You know that when you are looking to invest in the best built-in grill, you are a serious griller. This grill will be the centerpiece of your garden and the talking point of many a party, so make sure that you take your time and choose wisely.
How to choose a built-in grill
Having an outside kitchen is a dream come true for those that love the outdoors, so give yourself all the space you need. Designing an outside kitchen allows you to give items a designated space, the grill included. Also consider ample preparation space, side burners, a sink, storage for utensils, herbs and spices, crockery, cutlery, and, of course, a fridge for the required cold beer.
Consider having a dedicated gas line installed for easier grill installation and to avoid those ugly tanks.
How do you know what to buy?
Overall, you’ll probably already know what you’d like, but keep in mind the build materials, the size of the cooking surface, overall BTU power output, and heat distribution. You’ll want your grill to look good and last a long time; 304-grade stainless steel is sturdy and is virtually corrosion-free. Cast iron and porcelain are susceptible to scratches and rust even though they might retain the heat better.
Choose multiple burners
Now, this is where your master chef skills will come into play. Choose a grill with at least two independent burners so that you can practice your two-zone cooking techniques. Probably the space that you have available will dictate the number of burners that your grill can have. The more, the merrier we say – the more cooking surface and heat production areas you have, the more flexible you can be.
How many people do you tend to cook for?
This is an essential factor when choosing your built-in grill. You don’t want to overcrowd your food. The rule of thumb is that you leave about half an inch between each item to get even heat distribution.
Even heat across the entire cooking surface is necessary to cook food evenly and at the same rate. This also gives you the flexibility of baking and slow cooking your food. Ensure that the hood of your grill is well insulated so that the hot air can circulate evenly around your food. Heavy-duty cooking grates will also help distribute the heat evenly.
What is a BTU?
The British Thermal Unit or BTU is one measure of power; it tells you how hot the grill can get and how many units of heat are generated each hour. As an average, we can get by with a BTU of about 100 per square inch of grilling space. The higher the number of BTUs, the hotter and thirstier the grill will be.
What type of grate is best?
Generally, three types of grate can be used on gas BBQs – stainless steel, cast iron, and enamel grill grates.
Stainless steel is lightweight and tends to be the most cost-effective option. It heats up quickly but doesn’t retain heat particularly well. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, but regular use and cleaning will eventually affect the grill grate’s surface. This wear and tear can create a rough surface, and food can stick.
Although it heats up more slowly, cast-iron has excellent heat retention and, therefore, produces an even cooking temperature and can create bold sear marks for extra flavor. Cast-iron is very heavy and cumbersome. It can be challenging to keep clean and needs regular oiling.
Enamel grill grates can be stainless steel or cast-iron grills, coated in smooth hardened enamel. This coating creates a non-stick outer layer and makes it easier to use while cooking, keeping clean, and maintaining well. However, if this coating chips, the grate can quickly lose its non-stick properties.
Cooking styles dictate the temperatures required. Remember that the closer to the heat source, the hotter it will be. Generally, a grill should reach temperatures of between 350 and 600 degrees Fahrenheit – this gives you the choice of slow-cooking or searing divine steaks.
There are three types of ignition systems to consider: the hot surface ignition, Piezo electric ignition system, or the electronic ignition system.
Each manufacturer will offer a different warranty for various grill parts, the more extended the warranty, the better.
Added extras, or better known as the dream list, could be the make or break of a grill purchase. These are a few of our favorite added extras that will make your grilling career whole:
Protective dust cover
Now that we’ve covered all there is to be known about this category,
let’s get in to our choices for the top 5 best built in grills in 2020.
1. Lion Premium L75623
The Lion Premium is constructed from commercial grade stainless steel, which makes it extremely durable, hardwearing, rust-free, and easy to maintain. Powered by natural gas, its four cast stainless steel burners provide an impressive 75,000 BTU power each hour. Its smoker hood is double-layered, so it keeps in the heat beautifully; the edges of the hood are highly polished and set off nicely.
The solid stainless steel cooking grate creates 830 square inches of cooking space, and at the back of the grill is an infrared rotisserie back burner that grills meats, chicken, and even your Thanksgiving turkey to perfection, the addition of this burner really makes a difference. There is an adjustable warming rack that gives you the versatility of keeping food warm or an extra level for slower cooking. Underneath the grill is a full-length grease tray for easy cleaning.
Lion generously gives you a gourmet package to really get your grilling started, the rotisserie rod and stainless steel motor, grill cover, a very cool smoker box, a skillet that can be exchanged with a grill grate so that you can cook everything you need and the griddle remover that also has a nifty bottle opener.
One of our favorite features is the dual interior lights that are mounted inside the lid so that you can grill even in low-light situations. There is a handy stainless steel switch so you can easily turn the lights on or off.
Built into the hood is an oversized thermometer so that you can keep an eye on the temperature at all times.
The Lion Premium L75623 delivers excellent results time and time again. A sturdy, stainless steel build, 75,000 BTU, and included infrared rotisserie back burner do exceptionally well in making up for its notably-little flaws, making it a fairly easy recommendation for someone looking for a grill in the lower end of the price spectrum for this category.
2. Weber Summit S-460
This fabulous stainless steel built-in grill is bursting with BTU. It offers overall 48,800 BTU power each hour plus an additional boost of 10,600 BTU for flawlessly searing steaks, A 6,800 BTU smoker burner, and a 10,600 BTU infrared rear-mounted rotisserie burner that has a heavy-duty motor. The grates are 9mm diameter solid stainless steel. The stainless steel lid has a built-in thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature while you cook. There are four independently controlled stainless steel burners.
The built-in grill also has the benefit of the under storage space with stainless steel doors. Weber has also introduced additional islands that can serve as a bar area, side tables, waste bins, and side burners that follow the same design principles for a seamlessly designed kitchen space.
The grill affords chefs 468 square inches of primary cooking space and 112 square inches of warming rack space, giving you an overall healthy 590 square inches. The smoker unit occupies the right-hand side of the cooking area. The main burner knobs are illuminated with the flick of a control panel switch and glow red for easy use in low light conditions, and the screw-in grill handle light is battery powered and illuminates the cooking surface.
Underneath the grill is a handy grease tray with catch pan; this makes sure that cleaning is easy.
The Weber Summit S-460 grill also comes with a recipe book that is full of delicious BBQ favorites.
The Weber Summit S-460 is bursting with features and cool perks, such as a dedicated searing burner, smoking burner, and a whole 590 square inches of cooking space. The collection of accessories and ready-made tools for this grill (and for Weber grills in general) make this grill a no-brainer for anyone looking for the easiest user experience, particularly in terms of picking out matching equipment.
3. KitchenAid 740-0780 Built-in Propane Gas Grill
The KitchenAid 740-0780 is a robust four-burner built-in grill powered by propane gas and boasts an impressive 61,000 BTU per hour. The cooking space totals 775 square inches, which is plenty for a great BBQ party. The grill is constructed from premium corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
The stainless steel wrapped grates sit proudly over the smartly angled flame tamers that distribute heat evenly. Vaporize food drippings into smoky flavor infusions that permeate beautifully into slow-cooked meat. The stainless steel burners help distribute a consistent heat of up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit across the entire grill, which helps reduce flare-ups. There is also a searing side burner for those sizzling steaks. Above the main cooking grill is a warming rack that can be used for slow cooking or just keeping things warm.
The back of the grill is a 13,000 BTU ceramic infrared burner and rotisserie so that slow-cooked meat or whole chickens can be cooked to perfection. The electronic ignition system allows you to light up with ease.
The propane grill comes with a kit to convert to natural gas if you so wish. The main burner components all have a very generous 10-year warranty. With care, this grill will last up to 15 years.
The KitchenAid 740-0780 is a smart, intuitive grill with an array of features, such as a whopping 61,000 BTU, option to convert to natural gas, and angled ‘flame tamers’ that drastically help in reducing flare-ups. This built-in grill is a great option for anyone familiar with the KitchenAid name and quality indoors and would like to achieve similar results for their outdoor kitchen.
4. AOG American Outdoor 24NBT-00SP T-Series
The AOG American Outdoor 24NBT-00SP T-Series has wonderfully sleek lines and is packed with goodies. Although it is one of the smaller built-in grills that we tested, it still has Diamond Sear stainless steel grates over 432 square inches of cooking space. The grill is made from stainless steel, which is rust-resistant, and ensures that it is long-lasting and durable.
The grill is for use with natural gas; however, there is a propane kit for conversion if you so wish.
The two 16,000 BTU burners offer stainless steel construction, and they belt out heat for some serious grilling. Stainless steel vaporizer panels provide perfectly even heat distribution, which prevents hot and cooler spots on the grilling surface. The hood features a custom thermometer set into an attractive stainless steel bezel for high-quality temperature control.
Above the main grill is a warming rack, and at the back lies a backburner and rotisserie kit with a four-pronged adjustable meat holder. Underneath there is a convenient grease drip collection system for any rogue food and run-off oils. Exclusive to the “T” series, the AOG American Outdoor 24NBT-00SP grill features the Piezo “Rapid-Light” ignition, which fires up reliably. The grill comes with an incredible AOG 15-year warranty; they clearly believe in their product reliability. You can purchase a grill-cover that will comfortably protect your grill separately.
The AOG American Outdoor 24NBT-00SP is a well-rounded grill for those who will be regularly cooking for smaller parties. In fact – its size is just about its only “downside”, that is, if you absolutely need something larger. I wholeheartedly recommend the AOG option on this list, as it provides you with build quality, grills and power levels that are most often only found on much larger or more expensive grills.
5. Napoleon Grills Built-in Prestige 500
The Napoleon Grills Built-in Prestige 500 really has everything. It’s almost like your fairy godmother pro-griller has designed it to perfection. The grill has four stainless steel main burners, each giving off 6,000 BTU of power each hour. Above the burners are seven stainless steel sear plates that provide exceptional heat distribution across the 760 square inch, two stainless steel Iconic WAVE cooking grates.
The grates help protect against flare-ups. The WAVE grates are very solid and provide exceptional heat control, and their design prevents food from dropping between the curve- designed bars and gives excellent sear marks to your steaks. The fun control knobs can be lit in blue or multi-colors when the grills are set to off or glow red when lit, so you can easily tell which burners are in use.
The one-touch Instant JETFIRE ignition gives you instant light-up of the grill, and the grill quickly reaches the desired temperature. At the rear of the grill is an infrared burner that cooks the rotisserie meats. The rotisserie bar boasts two four-pronged adjustable meat holders which are easy to adjust depending on the size of the cuts. There is also a counterbalance weight for tricky meats.
The hood of the grill is a LIFT EASE roll top lid for easy opening; its sturdy design means that it retains heat for exceptional cooking at low or high heats. It also contains the incredibly accurate ACCU-PROBE temperature gauge.
The Napoleon Prestige 500 Built-In Grill is undoubtedly the best all-round grill on this list. It boasts incredibly utile features, such as the swift JETFIRE ignition that makes turning on your grill that much easier, a high-grade aluminum construction, stainless steel cooking grates, and seven sear plates (also stainless steel). This is by far the easiest recommendation on the list, and in my opinion, it’s perfect for just about anyone who has the room to house this reasonably-sized beast.
As directed by the Fairy Godmother of Grills, we have chosen the Napoleon Grills Built-in Prestige 500 as said previously. It is an exceptional grill, and we tried very hard to find some negative points about it, but other than it requiring a separately purchased regulator, it’s perfectly formed. We love the hefty and cleverly designed WAVE grates, not only do they give a unique pattern on your seared food, but they retain the heat nicely and don’t allow little pieces of food to drop down under the grill. Its high-grade aluminum construction gives it a sturdy feel, and it’s easy to clean and maintain. This is a must have in any outside kitchen.