By: Max Good
The Napoleon 22 Inch Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill pays homage to the classic 22.5 inch Weber Kettle, while putting some fresh touches on the familiar and popular design. Lid, cooking grates and coal grates are the most notable differences. The Pro Cart uses hinged, coated cast iron grates with three-level height adjustments, allowing you to move the cook surface right down above the fire for searing or up high for lower temp cooking. The lid is also hinged with a handle on the front, and spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. Charcoal sits on a steel grate with a removable stainless steel heat diffuser and stainless charcoal baskets for indirect cooking.
Coated cast iron grates provide intense conduction heat and make pronounced sear marks. We prefer the open architecture of Weber’s steel rods which are more effective at creating an even brown crust on steaks and burgers. Two hinged sections of the grate lift up for easy replenishment of coal. Grates may be removed or adjusted with attached handles. They can be placed closer or further from the coal by grabbing the handles and moving them onto supports inside the kettle at three set positions. The heat diffuser is a convex, flying saucer shaped hub 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. We have not tested the Pro Cart yet, but adjustable height grates are always good and the heat diffuser may provide some useful options.
Napoleon’s hinged lid gives us mixed feelings. On one hand, anyone who owns a Weber Kettle has probably wished the lid was hinged. Sometimes it just gets in the way and you end up setting it off to the side. On the other hand, it’s one more moving part and how durable will that hinge prove to be over time? But since it is hinged, the 180 degree swiveling lid is an asset, particularly on a windy day when smoke likes to change direction.
The Pro Cart Kettle sits on a small steel cart with a fold out stainless steel shelf and four casters. 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.
It’s hard to beat a Weber BBQ Kettle, but as usual, Napoleon holds its’ own against formidable competition and provides a viable alternative. Click here to learn more about charcoal grills.
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.
Published On: 2/15/2013 Last Modified: 6/16/2021
These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography
With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review
Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.
We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker
The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!
The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.