warrior” Pellet Grill & Smoker (7002C2E).
Z Grills Backyard Warrior Design Review
Starting with the outside, the Z Grills Backyard Warrior lid is made of durable stainless steel with a thick metal powder-coated body. This both promotes a long grill life, damage-resistant, and effective heat retention.
The front grill handle is thick and made of the same, durable stainless steel. The wide handle has a good grip, helps with weight distribution, and lifts easily. The two hinges on top of the lid are also durable and should be resistant to wear-and-tear over time.
The base is made from that same thick, strong metal with a black powder-coated finish. The legs feature two kinds of wheels:
- All-terrain wheels on the right so it can be easily moved across asphalt, concrete, rocks, dirt, gravel, pavers, etc.
- Locking castor wheels on the left so the grill stays in place.
There is a strong handle attached to the hopper for when you are moving the grill around, either to and from storage, the local block party, or wherever.
As we mentioned, the Z Grills Backyard Warrior is an 8-in-1 pellet grill and smoker. So, it features a built-in smoke stack for air circulation when smoking.
Opening up the lid, you can see inside the large barrel design. We took out everything except the fixed firepot and self-feeding auger. However, the multiple cooking surfaces have been removed. But when combined, the Z Grills Backyard Warrior provides up to 697 sq. in. of total cooking area.
Here is a closer look at the self-feeding auger and large firepot. If you don’t know, the auger uses gravity to pull pellets into the firepot to heat the grill/smoker.
A thick heat baffle sits on top of the firepot. The baffle helps disperse the heat and is great for preventing hot spots while cooking.
On top of that there is the large removable drip pan. It goes in easy and rests on an angle. This allows the grease to drip onto a ledge that funnels into the grease drain tube, which funnels into a provided grease bucket.
It’s not 100% self-cleaning, but this certainly makes cleaning it easier.
The Backyard Warrior includes a large porcelain grill that sits over the drip pan, and a warming rack that fits in the upper back quarter of the grill.
According to Z Grill, they estimate all these different cooking surfaces allow you to cook up to…
- 29 burgers
- 6 full racks of ribs
- 5 whole chickens
Now that all the pieces are in place, let’s step back outside the grill. From here you can see a simple but cool feature: a see-through Pellet View Window.
No fancy tech needed. Just a glance is all you need to monitor your pellet/fuel level.
Z Grills Backyard Warrior Features Review
The Z Grills Backyard Warrior has a great, easy-to-read digital display on the front of the hopper. The power button and feed button for the auger are easy to find. To the right is the large temperature dial that’s easy to set. The dial temp ranges from 180 F to 400 F, along with a “smoke” setting and “shut down cycle”.
On the left side of the grill is the hopper. It’s nice and large and can hold a 20 lb. bag of pellets. It’s easy to fill. Just lift the outer edge of the stainless lid.
In case you need to remove pellets, there is an access on the backside of the hopper. You can use a thumb screw to open, access, and remove pellets.
The 7 ft. power cord is longer than most grill cords I’ve encountered. This is a plus in my book, and it’s a good length for most grill locations.
The Backyard Warrior has a couple of accessories: a grill cover and two meat probes. I’m happy about this because you are usually charged extra for these items.
The meat probes connect to the grill just below the digital display. I like that there are two meat probes because this allows you to monitor different types of meat, or meats that are different thickness.
Z Grills Backyard Warrior Performance Review
So, now for our favorite part: testing performance.
We smoked a pork tenderloin. The smoker heated up quickly and the temperature stayed consistent throughout the three to four hour cook time. The end result was a perfectly moist tenderloin that the staff almost immediately started divvying out how much they could take home.
Z Grills Review – Cons
First of all, I’d like to state that I’m pretty happy with this grill/smoker. However, there is a gap between the hopper and the barrel. Not with this grill, but on my last Z Grills I wasn’t paying attention and the power cord was between this open space. As a result, the power cord melted. Fortunately, it was easy to replace.
Other than that, I’m pretty happy with everything else regarding this Z Grills performance, design, and features.
Value of Z Grills Backyard Warrior 7002C2E
You can buy the Z Grills Backyard Warrior Pellet Grill & Smoker (7002C2E) directly from Z Grills for $719. However, Z Grills runs regular promotions on their products, and at this time the Backyard Warrior is on sale for $559 – or $160 off full price.
We compared the Z Grills Backyard Warrior to other pellet grills and smokers that provided a similar size, operation, and features. The model most similar is the Traeger Pro 780, which has a full-price of $999.99 and sale-price of $899.99.
First of all, the Backyard Warrior’s price blows the Traeger Pro 780 out of the water – and it was difficult to find a similar quality grill even close to the price of the Backyard Warrior. Altogether, the price of comparable grills ranged from $899 to $1,500. Anything lower was either small or provided less functionality.
To us, it’s a no-brainer. Even at full-price the Z Grills Backyard Warrior 7002C2E is a great value! Also, in addition to the grill, you are also getting…
Z Grills Added Value
- free shipping
- interest-free financing
- free gifts and recipe book
- 24/7 U.S.-based customer support
Alright, I’ll stop there. I think you get that the Backyard Warrior is a great grill and smoker at a great price.
Z Grills Review Wrap-Up
I don’t know what else to say other than the Backyard Warrior (7002C2E) is a great pellet grill and smoker, it’s a great price, and Z Grills offers a ton of great incentives that pack even more into the price.
So, if you’re in the market for a new grill/smoker, I hope you at least consider the Z Grills Backyard Warrior Pellet Grill & Smoker (7002C2E). If you do or you already have one, please fire it up and share with us what you cooked this weekend, along with your thoughts on this product.