A drop in grill is essential for any outdoor cooking station where you have a permanent setting. A grill of this type can even be used indoors, particularly if you have the right counter design or even classic brick work.
Finding the right drop in style grill will mean that you’ll need to look for many of the same features that can be found on standalone grills. While you won’t need to worry about a stand, wheels, or a cabinet, you’ll still need to ensure that the firebox, lid, and all components are made from high quality materials.
The American Outdoor Grill L-Series 30 Inch Natural Gas Grill is a premium option that cuts no corners when it comes to quality. If a drop in grill will be your next purchase, then this is one option that you’ll want to take a closer look at.
Key Features of the American Outdoor Grill L-Series
- Built in (Drop In) standalone grill for permanent installation.
- Electronic ignition system.
- 540 square inch cooking surface.
- Configured for natural gas with propane kit included.
- Stainless steel construction.
- Three burner design for a total of 48000 BTU
First Impressions of the American Outdoor Grill L-Series 30 Inch natural Gas Grill
There’s minimal assembly required for a drop in grill, at least in terms of the grill itself. What is immediately noticeable is the minimalistic and clean design, and each surface on the grill feels like it is of the highest quality. This is thanks to the stainless steel construction, which helps to add heft and it will ensure the longest possible lifetime for the grill.
On the front you will find three simple burner controls, a lighting control, and an ignition switch. This grill features a thermometer in the lid, and it is perfectly fitted with no sign of movement or any gap around the seal. Overall, any new owner would be thoroughly impressed by this grill. The all-stainless steel design means it will fit in well with any designer kitchen or outdoor kitchen, and the simplicity of the design gives it a type of understated elegance that has to be seen to be appreciated.
Who Has This Grill Been Designed For?
The price range and the materials used should both be a clear indication that this is a premium grill designed for discerning buyers. If you’re looking for a grill that includes infrared cooking capabilities then you won’t get that with this grill, instead, you’ll find a highly capable gas grill that cooks extremely well, with no bells and whistles.
If you’re somebody who needs a portable standalone grill, then this will not be the model for you. It needs a permanent setting, which means that this will likely go into either a kitchen that has been specifically designed to accommodate a built in grill, or an outdoor patio area that has a feature cooking counter with provision for a grill.
Some potential buyers may question the versatility of a drop in grill that doesn’t come with a stand. If you value portability, then you’ll need to take a look at other reviews with models by companies such as Weber and Napoleon. However, if you have the right kind of space for this grill, or if you are planning to build a kitchen or outdoor counter around it, then you’ll find that this is one of the best options, made with high quality hardware that will last for many years.
Cooking on the American Outdoor Grill 30 Inch Model
With very few features to look at, the real selling point for this grill is going to be its cooking ability. The first thing to note is that this grill can get extremely hot when you need it to, and internal temperatures can be achieved quickly with the hood closed.
This is thanks to the combination of three 16,000 BTU burners. The total BTU rating for this grill is 48,000 which exceeds most other grills with three burners. The average BTU rating for an outdoor grill is 10,000 per burner, so American Outdoor Grill has done an excellent job of providing a high quality design with efficient regulators.
Why is heat so important? It all comes down to what you want to cook. If you’re a real grilling enthusiast, then some of your meats will be cooked medium rare. Achieving this on some grills can be difficult, particularly if the heat is not high enough.
Because this grill is able to reach searing temperatures quickly, you can easily char the outside of steaks and burgers while leaving them medium rare in the middle. Of course, if you want your meat to be cooked through to well done, then you can simply dial down the heat, close the hood, and cook for slightly longer. While you might not use the highest heat setting at all times, having it available is definitely an advantage.
The large cooking area of the grill will also help to make it versatile so that you have more options in what you cook. 540 square inches is above the average for a three burner grill, and it’s more than enough for family cooking, and will also be suitable when you’re cooking for visitors at home. Whether it’s a holiday gathering or a sports night, this grill will fit plenty of burgers, sausages, steaks, and whatever it is that you like to cook.
Any quality grill will come with a raised lid, and that’s exactly what you’ll get on the American Outdoor Grill L-Series 30 Inch model. The lid will be essential if you plan to use your grill for cooking large gourmet cuts of meat, such as brisket or other roasts.
You can also barbeque whole chickens, ducks, or even a smaller turkey inside of this grill. The lid allows the grill to be used as a roaster or an oven, and it’s suitable for fresh grilled pizza, or even bread and other baking recipes. Whether this is installed in a kitchen or outdoors, it will become a focal point and you’ll enjoy using it more than your regular stovetop or oven.
There’s no rotisserie included with this model, but it is compatible with one, whether it is purchased directly from American Outdoor Grill, or from another barbecue accessory supplier. It would have been nice to see one included in the package, especially considering the price of the American Outdoor Grill 30 inch model. Because this grill includes a backburner, the inclusion of a rotisserie kit would have significantly increased the versatility.
The grill includes a warming rack, which is definitely something that you would expect at this price point. It is made from the same high quality stainless steel material as the main grilling surface.
Another good design feature that can help your cooking is the large stainless steel vaporizer panel. This helps to evenly distribute the heat, and avoid having extreme ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ zones. It’s a massive benefit if you have the grill loaded with burgers or steaks, because you won’t need to worry about micromanaging your cooking by moving different foods around the hot spots on the grill.
The vaporizer panel doesn’t just ensure even heat distribution; it also acts as a flavor enhancer. As juices drip down from the foods that are cooking, they quickly vaporize on the bars to add a steaming/smoking effect. This results in juicier, tastier food, and the system is very similar to what is found on other high-end grills from brands like Bull and Napoleon.
Construction Quality of the American Outdoor Grill
We’ve already touched on the materials and construction quality in our first impression, but this grill is so well made that it’s worth taking a closer look.
The most important aspect of the construction quality is the fact that American Outdoor Grill has chosen to use all stainless steel in the construction.
Stainless steel is by far the best material for a grill, because it resists bending, scratching, and other damage, and it also prevents corrosion. It is stable in high heat and will not easily discolor from oxidation.
Stainless steel also looks great, and the polished accents on this grill help it to stand out in any kitchen or outdoor setting. Even the thermometer mounting is made from stainless steel, which reflects the overall quality and workmanship that has gone into this grill.
Opening the grill, the hinge is smooth and it feels like it has been designed to last, well into the future. On the inside you’ll find the continued use of stainless steel on the burners, the vaporizer panel, and the cooking surface itself.
Some grills come with a cast iron cooking surface, which can get the job done, but will not stand the test of time. Cast iron needs to be enameled to prevent corrosion, and this enamel can chip and crack after just a season of use.
With a stainless steel cooking grid, you don’t need to worry about any coating on top of the metal, it won’t corrode, and it allows for excellent transfer of heat. Stainless steel grids can last for decades if properly cared for, and stainless steel is the best metal for achieving the attractive sear marks that every barbecue enthusiast is looking for.
Overall, the construction quality leaves nothing to be desired. American Outdoor Grill has used premium materials, excellent workmanship, and an understated yet attractive design that will complement any kitchen or outdoor grilling station.
The warranty for this grill is reflective of the materials and construction quality. It covers 15 years for the stainless steel burners, ten years for the fire box and other parts, three years for the vaporizer panels, and one year for electronic parts like the light and ignition system.
Pros and Cons of the American Outdoor Grill L-Series 30 Inch
- Elegant design.
- Simple operation.
- High quality stainless steel construction and components.
- High temperature capabilities.
- Effective vaporizer panel that helps to disperse heat.
- Large cooking surface.
- Suitable for an indoor kitchen with the right installation method.
- Suitable for both natural gas and propane.
- No rotisserie kit included.
- Lack of any special features that could make it more competitive.
- Only suitable for a permanent installation.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation
This American Outdoor Grill is not for everybody, but there are some niche situations where it could turn out to be the perfect product.
If you need a portable grill, then you’re not going to be interested in the American Outdoor Grill L-Series. These are for permanent installations, and, even though they can technically be mounted to rolling carts or pedestals, there are more suitable and more affordable options if you want more of a traditional standalone grill.
If you are the kind of consumer that has a designated space in your kitchen design, or in an outdoor setting, then the American Outdoor Grill is one of the best options on the market. It does lack in special features (no infrared and no rotisserie), but these are minor concerns when compared to the overall cooking quality and the quality of the components.
The large cooking area means that most people will never need to replace the grill with a larger one, and the stainless steel construction could mean that this grill lasts for five to ten years, or even longer when well cared for and maintained. American Outdoor Grill offers a limited 15-year warranty on some components, so it’s clear that they had longevity in mind when this grill was designed.
If it’s within your budget, if you don’t need special grilling features, and if it’s the right size for your family, then this is one of the best drop in grills that you can currently buy, and it’s highly recommended.