Why Are Drop-In Grills So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)

Kerry Souder
by Kerry Souder

If you’re thinking about building an outdoor kitchen, a drop-in grill will make for a great addition to your space. However, they come with a pretty hefty price tag, typically ranging between $1,000 and $2,500.

This is something to take into consideration when you’re deciding to renovate your backyard. The overall cost will vary depending on a few things.

Drop-in grills are expensive because of the cost of the materials, the quality of the grates, and its enhanced performance when compared to freestanding grills. How they operate will also impact the overall cost of the drop-in grill. We’re going to go over all this and more, so you can understand what really goes behind the cost of this appliance.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about the make-up of drop-in grills, how they work, and what makes them better—and more expensive—than their freestanding counterparts.

What are Drop-In Grills?

Drop-in grills are installed permanently in an outdoor space and cannot be moved without undergoing serious renovations. They can operate in a handful of different ways, depending on your wants and needs for your space. Which type you choose will also impact the cost of your drop-in grill. Here are the four types and how they work:


Charcoal drop-in grills are the least expensive option. They can reach up to high heats and will give your food that unique, char-grilled flavor. Grilling with charcoal takes more skill and patience than any other types.

This is because you have to learn how to start and manage the fire as well as controlling airflow to hold a steady temperature, too. All this is important for the overall quality of your food and for maintaining your grill, too.

Natural Gas

Natural gas drop-in grills are among the most popular options because they are incredibly quick and convenient. All you need to do is push a button, and the grill will take care of the rest. Natural gas is an eco-friendlier option even though it is still a fossil fuel.

Not only does it burn cleaner, but it also usually comes from local sources instead of having to be shipped from overseas. It is also one of the most cost-effective options on the market, too.


Electric grills are definitely the easiest to use, but they won’t get as hot as other options. They also won’t bring out the natural flavors of your food as much as a charcoal or natural gas grill.

On the plus side, an electric drop-in grill will always distribute heat evenly across your food. You also won’t risk burning anything even when you close the lid.


Pellet drop-in grills are sort of a combination between charcoal and natural gas grills. For starters, they are powered electronically and are very easy to use. Plus, they still provide a great smokey flavor that you can get from a charcoal grill. Pellet drop-in grills will be the most expensive option among the rest, but they’ll be one of the most convenient and well-rounded, too.

Drop-In Grill Materials

Drop-in grills are usually made from either high-grade steel or porcelain-enameled cast iron. These types of grills are built to last upwards of a decade, making them a long-lasting and worthwhile investment for your home.

Regular freestanding outdoor grills, on the other hand, are typically made from regular stainless steel and can usually last three to five years before you need a replacement.

Having these high-quality materials is ideal for an appliance that is made to be outside all year long. Not only will you not have to replace it as often, but they will also require less maintenance over time, too.

Drop-In Grill Grates

Drop-in grills come with high-quality porcelain grates that are protected from rust and can withstand general wear and tear. These higher-end grates will make a huge difference in the overall appearance and taste of your food. They offer even heat distribution with no cold spots or flare-ups, so you can easily cook your food without any weird fluctuations.

Overall Performance of a Drop-In Grill

When it comes to drop-in grills, more expensive does mean better overall performance and quality. Drop-in grills provide better heat retention and more consistent power, giving you more flexibility in terms of temperature range. They also have multiple burners that can accommodate a large cooking area.

This makes them the ideal choice when it comes to hosting events with friends and family because you can cook larger portions in a faster amount of time.

Advantages of Drop-In Grills

Drop-in grills offer many advantages over regular freestanding grills, which is why so many people opt for them regardless of the high price tag. There are countless benefits to purchasing a drop-in grill. For starters, they are…

  • Customizable. You can place a drop-in grill virtually wherever you want. It’s true that once you install it, it will have to stay there, but you’ll be the one that gets to decide that place.
  • Cost-Efficient. Although they are much more expensive upfront, drop-in grills are more cost-effective in the long run. They last longer and don’t experience as many issues over the years either.
  • Low-Maintenance. Drop-in grills require very little maintenance, upkeep, or intense cleaning over time, which means you don’t have to do as much work to keep it in good condition. Overall, this is better on you and the grill.
  • Valuable. Having a drop-in grill will increase the value of your home since it has a great ROI. If you’re not planning on selling, it will still define your space and be a hot spot for your visitors, too.

Related Questions

Can I use a freestanding grill as a drop-in grill?

Yes, but you will need to make modifications to make sure they can be permanently installed inside the allotted space. This will most likely involve you hiring a professional contractor to get the job done correctly.

Will an outdoor kitchen add value to my home?

Yes, outdoor kitchens are continuing to become more popular. They will significantly increase the overall value of your home. Industry experts say you may see an ROI of between 100% and 200%.

What are the advantages of grilling food?

Grilling meats will allow you to retain more of the nutrients and eat less fat. Plus, you’ll end up using less butter to keep the food moist, which is better for your health. Even vegetables are better for you when on the grill because they’ll retain more vitamins and minerals.

Final Thoughts

A drop-in grill is a great for any outdoor space, especially if you are renovating for an outdoor kitchen. Though they are a bit more expensive, they will be a lasting addition to your yard.

On top of being a permanent fixture, drop-in grills last longer and are made from higher-quality materials, too. If you’re considering getting one, get in touch with a local contractor to start planning.

Kerry Souder
Kerry Souder

I am a copywriter and editor based in the Las Vegas area with nearly a decade of experience under my belt writing landing pages, cost guides, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, and social media content. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and experience working in both the account and creative spheres. My goal is to always be discovering new interests and bettering myself as a writer and editor along the way.

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