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Built In Grill: 5 Helpful Tips for Choosing the Right One

By James King

September 21, 2022

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 in the long run. 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!

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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 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 outdoor kitchen 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 with all commercial-grade 304 stainless steel grill construction. This should also include the included cooking grates. This material is made to withstand the outdoor environment.

Unlike economy built in bbq grills… Premium grills typically come with a lifetime warranty letting you know they feature sturdy construction. 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 other appliances!

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 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 on the grill head, sensor lighting, digital control panels, and integrated smoker boxes. This is just a sampling of the unique features you’ll find with luxury built in grills!

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 big 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 larger grills.

Think about how you use your grill currently. If you’re a family of four, is it just enough space 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

Recommended for 3-6 People

Coyote 36-Inch Grill
640 sq. in Grill Area

Recommended for 6-9 People

Coyote 42-Inch Grill
990 sq. in Grill Area

Recommended for 12+ People

Yes, I know what you’re thinking! It is important to understand how many people 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 cooking space, it’s painful to not have enough. Trust us on this one! You won’t want to be kicking yourself later using your smaller grill wishing you went with the larger grill.

Remember that this purchase decision is different than ones you’ve made on grills in the past. You expect this purchase 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 making a decision on the square inch cooking space and overall size you need.

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 type.

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.

Propane

The other standard option is a built in propane gas grill. You can use direct line liquid 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…

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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.

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

There’s more work involved when you cook with charcoal. It’s not as simple as turning a knob and having a heated 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.

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 grill products 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
coyote built in pellet grill tray

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?

Generally, 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 OUTDOOR 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. Most built in grills 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

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? You can also go a step further and even get a full on flat top grill.

Infrared Sear Burners

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. Some grills even come with an infrared rotisserie burner for an incredibly even cook.

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

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.

The next consideration when picking out the perfect gas grill is to make sure you have the right burners for your needs!

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Which Burners Are the Best on a Built-In Gas Grill?

Gas is a popular fuel for built-in natural gas grills… And for good reason. The convenience of a gas grill is unbeatable.

But now, let’s get into the heart of what makes them so quick and easy to use… The burners!

How much heat the burners produce is usually one of the first factors people consider when choosing which one they want!

How hot a burner gets is measured in BTUs (British thermal units)… But choosing the right one isn’t as simple as looking for the bigger BTU number.

The industry standard is between 80 and 100 BTUs per square inch of main cooking surface… So this will keep your grill hot without wasting gas!

Now, you know about how many BTUs to look for… But what kind of burner should you get? They come in all different types!

How to Choose Your Burner Type

You’ll find burners in a variety of shapes, sizes, and metals… So where do you even begin?

There are so many different shapes and sizes… And they all affect how well the heat in your grill will be distributed.

We’ll take a quick look at some of the more popular types of burners.

Cast Stainless Steel Burners

First off, we’ll look at cast stainless steel burners!

They’re actually made out of one solid, thick piece of metal, unlike some of the other options we’ll discuss momentarily.

Cast stainless steel burners are the most rust-resistant stainless steel burner option out there… Which is fantastic! They also distribute heat very evenly if they are 304 stainless steel.

Altogether, these benefits make them a very popular option. You can usually find them either shaped like a straight line or an “E.”

Coyote’s grills have specially-shaped cast 304 stainless burners that are infinity-shaped for great heat distribution!

Stainless Tube Burners

Stainless tube burners are made up of stainless steel that has been welded together to form a tube.

They most commonly come in either straight tubes… Or are bent into U-shapes or loops for better heat distribution.

How durable these burners are depends on the grade of steel used. Always look for 304 stainless steel for the best results.

With proper care and maintenance… This grade of stainless steel will keep them rust-free!

You’ll find examples of these burners in some Weber Sumit S built-in grills and KitchenAid built-in grills.

Stamped Stainless Burners

We’ll start off by letting you know that stamped stainless burners aren’t as durable as the previous two options.

They’re typically made from a lower grade stainless steel… Which means that they’re more susceptible to rust and other issues.

These burners are formed by “stamping” together a circular top and circular bottom section… But they can break apart fairly quickly!

You’ll find these bow-tie shaped burners featured in Broilmaster’s grills!

Cast Iron Burners

Cast iron burners are tried and true… But they aren’t as rust-resistant as the newer cast stainless steel and tube burner options.

They’re very heavy-duty… And some manufacturers will use a porcelain coating to protect them from rusting. This makes them last much longer!

Typically, these burners will be bent into a rectangle or shaped into a single straight line.

If you want an example… Cal Flame’s G-series built-in grills use cast iron burners.

Ceramic Burners

Ceramic burners do a fantastic job of distributing heat.

They also never rust, which is a huge plus!

Their one big downside is that ceramic is very fragile… So just be careful when you clean them. You don’t want to scratch or break them.

You’ll find rectangular ceramic burners in some of Lynx’s grills.

Infrared Burners

Infrared burners are a newer type of burner that gets extremely hot.

They’re fantastic for searing meats. Many upscale restaurants will even use them for their steaks… So you know they’re good.

They aren’t meant for slow cooking… But this isn’t a problem since they are typically included as a second option within your grill, usually for a rotisserie.

The main burner for your built in grill will be one of the other burner options we’ve talked about… While you’ll have your infrared burner in the back to cook your rotisserie chicken perfectly. Some grills, like the Coyote S-series, have a side sear infrared burner for steaks.

So now you have an idea of what you’re looking for… But where should you go to find it?

Who Offers the Best Built In BBQ Grills?

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

Finding An Outdoor Kitchen and Built In Grill Expert

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 for your cooking style… But also to one that will fit with the design and construction of your outdoor kitchen project.

That’s why 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 manufacturer.

You won’t just be working with experts on the construction of your outdoor kitchen island…

But you’ll also be working with experts who understand built in grills and how they will fit into your outdoor kitchen design as a whole!

You can consider RTA the end-to-end solution that provides everything you need for a successful project.

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

What Makes Coyote's Built In Grills So Great?

Coyote provides a line of premium grade grills with all 304 stainless steel construction. 

Further, all of their products are backed by a lifetime warranty. This warranty will give you peace of mind that this is an excellent long-term investment.

Coyote also offers an extensive line of appliances with abundant versatility. Charcoal, pellet, Kamado Cookers, side burners, and, of course, gas grills, along with lots of accessories… There’s never a doubt that Coyote offers a solution for your needs.

In fact, they offer one of the only built-in pellet grills on the market

On top of that, they even have a hybrid grill… Which is a combo of gas and charcoal. No compromises here!

And if you want a gas grill instead? There’s nothing ordinary about Coyote’s burners… Their high-quality performance starts with their unique burner style… Infinity burners made out of 304 stainless steel!

Long story short… Coyote built in grills are trailblazers of excellence with their innovation, quality, and durability.

Now what about RTA’s role in this?

Where Does RTA Come In?

Getting a perfectly-fitting built in grill can be difficult. You may be limited in which grills you can buy… Or you might even have to cut your island to make it fit!

Fortunately, RTA outdoor kitchens are specially-designed to fit Coyote appliances, regardless of which model you choose.

When working with us, you have the comfort of knowing your perfect outdoor kitchen design will work with the grill of your choosing… Literally and aesthetically!

We know that convenience is very important to you… So our experts at RTA have created various Quick Ship options that are likely to fit your needs, grill and all.

You want your project planning to be as simple as possible… So you can browse our popular grill island options.

Or, perhaps you want to get creative and create your very own outdoor kitchen!

Due to our partnership with Coyote, this isn’t a problem! You can seamlessly select a premium grill and customize the island to fit your space and needs.

You can get an idea of what is possible by using our free online design tool… You’ll have a 3D rendering of your dream outdoor kitchen in minutes. Have fun with it!

If you have any questions, we are more than 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!

Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

A built-in grill is absolutely worth it! You’ll have your grill installed right into your outdoor kitchen… Which gives you the ultimate outdoor cooking experience! They look beautiful and make cooking outside extremely convenient.

They’re also more durable than your average grill and will last much longer.

A regular grill cannot be turned into a true built-in grill. They simply are not made to be put into an outdoor kitchen. Modifying your regular grill to fit can compromise its structural integrity… And will likely void its warranty.

You may also run into safety issues such as blocked vents, which can even lead to explosions! It’s always better to purchase a true built-in grill instead.

You can find built-in grills for as low as about $1,000… However, for maximum durability and longevity, look for a built-in grill made of 304 stainless steel that comes with a lifetime warranty.

These higher quality built-in grills typically cost between $1,500 and $4,000, but the higher price is well worth the increased lifespan.

There are many fantastic companies who make premium and luxury-quality built-in gas grills.

Our recommendation is Coyote Outdoor Grills. They offer a high-quality selection of built-in gas grills that are made of 304 stainless steel and are protected by a lifetime warranty. They are good for anyone who wants a long-lasting built-in grill with great features.

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