Weber or Napoleon... Which Manufacturer do you choose?
We hope when you read through this article you will be able to make an informed decision on which grill brand (and Grill) to choose. Both are well established names in the gas grill industry and the grills have similar features.
Who manufactures Napoleon Grills? They are manufactured by Wolf Steel, Canadian company that has been in the manufacturing business since 1976. They began as a small steel fabrication company producing steel railings. In the late 70's, they began manufacturing wood stoves and fireplaces. In the early 90's, they expanded their home comfort offerings and introduced gas grills. The company's goal was to produce a high-end gas grill that would stand out in the marketplace through its exceptional level of quality and warranty.
Many people have never heard of Napoleon Grills where everyone (grill owners and non grill owners) has heard of Weber. They have truly established themselves as a household name in residential gas grills, especially in the US. Napoleon is household name throughout Canada.
When Weber was sold to a private equity company over 5 years ago, this made Napoleon the largest privately owned manufacturer of grills and fireplaces in North America.
Once Weber was sold, the majority of their grills and repair parts were moved overseas with the exception of some of the components in the Summit Series.
With Napoleon, the Prestige Series Grills are the only Grills in their line that are still manufactured in North America. The Rogue and the 700 Series Built-in Grills are imported though they do have impressive warranties. The Rogue has a 15 year top to bottom warranty while the 700 series has a Lifetime (on many components).
The Weber Spirit and some of the Genesis II models are currently imported.
Napoleon majorly upped their game on their warranty to beat Weber's 10 year top to bottom warranty offered on the grills (Spirit, Genesis and Summit) in their line. This has given Napoleon a real competitive advantage over Weber, who has been their largest competitor for over 20 years. In fact, from a branding perspective, Napoleon is known as the Weber of Canada.
EXPERT TIP : Be sure when choosing your grill Model with either Weber or Napoleon, you know the correct gas type you are using (LP Propane or Natural Gas). Both companies do NOT allow the converting of their grills and do not offer any conversion kit. We have seen many customers see a grill on sale thinking they can purchase a conversion kit. There are none available. This decision was solely a liability based decision. The manufacturers cannot be certain that the conversion will be done by a licensed technician and therefore to keep insurance costs down, they had to stop offering a conversion kit. This has also helped keep there grill costs down as well.
The Prestige Grills are available in Two Series : Prestige Pro and Prestige. Both of these grills offer a lifetime warranty on many components (see below).
What is the warranty on the Napoleon Prestige/Prestige PRO?
- Stainless Steel Cooking Grates - Lifetime
- Stainless Steel Tube Burners - Lifetime
- Hood - Lifetime
- Aluminum Castings - Lifetime
- All other Parts (including Sear Burner, Rotisserie, Sear Plates) - 15 years
What is the warranty on the Weber Summit Series? 10 Years all Parts
What is the Warranty on the Weber Genesis II? 10 Years all Parts
The Prestige PRO is the top of line in Napoleon's Grill Line-up. These grills can be compared with the Weber Summit Series. The Summit is the top of the line in the Weber Gas Grill line.
The Summit is the only line from Weber that has some components manufactured in the USA. A majority of the parts are imported. They have drastically reduced the warranty of the Summit to an overall 10 year. The Summit series used to have components that were warrantied for 25 years. We still believe that with the price tag of the Summit, they should have a better warranty on the product.
There are only two Weber Summit cart models, 470 (4 main burners) or 670 (6 main burners).
All Summit and Prestige Pro use Flame Thrower Valves. These valves have a gas powered ignition system allowing you to light your burners from the control knob.
Both Napoleon and Weber offer Propane and Natural Gas in each of the models. The Natural Gas units are slightly higher with Napoleon.
Prestige PRO is offered in three models :
- Prestige PRO 500 RSIB (4 main burners)
- Prestige PRO 665 RSIB (5 main burners)
- Prestige PRO 825 RSBI (6 main burners; 4 stainless tube and 2 ceramic infrared)
All three models can be built-in or on a cart. The Built-in models are true built in heads where the Weber Summit Built-in models are a one piece that incorporates the grill and doors as one built-in unit.
The Prestige PRO comes Packed with features you will not find on any Summit Grill.
- LED Spectrum Night Light Control Knobs where you get to select the color you want
- SAFETYGLOW on the knobs that turn red when a burner is in use
- LIFT EASE center-gravity lid for easy lifting
- Heavy gauge stainless steel tube burners with crossover lighting
- 9.5mm Stainless Steel Wave Cooking Grates for perfect sear marks
- Sizzle Zone (True Infrared Technology) - The ceramic burners uses thousands of ports to generate infrared radiant energy. The biggest difference between blue flame burners and infrared is the heats the object where the blue flame heats the air. Due to the fact infrared heats food directly, not the air around it, it is virtually impervious to wind conditions.
- Interior Grill Lighting for night-time grilling
- Rear Infrared Rotisserie Burner
- Commercial quality Rotisserie Kit
- Wood chip smoker tray with a dedicated gas tube burner
Cart models feature Premium stainless steel side shelves with integrated beverage holders and ice/ marinade bucket with cutting board and Soft-closing cabinet doors with interior lighting and ULTRA-GLIDE propane tank storage tray slides in and out for easy access (on LP units Only)
Prestige PRO 825 RSBI
Two Heads are better than one with the Napoleon Prestige PRO 825 RSBI. This grill would be closely compared with the Weber Summit Grill Center as it is the model that features the most options.
The PRO 825 is offered on a cart or as a Built-in model. It includes all the features listed above but includes a two stage power burner on the left side and a separate grill head for dedicated Sizzle Zone Grilling along with a stainless warming tube burner between the two. The Sizzle Zone is true infrared technology that reaches 1800 degrees in temperature.
There are 6 main burners (4 stainless tube and 2 infrared located in the second grill head), dedicated smoker burner and a side power burner. Cart models not only feature 2 soft closing access doors but also feature 2 soft close drawers for storing bbq tools.
Weber Summit Grill Center also features 6 main stainless burners at 10,000 BTU's per burner, a dedicated smoker burner, sear station burner (stainless tube NOT true ceramic infrared), 9mm cooking grates and a dual ring side burner.
Verdict : The Prestige PRO 825 RSBI may be priced a little higher than the Summit Grill Center but the PRO 825 comes with a lifetime warranty, a true infrared (sizzle zone) searing station and soft closing access and storage doors and drawers.
Prestige PRO 665 RSIB
The Prestige PRO 665 RSIB features 5 main stainless tube burners plus an infrared sizzle zone side burner that serves a dual purpose. You can sear meats, sealing in their juices and creating a caramelized exterior then, move to the stainless blue (open) flame burners to finish cooking. You can also use the sizzle zone side burner as you would any traditional side burner to heat sauce or boil pasta.
This grill would be compared to a Weber Summit S-670 that features 6 stainless tube burners and a standard side burner.
Prestige PRO 550 RSIB
The Prestige PRO 500 RSIB features 4 main stainless tube burners, sizzle zone side burner and all the features listed above.
This grill would be compared to a Weber Summit S-470 that features 4 stainless tube burners and a standard side burner.
Verdict : While both grills are great, the warranty alone is enough to sway us in the direction of the Napoleon.
Prestige is offered in two size models with or without Infrared Rotisserie Backburner and Sizzle Zone Side Burner. You either get a basic model or a fully loaded model.
- Prestige 500 / 500 RSIB
- Prestige 665 / 665 RSIB
The RSIB Models feature an Infrared Rotisserie Backburner and Side Sizzle Zone. Both models are offered on a Cart or as Built-in Heads.
The Prestige Series would be a cross between the Weber Summit and Genesis II Grills with closed cabinets (doors). The RSIB models share similar features to the Summit Grills, such as the infrared rear rotisserie burner that is not an option on the Genesis II.
Weber Genesis models do NOT have a Built-in option.
The Napoleon Prestige has a flame thrower ignition system just like the Prestige PRO and the Summit. The Genesis II models use a battery operated ignition.
The Prestige features :
- SAFETYGLOW Control knobs that turn red when a burner is in use (Battery Operated)
- Heavy gauge stainless steel tube burners with crossover lighting
- 7.5mm Stainless Steel Wave Cooking Grates for perfect sear marks
- OPTIONAL Rear Infrared Rotisserie Burner
- Heavy Duty Rotisserie Kit (on RSIB Model)
Cart models feature Premium stainless steel side shelves with tool hooks.
Prestige 665/ 665 RSIB
The Prestige 665 and 665 RSIB both feature five 12,000 BTU Main Burners. There is not a Weber Genesis Model that features 5 Burners so we do not have a comparable model. This grill is in between two Weber models. It is priced under the Summit S-470 yet much higher than the Genesis S-435. The quality is more in line with the Summit than the Genesis II.
Prestige 500/ 500 RSIB
The Prestige 500 and 500 RSIB both feature four 12,000 BTU Main Burners. The 500 RSIB grill is (currently) similarly priced as the Genesis II S-435. Both models feature four main burners with the same burner BTU output. The biggest differences, again, is with the warranty and Weber's definition of sear station. Searing, in our opinion, is not a 9,000 BTU stainless tube burner. Weber's is more of a smoker burner where the Sizzle Zone offers true infrared grilling.
Both manufacturers offer an impressive line of grilling accessories to step up your grilling game.
One of the accessories we love is Napoleon's Cast Iron Charcoal and Smoker Tray. You get the best of both fuel worlds. The charcoal tray lights using the gas burner so there is no need for lighter fluid! Easily switch from gas to charcoal. Just remove your sear plates and replace with the charcoal tray, fill with charcoal and light using your gas burners.
Which Grill should you choose Weber or Napoleon? Weber Summit Series and Napoleon Prestige Pro are equal in quality and have very similar features. In some instances, the Napoleon Prestige Pro is priced slightly higher than the Summit but the lifetime warranty more than makes up for the difference in price.
It also depends on your needs. If you are looking for a built-in grill, Napoleon offers a larger product offering than Weber. Weber only offers a couple of built-in grills as they are really not in that market.
Napoleon has really expanded their outdoor kitchen offerings at exceptional pricing and warranty.
If you are looking for a grill on a cart, it is a toss up when it comes to the Summit Series vs Prestige and Prestige PRO.
The Napoleon Prestige is a much better grill than the Weber Genesis II series. We would consider it more to be a stripped down Summit.
In addition, the Napoleon Prestige warranty cannot be beat! In fact, Napoleon has a better warranty on their Rogue series which is comparable to some of the Genesis II models and the Spirit series. The Rogue has a 15 year top to bottom warranty and Weber offers the same 10 year warranty on all of their grills.
In our opinion, If you are shopping at a Big Box Store and not a grill specialty store, you have to choose Weber. They are the most well respected brand you will find there. Most of the other brands you will find at your big box stores will be private label import grills with virtually zero support. Though many of Weber's grills are imported, they still have a warranty with product support.
If you should ever question a grill brand and it's quality, please call us. Whether or not you purchase a grill from us, we will offer an unbiased opinion.