Grills by Price
Built-in Buying Guide
Find the Best Built-in Gas Grills
About the Prices
The prices listed on the left are the typical sale prices for these products and while I endeavor to keep this page up to date, prices and availability change frequently in this business. These prices are not necessarily the list price, manufacturer's suggested retail price, or minimum advertised price. In this day, prices for products can be a little confusing. Though found to be unscrupulous, some retailers sell products on sale for what is actually the suggested retail price and artificially inflate the 'list price'. I have tried to be accurate with the price you can generally expect to find. The prices listed should be close to what you will actually spend. If you find a price that is seriously out of line with what you are seeing, please contact me.
What is a Built-in Gas Grill?
The first gas grills burned natural gas and sat on posts planted in the ground. As propane became the fuel of choice and more grills entered the market space, they took to existing on carts, which are nothing more than legs to stand on. As outdoor cooking became more of a lifestyle than a pass time, outdoor kitchens became more popular. To fill this market, manufacturers began building gas grills for insertion into custom enclosures. After this, companies that specialized in outdoor kitchens emerged and there are now companies that only build for this need. Simply put, a built-in gas grill is the core of the grill, stripped of side burners, side tables, legs and/or cart. In the industry, these are known as grill heads.
Built-in gas grills can be bought configured to run on propane, but most are sold as natural gas. After all, if the structure is permanent, why not run a gas line from the house. In the long run, it will save money (natural gas is considerably less expensive than propane) and there will be no need to refill those 20-pound propane tanks. This is particularly important in large outdoor kitchen installations where very large grills and a host of additional gas-powered appliances can empty a little tank in a very short amount of time. The fuel decision should be made first since some gas grills cannot be converted between the two fuel types and for those that can, the conversion kit is an unnecessary expense.
Gas Grill Inserts come in many sizes and as you can see from the list to the left in a wide range of prices. While units can be had for less than $1,000USD they can also reach well past $10,000USD. Add to this the cost of additional appliances like side burners, sinks, refrigeration, pizza ovens, smokers, and much, much more and the cost for the appliance alone can reach over $100,000. On the other hand, a minimal installation with a basic gas grill, side burner and perhaps a single set of access doors can be had for well under $5,000.
Finding the right built-in gas grill can be a challenge. The list on the left contains nearly 200 models from over 40 brands and nearly 30 companies and the list isn't complete. I have recommendations for the Best Built-in Gas grills in multiple price ranges, but availability can be spotty and most brick and mortar retailers only carry a few brands. Landscape architects, where many people looking for higher-end products will go, generally have exclusive distribution dealers with two or three brands. It is my opinion that the consumer should make the choice that is right for them and not limit themselves to a single retail source. Research first, find the price range you are looking for and then start contacting sources for your outdoor kitchen appliances.
Buy the grill you need, not the one that shines the most. Of course, for most of these grills the construction is going to be stainless steel and once you move above $2,000USD the quality of that stainless will improve. Aside from this, match the size with what you will actually use. There are some monster gas grills out there, but if you are only going to be grilling for a few people, most of that size will be a waste of space. Many units, particularly on the higher end have built-in rotisserie systems and while I am a big fan of this style of cooking, some people are not and this may represent a feature that never gets used. Many grills also feature infrared burners. Some, in fact, are all infrared. While these burners can reach impressive temperatures, if it isn't something you need, don't pay extra for it. On the other hand, it is better to overbuy. Replacing a built-in gas grill isn't a simple process.
There is no standardization among manufacturers of outdoor kitchens. The grill head fits into a cutout section of the enclosure. Cutouts can vary greatly in size even among similarly sized grills. Just because two units say that are 32 inches wide (the typical way these grills are measured), doesn't mean that they will both fit the same cutout. Most manufacturers provide exact measurements for the cutouts necessary for their grills and have them available on their websites. Use these cutout dimensions as a starting point for laying out the outdoor kitchen enclosure.
Of course, the structure for an outdoor kitchen needs to be fireproof. This is not to say that a wood frame structure isn't possible. Many designed start with a frame built much like the average house. A wood frame structure, however, needs to separate the appliances from the wood. This can be done in the construction of the frame, but many manufacturer's offer metal jackets or sleeves for the built-in gas grill to sit in. Typically, these jackets cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 depending on the size and type of grill. When planning an outdoor kitchen, make sure that this issue is addressed and any additional cost factored in.
Calculating a Total Cost
While the gas grill is the centerpiece of any outdoor kitchen, there is so much more that can be added. These extras are an additional expense that can drive up the appliance price quickly. A basic outdoor kitchen will generally feature a grill, a side burner, and a set of access doors. Most of the companies that represent the products on the left can provide these. For a basic configuration, add about 50% to the grill price and that will put you in the neighborhood of the total appliance price. A moderate outdoor kitchen will add refrigeration (outdoor rated of course) and additional doors and drawers. It might also include a larger, more powerful side burner. This setup will generally double the cost of the gas grill for the total appliance cost. A full feature outdoor kitchen can add pizza ovens, charcoal grills, sinks and a wide range of cabinetry. In this range, multiply the cost of the gas grill by three or four to find the total appliance cost.