Tag Archives: Napoleon

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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Burn, Baby, Burn!

photo 1Finally 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).

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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