The Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill is the best way to get to a professional grade gas grill experience without spending too much on a grill that takes up half your yard. This unit not only aims to give you a quality grilling experience but the company wants you to do it with peace of mind too, as it comes with a lifetime warranty.
As you'd expect from a product with a lifetime warranty, this is built with high-grade materials that are made to last. In terms of size it's plenty big enough for a party but also has controllable heat zones so it's easy to fire up just for the family in an evening.
Ignition is easy and the grates make for an even heat that's simple to control and as a result you get a cooking experience you'd expect. There aren't a lot of extras on this model, as the entry-level in the Prestige line, but you can pay to buy them separately if you like.
So is this the best gas grill for you? Read on to find out.
Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill review: Design and build
- 500 square inches of cooking space
- Stainless steel or black enamel finish
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
The Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill offers a respectable 500 square inches of cooking space (more than the likes of the Char-Broil Performance 475 4-Burner) which is the equivalent to about 31 burgers, plus a warming rack bringing it up to 760 square inches in total. So that's more than enough for a family and plenty even for larger parties. Unless you're a pro, this is likely going to be more than enough space for you to grill on.
The cooking grates are made from porcelain-coated cast iron meaning they get up to temperature quickly and retain heat well. It also means they are built to last a long, long time too. They also feature wave lines, which is the famed shape of Napoleon grills, for unique sear marks on your finished products but also to make sure smaller foods don't fall through the grill lines.
The outer is finished in either stainless steel or with a black enamel finish, but this is just down to personal preference as there's no difference in price or performance.
This model comes with four burners, each capable of outputting 12,000 BTU in their individual section - more than the popular Weber Spirit II E-310. These are controlled by the four gas burner knobs each of which light up in varying colors so you know if they're still on or not – red for on and blue for off.
Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill review: Features
- Instant JetFire Ignition
- Accu-Probe temperature gauge
- Dual-level sear plates
- Quad zone with lit controls
The main feature of the Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill is that lifetime guarantee and build quality, but we've already mentioned that so let's move on to what that includes.
One of the big features on a gas grill is ignition, which can be a hassle if it doesn't work well. In this case it's no worry thanks to the Instant JetFire Ignition system. This shoots a jet of flame which lights each gas burner individually. That means instant on everytime. Enough said.
Next up on the feature list are the dual-level stainless steel sear plates. These are staggered so that the heat gets distributed more evenly across the grill. They are in place to protect the burners while also protecting your food from flare-ups, and potential burning, at the same time.
As you'd imagine at this price you do get a built-in thermostat, called Accu-Probe by the company. It's essentially a pretty detailed and large display thermometer but it works well and looks good so we'll allow the silly name.
As mentioned before the cooking grids are stainless steel and use the company wave shape form to ensure smaller food doesn't slip through while also cooking with a more even heat transfer.
Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill review: Performance
- Even and powerful heat
- Easy to use lid
- Superb start-up
The Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill is super easy to use. We don't just mean as a great way to handle large-scale party grilling but also for a quick evening fire-up for just a few burgers.
Thanks to that superb ignition system it's easy to light up the whole grill or just a section instantly. Then those light-up knobs become very useful as they clearly remind you which section is hot and which are not - it also looks really cool at night.
The wave shaped grill is helpful for stopping smaller foods falling as they seem to get caught just right before slipping through. This makes the grill a great option for vegetable fans that have items which break up easily.
The lid is worth a mention as it's a big unit yet is super easy to open. Thanks to a smart weight distribution, all the effort is taken out of lifting and closing using the large and comfy handle. It might not sound like much but when you're opening and closing a lot to get your grill just right, it makes a difference.
While there are four main burners, there are also three in between. This helps to reduce hotspots and distribute heat more evenly. It also makes more surface for the juices to vaporize on, adding even more flavor. Typically the grill is a little hotter at the back, but this is the case for most grills of this class and as long as you know that, it can help when rotating what you're cooking.
The two end tables are a good size, which come in useful. Also the ability to fold them down is great for storage or when you want to cook in a tight space with just one end up.
The drip pan is removable and can easily be accessed from the front making clean-up an easy task too.
Should I buy the Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill?
If you want a professional level grilling experience without the super steep price then the Prestige 500 is for you. It's also ideal for anyone that wants to make one outlay and then rest easy, safe in the knowledge they're covered by a lifetime warranty. From big party hosting to small family feeding, this grill makes it all easy.
If you want to save some money then there are similar sized grills for far less, just without such a comprehensive warranty. Also, if you want more features, like infrared grills, a rotisserie and cover all included then you could get it for less elsewhere – for this model you need to buy those things as extras.
If you're looking for faster cook times, then you might be interested in our round up of the best infrared grills, while our guide to the best grill thermometers will insure food safety.