If you’re looking for a premium outdoor grill that provides plenty of versatility and a great cooking experience, then the Napoleon Prestige P500 Natural Gas Grill is one of the best options currently on the market. Napoleon continues to be one of the most trusted names in outdoor grilling, and this particular model is an example of why the brand has become so desirable. It offers advanced features like infrared heating in addition to the traditional gas burners, and it’s available in three color configurations that will allow you to perfectly complement your outdoor space.
This premium grill does come with a premium price tag, so let’s jump into the full review to see if it’s worth it.
Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 Natural Gas Grill Key Product Features
- Stainless steel cooking surface for perfect heat transference.
- Premium soft touch controls.
- Rotisserie kit included.
- Built-in hood thermometer.
- High quality stainless steel and aluminum construction.
- Folding side shelves with additional infrared cooking surface.
Taking a First Look at the Prestige 500 Grill
The first thing that you’ll notice about this Napoleon Grill is that it has great design and a strong presence that is worth a second look. If you’ve always wanted a grill that would stand out on your patio, then this model will easily satisfy you. The fact that it’s available in stainless steel, black, and blue, means that you can even complement your outdoor décor and furniture. It’s important that a grill is functional in regard to its main task, but having something that looks this good is definitely a bonus.
An initial look at the construction reveals the use of stainless steel and aluminum throughout the grill, stand, and the side shelves. The stainless steel polishes to a perfect sheen, just as you would expect from a grill in this price range. This model is highly presentable and for outdoor grilling and entertainment that is exactly what is needed.
There is some assembly required, which you can do yourself if you have the time and the inclination. It’s not overly difficult and you’ll find instructions included with the documentation. Another option is to have professional assembly, and this is recommended if you don’t have experience setting up a large grill. Expert assembly is available for online purchasers, so make sure you take advantage of this if you’re ordering over the internet.
The Prestige 500 Looks Great; How Well Can It Grill?
Looks aside, when you invest this much in a grill you need to be absolutely sure that it’s the last one you’ll need.
With a grill this size, you can cook almost anything you want. There’s enough space on the main grill for around 30 burgers, and the side grill is good for 8. There are four independent burners that make up the main grill, as well as an infrared back burner. You can control the temperature zones with the soft touch controls, and with the hood down you can monitor the temperature from the integrated thermometer. It doesn’t matter if you’re grilling burgers, making barbecue ribs, or even putting in some rotisserie meat, this is a grill that can perform in any scenario. The total cooking area is 760 square inches including the side grill, and that’s more than any family would need. This is truly an entertainer’s dream grill. If you love having friends and family over for sports and a grilling session, or for holiday events, then this grill is going to get a lot of use. You can roast or bake with the hood down, and some owners even bake cakes inside this grill. If you love to cook outdoors then this grill is going to give you an excuse to do so, and you’ll enjoy every moment of it. The soft touch knobs make you feel like you’re handling a professional indoor oven, and the roll top lid feels great to open and close.
You could even save on your energy costs by using this grill. Natural gas is much cheaper and more efficient than electric appliances, and in the warmer months this could literally become your single kitchen appliance.
The staggered sear plates used on this model create a unique wave grill pattern, but they’re also intended for practicality. They mean that you can cook smaller food items without having them fall through the grill, which is something that you just can’t do on a standard straight grilling surface. Natural process over time will create a patina on the grilling surface, which not only protects the steel underneath, but it helps to prevent the food from sticking. Not every grill gets better over time, but this is one of them.
Keeping things versatile, the side burner allows you to expand your cooking area, so that you can either cook more of what you’re grilling on the main grill, or you could use the side burner for a stewing pot or even a skillet. Think about cooking a red wine sauce, or sautéing some mushrooms and onions for your steak… it’s simple when you have a grill like this that offers you so many features.
Some people would look at a large grill and assume it’s just more of what you would get on a smaller grill. The Napoleon Prestige 500 proves that this is not the case, by giving you options in how you want to use it.
What Exactly is an Infrared Grill?
The Prestige 500 uses gas burners just like a traditional outdoor grill, but it also incorporates infrared heaters into the back of the main grill, and on a side grill mounted within a shelf. Infrared cooking technology has only recently entered the mainstream grill market, and it’s a real innovation, rather than just a sales gimmick.
Infrared heaters are able to create heat that can penetrate into food in a way that direct flame or radiant heat cannot. What it means is that food is cooked thoroughly on the inside and out, even with relatively short cooking times. If you want to cook larger cuts of meat but don’t want to create too much sear, then infrared can help you to achieve this, Infrared heating is also highly efficient, so operating costs can theoretically be reduced. Although you may not have considered using this type of technology in the past, you’ll find that it’s an important aspect of the Prestige 500 package, and once you try it you’ll wonder why more grills don’t incorporate this feature.
Construction and Material Quality
Purchasing a premium grill means expecting premium workmanship and materials. There are a number of key features of the Napoleon that help to make it worth every penny that is spent. It’s important to understand that this is a grill that has been made to last.
The stainless steel is of a high grade, which will ensure that the grill is protected from the denting or warping that could be a problem on an inferior grill. The grilling surface is solid stainless steel, which is a step up from the coated cast iron that is used on some of the midrange Napoleon models. The body of is made from a stainless steel that will inhibit rust and virtually any type of corrosion. The burners are also made from stainless steel, which will ensure that they can keep on performing for year after year. High quality enamel is used on the colored models, and it won’t chip or crack, which is essential for a unit that has a combined 48,000 BTU rating from the four burners.
If you’re looking for a grill that you won’t have to replace, then this could be your best option. Although this is the smallest model in the Prestige line, it features all of the same design and construction quality as the largest grill, so you can save some money without making compromises.
Are Accessories Included?
The Prestige 500 comes in a number of configurations. This particular model includes the four main gas burners, a rear infrared heater, a side infrared grill, and a rotisserie kit. There is a custom Napoleon Grills cover that can be purchased for this model, but it is not included in the package. Even if you will be keeping this grill outdoors in a covered area, using a cover is advisable. If you want to use a third party grill cover, you’ll need to make sure that it’s suitable for the dimensions of 26.2 x 64.2 x 50.2 inches.
Pros and Cons of the Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 Natural Gas Grill
There’s not much more that you could ask for when looking at this grill on paper, which leaves us with plenty of pros and very few negative points.
- Highly versatile cooking options with the combination of gas, infrared, and a side infrared burner.
- High quality construction which is a significant step up from the Napoleon midrange models.
- Color choices mean you can find the perfect look for your home.
- Included rotisserie kit provides yet more versatility.
- Integrated thermometer is accurate.
- Premium fit and feel to the entire grill, right down to the control dials and the hood opening movement.
- This grill has some serious weight (190 pounds) which will require two adults for lifting if it is being moved into storage.
- For the price, it would have been ideal if Napoleon included their fitted grill cover.
Explaining the Warranty
The warranty on this model is extensive, but it can be confusing at first glance because of the way it is structured. There’s no single warranty that covers all parts, but instead different aspects of the grill are covered by different warranty periods.
The main stainless steel base, lid, and the cooking surfaces are covered by a limited lifetime warranty, the burners are covered by a ten-year warranty, and the side burner is covered by a two-year warranty. The rear (rotisserie) infrared burner is also covered by a separate warranty, which is three years from the date of purchase.
What Do Owners Say About This Grill?
Owners who have reviewed the Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 have been highly positive, reflecting many of the observations that have been made in this review. They have been pleased with the build quality, the different cooking options and overall control over the grill has also been mentioned as a high point. Owners have also been highly impressed by the infrared features on this grill. Note that this grill comes in multiple configurations, so some online reviews may refer to features that have not been covered in this article. Some additional options include a second side burner, and a side charcoal burner.
Final Thoughts: Is This Grill Worth the Price Tag?
There’s no ignoring the fact that this grill is a significant financial investment, but at the same time, it can be easily put into perspective. There are more expensive drop-in grills that don’t have the extras like the infrared or side burner, and there are even more expensive standalone grills that simply increase the size and number of burners. Yes, this grill is an investment, but it’s one in the sense that while you will pay more for quality, you’ll have the benefit of durability and excellent versatility.
If you are still asking at this point whether it is worth the price tag, then the simple answer is yes. If you’ve been looking for a premium grill that doesn’t make compromises, and that actually offers more features than some pricier grills, then it’s hard to ignore the Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 Natural Gas Grill. Outstanding looks, excellent build quality, and the best possible materials could mean that this is the last grill that you will ever buy. It’s a recommended purchase, and in its price range it would be very hard to find another model that competes both on quality, and the innovative features that Napoleon brings to the market.