New Napoleon Charcoal Grills at HPBExpo 24

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At the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association’s annual Expo in Nashville, Tennessee in February, Napoleon announced the latest additions to the company’s lineup: a new series of charcoal kettle grills. In all, there are six grills of varying sizes and included accessories. Napoleon’s lineup features a 14” kettle, a Premium and a PRO 18” kettle,…

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Napoleon Charcoal Grills at HPBE 2024

At the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association’s annual Expo in Nashville, Tennessee in February, Napoleon announced the latest additions to the company’s lineup: a new series of charcoal kettle grills. In all, there are six grills of varying sizes and included accessories.

Napoleon’s lineup features a 14” kettle, a Premium and a PRO 18” kettle, and then three versions of a 22” kettle: the Premium, the PRO, and the PRO Cart. Whether you are looking for a simple and portable charcoal grill or you want a centerpiece charcoal grill for your backyard, Napoleon has you covered. It’s obvious that they are coming after Weber’s market share in the Charcoal Kettle Grill category.

Napoleon 14” Kettle Grill

The 14” kettle is a tabletop charcoal grill that is perfect for a picnic or grilling hot dogs and brats while tailgating. It sits on four legs so you can put it on a tailgate or on a picnic table. The grill features 150 square inches of cooking space that Napoleon says can accommodate up to seven burgers at once. 

In terms of portability, this grill only weighs in at just over 10 pounds and the lid latches closed. So it’s easy to carry and you don’t have to worry about the lid and grill grates bouncing around the back of your vehicle.

Napoleon Premium 18” and 22” Kettle Grills

Napoleon is making the 18” and the 22” kettles both in Premium and Pro versions while the 22” Pro also comes as a cart model. Both 18” models feature 296 square inches of cooking space while all three 22” models have 360 square inches of cooking space. Regardless of Pro or Premium, all 18” and 22” models feature a big removable ash catcher that also has the bottom vent controls with five different opening settings.

Regardless of size, both Premium models have the same feature set. The cooking grates are made from stainless steel as are the air vents. The Premium grills also have a lid hanger so when you need to take the lid off, you don’t have to find an open spot to set it down while worrying about burning something. 

Napoleon PRO 18” And 22” Kettle Grills

The PRO series of kettles is where Napoleon really amps up the features. I personally got to see the PRO 22” Kettle Cart, and it’s designed to make charcoal grilling and smoking as easy as possible. Yet all three PRO kettles have the same sets of features other than the cart. The upper air vents are not just a standard swivel style as on the Premium kettle. The air vents, called a Smoke Stack Chimney, are enclosed on top with a swing arm-controlled swivel that opens the vents along the side. This helps give you prevision control without worrying about anything falling into the cooking chamber.

Above the bottom ash catcher and vent controls is what Napoleon calls the Vortex heat management system. It resembles the Vortex cone for kettle and kamado-style grills, but it sits underneath the charcoal grate. It helps focus airflow on the charcoal for greater control of your fire. So you can stoke the charcoal for high-temp searing or keep it low for smoking.

Napoleon Ash Catcher

The ability to smoke or create two-zone cooking is a big emphasis of these PRO series charcoal kettles from Napoleon. Another huge part of that is the cooking grates. These do not feature the same stainless steel cooking grates of the Premium kettles.

Instead, Napoleon produced cast-iron cooking grates in the iconic wave pattern that you will find on a lot of the company’s gas grills. What makes these grates ideal for creating a two-zone cooking surface for smoking, reverse-searing, or just indirect heat in general is that the grates are hinged. You can simply lift a section of the grate and add more charcoal or wood as needed without disturbing your food. Heck, that’s even useful if you’re grilling for a large party.

Those grates can be put at three different levels so you can get closer to your charcoal for searing or put the grates as high as possible for smoking. That adjustable nature plays right into the PRO series’ versatility. The stainless steel extension ring that the grates sit in also comes ready to accept a rotisserie kit accessory. That means beautifully roasted chicken or other large cuts of meat. 

On all PRO models, the lid is hinged for further convenience. While the Premium models do have a lid hanger built into the lid, you don’t have to worry about making sure you get it hooked properly with the PRO series.

You can still snag the previous generation of Pro22 Charcoal Grills on Amazon at a good discount. See below.

More On The PRO 22” Kettle Cart

The PRO cart model adds better mobility thanks to two locking casters and two large wheels. It has a full shelf underneath for storage along with a folding side shelf for prep space. The side shelf also has a built-in bottle opener and tool hooks so you can always make sure your bottle is open and your spatula or tongs are always at the ready. Regardless of whether you prefer your prep space to the right or left of your grill, the PRO cart can accommodate you. The grill itself can swivel 360 degrees inside the cart so you can make sure everything is exactly where you want it.

While I haven’t had the opportunity to cook on these new charcoal grills, it’s easy to see that the quality is there in terms of construction. I was able to swivel the PRO around in the cart, open and close the lid, feel the weight of the cast-iron grill grates, and even adjust the air vents. In terms of the cooking area, we here at Angry BBQ are always fans of erring on the side of going bigger as long as you have the space. While these grills aren’t the cheapest on the block, even the PRO 22” kettle grill in the cart won’t break the bank at $499 MSRP. 

Stay tuned for more information on Napoleon’s new charcoal grills and all the news from HPBExpo 24! Check out the new Broil King iQue smart grills we saw at the HPBExpo this year.

Jeremy Pike

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