The Napoleon Mirage is the best gas grill available today. 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 cooking space isn't as luxurious as some gas grills – it isn't even the largest available from Napoleon grills. However, the features, construction and technology make the Mirage a clear choice for our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.
Power in gas grills is measured in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. While they are not the end-all be-all feature of a grill, they are a good way to determine exactly what kind of power you can expect from a gas grill. BTUs also measure how much fuel a grill is likely to consume during use. The more BTUs a grill generates, the more fuel it consumes in the process.
The three primary burners on the Napoleon Mirage can generate up to 48,000 BTUs. This isn't as high as some other gas grills, but it is more than enough for the space on the Mirage, especially spread across only three burners. This equates to approximately 16,000 BTUs per burner, which is extremely impressive. The side burner generates up to 12,500 BTUs on its own, and the rear rotisserie grill can generate up to 13,500 BTUs.
Every gas grill needs some sort of igniter to get the flame going. This Napoleon gas grill features an electronic ignition on the front of the unit. Simply press down on the button and a battery will build up a charge, send a series of sparks to the burners and ignite the gas. Electronic ignitions are very efficient at getting a flame going, but they also require a battery, which needs to be replaced occasionally.
The Mirage also features an infrared burner in the rear of the unit. This section of the gas grill uses ceramic infrared burners to create intense heat spread evenly over a small area. You can get a heavy-duty rotisserie and a counterbalance from Napoleon to keep your chicken or roast spinning slowly over the heated ceramic plate. The Mirage is one of the few mid-range gas grills we found in our research that features a rear infrared burner. This extra feature opens up new possibilities in grilling, and it's one of the reasons this is the best gas grill in our review.
Infrared technology is quickly becoming a popular way to grill your food. Quick, high temperatures created by infrared burners are ideal for searing meat quickly to lock in its juices and flavor. The Mirage comes standard with a Sizzle Zone side burner that features a ceramic infrared heating plate. This is perfect for quickly searing your steaks, burgers, chicken and more.
At 485 square inches, the primary cooking area is smaller than some other gas grills. However, this grill has a very large warming rack (190 square inches) where you can melt the cheese on your cheeseburgers or slow roast your meat with indirect heat. Moreover, the infrared side burner adds additional cooking space. This grill gives you more than enough cooking area for your backyard barbecues.
The Mirage is available as a propane or natural gas unit. Natural gas grills are quickly becoming more popular in today's grilling world. Once you have the natural-gas pipeline installed, 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 BBQ party – or any other time.
Another fun little feature of this gas grill is its integrated ice bucket and cutting board on the side shelf. 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 and keep your drinks or your burgers cold until you're ready to use them. This feature isn't necessary for a good grilling experience, but it is a fun little extra that helps set the Mirage apart from the other grills.
If you've ever grilled at night, you know how frustrating it can be if you can't see what you're doing. This gas grill also has backlit control knobs. The i-Glow knobs have an ergonomic design and make it easy to grill in the dark without having to squint to see the temperature settings. Napoleon also offers an optional halogen light that you can attach to the side of the unit.
The Lift Ease roll-top lid is also handy because it decreases the amount of space the grill takes up. If your grill area is close to a wall or your deck railing, for example, many grills need to have a few extra inches of clearance so you can lift the lid all the way up. However, this innovative design on the Mirage grill rolls the lid forward as it lifts, so the lid is almost flush with the back of the grill.
Stainless steel is the material of choice in the Mirage. Stainless steel is the preferred grill material for many professional grillers for good reason. Inside this grilling machine, you will find three stainless-steel burners, stainless-steel sear plates and stainless-steel cooking grids. The lid, side shelf and cabinet doors are also made of stainless steel, which means that your grill will last a very long time. Stainless steel is a very durable material – it will not rust, and it resists damage from food and cleaning.
With the lid closed, this gas grill measures 50 inches high, 64 inches wide and 25 inches deep. The Napoleon grill won't take up a lot of room on your deck or porch, which is great, and the roll top helps to ensure it takes up even less space because you won't need as much rear clearance. The Mirage also weighs 180 pounds, but it features heavy-duty casters on the bottom, so you can easily maneuver the grill around, if needed.
We are impressed with the customer support team behind Napoleon grills. 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 rest assured that a helpful and efficient support team is ready to assist you.
In addition to their excellent email and phone support, Napoleon also has informative FAQs on its website that feature tips on grill assembly, general grill care and even tips for grilling. On the Napoleon grills website, you can also find a troubleshooting guide, a maintenance guide, assembly and maintenance videos and more. This impressive array of helpful tools will teach everyone, from grill master to beginner, something new about their gas grill.
Infrared technology is relatively new to grilling, and some grilling aficionados are hesitant to make the switch to a grill that only uses infrared technology. However, with the Napoleon Mirage M485RSIB, you get a handy hybrid of the two technologies so you can enjoy both traditional gas grilling and infrared grilling. In addition, you can fuel this grill with either propane or natural gas to fit your current setup. Even without all the features such as the backlit knobs and integrated cutting board, this powerful grilling machine is sure to make your backyard barbecues a hit.
The rear and side burners of the Mirage use infrared technology to create a versatile cooking space.
The primary cooking area is only 485 square inches.
With more than 74,000 total BTUs and durable stainless-steel construction, this grill is the best option for your backyard barbecue.