Napoleon LEX 485 Gas Grill Review

Napoleon LEX 485 Gas Grill

$999
8.2

Construction Quality

8.0/10

Temperature Control

9.0/10

Flare-ups

8.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Durability

7.0/10

Pros

  • Quality construction
  • Heavy stainless steel rod cooking grates
  • Wide range of optional extras
  • High heat output
  • Double walled construction

Cons

  • Comes with rotisserie burner, but rotisserie kit sold separately
  • Heat tends to not be as even as it should be
  • Comparatively expensive

Specifications - Napoleon LEX 485 Gas Grill

  • Three 16,000 BTU 304 stainless steel tubular burners
  • 485 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 805 square inches of grilling space
  • 48,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
  • 12,500 BTU infrared searing side burner
  • 13,500 BTU rear-mounted infrared rotisserie burner (rotisserie kit extra)
  • Heavy stainless steel rod cooking grates
  • On knob piezoelectric with continuous ignition pilot lighting
  • Stainless steel, cast aluminum, and steel construction
  • Backlit control knobs
  • Propane tank, cover, and rotisserie kit sold separately
  • Made in China by Napoleon Grills

Full Review - Napoleon LEX 485 Gas Grill

Napoleon is Canada's premier maker of gas grills. Making grills ranging from around $900USD to over $3,000USD they have an impressive range of products.

The LEX gas grills from Napoleon is their Chinese made "discount" line offering Napoleon engineering at a more reasonable price. This 3-burner grill is large and powerful and offers an infrared side burner and rear-mounted infrared rotisserie burner (but the rotisserie kit is extra). This is a good grill, comparable in every way to some of the best gas grills under $1,000.

Comparable in every way except one, price. That is really the issue with Napoleon. This is a great gas grill for the price, but there are a number of similarly capable units on the market that prevent this from standing out from the crowd.

Napoleon makes the LEX 485RB in China. While it incorporates the best of Napoleon engineering it has been cut down to reduce shipping weight and production costs. The burners are thick, 304 stainless steel, and the cooking grates are heavy stainless steel rod. It isn't in the cooking system where shortcuts have been taken. It is the cabinetry and the thickness of the body (though it does have double-walled cooking chamber). The doors are lightweight and tend to move around a little so they don't always line up. The insulated firebox makes the most of the 99 BTUs per square inch.  Although, the heating can be a little uneven and you might be a little more prone to flare-ups.

So, should you buy this grill?

Well, it is a good grill for the price and yes, Napoleon's competitors are also making cutbacks in materials and quality. The one trick with this is that Napoleon doesn't have the best distribution, particularly in the U.S. If there is a dealer in your area you can go in and kick the casters, otherwise you are forced to do your shopping online. Remember that online sales do not have the same support that dealer sales do. Don't expect Napoleon to jump through hoops to help you out with a problem you have with a grill you buy online.

Don't think that I am being overly critical with this grill. It really is very good. The heat output is excellent, as is the quality of the components. It is a little overloaded with extras though. The infrared side burner has always been something of a mystery to mean. While capable of putting an intense sear on a steak, it can really only do one at a time. Add to this the fact that it is outside the cooking chamber and it really is a rather strange feature.

2 thoughts on “Napoleon LEX 485 Gas Grill Review

  • June 28, 2019 at 12:00 am
    Permalink

    Construction Quality

    0

    Temperature Control

    0

    Flare-ups

    0

    Features

    8

    Durability

    0

    And now for a REAL review. This “grill” and I use that term lightly because it is more of a furnace. Not only does it burn everything you put in it, but it has no way of turning down the flame to a moderate temperature. The only way to get the temperature down to 350 was to shut off 2 burners or prop the lid open. And then, of course, the evenness is what you would expect, NIL. Flare-ups, uneven cooking, and the inability to go below 400 make this grill horrible. The body is cheaply made and racks easily, it bent the first time I moved it. Finally, after 5 years of dealing with this POS, it crapped out and we were actually happy.

    On the positive side: it has nice, easy start knobs, grates that don’t rust.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2019 at 11:52 am
    Permalink

    I’ve had the 485 Lex for 5 years. Had problems with the knobs after first season, replaces 3 burners in first 4 yrs now they a due again. Cheap imitation BBQ poor quality, would never recommend to anyone. Going back to a Webber had my last for 18 years with cleaning only.

    Reply

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