Napoleon is a Canadian company that manufactures a wide variety of grills, smokers, accessories and books. They started in 1976 as a small steel fabrication company in Ontario, Canada, then branched out into making fireplaces and grills. Although Napoleon sightings are rare south of the Canadian border, they produce quality products and are essentially Canada's answer to Weber. In fact it's hard not to draw comparisons between Napoleon and Weber, even their logo and website are similar. But Napoleon comes up with just enough distinctive ideas to make them a viable contender.
The Napoleon NK22CK-L Charcoal Kettle Grill pays homage to the classic 22.5 inch Weber Kettle while adding a few interesting elements. Like Weber's comparable kettle, It has hinged, steel rod grates so you can replenish coal without removing food. The CK-L adds a fourth leg for stability and a convex, flying saucer shaped heat diffuser, (shown below), with holes around the edge that rests in the center of the coal grate and is meant to distribute heat evenly and moderate the center hotspot. The grill may be used with or without the diffuser.
The kettle is 22.5 inch diameter black porcelain enamel with 365 square inches of cooking area. There is a damper at the bottom that connects to a removable ash catcher and a damper on the lid. The obligatory hood mounted heat indicator is included. For a true picture of what's going on under the hood, get a digital thermometer.
Here's a promo video from Napoleon.
It's hard to beat a Weber Kettle, but as usual, Napoleon holds its' own against formidable competition and provides a viable alternative. Click here to learn more about charcoal grills.
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