Which Napoleon grill is best?

When the weather warms up, there are few things better than enjoying a tasty backyard barbecue. Having a high-quality grill to prepare burgers, hotdogs, chicken and other grilled favorites is essential — and Napoleon grills offer an array of options for your home.

Napoleon is probably best known for its gas grills, but also makes charcoal models if you prefer a smokier flavor. If you’re looking for a powerful natural-gas grill with a generous cooking surface, the Napoleon Prestige Pro 665 is the top option.

What to know before you buy a Napoleon grill

Materials

Napoleon grills all boast premium materials. Most feature stainless steel bodies with cast iron grates coated with porcelain, creating durable grills that are easy to use and maintain.

Size and design

Depending on the space you have, you can choose from Napoleon grills in many sizes and designs. The brand offers many freestanding grills in gas and charcoal options, but it also makes built-in gas grills for permanent installation in your outdoor kitchen. Built-in models tend to provide the most cooking space. 

Freestanding Napoleon grills range in size from portable ones that fold for easy transport to larger multi-burner grills with wheels. The smaller travel-friendly grills typically offer approximately 225 square inches of cooking space, large enough to cook for one or two people. On the other hand, three-burner grills usually have between 550 and 600 square inches of cooking space, big enough to prepare meals for four or five people. 

The largest Napoleon grills provide up to 1,430 square inches of cooking area. That’s large enough to prepare food for a crowd, because it can accommodate more than 50 burgers at a time. 

Fuel type

Napoleon makes gas, charcoal and electric grills. 

Gas grills are the most common, in two types: propane and natural gas.

  • Propane grills are easier to set up, because you only need to attach a propane tank. It’s also easy to replace the tanks when you run out of fuel. Propane burns hotter than natural gas, too, so it’s highly effective for searing meats. It’s possible to run out of propane in the middle of grilling, though.
  • Natural gas grills run on natural gas like the gas appliances in your home, so you need access to a natural gas line. These grills are usually cheaper to operate and will never run out of fuel in the middle of a barbecue. However, if you don’t have a natural gas line established at your home, the cost to install one can be prohibitive. Napoleon natural gas grills are usually pricier than propane ones, too.

Some people  prefer charcoal grills because they impart a smoky flavor to your food that gas grills don’t. But a charcoal grill is more difficult to start, because you have to light the coals. With gas models, you have an electric ignition that usually only requires pressing a button.

Some portable Napoleon grills are all-electric, so they don’t require fuel but must be plugged in. These grills don’t provide charcoal’s smoky flavor, but they’re even easier to start than gas grills. Their maximum temperatures aren’t as high as those for gas or charcoal grills, though. Electric grills are excellent for apartments or condos where you’re not allowed to have a gas or charcoal grill. 

What to look for in a quality Napoleon grill

Power

If you choose a gas grill, its power is measured in British thermal units. Keep in mind that the advertised Btu indicates the heat produced by all the burners per hour. Napoleon’s travel-size gas grills offer about 12,000 Btu, while the full-size gas models can provide up to 185,000 Btu. 

It’s generally recommended that a gas grill reach at least 12,000 Btu for fast, even grilling, so any Napoleon grill should work well. 

Cooking features

Napoleon grills offer cooking features that add versatility and make your grilling easier. 

  • Gas burners supply direct heat for traditional grilling.
  • Infrared elements reach higher temperatures than traditional gas burners, allowing  faster cooking times and helping your meats stay juicy.
  • Side burners provide an area beside the main grill burners similar to those on a gas stove, so you can use pots and pans on them. 
  • Rotisserie burners offer a spot for a rotisserie spit to slow-cook your favorite meats. Some models even come with the entire rotisserie kit.

How much you can expect to spend on a Napoleon grill

Napoleon grills usually cost $59-$4,000. Portable ones, including electric grills, generally go for $59-$300, but you’ll typically pay $350-$2,000 for a basic full-size grill. For built-in grills and freestanding models with plenty of special features, you’ll spend $2,000-$4,000-plus.

Napoleon grill FAQ

What maintenance does a Napoleon grill require?

A. It’s essential to clean your grill regularly to ensure it keeps working properly. You can use a grill brush to clean the cooking grates and warm, soapy water for the rest of the grill.

If you have a gas grill, check its components regularly to ensure there isn’t a leak. Mix one part water to one part dish soap and apply it to the connections. If you see bubbles develop, there is a leak that requires your attention. Check the hoses and pipes for damage, too.

How often should I clean a Napoleon grill?

A. You should clean your grill after every use to keep it free of debris that might affect its performance. Some parts are easier to clean when the grill is still warm, so don’t wait too long after you finish grilling to start. 

What’s the best Napoleon grill to buy?

Top Napoleon grill

Napoleon Prestige Pro 665

Napoleon Prestige Pro 665

What you need to know: With 90,000 Btu and a sizable cooking area, this powerful natural gas grill can handle nearly any grilling task and crowds of any size.

What you’ll love: It’s made of durable stainless steel and offers five main burners to provide a large cooking surface of 1,140 square inches. It also has a side burner and rotisserie burner. The roll-top lid is easy to put on and take off.

What you should consider: Weighing over 330 pounds, it’s large and bulky, so it may not fit in every yard. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Napoleon grill for the money

Napoleon Travel Q Portable

Napoleon Travel Q Portable

What you need to know: It’s ideal for tailgating, camping and more, providing even heat just like a full-size gas model. 

What you’ll love: It boasts a travel-friendly design, including folding legs. It uses portable propane cylinders that are easy to replace and offers even heat distribution for successful grilling. The battery-free Piezo ignition allows for quick starting.

What you should consider: It’s pricier than portable charcoal grills. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Napoleon 45-Inch Pro Kettle Charcoal Grill

Napoleon 45-Inch Pro Kettle Charcoal Grill

What you need to know: For anyone who enjoys the smoky flavor of charcoal for their food, this is a solid but versatile grill for your backyard. 

What you’ll love: It’s compact, so it can fit in most yards — but it still provides a good-sized cooking surface. It features hinged cooking grids to make it easier to add charcoal. Its stainless steel heat diffuser helps the temperature remain even throughout grilling. 

What you should consider: Some users said its ash catcher comes loose fairly easily, which can lead to a mess. 

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.