Napoleon vs. Weber – Who Makes the Better Gas Grills
There is nothing more cheerful than grilling on a sunny afternoon with friends and family and picking the right grill is an important first step.
When the choice is between Weber and Napoleon, it's far from a black and white decision. Both brands are at the top of the gas grill pyramid with high-quality products backed up with great customer service.
In fact, both companies make a model that is our top pick in their respective categories out of all gas grills on the market!
Yet, there are also clear design differences and knowing them can make the decision between these two brands very easy, depending on your cooking preferences or even where you live.
We have put together this in-depth review with the aim of giving you all the information you need to make a confident buying decision. Jump straight to out head-to-head comparisons of 2, 3, 4 and 5+ burner grills or keep reading for the detailed feature and design differences.
Weber vs. Napoleon Brand Comparison
We are comparing models from both brands with the same burner count side-by-side.
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In the 2-burner category, we are looking at two strong contestants but Weber wins the race by providing better value.
The Weber Spirit II E-210 is our most recommended 2-burner gas grill across all brands. It features a tried and tested, solid design that is easy to move around and backed up by thousands of reviews from happy users.
If you don't mind a higher price tag and prefer the cleaner look of a closed cabinet - which hides the gas tank as well - the Napoleon is also a good buy. If you live in a windy area, we would also get the Napoleon (see the design differences between the two brands further down the page).
In the 3-burner category, Napoleon turns the table. We are essentially looking at bigger versions of the 2-burner grills we have compared but this time, the price difference is in favor of Napoleon.
The Weber Genesis II E-315 is a great grill with solid design and performance backed up by hundreds of positive reviews and an outstanding customer service.
There is also an attractive copper color option available for extra style points.
But the Napoleon Rouge 425 gives all that and more for a better price. The more durable porcelain enamel surfaces, superior ignition system and 5-years longer warranty makes this grill the more attractive choice.
We are looking at two best sellers at the 4-burner gas grill category.
The Weber Genesis II E-435 features a solid, no rust fire box design with even cooking performance, a side burner and a sear station burner to make this a great buy for a versatile family grill capable of cooking just about anything you want.
The Napoleon Prestige 500 is our top recommendation across all brands for a 4-burner grill. With infrared side burner and rear burner options, connected burners, outstanding heat retention and lifetime warranty for the main parts, this grill comes out the winner. If you are on the market for a grill that does it all in the $1000 to $1500 price range, get the Napoleon Prestige 500 and never have any regrets.
5+ Burner Grills
This is professional grade backyard cooking and it's a very close call this time.
Both brands have crammed top of the line features into their flagship lines with several configuration options available. Infrared rotisserie, smoker burner, premium materials, ample cooking space with solid construction and performance - you can have it all from both Weber and Napoleon.
You can't pick wrong here, but if we have to choose, the superior warranty and better ignition system tips the balance towards the Napoleon Prestige Pro 665.
After the head-to-head comparisons, let's dive into the design and performance details between Weber and Napoleon across their full range of gas grills. Some of these can be deal-breakers for some users and not matter much for others.
Design and Construction
Let's start with the cart design. The major difference here is the location of the gas tank. Weber has designed most of their grills with the tank located outside (apart from their biggest grills) while Napoleon hides the gas tank inside in all of their models.
The upside to Weber's choice is the bigger storage space within the cart in exchange for a less appealing visual appearance. Some of the smaller models also come with an open cart which exposes the grease tray. This could be an issue during stronger wind or if your dog can't resist the lovely smell...
The upside for Napoleon owners is a much cleaner, tidier look for giving up some storage space.
The side tables on many Weber grills are not retractable while Napoleon tends to have at least one foldable side table. If this is important to you, check the individual models before buying.
Also pay attention to the material. Both brands make models with stainless steel side tables which is prone to get scratched during use. Models with porcelain coated tables (the darker-colored models) are much more resistant and durable.
While both brands mention their wind-resistant lid design in their descriptions, Napoleon's 2-piece lids retain more heat and provide better wind-resistance as well.
If you live in a windy location, this could be a major factor. Likewise if you plan to use your grill in colder temperatures. If either of these conditions apply, Napoleon gas grills might be a better choice for you.
Great construction from both brands here, seamless aluminum fire boxes resist rusting, makes cleaning easy and provide a very solid foundation for the burners and flavorizer bars.
This is another major difference between the two companies.
Weber gas grills are equipped with individually controlled burners that needs to be ignited one by one. This also means that if one of them gets blown out by the wind or any other reason, it will not reignite by itself. You will also need to use both hands for handling the ignition.
Napoleon gas grills feature burners that are connected to each other, meaning if one of them blows out, it will automatically reignite itself, allowing for less supervision during cooking. You can also start the ignition with one hand.
The backlit control knobs on the Napoleon grills add some extra cool factor during night-time cooking.
It used to be that Weber grills cost more than their counterparts due to the well-known name, quality of their products, and world-class customer service.
This is still the case with some competitor brands but Napoleon is right there with Weber when it comes to quality and performance.
Not only that, but Napoleon is also putting pressure on Weber with some innovative features, such as the superior ignition system, lid design with extra wind protection and backlit control knobs.
All this results in fairly similar price points for the same product categories. This could vary in favor of one brand or the other, depending on the category (and it is the deciding factor between some models in our head-to-head comparisons).
The main burners of both Weber and Napoleon offer incredible performance that ensures near-perfect grilling. Heat across the grates distributes evenly and consistently.
Weber grills even offer a High Heat option for when you want to cook with a little extra fire. The Flavorizer bars work well, evaporating the dripping grease and giving extra flavor back to the food in return.
Napoleon grills within the same category usually offer more BTU than Weber, and you can witness the power that this grill has clearly, once you start cooking.
The unique wave-shaped grates conduct heat exceptionally well and sears excellently. The double-walled lid traps in heat like an oven and provides consistent cooking all-around, for food that comes out hot to the very center.
Side and Rear Burners
How much these additional burners are being used is highly dependent on the chef. If you are using them, however, they add tremendous versatility and additional meal varieties to your arsenal.
Both Weber and Napoleon offers multiple options for their higher end grills. In general though, comparable Napoleon models tend to feature higher grade extra burners than Weber models for similar price.
For example, the Weber Genesis II E-435 comes with a standard side burner while the Napoleon Prestige 500 is equipped with an infrared side burner.
This will obviously vary depending on the number of burners, the cooking surface and any additional burners included in the model.
For example, the highest temperature the Weber Genesis II E-310 can get up to is upwards of 700 degrees Fahrenheit in about 15 minutes, even without the high heat setting turned on. If you want to crank it up to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it'll take only a few minutes.
The heat is easy to adjust on the Weber grills, and as long as you know what temperatures are best for the foods that you're cooking, these babies will ensure that your food will come out just right.
Additionally, the Weber is compatible with the iGrill3, which is a digital thermometer that connects to your phone via the iGrill app and Bluetooth connection. You'll be able to monitor your temperature and real-time to make sure you're always within the range where you need to be.
In comparison, the Napoleon Prestige 500 grill is a bit insane, but in the right way. The advertisement boasts 0 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of 30 seconds with the infrared Sizzle Zone side burner, but neither I nor any buyer I've seen has put that to the test, probably because it sounds a little dangerous.
Either way, this grill heats up fast. To get to 400 degrees, for example, it would take less than a minute, whereas the Weber grill would take at least two or three minutes to get there. Plus, once you reach that 400-degree checkpoint, cranking up the temperature from there is nothing for the Napoleon.
This, again, will depend on the exact models and configurations but generally, the comparable Napoleon grills tend to come with a slightly larger cooking surface.
An important feature when it comes to space is the warming rack.
Weber equips their gas grills with a foldable warming rack, making is super easy to use when needed while staying out of the way otherwise.
Napoleon warming racks are removable, making them more prone to being misplaced or not being immediately available when needed.
While both manufacturers boast a long warranty, there are key differences.
The standard Weber 10-year warranty covers all Spirit II, Genesis II and Summit models.
All parts are covered, including the grilling grates, the cook-box itself, the burners, the lid, the Flavorizer bars, the grease management system, and the electric ignition.
Napoleon, on the other hand, offers a 15-year bumper to bumper warranty for the Rogue series, covering every part of the grill.
The Prestige and Prestige Pro lines are coming with a lifetime warranty for the major parts including the hood, lids, aluminum castings, stainless steel cooking grids and stainless steel burners. All other parts are covered for 15 years.
Serious grill chefs will appreciate this large bamboo carving board with juice groove all around. The spiked middle section firmly holds the meat in place while carving and the naturally antibacterial properties of bamboo help maintain a high food hygiene standard at the family table. Can be a perfect present too!
Top Weber Grill Review
Genesis II E-310
The Weber Genesis II E-310 is a high-performance grill with three stainless steel burners that total 37,500 BTUs, porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars that vaporize flavor drippings, and a grease management system that minimizes flare-ups.
Cast iron cooking grates provide 513 square inches of cooking space while a tuck-away warming rack offers an additional 156 square inches of space when in use - otherwise, you can fold the rack down to tuck it away.
The Weber is a natural gas grill, which means you need to have an existing gas line to connect it to, as it won't connect to a propane tank. The product comes with a 10-foot flexible hose for connecting your grill to your gas line and comes with an Infinity ignition system that guarantees your gas grill will light every time you turn the knob to start.
The product does have brass parts, which may contain lead, and combustion by-products, so make sure you wash your hands after use, especially when first assembling and setting up the grill.
The Weber also comes with extra user-friendly features such as a stainless-steel prepping space, a side table for keeping plates or seasonings, and six hooks for hanging tools.
The cart is an open design, which gives you easy access to your tools and supplies, though you'll need a cover to protect your things from the elements unless you take everything off after grilling.
Top Napoleon Grill Review
Napoleon LEX 485
The Napoleon LEX 485 is a gas grill that packs a punch. The gas grill comes with six burners that total 74,000 BTUs and provide nearly instant heat every time you cook.
The wave grids retain heat for even distribution, and the grill includes infrared burners, which force ignited gas through thousands of small holes in a ceramic plate to cook your meat to perfection. The Napoleon grill also has stainless steel rotisseries on the back burners as well.
This grill also runs on natural gas, so you won't be able to hook it up to a propane tank, you'll need to have a gas line. The grill starts with Jetfire ignition that ignites the gas with a push of a button and insulates heat outstandingly well. Heat is consistent from burner to burner, and the double-walled heat lid keeps the temperature in to enhance the consistency of your cooking further.
Additional features that the Napoleon LEX offers are an ice bucket for cold drinks, a cutting board above the ice bucket, and a backlighting control knob that allows you to turn on helpful blue lights so that you can cook in the dark.
This grill is a closed design, meaning you can store your tools and supplies within the cabinet the grilling top sits on, but there are open spaces in the back on the top and bottom, so the storage space doesn't have protection entirely as you might think at first glance.
Weber vs Napoleon - The Verdict
Overall, it's safe to say that both brands represent high quality so it’s not an easy choice between the two.
Weber grills are sturdier, packing their features into smaller size. With fewer burners and smaller heat output in general, they are slightly better suited for beginners but will handle the needs of frequent grillers as well.
Get a Weber gas grill if you prefer to use a smart cooking system such as the iGrill 3, need more storage area in the cart or want to be backed by an industry-leading customer service.
Napoleon models tend to feature larger grilling areas and the main burners are often complemented with infrared side burners, offering more power and grilling options for sophisticated users.
Go for Napoleon if you live in a colder and/or windy place, want your gas tank hidden in the cart, like to cook in the dark, or want a piece of mind with a 15-year warranty.
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