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Z Grills – Manually run without Ignition Rod

In the rare situation that the ignition rod fails, it is possible to still run a Z Grills pellet smoker. This is important to know if you have a huge cook-up planned!

The ignition rod needs to be disconnected from the controller and the fire manually lit. This process requires removing the cover from the grill and accessing the wiring harness so should only be completed if you feel confident to do so. Review the instructions below before attempting.

Follow these steps to manually run the Z Grill.

  1. Switch the Grill OFF and disconnect from the power supply.
  2. Remove the hopper bottom cover to access the wiring.
  3. Unplug the ignition rod (plug labelled HOT). This may required some of the cable ties to be cut to free up the cables. After unplugging the ignition rod, make sure the cables are secured neatly in place so they won’t touch either of the fans.
Z Grills ignition rod connection plug
Ignition rod “HOT” cable connection
  1. Replace the hopper bottom cover and connect power supply.
  2. Place wood pellets in the hopper and remove the grill racks, grease pan and heat baffle.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of wood pellets into the fire-pot. Do NOT add too many pellets!
  4. Place a fire-lighter cube into the fire-pot or squirt a small amount of firelighting gel onto the pellets. DO NOT use alcohol, petrol or any other flammable liquids. Never add any firelighting gel to an already lit fire.
  5. Carefully light the pellets with a long match or long reach fire lighter.
  6. Once there is fire in the fire-pot, switch the grill ON and turn to the desired temperature setting. The grill will still go through the normal startup cycle and drop lots of pellets, so expect to see a lot of smoke during startup.
  7. Carefully replace the heat baffle, grease tray and grilling racks.
  8. Wait for the big cloud of smoke to clear before closing the lid.
  9. Run the grill as per normal operation.

Check out this page for videos on how to access the grill controller and other key components.

Updated on October 25, 2020

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