High temperature shortly after startup
During the first 5-7 minutes of startup (switching from Shut Down Cycle to Smoke) lots of wood pellets will be dropped into the fire-pot to establish the fire. These pellets will release a lot of heat and easily take the grill temperature up to 140ºC, especially in hot weather.
If you are planning to cook at a lower temperature than this, leave the lid open for up to 10min after turning on (so 3-4 minutes after smoke clears). This will allow more heat to be released. Shut the lid and set to the desired temperature.
Do not leave the lid open for too long though, as if the temperature reads less than 70ºC lots of pellets will be delivered into the fire-pot.
Getting the grill up to temperature quickly
If you are planning to cook at a high temperature (>135ºC), shut the lid as soon as the first big cloud of smoke begins to clear after startup. This will help get the grill to the desired temperature more quickly.
Changing from high to low temperature setting
If the setting is changed from a high temperature to a much lower target it can take a long time for the temperature to drop, especially in hot weather. This is due to the fact that a fire is always maintained in fire-pot, so continually releasing more heat.
To quickly and safely drop the grill temperature, follow these steps:
- Set the controller to the desired lower setting
- Open the grill lid
- Once the temperature on the controller gets close to the target temperature, close the lid
- If the temperature spikes far above the target again, open the lid for a bit longer to release more heat
Fire-out during temperature drop
Changing from high to low temperatures can result in a fire-out if the lid is not opened as outlined above . This can happen if the grill temperature is far above the target so very few pellets are delivered into the fire-pot, which can result in the fire going out.
Click here to learn more about fire-out and what to do.
Temperature too low (can’t reach target)
If the grill can’t reach the target temperature, the first thing to check is the wood pellets being used. Some wood pellets, especially fruit varieties, can have low heat output (low energy density) and will struggle to reach high temperatures. Moist pellets will also provide poor heat output and also risk having the fire go out.
Try using a hardwood pellet, or type that you know can reach high temperatures. If confirmed that the wood pellets are the issue, don’t throw them out, you can mix some of them in with good wood pellets to gradually use them up.
If the temperature is not able to reach the target with pellets that you know are fresh, dry and have worked well in the past, it may be a problem with the grill.
Try these steps to check the operation of the grill:
- Take out the baffle, grease tray and grill racks so you can see in the fire-pot
- Start up the grill and once the fire is established, turn the controller dial to the highest temperature setting.
- Watch the pellets dropping into the fire-pot. The auger should rotate almost continually delivering pellets, pausing only for a few seconds every minute or so.
- If the auger is pausing for long periods please contact us for assistance.
- If the auger is rotating almost continually, put the baffle and grease gray back in, shut the grill lid and let it run for at least 30 minutes and see what temperature is reached.
In addition to the steps outlined above, also review the troubleshooting flowchart at the bottom of this page.
Temperature not accurate
Work through the troubleshooting flowchart below to help diagnose a Z Grill that is not stabilising close to the controller setting. It can take 10 to 15 minutes for the temperature to stabilise, so always wait that long before determining that there is a problem.
Click on the image below for larger view in new window for easier reading.