Napoleon vs. Weber: Which Grills Should You Choose?

Napoleon vs. Weber

There is no doubt that you will want to get the best value for your bucks when it comes to buying a grill. And while there are many things that you can do to ensure this, one of the easiest one is by only buying from reputable brands like Napoleon and Weber.

However, knowing the best brands to buy is one thing and choosing between them is another as things can get quite confusing given that these top brands will have several grills with almost identical features.

But, choosing between Napoleon and Weber should still not be a hectic task as several factors set them apart. And here we showcase some of these differences and also the merits and demerits of each brand to help out grillers still on the fence on which brand to buy.

Napoleon Overview

Napoleon

Napoleon is a relatively newer entrant into the grill market, and this is more so when compared to Weber which has been in operation for a long time.

The company is based in Canada and it started its operations in the early 1980s. While it has always been known for its top-quality wood stoves, the company has been making inroads into the gas grill market segment in the last few years.

And despite their grills being comparable to what Weber has to offer in both performance and features, they tend to be relatively more affordable and hence better suited for budget shoppers.

But, while the Napoleon grills are still well-built and durable, Weber stills seems to outperform them in this aspect as the company makes some of the sturdiest grills you can get in the market.

Pros:

  • Relatively more affordable grills
  • Quite reliable and versatile
  • Efficient infrared grilling systems

Cons:

  • Smaller wheels make their grills harder to move on rough terrains

Weber Overview

Weber

If you are a seasoned griller that has been using grills long enough, the chances are that you have used a Weber grill at some point or have at least thought about buying one as this is one of the most popular grill brands.

The company makes all kinds of grills from simple and inexpensive charcoal grills to the fancier gas and electric models which are available in a variety of sizes to cater to all kinds of grillers.

Weber is also one of the oldest grill manufacture given that they have been producing grills since the 1950s, and they are known for making some sturdy and highly-durable grills that are designed to last a lifetime.

Most of their grills also accommodate various accessories which allow for more customization, and not to forget that the company is always adding more modern and advanced features to their products such as the IGrill 3.

And while still fairly affordable, their grills are often more expensive than similar-sized models from Napoleon.

Pros:

  • High-quality and more durable grills
  • Wider distribution network makes their grills more readily available
  • Great for outdoor grills
  • Grills often have more advanced features

Cons:

  • Some models are a little pricier

Comparison Table

Note: For a fair and more accurate comparison, below we compare two mid-range grills from the two brands which are Napoleon Prestige 500 and Weber Genesis II E-410

Napoleon Prestige 500

Weber Genesis II E-410

Total Cooking Area

760 sq. in.

844 sq. in.

Number of Burners

4 main and 2 infrared burners

4 main ones

Main Burners Heat Output

48,000 BTU

48,000 BTU

Ignition System

Jetfire ignition system

Infinity ignition system

Cooking Grates

Porcelainized cast-iron

Porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates

Cart Design

Porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates

Open

Wheels

4 locking casters

2 large wheels and 2 swivel and locking casters

Prices

$$$

$$$$

Napoleon vs. Weber

If you are torn between Napoleon and Weber which is a situation many grillers are likely to end up in, you need to have as much information on the two brands as possible to ensure you make the right decision. Our comparison of their two top brands below should be an excellent starting point.

1. Total Cooking Area

When it comes to the cooking area, few brands can outperform Weber as the company always seems to focus a lot on ensuring that grillers get as much space as possible.

But the good news is that for both the Prestige 500 and Genesis II E-410, you will get a generous cooking area which makes the two grills perfect for cooking for large groups.

For the actual cooking area size, Weber’s grill will provide a total of 844 square inches which is more than 80 square inches larger than the 744 square inches you will get on the Napoleon grill and hence making it the winner here.

2. Number of Burners

The more the burners on your grill the better as it typically translates to high heat output and more efficient cooking.

And here the Napoleon Prestige 500 seems to have an edge over Weber. While both grills will have 4 main burners that heat the main cooking area, Napoleon will provide two extra burners for their grill.

The two extra burners that you get on the Prestige 500 are 1 side infrared burner and a rear infrared burner. These extra burners will give the grill capacity to cook in more ways, and hence making it relatively more versatile.

3. Main Burner Heat Output

For the heat source, these grills seem to tie since they will both provide 48,000 BTU per hour to heat the main cooking areas since they have four 12,000 BTU burners.

However, given that Napoleon's grill comes with two extra burners, it will have relatively higher heat output. For example, the rear infrared burner will provide up to 18,000 BTU per hour which makes it perfect for a rotisserie.

Read More: 10 Best Rotiseerie Ovens

Also, it is worth noting that the actual heat output you get will be relatively lower for the Weber grill given the larger cooking area. Hence, when it comes to heat output, Napoleon takes the day.

4. Ignition System

The ignition system will not affect how the grill cooks as you will only use it when firing it up, but it determines how easy it will be to light it up.

Both Weber and Napoleon pay a lot of attention to their ignition system as they aim to ensure grillers have the easiest time with their grills, and they equip them with some of the most efficient ignitions.

Napoleon uses the more innovative Jetfire ignition system which besides being easier to use also ensures quicker startups by shooting flame to light each of the burners instantly. Weber's Infinity ignition system will also give you an easier time, but it is still not as innovative as the Jetfire.

5. Cooking Grates

Like many other top grill brands, both Weber and Napoleon use the more efficient cast-iron grates which help ensure excellent heat retention for faster and more even cooking.

But while the grates on both the Prestige 500 and Genesis II E-410 are cast-iron they differ in the kind of coating used to help prevent rust and make them easier to clean.

Napoleon gives their grates a porcelain-enameled coating while the ones on the Weber grills are just porcelainized. According to some grillers, this does not make a significant difference as both coatings are still prone to chipping, and so here there is no clear winner.

6. Cart Design

One of the most noticeable differences between the two grills is the design of the cart because one comes with an open cart and the other has a closed cabinet.

Weber leaves their cart open to allow for easier access to your grilling essentials, but it also means your gas tank will be out in the open which for some users possess more risk. However, the open cart also seems a little more spacious.

With Napoleon, on the other hand, you will get a closed cart design which makes it easier to organize your grilling stuff and also helps to keep the tank locked in. The cart will include durable stainless steel doors and several hooks for hanging things.

For the cart design, both brands will also have other models with either closed or open carts, and so here what you go for is purely up to your preferences.

7. Wheels

Wheels make it easy to move your grill around, and so the type includes on the model that you buy matters a lot as some will not even have wheels. But with both Weber and Napoleon, you can be confident of getting wheels with most of their models.

The Weber Genesis II E-410 is the winner when it comes to the wheels as it will come with a couple of swiveling and locking casters that make it easy to move the grill in any direction and will also include 2 larger wheels that will allow you to move the grill in rough terrains.

Napoleon Prestige 500 comes with 4 locking casters that will also move easily and can be easily locked to keep the grill in place but will probably not be very good on rough surfaces.

8. Prices

Given that these are top brands, most of their products will generally be pricier or at least more expensive than what you would pay for other low-end brands.

But overall, Napoleon grills tend to be relatively cheaper than what Weber has to offer. However, this will still vary from one model to the other because both brands also have some low tier, inexpensive grills to cater for that market segment.

At the time of writing this piece, the Prestige 500 is retailing at a significantly more affordable price tag than the Genesis II E-410 and you can expect to pay around $350 less for the Prestige 500.

And it should also be obvious that with both brands what you actually end up paying for their grills will depend on where you are buying and the prices also keeps changing like most other products. Also, it is worth noting that the price difference is mostly due to Weber being a more reputable brand.

Conclusion

Grillers on the lookout for a grill from a top-end brand that will provide great value for cash and is well-built and high-performing will be better off sticking with Weber and Napoleon.

But, because their products have quite similar features, picking between the two is not always easy even for seasoned grillers that have been grilling for ages. However, the decision is always much easier when you know what sets some of their top models apart. And from our comparison above this should be clearer.

Those looking for a relatively more affordable top brand grill, Napoleon will be the more appropriate brand to stick with.

And for those that are looking for something that provides a larger cooking area, comes with some cool features and is also more robust, Weber will be a perfect choice.

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