If you own a home where you have the space to install a large grill, then a drop-in grill head can be a great option. Unlike an electric grill or a standing gas or charcoal grill, a drop in grill can become a permanent installation in your outdoor setting. Get the design right, and you’ll have an outdoor cooking station that will be the center point of any weekend, holiday, or cookout party.Just like with any grill, not every drop-in grill head is created equal. We’re going to be taking a look at the Bull Outdoor Products 87049 Lonestar Select Natural Gas Drop-In Grill Head, to find out if it would be the right option for your home.
Getting Familiar with the Features of the Bull Outdoor Product 87049 Grill Head
If you purchase a grill head, you’ll be buying just the grill itself, which needs to be mounted in a suitable installation at your own home. This could be mounted on any compatible surface or stand, but most people choose to install a drop-in grill in an outdoor counter setting. This grill will look great as a feature on a semi covered patio, or anywhere outdoors that has been designed for entertainment.
There are some key product features that make this grill attractive, even at a glance. It has a full stainless steel body, made from 16 gauge 304 stainless steel. This is one of the highest grades of stainless steel that can be used, and if you care for this grill properly, then you’ll find that it can last you a lifetime. Gauge 16 means that the steel is thicker than the average grill, which helps with durability and will ensure that the grill continues to look as good as new for years or decades to come. This material is not cheap, and the Lonestar Select Natural Gas Drop-In Grill Head is not an entry level product. If you choose this grill for your home, then you’ll appreciate how the manufacturers have gone the extra mile in terms of the body and the overall presentation.
The hood itself is double lined, but it’s a single piece. This makes it rigid, resilient to damage, and there are no seams that could spoil the look of the barbeque. The single piece design is more than just an aesthetic choice, as it also ensures that there are less points of failure on the grill. When you’re investing this much in a cooking appliance, you’ll start to notice how something as seemingly simple as the hood is actually a piece of real craftsmanship. The double lining acts as an insulator so that the heat is kept in the grill when the lid is down, and it also prevents discoloration of the metal. Over time, stainless steel will change color when subjected to heat extremes. The double lining ensures that the classic polished stainless steel look of the lid will never become tarnished after prolonged use. Again, this shows a commitment to quality and longevity, which is one of the overall strongest points of the Bull Outdoor Products 87049 Lonestar Select Natural Gas Drop-In Grill Head.
Stainless steel construction continues with the solid grates that are installed on the grill. Again, Bull Outdoor has used 304 stainless steel, and the grates are solid all the way through. Some grills use inferior hollow stainless steel tubes, which doesn’t transfer heat well, and can become dented or bent over time. This is not going to be a problem with this Grill Head.
Four Burners for Control and Versatility
There are a number of grills on the market that feature two or three burner designs. If you’re going to be making a significant investment on a drop-in grill for a permanent outdoor feature, then you’ll probably want something that offers you more versatility and more control over what you’re cooking. The Bull Outdoor Products grill features four individual burners with full control on each of them, and they each feature an independent igniter. The igniters are made to last, and wiring is kept to a minimum so that failures can be avoided. The igniters are also enclosed within stainless steel so that cooking debris, flame, and oil will not damage the igniters. What this means is that you get instant ignition any time that you want to use the grill. This might seem like a minor luxury, but once you’ve tried a grill that lights every time, you won’t want to use anything else.
Again, continuing the theme of quality and strong engineering, the burners on the Lonestar Select Grill Head are welded stainless steel bar burners. The burners themselves are covered by a five-year warranty, so you can have absolute confidence that you’re getting quality materials and workmanship.
Cooking Area and Grilling Experience
Knowing the features, it’s clear at this point that this is a high quality grill that has been designed for the true outdoor cooking enthusiast. With such high quality construction and some of the best materials that are available, it’s only natural to expect that the grilling experience would be a cut above the average standalone grill.
The cooking area of the grill is a large 810 square inches, which is enough to cater to almost any family gathering or outdoor party that you could have at your home. In addition to the main cooking area, there’s a 210 square inch warming rack, so you’ll be able to keep meat and other food at the optimum temperature while you are still working the grill.
Cooking on the Lonestar Select Grill head is a real experience. There’s nothing quite like working with a professional grade grill, and that’s exactly what you get with this model. With all of that space, you could use the grill for smoking, for cooking burgers, grilling vegetables, slow grilling a whole chicken or even a smaller turkey, and of course you could throw in a rack of lamb, pork ribs, or whatever it is that you love to cook.
Having the ability to control four individual burners will mean that you can have four independent grilling zones. This is great when you’re cooking different cuts of meat, or when you’re cooking meat on one side and vegetables on another. If you’re cooking something larger like a barbeque pizza, then having all of those burners will allow you to get consistent temperature across the grill. Once you bring the hood down, it will work just like a convection oven, and you could even use the smoker box to add your own choice of wood chips for a unique flavor.
A grill like this isn’t about introducing the latest innovative features or trends in grilling. What it does is provides one of the best grilling experiences possible, with no frills and no nonsense. As you would expect from a grill at this level, there’s an integrated thermometer on the top of the hood, so you can maintain the perfect temperature for cooking or smoking.
The grill also incorporates two cooking lights on either side of the warmer tray. These will be helpful for night time grilling, and they really do round off the whole package with a nice touch of flair.
Overall Construction Quality and Appearance
This grill is functional, but it’s not designed in an entirely utilitarian way. There are some subtle features that help it to stand out from other grills on the market. The stainless steel handle is one of those features. It’s thick, highly polished, and completely seamless in appearance. When you lift the lid, you’ll feel the quality and the workmanship that has gone into building this product. Even the way that the thermometer has been integrated into the lid is a lesson in craftsmanship. Everything about the grill feels well-made and well fitted. The burner controls have a precise and smooth movement to them, and the contrasting red bull emblem is a nice touch. The cooking light activator is a simple stainless steel button. Again, the button is impeccably made and designed, and simply pressing it down allows you to feel the quality behind it.
Of course, the attention to detail and the high quality materials should be expected. As has been mentioned, this is not an entry level grill. It is a high quality grill that has been designed for people who want something more capable and more elegant for their home. If your patio is crying out for a quality grill as the finishing piece that brings it all together, then the Bull Outdoor Products 87049 Lonestar Select Natural Gas Drop-In Grill Head is definitely up to the task.
Does it Come with Accessories?
At this price point, you can expect to pay for the unit and the unit alone. Accessories are optional and extra, so if you need a cover or even a matching cupboard door system for your home installation, then you’ll need to buy these separately. The good news is that bull outdoor manufactures their own accessories in-house, so you can expect the same level of quality and craftsmanship that you see with the grill itself. The Bull Outdoor Products Stainless Steel Double Door is a great option if you or your building contractor have designed an enclosure that will utilize the space below the grill. It’s made from the same high quality stainless steel as the grill itself, so it will stand the test if time within any enclosure.
Pros and Cons of the Bull Outdoor Products Lonestar Select Drop-In Grill Head
As a high end and high quality grill, there’s very little to complain about with this model. Here are the most important pros and cons of the Lonestar Select.
- High 60,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) heat rating.
- Large grilling area with four independent burners.
- Excellent construction quality and materials.
- Integrated thermometer.
- Matching accessories available from the manufacturer.
- The grill is not completely sealed with the hood closed (typical of gas grills).
- High price could put it out of range of some interested buyers.
What do Customers Say About the Lonestar Select?
You won’t find a single negative review for this product online, which is testament to the fact that it’s one of the best options in its class and price range.
Owners like the looks and the cooking performance, although some have mentioned that the thermometer does not always work accurately. This could be a case of some defective thermometers, but this issue would be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Owners have also commented that the grill is easy to clean, especially considering the removable drip tray. Lining the tray with foil will make cleaning even easier, and a number of owners have suggested this.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation
It could be argued that this is a niche product. Not every homeowner has the space or even the setting to install a drop-in grill head. For those that do, there are more expensive and more affordable options on the market, but this particular model excels within its own price range. The cooking quality is everything that you could ask from a high end grill, and the expert craftsmanship and high grade steel helps to round off the whole package. It will look great as a feature outdoors, and it would definitely be admired by neighbors and houseguests.
If you’re looking for a grill in the $1000 – $1500 price range for a permanent installation, then the Bull Outdoor Products 87049 Lonestar Select Natural Gas Drop-In Grill Head is highly recommended. If you don’t have a natural gas utility available in your area, then there’s also a propane version, so no matter what your needs are, this is definitely one grill that is worth buying.