Best Gas Grill: Are High End Grills Worth It?

Best Gas Grill: Are High End Grills Worth It?

If you’re in the market for a high-end gas grill, chances are you’re probably also designing or redesigning your outdoor kitchen and entertaining space. Congratulations! Your summers (and the rest of the year, really) are about to get a whole lot sweeter. Kalamazoo, Lynx, DCS, and Hestan stand out from the long list of competing grill brands, with offerings that go beyond the grates to equip your alfresco hangout in style and convenience. At a glance, however, it can be tricky to distinguish what makes each of them unique. Read on to learn about the differences among these gold-standard grills, to find the system that suits you best.

First, the basics: We’re not talking about something you wheel around the backyard. Professional-style, built-in grill heads are mounted atop a stone island, and often flanked by outdoor versions of equipment you’d find in an regular home kitchen: side burners, cocktail and beverage centers, refrigeration, sinks, cabinetry, and surfaces for food prep and service. There are just as many options for outdoor cooking, too, from electric, charcoal, infrared, and teppanyaki grills to smokers, pizza ovens, and much more, but there is little argument that any outdoor kitchen revolves around a built-in gas grill.

You have more than 200 built-in gas grills to choose from. We’ve narrowed down the selection to four leading brands, to take a closer look at their top models.

Watch our exclusive video review of the best gas grills on the market.
Best Gas Grills

The Best Pro Style Gas Grills, Compared

We use the following criteria to compare best pro-style built-in gas grills. Here’s how Lynx, DCS, Hestan, and Kalamazoo grills stack up:

Features Lynx DCS Hestan Kalamazoo
Burners (each) 25K BTU Ceramic 25K BTU Stainless Steel 25K BTU Stainless Steel 25K BTU Bronze + Coal/Wood
Sear Performance Full Surface Full Surface
Fuel Source Gas Gas, Coal on Select Models Gas ✔ Gas, Coal, Wood
Cooking Surface Laser Cut Surface Customizable Laser Cut Surfaces
Even Heat Distribution
Wind ✔ Best ✔ Best
Quality of Steel ✔ Marine Grade
Grease Management
Flare Up Management ✔ Best
Storage Solutions
Matching Appliances
Smoker Gas/Coal/Wood
Rotisserie Gas/Coal/Wood
Internal Lights No
Hood Assist ✔ Easiest to Lift ✔ Most Balanced
Design Services No No ✔ Best in Class
Warranty Limited Lifetime Limited Lifetime Non Transferable 1 Year Transferable 25 Years

What Differentiates a Pro Grill from Home Improvement Store Varieties?

Higher Performance Burners

Pro style grills have super high output burners. By comparison, the most powerful Weber gas grill achieves 13,000 BTUs on a given burner. Any pro grill mentioned in this article offers at least 25,000 BTU power on a standard burner. (For another quick comparison: A high-end indoor Wolf gas range has 15,000 BTU burners.)

In addition, Lynx and Hestan offer infrared burners. These are able to emit direct and super intense heat so you can get a restaurant-quality sear. These high-end sear burners not only have concentrated power but also let you control a wide range of temperatures, from 300 degrees F to 1,000 degrees F.

However, the burner output is not everything when it comes to preparing gourmet level food.

Advanced Heat Retention and Distribution

As we all learned in chemistry class, metal conducts heat. Let’s say you have four burners that together produce a whopping 100,000 BTUs. Under a thin metal dome (the kind you’d find on all home improvement store grills), heat travels away from the cavity of the grill. To combat this, pro grill manufacturers use the following high-quality materials and construction techniques to retain and reflect the heat for cooking:

  1. Heavy duty stainless steel grates: These retain heat and transfer it to your food efficiently. Kalamazoo and Hestan offer laser cut stainless steel grates, which cook up to 25 percent faster than rod-style grates. Kalamazoo also lets you customize your grates and offers different designs optimized for meat, fish, or vegetables.
  2. Ceramic briquettes: These also help retain and distribute heat evenly. Because ceramic briquettes tend to crack when you choose to use coal as a fuel source, Kalamazoo uses steel baffles instead for its multifuel grill.
  3. Heavy duty lid and construction: The lid or hood is another important factor in maintaining an even temperature ecosystem, of course. The hood on a pro-style grill can weigh 50 pounds or more. Worried about the heave-ho? Innovative spring systems let you lift the hood up with one finger.
  4. Convection effect in the firebox: Manufacturers have optimized these grills’ air flow from intake to exhaust to generate the maximum convection effect. That means there are no cold spots in the cavity. Kalamazoo is a stand out in this category with its extra deep firebox.
  5. Wind management solutions: Windy conditions affect the performance of any grill. Pro gas grill manufacturers, especially Lynx and Kalamazoo, have innovative solutions for wind management so you can barbecue anytime.

Matching Appliances and Storage for Your Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is where your family and friends are going to want to hang out regardless of the season or the weather. Their design now often include heating elements, lighting, screens, and canopies that help make it comfortable all year long. Lynx, DCS, Hestan, and Kalamazoo recognize that outdoor living has expanded beyond the grill and offer a full line of appliances and storage solutions transform your space into a true second kitchen.

Lynx and Kalamazoo are so passionate about outdoor design that they each offer a complementary consultation to design your outdoor space. In-house designers will walk you through layout options, and help you answer questions like whether you need an ice maker or a cocktail station, or where to put your pizza oven. With their years of experience and vast knowledge, they make it easy and prepare a blueprint for your landscape architect.


The 4 Best Pro-Style Built-In Gas Grills

1) Best Overall: Lynx L42TRNG

Best Searing Gas Grill, Lynx Professional

Burners: 2 x 25,000 BTU | Searing: 1 x 23,000 infrared | Rotisserie: 1 x 16,000 BTU | Grill Space: 1,200 sq. in. (885 primary, 345 secondary)

Lynx L42TRNG

Why We Like It

  • Best infrared sear burner on the market; heats to 1,000 degrees F in just over 60 seconds, and gives you instant, precise temperature control between 300 and 1,000 degrees F.
  • Innovative, self cleaning ceramic burner with 25,000 BTU power.
  • Multiposition rotisserie lets you choose the distance from the heat source for flexible cooking.
  • Ceramic briquettes help retain heat and distribute it evenly.
  • Hood-assist spring system makes 50-pound hood easy to lift.
  • Excellent wind management to prevent unwanted backdraft.
  • Free, full-featured Lynx outdoor kitchen design service, with a huge selection of outdoor cabinets and ancillary appliances.
  • Elegant fit and finish, with high quality, corrosion resistant 14 gauge 304 stainless steel and bright stadium lighting for night grilling.
  • Best infrared sear burner on the market; heats to 1,000 degrees F in just over 60 seconds, and gives you instant, precise temperature control between 300 and 1,000 degrees F
  • Innovative, self cleaning ceramic burner with 25,000 BTU power
  • Multiposition rotisserie lets you choose the distance from the heat source for flexible cooking.
  • Ceramic briquettes help retain heat and distribute it evenly
  • Hood-assist spring system makes 50-pound hood easy to lift
  • Excellent wind management to prevent unwanted backdraft
  • Free, full-featured Lynx outdoor kitchen design service, with a huge selection of outdoor cabinets and ancillary appliances
  • Elegant fit and finish, with high quality, corrosion resistant 14 gauge 304 stainless steel and bright stadium lighting for night grilling
Our exclusive video review of Lynx grills

Season after season, the most popular pro-style Lynx grill is the built-in Lynx L42TRNG. This is the built-in gas grill we recommend to most customers. Lynx, a sister company of Viking and Aga that’s headquartered in California, is all about embracing the outdoor lifestyle. In fact, it pioneered the design of outdoor entertaining spaces. The L42TRNG comes as part of a customizable outdoor kitchen, and is often flanked by side burners, a cocktail and beverage station with a sink, refrigeration, storage cabinets with countertops for food prep, service, and easy cleanup.

Lynx offers close to 100 different grills in 30-, 36-, 42-, and 54-inch widths. The company is known for its signature precision control 23,000 BTU infrared sear burner, which it calls the Trident burner.

Lynx-Trident-Burner-1
Other Lynx Options in 42 inches

  • L42R3 3 x 25K BTU ceramic burners, $6,849
  • L42TR 1 x Trident burner, 2 x 25K BTU ceramic burners, $6,849
  • L42ATR 3 x Trident burners, $6,849

2) Best Budget Friendly: DCS BGC30BQN

DCS Gas Grill with Storage Drawers

Burners: 2 x 25,000 BTU | Grill Space: 748 sq. in. (553 primary, 195 secondary)

DCS BGC30BQN

Why We Like It

  • Durable and true professional level performance, with the same stainless steel body and internal parts as the more expensive 9 Series
  • Ceramic radiant rods to retain heat and distribute it evenly
  • Double-sided heavy duty stainless steel grates, each contoured to handle different food types (get a perfect sear on a steak on one side; cook delicate fish or vegetables on the other)
  • To keep the cost down, DCS does not include a rotisserie in this grill
Our exclusive video review of DCS grills

We like to recommend this DCS 7 Series grill as a first piece if you plan to build out your outdoor kitchen incrementally over the years. It may not have all the bells and whistles—no rotisserie, spring assisted hood, or lights—but it gives you top performance for great value. You won’t get the instant heat control of an infrared burner, but you can sear anywhere on the grill surface with the standard gas burners. It also has easy to clean ceramic radiant rods that spread the heat evenly, and a unique, U-shaped grate design that helps drain grease into the pan below and minimize flareups. Once available only for commercial kitchens, the DCS grill line now includes a full range of appliances for home outdoor use. It’s easy to create a custom layout: DCS’s proprietary joining solutions let you fit together the ideal components for your space, and move them if and when you need to.


3) Most Stylish: Hestan GMBR36NGRD

Burners: 2 x 25,000 BTU | Searing: 1 x 25,000 Infrared | Rotisserie: 1 x 18,000 BTU | Grill Space: 889 sq.in. (653 primary, 236 secondary)

Hestan GMBR36NGRD

Why We Like It

  • Many vivid colors to choose from
  • Marquise accented control panel and hood handle with commercial grade end caps
  • Spring assisted hinges to balance and hold the lid at any desired position
  • Motion activated stadium halogen under-hood lighting
  • Double insulated body with flip-to-clean monogrammed ceramic briquettes for excellent heat retention

A Hestan grill is one of a kind—bold, beautiful, and unforgettable. As one of the only grills on the market that comes in a wide range of colors, its dazzling good looks and phenomenal build quality make this grill a stylish and solid choice. Under the hood, you’ll find a unique and powerful one-touch grilling system that’s loaded with features.

Hestan


4) Most Fun: Kalamazoo K750HB Hybrid Fire Built-In Grill Combine Wood, Gas, Coal

Burners: 3 x 25,000 BTU | Hybrid Design Use gas, coal, wood individually or in any combination | Rotisserie: Heavy Duty, with infrared burner | Grill Space: 726 sq. in. | Durability: Marine grade stainless steel option; backed by a 25-year Warranty

Kalamazoo K750HB1NGS4

Why We Like It

  • 3 Grills in one: Cook with gas, charcoal, or wood fire, individually or all together
  • Superior design, with a unique deep firebox for superior convection, precision temperature control from 250 to 1,000 degrees F, and virtually no flareups
  • Special laser cut grill grates for meat, vegetables, and fish
  • Handmade to order in Michigan
  • Easy to light, with simple push button starter for coal or wood
  • Complementary in-house outdoor kitchen design services
  • Unparalleled build quality and customer support
Watch our exclusive video review of Kalamazoo gas grills.

Kalamazoo grills are totally customizable. The Wisconsin company ensures every detail is primed to inspire your culinary adventures, from the free design services it offers and the way each and every grill is made to order to the perfect, consistent results you get when you start cooking. Kalamazoo’s design studio makes it effortless to turn your outdoor vision into a blueprint that is ready for your landscape architect to execute. The K750HB1NGS4 in your first step in becoming part of the Kalamazoo cooking community.

k500n5


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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on October 12, 2021. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.

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