If you’re building an outdoor kitchen or patio space, then a built-in grill is a must-have. But with so many units available and subtle differences between them, it can be difficult to choose one. In this article, we’ll cover the best built-in grills on the market and everything you’ll want to know before making a final decision. Let’s get started!
Top 5 Comparison Table
Quick Summary of the 5 Best Built-In Grills
- The Bull Outdoor Products ‘Outlaw’ is our #1 choice. With this grill, you can choose either a propane or natural gas unit based on your home. The Outlaw fires up easily and reliably, and the ‘ReliaBull’ technology ensures that every inch of grill space is viable cooking space.
- The Napoleon LEX 605 utilizes infrared technology for even cooking and has a ‘JetFire’ ignition system to ensure easy start-up every time. This model allows for rotisserie cooking, but the kit is not included with the grill.
- If you want lots of accessories, the Lion Premium Grills L75623 is the one for you. It comes with the gourmet package, which includes a rotisserie, cover, smoker box, and griddle.
- Weber’s Summit S-460 is unique in its design, which includes cabinets underneath the grill. As a result, it easily rolls into place.
- KitchenAid’s propane built-in grill comes fully assembled and even has a natural gas conversion kit.
Individual Reviews, Pros, and Cons
If you’re craving in-depth information on our top 5 grills, look no further:
1. Bull Outdoor Products Liquid Propane 'Outlaw'
The Bull Outdoor Products ‘Outlaw’ comes in at #1 because of its consistent performance, versatility, and sleek stainless steel construction. Piezo igniters make this grill easy to fire up, and the ‘ReliaBull’ flame tamers eliminate hot spots for a uniform cooking temperature across the entire cooking area.
This grill is available as two slightly different models depending on if you have natural gas available in your outdoor kitchen. If not, go for the liquid propane version.
As for hard numbers, the ‘Outlaw’ provides 60,000 BTU’s for its 810 square inches of cooking area. That includes one warming rack, and all the grates are made of stainless steel.
2. Napoleon LEX 605 Built-In Grill
The Napoleon LEX 605 is a great grilling machine, particularly for steaks and meats that require a nice sear. Lighting up this grill is a breeze with what Napoleon calls the ‘JetFire’ ignition system. It comes with sear plates that serve a couple purposes. First, they help distribute heat to create a consistent cooking temperature, and they secondly block grease from the high-BTU burners, which prevents flare-ups.
The LEX 605 has a total of 850 square inches of cooking area, which includes a warming rack. For some added visual flare, the ‘i-GLOW’ knobs are backlit with a blue hue. The grill also has a temperature gauge built right into the lid for convenience.
While this grill does have a rear infrared burner, a rotisserie kit is not included. For more information on infrared grilling technology, check out the introductory sections of our infrared grill buying guide.
3. Lion Premium Grills 32" Natural Gas Grill
The Lion Premium Grills Natural Gas Grill is a true multitasker. With all of the accessories included in the gourmet package, this model allows you grill, smoke, or rotisserie to your heart’s content. And the 830 square-inch cooking surface helps serve larger groups without a problem.
This grill is ideal for the family that wants to impress friends and neighbors with the depth and breadth of their outdoor cooking skills. While multiple grills in this list include the ability to cook rotisserie style, this is the only one that actually comes with a rotisserie kit. The two lights inside the grill comes in handy, especially for those late night grilling sessions. However, be sure to carefully read the instructions on how to change bulbs, as owners report some confusion.
Like other grills on our list, this one is easy to light up thanks to Napoleon’s ‘Quick Lite’ valves. Under the stainless steel cooking grates are four cast burners, which come with a lifetime warranty.
4. Weber Summit S-460 Built-In Natural Gas Grill
The Weber Summit S-460 is a powerhouse grill that comes with an impressive list of features and accessories. However, it works with natural gas only, so you’ll have to consider a different grill if you are limited to propane.
One big difference between the S-460 and other grills on this list is the roll-in design. Because it has cabinets underneath that extend to the ground, the unit can simply roll into an empty space between counters.
In addition to the cabinet storage, other features include a stainless steel smoker box and a rear rotisserie burner. The burners can be individually ignited, and a front gauge lets you easily check the temperature.
5. KitchenAid Built-in Gas Grill
KitchenAid’s built-in propane grill is designed with simplicity in mind, so it’s great for beginners. It is a little smaller than some of the other models on the list, but it’s still large enough to feed a crowd. One advantage of the smaller size is the weight – this is the only grill under 100 pounds in this list.
This grill comes fully assembled, so you’ll just need to install it into an appropriate space. If you prefer using natural gas, that’s no problem, since it comes with a conversion kit. Adding to the value of this unit is the 10-year main burner warranty.
While the temperature control is not as precise as some grill aficionados would like, this machine will do the job for basic backyard barbecues.
What Exactly Is a Built-In Grill?
A built-in grill (sometimes referred to as “drop-in”) is just what it sounds like: a grill that must be installed into a counter. However, that’s not the only difference between built-in and standalone units.
In terms of aesthetics, built-ins are typically made of stainless steel and therefore visually superior to a lot of average grills. They are also larger than most standalone grills, since portability isn’t a concern. This translates to more cooking area, which is great if you like entertaining for a crowd. If not, don’t worry, built-in grills almost always have multiple burners, so you don’t have to light them all at once. Lastly, built-in grills either use propane tanks or natural gas for fuel, and sometimes they come with conversion kits (in addition to several other accessories).
Pros and Cons of Built-In Grills
- Gas grills are simple to use and heat up faster than charcoal. Knobs also allow for easier temperature control.
- Built-in grills are designed with longevity in mind, and that is typically reflected in the materials and construction.
- They are typically larger than average grills and great for crowds.
- Almost always made of stainless steel, built-in grills are beautiful statement pieces for patios.
- They often come with additional accessories and technological features, so keep an eye out for extra goodies!
- Your outdoor cooking area must perfectly accommodate the dimensions of the grill.
- Built-in grills are difficult to replace if you run into problems or decide you want a different model.
- With a built-in grill, you are limited to propane or natural gas for the fuel source. If you’re looking for a large, visually impressive charcoal/wood grill for your outdoor space, check out our list of the best kamado (ceramic) grills.
- If you opt for a propane grill, you will need to find or make space for the tank.
- Built-in grills are typically not ideal for smoking meat. While some come with smoking accessories and there are techniques for smoking on a gas grill, the results simply aren’t as good when compared with a standalone smoker. To learn more about smokers, check out our article on the best smokers for beginners.
What to Look for in a Built-In Grill
Here are a few features to consider when choosing your grill:
Propane vs. Natural Gas
The most important consideration when choosing a built-in grill is your fuel source. If you have natural gas plumbed to your patio, then that’s the obvious choice. If not, you will have to get a propane tank. As mentioned above, conversion kits are available for some grills.
Looking at our top 5 picks, it’s easy to see that stainless steel is king in the world of built-in grills, at least when it comes to exterior. However, sometimes internal components can be made of aluminum, and grates can be made of other materials, such as cast iron. Additionally, some units come with chrome accents.
Built-in grills vary greatly in size and weight. Some weigh less than 100 pounds, while others are more than 200 and necessitate professional installation.
BTUs essentially measure how powerful a grill is, but sometimes they don’t tell the entire story. For example, if temperature control is inconsistent or grill temperature is severely affected by the wind, then having a lot of power isn’t that useful in the first place.
A Note on Accessories
When researching grills, be sure to thoroughly check what accessories are included versus what the unit is “outfitted” or “ready” for. For example, many grills have rotisserie burners, but do not come with the rotisserie spit. Similarly, some grills list being “smoker box ready,” but the smoker box must be purchased separately.
A cabinet, like the one included with Weber’s S-460, is a useful feature for storing grilling utensils and accessories. Lastly, depending on the space you have in your outdoor kitchen and whether or not it’s covered, you might want to consider getting a cover for your investment. If it’s open to the elements, then you’ll definitely want to protect your grill.
I hope this article has helped you take some steps towards choosing the best built-in grill for your home. To quickly summarize, the main qualities you’ll want to focus on are size, availability of natural gas (vs. propane), and included accessories.
After you have chosen the perfect grill, it’s time for installation! If you’re doing it yourself, check out this blog post for some tricks and tips.
And if you have any questions, please leave a comment below!