How to Clean Z Grills

Keeping the Z Grill clean is extremely easy, and helps ensure safe and efficient operation.

Cleaning Summary

  1. Vacuum out the fire-pot and grilling area (every 5-10 hours of operation)
  2. Wipe down any areas with grease accumulation (when needed)
  3. Wash out the grease bucket (or line with foil)
  4. Change the foil on the grease tray (when needed)
  5. Run the grill empty (all pellets burnt out) and once cold vacuum out hopper and fire-pot (every 40-50kg of pellets, or if not using for extended period)
  6. Clean the chimney of soot deposits (when needed)

Watch the video below for more information:

Cleaning stainless steel

Z Grills 700E and 700E-XL models have stainless steel hopper and grill lids which look great but can stain over time without proper care.

A common misconception is that stainless steel cannot rust. This is not true. Especially close to the coast (up to 20km inland), where salt can be carried in the air, even high grade marine grade (316) stainless steel can suffer from brown corrosion marks, often referred to as “tea staining”. Regular cleaning can help maintain the “stainless” protective coating on the stainless steel.

To keep your stainless steel lids looking great, wipe down regularly with a BBQ wipe or just soapy water and soft cloth. If tougher stains or any brown spots appear, using a metal polish cream works great. There are many brands on the market, but we have used and recommend Metal Kleen and Polish from Hillmark which is inexpensive and widely available.

Z Grill Stainless Steel Cleaning Cream Polish

Polish the stainless steel with the brushed metal grain, not in circles. Use a small amount of cream on a soft dry cloth. Polish off with a clean part of the dry cloth.

Do not wash the surface after polishing, as the cream leaves a protective coating which will help reduce future staining.

Z Grills stainless steel polish

Only use the polish on the outside of the lid. It is not important to clean the inside of the lid, but if you do, just use BBQ wipes or a wet cloth, as you don’t want any chemicals on the inside of the grill where it could impact food safety or flavour. It is unlikely the inside the of the grill will get any tea staining as the black layer from cooking forms a protective barrier.

Clean out all pellets

If you live in very humid conditions, then leaving pellets sitting in the hopper for even a couple of weeks could be an issue. This will become apparent if the pellets do not burn well, in particular if they struggle to reach the desired temperature or the fire goes out.

If not planning to use the grill for several weeks or longer, it is a very good idea to scoop out all the remaining pellets (temporarily remove the protective guard if required).

Two small screws under the lid of the guard

There are two small screws under the front and rear lid of the guard as shown below. With those removed the guard can be lifted out, making it easy to scoop the pellets out right to the bottom.

Plastic scoop, mug or bowl work great to scoop pellets out

With most of the pellets used up (or scooped out) of the hopper, fire up and run the grill until all the pellets are feed into the fire-pot and the fire eventually goes out.

Once the fire has gone out and the temperature drops, the grill will eventually show a LER (low temperature ) error on the screen (which is ok). Turn the dial to Shut Down and the power switch OFF.

Once the grill has cooled down, vacuum out the bottom of the hopper of wood dust and the the fire-pot and grill drum of ash.

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