Skip to main content

The Best Professional Outdoor BBQ Grills (2024 Update)

June 2nd, 2023 | 12 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf


After a tough couple of years, you can buy a professional, high-powered grill from any brand.

Kalamazoo is still the best professional grill without question and the most unique, as you will see. However, the price of their hybrid grills starts at $22,000.

Choosing between DCS, Hestan, and Lynx as the next tier down from Kalamazoo can be a bit confusing.

The decision ultimately depends on your grilling style and preferences.

Although they may look similar, these grills differ greatly in features such as infrared burners, rotisseries, and overall construction.

Keep reading to learn more about the features, differences, and potential problems when selecting a premium grill.

As a bonus, I will show you how to buy a pro-type grill while spending less.

Let's get started. 

The Best Professional Outdoor BBQ Grills for 2024

Before we dive into the specifics of each grill, let's talk about what you can expect from a professional grill and what they all have in common. 

All the grills listed below are made of high-quality stainless steel, including type 316, 304, or 201. You won't find any plastic or painted metals in these grills, ensuring durability and longevity.

Kalamazoo and Hestan offer Marine-grade type 316 stainless steel, which is highly resistant to rust and ideal for individuals living near bodies of water. Kalamazoo exclusively provides the Marine-grade option, while Hestan offers the flexibility to choose between Marine-grade and other options.

The most widely available type is 304 stainless steel, which all grill brands offer. On the other hand, Lynx manufactures the Sedona grill using type 201 grade stainless steel, which is less expensive but less superior to 304.

The burner output on all three is around 25,000 BTU per burner. We will talk about the different burner compositions a bit later.

Each is available as a built-in to be placed in an outdoor kitchen or stand-alone as a freestanding grill in several sizes.

Lastly, each brand has matching appliances to outfit your outdoor kitchen. If you want to design an outdoor space, click this link for our webinar and step-by-step guide.


1. Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grills

Kalamazoo K500HS


Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire K500HS 73" Stainless Steel Freestanding Grill - $30,925.98


View Product Info > 

Kalamazoo offers a range of sizes for their grills, available in both built-in and freestanding models, including 28, 37 7/8, and 54 inches.

Kalamazoo is built to order and unique in so many ways. Then again, they were started as a sheet metal shop in Chicago in 1906.

Let me explain why you might want a Kalamazoo grill.

One of my best friends is a professional griller. I've learned professional grill masters are a different breed.

None of them cook with gas. They all have their insanely proprietary blends of wood and charcoal for flavor.

With the Kalamazoo hybrid fire grill, you can cook with the same ease and speed of gas while still enjoying the enhanced flavor and texture of wood and charcoal.

With burners located below and an easy-to-open drawer, lighting up the Kalamazoo grill is especially easy. But what really sets it from the other grills listed below is the added depth of flavor and texture it brings to your cooking. 

Kalamazoo Grill Features

Natural Convection

Its deep well construction allows for more air circulation and natural convection, so food is cooked more evenly and flavorful from wood and charcoal.

Searing Capability

Unlike Hestan and Lynx, Kalamazoo has no infrared searing burner. However, when you add charcoal, the grill does reach sear temperatures of 1,200 degrees higher than a traditional sear element of 1,100 degrees.

Burner Output

Kalamazoo is a powerful grill as well. Like Hestan and Lynx, the burners are 25,000 BTUs each, but unlike the others, the cast brass weighs about 14 pounds with the ports placed in the back, so they don't clog over time.

Clean Up

Along with the deep well, clean-up is easy for ash and grease, with a collection system located in the bottom.


The grill can be customized even to the grates designed for meat, fish, veggies, and even a Pancha or griddle to cook breakfast items.

If you live by the ocean, Kalamazoo is also available in marine-grade metal for a higher price. Marine Grade refers to a better grade of stainless or a taurine finish to resist rusting. "Marine Grade" is more of a marketing term, but Kalamazoo is the only grill designed to last by the ocean.

Each Kalamazoo is handcrafted in Michigan and signed by the people who built it.

Kalamazoo Grill Head 42 and 48 inches

In 2022, Kalamazoo built a grill without the Hybrid Fire Grill for the first time. The grill is better insulated than any grill on the market. It weighs 360 versus 240 for most other brands.

They lowered the grill by 2 inches to still have the natural convection airflow for more even cooking.

The price last year was $12,500. In 2023, they made it marine grade only and doubled the price.

Kalamazoo Problems

The Kalamazoo BBQ Grill stands out with its absence of apparent weaknesses. While the debate regarding the superiority of an infrared burner for precise searing continues, the combination of charcoal and wood ensures exceptional overall performance.

Regarding heat output, the infrared rotisserie burner falls slightly short compared to the Hestan, delivering 18,000 BTU. However, it's important to note that Kalamazoo's uncompromising quality comes with a higher price tag. The marine-grade non-hybrid drop-in grill starts at $19,000, while their hybrid freestanding grills begin at $22,000.

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that acquiring a Kalamazoo grill may require some patience. Due to the high demand and meticulous craftsmanship, getting your hands on one could take over two months.

Read More: Problems with Kalamazoo Grills

2. DCS Series 9 Grills



DCS Series 9 48” Brushed Stainless Steel Built In Grill - $7,599.98


View Product Info >

DCS offers a range of sizes for their grills, both built-in and freestanding, including 30, 36, and 48 inches wide. 

DCS used to claim to be an "all sear" grill by using ceramic rods throughout the grill to increase heat and prevent flare-ups.

However, they now have a searing burner output of 24,000 BTU in the series 7 and 9 grills.

Infrared will be faster because it's directed. The gas diffuses and spreads heat more.

You must stay on top of an infrared due to the speed, and you can burn your food more easily with an infrared  burner.

Differences between Series 7 and 9 Grills

The Series 9 grill offers several notable enhancements compared to its predecessor, the Series 7. Firstly, it features convenient light-up knobs for enhanced visibility and ease of use.

Additionally, the top workspace on the Series 9 has been redesigned, allowing for a more spacious area to accommodate your grilling needs.

The Series 7 and 9 grills share the same grease management system, which cleverly angles down to the front of the grill and into a tray. While this is a decent design, certain foods, such as hot dogs, may tend to roll slightly. However, on the Series 9, you can lay the grates flat, providing a solution to prevent such rolling.

Furthermore, the Series 9 grill includes a wood and charcoal accessory, which can infuse delectable flavors into your meats, adding an extra dimension to your grilling experience.

Here are the top six differences when stepping up to Series 9:

  • Increased Hood Top: The Series 9 grill features a taller hood top, providing additional space for secondary cooking needs.
  • Spring-Assisted Lid: Unlike the Series 7, the Series 9 grill has a spring-assisted lid, allowing for effortless fingertip opening and closing.
  • Electric Glow Bar Ignition System: The Series 9 grill employs an electric glow bar ignition system, which offers convenience and reliability compared to the battery spark system used in Series 7.
  • Infrared Burner for Rotisserie: The Series 9 grill is equipped with an infrared burner located at the back, specifically designed for use with the rotisserie function.
  • Halogen Lights: Inside the grill hood of the Series 9, you'll find halogen lights, providing bright visibility in low-light conditions.
  • Full Charcoal/Smoker Box: The Series 9 grill includes a full charcoal/smoker box that can be positioned anywhere on the grill, offering the ability to infuse distinct flavors into your meats. This differs from the Series 7, which has a smaller fixed charcoal box.

DCS Problems

DCS does not offer an all-infrared grill like Lynx or the color customization options of Hestan. Additionally, the charcoal performance of DCS may not match that of Kalamazoo, and the DCS range may not have as many size options as Lynx.

3. Lynx Grills

Lynx L42TRF


Lynx Professional 42" Stainless Steel Freestanding Grill - L42TRF-LP

View Product Info >

Lynx offers a range of sizes for their grills, both built-in and freestanding, including 27, 30, 36, 42, and 54 inches. 

This grill was available in four ways: all gas burners, a combination of gas burners and their Trident infrared burner, and all-infrared burners.

Now, you can buy the Lynx as an all-sear grill, with just one sear burner, or all gas without sear.

Lynx Grill Features

Infrared Burner

Unlike a traditional gas burner like DCS, the infrared trident is direct, intense heat which spreads heat. You can quickly sear the outside of your meat for a grill without overcooking.

The trident burners on the Lynx grill offer a wide range of searing temperatures, from 300 to 1,000 degrees, allowing you to adjust the heat instead of having to move your food around to different burners.

You can put a nice char on more water-soluble foods like veggies and fruit by wilting them.

Ceramic Burner

Unlike the other three, Lynx has a ceramic burner instead of cast brass or metal.

Cast brass is excellent, but ceramic never weathers. They placed the burner ports on the underside to avoid getting clogged with any drippings.

Heat Distribution

Lynx has briquettes for heat distribution to increase heat and reduce flare-ups. You also have a slide-out shelf to catch any drippings.

Lynx Problems

Availability will be better in 2023 after a rough couple of years. Lynx may be more expensive than the Kalamazoo grill head, with longer delivery times and some major price increases.

In addition to limited availability, Lynx's briquettes require hands-on cleaning. You can't flip the briquettes to self-clean like Hestan. Instead, you must empty them into a bucket and clean them by hand. That may not be a huge disadvantage, but it may require more work.

Lastly, I am not a fan of an all-sear grill. The difference between done and burnt is not that much.

Read More: Lynx vs. Hestan BBQ Grills

4. Hestan Grills

Hestan GMBR42CX2-LP-OR


Hestan 42" Citra Deluxe Freestanding Grill - $16,128.98

View Product Info >

Whether you prefer a built-in or freestanding grill, Hestan has a size to fit your needs with options ranging from 30 to 42 inches.

Hestan is the industry's newest grill with a ton of features. Let's start with the grill hood. You can move it with one finger like the others, but the Hestan will stay in place, so you can grill with the hood partially open.

Hestan Grill Features


Hestan has diamond-cut thick grates at 5/16ths of an inch. It will hold heat and be more even as well.

Heat Distribution

Unlike Lynx, Hestan features reversible briquettes for the evenness of cooking, reducing flare-ups, and easier cleaning.

Trellis Burner

The Trellis burner is a 321-grade metal with ports on all four sides. Typically, metal would rust, but Hestan has done significant saltwater testing to prove its superiority to type 304. Marine-grade stainless steel is considered only 316 stainless steel.

Variable Rotisserie Burner

Their rotisserie infrared burner is the best and is variable between 12,000-18,000 BTU. It's on the top, so you can cook on the utility shelf below.


Lastly, Hestan is the only grill available in 12 groovy California colors and available freestanding or built-in.

Hestan Problems

This is a great grill like the others, but the burner ports face the food directly and can cause the burners to clog.

Read More: Hestan BBQ Grills


Affordable Grilling Options

Let's save some money. Each of these brands have a less expensive line of decent pro-type grills. 

Lynx L600PSFR-LP


Lynx Sedona 36" Stainless Steel Freestanding Grill - $5,569.98


View Product Info >

Aspire by Hestan EABR36-LP


Aspire By Hestan 36" Stainless Steel Built-In Grill - $4,849.98


View Product Info >



DCS Series 7 30" Brushed Stainless Steel Traditional Built In Grill - $3,799.98

View Product Info >

Hestan Aspire

Hestan has the "Aspire" line with a tubular burner rated at 23,000 vs. the 25,000 of the regular Hestan line.

The rotisserie burner is not variable at 14,000 BTU, and the grates are stainless, not the thicker diamond cut.

DCS Series 7

Series 7 is another lower-priced option. It has the same output, just not the light-up knobs and cleanability as the series 9.

Lynx Sedona

The Lynx Sedona BBQ Grill is a more affordable option in Lynx's grill lineup. However, the Sedona differs from the other models in its construction and origin. Unlike its counterparts, the Sedona is manufactured in China and utilizes a lower grade of stainless steel, specifically the 201-grade stainless steel.

What Is NOT a Professional Grill

Every video and blog love every grill. Nobody says, "Don't buy this grill." However, be careful when you buy a high-end grill. Many don't have better construction or the BTU output per burner.

True story: Once, our chef placed her hand on a running grill to illustrate the cold spots. So be careful.

We don't carry all the brands but review all the good ones in our BBQ Guide. It's free. You can grab your copy by clicking this link.

Which Professional Grill Is the Best?

First, they all have their merits. All will give better and similar heat output, rotisseries, and sear burners.

Kalamazoo is the best grill with the ability to cook with wood, gas, and charcoal, but $17,000 and up for a grill is steep.

DCS has good power and is now an infrared burner. You may like an FCS.

Lynx also has a good all-around grill. Their sear is another great consideration, but infrared differs from a regular gas burner and must be learned.

Hestan is another excellent grill with the best grates, rotisserie burners, and a choice of color.

Overall, it depends on how you like your grill. The Kalamazoo Hybrid allows you to infuse flavor in an overall better cooking system.

Lynx will allow you to cook and sear faster, while the Hestan is a good-looking alternative with color and excellent grates.

DCS will be popular. Series 9 does everything well now.


BBQ Grills


Answers to the most commonly asked questions about professional outdoor grills

What size grill do I need?

What features should I look for in a professional grill?

What is the difference between a professional grill and a standard grill?

How much should I expect to pay for a professional grill?

What are some reliable brands for professional BBQ grills?

How should I maintain and clean my grill?

Is it safe to use a BBQ grill indoors?

What safety measures should you follow while using a BBQ grill?

What is the warranty on professional grills?

Related Articles:

Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.