Napoleon PRO285-BK Portable Propane Grill Review
You might expect a travel grill like this to be an afterthought for a grill manufacturer, and just a gimmick product to sell to weekend RV warriors. But you’d be wrong. This compact two burner gas grill hangs with the best of them, with top shelf materials, even heating, and great features. You’ll look at compact grills very different after looking at this offering from Napoleon.
Scissor Stand Assembly Sold Separately
- 2 burner portable grill with up to 12,000 BTUs
- Total cooking area: 285 sq. In
- Dual stainless steel burners for direct and indirect grilling
- Porcelain zed cast iron wave cooking grids for consistent, even heat
- Weather guard high top cast aluminum lid
- Optional quality stand
Out of the box
This item came in a well-packed double-walled box that protected the unit and allowed for no shipping damage. Unlike the larger grills we see, the grill came essentially in one piece, with the only accessory being the gas tank hose. The shipping weight was 40 pounds, with the unit itself weighing only 35 pounds. It’s only about 30 inches wide, 15 inches deep, and 18 inches tall so it can be carried, placed, or stored anywhere. We included a picture of the optional stand, but do be ware that it does not come with the base unit.
As we said, the grill came completely assembled with only the gas hose left to attach. It attached easily and quickly, and found that the tank end of the hose features a quick-release latch for easy tank connection. Within a few minutes of unboxing this item, we were ready to grill.
All Napoleon grills feature the Jet-Fire technology for lighting, which is basically a mini-flame thrower. We find it to be a much more reliable lighting method than sparks from a battery, and it lights up the whole burner right away, every time. The lid has a nice seal around the grill, and we found that we got up to maximum temperature very quickly, primarily due to the dual burners. We could fit a surprising amount of food on this grill, and we love the cast iron cooking grates. They’re heavy, hold and distribute heat well, clean easily, and will last forever if you take care of them. The grates are coated, so make sure that you season them regularly and this grill should last you a good, long while. There’s a convenient grease trap for a safe grilling experience, and we’re really impressed with the even distribution of heat across the grill. Everything we put on the grill came out great, and we couldn’t find anything to complain about with the construction or build quality.
Often, portable grills suffer from low build quality and, occasionally, safety concerns. Manufacturers run under the rationale that they’re cheap, so if something breaks on them, people will just buy another one. Napoleon seems to have broken the mold here and built a very solid little grill. Some may think that 35 pounds is a bit on the heavy side for a portable grill, but the quality of construction can’t be argued with. The cast iron grates are the first sign that Napoleon took this grill seriously and used good components. Most portable grills in this form factor usually top out at around $200. This one has a $100 premium on that, and that might chase some people away, seeing as how you can easily buy a full size gas grill for that. However, if you’re looking for superior quality, great cooking ability, high portability, and are okay with breaking the tradition of continually buying cheap low-end grills, we think that the Napoleon would be a great investment that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come. This isn’t the first Napoleon grill we’ve reviewed, and we look forward to evaluating more.