Napoleon knows how to make a good barbecue. No question. In fact, they know how to make a barbecue so well, they’ve made too many good barbecues. Now we often get people that are confused by so many great choices and enchanted by the differences between the various models. This particularly happens with their stunning flagship models; the Prestige PRO 500 and the Phantom Prestige 500.
Luckily, we’re here to dispel the mists of confusion and help you make an educated barbecue investment.
Now, these grills aren’t just called the “500” because it’s a nice number. It’s because that’s how much grilling space is available on the main grilling surface. 500 square inches of primary cooking space and 900 square inches total (including the infrared side burner and warming rack). Structurally, the barbecues are almost the same. A handful of the similarities between the two models include:
- Four stainless steel burners featuring Napoleon’s JetFire ignition system.
- Infrared rotisserie burner and infrared Sizzle Zone side burner.
- 80,000 BTUs of output (48,000 BTUs from the main burners, 18,000 BTUs from the rotisserie burner), and 14,000 BTUs from the side-burner)
- Rotisserie included for all your bird spinning and skewering needs.
- Night Light knobs with SafetyGlow to let you know when your burners are on
Under the hood and below the grill grates, the barbecues feature the same sear plate setup which helps to evenly distribute the heat, protect the burners, and redirect the essence effused from your food drippings back up to your food.
While both grills feature Napoleon’s roll-top lid, providing an easy lift and superior air flow throughout the unit, the Prestige PRO 500 features a slightly heavier lid and an additional piece of metal to cut the wind. With that, let’s dive into their dissimilarities…
The Prestige PRO 500 is Napoleon’s top-of-the-line freestanding grill and looks the part too - featuring gleaming stainless-steel accents on the side shelves, doors, and lid. Other luxurious additions to the Prestige PRO 500 are soft-close doors, a cutting board, and ice bucket on the right side shelf. Perhaps most importantly the Prestige PRO comes with monstrous 9.5mm stainless steel grill grates which provide superb heat retention and performance. Also, if you like to be lit while grilling, the PRO comes with lights inside of the grill head and the Night Light knobs are upgraded with RGB functionality. A motion sensor under the barbecue will project the Napoleon logo onto your deck when you get close, to let you know, well, you have a Napoleon.
So what sets the Phantom Prestige 500 apart? Well, the first difference is self-evident. It’s that chic, matte-black finish that engulfs the entire grill, and probably made you enquire into it in the first place. We agree, it is strikingly handsome. The Phantom Prestige 500 features the same shell as the other Prestige RSIB models and doesn’t have the heft of the Prestige PRO. Instead, a couple of phantasmagorical features under the hood set the Phantom Prestige 500 a step above the other Prestige 500 models.
Grates and Racks
First is the cast stainless steel used for the grill grates. Cast stainless steel provides the durability and heat retention of cast iron with the low maintenance of stainless steel. That being said, if you wanted to upgrade the 9.5mm steel rod grids on your Prestige PRO 500 to cast steel, you’d be paying $793.99 for a set (this is no joke - check them out here). The second upgrade is a stainless steel warming rack that replaces the standard wire warming rack for increased versatility. Additionally, the thicker steel on the Phantom's rack makes it more of a cooking surface, due to its great heat retention, rather than "just a warming rack". It has different cut outs for holding various foods.
Napoleon Prestige grills are made in Canada by Canadians for Canadians. This is why they’re one of the top choices for grilling in, you guessed it, Canada. With our temperamental weather, and fervent dedication to grilling, any Napoleon Prestige model will serve you well year-round and thus the question of which to choose; the Prestige PRO 500 or Phantom Prestige 500 becomes one of mostly aesthetics, unless you’re particularly charmed by the cast stainless steel of the Phantom, or the luxury edge of the Prestige PRO.
If you have any other questions about the Prestige PRO 500, or the Phantom Prestige 500, or any of Napoleon’s Prestige barbecues press that button in the bottom right hand corner of this webpage. You can also call or visit one of our five store locations across Canada to have our barbecue experts walk you through any model you'd like. We have two stores in Calgary and three in the Greater Toronto Area, click here to get more information.