Napoleon BBQ Rotisserie review

My new Napoleon BBQ included a really nice rotisserie so I was looking forward to testing it out.  It’s a genuine Napoleon rotisserie and is really high quality, it feels like it will last for ever as all metal parts are heavy duty steel.  When I was deciding between the Napoleon and the Weber a tick in the Napoleons corner was that it included the rotisserie, with the Weber I would need to purchase the Rotisserie as an extra which runs at around $90+TAX plus the Weber unit was not as heavy duty as the Napoleon rotisserie.

It’s really easy to attach the rotisserie to the BBQ so you’re ready to use it within minutes, one thing to consider when choosing your BBQ location if using a rotisserie is how close it is to the power outlet as I had to run a good 25 feet of cord across my deck.   At some point in time I will run a power cord underneath my deck and pop it up right next the BBQ for a tidy and convenient connection.

napoleon-bbq-rotisserie

If your BBQ doesn’t have an infra red burner at the back you can use indirect heat.   When cooking with the rotisserie don’t forget to use something to catch the drippings, I just use an old baking tray as you can just wash it  and reuse rather than use the foil throwaway trays, this way it saves money and is better for the environment.  This unit rotates nice and slowly and at an even pace so it will deliver great results providing you’re cooking at the right temperature, if you don’t have a rotisserie already I highly recommend you get one as it adds to the range of dishes you can do on the BBQ and it’s just so easy to use, your guests will love it!

 

 

Napoleon BBQ PRO500RB

I have been contemplating moving over to natural gas for a while now and since we were having our air conditioner installed, why not get the gas line for the BBQ done at the same time.

So the gas line was going in, that was the easy part.  What followed was weeks of going back and forth between the Weber and Napoleon BBQ brand.  I was looking for a good sized BBQ so had narrowed it down to either the Weber Summit 420 or the Napoleon PRO500RB, like any guy making a major purchase I made a list of the pros and cons of each BBQ and it went something like this:

WEBER

Pros:
Build quality – you cant fault the Summit series at all on build quality 10/10
Size – good sized grilling area
Design – looks really nice and the clean out tray is at the front so it’s nice and handy
Features – grill light is a nice touch, I know that it can be added but it’s so nice they added it out of the box. Clean out try is accessible from the front.

Cons:
Cost – quality costs and it certainly does with a Weber
Appearance – one thing I didn’t like about the design was the fact that I could see the wheels, it’s an expensive unit and this cheapens the look a little for me, compared to the Napoleon.

NAPOLEON

Pros:
Build quaility – this is a 9/10, still great build quality but not quiet as good as the Weber
Size – same great size grilling area
Design – Wheels are hidden with the platform base appearance, still rolls around nicely
Features – comes with a great quality rotisserie plus it has iGlow on the buttons for grilling in darkness
Cost – cheaper than the Weber

Cons:
Features – doesn’t have a side burner with this model plus the clean out try is via the back.

I finally decided on the Napoleon PRO500RB, the only thing I can fault with it is that it doesn’t have the side burner but that’s my fault for keeping it a a price point, you can of course spend more and get it added. Another big deciding factor on choosing the Napoleon BBQ was that they’re actually built right here in my home town, Barrie ON, so I knew that if I ever had a problem it’s a 15 minute drive to go and see a real person and get it dealt with the same day.

napoleon iglow

I’m really happy with the performance of this BBQ and would recommend it to anyone, this BBQ has a good sized grilling area and I was able to BBQ two racks of ribs indirectly and still have room for a side dish on the other grill plates. The iGlow is a bit of a gimmick but it does look cool at night :)

BBQ in the Winter

Living in Southern Ontario I enjoy the warm weather from April until September but the remaining months of the year do get a bit cold, very cold indeed. Last year I was barbequing in the snow and I don’t think I will be this Winter, if I had the room in my garage I would just move my BBQ there but sadly I don’t.

I’ve maybe got a few weeks of outdoor cooking left then I will give the BBQ a really good clean and retire her for Winter, a good quality cover is essential if you’re going to see snow and damp conditions which I certainly will, we don’t get that much but enough for it to be a pain in the arse.

Once Spring returns I’m going to be trying out some new BBQ meals and put more time into this blog, adding more content and guides. Until then keep on barbequing if you can and I will see you in Spring!

BBQ Corn on the cob

bbq-cornBBQ Corn on the cob is a great companion to most BBQ meats, especially ribs.  So since you’ve got the grill on you might as well whack some corn on too!  Preparation is simple and the end result is great tasting corn, here’s what you do:

  1. First of all remove the husk from the corn and rinse under cold water.
  2. Place the cord onto a sheet of baking foil, add a small piece of butter, about the size of a grape.
  3. Season the corn with some salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Wrap up the corn in the foil just like a Christmas cracker so that they look like the ones in the picture above.

Now you’ve got your corn ready you need to cook for 25 minutes on a medium to high heat, all you need to do with is turn occasionally an the end result is perfect BBQ corn on the cob!

finished-bbq-corn

BBQ Beef short ribs

I’ve never tried beef short ribs before as I’ve always been a pork rib guy but when I saw them in the supermarket I thought why not!

bbq-beef-short-ribs

Prepare your beef short ribs

I like to season my meat either the night before or at least the morning I plan to BBQ, this gives plenty of time for the flavors to work their way into the meat, for my beef spare ribs I seasoned them with the following:

  • Paprika
  • Garlic Salt
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper

Once I had seasoned the short ribs I placed them in a glass container, covered them with cling wrap and put them back into the fridge. I normally take them out from the fridge around 30 minutes before I’m ready to BBQ,  this allows the meat to get to room temperature for better cooking.

Prepare your BBQ

I BBQ the beef spare ribs just the same as when I do pork ribs, cooking mainly with indirect heat as shown below:

heating-the-grill

BBQ the Beef short ribs

So as you’re using indirect heat you want the ribs on the grill that’s on minimum heat, don’t forget to Pam (or similar product) that grill as you don’t want the meat to stick!

BBQ the ribs for around 35 minutes each side then add your favourite BBQ sauce then cook for a further 10 minutes per side, take off the grill and enjoy!

finished-beef-short-ribs

Which type of BBQ should I buy?

So you’re either new to BBQ’ing or are looking to change your existing BBQ, here’s my take on the types of BBQ available.

Charcoal BBQ

A charcoal BBQ is a great BBQ for adding easy flavor to meat, smoked food tastes great and you will certainly get that traditional BBQ taste.  Charcoal BBQ’s are simple enough in design and as a result high end models are not that expensive compared to a high end gas BBQ

The pros of  a charcoal BBQ is that they’re cost effective, great for adding flavor and easy to keep clean. Negatives are that it’s not possible to maintain a constant cooking temperature, you’re heat will slowly die down and require further coals so cooking long time items such as ribs would be more difficult.

Propane BBQ

Propane BBQ’s are a great choice for BBQ’ing and are available with side burners, rotisseries and offer a good size to cook on for backyard parties.  Propane BBQ’s do cost more money than a smoker and like anything, you get what you pay for. I would recommend spending $500+ on a BBQ for a quality unit, if looked after it will provide a lifetime of use and will look very nice in your yard! You can still also add smoke flavors to your meat with a smoker box.

The pros of a natural gas BBQ are that you get constant heat when cooking, very easy to cook with indirect heat for long cooking time items such as ribs and beer can chicken.  It’s also portable, you can move your propane BBQ where ever you want. The only real negative for me is the supply of gas, you’re best having two tanks so you’re always got a full one on reserve, you don’t want to run out during a BBQ!

Natural gas BBQ

Natural gas BBQ’s are pretty much the same as propane BBQ’s but instead of using a propane take to fuel the BBQ it connects to your natural gas line from your home. To use one of these you would need to have a natural gas line outside of your home, a gas fitter can install one of these for you and it’s certainly worth it in my opinion for easy of use. Typically a natural gas BBQ will cost $50-100 more than it’s propane model.

The pros of a natural gas BBQs are the same as propane, with the addition of not having to worry about running out of gas.

Negatives would be initial cost as they’re the most expensive, but you will recoup this over time as the gas is cheaper.  Your limited as to how far you can move the BBQ from your natural gas line, but that’s normally not too bad as typically your patio will be by your kitchen door anyway.

Cowtown BBQ Sauce

If you’re going to use good quality meat on your BBQ, you should use a good quality BBQ sauce with it! One of my favorites is Cowtown BBQ Sauce, it’s a full flavor sauce that’s got a nice spicy kick to it, you also don’t need to use a lot of it to flavor the meat unlike a cheaper sauce. If you like a bit of spice on your ribs give Cowtown a try, you won’t regret it!

cowtown bbq sause

THE BEST SAUCE ON THE PLANET! This title was awarded at the 2001 American Royal Barbecue Contest, beating out hundreds of sauces from around the world. Try this zesty, tangy product with beef, pork, poultry or fish and you’ll understand why Cowtown is #1! 18 oz

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Mmmm ribs…. I love ribs and my favorite has to be baby back ribs, they’re so tender and full of flavor!  The best place to get good ribs is your local butcher if you have one available, if not you may find them at your supermarket.  Baby back ribs do cost a little bit more than back or side ribs but they’re certainly worth it for that special occasion, I typically use back ribs but now and again I will treat myself so here goes :)

babybackribs1

Prepare your ribs

To get the best out of your ribs you need to prepare them well in advance of cooking time. I normally prepare my ribs around six hours before I even go near the grill, gives time for the rub to be absorbed into the meat for enhanced flavor.

  1. remove the membrane from the back of the ribs – you’re going to want to do this to allow your rub to get into the ribs from both sides, plus it’s less chewy with it off.
  2. apply the dry rub of your choice.  Don’t be shy – get lots on there!
  3. put the ribs into your refrigerator and remove around 30 minutes before BBQ time, this allows the meat to get to room temperature.

babybackribs-seasoned

Prepare your grill

Before you can cook on your grill you need to get it ready.

  1. Clean the grill – heat the grill to a high temperature, this will burn off any remains from the last time you used the grill. Then brush the grill with a cleaning brush to get it nice and clean.
  2. Now that the grill is clean let’s get it ready for the meat, we don’t want your lovely baby back ribs to stick to the grill so we’re going to give it a quick blast with some cooking spray such as PAM. You can buy wipes that attach to your grilling brush, but a product like PAM is cheaper and has the same result.
  3. You need to cook your ribs with indirect heat, you want the overall temperature of the grill to be 325F before you slap the meat on. See the image below.

heating-the-grill

Let’s cook some ribs!

OK we’re ready to get this party started, it’s easier to take everything that you’re going to use out with you so you’re going to need your BBQ sauce, sauce brush and some beers.

  1. Pop a beer, it’s mandatory that you drink beer when BBQ’ing
  2. Place the ribs meat side up on the section of the grill that’s on the minimum heat setting
  3. After cooking for around 60 minutes you’re going to apply your favorite BBQ sauce to the meat side of the ribs and then turn them over for 10 minutes. At the same time apply the BBQ sauce to the other side of the ribs which is now facing up.
  4. After 10 minutes cooking the meat side, you’re going to want to turn them again and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Ribs, done!

OK so now your ribs are done, remove from the grill and slice them up. Using a sharp knife separate the ribs by cutting meat side up, this way the meat will stay on the bone as you’re not pushing it away with the knife. I hope you enjoy your ribs!

bbq-baby-back-ribs-done