Tag Archives: Napoleon Grills

Buying your first Gas Grill

Gas grills, as with most things in Singapore, don’t come cheap. We don’t manufacture many things here because labour is expensive and so is land for factories. So when you’re looking for a gas grill, you’ll want to make sure you can get the most bang for your buck.

Here is a check list of things to look out for when purchasing your first gas grill:

  1. What does the BBQ come with? What are you REALLY paying for?
    The price tag can be quite deceiving at times. Why does one 2 burner BBQ cost so much less than the other? Before deciding, find out if the BBQ comes with some essentials like a gas hose and regulator, and a rain cover (which is very necessary in Singapore weather!). Sometimes you’ll be getting a motorized rotisserie – it’s good to check on this one, especially if your BBQ comes with a back burner. Also, don’t forget to check on the local warranty period and what the warranty covers. Some local companies cover transport, service as well as replacement parts under their warranty.

  2. Why buy a grill in Singapore when it’s so much cheaper overseas?
    It’s not always the case that it’s cheaper overseas – take one of Napoleon’s more popular models, the Triumph T325SB. It’s USD499 (SGD698) on amazon, and after adding the standard amazon shipping charges and import fees, you’re looking at about USD840, which equates to SGD1174. It costs SGD999 to get it locally (or SGD1199 with the rain cover and rotisserie unit). For this amount, you will be getting your BBQ with a gas hose and regulator suitable for use in Singapore, 1-2 day delivery straight to your door, free assembly, and a local warranty which covers repairs, transport and replacement part costs.
  3. Materials!
    A BBQ grill can be made out of different materials so you have to know if the materials you’re paying for are justifiable. Standard materials for the bulk of the BBQ are usually stainless steel or powder-coated steel, but can also come in die-cast aluminum (usually for the fire box), chrome-plated steel (for the warming rack), and of course, cast iron (for the cooking grids and griddles). 304 stainless steel is probably the highest grade of stainless steel you can get for a standard gas grill, but most will be made of 430 or a mix of both materials. Why does it matter? Singapore’s humidity and rainy weather means lots of moisture everywhere, and moisture is bad for metal, especially when the grade of stainless steel is low. You’ll find corrosion and rust are a common sight.

    How do you know what kind of steel you’re getting? Do the magnet test. Magnets don’t stick to 304 stainless steel, but they do to 430 and powder-coated steel. Sometimes a BBQ will have a double-skinned hood, which means two layers of metal – the magnet test can be tricky here, because the hood could have a layer of 304 on the outside, and 430 on the inside. It’s designed this way to protect the more moisture-exposed areas of the BBQ.

    If you’re looking at a BBQ, and it has a steep price tag, check if the materials are 304 stainless steel or die-cast aluminum. That might be what you’re paying for.

  4. Other features – Burners, side burners, foldable side tables…
    Other parts you could be paying extra for are the burner power, so compare the BTU/kW with other similar BBQs. Some BBQs come with a side burner or back burner, and some will even be infrared types which are more expensive. Check if the side tables are foldable (if you have a space problem) and if the LPG tank can fit in the cabinet (not necessary, but helpful if you want a sleek integrated look). Other little features such as condiments racks, chopping boards, lights, hooks… these could be small little extras that make the BBQ special.

  5. Lastly, where is it made?
    Where the BBQ is made can contribute to the final price point just because it’s cheaper to ship from China than North America. Some brands will have factories in both locations producing different model ranges. For example, you might have Weber manufacturing their lower end range in China, and their higher end range in the USA, while Napoleon manufactures their entry-level range in both Canada and China, while their high-end Prestige and Rogue R425SIB models are all made in Canada.
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5 reasons to LOVE the Rogue

Napoleon’s latest Rogue gas BBQ grill series might just be the most perfect one yet for the Singaporean BBQ lover. The grills (R425, R425SB & R425SIB) have many amazing features, but let me give you my top 5 faves!

 

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From left to right: R425S, R425SB, R425SIB

 

  1. Quality, Quality, Quality!
    These BBQs are made of such quality materials – across the board, all Rogues have a die-cast aluminum firebox. Why does this matter? Die-cast aluminum is much stronger than welded steel, which means that the areas holding up the burners won’t give way easily.

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    Check out the die-cast aluminum fire box!

    The highest-end of all these models is the R425SIB (which is still made in Canada – many BBQ companies have shifted their production to China, including Weber’s Spirit and Genesis line) and is made mostly out of 304 and 430 stainless steel which fares very well in our weather. Even the grills are made of stainless steel (the other 2 have cast iron grills).

    Now let’s talk heat – you’re looking at about 3.5kw per main burner and 2.6kw for sear zone – this is pretty good when you compare it to a Weber Spirit S320, which is 3.1kw per main burner and 2.1kw  for the sear zone – albeit that the sear zone for the Rogue is a 2-in-1 with its side burner.

  2. Size Does Matter
    I know, I know – size is a problem especially when all you have is a balcony to work with. I love that all the Rogue series BBQs come with 2 foldable side tables, which comes in very handy when you want to pack it away to a corner.IMG_5320
  3. Extra on the Side
    While the R425 doesn’t come with the side burner (as some of you won’t use this feature), the R425sb and R425SIB both come with side burners, and what’s even more awesome is the R425SIB comes with an infrared side burner that doubles up as a sear zone – it’s cool because BBQs with this feature don’t usually come with a foldable side table and are almost always large.What’s even more awesome is the R425SIB comes with an infrared side burner that doubles up as a sear zone – it’s cool because BBQs with this feature don’t usually come with a foldable side table and are almost always large.
  4. Gas What?
    We can’t change that the LPG tanks sizes in Singapore are huge, but we can change the size of the cabinets that house the tanks. Here’s looking at a 12.7kg LPG tank INSIDE the cabinet of the Rogue. I know, satisfying isn’t it?
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  5. Absolutely CHAR-ming!
    Lastly, if you miss the taste of charcoal, you can still have it whenever you want. The Rogue comes with the option of the Charcoal Smoker Tray, which converts your Rogue into a charcoal BBQ. It’s so simple, all you do is fill the tray with charcoal, close the hood and light it up through the burners. Wait about 15-20 mins, switch the gas fire off, and you’ll have a charcoal BBQ going – easy peasy!
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You can get the Napoleon Rogue Series from Liberty Patio, prices starting from $1498. Price includes delivery, assembly, gas hose and regulator, rain cover and motorized rotisserie kit.

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RENO TALK: BUILT-IN BBQS

It’s been a while since I did my last post, but life has been pretty hectic around the office, and in general. I’m at the age where literally everyone in my close circle of friends is getting married (I’ve been to 4 weddings in the past couple of months!). There’s also been a lot of buzz from them about getting new homes to move into… which brings me to my latest question – how does one incorporate a BBQ into your new home seamlessly?

I have a lot of customers who request for built-in BBQs, and these are usually people who live in houses. We have these Napoleon and Masport BBQs built into some landed houses:

But just the other day, I went to a customer’s apartment to give a little demo on the Canadian-made Napoleon Prestige BIPRO500, only to be pleasantly surprised. Here’s a picture of what it looked like, and let me explain why I was both surprised and impressed:

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What the owner of the apartment did was to completely demolish the existing indoor kitchen of his home, and move it to his balcony because his balcony area was really windy and spacious, and wholly utilizes the balcony space which many people overlook. It was such a brilliant idea, I wish I had thought of it myself.

So what you’re looking at is an outdoor kitchen area fully equipped with a Napoleon built-in gas grill, electric stove, electric teppanyaki and gas stoves, and of course, sinks. The owner also used a very unique countertop material which I had not seen before in any other project. Most projects use granite, marble, ceramic tiles, or straight-up boring old concrete. But he used a heat-resistant synthetic material which replicates a vintage/rusted out look, which is very unique and trendy.

(Not in the picture is the fridge and extra counter space on the left.)

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The owner of the apartment had enough space to include an extra alfresco seating area in the balcony, and another dining area inside if it gets too warm in the balcony.

Of course, if you do have an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, you can draw inspiration from these other projects that use outdoor electric stoves, BBQs, and ovens (apologies as these were taken on rainy days).

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German brand Ascobloc and Belgian brand Indu Plus supply teppanyakis, grills, cooking hobs and ovens for indoor and outdoor use. This means they can be used in a dry kitchen, or even left outside in the rain or shine (provided the countertops are built according to requirements). Their products are made in their respective countries, ensuring the highest quality of materials and technology.

If you’re thinking about designing a counter with outdoor gas or electrical equipment, Proline offers a free consultation session with your contractor or architect, or if you don’t have either, they usually have a contractor that they work with that can help you design the outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted.

 

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Bargain Buys: BBQ Warehouse Sale

What better way to celebrate National Day than to chill at home with the fam (and friends too!) and catch the parade!

Liberty Patio X Proline’s bi-annual BBQ warehouse sale is back this weekend – just in time for us to get a grill for the holiday. As usual, the sale will feature past season barbecues, sample barbecues, display units and those with cosmetic defects, as well as bbq accessories. All BBQs are new and never been used. Details on the sale are in the flyer at the bottom of this post.

Here are some examples of what you’ll find at the sale, but be quick, as the popular models will be the first to go:

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Napoleon Triumph T325 Display Unit U.P.$1391 Sale Price: $974 (with cover and rotisserie)

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Napoleon LE3 Display Unit U.P.$2568 Sale Price:$2055 (with cover and rotisserie)

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Masport Lifestyle 3H Display Unit: $1230.50 Sale price: $985 (with cover)

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Liberty Chef S3 Display Unit: U.P. $799 Sale Price: $599.25

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Straight Off The Rotisserie

Previously, I discussed grilling picanha (Brazilian beef rump cap) directly on the grill. Over the weekend, I decided to do something a bit more special and use the rotisserie to see how different the meat would turn out.

Here I have half a slab of picanha (they are normally no more than 1.5kg, so this is about 700gms). The pinkish epidermis of the meat can get quite tough, so I suggest removing it before sticking the rotisserie spike in.

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As with all churrasco, get ready some coarse salt. I’m using a coarse salt herb blend here. Roll the meat up and stick the rotisserie spike through. I’m using the rotisserie spikes here because my rotisserie spike is a bit thin, so the meat needs a little help staying in place. Ideally, you don’t want to have to poke more holes in the meat or squeeze it in any way to avoid the juices flowing out.

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Here’s a short video of how I salted the meat while on the rotisserie. I like it really salty, but it’s not for everyone, so just put a light coat of salt if you’re not too sure. You can just do it while it’s rotating. After salting it, close the hood to keep the heat in – we’re doing this at medium to high heat – around 350 degrees celsius. Check on it every now and again to make sure it doesn’t over cook.

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The flames get pretty big as the salt falls from the meat into the fire below while rotating.

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I remove the picanha a few times during the grilling process to slice off the meat on the outside, the way they would do it at a Brazilian BBQ place. What you’ll find is that you can keep having that beef “bark” on the outside every time you put the meat back on the rotisserie to cook, while the inside remains tender and juicy.

You can get a rotisserie for your BBQ from Liberty Patio.

 

 

 

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Smoking the Right Flavour

I’m a big fan of using wood while barbecuing. Wood chips and grilling planks are great for BBQs because while they have their own individual flavours, you still get that beautiful smokey taste (which is kind of the point of smoking anything IMO).

Napoleon recently brought in their full range of wood chips and grilling planks into Singapore, and here’s our take on the flavour pairings:

Hickory
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Aptly nicknamed the “King of Smoking Woods”, Hickory wood chips are the most commonly used wood for smoking. With its sweet to strong, heavy bacon taste, this wood chips flavour goes perfectly with all meats – pork in particular. The bold flavour that it produces is often linked to Southern BBQ.

This flavour does tend to get bitter, so I recommend soaking it for longer than the other woods; 1 – 2 hours should suffice. Soak it in beer, bourbon, and even Coke.

Mesquite
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The bold, sweet and earthy flavour of mesquite is in line with the tastes of the southwest. This wood comes from the south of USA and Mexico, and its flavour is a little lighter than hickory. Pair this wood with meats like beef, pork, duck or lamb.

Whiskey Barrel Oak
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Made from recycled whiskey barrels, the whiskey barrel wood chips have a hint of aged whiskey when smoking. While it is bold, it is also not too strong at the same time. It is perfect for meats like beef and lamb. Soak these wood chips in juices like grape or orange, or even merlot and sauvignon.

Apple
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Apple wood chips have the strongest flavour out of all the fruit wood chips. It has a mild fruity flavour that’s a little bit sweet. While very versatile with pairings, it is best used with seafood (especially fatty fish like salmon) and pork. You can also use it to smoke fruits and vegetables too. Soak them for a minimum of 30 minutes in water, wine, or even juice. Great to serve with a side of apple chutney.
Cherry
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Said to be the best wood for smoking, the mild and fruity flavour of the cherry wood chips are best for smoking most meats like beef, venison, pork and poultry. It also pairs well with fruits and vegetables. It is also one of the best woods for mixing with other woods.

The flavour is a little sour and acidic, and sometimes can even be bitter. But overall light and fruity, and works well when soaked in cider, apple or pineapple juice, or wine.


Maple
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Made from the sugar maple tree, this unique flavour is a little sweet and great for mixing with other wood flavours, in particular, hickory and apple. It is great for smoking a pork roast, ham and bacon, and cheese and vegetables because of its light and balanced flavour.

Smoker Pipe
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After soaking your wood chips, remove them from the liquid and insert them in the Napoleon smoker pipe. Place pipe directly on the sear plates of your gas grill. When the wood chips start to smoke, place the food on the grill and shut the hood. Then keep the hood closed to keep the smoke inside, this helps give the food the best smokey flavour.

Cedar & Maple Grilling Planks

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Napoleon Grilling Planks come in two flavours – cedar and maple. They are sold as individual pieces, so at $12.50, instead of in pairs like other brands (such as Axtschlag). They are also thicker, so they tend to last longer. These planks are great with salmon and chicken wings. I allow the edges to catch fire a little before shifting them to the side of the grill that hasn’t been lit. It’ll start to smoke, and I’ll close the hood and keep it smoking for about 15- 20 minutes.

All wood chips, smoker pipes and grilling planks are available from $12.50. Purchase them from Liberty Patio or from Napoleon Dealers (do call them before you go down to check if they have stock):

Decofix
Level 1
10 Jln Serene, 258748
tel: 6875 1657

Big Box
Level 3 (at the Outdoor Furniture/BBQ section)
1 Venture Ave, 608521
6801 6688

 

 

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We want s’more S’MORES!

If you’ve been following my previous posts (thanks for the loyalty, heehee), you would know that I am a proud owner of the Napoleon LEX485.

Some of my customers ask me what they can do with the infrared side burner on such a grill. My first answer would always be “STEAKS OF COURSE!”. Because the searing abilities of the infrared burner is top-notch, and I recommend anyone who is a steak lover t o own a BBQ with an infrared side burner because it seals in the juices of the meat.

My second answer would be, and I say this with the pride of a self-respecting dessert enthusiast, S’MORES!

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Some of you might find this way too sweet. But I cannot emphasize how much I love sweets. I use the infrared burner because it’s so hot, it’s almost like using a blow torch. You get that wonderful brownness on the outside of the marshmallows, and the insides stay wonderfully fluffy.

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The recipe for S’mores is pretty simple.

I use:

  • Rocky Mountain Marshmallows
  • Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate (I recommend dark chocolate if you can’t handle the sweetness, and really, any brand will do. But I like Ghirardelli because I use the fun-sized squares they have)
  • McVities Digestives (I was too lazy to source for Graham crackers but you can get them here in Singapore if you look hard enough)

The rest is pretty self-explanatory. Just fire up the grill (then pretend you’re a ninja by fighting your best friends with the BBQ skewers… while recommended, is optional), heat the marshmallows over the grill. Once it’s brownish on the outside and melty (you’ll know when the marshmallows start drooping on the skewers), grab a piece of chocolate and 2 pieces of Digestive biscuits, make a sandwich with the Marshmallow and chocolate in the middle. Don’t wait too long, because you want the hot marshmallow to melt the chocolate.

Et Voila! The perfect way to round up a weekend sesh on the BBQ.

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Barbecue Heaven!!

I’ve been away from the keyboard for a while, and with good reason. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been travelling around Europe, and part of that trip included visiting the a fair in Germany… and man, it was like I died and went to BBQ heaven!!

There were barbecues everywhere, of every kind! I was like a little kid running around in a candy store, going “ohhhh look at this! No wait, that one!! That is the coolest barbecue I’ve ever seen!”

Christmas came early at the Weber booth (you can even get BBQ toys for the lil’ ones!):

 

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Soccer Fever – Fooseball BBQ!
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Some sleek in-built modular designs from BBQ brand ONE:

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Beautiful designer electric grills:

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A Jack Daniel’s Kamado-style grill, made in the USA by Primo:

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German-brand Rosle was featuring their electric grill that runs on wood pellets:

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Taste-testing different BBQ sauces by Stubb’s:

 

 

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Off to the Napoleon Booth:

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Featuring reversible wok-style infrared side-burner on the Prestige Pro:

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The Latest Napoleon TravelQ with double U-burners:

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Love these heat resistant gloves – you can literally hold burning charcoal with these gloves!:

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New Products from Napoleon:

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Some Other nifty BBQs like the cooler fridge BBQ and the Giant Smoker Wagon!:

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To round things up – there were sooooo many BBQs and accessories at the fair and it got me really further fuelled (haha- yeah I know) my love for grilling! I wish I could bring in all these BBQs to Singapore to share the love. Unfortunately, space is so limited and you’ll only see a few of these new products in our little island in the near future. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on what’s hot over the next few months. In the meantime, do check out my posts over the next few weeks where I’ll be showing you how to use cedar planks and other woody BBQ accessories to complement your food. Till then!

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