You won’t find Napoleon grills in the US that easily. This Canadian born grill line, though branched out, is still new in the market. It was launched by a company in Ontario in 1976, but at that time, their work revolved around steel fabrication. Today, Napoleon is one of the biggest competitors of Weber. The company has made its presence known by offering portable and high quality family grills, unique grilling accessories, customized fireplaces, and outdoor kitchen. In fact, if you look at grills from both these brands, you will find that their features and accessories have many parallels. Both brands are fall more or less in the same price range as well.The reason why I chose Napoleon Rogue 425 grill is because most of their grills have an infrared zone. Yes, Weber also offers this in its Genesis series, but Napoleon has more features. It’s the brand’s ability to come up with distinctive ideas that makes this grill all the more appealing.
This grill is extremely easy to use. I have grilled at numerous BBQ parties and when a grill has more than four burners, it becomes really hard to operate all of them together. You never know which part of the grid is getting too hot for the veggies or which part needs more heat so that the steak can turn a nice golden color. This is why I wanted a grill with minimum burners but enough heat power. The best part about Napoleon grills is that they offer you the opportunity to go old school too.
If you are looking for a nice and quiet meal, just fire up the grill and your steak will cook in ten minutes. If you are looking for something fancy like a smoked premium cut steak and a mushroom puree on the side, Napoleon grill is still your answer! My Napoleon Rogue 425 Propane Gas Grill has been used several times ,so far, I have not encountered any problems.
This is how Napoleon describes the R425SIB:
You are not some rookie looking for a casual fling. You are looking for something serious . . . something that offers the ultimate performance level. “You Are Ready To Go Rogue Or Go Home”. Napoleon’s Rogue Series gas grills take your grilling experience from mundane to magnificent. It’s not simply about making a meal. It’s about preparing a meal with flair and flavor.
The grill does not have any complex components that you cannot operate. Let’s start with the basics and I will tell you all about its features and share some tips on how to use and maintain this grill.
The Basics Of The Napoleon Rogue 425 Grill
There are a number of grills that don’t offer the heat for a romance between us and charcoal. I believe that any meal can be made tastier with a little smoke from our favorite wood chips. The aroma and dark taste that charcoal offers, cannot be matched with a seared steak, wouldn’t you agree?
This was a bonus point that Napoleon offered. You will find various grills in your area’s local store and you can even use a dozen of DIY techniques for grilling but they don’t offer the same protection from grease that Napoleon offers. These grills are put through several tests where their ability to maintain temperature and trap heat is calculated. Just like every other grill, Napoleon also has a signature mark: The WAVE grids. If you are planning to buy a grill, don’t get confused with the shape of a grill. A wave grill is equally better as a grill that has straight rods. There’s no loss of taste — one of the biggest concerns — or slowing down of the grilling process.
The WAVE grates simply give the meat sear marks you often see on a steak at a restaurant. Some people believe that sear marks make the meat more delicious. The truth is that it only gives your food a refined look. No matter what, I believe that the more you grill with your heart and make it appealing, the more you will enjoy eating it.
There are features in this Napoleon Rogue 425 Grill that will help you become a better cook. As long as the grill has the basic modern amenities, one can grill a burger or rib eye quite easily. With features like the infrared sizzle zone side burner, you can sear up your very own restaurant quality steaks, the jet fire ignition system means quick start-ups you can count on and the ACCU-PROBE™ Temperature Gauge guarantees a perfect meal every time. Heavy gauge stainless steel burners and sear plates produce precise and rich grilling flavor for creating unforgettable meals, while the iconic waves cooking grids give you those unmistakable sear marks, providing you with a culinary edge your neighbors will envy. Versatility of design from eye-catching stainless steel to porcelainized black offers you a lot of choice when you’re building your perfect oasis of outdoor kitchen. Napoleon’s Rogue can fit anywhere in your outdoor landscape, with its dual folding side shelves.
These midsized grills offer a range of three burner and two burner models with infrared and side burner options. Backed by their president’s limited lifetime warrant, no other grill gives you such excellence and performance, at such an affordable price.
Here’s an detailed account of all its features:
Stainless Steel WAVE™ Grids
When I was searching for a grill on the internet, I was bombarded with reviews, where people kept asking whether the grids were made from 304 stainless steel or 430 stainless steel. Upon researching the types of stainless steel qualities for cooking grids, here’s what I came across:
- 304 contains less steel and more nickel, which is what makes it strong and durable
- 403 takes time to weld and has more steel in it. This is why, cooking grids with this quality steel often corrode, making your food stick to the grill
304 stainless steel is very expensive and you will mostly find it in high end grills like Napoleon, Weber and Lion. The cooking grid on Napoleon Rogue 425 Propane Gas Grill is made from 304 stainless steel, which guarantees that this component will last for 10 years, and with proper maintenance, probably even 20 years!
The rods must be thin enough so that heat can easily pass through. In case of low powered grills, this is extremely important. The cooking grid on R425SIB is 7.5mm thick. It offers a space of 425 square inches and can hold 20 burgers. One of the best qualities of stainless steel is that it heats up quickly, which is great for a grill. It does not rust or corrode easily and allows an even browning surface on the meat.
There’s only one rule to cooking a steak — you can take it past golden to that nice crispy brown but beyond that, you can chuck that piece of tar in the bin. One other thing that is great about stainless steel is that it’s easy to clean.
With so many benefits, one feels everything is too good to be true. So let’s burst a small bubble – the problem with stainless steel, mostly in a cooking grid, is that since it is constantly exposed to a high amount of heat, it tends to discolor with time, which can affect the taste of your food. This is why it is important to keep up with your maintenance. You can read my step-by-step cleaning process at the end of this review.
There’s a stainless steel warming rack located above the cooking grid that occupies 109 square inches of space. All in all, the cooking grid has no complaints from my side. Only time will tell how it will fare.
Stainless Steel Sear Plates
Most of the components of Napoleon Rogue 425 Grill are made of stainless steel. Like Weber, having the flavorizer bars as one of their most popular components, Napoleon has sear plates. Their function is the same – the sear plates vaporize drippings and circulate it back to the food. They prevent loss of taste, maintain the heat level for cooking grates, add flavor and control flare-ups. Located above the burners, they prevent any damage to the burner tubes and help with grease management. Drippings that don’t vaporize on sear plates slide down into the catch pan.
Stainless Steel Burners Tubes and Knobs
The tubular stainless steel burners are pretty standard. The burner tubes have been placed equally apart for maximum heat distribution. The stainless steel grates offer direct and indirect grilling option. For the indirect option, you can turn on the right side burner and place the meat on the middle burner to grill a juicy steak. The tubes are protected by sear plates, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning it regularly. If you only grill over the weekends, clean it after a month. The cleaning drill will depend on how often you use the grill. The total BTU of the three main burners is 36,000. That’s enough heat power to grill a steak in five minutes. One the things that Napoleon has kept in mind is that all their grills offer a moderate BTU. I agree that the higher the BTU, the faster the meat will cook but in this haste, you will find your steak more on the rare side. The burner knobs have numerous settings and unlike other grills, it has a pretty low heat setting that allows you to grill vegetables as well.
The “Sizzle Zone” is the sear burner flush mounted on the side table. It has a BTU of 9,000 and is perfect for making sauces and purees. It heats up to 1800° in 30 seconds. Instead of a tube burner, the sizzle zone allows you to get that crispy skin on the meat through an infrared burner. The infrared burner has the signature WAVE™ grids, which are made of cast iron and offer 200 square inches of searing space.
Cast iron cooking grates can be a blessing and a curse. Yes, cast iron retains heat better than stainless steel but it takes way more time to heat up. For the sake of argument, let’s forget about the delay in the heat-up, the next stop is cleaning and maintenance. Cast iron grates require regular seasoning and with time, the non-stick surface starts to stick. Every material has some pros and cons, but stainless steel is still the superior alloy.
Cast Aluminum Lid with ACCU-PROBE™ Temperature Gauge and Firebox
Though the grill’s construction is of stainless steel, the lid and the firebox are made of cast aluminum. Cast aluminum has almost the same strength as stainless steel but it weighs less. Though both have the same price, cast aluminum offers numerous benefits. It is resistant to corrosion, can withstand high temperatures, is hard, strong and has excellent thermal conductivity. The thermometer on the lid shows you the temperature of the grill at all times. Cast aluminum retains heat more successfully than stainless steel, which is why it is used in the lid. With the top down, you can grill a steak on slow heat and sit back and relax. The firebox is also made of cast aluminum, which offers a double layer of heat retention. The grill weighs 149 pounds and is lighter than other Napoleon grills with the same features.
JETFIRE™ Ignition System
Napoleon Rogue 425 Grill has a “snap jet” ignition system. Burners light up individually on their own, which gives you more freedom and precise heat power. There’s a separate ignition button for the sizzle zone.
Stainless Steel Cabinet
The double door stainless steel cabinet has a hollow space for keeping the propane gas tank and comes with a hose that is attached to the back. There’s plenty of space to keep other things, such as cleaning items, utensils or an extra propane tank.
Side Table and Grill Accessories
There are two side tables in the grill: One has the sear burner and the other is for prep work. Both have hooks in them for hanging utensils, and underneath the sizzle burner side table, there’s a condiment holder that comes with the grill. I have no idea why they placed this holder underneath the side table. It’s honestly involves a lot of bending. I mostly keep all the sauces on the other side table.
As for another accessory that caught my eye when I was buying this grill was the charcoal tray. Not included in the grill, you can buy this from Napoleon. The charcoal tray is an accessory that takes your grilling to a whole new level. It has two divisions: one where you can place charcoals, and the second — a small triangular box — holds wood chips. You can slide this tray over the catch pan, below the burners. The drippings fall on the charcoal, which produces smoke that infuses with your food. It really makes a damn good steak!
The greasy management system of this grill is very simple. The drippings fall on a funnel-like surface located underneath the burners. The grease flows down this funnel into a disposable catch pan placed in the drip tray. The drip is attached to the grill with a holder.
Here’s a tip for when you’re using the grill for the first time: Wash the grids with mild soap and water. Wipe them with a piece of cloth and place them on the grill when they are completely dry. The grids are usually coated with chemicals that can change the taste of the food. This will clean off the surface chemical and the seasoning will scrub off any remaining residue.
For daily use, pre-heat the grill and clean it with a brass wire grill brush. Coat the surface with vegetable shortening. Allow it to sit for a while and then heat the grill again. Now brush away the residue with a brass wire brush. The cooking grids can be cleaned with mild soap and hot water after every use.
The stainless steel cooking grids, lid, aluminum castings and the lid insert have a lifetime warranty. The burner tubes have a warranty of 10 years. The sear plates have a warranty of 5 years. The infrared side burner and the other remaining parts have a warranty of 2 years.
So, there you go, this is the rundown on the Napoleon Rogue 425 Grill.It has some pretty great features and accessories that can help you grill tastier steaks. If you are looking for a light weight grill that is affordable and offers modern components, then R425SIB is the best option. It’s time to grill different and go Rogue !