Napoleon LEX 485 Built-In Natural Gas Grill Review
A drop-in natural gas grill is meant to be a thing of beauty that puts the exclamation point on your outdoor kitchen. Napoleon is a grill manufacturer who has spent years offering high-quality grills that meet a wide range of needs.
The Napoleon LEX 485 is designed to run on natural gas. It measures precisely at 29.75L x 21.5W x 7.5 inches high. It is made almost entirely from high-quality stainless steel.
The grill comes with a stainless steel grill grates with Napoleon’s signature Wave pattern. Not only does this help with even heat distribution, but it also creates visually interesting sear marks. They measure in at a pleasing 675 square inches.
The three natural gas burner elements each produce 16,000 BTUs of heat. There is a built-in Jet-Fire Ignition system to start the burners without having to use matches or a lighter.
They are also set up with flame tamers which helps to distribute even heat, while also reducing the chances of excess drippings plugging up a flame port. Drippings that do land on the flame tamers tend to vaporize, adding to the fire-kissed aroma. Napoleon also offers an accessory smoker tube that you can load with wood chips or wood pellets to add extra smoky flavors to the equation.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
Napoleon sticks by their reputation for selling quality grills with the LEX 485. It is made largely from stainless steel. Care is clearly put into every weld, fastener, and measurement. The stainless steel helps prevent problems with corrosion and discoloration. Though, you will get maximum mileage out of the LEX 485’s gleam if you make sure to cover it when you aren’t using it.
When it comes to drop-in grills, installation is always more labor than the assembly. Double check the manual for all the pertinent vent panel information. This is a requirement you will find with all drop-in gas grills. Napoleon makes it a point to provide accurate requirements.
Their dedication to precision also shines through in their stated measures. The LEX 485 is exactly 29.75L x 21.5W x 7.5 inches high. This level of exactness isn’t something that you necessarily find with competitor grills, which sometimes have a knack for being a quarter inch longer or shorter on one of their dimensions.
The Napoleon LEX 485 can get incredibly hot. Which is nice in a natural gas grill. Their signature “Wave” grill grates also absorb heat nicely. Just give the grill a solid 7 to 10 minutes to fully preheat, and the grates will give you a strong and visually distinctive steakhouse sear.
You can also dial down the heat on one side of the grill to create dual heating zones. This means you can hybrid things like a leg of lamb, over low heat on one side of the grill, before rolling it directly over the high heat.
It’s also large enough for you to bring a cast iron griddle into the equation. You could set it up on the right-hand side of the grill to preheat on high heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Once the griddle is ripping hot, you can fire up the left side of the grill to medium heat to grill chicken tenderloins or flank Steak. Then drop some julienne cut onions and peppers with some olive oil and ground cumin on the hot griddle.
In this configuration, you can make the kind of sizzling fajitas that taste just like the ones you get in a restaurant. The odor coming off the grill will draw people over, without you having to say a word!
The 675 square inches of stainless steel Wave-pattern grill grates provide you more than enough room to grill steaks for up to six people.
The heavy duty, stainless steel grill grates with their signature wave pattern help with heat distribution, while also creating a unique searing pattern.
Ease to Clean
Napoleon understands that if you are going to invest in a drop-in grill natural gas grill, that you don’t want to wear your arm out cleaning it. To that end, they thoughtfully designed the LEX 485 to be easy to clean.
The flame tamers sizzle away most of the drippings on their own. If they get particularly gunky with something like a little caramelized marinade, you can lightly scrub them down with a nylon bristle grill brush.
The Wave-style grill grates will need to be scraped down of anything that sticks. Sometimes a little material can get stuck on the backside of the grates. If this happens, you can just take a mildly abrasive scouring pad and give it a quick wipe.
If you buy the accessory smoke tube for it, make sure to empty out any ash and spent coals after every use. A bottle brush with a sturdy wire core will help clear away anything that gets stuck. In a pinch, you could use a chopstick or a bundle of bamboo grill skewers.
The Napoleon LEX 485 comes with a multi-tier limited warranty.
The aluminum castings, stainless steel base, stainless steel lid and cooking grids all come with a 15-year warranty against manufacturer defects. The stainless steel tube burners are covered by a 10-year full coverage, plus 50% off until the 15th year. The Stainless steel sear plates have a 5-year full coverage, plus 50% off until the 15th year. All other parts and components carry a basic 2-year warranty.
When compared to most competitors in this class this is a superior warranty. There are some other units that carry a superior warranty, yet they cost around $500 to $700 more.
Napoleon has worked hard to build a reputation for being a high-quality grill manufacturer. They show it off with the LEX 485 and echo their commitment with a superior warranty. At the same time, the Lex 485 drop-in has one of the nicest price points in the natural gas grill niche.
- Napoleon quality materials throughout
- Superior warranty
- Friendly price tag
- Measurements are exact
- Small warming rack
- Grates can be a little sticky
- No rotisserie option