PROS / The Napoleon Mirage has a durable stainless steel construction.
CONS / It has less primary cooking space than average.
VERDICT / Combining a rotisserie burner with rear and side infrared burners, the Napoleon Mirage creates a versatile, multipurpose cooking space – one of the best you can find.
The Napoleon Mirage LEX485RSIB is one of the best gas grills available. This barbecue grill can use either propane or natural gas as a fuel source, and it features infrared technology on its side and rear burners. The Mirage also lets you smoke your meat with an optional charcoal and smoker tray. It has all the power and cooking space you need to grill up your favorite meals for your family and friends. The versatile cooking space and overall features, construction and technology make the Napoleon Mirage gas grill a clear choice for our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
This Napoleon gas grill features an electronic ignition in the front. The ignition system makes starting the grill quick and easy with the press of a button. Electronic ignitions are an efficient way to get the flame going, but they also require a battery, which needs to be replaced occasionally. In our tests, this was one of the fastest grills to heat up, reaching 500 degrees Fahrenheit in about three and a half minutes. It also does a fairly good job of retaining heat, though we found it doesn't retain heat as well in front as it does in the middle and rear of the primary grilling area. This could be because many grill companies, including Napoleon, have cut down on thicker materials to reduce the weight of the grills.
The Mirage is available as a propane or natural gas unit. Once you install the natural gas pipeline, you no longer have to worry about running to the closest gas station to fill up your depleted propane tank in the middle of a barbecue.
Infrared technology is a good way to grill meat at high temperatures to sear meat and caramelize the outside. The Mirage comes with an infrared side burner that features a ceramic infrared heating plate and burner in the rear of the unit. This gas barbecue grill is one of the few midrange grills we found that features a rear infrared burner. You can also buy a heavy-duty rotisserie kit separately to slow-cook or roast. This extra feature opens up new possibilities in grilling and is one of the reasons this is among the top-rated gas grills in our review.
The more efficient a grill's design, the fewer Btu it requires. Generally, you want a grill that has a Btu rating of around 80 to 100 per square inch. This ensures that the grill grates stay hot and sear your steak in a timely fashion. The three primary burners on the Napoleon Mirage generate up to 48,000 Btu, which is about 99 Btu per square inch. The side burner generates up to 12,500 Btu on its own, and the rear rotisserie grill can generate up to 13,500 Btu.
Grilling Areas & Dimensions
The space the Mirage provides for primary grilling is a little below average, but the infrared burners help make up for it. We were able to fit 20 burgers on the grill at once, which is plenty for most occasions. The warming tray fits up to eight buns. The warming trays are good for melting cheese on your burgers or keeping vegetables warm. The infrared side burner is also nice for cooking vegetables and other toppings. You can slow-roast meat using the infrared grill in the back.
Another nice feature of this gas grill is its integrated ice bucket and cutting board on the side shelf. You just flip the lid of the side shelf over and you have a sturdy cutting surface. Under the lid, you'll find a space where you can add ice to keep your drinks or meat cold. The Mirage also gives you the rare option to use charcoal with a tray that lets you convert half of your grill to a charcoal grill. You have to purchase the charcoal tray separately. While they aren't necessities, these features set the Mirage apart from the other grills.
This gas grill has backlit control knobs for grilling at night. The knobs' ergonomic design makes it easy to grill in the dark without squinting to see the temperature settings. Napoleon also offers an optional halogen light that you can attach to the side of the unit for these nighttime barbecues.
The roll-top lid is also handy, because it decreases the space the grill takes up. Many grills need a few extra inches of clearance so you can lift the lid all the way up. The lid on this grill rolls forward as it lifts, so it is almost flush with the back of the grill.
Inside this grilling machine, you get sear plates, cooking grids and three burners, all made of stainless steel. The lid, side shelf and cabinet doors are also made of stainless steel, which means that your grill will last a long time. Stainless steel is a very durable material – it does not rust, and it resists damage from food and cleaning. In our experience, cast-iron grates usually retain heat slightly better than stainless steel grates, with more even cooking, but you can't go wrong with stainless steel either.
Napoleon grills have unique cooking grates that leave a distinct sear pattern on your meat. This grill also has a wrap-around condiment tray, so you have a designated place to put your sauces and spices. There is plenty of storage space on this grill for all of your accessories.
This propane grill won't take up a lot of room on your deck or porch. With the lid closed, this gas grill measures 59.25 inches high, 61.75 inches wide and 27.25 inches deep. It is one of the biggest grills in our lineup, yet it is easy to maneuver around your deck space, thanks to two of its four heavy-duty caster wheels being able to swivel in any direction.
Warranty & Support
This Napoleon grill has one of the best warranty packages of any grill out there, considering most companies only offer five- or 10-year warranties for their burners, and generally only one year for parts. The Napoleon Mirage comes with a limited lifetime warranty for its burners, and the parts have an impressive five-year warranty.
We were impressed with the customer support representatives at Napoleon. We contacted them a number of times and received prompt, friendly and informative responses. If you have any problems or questions about your Napoleon grill, you can be confident in the support you will receive from the company.
In addition to excellent email and phone support, Napoleon has informative FAQs on its website that provide tips on grill assembly, general grill care and methods of grilling. On the Napoleon outdoor grills website, you can also find a troubleshooting guide, a maintenance guide, maintenance videos and more.
With the Napoleon Mirage LEX485RSIB, you get a handy hybrid of traditional and infrared grill technologies. In addition, you can fuel this grill with either propane or natural gas to fit your current setup. The backlit knobs, integrated cutting board and ice chest are some standout extras it offers. It heats up quickly and cooks evenly for the most part. The infrared side and rear burners are a nice addition that give it more cooking versatility. With all kinds of extras and a great overall grilling experience, the Napoleon Mirage is one of the best grills in its price range.