Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill review: portable, lightweight, and perfect for outdoor adventures

The Napoleon NK14 is a lightweight, sturdy grill with ample cooking space, easy cleanup, and the ideal size for picnics, outdoor adventures, or impromptu cookouts.

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill being tested in writer's home
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill is compact and portable, suitable for outdoor adventures. While assembly may require trial and error, the grill's sturdy build and easy cleanup make it convenient. Despite some initial challenges with lighting, it provides ample cooking space for small gatherings.


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    Compact and portable design

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    Cool touch handle and locking lid latches

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    Sturdy build and ample cooking space


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    Instructions could be clearer

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    Flimsy latches and no convenient lid resting place

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As a newcomer to outdoor cooking, I was eager to test out the Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill. This lightweight, portable cooker can sit on a table and be packed away just as easily, making it perfect for casual cooks or those with limited space.

Napoleon's 14-inch Portable Charcoal Grill is ideal for picnics, outdoor adventures, or an impromptu cookout. The lightweight design, cool-touch handle, and locking lid latches make it easy to carry, and I could just as easily imagine it being used on an apartment balcony as I could in a huge backyard.

I found the grill to be sturdy and portable, with easy cleanup. It offers ample cooking space and is easy to store, too. Keep reading to see how I found my time with the NK14, and head to our guide to the best gas grills for more outdoor cooking recommendations.

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill: Key specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Cooking surfaceGrate
Cooking surface area150 square inches
Side burner?No
Rotisserie compatible?No
DimensionsH18 x W14 x D14 inches
Weight9.7 lbs

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill: Price & availability

The Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill is available from various sellers, including Amazon,, and The Home Depot.

The grill costs $71 on Amazon, while has it slightly cheaper at $69. The Home Depot beats both with a price tag of $64.99.

Score: 4.5/5

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill: First impressions

As a tabletop grill, the NK14 promises to be easy to construct and get started. This was true in my experience, but not without a few teething problems. Instructions come in two identical (useful if there is a pair of you working together) novel-thick pamphlets but only include pictures to go off when building the grill.

In the box, there is the grill body, lid, chrome-plated cooking grids, the ash catcher, and the four legs. The assembly process starts with attaching the handle to the lid and the legs to the grill body, with each secured with a screw and nut. Again, this required some trial and error and guesswork but was ultimately very simple. 

Next, I attached the ash catcher to the grill's base and added the chrome-plated cooking grids to the main body. Then the latches needed to be screwed on. Finally, there is an adjustable air vent that must be secured to the lid, allowing you to control airflow during cooking.

When everything was finished, the grill seemed very sturdy, and the whole process took less than 30 minutes.

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill: Design

The Napoleon NK14 has the classic kettle shape that so many grilling enthusiasts want but in a much more compact design for those who can't or don't want their grill to be the focus of their backyard space. As you can see in my images, the model sits nicely on a fold-out table and can easily—even when fully built—be taken out and put away whenever required. 

The grill has a lovely black porcelain enamel finish that looks stylish even after it has been subjected to the wear and tear of adverse weather and my clumsy cooking. The kettle shape is said to aid even heat distribution, and the silver accents, latches, and legs look great against the black. 

Being a compact option, there's sadly nowhere to rest the lid while grilling, but this is an extra for high-end models rather than something missing here. The latches are also a little flimsy, and I couldn't get all three to close simultaneously. Lifting, even with two fastened, still felt safe, but three would have been better!

The fact that the grill plates and ash catcher can all be lifted out for cleaning is a big pro, and while grilling, very little ash missed this tray. I will note, however, that I was slightly alarmed by a greasy, yellow substance dripping liberally from the grill while in use, but later discovered that this is a normal part of using a new product. Newbies be aware!

Score: 4/5

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill: Performance

Lighting the Napoleon NK14 was easier said than done, but the difficulty was much greater due to windy conditions during testing and my overall novice status when dealing with charcoal grills. I used fast light charcoal but also added fire lighters when the weather thwarted progress. Once confident the charcoal was lit, I closed the lid with the vent open. 

As per the instructions (which were much more helpful for usage and safety tips), I waited 20 minutes before opening the grill and adding food. To test, I tried it out with some pork sausages, halloumi, and courgette slices. All in all, I would say that the grill—which offers 150 square inches of cooking space—would allow you to feed 2-3 people in one go.

Of course, the Napoleon NK14 is designed to be simple, so there won't be any precise temperature control or different cooking areas, but you can purchase a smoker box (like this one from Amazon) if you want to get more out of the grill.

My experience was great; the food only took around 15 minutes to cook. The grill marks were also present and correct, and everything tasted delicious and smoky. After eating, I was also surprised by how quickly everything cooled down, and I was able to pack everything away later that evening. 

Score: 4/5

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill: User reviews

User reviews for the grill are quite mixed on Amazon, with some customers praising the quality and build of the product, while others express frustration with the assembly instructions. One customer appreciates the heavy-duty and high-quality construction of the grill but finds the assembly instructions difficult to follow.

Another highlights the excellent build quality but criticizes the unclear assembly instructions. However, after seeking help from a hardware store to assemble the grill, this customer found that the grill performed decently during the first cook. On the other hand, some customers commend the grill's substantial build and high-quality materials, recommending it for its durability and longevity.

Should you buy the Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill?

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Score Card
PriceAffordable option; widely available★★★★½
DesignClassic kettle shape; stylish design; easy to clean; flimsy parts★★★★
PerformanceGood amount of space; no fancy features; quick cooking and cool-down★★★★

Buy it if...

You want something portable

The compact and lightweight design makes it easy to carry and perfect for picnics and outdoor adventures.

Low maintenance is a priority

The chrome-plated cooking grids and steel-plated ash catcher are easy to remove and clean, making maintenance simple.

You're new to charcoal grilling

The Napoleon NK14 is super simple to use and is a great place to start if you want to build up your grilling confidence.

Don't buy it if...

You hate dodgy instructions

While the assembly process is ultimately simple, some people may find the initial assembly process to be a bit challenging without a clear guide.

You're nervous about safety

The latches feel a little flimsy and didn't close all the way, and there is no designated rest for the lid while grilling.

You want more features

The grill is a great portable model, but those who want fancy features will need to spend a lot more.

How does the Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill compare?

The Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill offers a traditional grilling experience in a more compact form. Still, a full-size grill like the Masterbuilt AutoIgnite Series 545 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker provides a more advanced experience with automatic igniting, smart technology, and temperature control.

The Napoleon grill is easy to carry and assemble, and the Masterbuilt grill may require more effort during assembly. Still, Napoleon's model is better suited to casual grillers rather than enthusiasts.

You could also consider a portable gas grill like the Weber Traveler, which is more suitable for those who want a model that folds down to fit into a car. You can read more about charcoal vs gas grills in our comparison. 

How I tested the Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill

I tested the Napoleon NK14 Portable Charcoal Kettle Grill on my small patio, placing it on a fold-out table. I built the grill inside before use, and cooked a range of meat and vegetables during windy weather, though the grill stood up against adverse conditions. For more on our process, take a look at how we test.

  • First reviewed: April 2024
Caroline Preece
Deputy Editor

Caroline is the Deputy Editor of Top Ten Reviews. Joining Future at the start of 2021, she has since served her time across all of the company’s home titles, including Real Homes, Ideal Home, Livingetc, and Homes & Gardens. Caroline has spent years testing out products for the home, which she trials in her cozy one-bedroom basement apartment in Suffolk, UK. She’s passionate about helping people choose the very best appliances, tech, and anything else that might make their lives easier, more cost-efficient, or just more fun.