Napoleon vs. Weber – Who Makes the Better Gas Grills
There's nothing more cheerful than grilling on a sunny afternoon with friends and family. Your gas grill is a source of happiness, and to cook those meals that bring a smile to everyone's face, you want a grill that delivers quality.
While there are a vast number of choices out there today, we'll be looking at two of the most desirable brands, the well-known Weber and the up-and-coming Napoleon.
Between the two brands, Weber is probably the name that rings a louder bell. The popularity and quality usually come with the trade of a slightly higher price tag than other brands.
While Napoleon is less known and still competing with the more prominent names, that competitive spirit is what motivates the manufacturers to keep improving the quality of Napoleon's products, which is terrific for buyers.
Both these brands have their strengths and weaknesses, as all things do, so we'll be giving you an in-depth review of two of their top seller gas grills to help you decide which brand suits your grilling needs the best.
Weber vs. Napoleon Brand Comparison
To compare the brands across all products would be nearly impossible, considering the number of lines and models that these companies have put out when it comes to their grills.
For the comparison, we'll be using the Weber Genesis II E-310, and the Napoleon LEX 485, which are popular models from each brand - you can find the reviews of these products farther down the page.
Looking at these two grills will give an overall feel of how these two brands compete. You will also find the short description of their other grill lines for reference.
Design and Construction
The Weber natural gas grill features a comprehensive and durable design. The exterior body, as well as the cooking grates, are made from stainless steel, which ensures a long-lasting quality that holds up to corrosion and rust.
There's plenty of space to work, hooks to hang your tools, and lights on the lid and handles for guidance in the dark.
The Napoleon features sturdy stainless steel as well, but only for the exterior body. It offers a sleek, modern design that's easy to clean and features brilliant blue backlights for cooking in the dark.
Unfortunately, the Napoleon is more prone to rust over time, though if you perform periodic cleaning and maintenance - in other words, show your grill some love - you should be able to get a lot of life out of it.
While the Weber product that we've selected cost quite a bit less than the Napoleon grill in our review, you should keep in mind that this varies greatly with their various product lines.
Weber grills used to be generally more expensive than other brands to account for their handful of additional user features and the high quality they provide.
Napoleon, however, is right up there with Weber both in terms of features and price tag with their Prestige and Prestige Pro series.
Weber offers incredible performance that ensures near-perfect grilling. Heat across the grates distributes evenly and consistently, compensating for the cooking are that it lacks in comparison to the Napoleon grill. The Weber grill even offers a High Heat option for when you want to cook with a little extra fire.
The Napoleon grill has a lot more BTU due to a larger cooking area, but you can witness the power that this grill has clearly, once you start cooking.
The unique wave-shaped grating retains 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 warm to the very center.
When talking about the highest temperature the Weber can get up to, you're talking 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 grill, and as long as you know what temperatures are best for the foods that you're cooking, this grill 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 grill is a bit insane, but in the right way. The advertisement boasts 0 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of 30 seconds, 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 LEX.
In the comparison of these specific models, the Napoleon gas grill wins out on the amount of cooking space that it offers, coming in with 805 square inches of grilling area. You can grill up 24 hamburger patties at a time and feed bigger crowds, making this grill an efficient option for feeding large groups of people.
The Weber is much smaller, only offering 513 square inches of cooking space. The grill does, however, provide an additional 156 square inches of warming rack and includes side burners as well. Even though the gas grill is a lot more compact, it comes with those extras that make up for what it lacks in size.
While both manufacturers boast a long warranty, there are key differences. The Weber grill's 10-year warranty covers a great deal, including the grilling grates, the cook-box itself, the burners, the lid, the Flavorizer bars, the grease management system, and the electric ignition.
The warranty covers every other part for only two years, but with all the vital parts under the warranty, the small remaining parts are easy to replace.
The 10-year limited warranty for the Napoleon grill, on the other hand, only covers the body of the gas grill, the sear places, and the grates. Every other piece on the grill is under a 5-year warranty, which is still a generous amount of time, but the overall warranty doesn't cover nearly as much for the gas grill as Weber's policy does for its product.
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 more 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.
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.