Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB review
This mid-sized barbecue comes with a range of nifty features and the option to buy extras, such as a rotisserie kit. Read our full review.
- Easy to read temperature dial, safety dials that light up, ample cooking space, effective infrared sizzle zone, comfortable cooking height
- Unclear instructions and hard to find right screws for build, hard to ignite, difficult to see flames, awkward to reach rear burner cooking shelf, lid and edges of handle get hot
Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB review summary
This is a sleek, mid-sized gas barbecue with an impressive array of cooking options to delight grill enthusiasts, as long as you’re prepared to overlook the fiddly assembly and a few design flaws.
With a hefty price tag – the Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB is the most expensive in the range we tested – read on to see whether this gas barbecue is worth the investment.
- Read our full review of the best gas barbecues
First impressions of the Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB
Designed for someone who takes their outdoor grilling seriously, this matte black, medium-sized gas barbecue comes with a range of nifty features, including Napoleon's iconic WAVE cast stainless steel cooking grids that fit over four gas burners, a sear station, rear burner with grilling rack and rotisserie function (although you’ll need to buy this accessory separately). It also has practical side shelves and the control dials are backlit, making it ideal for use in the evening – they turn from blue to red when the burners are on. We like the snug-fitting, soft-closing lid and the fact that the gas cylinder is hidden from view inside the unit.
How easy is the Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB to assemble?
According to the instructions, assembling this barbecue is a two-person job. While this is true from a practical point of view – one person to hold pieces together while the other secures them – it didn’t help with the main problem we had, which was interpreting the instructions and deciphering which size screw to use. They are colour-coded in the booklet, but this doesn’t correlate to the screws themselves. We also advise unpacking everything at the start to find all the packets of screws and other parts, because they aren’t packaged together with the relevant elements of the BBQ. Once you’ve overcome these minor setbacks, it slots together well and feels well-made and sturdy when fully assembled, which takes about an hour and a half.
How easy is the Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB to use?
The wheels work well on this barbecue, so it’s easy to move into position and lock securely. The remaining two legs have silicone feet, so won’t scratch tiles or slabs. Despite the instant ignition feature, it’s a bit of a struggle to fire up this barbecue and it’s difficult to see the flames – at one point during the test, we thought it had gone out, but it was hard to tell. If you’re not confident using gas, this might not be the BBQ for you. As you might expect with its top-of-the-range specifications, it heats quickly, retains heat well and offers an impressive selection of cooking options, including a grilling and searing plate, rotisserie function (accessory available separately) and rear burner.
The grill height is comfortable for an average-size person – all the elements of this barbecue are within easy reach. However, you’ll need to wear heatproof gloves when using the rear burner to protect from the heat of the main grill.
The rust-resistant, cast stainless steel wave-patterned grids achieve the desired barbecued texture and leave great char lines. The separate sizzle zone works efficiently, quickly reaching a high temperature to sear and caramelise steak. However, it has a comparatively small cooking area, which means you’ll need to cook food in small batches to ensure best performance. The main grill provides an even heat, with just a few inevitable cold spots on the outer edges. Cooking with the lid closed is effective and speedy. The grill regulates temperature well, even when the lid is open.
How sustainable is the Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB?
The individual boxes are covered in plastic which seems unnecessary, but the stainless steel means it’s built to last. The lifetime warranty makes this a sustainable option as you can repair and replace parts, as opposed to throwing it away and buying a new barbecue if anything were to break.
This is a big family BBQ that's good for entertaining, with snazzy features like the sizzle zone. But, it’s expensive and, on test, we did have issues with ignition and visibility of the flame.
Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 SIB specifications
Model: Phantom Prestige 500 SIB
Dimensions (cm): H: 127 x W: 168 x D: 67.50
Materials: stainless steel
Gas needed: propane gas cylinder (6kg or 11kg)
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