The Best Built-In Gas Grills For Your Money

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Lion Premium L75623

Our Best Choice...

Key Features

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    Great BBQ at good price. Very easy to install.
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    830 square inches of cooking surface with 75,000 total BTUs
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    Premium solid stainless steel cooking grates
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    Double layer seamless welded stainless steel smoker head with polished edges

Grilling is an art form. Some people dabble in it, some take a more pronounced interest, but pretty much everyone enjoys the results of it.

For most, a regular grill is fine. It does the job perfectly well. But if you’re a true grilling aficionado, if it’s your preferred way to cook and you’re practicing your craft on the daily? It’s hard to go wrong with a built-in grill.

A permanent addition to your backyard kitchen provides a lot of advantages, not least of which is a solid, stationary work station you can use without fear of space constraints. The limits are what you’re willing to add to it.


Lion Premium L75623

This grill is large, versatile, and quite good in every area that matters. If you’re a fan of gas grills, this one will make you happy.

What We Liked

  • Size: 830square inches of cooking space is quite good, and large enough to cook pretty much anything, or a variety of somethings. In addition that surface is broken up into four distinct cooking spaces plus an infrared back burner so you can cook whatever you like in any combination you like with no problem.
  • Heat: Four separate 15, 000 BTU burners cover this 830 square inch grill, fitting neatly into our ideal 75 to 100 BTU per square inch metric.
  • Versatile: In addition to the already mention stellar cooking surface and heat distribution, this grill comes included with a griddle pan and a rotisserie attachment, letting you up your game right from the start. Getting these things included in the box is a big boon, since it means you won’t have to do any sizing or guesswork yourself on what kind and size is best for your grill.
  • Construction: The entire box is constructed of durable, double thick stainless steel. Besides the exterior, the rest of its construction is very well thought out too. The drip tray is properly place for easy cleaning, and everything is easy to get to inside without needing you to contort to get in there and clean it up, while the knobs are durable and easy to turn.

What We Didn't Like

  • Transparency: Some of the listed measurements are off (the description says the grill boasts a 32 inch cook space, but you really only have a 30 inch space to work with) and the rotisserie is aftermarket and needs an electrical outlet, none of which is mentioned. This can make the purchase more tedious than it needs to be.

Napoleon Grill

This grill doesn’t look like much but it really packs a lot of punch on the inside. This is the grill for the grill chef that loves to experiment with different combinations of foods and make sampler platters and the like.

What We Liked

  • Cooking Surface: 760 square inches is nothing to sneeze at, and especially so when it comes with 5 burners plus an infrared backburner and rotisserie. You can cook pretty much anything on this grill, and do it all at once. Great for cooking a standard meal and keeping your current experiment on the 5th burner to try without compromising the rest of the food.
  • Heat: Five 16,000 BTU burners is more than enough heat for a grill of this size, and makes searing a breeze. This is hitting the point where the heat output is actually a bit overkill for a grill of this size, but as it doesn’t increase the price by a whole ton, there’s no reason to knock it; just be careful when firing it up.
  • Attachments: This one comes with a charcoal tray, perfect for smoking and grilling at the same time.
  • Grids: Cast iron is one of the best cooking surfaces imaginable, and Napoleon makes good use of it here. The reversible “wave” grid is perfect for grilling, and channels grease excellently down to the grease trap and away from your food.

What We Didn't Like

  • Warranty: Either no warranty is offered for this product or information on it is difficult to find from this seller. Either way, as good as the grill is this makes the purchase potentially dicey.

KitchenAid 740-0780

This Kitchen Aid model looks great from just the raw specs in a lot of ways, but unfortunately suffers from some severe design flaws in certain cases that hold it back.  This problem is exacerbated by the poor way the warranty service is handled.

What We Liked

  • Burners: Four 15, 250  BTU burners provide heat to this grill. In addition to the solid burners themselves, they come equipped with “flame tamers”, angled pieces of metal that simultaneously spread the flames evenly across the grill and catch drippings. The former function means that heat is even distributed, with no hot or cold spots to be found, while the latter vaporizes drippings and adds a urprising amount of flavor to meat grilled on this grill.

What We Didn't Like

  • Design: Heat ventilation is flawed and flimsy, making it prone to warping. This means that over time the grill can deform and start torching its own interior components (stuff that wasn’t meant to withstand direct flames), this destroying it, and worse: making it a severe fire hazard.
  • Warranty: Making the above worse, the warranty is actually handled by a third party that has a vested interest in ensuring that as few valid warranty claims go through as possible. This makes dealing with them a frustrating chore better avoided at all costs.
  • Cleaning: A minor complaint given the above, but while the “flame tamers” are quite nice at introducing a bit of extra flavor, they aren’t strictly necessary, and are a huge pain to clean up as grease blackens into a crust that is difficult to remove.

Weber Summit S-460

This is a bit of a weird one, but neat if you want a more complete grill stand to go with your built in segments. The overall quality of it is good, but it can be difficult to fit into any standard arrangement most people would set up for this kind of grill.

What We Liked

  • Cooking Surface: 580 square inches of total cooking area is fairly solid, though a bit small for a built in grill. Keep in mind 112 inches of that is designated as a “warming rack”, but it’s plenty fine for smoking if not grilling. It comes with a rotisserie, but perhaps more interestingly comes with a “sear station” in the center, which is a burner much more intensely hot than the rest, specifically made for searing.
  • Burners: Four primary burners, each with a 6800 BTU output line this grill. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s honestly plenty given the grill’s relatively small size, and the addition of the 10, 800 BTU sear station, which you’’ll be using for all your searing (the only reason you really want the 15 to 16k BTUs on the larger grills)
  • Stand: The grill comes equipped with its own cabinetry to set into the center of the island you have picked out, which is pretty solid.

What We Didn't Like

  • Awkward: On paper the stand is nice, but is hard to work into existing plans for most built-in grills. This is not the kind of grill you can decide to get halfway through planning your station; this needs to be planned for from the start, which can turn people off of it.

American Outdoor

This is a smaller grill, but excellent for what it provides. What it lacks in size it makes up for in quality, for sure.

What We Liked

  • Burners: This comes with a pair of U shaped, 32, 000 BTU burners that provide even heat to the two cooking surfaces, easily turned on by the knobs and center ignition.
  • Vaporizers: The vaporizer panels or “flame tamers” provide excellent flavor and smell to any food grilled on it, and alone are a strong reason to consider this over a grill that lacks them.
  • Construction: Heavy duty steel construction lets it weather the elements, and it’s also very well designed on the interior, with an easy to clean grease tray and proper channeling into it from ay position on the grill as well.

What We Didn't Like

  • Size: While not necessarily a deal breaker, sometimes bigger IS better. 432 square inches plus a rotisserie is awfully small for the price of a built in grill, even if the burners are excellent. Having only two cooking surfaces is quite a blow to versatility.

Louisiana Grills

This grill looks good on the surface, but a host of quality control issues hold it back from any kind of recommendation.

What We Liked

  • Wood Fired: This grill accepts wood pellets for smoking and grilling, which is always an excellent touch.
  • Cooking Surface: 860 square inches of cooking space is huge, and it has an excellent two tiered space for smoking and warming sauces. Despite appearances, the cooking surface is cast iron, which has excellent heat retention.

What We Didn't Like

  • Temperature Range: The maximum temperature is only 600 degrees, making searing difficult.
  • Quality Control: Users report numerous quality control issues, which is my main problem with this grill. The grill produces thick black smoke which billows out from the front of and rear, choking the griller. It doesn’t do any favors to the flavor of the food either, giving it a gritty, charcoal laden taste.The smoke is also a sign of a larger issue with heat dispersion, with the grill venting heat in strange directions. This is both inefficient (leaving the grill often colder than the setting, ruining the food) and dangerous; it has a tendency to swiftly destroy the mounting it’s set in.

AOG American Outdoor

This is an excellent grill for the price, outshining a strangely more expensive but nearly identical model from the same brand. If you don’t mind a smaller sized grill, this is an excellent option.

What We Liked

  • Sturdy Construction: Hardy stainless steel construction helps it weather the elements, and everything on this grill glides smoothly and easily. The interior is just as good, with proper channeling from the grill to the flame tamers to the grease trap, which is easy to remove and clean.
  • Burners: While it only has two, these 16, 000 BTU, U shaped burners are excellent and evenly distribute heat across the two cooking surfaces this grill provides.
  • Ignition: Easy, single button piezo ignition ensures that the grill starts up perfectly every time, and the grill is adjustable across all standard temperature ranges.
  • Warranty: This grill is provided with a 15 year warranty on all parts. While not as good as lifetime, it is also better than the warranties with fine prints amounting to it not covering the most important pieces after 3 to 5 years.

What We Didn't Like

  • Size: As with the other American Grills model, 432 square inches is absolutely tiny for a built-in grill. I expect on average 550 square inches or more on a grill like this, in large part because that is enough space to support at least 3 different cooking surfaces. You lose a lot of versatility with only 2 burners, even if both of them are excellent.

Memphis VGB0002S

This grill is definitely one of the best around…if you can get past the sticker shock. Even in the mindset that you’re coming to terms with this being a large purchase or a long term investment, this grill is exorbitantly pricey.

What We Liked

  • Wood Fired: This is a pellet smoker with all the bonuses that come with that. Wood fire grilling is just so much more satisfying and versatile than electric or gas grilling, even if those are far easier. Smoking I particular is aided by the wood pellets infusing the meat with their specific flavors.
  • Pellet Feeding: This grill comes with a proper pellet feeding system, and auger that pushes the pellets out of the hopper, and flaps to regulate temperature and keep the fire going with limited involvement on your part.
  • Wi-Fi Control: This grill can be app controlled from your phone, which is a nice plus.
  • Cooking Surface: A sizable 658 square inch cooking space makes this grill great for both smoking and grilling. No extra burners here since it’s wood fired, but the interior is properly shaped to funnel the heat to evenly cook everything.

What We Didn't Like

  • Price: This grill is great, don’t get me wrong, but this thing costs over twice what the average grill here does. It’s worth it, but may be out of the price range you’re willing to pay for a luxury item.

Alfresco ALXE-42-NG

Another high quality, particularly expensive model, this time in a gas variant. Still, it has a bit more to recommend itself for that cost than the Memphis Grills Elite does, making it a more palatable purchase.

What We Liked

  • Cooking Surface: More than just sizable at 770 square inches, this beast of a machine is top of the line in every regard. Durable stainless steel grates are easy to clean and long lasting, with ceramic briquette inserts to more evenly distribute heat throughout the grill.
  • Burners: A whopping five 6, 500 BTU burners make up this grill, giving you h paralleled versatility. This is in addition to the rotisserie, and it even has a unique sear station like another model on this list with a twist. This one is high quality infrared, which can flash sear the meat very easily and safely.
  • Construction: This unit is impeccably constructed in every aspect. Durable stainless steel is a given, but inside and out this thing is engineered excellent to improve airflow and leave the interior of the grill the perfect temperature while leaving the outside cool where it needs to be. The lid opens easily and the control panel is corrosion resistant and stays cool to the touch at all times, while the rotisserie is whisper quiet and chain fed.

What We Didn't Like

  • Price: There’s no denying this unit’s price, but there’s also no denying the cost: it will run you well over $5000, even more than the Memphis Grills Elite above. Worth it? For the right person, absolutely. But in many ways the cost isn’t outweighed by the quality, which is frankly overkill for most people. Professional chefs might want to snap this up, but for most of us we’re not going to see much of a difference.

DCS Evolution

Another highly expensive model, but this one is more difficult to defend. While cheaper than both the Alfresco and Memphis Grills Elite, it is close enough to be compared to them…and it compares poorly.

What We Liked

  • Heat Distribution: Ceramic rods distribute the heat properly throughout the grill from its burners.
  • Cooking Surface: An immense 1164 square inch cooking surface graces the inside of this grill, heated by 3 U burners, each burning at 25, 000 BTU. This is enormous, versatile, and hot.
  • Construction: Construction is solid steel and nicely ventilated, with an easy to lift handle and just as easy ignition and temperature adjustment.

What We Didn't Like

  • Heat Range: 25, 000 BTU per burner is both underkill and overkill at the same time. It misses our 75 to 100 BTU per square inch margin by a fair bit, while providing all the downsides such a gas guzzler provides. The temperature range is 300 to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. That means it is completely unusable for cold smoking (which looks for temperatures closer to 200 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit), for the benefit of being able to rise to temperatures largely unusable for cooking anything.
  • models…but does less. Being unable to cold smoke is a huge downside. While the numbers are impressive, you are ultimately spending more money for a drawback.

Final Verdict

The Lion Premium Grill is still the best confluence of price and performance, but most other grills here are excellent purchases depending on your needs. The smaller American Outdoor models are good for the price, while the hugely expensive Memphis Grills Elite and Alfresco AXE models are perfect for high end, serious grillers who want a machine to match their talents.

The only ones I’d say to avoid are Napoleon grills’ model and the DCS Evolution. The former is horribly flawed and will cost you money in the long run for an inferior product, while the latter is simply vastly overpriced for what it offers when you really break it down.


How to Choose the Right Built-in Gas Grills

The great thing about built-in grills is they’re fairly simple to shop for. The only thing you really care about is the grill itself; everything else you might normally associate with a grill is going to be a part of the kitchen surface you’ve set aside instead. No need to take into account the wheels, added worktop, or worry about the weight.

You just pay attention to the core elements:

Cooking Surface

Cooking surface is of course key. You want a good size, more than enough to cook whatever size meal you need. Keep in mind it’s much harder to upgrade a built-in grill, so you want to shop for something that may be a bit bigger than you initially think you need. Multiple, independent cooking surfaces is also a must, so you can cook different kinds of meals at different heats.

BTU  (British Thermal Unit)

Speaking of heat, pay attention to the BTU  (British Thermal Unit) output of your built-in grill. Higher is better…to a point. Unless you’re making charcoal, you’re going to hit a maximum effective temperature. It doesn’t much matter if your grill can hit 1000 degrees inside when everything you could conceivably want to cook is going to max out at 500 or so. Around 100 BTUs per square inch is plenty.

Materials and Construction

Finally, keep in mind the materials and construction. You want something sturdy enough to survive outdoors long term, where it’s going to stay. It’s also good to look for a cooking surface that’s easy to clean, and other quality of life benefits like a hinge that easily lifts.

Extras

Some grills might come with extras, but typically built-in grills focus on being good at their primary function as grills instead of bells and whistles. Take any extra that comes with the grill of your choice as a nice bonus, but don’t compromise on your first choice just because some other grill offers some niche frill; almost anything of that nature is something you can get separately.