Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 Review: Sleek But Pricy

Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 gas grill infront of house

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I’ve been cooking on the Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 for the last few months, and I have to say that this grill has really impressed me.

The Phantom is a special edition of the hugely popular Napoleon Prestige range. It has a sleek matt black design, beefed-up grill grates, and a custom warming rack.

But is it worth the $500 extra? In this review, I’m going to break down the ins and outs of the grill, highlight some of the features that make it stand out from the competition, and let you know whether I think this grill is a good buy.

Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 Propane Grill
  • Sleek & stylish
  • Heats up fast
  • No hot or cold spots
  • Infrared burners
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Large price increase from the regular Prestige
  • Limited storage in cart
Check Latest Price

Assembly and First Impressions

The assembly of the Napoleon Phantom Prestige was about what I expected. The instructions were easy to follow and could be done with a single person, though having a buddy around was helpful.

After it was assembled and I could take a step back and look at the grill, I was immediately impressed by the quality and design. This is a good-looking grill; there are no doubts about that.

I’ve always been a fan of Napoleon grills, and I own their Freestyle model, a smaller and more affordable option they offer. The Phantom blows the build quality of that one out of the water.

It has a dark, matte black finish that looks silky and edgy at the same time. It comes equipped with heavy-duty stainless-steel cooking grates and the knobs light up blue when they’re off, then switch to bright red when they’re turned on.

The knobs light up red so you can easily tell which burners are lit.

This is part of their SafetyGlow feature. I love that the knobs change color when they’re turned on, so there is no question whether your burners are lit or not.

But, looks aren’t everything – I couldn’t wait to fire this grill up and see how it performs!

How does the Phantom Prestige fit into Napoleon’s lineup?

The Phantom Prestige I tested for this review is essentially the same as the Prestige but with a few enhancements.

Both models are available in two sizes, either 500 or 665 square inches. The 500 comes with 4 burners, while the 665 has 6 burners (excluding the two infrared burners).

Each model comes in Propane or Natural gas, and the top-of-the-range Prestige Pro also comes as a built-in.

In terms of grilling performance, all of the Prestige series perform similarly, offer the same number of BTUs, and all come with the same infrared rear and side burner and rotisserie kit.

As you step up, you add on more luxury features. Besides the black styling, the main difference between the base Prestige and the Phantom is more rugged grill grates and a multifunctional warming rack with special cutouts for wings and appetizers.

Stepping up to the Pro you get interior grill lights, and a proximity detector so the lights automatically turn on when you get close.

For the best value for money, the basic Prestige is a great option, but you really can’t beat the slick look of the Phantom Prestige.

What’s it like to grill on?

The first thing I noticed after firing up the Phantom Prestige was how quickly it heats up. I set it to medium-high temperature and it got to 450°F within 10 minutes.

I also found the heat distribution across the grates was pretty even. I got a good sear on both the front and the back of the grill. Nice to find there weren’t any noticeable hot spots.

Unlike my other Napoleon grill which comes with cast iron grates, the Phantom Prestige comes with Stainless Steel grates in the classic Napoleon wave style.

I think I prefer the look and feel of the cast iron, but the stainless steel grates are high quality. I feel like the cast iron is a bit more naturally non-stick. This is just a personal preference and stainless steel grates have a lot less upkeep required, so many of you may prefer these over the cast iron option.

To date, I’ve seared Tri Tips, cooked burgers, grilled a perfect filet mignon, and also heated up snacks like Smoked Queso and Jalapeño Poppers on this grill.

I’ve been happy with everything I’ve cooked on it and can say that I’m impressed with the overall performance.

I love the infrared side burner as well. It can be used to sear or reverse sear a steak straight on the grates, but I’ve also put a pot on top of it and used it to heat sauces, oil for frying, and all types of things.

searing steak on the napoelon prestige side burner
Steak seared on the infrared station develops an amazing crust.
I used the infrared side burner to warm sauces and sear steak.

It’s nice to have a separate searing area on the same grill in case you want to cook things at a lower temperature at the same time.

This grill is easy to move around. It has sturdy wheels that lock into place so it will move when you want it to, but will also stay put while you’re cooking.

What are the storage and prep areas like?

You get two well-sized side tables when you’re not using the side searing station.

The storage area under the grill houses your propane bottle, and there’s also a little space that could hold some grill tools, although it’s not as usable because of the metal support.

Napoleon Phantom Prestige VS Weber Genesis

Napoleon’s biggest competition would be the Weber Genesis, which includes many of the same features and has a similar build quality.

We’ve done a detailed comparison of the Weber Genesis VS Napoleon Prestige, which you can check out to learn more about that grill.

Both grills come with 4 burners and a side burner.

The Weber has no infrared burners, and the side burner is only for warming pots. The sear zone on the Weber is part of the main grill, and you can swap out a portion of the grate for a dedicated searing area. It gives you a larger searing area than the sear zone on the Prestige.

Weber Genesis SPX-435 searing zone
Sear zone on the Weber Genesis

The grates on the Weber are porcelain-enameled cast iron, so the Napoleon gets the edge there.

The Weber doesn’t come with the rotisserie kit, which will set you back around $150.

The main grilling area on the Weber is larger with 646 square inches not counting the warming rack.

One other standout feature of the Weber is Weber Connect, the smart technology that gives you food temperature alerts on your phone.

Both grills come with burner lights, but the Weber has an LED light that illuminates the entire grilling surface.

The bottom line, both grills are very competitive, excellent grills, and you’ll have to decide which features are most important to you.

At the time of writing, the Weber is a little cheaper than the Phantom but doesn’t come with the Rotisserie.

Should you buy the Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500?

I think this grill is a great choice compared to other gas grills that I’ve owned and cooked on over the years. It’s sleek, stylish, and a very nice addition to any backyard grilling setup.

Whether you are a beginner or you’ve been grilling for years, this grill will impress even the most discerning griller.

Now, is it worth the $500 increase over the standard Napoleon Prestige? Given it’s essentially the same grill, you are paying a premium for the black exterior, thicker grill grates, and warming rack.

If you love the look and have the money, then the Phantom will not disappoint.

Also, I must give kudos where it is due that Napoleon offers a Lifetime Warranty on this grill. Most grills that I’ve purchased in the past have a limited warranty, so I was impressed that Napoleon was willing to stand behind its product for its lifetime.

Overall, this is one of my favorite gas grills that I’ve ever cooked on, and I will be using it regularly moving forward. I think it’s a great buy if you’re in the market for a high-quality gas grill to add to your grilling arsenal. If you’re still not sure this is the grill for you, be sure to check out our best gas grills roundup for information on some of the other options on the market.

Napoleon Phantom Prestige 500 Propane Grill
  • Sleek & stylish
  • Heats up fast
  • No hot or cold spots
  • Infrared burners
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Large price increase from the regular Prestige
  • Limited storage in cart
Check Latest Price

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