posted April 29, 2022
Z Grills Cruiser 200A Review
Backyard BBQ Heroes! Today, I’m taking a look at the Z Grills Cruiser 200A Portable pellet grill! The Cruiser 200A is said to provide that beautiful wood-fired flavor whether you’re in your backyard, or out in the backcountry. Is it on par with your standard, full-size, backyard pellet grill model? Is it as portable as they say it is? Well, let’s take a look!
Z Grills sent us this grill for testing and review purposes, however, all opinions are our own.
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Z Grills Cruiser 200A Features
The Cruiser 200A is a great pellet grill with a plethora of awesome features, including the following:
- 202 sq. in. Cooking Space
- 8lb Hopper
- 180-450 ℉ Temperature Range
- Powder-coated steel construction
- Lid latches for easy transportation
- Weighs 40lbs
The Z Grills Cruiser 200A
The Cruiser 200A is the first offering from Z Grills to the portable pellet market. Z Grills is known for producing product that punches much higher than its price-point and this grill is no exception. The Cruiser rivals direct competition like the Traeger Ranger with pricing that’ll keep your wallet that much thicker.
The Cruiser 200A is built well. The body is made out of thick steel that has been powder coated, providing even higher durability. It’s very similar to the Traeger Ranger, but the Cruiser 200A weighs in at a whopping 20lbs less! Everything is steel, except the side handles and bottoms of the feet.
The grill feels very solid while being carried, and could probably survive some rough handling if the campsite is down a bad road.
The suitcase/tabletop construction and light-weight lend to the Cruiser 200A’s portability. This grill weighs in at only 40lbs, and the side handles make it easy to move. The lid has a latch system to prevent it from flopping around while in motion.
The Cruiser 200A only has 110v for power, so if you’re looking to use it in a remote location, you’ll have to use a power inverter for your car or bring along a different mobile power solution.
Cooking with the Z Grills Cruiser 200A
Using this grill is a pleasant experience. It’s simplicity in a small package. With its 202 square inch cooking surface, you’re not going to feed an army, but it should be fine for 2-4 people depending on what you’re grillin’. The large, 8lb hopper detracts a little from the experience here. It provides enough fuel to set-and-forget cook for hours, but it soaks up a little bit of that precious cooking area in the process. A full hopper got me around 10 hours of cook time at 225℉.
The Cruiser 200A handles low and slow just fine, but what about the hot stuff? Well, don’t worry. It takes a few minutes, but this grill is capable of hitting 450℉ making those grilled veggies, hot dogs, and hamburgers possible.
The controller is always a plus with Z Grills. They’re simple, and they work. The largest temperature swing I experience while cooking was less than 10℉ in either direction even though it’s rated for 15. The only downside is that, while the controller has a probe port, the grill doesn’t come with the temperature probe. You can easily find a generic one that’ll work on the internet or use one from another Z Grill if you happen to have one handy.
The Cruiser 200A did a great job with the pork chops above, as well as the salmon you’ll find further below. Each had the level of flavor you’d expect cooking on the full-sized pellet grills!
What We Like
Here are some of my favorite things about the Cruiser 200A from Z Grills:
- Light-Weight – 40lbs is great! This grill packs a punch and is well-built for the weight.
- Super Portable – I camp A LOT. It’s nice to have a simple, light-weight pellet-fed option for the trips that can accommodate it. The size is just right for me by myself, or with a few more mouths to feed.
- Value for your Money – The Cruiser 200A rivals much more expensive options while keeping the price palatable.
- 3-Year Warranty
What Could be Improved
Even though this is a great grill, there are a few things that could be improved with the Z Grills Cruiser 200A:
- Food Probe Not Included
- Power Options – It’d be super nice if portable pellet grill manufacturers would develop grills with a 12 volt power option. That’d make the Cruiser 200A just that much more versatile.
- Add a Cord Wrap – Since this grill is supposed to be portable, I’d like to see it come with some sort of cable management system to deal with the power cable when not in use.
Great Recipes for the Z Grills Cruiser 200A
Do you have the Z Grills Cruiser 200A in your arsenal, or are you planning on buying one in the future? If so, I recommend trying these awesome recipes with your pellet grill.
Z Grills Cruiser 200A Review: Final Thoughts
I’d recommend the Cruiser 200A to anybody looking for a great portable grill option. It punches much higher than its price-point would suggest, rivaling higher-tier options like the Traeger Ranger. It’s also a great option if you live in an apartment or townhome that has limited space for grills. It’s hard to go wrong with the Cruiser 200A when shopping for a solution with a small footprint. While you’re there, make sure you check out all Z Grills has to offer, especially the new Multitasker 11002B with WiFi!
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