The Science of BBQ - BTU's Explained - The Importance of BTU's
We now know that there are many factors that impact BTU’s and how efficiently they are used. When it comes to Napoleon, quality of materials is the first thing considered, there’s a lot of stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron used, and they’re used in ways that ensure the efficiency of a Napoleon Grill. There are other factors that directly impact the efficiency of BTU’s.
BTU's & Napoleon Grills
The Grill Cavity:
This is the area where the burners are all the way up to the top of the lid. A large cavity means that those BTU's will have to heat all of the air inside the grill, plus the metal components. The TravelQ™ has a small cavity and cast grids. It will heat fast thanks to the BTU’s and will stay hot while you grill. The PRO™ 500 has a base that is made of cast aluminum and has a large cavity. This also means that it will heat fairly swiftly thanks to the airflow and reflectiveness. Good grills, like ours, are made with heavier, durable materials and parts that will retain heat.
Go With The Flow:
Airflow through any grill is important. It helps with optimal combustion. Napoleon grills have openings that draw air from the bottom up and out of a termination point. Think of the way the chimney in your fireplace works, or how the chimney charcoal starter works. You may have a grill with all of the BTU’s in the world, but if you don’t have good airflow then you won’t have an efficient grill. You will actually find the grill has hot spots and cold spots – this is very prevalent on less expensive barbecues. That being said, even the greatest grills in the world can have airflow issues if the weather is particularly windy.
Airflow out or the exhaust in an efficient grill will be specially calibrated to allow for precise exhaust and emissions release without exposing the grill to much cooling. This means that your grill will reach temperatures and remain at a consistent heat when you are grilling. Conversely, if a grill is too sealed tight, it results in poor emission control and a bad burn. This means that the fuel you are using to create the BTU's that cook the food aren't being burned cleanly and going into that food. It's bad for you and the environment. These grills won't cook very well either. Napoleon Grills are designed to ensure the optimum burn, meaning those BTU's are being utilized as efficiently as possible. That means that even in the winter, your Napoleon Grill will heat quickly and stay warm while lit.
Are You Ifra-Ready?
Those BTU’s and efficient use of the fuel inside the grill are great, but what about that amazing side burner? It’s open to the air and puts out incredible BTU’s with nothing to stand in the way of that intense heat. Our infrared burners average around 14,000 BTU’s on their own and use less fuel than the main burners in the grill would. To achieve optimal burn, gas is forced into a ceramic brick full of holes. This slows down the gas and air mixture, and when it combusts the heat is absorbed by the ceramic quickly to be released as infrared energy and heat to reach searing temperatures within seconds. Because the ceramic directs heat to a very narrow area, it’s ideal for fast grilling, and far more efficient with your time and fuel.
Intense testing, durable materials, airflow, and exhaust give Napoleon Grills optimum burn – where fuel is used and burned to create the fewest emissions and the highest stable heat in a grill. This also gives you precise temperature control, ensuring that smoking, slow roasting, baking, or searing are all easy to accomplish.