Napoleon Prestige Pro P500RSIB Gas Grill Review
Infrared grilling continues to grow in popularity with outdoor cooking enthusiasts who cherish the ability to create a steakhouse level sear on the meats they prepare. The Napoleon Prestige P500 RSIB Propane gas grill incorporates the ease and convenience of a propane grill, while also providing side and rear infrared elements.
Napoleon refers to the infrared elements as being the grill’s “Sizzle Zone.” The infrared elements are heated by the underlying propane burners allowing them to reach up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they are also capable of lower temperatures than you find in most comparable infrared grills. Along with the infrared elements the Napoleon Prestige P500 also has six evenly distributed propane burners that are capable of producing 78,500 BTU’s.
The stainless steel cooking system incorporates WAVE rod grills and sear plates to provide 900 square inches of cooking space. The Prestige P500 also comes with an accessory rotisserie unit with a heavy-duty motor capable of handling things like a while chicken or layered shawarma.
It’s worth noting that while the Napoleon Prestige P500 is available in a natural gas or a propane version, there is no conversion kit available. If you already have natural gas hookups available at your home this might not seem to be a major factor at first.
Yet the grill’s potentially long lifespan might extend beyond the time you live at that house. If you were to move to another home that does not offer municipal access to natural gas, you could not safely operate the grill. At the same time natural gas has roughly a third of propane’s energy density, which means it is not available in portable tanks.
The Prestige P500 was also designed with mobility in mind. If you need to move the grill to store it for winter, or you simply want to move it to another spot in your outdoor cooking area, it comes with wheels that are easy to lock and unlock, as well as side tables that can fold down when needed.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The prestige is made from high-quality materials all the way around. This includes a significant amount of high-quality 304 stainless steel. The lid is also dual layers of stainless steel which improve heat retention and allows for a faster thermal bounce back in times when you need to open the lid and close it again.
The grill itself is quite heavy for a comparable propane grill. This is due to the multitude of burners and infrared components. Considering how complicated the grill seems at first glance, it is relatively easy to assemble, given all of its components.
If you are new to infrared grills it can take a little bit of time to adjust to how different meats and vegetables respond to the incredibly high heat generated by the Napoleon Prestige P500’s sizzle zone. Simply dropping a thick, yet refrigerator-cold New York Strip Steak onto the sizzle zone might cause the outside to burn before the inside reaches the desired level of doneness.
One way to help prevent this from happening is to bench rest thicker cuts of meat for 15 to 20 minutes before grilling. Simply leaving them wrapped on a room temperature counter will reduce the amount of thermal exchange needed to cook the interior of the meat, while still creating a superior external sear.
All told the primary grilling grate and the warming rack provide you with 900 square inches of cooking space. This is more than enough to cook for a significant number of diners. With proper distribution, the Prestige P500 should be able to handle up to 30 hamburger patties at a time.
The grill grates are made from thick gauge stainless steel, which may be prone to sticking if not lightly lubricated by applying some high smoke point oil to a paper towel and rubbing it on the hot grates. The warming rack is not made from the same thick gauge stainless steel, which is only a factor if you need to reheat a piece of meat that is being held over for a long time.
Also, the thinner material used for the warming rack can potentially wrap if it is left in while you are using the rear infrared element or actively using the rotisserie. To prevent this from occurring you should always remove the warming rack before preheating the grill for a session that uses the rear infrared element.
Rotisserie with a counterbalance to help maintain even cooking. Napoleon also sells an accessory basket which you can place under the rotisserie to help prevent drips from landing on the elements below. This metal basket can also be loaded with vegetables to saturate them in the flavors of the drippings.
The so-called “Sizzle Zone” of the side infrared element is reportedly capable of reaching 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This puts it in the range of a high-end steakhouse broilers ability to sear meat. The other six propane burners can operate at lower temperatures, which allows you to do some hybrid grilling with thick pieces of tough meat that might need 30 to 45 minutes of low heat. When it is cooked through and tender, you simply flip it over the intense heat of the sizzle zone to mark and sear it.
Ease to Clean
Infrared grilling elements tend to be easy to clean as their intense heat often vaporizes any dripping. The grill grates can be scrubbed down after each cooking session. The gas burner elements will also benefit from a wipe down with a soft sponge, and an occasional scrub to remove any burned-on material.
Probably the largest cleaning concern with the P500 comes from the rotisserie, which has the potential to produce a large amount of drippings. Even if you don’t want to spend the additional money for the accessory metal basket, you should still keep something like a shallow baking pan or heavy-duty tinfoil under it to limit the mess.
The Napoleon Prestige line of grills comes with a multi-tier warranty package. The Aluminum castings, stainless steel base, stainless steel lid, porcelain-enamel lid and stainless steel cooking grids all come with a lifetime warranty. The stainless steel gas burners and the porcelain-enamel cast iron cooking grids come with a 10-year full coverage warranty, after that point they carry a 50% warranty that spans the total life of the grill. The stainless steel sear plates, ceramic infrared burners, and the rotisserie rear burner all start out with a 5-years full coverage warranty. After that, they carry a 50% warranty for the life of the grill. Any other components not covered by these warranties only carry a 2-year warranty.
If you need to grill for a large number of people and you enjoy the convenience offered by a gas grill, the Napoleon P500 Prestige can provide you with the ability to prepare large volumes of just about any kind of grilling fare. The integrated infrared elements also allow you to create a steakhouse sear, while also offering advanced versatility.
However, if you rarely cook for large numbers, and just need something to occasionally grill for you and one or two people, the price point of the P500 might be high compared to a smaller propane grill with an IR side burner.
- Superior craftsmanship and materials
- Infrared “Sizzle Zone” for a steakhouse sear
- Infrared rotisserie with counterbalance
- Easy to move for its size
- Even heat distribution
- Large cooking area
- Price may be a little high
- A natural gas unit cannot convert to propane
- A propane unit cannot convert to natural gas
- Rotisserie can be messy