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Whether you call it a Barbecue, BBQ, or Grill, one thing is for sure, Napoleon Grills stand apart from the crowd.
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What Type of Grill Should You Choose?

Selecting the right type of grill is about matching your grilling habits and preferences with the practical aspects of the grills available.

Gas Grills

Gas grills are all about convenience and control. They heat up quickly, are easy to adjust, and can be ready to cook in no time. They’re great for the griller who wants to come home from work and have dinner on the table without a lot of fuss. Cleanup is usually straightforward, with less ash and residue than charcoal BBQ grills. If you have access to a natural gas line, they can be even more convenient and cost-effective, though propane tanks offer the flexibility to grill anywhere.

The trade-off? Some say gas BBQ grills don’t impart the same flavor as charcoal.

Electric Grills

Electric grills are the height of convenience, especially for people with little outdoor space or city dwellers who must adhere to laws banning open flames on balconies. They’re also incredibly simple to use: just plug in and go. While they don’t offer the traditional grilling experience or flavor, they are unmatched in ease and cleanliness. However, they rely on electricity, so they’re not as portable as other types, and you’ll need to be near an outlet.

Charcoal Grills

For the purist, charcoal grills are where it’s at. They offer that classic smoky flavor and high heat that’s ideal for searing meat. They’re also generally less expensive upfront than high-end gas or electric models. But charcoal takes more time and effort to get started and to clean up, and temperature control requires more skill. They’re perfect for the weekend warrior who enjoys the ritual of building and tending to the fire.

The Napoleon Freestyle Series is a great starting point, particularly for those new to grilling. It combines ease of use with enough features to experiment and expand your grilling skills. The range side burner is a versatile feature, allowing you to cook sides or sauces simultaneously.

The choice comes down to what suits your lifestyle. If you love to entertain and cook outdoors frequently, gas BBQ grills might be your best bet. If you’re tight on space or grill less often, electric could be the way to go. And if you’re all about flavor and the grilling experience, charcoal is likely your match.

What is a BTU, and Why Does It Matter?

BTU, which stands for British Thermal Unit, is the traditional measure of heat output. In the context of grills, it quantifies the amount of heat BBQ grills can produce at their highest setting. When you’re sizing up grills, the BTU rating is often flaunted as a hallmark of power. But the story of BTUs and grilling performance is more nuanced than just chasing the highest numbers.

BTUs are not the be-all and end-all for a BBQ grill’s performance. They are part of a larger equation that includes the grill’s size, shape, and materials, which can all impact how that heat is utilized. For instance, a grill with a high BTU rating but poor construction could lose heat rapidly, making it less efficient than a grill with lower BTUs and better heat retention. A grill with a smaller cavity and heavy-duty grates, like the Napoleon TravelQ™, can reach high temperatures more quickly and maintain them with fewer BTUs because it’s not wasting energy heating a large, empty space.

The efficiency of BTUs also relates to the grill’s ability to spread that heat evenly across the cooking surface. This can be influenced by the design of the burners and the materials used for the grates and the base. The Napoleon PRO™ 500, for example, uses cast aluminum in its base, which is fantastic for reflecting heat back up to the cooking surface, maximizing the effectiveness of the BTUs.

Another point to consider is how the BTU rating translates to cooking style. If you’re searing steaks, a high BTU per square inch might be crucial, but for low-and-slow cooking, it’s less about the BTUs and more about temperature control and consistency.

What is an Infrared Burner?

Infrared grilling technology uses an advanced ceramic burner that is distinct from traditional gas burners. These burners deliver intense heat by radiating energy in a way that heats food directly rather than just heating the air around it. This method of high-heat cooking creates a sear that locks in juices and flavors, giving you that coveted professional finish on your meats and vegetables.

In the heart of Napoleon’s Infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ lies the ceramic infrared burner, which is meticulously designed with numerous tiny ports. These ports allow gas to pass through and ignite, causing the ceramic to reach incredibly high temperatures rapidly, often around 1,800°F. This heat is a form of short-wave infrared energy that is highly efficient for cooking because it transfers heat directly to the food. It brings intense heat that’s perfect for creating that expertly seared crust. This two-stage cooking process, searing followed by slower cooking, ensures that steaks are juicy and full of flavor, as typically found in professional steakhouses. The same goes for vegetables and other foods, which benefit from a quick char and then a more gentle cook-through.

What Are the Benefits of Indirect Grilling?

Indirect grilling is a cooking technique used on the grill where the food is placed next to, instead of directly over, the heat source. It’s akin to roasting or baking in an oven, and it’s ideal for cooking larger or tougher cuts of meat that need to cook through without burning on the outside or for dishes that require a more gentle heat to avoid drying out or overcooking delicate items.

Indirect grilling allows heat to circulate around the food, much like a convection oven. This means your food cooks more evenly, reducing the risk of burnt exteriors and raw interiors, which can be a common mishap with direct grilling. Since the food isn’t directly over the flame, there’s less chance of fat dripping onto the burners and causing flare-ups, which can char the food and create a burnt flavor. The slower cooking process of indirect grilling can lead to more flavorful food. Meats remain juicier, and there’s more opportunity for smoke infusion, especially if you’re using wood chips, which can add a delicious smoky flavor.

Napoleon Grills excels in indirect grilling with their multi-burner setup, allowing for a distinct hot zone for searing and a cooler zone for oven-like heat circulation—ideal for slow cooking without burning. Their well-sealed lids ensure heat and smoke envelop the food evenly, akin to a convection oven’s steady temperature for even cooking. Plus, for those who crave smoky flavors, Napoleon Grills can be fitted with smoking chips or a charcoal tray, bringing traditional smoky tastes to the grilling experience.

Does the Type of Stainless Steel Body Matter When Choosing a Grill?

Choosing the right grill material is crucial not just for aesthetic appeal but also for the quality and longevity of your grilling experience. The composition of the grill, particularly when made of high-grade 304 stainless steel, directly impacts durability and cooking performance. This alloy, rich in chromium and nickel, isn’t prone to warping or rusting, meaning your investment stands up to the elements and time. It also excels in heat retention and distribution, maintaining a consistent temperature and ensuring even cooking across the board—no more shuffling food around to dodge cold spots or flare-ups.

Napoleon Grills are built to last. We’re talking about serious corrosion resistance and heat mastery, thanks to our use of high-grade 304 stainless steel, like the one in our Napoleon Prestige 500 Grill product line. This means you get a barbecue grill that not only looks sharp year after year but cooks up a storm with even heat every time you fire it up.

Is a Barbecue Grill Safe to Use?

When it comes to outdoor cooking, safety is paramount. Grills, by their very nature, involve open flames and high temperatures, making it essential that they’re designed with solid safety features. A safe barbecue grill is stable, minimizes flare-ups, and offers reliable control over cooking temperatures. The materials and construction should withstand the rigors of high heat without compromising the grill’s integrity over time. Moreover, user-friendly design elements that prevent accidents and provide clear indications of operation enhance safety during the cooking process.

Among the numerous safety features of a Napoleon barbecue grill, three stand out for their impact on safe grilling practices:

JETFIRE™ Ignition System

This innovative ignition system is not only designed for ease of use but also for safety. It reduces the risk of gas build-up by ensuring a quick and reliable start. By igniting each burner individually it also allows for better control over the grill’s heat when starting up, making it less likely for uncontrolled flames to emerge.

SafetyGlow Control Knobs

The knobs serve a dual purpose: functionality and safety. They light up to indicate that the burner is on, which helps prevent the common mistake of leaving the barbecue grill on after use. This visual aid is an essential feature, particularly in low-light conditions, ensuring that users are aware of active burners at a glance.

Grease Management System

Managing grease well is key to avoiding flare-ups, which are often behind many grilling accidents. A Napoleon barbecue grill includes a grease management system that helps funnel grease away from the burners into a disposable tray. This not only aids in easier cleanup but also significantly reduces the chance of grease fires, enhancing the overall safety of the grilling experience.

Explore our range and discover the secret to perfectly seared steaks and delectably smoked dishes with our industry-leading infrared technology.

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