If you don’t have much time and just want to find out what the best built-in grill is, then I recommend the Lion Premium Built-in Grill as the best one.
Serious grillers know that the best built-in grills outcompete their standalone competitors every time. Not only do high-quality built-in options usually have more options, but they’re also more durable and long-lasting.
Of course, you already know that. So I’ll be looking at some of the best built-in BBQ grills, and what makes each stand out.
Why A Built-In Grill?
The best built-in gas grills offer several advantages over their standing competitors. They can be larger. They’re often more durable. Many of them have extra functions and attachments that will take your grilling game to the next level.
But there’s more to a built-in grill than just amazing grilled foods. A built-in grill can also add value to your home. After all, it’s a permanent appliance.
They can also round out your new deck or add a little flair to the landscaping in your backyard. Of course, landscaping should be a secondary consideration next to performance.
Natural Gas or Propane?
Most grills come with two fuel options, either natural gas or propane. If you have a natural gas line already installed in your home, especially if you have a gas port somewhere near the location of your new built-in grill, you may want to choose that option.
Natural gas hookups are cheaper in the long run vs running your grill off propane. They are also more consistent. You won’t have to worry about running out of gas in the middle of grilling. You also won’t need the storage space propane requires.
But propane can be a lot more convenient if you don’t already have a natural gas hookup. Propane may also be the cheaper style to buy in your grill, depending on the model.
There are conversion kits available, in both directions. But you should never try to run a propane grill off natural gas and vice-versa.
One of the more important things you should consider for your built-in grill is the extra features that come with it. Since built-in grills are more or less permanent you want to have room for the grill’s use to grow with your skill.
Additions like a rotisserie burner, smoker box, or a side-burner add utility to your grill.
Of course, you might already have a full-size smoker and other appliances that eliminate the need for these accessories.
Try to keep in mind that this grill will likely be your grill for years to come. Even if you don’t need an extra burner, lights, or any of the other extras right now you should be thinking about whether you might want them later.
A lot of new grillers simply look for the grill with the highest BTU and hope that translates to high-heat grilling.
The truth is that getting ideal heating from your grill isn’t just about the BTU (a measure of how much heat the main burners produce). It’s a combination of the heat produced by the burner, the size of the grill, and how well-insulated your grill is.
That’s why it’s so important to try and find a sheltered spot in your yard to set up your grill. Too much wind will lower the heat in your grill, regardless of how high your BTU is.
So, as a rule of thumb, look for a higher BTU for larger grills, but it’s okay to go for a smaller BTU in smaller grills.
Another important consideration is the size and thickness of the grill grate. A thicker grate might not have a high BTU rating, but it will hold and maintain a lot more heat than thinner cheaper alternatives.
It’s also worth noting that grills advertising an excessively high BTU (compared with similar grills in the same price range) are probably compensating for some other design flaw. The highest BTU in the world won’t make up for a poorly designed grill.
Cast aluminum is one of the best options for a grill. It’s durable, lightweight, and holds heat reasonably well. Stainless steel is another great option, but you should be careful to make sure the whole grill is made of stainless.
Some manufacturers try to save on costs by coating their regular steel grills with stainless or using regular steel for the frame. The problem is that any steel components might rust over time. Since your built-in grill won’t be mobile, that can be a serious problem.
It is okay for a component or two of the grill to be made from rustable metals. The grate, for instance, can be made of steel or even cast iron because regular grilling will build a protective coating, or seasoning, on the grate.
But you want any exposed areas of the grill to be aluminum or high-quality stainless.
Use a magnet to check. The best types of stainless for grills won’t be magnetic, and neither is aluminum (unless you’re using a particularly powerful magnet). If it sticks, you’re probably looking at lower quality stainless or regular steel. If it doesn’t stick, you probably have a good product.
Built-In Grills Review
Lion’s 32” stainless steel natural gas grill is a medium-sized grill, perfect for most home users. It provides 830 square inches of cooking space. That’s enough space to cook and serve 3-4 entrees at once for your next neighborhood party.
As a natural gas grill, this option will also save you some money if you already have a natural gas hookup. Over the long term, natural gas is noticeably cheaper than propane.
Not to mention that you’ll save on time since you won’t have to go out and buy propane.
The gourmet package you can also purchase with this grill adds some valuable extras. You’ll get a rotisserie rod, perfect for the infrared back burner. That means you’ll also be able to roast pull-apart tender meats whenever you want.
The gourmet package also includes a smoke box for adding a little more flavor to your meat and hardy vegetables.
The included griddle remover and cleaner make it easier to care for your griddle. But, thanks to the cast stainless steel design, this griddle shouldn’t need much maintenance.
The grill is also moderately easy to install. All you need is a 32” inch wide area in your fire-resistance counter and a nearby natural gas hookup. There are propane versions of this grill available.
- Rotisserie is well-placed, makes cleaning easier
- Installation is simple, can be done without professional help
- Offers a built-in light
- Made with the ideal type of stainless steel (306)
- High heat rating
- Easy to clean design with an effective grease catch
- Rotisserie is an after-market addition, requires electricity
- Customer service isn’t great
If you’re looking for a propane option, instead of a natural gas grill, this may be a good option. It’s a little smaller, with 810 square inches of cooking surface including the warming rack.
That’s still enough space to cook several entrees at the same time. The 210 square inch warming rack is spacious enough to make managing different cook times and protein types a breeze.
Approximately 30” wide, it’s a good option if you’re looking for an outdoor built-in grill with a smaller profile for smaller decks and yards. Bull Outdoor Products also manufacture a finishing frame and a heat jacket, sold separately, which means you can install this grill in more locations, safely.
Instead of having bare metal for the burners, the Bull Outdoor grill uses porcelain coated burners. That means that the burners are a little easier to clean, but also a little more delicate.
However, such a coating improves heat transfer and is a big part of why this grill boasts 60,000 BTU.
They also offer a 2-year warranty on the burners and a 5-year warranty on the grates and firebox.
Unfortunately, this is a grill that doesn’t come with any of the extra frills you see in some other built-in grills. It doesn’t have a smoke box, a rotisserie option, or any infrared burners. There are pros and cons to that design. On one hand, you have more space dedicated just to grilling. On the other hand, grilling is all this appliance will do.
- High heat makes searing meats and hardy vegetables simple
- Good warranty
- Made from high-quality stainless steel
- Heats up quickly (about 100 degrees per minute with the lid closed)
- Seems to heat the front more than the back
- Burner dials heat up over time as you grill
This is a good grill option if you’re looking for a grill with a more substantial warranty backing it.
Also made of stainless steel, the firebox is 30” wide by about 20” deep. That’s small enough to reasonably install in a small yard or on a smaller deck, while also being big enough to offer a lot of grilling options and flexibility.
However, it does have a smaller total cooking area than either of the two grills I’ve already discussed. It comes in with 775 square inches of total cooking area.
Still more than enough for average grilling needs, you may need to be a little more strategic about your grilling if you want to entertain or throw a barbeque.
It comes with 4 stainless steel burners for even heat distribution, and one ceramic burner for consistent heat near the rotisserie.
- Develops a great sear
- Rotisserie is easy to use
- Steel burners reach high temps quickly
- Reasonable size for most yards
- Made from high-quality stainless
- Good ignition switch
- Internal heat varies a good bit depending on conditions
- Making grill marks is more difficult
- The warming rack is a little unstable
Going a little smaller again, this is a good option if you’re looking for a more compact built-in that works with your natural gas hookup.
The cast iron griddle is another advantage of this grill. While cast iron can require a little more upkeep at first, overall, it’s an effective option. You also get fantastic grill marks from cast iron griddles.
The stainless-steel tube burners produce a lot of heat but in a more controlled way. That means a perfect sear, great grill marks, but no more charred outsides and raw insides.
You’ll also get one of the better ignition systems on the market with this grill. You’ll spend less time getting the grill ready, so you can spend more time just grilling.
- Easy assembly (though you’ll need some help placing the assembled grill)
- Even heating and cooking speed
- Doesn’t lose much heat in moderate wind
- Infrared burner makes rotisserie cooking easier and more consistent
- Need to be careful with assembly, the lid needs to be properly aligned
- The user manual isn’t very helpful
- Rear burner needs to be ignited separately
If you’re looking for a bigger, premium grill, this may be a good option. It has a larger profile than many, with matching cabinets under the main grilling area. But it offsets the extra space by coming with all the bells and whistles, and with high-quality design features like premium stainless steel.
In addition to the basic grilling features, this grill comes with a smoker box, a rotisserie section, and a full-sized grill cabinet for storage. That means you have a ton of options for cooking and preparing unique, delicious food, every time you grill.
A front-access grease catch pan makes cleanup easy.
The internal lid thermometer on this grill also makes it easier to control and monitor the internal temperature, so you can adjust to changing conditions on the go. This is a good all-weather grill.
- Lots of cooking space
- Built-in storage
- Premium appearance
- Easy-light burners
- Relatively easy to install
- Replacement parts are easy to acquire
- Not a traditional built-in, comes with a stand
- Front doors are easily dented
- More expensive
It’s hard to name an overall best grill out of this list since they all offer such a wide variety of quality and features. But, if I have to choose, I can at least narrow it down to the Lion Premium Outdoor grill, and the Weber Summit S-460.
I would give this to the Weber but for two things. It comes with more of a stand than a typical built-in. That’s not a bad thing, but it does mean you have slightly fewer options to customize your grill space. It’s also significantly more expensive than the Lion Premium grill.
So, I’ll have to give this one to the Lion Premium grill for superior materials, a large cooking area, and the addition of several key features.