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By Jayme Muller

August 30, 2021

tamara day cooking on built in grill

So you’ve decided to start on an outdoor kitchen project. That’s exciting! You must already be imagining the parties you’ll be hosting in the near future.

Actually, let’s visualize for a moment. Picture you’re having your first gathering with your new outdoor kitchen. Friends and family are enjoying a drink, the sun is shining, and fresh burgers are sizzling on the grill.

Speaking of the grill, do you have a specific one in mind?

There are a ton of decisions to be made when planning an outdoor kitchen, a built in grill being one of the most important. After all, the built in outdoor grill will be the most frequently used component of your outdoor kitchen!

With the built in grill being the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen, you want to ensure you make the right choice. The improper grill built in for your needs can lead to years of disappointment… Or even frustration. 

tamara day cooking on built in grill

Not to mention, the variety available can make it even more difficult to know you’re making the right choice. There are endless styles, features, and accessories to choose from. How do you know what is best for you? 

It’s for the above reasons we have organized this buying guide to assist you in choosing the right type of built in grill for your needs. Don’t worry, you can thank us later!

GRILL CLASS

Alright. Let’s get started with various outdoor built in grill classes. When considering an outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to make sure your ideas fit within your budget.

Economy Grills
economy built in grill

Economy grills are generally those you would find at a big box local store. Think places like Lowes, Home Depot, and Costco.

If you’ve never invested in a built in grill before… It’s likely your current grill would be considered an economy grill.

Economy grills are excellent starter options. But when building into a full outdoor kitchen… It’s not the best for long-term investment. These grills are made from materials that aren’t made to last. More than likely, your grill will rust, corrode, and break down in just a few years.

Further, this type of grill is often paired with a short and limited warranty. So when something goes wrong… You’re left to foot the bill. That can be frustrating!

The lack of quality in materials also translates to the food quality you get. Economy bbq grills have limited features and unreliable heat distribution. This leads you to a mediocre grilling experience at best. Who wants to say their grilling experience is mediocre?

It’s for the above reasons we don’t recommend building an economy grill into your outdoor kitchen. This project is a long-term investment. Therefore, you’ll want to take care with the quality you choose.

Premium Built In Grills
premium built in grill

Now let’s talk premium built in grills.

This type of grill is usually found at specialty appliance stores or online retailers. Often, you’ll work one on one with an expert to choose the best built in outdoor grill for your needs. We also define premium grills as those constructed with commercial-grade 304 stainless steel. This material is made to withstand the outdoor environment.

Unlike economy built in bbq grills… Premium grills typically come with a lifetime warranty. This is especially crucial when building a grill into an outdoor kitchen. If something goes wrong with your built in grill… You can certainly imagine how inconvenient it would be to swap out with another appliance!

Premium grills tend to come equipped with more accessories and features as well. Not only will you get more versatility… You can trust you will get more consistent results out of your barbecue grill. And what do we know about consistency? That’s right, it’s key.

Most importantly, premium grills are designed to be built into islands. Therefore, premium built in grills will be more functional and aesthetically pleasing in an outdoor kitchen.

This intentional design also makes premium grills safer in an outdoor kitchen. You’ll know they are fitted with proper ventilation and meet safety requirements. With a premium grill, you can know yourself and your family are safe when grilling outdoors.

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Luxury Grills
luxury built in grill in rta outdoor kitchen (2)

Luxury grills are exactly as they sound… They’re the high end option! If you’re looking to splurge on your project, luxury built in grills are just what you’re looking for.

These grills spare no expense when it comes to materials and features. The bells and whistles will certainly impress any of your guests! In terms of warranty, the offers will likely be similar to that of a premium grill.

Luxury bbq grill brands put forth a lot of effort to make their grills look unique. They tend to look the most exotic, also with the most features. You’ll see things like spring assisted hoods, sensor lighting, digital control panels, and integrated smoker boxes. This is just a sampling of the unique features you’ll find with a luxury built in grill!

Yes, it’s true. Luxury grills have the nicest look and most features. However, think about what your budget allows. If you’re not a chef or looking to splurge, a luxury grill is likely to be too much for your needs.

With Built In Grills, Size Matters

A huge consideration when deciding on a built in grill is size. If you already have a grill you use frequently, you likely have an idea what size you’ll need already. For others, it may not be that simple.

You’re planning an outdoor kitchen. Most likely, you’re preparing to host more people and have more gatherings than before. More people + more gatherings = need for a larger grill.

Think about how you use your grill currently. If you’re a family of four, is it just enough to accommodate you? If you plan to entertain more than four people, it’s time to consider an upgraded bbq grill size.

Coyote 28-Inch Grill
479 sq. in Grill Area
coyote grill built in to order kitchen

Recommended for 3-6 People

Coyote 36-Inch Grill
640 sq. in Grill Area
food on outdoor kitchen grill

Recommended for 6-9 People

Coyote 42-Inch Grill
990 sq. in Grill Area
large 42 inch grill in outdoor kitchen

Recommended for 12+ People

Yes, I know what you’re thinking! It is important to understand how many you’ll be grilling for most frequently. However, it’s also important to consider how many more people you’ll be grilling for periodically.

When in doubt, size up. While it never hurts to have too much space, it’s painful to not have enough. Trust us on this one! You won’t want to be kicking yourself later wishing you went with a larger built in grill.

Remember that this decision is different than ones you’ve made on grills in the past. This grill is meant to last a lifetime… And will be permanently built into your outdoor kitchen. It’s essential to determine the size that will fit you and your family best. We found this handy calculator that can help you with deciding size.

Is Convenience or Flavor More Important?

Yet another question we must ask ourselves when deciding on a grill… Is convenience or flavor more important?

Inevitably, the scales will tip more one way or the other. It’s up to you to weigh the benefit of each and decide what is best for you.

Let’s discuss the various types of grills so you can figure out where your preferences lie.

Built In Gas Grills

Built in gas grills are the king of convenience. For those looking for a plug and play option, a gas grill is perfect for you.

These grills offer the most convenience by far… Coupled with the least amount of maintenance as well. Just know that what you gain in convenience, you will sacrifice in flavor.

The flavor a built in gas grill can provide simply will not match that of a charcoal or pellet grill. If that rich, smoky flavor is the best part of grilling for you… A built in gas grill is likely not the right choice for you.

But if you have your heart set on a built in gas grill, you’ll also want to determine the desired fuel source.

Natural Gas

Once set up, natural gas is extremely convenient. The trouble is setting it up!

This option is excellent if you have easy access to a natural gas connection. However, this is not always the case. If you’re retrofitting a kitchen on a patio… Setting up a natural gas line can prove to be challenging.

If you’re willing to put in a bit more elbow grease up front… You’ll be rewarded with the most convenient gas grill option long-term.

natural gas line for built in grill (2)
Propane

Propane is the other standard option for your built in gas grill. You can use direct line propane or use 20 lb tanks to fuel your grill.

As we mentioned earlier, retrofitting on an existing patio for natural gas can be an extensive process. Using a propane tank is a simple way to circumvent this process. The only downside is you will have to refill these tanks as they run out.

Now, what if you’re not interested in built in gas grills? If so, you’ll want to consider charcoal and pellet grills.

Let’s discuss…

built in propane grill

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Charcoal Grills

When you think of barbecue, what flavors and textures come to mind? Savory, smoky, rich, and charred are a few adjectives that come to mind. It’s these traditional flavors that come from a charcoal grill.

built in charcoal grill
open charcoal tray on built in grill (2)

If flavor reigns supreme in your grilling game, charcoal is the fit for you. With charcoal, the flavor is dialed up to 11. Of course, that superior flavor comes at the cost of convenience.

There’s more work involved when cooking with charcoal. It’s not as simple as turning a knob and having a hot grill in minutes. You have to light lumps of charcoal and spend extra time getting the grill up to temperature. There’s also extra maintenance involved. You’ll have to clean the grill and dispose of ash every so often.

These minor inconveniences are more than worth it if flavor is your primary objective. Charcoal can also be a nice option for those who don’t want to worry about having to run a natural gas/propane line. A charcoal grill does not require it.

You may be wondering… Is there an option in the middle? Gas and charcoal are great, but… Maybe you don’t want to go all-out on convenience or flavor.

If so, you may want to consider a pellet grill.

open charcoal tray on built in grill (2)

Pellet Grills

Pellet grills are new to the scene, but they are taking the market by storm!

Why?

Pellet grills are the most versatile option on the market today. It’s a dream for grillers looking for variety in all aspects of cooking outdoors.

Pellet grills can do it all. It’s not just grilling. You can bake, sear, and even slow cook on the same unit. If you are an adventurous cook, you will love the versatility a pellet grill provides. And because wood pellets are the fuel source, you still get a nice smoky flavor!

coyote built in pellet grill (2)
coyote built in pellet grill tray (3)

What about convenience? In terms of operating, there’s nothing quite like it. A pellet grill hits your desired temperature quickly using an onboard computer. This computer is programmed to burn wood pellets and hold your desired temperature within a couple degrees. Set and forget. It’s pretty much effortless!

This all sounds amazing, what’s the catch?

The only downside to a pellet grill is maintenance. It does require a bit more effort than a gas grill. You will want to clean after every use. Further, this grill does run off electricity. So you will need an electrical outlet for it to function.

And there you have it, the grill fuel options! Now that we’ve discussed the main component of your outdoor kitchen, we also have to consider accessories.

What Accessories do I Need with My Built In Grill?

Alright. You’ve selected your grill class. Now you have to ask yourself another question… Do you want all the bells and whistles for the ultimate grilling experience?

Some built in grills will come with additional features right out of the box. Others will allow you to add features and accessories of your choosing.

What types of features are available? Here are just but a few to consider…

Drop-In Griddle

drop in griddle for outdoor built in grill

There are few things more satisfying than a home cooked Saturday morning breakfast. What if you could cook that Saturday morning breakfast outside?

A drop-in griddle allows you to make the most of your weekends and breakfast at home. Who wouldn’t love making eggs and pancakes for your family on the grill?

drop in griddle for outdoor built in grill

Infrared Sear Burners

infrared burner for buiilt in outdoor grill

Infrared sear burners allow you to get the most out of your steaks.

Sear burners are perfect for cuts like porterhouse, tomahawks, etc. A sear burner allows you to have a searing station incorporated into the grill. Thus, leading to perfect sear marks on your steaks.

Rotisserie Attachments

Rotisserie attachments add an awesome functionality to your grill. It’s not just about searing steaks and flipping burgers… What about chicken, prime rib, and lamb?

A rotisserie provides you with even, indirect heating. It’s perfect for slow-roasting and rich flavors.

Smoker Box

smoker box built in bbq grill

Do you have a gas grill and miss that classic smoky flavor? Look no further than a smoker box.

By adding wood chips to the box, you can get your gas grill to give off that trademark smoky flavor. It’s great for vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, etc.

Charcoal Trays

charcoal tray for gas built in grill (2)

Maybe you want to take that smoky flavor a step further. Want to turn your built in gas grill into a charcoal grill?

A charcoal tray allows you to accomplish this. Achieve that deep smoky flavor by dropping lump charcoal into a charcoal tray and setting that inside your gas grill.

charcoal tray for gas built in grill (2)

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Who Offers the Best Built In Grills?

coyote built in grill in rta outdoor kitchen

Let’s be honest. There are a lot of excellent built in grill manufacturers out there. However, there are considerations beyond quality when selecting a grill brand.

One challenge is finding an expert. When getting an outdoor kitchen, it is extremely difficult to find an expert who can not only guide you to the right grill… But to the right one that will fit with the design and construction of your project.

It’s for this reason we’d like to inform you of our partnership with Coyote Outdoor Living. We are unique in that we are an outdoor kitchen manufacturer that also sustains a direct relationship with our grill manufacturers.

You’ll not only be working with experts on the construction of your outdoor kitchen island… You’ll also be working with experts who understand built in grills and how that will fit into your design. You can consider RTA the end-to-end solution that provides everything you need for a successful project.

Let’s speak more to the grills specifically. You want to ensure you are working with a reputable brand. And Coyote Outdoor Living checks all the right boxes.

Coyote provides a line of premium grade grills all constructed from 304 stainless steel. Further, all products are backed by a lifetime warranty. This warranty will provide you peace of mind this is an excellent long-term investment.

Further, Coyote offers an extensive line with abundant versatility. Charcoal, pellet, and, of course, gas grills along with lots of accessories… No doubt Coyote offers a solution for your needs. In fact, they offer one of the only built-in pellet grills on the market! They even have a hybrid grill which is a combo of gas and charcoal. No compromises here!

Now what about our role in this? RTA outdoor kitchens are designed to fit Coyote appliances. When working with us, you have the comfort of knowing your design will fit the grill of your choosing.

Our experts at RTA have created various pre-designed options that are likely to fit your needs. We want to make project planning as simple as possible. You can browse our popular options here.

Perhaps you don’t want an out of the box island design. Due to our partnership with Coyote, this is not a problem! You can seamlessly select a reputable grill and customize the island to fit your space and needs.

You can get an idea of what is possible using our free online design tool, which you can find here. Have fun with it!

If you have any questions, we are happy to help you with your project. An outdoor kitchen is an exciting project, and it’s what we love most.

We hope to work with you!

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