Z Grills help

Frequently asked questions

LatitudePay gives you the option of paying for your Z Grill in 10 weekly instalments.  

  • It is available for purchases up to $1500 in value.
  • Payment instalments are only available for the first $1,000. So if the product is $1299, you will need to pay $299 up front, the rest in instalments. This is all managed through the latitude payment platform.
  • You don’t pay anything extra by using Latitude. We pay all related fees. 

For more information about LatitudePay click here

It is important that you complete the initial startup procedure and burn-in before cooking for the first time.  Click here for simple step by step instructions on this website, and also a youtube video

Once you have finished cooking turn the controller Dial to Shut Down Cycle.  The fan will run for about 10min and then the grill will turn itself off.   Do not turn it off or disconnect the power before the shut down cycle has finished. 

If cooking on HIGH, turn the dial to Smoke for 10min, then to Shut Down Cycle to ensure the fire can die down and burn out fully during the shut down cycle. 

The grill is not the same as a gas BBQ that you stand in front of flipping sausages on.

The beauty of the Z Grills pellet grills is that you DON’T need to baby sit them. In fact opening the lid constantly is a BAD idea as it looses heat and causes more temperature fluctuations. Think of the grill more like your convection oven… you wouldn’t leave the door open would you!

Follow these steps to cook food:

  1. Turn the power switch on with the controller dial in the Shut Down Cycle position.
  2. Open the grill lid and turn the controller dial to Smoke. Once see lots of smoke, shut the lid and set the desired grill temperature (any setting from Smoke to High)
  3. Wait for the temperature to be reached before putting food in
  4. Don’t stand with the lid open. And don’t open it frequently as “if you keep looking you’re not cooking!”
  5. Use food probes to monitor the internal temperature of the food (different meats required different temps to be safe and “done”)
  6. Enjoy the best meat (and veggies) you have ever cooked in your backyard.

Yes, the smoke setting is great for the first hour or two of a low n slow cook to get maximum smokey flavour into the meat. Even at 107°C there will still be smoke but not as much.  On the Smoke setting the temperature will “swing” quite a lot between ~70-90°C which is key to getting the maximum smoke.  The smoke won’t be constant, but rather in cycles as new pellets drop into the fire-pot and begin to smoulder.

Because the temperature is quite low on the Smoke setting, it can’t get the meat up to a suitable cooked temperature so a higher temp setting should be used later on to properly cook the food.

The Z Grill can operate from 71°C on the Smoke setting up to 232°C on the High setting. The actual temperature will swing above/below the target temperature especially during the initial heat up period, when temperature settings are changed or if the lid is opened for a period of time.

Z Grills pellet grills provide the great flavour and cooking versatility that wood grilling provides but with the ease of a gas BBQ.

Fill the hopper with wood pellets and the Z Grills will feed them into the fire-pot by slowly rotating the auger. An ignition rod automatically lights the pellets. Once they begin to burn, turn the controller to the desired temperature and the Z Grills does the rest, feeding the pellets into the fire-pot as required.

Unlike charcoal grills, the flames not are directly under the grill rack, so no flare ups or hot spots. A fan circulates hot air from the fire-pot up and around the food, like a fan forced oven. The advantage is accurate temperature control and ability to cook all kinds of foods that is simply not possible on most traditional BBQs and grills. Beyond meat and veggies, you can cook pizzas and even cakes and breads.

Z Grills are also easy to keep clean. The grease tray is sloped so that excess oil runs into a bucket for easy removal. Cover the tray with foil to make cleaning even easier. The pellets burn so cleanly that only teaspoons of ash remain after hours of cooking and can be removed in seconds with a vacuum. The grill racks are ceramic coated making cleaning easy without lots of scrubbing.

Some may say it is cheating to use a pellet grill – but would you prefer to slave over a hot grill, or enjoy time with family and friends while the grill does the work! Not only does a Z Grills make outdoor cooking easy, you can cook some of the most amazing food. Many Z Grills owners often find themselves using it during the week, not just for weekend BBQ parties!

Check out this video basic operating steps.

When the controller is turned from Shut Down Cycle to Smoke, the ignition rod will turn on for 5min to ignite the pellets. The fire in the fire-pot is then able to ignite the new pellets as they fall in without needing the ignition rod again.

Z Grills use wood pellets at about 1kg/hour when cooking at high temps (>180°C) and 0.3~0.4kg/hour when cooking low and slow (SMOKE or 107°C setting).

So a 10kg bag will last 10-25 hours depending on the cooking temperatures. Cold and windy outdoor conditions will also increase the amount of wood pellets used due to more heat loss.

The 700E will also use pellets more quickly than the 450A due to the larger surface area of the grill drum.

Avoid opening the grill lid too often to reduce heat loss and maintain a more stable cooking temperature.

Instead of opening the lid to check the food, use a food probe to monitor the internal temperature!

Don’t always fill the hopper right up as having the pellets sitting for a long time is not ideal as they can absorb moisture and won’t burn as well. Pour in a quantity based on the time of the cook (plus a bit extra as a buffer).

The maximum rated power draw is 300Watt, but during operation the unit will run between 50W and 250W. The main fan and auger motor are 25W each and the ignition rod is 200W but only turns on/off periodically to ignite the wood pellets.

If planning to use the grill outdoors running off a generator or a car battery, a 400W 240V AC output is sufficient.

In most cases the grill will be set at a temperature for the whole cook, or start off low and then increase as the cook continues.

The grill can quickly increase temperature by delivering more pellets into the fire-pot, but what about dropping the temperature?

That is a lot slower as relies on the grill naturally cooling down through heat loss to the surrounding air.

If the setting is changed from a high temperature to a much lower temperature the grill can take a very long time (up to an hour) to drop the temperature down. To prevent the fire in the fire-pot from going out, pellets will be periodically delivered into the fire-pot, creating heat. So there is a battle between trying to drop the temperature and keep the fire alight, and that is why it takes so long.

So the BEST way to quickly reduce the grill temperature is to turn to Shut Down Cycle. This will turn off the auger (no more pellets) and allow the remaining pellets in the fire-pot to burn out.

The cool down speed will rely mostly on the outside temperature and wind speed. Opening the lid will also speed up the cool down. Once the temperature has dropped enough, turn the dial to the desired temperature setting and the ignition rod will turn on and pellets will be delivered into the fire-pot.

Total Fire Ban Days – NO, you cannot 

Fire Danger Period – YES, if you adhere to certain guidelines (see your local regulations to confirm). 

Here is a good resource for more information and links to each state websites. 

Er1 = Temperature Sensor Failure

  • Check to ensure the Temperature Sensor cable plug is properly connected.
  • Check sensor cable connection on the controller board blue terminal block.

Er2 = Controller System Error

  • Reset the controller by following these steps:
  • Switch the Grill OFF and turn to Shut Down Cycle position
  • Switch Grill back ON and then turn to SMOKE to start normal operation
    Error will display if Dial is already turned to a temperature when switching on.

LEr = Low Temperature Error. Grill internal temperature below 65oC for 20min

  • Grill may have run out of pellets or the Ignition Rod is not operating.

HEr = High Temperature Error. Grill internal temperature above 287oC

  • Turn to Shut Down Cycle position and switch the Grill OFF
  • Open the Grill Lid then switch the Grill back ON and turn to SMOKE position
  • Wait until the controller display has dropped below 90oC, then close the Grill Lid
    and turn to the desired temperature.
  • High temperature error can also occur in hot weather when the grill in the direct sun.
  • Open the Grill Lid and move it into the shade to reduce the temperature.

If you purchased your grill on our website you don’t need to as we have your details on file. 

If you purchased from one of our retail partners, you can register your grill by going to the Contact Us page and selecting Product Registration from the How can we help you? drop down list. 

Troubleshooting

You are already in the right place.

Have a look through these FAQs on this page.

Please also review the owners manual which has detailed troubleshooting section.  Scroll to the bottom of this page to download the latest version.

If you still can’t find the answer, please send us a message through the pop-up chat on this website, or submit a product support request through the contact us page.

The auger rotates very slowly to push the wood pellets from the hopper into the fire-pot. The auger is designed to be quite loose and is able to move forward/backward slightly to allow it to break through longer wood pellets. This will sometimes make a squeaking or clunking noise as the pellets break. This is normal operation.

Check the length of the wood pellets, if they are longer than 1cm they will make more noise as they will be broken by the auger.  Ideally the pellets should be less than 1cm in length. 

Please note the auger does not run continually.  It turns on once every 2mins for short period of time to deliver pellets into the fire-pot.

In most cases the grill will be set at a temperature for the whole cook, or start off low and then increase as the cook continues. The grill can quickly increase temperature by delivering more pellets into the fire-pot, but what about dropping the temperature? That is a lot slower as relies on the grill naturally cooling down through heat loss to the surrounding air.

If the setting is changed from a high temperature to a much lower temperature the grill can take a very long time (up to an hour) to drop the temperature down. To prevent the fire in the fire-pot from going out, pellets will be periodically delivered into the fire-pot, creating heat. So there is a battle between trying to drop the temperature and keep the fire alight, and that is why it takes so long.

So the BEST way to quickly reduce the grill temperature is to turn to Shut Down Cycle. This will turn off the auger (no more pellets) and allow the remaining pellets in the fire-pot to burn out. The cool down speed will rely mostly on the outside temperature and wind speed. Opening the lid will also speed up the cool down. Once the temperature has dropped enough, turn the dial to the desired temperature setting and the ignition rod will turn on and pellets will be delivered into the fire-pot.

The controller screen lights up, I hear the auger motor and fan, but no smoke or fire!

  • Make sure your fire-pot is cleaned of ash.  Vacuum it out.
  • Check to see if pellets are dropping into the fire pot (remove the grease tray and baffle plate so you can see).
  • Check to see if the ignition rod in the bottom of the fire-pot is getting dull-red colour after 4-5 min after turning the grill onto Smoke from Shut Down Cycle

Controller screen is blank, no fan or auger motor noise.

  • Change to another power supply and ensure the power hasn’t tripped in the house meter box. 
  • If power supply is ok, check to see if the fuse in the back of the controller has blown (with power disconnected).
  • If the fuse is ok, the controller may be dead and need to be replaced. Please contact us.

Smoke can begin to rise out of the pellets in the hopper due to back-burn up the auger feed tube to the fire-pot. 

Why this happens? 

There are a few possible reasons:

  1. Wood dust.  Avoid pouring the wood dust in the bottom of the bag of pellets into the hopper as this can lead to back-burn.  Some pellets also form a lot of wood dust when they are broken.  If getting lots of smoke issues, clean out the grill and try another brand of pellets.
  2. Running the grill at a high temperature with the lid open to frequently can result in too many pellets in the fire-pot. 
  3. Too much ash in the fire-pot can also raise the overall height of the fire in the fire-pot and lead to burn-back. Vacuum out the ash after every 8-10 hours of operation.
  4. Turning the grill from HIGH immediately to SHUT DOWN CYCLE can sometimes lead to smoke in the hopper as there is a huge fire in the fire-pot.  First turn from HIGH to SMOKE for 10 minutes and then to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.

What To Do:

Already in Shut Down Cycle

  1. Open the hopper and grill lids.
  2. Turn the controller dial to SMOKE setting.
  3. If after another 10 minutes there is no more smoke coming from the hopper turn the grill to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.
  4. If the smoke does not stop appearing from the hopper after 10 minutes, remove all the pellets from the hopper right down to the auger (use vacuum if necessary) and run the controller on High until ALL pellets have cleared from the auger tube.  
  5. Turn the unit to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.  Once the unit has shut-down and is cold, do a thorough clean, vacuuming out all pellets and ash, including in the auger tube (put vacuum suction to the hopper end and then fire pot end).  
  6. Complete initial startup procedure to prime the auger tube with pellets for normal operation. 

In the Middle of a Cook

  1. Open the hopper and grill lids.  You may want to remove your food too.
  2. Turn the controller dial to SMOKE setting.
  3. If after another 10min there is no more smoke coming from the hopper turn the grill back to the target temperature and continue cooking.
  4. If the smoke does not stop appearing from the hopper, remove all the pellets from the hopper right down to the auger (use vacuum if necessary) and run the controller on High until ALL pellets have cleared from the auger tube.  
  5. Turn the unit to SHUT DOWN CYCLE.  Once the unit has shut-down and is cold, do a thorough clean, vacuuming out all pellets and ash, including in the auger tube (put vacuum suction to the hopper end and then fire pot end).  
  6. Complete initial startup procedure to prime the auger tube with pellets for normal operation. 

Refer also the troubleshooting section of the owner manual.  Please download the latest version from the bottom of this page.

Firstly close the grill lid and let the grill run for at least 10 minutes to see if the temperature stabilises. 

If the temperature is still very different (more than +/- 10°C) to the dial setting check the following:

  • Is the fire-pot empty of ash?
  • Make sure you sure using fresh, dry pellets (should be shiny, very hard and not easy to crumble in your fingers)

If the temperature on the display is jumping around rapidly it may indicate a loose temperature sensor connection. 

  • 700 model: Check the cable connection between the grill and controller (tucked down between the hopper and grill drum). 
  • 700 or 450A models: Disconnect power, remove the two screws on the front of the controller, gently pull the controller forward and check the two skinny white sensor cables are tightly secured into the blue or green terminal block. If they are loose the temperature reading will be inaccurate. 

If none of the above steps fix the issue, please contact us as you may have a fault controller or temperature probe which can easily be replaced. 

Maintenance & Repairs

The ignition rod is used to ignite the wood pellets.  After lots of use or occasionally if there is a product fault the ignition rod can fail.  It is clear when the ignition rod isn’t working as it will blow the fuse in the controller and the grill will fail to ignite the wood pellets. 

If within the 3 year warranty period a replacement ignition rod will be mailed to you free of charge.  

Click here for step by step  instructions on how to replace it yourself. 

If you have any difficulties please contact us

Click here for detailed instructions of how to replace the auger motor for the 700E and 7002B models. 

Owner manuals