posted December 23, 2022
Z Grills Backyard Warrior 7002C2E Review
Today, I’m taking a look at the Z Grills 7002C2E, aka the Backyard Warrior. The Backyard Warrior is the one of the newest twists on the fan-favorite 700 series of grills from Z Grills. This grill is feature-packed, and with a the current price point of $549.00, is it a value that’s tough to beat? Let’s find out!
Z Grills sent us this grill for testing and review purposes, however, all opinions are our own.
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Z Grills 7002C2E Features
The Backyard Warrior is a great pellet grill with a plethora of awesome features, including the following:
- Upgraded PID controller with two temperature probes
- Convenient pellet swap door to change flavors on the fly
- 697 sq. inches of cooking space
- Porcelain-coated cooking racks
- Convenient pellet level viewing window
The instructions included by Z Grills are easy to follow, and I was able to assemble the grill in about an hour. Having help will make the assembly process quicker, as the hopper and grill body are fairly heavy and tough to align on your own. The legs are a little tough to get right by yourself as well!
Now comes my main gripe with this grill; the build quality. For the price I still think you’re getting an excellent product but it would have been nice to see some thicker material used for the main grill body. The lid on the hopper and main cooking chamber are built out of 2mm thick stainless steel according to Z Grills, but the body seems to be thinner powder coated steel. When stationary, where the grill will spend most of it’s life, this is totally fine and really not noticeable, however, you can feel a large amount of flexing in the body as you move the grill around.
The leg setup on the grill feels nice and sturdy even though there’s only one screw per leg attaching them to the body. At the bottom of each leg is a wheel; casters on the hopper side and large plastic on the smoke stack side. The casters are nice but the large plastic wheels feel a little bit cheap to the touch even though they do the job well.
When you’re ready, getting this grill started is incredibly easy! Starting this grill for the first time when it’s empty is slightly different than one that has already been filled with pellets and seasoned. Make sure you follow the break-in and seasoning procedure outlined in the manual before proceeding. Let’s get that smoke rolling!
Here’s how to start your Z Grills 7002C2E Backyard Warrior
- FILL YOUR HOPPER.You can use any wood pellets you like with this smoker. I recommend using a wood specific to the meat you plan on cooking.
- SET YOUR DESIRED TEMPERATURE.Use the controller to set the temperature. As with the wood, refer to the recipe you are cooking to determine the temperature needed.
- LET THE GRILL PREHEAT FOR 10-30 MINUTES, AND LET THAT SMOKE ROLL!Allow plenty of time for the smoker to preheat. You want a steady temperature and nice, even smoke flowing before placing your food on the grill.
Cooking on the Z Grills 7002C2E Backyard Warrior
Cooking on the Backyard Warrior is much like cooking on any other pellet grill out there. The PID controller is what makes this grill shine with its easy-to-read screen and ability to maintain very steady temperatures throughout the entire cooking process. With a temperature range of 180 degrees F – 450 degrees F, you can cook hot and fast or low and slow with ease!
This rack of ribs was smoked on the 7002C2E during testing and they were incredible! The grill packed in a ton of smoky flavor and even produced a smoke ring over a quarter-inch thick!
Z Grills 7002C2E Cleanup
The cleanout process on the Backyard Warrior 7002C2E is pretty much the same as most of the pellet grills on the market. The cooking racks, drip tray, and deflector plate are easy to remove to get to the ash and grease that can accumulate inside the grill. After all of that is out of the way, you are provided easy access to the firepot with a vacuum or similar tool to make sure it’s free of pellets and ash for your next cooking session.
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What We Like
Here are some of my favorite things about the 7002C2E from Z Grills:
- Temperature control. The new PID controller shines here. I used multiple probes from my Thermoworks Smoke X4 to monitor the internal temperatures throughout my testing and the biggest temperature swings I saw were less than 10℉.
- 20-pound pellet hopper. The hopper easily fits an entire bag of pellets. You could probably cram an extra pound or two in there if you tried! More storage means less time refilling your hopper during those long smokes!
- Hopper cleanout. The pellet door on the back of the hopper makes it extremely easy to empty your grill for storage or swap pellet flavors on the fly.
- 3-year warranty. Z-Grills provides a 3-year warranty on this grill, giving you peace of mind should something go wrong or need replacing.
- Powder-coated steel construction with stainless steel lid.
- Pellet level window.
What Could be Improved
Even though this is a great grill, there are a few things that could be improved with the 7002C2E:
- Build quality. While the grill is well built for the price point, the metal seems a bit thin.
- WiFi connectivity. A lot of competition at this price point feature WiFi. Time to hop on the bandwagon!
Great Recipes for the Z Grills 7002C2E
Do you have the Z Grills 7002C2E in your backyard, or are you planning on buying one in the future? If so, I recommend trying these awesome recipes with your pellet grill.
Z Grills 7002C2E Backyard Warrior Review: Final Thoughts
The Z Grills 7002C2E is a great option for people looking for an entry-level pellet grill. It has a great feature set that will make you feel like your money was well spent. The grill holds temperature well, is extremely easy to move around, and will produce killer smoked food at an affordable price.
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