Napoleon ROGUE® 425 gas barbecue review
A great gas BBQ will see you through the summer and beyond. Read our expert review of the Napoleon Rogue 425 – a serious grill that's suitable for beginners and seasoned barbecue fanatics alike.
Napoleon ROGUE® 425 gas barbecue
- Quick to heat up
- Good temperature control
- Excellent cooking results
- Thoughtful design
- Easy to move around and lock
- Striking aesthetic
- Non-stick coating disappointing
Star rating: 4.75/5
Read our round-up of the best gas barbecues
In a nutshell: A barbecue that we found pipped market leader Weber to the post in terms of ease of build and overall composition and practical design elements, including a gas canister shelf and impressive and easy-to-clean grease management system.
How easy is the Napoleon Rogue 425 to assemble?
Upon initial unboxing, it was clear that the Napoleon component parts were of a high quality, even before being assembled. The black enameled body of the barbecue has dramatic visual appeal, a stylish finish and expert design with lots of clever details, including the cabinet-style body that opens up to hold the gas canister.
It took around 1 hour and 15 mins to assemble from start to finish, which was half an hour quicker than it's market equivalent, the Weber Spirit II. With the Napoleon, key parts were pre-assembled, including the front panel with temperature dials, which shaved off time.
The instruction manual was clear with no confusing elements and consideration had been made to the fact that people of various skill and experience levels would be putting the barbecue together. For example, most of the screws were the same size, leaving less room for error.
How easy is the Napoleon Rogue 425 to move around?
We particularly liked the swivel-motion castor wheels that help the Rogue 425 barbecue to glide (although if you have a textured patio floor it won’t move quite so fluidly).
We preferred this design to its competitor, the Weber Spirit II, which had two larger wheels meaning the barbecue had to be tilted and lifted to move around.
The Napoleon wheels can be locked in place for security, and once in place, there is no danger of the Rogue moving anywhere. The shelves can be folded down for storage but lock securely in place when up, making it possible to move the barbecue around without having to take down the shelves.
Is the Napoleon Rogue 425 easy to store?
This is a large barbecue, measuring 120cm in height, 130cm in width and 63cm in depth with the hood down, so it requires a large cover if stored outside, or alternatively a large shed or garage to wheel it into.
However, the castor wheels impressed, so if the latter was your preference, you wouldn’t require more than one person to move it around.
How easy is the Napoleon Rogue 425 to use?
Gas barbecue newbies might find it intimidating to add gas for the first time, but the simple click mechanism – used on many gas barbecues – is straightforward, with plenty of online resources and an instruction manual to help you get it right.
We particularly like the fact that the gas bottle tucks neatly into the body of the barbecue on a sturdy shelf, so the hose doesn't strain or stretch in any way.
The Rogue 425 heats up incredibly quickly, reaching temperatures of 700F with remarkable efficiency when the hood is down. While lifting the hood does cause the temperature to plummet, it very quickly recovers.
The grill area itself is generously sized, measuring 46 x 59.5cm, not including the warming rack. Like lots of range-style barbecues, the Rogue 425 is relatively high, so shorter people will need to strain their arm to pull the lid up and down, however the bar handle is well positioned to make this as effortless as possible.
The ignition is operated using a push-in mechanism with no separate button or switch. This means it works much like a standard gas hob, making it intuitive for gas barbecue beginners. The knobs offer good control.
The Rogue 425 features Napoleon’s trademark wave-shaped grids which promise even heat transfer and an optimum sear. This design prowess carried through to the position of the grills, which was at just the right height from the gas burners to ensure food didn’t burn.
Our one gripe was that we found the non-stick coating on the grill disappointing, especially when working with marinades.
The warming rack was practical and well positioned, although it should be noted that the barbecue chamber gets so hot, if you leave food to ‘warm’ for too long, it will continue to cook. The hood was a premium quality and robust without being too heavy.
The ‘Accu Probe’ temperature gauge is easy to read and has both farenheit and celsius readings. The temperature precision was a cook’s dream, giving the griller total control over the cooking experience.
The grease management system was well-designed, with one component part that could be taken out for cleaning.
We were particularly impressed by the caster wheels and locking system, allowing a very large and hefty barbecue feel highly portable.
All washable parts can be easily lifted from the barbecue to be washedl. The enamelled grill plates scrubbed up easily.
Our barbecue food cooked efficiently (around 15 minutes for chicken wings, 20 minutes for sausages and 3-5 minutes for halloumi cheese), with burnished brown sausages, crispy skinned chicken and well-charred halloumi.
The heat distribution of the Rogue 425 is excellent. With the hood down, the temperature soars, meaning you can go from zero to ready-to-cook in around 10 minutes.
The burner design is effective at avoiding cool spots, meaning all parts of the grill area were workable, leaving an excellent charred finish whenever the food was placed. The flavour was clean and all textures crisp and caramelised.
Is the Napoleon Rogue 425 good value for money?
This barbecue requires a big outlay, but we feel this price is justified. Not only is the Napoleon a high-quality barbecue with well-engineered components, it has some clever design elements that sets it apart from competitors, including the gas shelf and easy-to-clean grease management system.
The materials are all excellent. Similarly, in terms of sturdiness, it is very difficult to find anything to critique.
One area where the Weber pips the Napoleon is the number of accessories available to upgrade, particularly with regards to the GBS cooking area that can be used with things like pizza stones.
The Napoleon is a handsome grill with dramatic visual appeal and very few of the plastic components that you get on cheaper gas barbecues.
For the price, you may expect some accessories, but it comes only with a hose and regulator.
Napoleon Rogue 425 star ratings
Ease of use: 4.5/5
Cooking results: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Overall star rating: 4.75/5
Read our round-up of the best gas barbecues
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This review was last updated in July 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.