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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 Liquid Propane Outlaw Drop-In Grill Head 26038
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 ten practice rounds before finding the hot and cold spots; you’ll have even heat on your very first cook.
Best Budget: BeefEater Signature 3000E 3-Burner Built In Grill
The BeefEater Signature is proof that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a quality drop-in gas grill. It's a small, but mighty 27-inch grill that stands out with a black porcelain enamel-coated steel exterior and porcelain enamel-coated cast-iron cooking surface. Not only does this make it one of the most indestructible, rust-resistant grills on the market, but it also helps to maintain a consistent interior temperature when closed. The hood even features a clear glass viewing window, so you can watch your dinner without opening the grill.
Three burners may not sound like a lot compared to the competition, but each puts out 18,000 BTUs (for a total of 54,000 BTUs). While this would make a perfect starter grill, experienced grillers will also appreciate the durability and ease of use.
Best Natural Gas: Lion Premium Grills L75623 32-Inch Natural Gas Grill
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 75,000 total BTUs 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.
Best Durable: Cal Flame Gourmet Series 5-Burner Built-In Stainless Steel Propane Gas Grill
If you’re looking for something that will withstand frequent use and weather, the Cal Flame Gourmet Series five-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.
Best Splurge: Bull BBQ 57569 Brahma 90,000 BTU Grill Head
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.
Best Features: Napoleon Grills Built-in Prestige 500 with Infrared Rear Burner Natural Gas Grill
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.
Best Compact: Blaze 25-Inch 3-Burner Built-In Propane Gas Grill
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.
Our top overall pick is Bull's propane drop-in grill head (view at Amazon). The 30-inch insert heats evenly and maintains a consistent temperature, proven by the built-in thermometer that's consistently accurate. If you're on a budget, but don't want to compromise quality, consider the BeefEater Signature drop-in gas grill (view at Amazon). It's a small, but powerful grill that maintains a consistent interior temperature.
What to Look for in a Gas Grill Insert
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.
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.
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.
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.