Planning to buy a grill? Have you scoured the internet, compared prices, read reviews and researched on the components each one offers? I thought not! Buying a grill is not that easy. This is a huge investment and you need to make sure that what you are buying is exactly what you were looking for. Don’t go , “I think I should have bought the other one instead”.
Not to be a male chauvinist, but grilling is something best done by a man. I think it’s something that gives us a purpose. My wife takes care of the children and the house, along with her job down to a pat. The least I can do is give them fun filled weekends. That was the reason why I decided to buy a grill. My brother has one so, naturally, I went to him for advice. He has this huge grill with side tables with a sear burner, eight main burners, condiments tray . . . the whole shebang. However, I was looking for something much smaller that I could easily operate. The only way I know how to grill is add some coal to a stainless steel box, spray it with lighter fluid, slap a stainless steel grill plate on it and you are done. My brother was a little shocked that I still grilled the old fashioned way. He’s out a lot travelling and is rarely home. Since, he’s a bachelor; he bought a grill to cook when he wanted to stay at home.
So, the grill he bought was of Napoleon. An esteemed name in the grill industry but since I am new to the grilling scene, I didn’t know about the brand. His grill is a piece of beauty and for five seconds, I contemplated buying the same one. My brother told me to go for something smaller and simpler and advised me to buy the Napoleon Built-In LEX 605 Natural Gas Grill. I checked it out on the internet, read a few reviews about it and was quite happy with what it offered. It was small but packed a mean punch.
There was a time when Napoleon was popular for its wood stoves and due to its beauty; they are still in high demand. I wanted something that was easy to navigate and clean and therefore, I bought one made entirely out of stainless steel. My wife was really happy with the choice, so I guess I bought the right grill. It’s been only a month since I bought this grill. During this time, I have used this grill five times and had a great time.
To help you operate this grill, if and when you buy, I will explain you each part because the manual is a bit tricky to read. There are several parts with a few accessories and some surprise features.
So, let’s start with the basics:
One of the best things about this grill is that it comes with a couple of pretty amazing accessories, which I will be disclosing later. Napoleon has truly gone all out because its small
grills offer almost the same components as its bigger ones. However, this grill does come at a high price. For a small grill, some people might find it too expensive. Even though I agree with this, I think the extra accessories that have been provided as an ad-on makes it worth it. I did have to dip into my savings to buy this grill but now, I am set for lifetime, as long as I keep up with the maintenance.
When I was browsing Napoleon, I found out that along with the products, they also offer a great service – Custom made grill islands. You can sketch up an island and Napoleon will build it where ever you want. Their “Oasis Outdoor Kitchen” service is all about providing people with the perfect corner for grilling
You can go modern with a marble island and a few cabinets and drawers or the classic brick style with a pit at the bottom. I wanted something authentic, so I chose the brick style. I added a sink, along with a single cabinet and two drawers. If you want, they can also add a fire pit in the backyard that will take your winter night grilling scenes to a whole new level. Since I have already spent too much; I will be making further additions after a couple of months.
So, back to the basics – The Napoleon Built In Grill LEX 605 Natural Gas Grill is available with natural gas and propane gas. There’s only a slight different between the two grills. I bought the one with natural gas connection, so I will be explaining its features. The grill has stainless steel cooking grates, five stainless steel burners, a warming rack, JETFIRE™ ignition, stainless steel griddle/cast iron griddle, sear plates and an Accu-Probe™ temperature gauge.
Even the grill’s basic features are of great quality and cannot be discounted as average. Name a small grill that offers you the choice between stainless steel griddle and cast iron griddle? I for one didn’t find any. There are some great features too of this grill, which you can read about after the basic features.
So, let’s move on to the basic features:
A perfect grill is a like a badge of honor that we are proud to show. When it comes to grilling, cutting into a steak to checks if it’s the right color of pink is sacrilege. This grill has been created with specific features in mind to give the ultimate experience. Although these are the basic features, they are still pretty awesome.
The napoleon built in grill does not have an electronic ignition system. I cannot say if I was disappointed that it lacked this feature or happy they introduced a new one. I have heard a lot about electronic ignition systems failing due to faulty batteries. This JETFIRE™ ignition has a direct connection to
the gas line. Instead of the standard hose, this grill requires a gas pipe. This has created a lot of trouble because you cannot just connect to a natural gas tank, which means you need to give the grill a designated place, so that a permanent connection can be made.
The JETFIRE™ system gives a burst of fire that light’s each burner individually. Meaning: If one burner is on, you will have to light the other with the ignition button.
Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
The main grilling area of the napoleon built in grill is 605 square inches, which has five burners. There’s a warming rack located above the grates that has enough space to keep buns and cooked meat. You can cook around 21 burger patties in the main and secondary grilling area. One disappointing factor was that the cooking grates are of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a great material but lacks the quality that porcelain enameled offers. Since its stainless steel, they are self cleaning and prevent rusting. Stainless steel gets hot pretty fast, which is a great benefit in a grill. The sear plates do the rest of the work.
The sear plates are more like flavorizer bars. They help in evaporating the juices and circulate it back to the meat. This creates a more delicious steak, as there is no loss of flavor. One other benefit they offer is that they retain heat quite well. So, you don’t have to worry about losing any smoke.
Stainless Steel Griddle/Cast Iron Griddle
This is an accessory that Napoleon offers and I have no idea, whether I paid for it or got it with the grill. You can remove the cooking grates and place the griddle either on the primary or secondary grilling area. A griddle is great for making eggs or any other light meals. I got the stainless steel griddle, which I haven’t used yet but have heard great reviews about.
Main Stainless Steel Burner
There are five burners in the Napoleon Built In Grill LEX 605 Natural Gas Grill, four of which are made of stainless steel and are located beneath the primary cooking area. The total BTU of the five burners is 64,000. Since you can light each burner individually, you turn on the far corner one and grill the meat indirectly on slow heat. The sear plates take care of the heat distribution, so you can sit back and relax, while your steak cooks on slow heat.
Accu-Probe™ Temperature Gauge
The grill has a stainless steel body with a double walled stainless steel lid. The extra layer in the lid prevents prevent the heat from the escaping and maintains the temperature of the grill. This temperature is measured by the Accu-Probe™ temperature gauge, which gives accurate reading at all times. The temperature range is from 0° to 700°F, which includes the ideal searing and smoking range.
Engaging I-GLOW™ Backlit Control Knobs
Napoleon is all about late night entertainment. Since, buying this grill, I have had some late night parties in my backyard. We usually do it camp style so, there are no real lights. We make do in small portable lights because it’s more fun. The burner valves come with a fascinating feature – You can light the burner valves by switching on the button located on the left side of the first burner. Since it might be difficult to check the temperature on the thermometer, you can easily keep track of the heat through burner valves and its light.
Stainless Steel WAVE™ Cooking Grids
The Napoleon Built-In LEX 605 Natural Gas Grill has unique grids called the WAVE™. The grids have been specially created to provide grill lovers those prefect sear marks, which they crave in a steak. This is a feature patented by Napoleon and is available in all its grills. The grids prevent flare-ups and retain heat quite well.
Ceramic Rear Infrared Rotisserie Burner
There’s a rotisserie kit included in this grill that has completely different grilling system. The rotisserie burner is not just an ordinary burner, it’s a ceramic infrared burner that has a BTU of 15,500, taking the grills entire BTU to 79,500. That’s a lot of heat. The infrared burner locks and seals the juices and makes the meat tenderer. The result is restaurant quality meal that you can enjoy right at home.
Infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ Bottom Burner
So, the secondary grilling area that I was talking about . . . it’s the bottom infrared SIZZLE ZONE™. You can place your stainless steel griddle here and get a nice sear on your steak. The bottom infrared zone offers an optimum searing temperature of 1800°F.
Charcoal Tray/ Stainless Steel Smoker Tube
With the charcoal tray, this grill offers you three options for grilling. You can switch from gas to charcoal and get that smoky flavor on the steak. All you need to do is replace the sear plates with the charcoal tray and you are good to go.
As for the stainless steel smoker tube, the step is a bit different. Fill the tube with your favorite wood chips and herbs and place it on the left side burner. Next, place the meat on the right side burner. Now, turn on the burner underneath the smoke tube only. This will cook the meat indirectly and infuse it with the aroma of the wooden chips and the herbs.
Here’s a quick tip: When searching for the perfect piece of meat, make sure it is well marbled for more tenderness. The beef needs to be evenly sliced, so that it cooks the same from all sides. You can marinate it for 15 minutes in BBQ sauce by adding a splash of vinegar, some chopped chilies, onions and garlic and a little Worcestershire. This will allow you to grill a perfect piece of steak, without damaging the grid. For an aromatic steak, soak spices and dried herbs in water and add them in the smoker tube with the wood chips or in the small section on the charcoal tray after drying.
The grill’s grease management system is quite easy. With the help of the sear plates, the grease is already minimized so, all you need to do is run off the remaining grease in the tray with warm water and mild soap.
The grease tray is located at the bottom of the grill to prevent any flare-ups. One of the things that I recently learned is that excess salt and BBQ sauce is corrosive to the grids. I know . . . what steak is complete without BBQ sauce but here me out. You don’t need to dunk your steak in BBQ sauce. Instead of drizzling it directly when the steak is grilling, why not add it to the marinating process. I have found out that the more seasoning you do in the marinating process, the more juicy and tasteful the steak will be. Here’s how you can clean each component:
Use a brass wire brush after the grids have cooled down. Once the grease and food residue is visible in crusty form on the surface, wipe it off with a towel. If the grids still have some grease left on it, remove it from the grill and wash it with warm water. Tap it with a cloth to absorb the water and pre-heat the grill on high heat before you start grilling. Don’t let the water dry on the grill or else the meat will stick on it.
Cleaning Inside the Gas Grill
Use a brass wire brush and scrape off the debris from the sides and corners. Use a putty knife to clean the sear plates and use a wire brush to sweep everything off the sear plates on to the drip pan. Wipe all the parts with a cloth.
The only problem I found in this grill is the drip pan. It’s too small and fills up quite fast if you are having a party. I had to constantly check the pan so that it does not over flow or create any flare-ups. The grease pan can be cleaned with a putty knife too.
Note: Do not use any cleaning agent or a hard brush to clean the interior or the exterior of the grill. With time, the color of steel fades, so you need to be extra careful while cleaning. Do not rub or scrape too vigorously.
The grill comes with a lifetime warranty with limited warranty on the smaller stainless steel parts. It is probably around 2 to 10 years depending on the parts. I couldn’t find the exact number of years in the manual.
So, there you go. There’s nothing more that I can tell you about this grill. The Napoleon Built In Grill LEX 605 Natural Gas is truly a spectacular grill and with the ad-on parts and the accessories that Napoleon offers, you can make your grilling experience more fun. If you are thinking about buying a grill, then I suggest that you give this one a chance.