Finally convinced the parental units to get a new BBQ! My folks are pretty conservative, and since our Masport was still working, they didn’t want to trade it for a new one. In the end, I pulled the “but it’s my birthday and you love me” card, and they eventually caved to the Napoleon Lex485RBSIB.
I was really excited to test out the infrared side burner because I hadn’t used one as a main grilling burner before. They usually come as rear burners.
What exactly is an infrared burner? Well, let’s put it this way. A regular stainless steel or cast iron burner has two rows of holes on each side where the flames come out from. The infrared burner on the other hand has about a thousand little holes (or ports) where lots of tiny little flames appear. Just like the glowy bits on lit-charcoal (That’s why they call charcoal barbecues the original infrared grills).
What was it like to use? The flames burnt blue when I first started the side burner. And even at the lowest heat, it was still very hot. I tested grilling some steaks on it and they were practically engulfed in flames. I’d never seen it like that before on a regular burner. It’s probably why you can also use this side burner as a regular stove too.
At first, I left the steaks on for too long, because I didn’t realise how hot it was. So, we have here a well-done.
I did better the second time round though. Managed to get a medium steak.
The Verdict: I was really surprised by the extra charred flavour produced by the infrared burner. Even more so than a what you’d get on a regular burner. For those of you who love the smoky, charred taste, the infrared burner will be able to help you achieve that. Also, I love that it comes as a side burner, so when I’m cooking for myself or for two, I don’t have to bother cleaning out the entire main grill. After I turned off the grill, the fire was actually still going. I actually had to blow it out!
The Napoleon Lex485RSIB is available from libertypatio.com @ $2889. A similar but slightly cheaper model with the infrared side burner would be the Napoleon LE3 @ $2,568.