If you are considering a high-end gas grill, chances are you are designing an outdoor kitchen and entertaining space. Kalamazoo, Lynx, DCS and Hestan stand out from the long list of competing grill brands. But which one do you choose? In this article we will give you a starting point for your evaluation.
Professional style built-in grill heads sit in a stone island often flanked by side burners, cocktail and beverage centers, refrigeration, sinks, and surfaces for food preparation, serving, storage and easy clean-up. To inspire any home chef, options for outdoor cooking include electric, charcoal, infrared and teppanyaki grills, smokers, pizza ovens and much more but there is little argument that any outdoor kitchen revolves around a built-in gas grill.
With well over 200 grills to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to take a closer look at 4 high-end gas grills so you can select one that best suits your needs.
Best Gas Grills Compared - Pro Style
|Burners (ea)||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||✔||✔||✔||✔ Marin Grade|
|Flare Up Management||✔||✔||✔||✔ Best|
|Hood Assist||✔ Easiest to Lift||✔||✔ Most Balanced||✔|
|Design Services||✔||No||No||✔ Best in Class|
|Warranty||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime||Non Transferable 1 Yr||Transferable 25 Years|
What Differentiates a Pro Grill from Home Improvement Store Variety
High-Performance Burners on Pro Gas Grills
Pro-style grills have super high output burners. In comparison, the most powerful Weber gas grill achieves 13,000 BTU's on a given burner. Whereas any pro grill mentioned in this article offers at least 25,000 BTU power on a standard burner. (Quick comparison - a high-end, indoor Wolf gas range offers 15,000 BTU burners)
In addition, Lynx and Hestan offer infrared burners which are able to emit direct and super intense heat so you can sear at restaurant quality. These high-end sear burners not only have concentrated power but they also let you control temperature on a wide variety from 300 degrees to 1,000 degrees.
However, the burner output is not everything when it comes to preparing gourmet quality food.
Heat Retention and Even Heat Distribution
As we learned in the classroom, metal conducts heat. Let’s say you have 4 burners that produce a whopping 100,000 BTU’s. Under a dome of thin metal (found in all home improvement store grills), heat conducts away from the cavity of the grill. To combat this, pro grill manufacturers use the following techniques and high-quality materials to retain and reflect the energy while keeping in mind ambient temperature will change everything:
- Heavy-duty stainless steel grates - retains heat and transfers to the food efficiently. Kalamazoo and Hestan offer laser cut stainless steel grates which cook up to 25% faster than rod-style grates. Kalamazoo will let you customize your grates and offers different designs optimized for meat, fish or vegetables.
- Ceramic briquettes to retain and distribute heat evenly. Mind you that Kalamazoo does not use ceramic briquettes as they tend to crack with the use of coal. Therefore, Kalamazoo perfected the steel baffles, including their angle and openings to optimize for even heat distribution.
- Heavy duty lid and construction is another important factor in retaining the temperature for an even temperature eco-system. You will notice that the hoods on pro-style grills can weigh upwards of 50 lbs. Hestan even makes its grills with double walls for better insulation. Worried about the heave-ho? Manufacturers have innovative spring systems so you can lift the hood up with a simple motion of your finger.
- Convection Effect in the Firebox Manufacturers have optimized the flow of air starting from intake to exhaust to generate the maximum convection effect so there are no cold spots in the cavity. Kalamazoo is a stand out in this category with its extra deep firebox.
- 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 get the most enjoyment out of your bbq even on a windy day.
Matching Appliances and Storage Solutions for your Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen becomes the heart of the home for family and friends regardless of the season or the weather. Designing for the outdoors now often include heating elements, lighting, screens and canopies that help extend the seasons. Lynx, DCS, Hestan, and Kalamazoo recognize that outdoor living has expanded beyond the grill and offer fully equipped outdoor kitchens that transform your space into a true oasis.
Lynx and Kalamazoo are so passionate about outdoor design that they offer a free consultation to design your outdoor space. They will walk you through if an ice maker or a cocktail station is in good order, or where to place 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 Built-In Pro Gas Grills
1) Best Searing: Lynx L42TRNG
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)
Why We Like It
- The best infrared sear burner in the market with fully adjustable power from 300 to 1,000 degrees.
- Innovative, self cleaning ceramic burner with 25,000 BTU power.
- Multi-position rotisserie lets you choose the distance from the heat source for additional culinary options.
- Ceramic briquettes help retain heat and distribute it evenly.
- Excellent wind management to prevent unwanted backdraft.
- Free and full-featured outdoor kitchen design service from factory.
- Elegant fit and finish. High quality stainless steel and subtle accent lights.
Season after season, the most popular pro-style Lynx grill is the built-in Lynx L42TRNG. Lynx pioneered the design of outdoor entertaining spaces. It believes that the heart of seasonal entertaining centers around the outdoor kitchen. The L42TRNG comes as part of a customizable outdoor kitchen often flanked by side burners, cocktail and beverage centers, refrigeration, sinks, cutting board surfaces for food preparation, serving, storage, and easy clean-up.
Lynx offers close to 100 different grills in 30/36/42 and 54-inch widths. The company is known for its infinitely adjustable 22K BTU sear burner which is marketed as the "Trident Burner".
Other Lynx Options in 42-inches
- L42R3 3 x 25K BTU Ceramic Burners, $6,849
- L42TR 1 x Trident, 2 x 25K BTU Ceramic Burners, $6,849
- L42ATR 3 x Infrared Trident Burners, $6,849
- SMART42 3 x Trident Burners, Wifi, Smart Programs, $10,089
2) Most Budget Friendly: DCS BGC30BQN
Burners: 2 x 25,000 BTU | Grill Space: 748 sq.in. (553 primary, 195 secondary)
Why We Like It
- Durable and true professional level performance. Shares the same stainless steel grill body and internal parts as the more expensive 9-Series grills.
- Ceramic radiant rods to retain heat and distribute it evenly.
- You can use both sides of the heavy duty Stainless Steel grates. Each side is contoured to handle different food types. As an example, you can get a perfect sear on a steak and handle delicate fish or vegetables on the other side.
- As a cost saving measure, DCS does not include the rotisserie accessory in this grill.
DCS grill, once built for all types of commercial kitchens, offers a full suite of outdoor kitchen appliances. It is easy to create a custom kitchen layout as their proprietary joining solutions can produce a completely transportable or highly customized built-in outdoor kitchen to fit your space. We like this grill as a first piece if you would like to build out your outdoor kitchen incrementally over the years.
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)
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 hold the lid at any desired position.
- Motion activated stadium halogen under-hood lighting.
- The double insulated body along with flip-to-clean monogrammed ceramic briquettes retain the heat.
Hestan grill is one of a kind. Bold, beautiful and unforgettable. As one of the only grills on the market that comes in a multitude of colors, its dazzling good looks and phenomenal build quality make this grill a unique and, yet, solid choice. Under the hood, you’ll find a unique and powerful one-touch grilling system that’s loaded with features.
4) Best Overall: Kalamazoo K750HBNGS4 3-in-1 Gas, Charcoal, Wood
Burners: 4 x 25,000 BTU | Hybrid Design Use Gas, Coal, Wood individually or in any combination | Rotisserie: Heavy Duty - Gas, Coal or Wood | Grill Space: 726 sq.in. | Durability: Marin Grade, Backed by a 25-year Warranty
Why We Like It
- 3 Grills in one. Cook with gas, charcoal or wood fire - individually or all together.
- Superior Grill Design - Best Convection Effect Due to Deep Firebox. Temperature control from 250 to 1,000 degrees. Virtually no flare-up's.
- Special surfaces for meat, vegetables, and fish.
- The highest quality, handmade per order, no compromises.
- No stress easy to light up. Just push of a button to get going on coal or wood.
- Take advantage of Kalamazoo's design studio - from idea to construction blueprints.
Kalamazoo grill just gets it right - every detail is designed to spark your inner creativity and have fun on a culinary adventure. From offering consultative design services from inception to the first time the heat hits the grates, Kalamazoo is there for you. Designing your outdoor space sometimes requires options and ideas, so they offer end-to-end design support for free. Their “design studio” can turn your outdoor vision into a blueprint that is ready for your landscape architect to make into a reality. The K750HBNGS4 in your first step in becoming part of the Kalamazoo cooking community.
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