The 7 Best Gas Grill Inserts for the Perfect Drop-in Grill

Bull Outdoor Products Outlaw Drop-In Grill Head is our top pick

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Gas Grill Composite

The Spruce Eats / Photo Illustration by Chloe Jeong / Retailers below

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

The powerful Bull Outdoor Products Outlaw 30-Inch 4-Burner Drop-In Grill Head is our overall pick for its double-walled stainless-steel hood, porcelain-coated bar burners, and stainless-steel grates. Even heating and lots of cooking space make the budget-friendly Bull Outdoor Products Stallion Built-in Propane Grill Head another top pick.

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor kitchen or are considering building one, the most important decision you’ll make is what kind of cooktop to install. For most homes, that’s a gas grill. Beyond that, the options are seemingly endless.

Now, just ask yourself: Do you prefer propane or natural gas? How large do you need the cooking area to be? Do you want lights for nighttime grilling? A rotisserie for flawless chicken? A stainless steel or enameled body? Luckily, there are plenty of great options, from sleek and minimal to high-end with all the bells and whistles for creating the perfect grilling experience.

Here are the best gas grill inserts. 

Best Overall: Bull Outdoor Products Outlaw 30-Inch 4-Burner Drop-In Grill Head

Bull Outdoor Products Liquid Propane Outlaw Drop-In Grill Head 26038

Amazon

What We Like
  • Double-walled hood

  • Accurate built-in thermometer

  • Even heat distribution

What We Don't Like
  • Flare-ups can happen

A durable, reliable gas grill insert that won’t break the bank, this 60,000-BTU Outlaw delivers an exceptional cooking experience on a compact 30-inch grill insert with four porcelain-coated bar burners, solid stainless-steel grates, dependable Piezo igniters, zinc knobs, and a warming rack. A double-walled stainless-steel hood not only helps to maintain a consistent temperature when you’re trying to grill in inclement weather, but it also prevents damage and discoloration from the elements. The built-in thermometer is sturdy and amazingly accurate.

Bull has put a lot of time and energy into engineering gas grills, and in doing so, solved the common problem of uneven heat distribution with its ReliaBull Heat Technology. You no longer need 10 practice rounds before finding the hot and cold spots; you’ll have even heat on your very first cook. One downside is that reviewers comment on flare-ups occurring with high heat.

Dimensions: 32.25 x 24.12 x 21.25 inches | Cooking Area: 810 square inches | Power: 60,000 BTUs | Fuel Type: Propane or natural gas

Best Budget: Bull Outdoor Products Stallion Built-in Propane Grill Head

Bull Outdoor Products Stallion Built-in Propane Grill Head

The Build Club

What We Like
  • Even heat distribution

  • Ample cooking space

  • Individual control for each burner

What We Don't Like
  • Knobs may get hot during use

  • No accessories included

At a price point of just under $1,000, there’s no getting more for your grilling money than you will with this Stallion built-in grill. It offers everything you’d expect from a higher end model, such as more than 800 square inches of cooking space, a full 60,000 BTUs across four porcelain-coated, cast-iron burners, and “ReliaBull Heat technology” flame tamers and burner design. There’s also a full-sized grease tray, individual valve control for each burner, and it works for both natural gas and propane installations. 

The lovely design of this grill insert belies its low price, and users will find it indistinguishable from more expensive inserts thanks to its sleek and modern appearance. The material is heavy duty for all components, and installation is on the easier side. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a premium grill, such as a motorized rotisserie, anyone looking for a basic grill on a budget should be delighted with this choice.

Dimensions: 32 x 24.12 x 21.25 inches | Cooking Area: 810 square inches | Power: 60,000 BTUs | Fuel Type: Propane or natural gas

Best Natural Gas: Lion Premium Grills L75623 32-Inch Built-In Natural Gas Grill

Lion Premium Grills L75623 32-Inch Natural Gas Grill

Amazon

What We Like
  • 15,000-BTU rotisserie burner

  • Commercial-level features

  • Comes with accessories

What We Don't Like
  • Very heavy

  • Warming shelf may come loose easily

If your outdoor cooking setup allows for it, natural gas can be a great option for a grill. Not only is it more economical than propane, but you’ll also never have to worry about running out of gas during a cook or throwing out your back lifting propane tanks in and out of your car.

Speaking of heavy lifting, this grill is a beast. At 170 pounds, the brand claims this 32-inch drop-in grill is the heaviest in its class—and we couldn’t find evidence to the contrary. The solid construction (stainless steel cooking grates, a double-layer seamless welded stainless steel smoker head, and even a stainless steel light switch) paired with a 60,000-BTU main cooking area make for a professional cooking experience. Other features include commercial size push-to-turn knobs, an infrared rotisserie back burner, an extra-large temperature gauge, and a "gourmet package" that includes a cover, griddle, and griddle remover.

Dimensions: 32 x 24.25 x 21.5 inches | Cooking Area: 830 square inches | Power: 60,000 BTUs (main burners), 15,000 BTUs (rotisserie burner) | Fuel Type: Propane or natural gas

Best Durable: Cal Flame Gourmet Series 5-Burner Built-In Stainless Steel Propane Gas Grill

cal-flame-built-in

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Huge cooking area

  • Drip tray and splash guard make it easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks extra features

If you’re looking for something that will withstand frequent use and weather, the Cal Flame Gourmet Series 5-burner grill with 75,000 BTUs is your best bet. A sturdy, straightforward gas grill insert, this model is lacking flashier features, like lights, although a rotisserie attachment can be ordered separately.

Seasoned grillers will appreciate the basic design, and fewer features mean fewer opportunities for things to break. Still, Cal Flame didn’t cut any corners when it comes to quality and ease of use. The removable stainless steel V-shaped grates are easy to clean and help to direct grease to the full-width drip tray. A vented front splash guard also helps to contain grease, while the extra-large cooking space (1,000 square inches) is big enough for at least 20 burgers. A full-width warming tray provides a ton of additional space if you’re looking to cook even more. The double-layered, welded hood features a heavy-duty one-piece handle and an extra-large temperature gauge. 

Dimensions: 39 x 24 x 22.47 inches | Cooking Area: 1,000 square inches | Power: 75,000 BTUs | Fuel Type: Propane

Best Splurge: Bull Outdoor Products 57569 Brahma 38-Inch 5-Burner Drop-In Gas Grill

Bull Brahma 5-Burner Built In
Bull Outdoor Products
What We Like
  • Great for nighttime use

  • Rotisserie with motor

  • Fast to heat

What We Don't Like
  • Wind can knock out burner flames

The priciest gas grill insert on our list, this 38-inch Bull Brahma is still of great value. Bull’s innovative ReliaBull Heat Technology allows this large drop-in unit to deliver even heat every time you light it up, and the piezo igniters can last up to ten years. Solid stainless steel grilling grates cover five cast stainless-steel bar burners, and with an additional back infrared burner and warming drawer, this model delivers 90,000 BTUs and more than 1,000 square inches of cooking space. Other features include a single-piece, dual-lined hood, backlit zinc knobs, a rotisserie motor, and a built-in interior lighting system to make nighttime grilling a breeze. The Brahma is available for both propane and natural gas hookups

Dimensions: 39.75 x 24.12 x 21.25 inches | Cooking Area: 1,026 square inches | Power: 75,000 BTUs (main burners), 15,000 BTUs (rotisserie burner) | Fuel Type: Propane or natural gas

Best Features: Napoleon Grills Built-in Prestige 500 with Infrared Rear Burner Natural Gas Grill

Napoleon Grills Built-in Prestige 500 with Infrared Rear Burner Natural Gas Grill

Amazon

What We Like
  • S-grill grates make for beautiful marks on food

  • Added safety feature with LED knobs

  • Chrome accents increase visual appeal

What We Don't Like
  • Lower BTUs than other smaller options

  • Small cooking surface

If bells and whistles are what you’re after, look no further than the Napoleon Prestige Pro 500. For this snazzy grill, a modern stainless steel body with chrome accents houses four burners and a rear infrared burner for a total of 66,000 BTUs. The company's proprietary S-style grill grates—made of heavy-duty stainless steel—produce perfect grill marks every time, while keeping smaller items from falling into the flames. The rear infrared burner is perfect for rotisserie chickens or high-heat searing, and nighttime grilling is fun and easy with interior halogen lights. You can even change the color and intensity of the LED-backlit knobs, though as an added safety feature, the knob lights turn red when the grill is on.

Dimensions: 32.5 x 25.5 x 22.25 inches | Cooking Area: 760 square inches | Power: 48,000 BTUs (main burners), 18,000 BTUs (rotisserie burner) | Fuel Type: Propane or natural gas

Best Compact: Blaze 25-Inch 3-Burner Built-In Propane Gas Grill

Blaze 25-Inch 3-Burner Built-In Propane Gas Grill

Amazon

What We Like
  • Heat zone separators

  • Removable warming rack

  • Optional infrared burner

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Stainless steel parts may eventually corrode

Stylish and compact, this 25-inch gas grill from Blaze packs in plenty of power—and features. It may only have 558 square inches of cooking space and three 14,000-BTU burners, but thanks to the smart design, no space is wasted. Heat zone separators make it easy to cook different foods at varying temperatures, while flame-stabilizing grids prevent flare-ups. A removable warming rack provides a little extra space, and a full-width drip tray makes this grill easy to clean. The double-lined stainless steel hood protects the exterior from the elements, and you can add on an infrared searing burner for an additional cost. With a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, this is a great investment for a small outdoor kitchen. 

Dimensions: 25.75 x 25 x 21.25 inches | Cooking Area: 558 square inches | Power: 42,000 BTUs | Fuel Type: Propane or natural gas

The Final Verdict

Our top overall pick is Bull Outdoor Products Outlaw 30-Inch 4-Burner Drop-In Grill Head. It heats evenly and maintains a consistent temperature, proven by the built-in thermometer that's consistently accurate. If you're limited on space, the Blaze 25-Inch 3-Burner Built-In Propane Gas Grill is a surefire bet.

What to Look for in a Gas Grill Insert

Size

When installing a semi-permanent fixture in your yard, size is an important consideration—both the overall size of the grill and its area of cooking space. If you choose a grill that’s too large for your dwelling, you won’t have as much room for counters or a sink, but if you choose a grill that doesn’t have enough cooking space, you’ll be pulling out the rusty charcoal grill to accommodate bigger meals.

Special Features

Like standalone grills, built-in grills have a variety of extra features that go beyond the ability to put grill marks on steak. If you love the idea of rotisserie chicken or want to smoke brisket, select a grill with these options.

Cleaning

Take a look at the grill’s configuration ahead of time and think about how easy it'll be to clean. Is there a pull-out tray or will you need to reach into or under the grill? Are the grill grates easy to clean in place or will you have to remove them to wash in your sink? Select an option that best fits your needs.

FAQs

How do you install a gas grill insert?

Once you’ve chosen an appropriate space outside your home and the right grill insert for you, you’ll need a grill insert encasement. You can build this before or after placing the grill in its new location. To install the grill itself for natural gas supply, you’ll need to connect your home’s gas supply to it. You’ll need a professional to run a gas line outside your home to the closest wall to your cooking area. Once you have that ready, shut off your home’s gas line. Then, install the gas hose that a professional has routed to your cooking area by connecting the gas coupling outside the wall to your natural gas grill insert. The hose should run between the coupling and the grill, and should connect to both. Once that has been done, you’ll install any zone dividers and flavor grids. To test your grill, turn on the gas line, and it should work. 

Is a gas grill insert the same as a built-in grill?

Yes, a gas grill insert is the same as a built in grill–or at least, the visible part of it. This means that when you look at the grill, all you see is the top, or usable, part of it. However, underneath the gas grill insert will be the power supply, such as the hookup to the natural gas line, which can also be considered part of the built in grill. Therefore, when talking about grill inserts, we’re just speaking about the top part visible to anyone using it. A grill insert, despite being "built-in," is replaceable.

How much money should I spend on a gas grill insert?

To get the right gas grill insert for you, decide in advance what you’ll need in terms of features. If you have basic needs and simply want good grilling power, you can spend as little as about $1,000. However, if you’re looking for accessories, such as a griddle, that come with the grill, if you want additional grill surface cooking area, or if you’re looking for infrared heating, you’ll want to plan on spending a bit more. Grill inserts with numerous features are typically more in the $2,000 range. Fortunately, most come with long warranties, ranging from three years to life, and should last for or beyond the duration of time the average person lives in a home.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Emily Farris is a food and lifestyle writer, as well as a recipe developer, who has also written about grilling for Bon Appétit. She obsesses over kitchen design and is married to a four-seasons griller. She’s embarrassingly good at buying expensive things online and can see straight through the fake reviews.

Ariane Resnick is a special diet private chef, certified nutritionist, and lifestyle writer who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable—if not quite preferable—to eat your veggies and meats with deliciously char grill marks on them. Having used the built-in grills of private clientele throughout the U.S. in many summers past, she’s cooked countless meals on the best equipment available.

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