Lotus Grill charcoal barbecue summary
This fan-assisted barbecue takes just a few minutes to get up to cooking temperature and is simple and well thought out, offering easy, fuss-free cooking. It takes up hardly any space, produces no smoke and can even sit on top of the table so it’s great for small gardens, courtyards, or even a balcony.
It’s not for barbecue aficionados, but is ideal for anyone nervous about charcoal grilling, who wants to get barbecuing quickly and on the move. The safe, cool sides also make it great for introducing teens and older kids to barbecuing.
Read our full review of the best charcoal barbecues
How easy is the Lotus Grill charcoal barbecue to set up?
Packaging is simple – it comes in a cardboard box within a box, bulked out with paper rather than polystyrene and just the three main components are wrapped in plastic bags. No assembly is needed, you simply take it out of the packaging and it’s ready to go. A glossy booklet with very clear instructions and pictures tells you how to get cooking.
With no legs or lid the barbecue weighs just 3.7kg and takes up hardly any space, easily fitting on a shelf or in a cupboard when not in use throughout winter. It’s very easy to lift and carry, even coming with its own carry bag. We wouldn’t want to take it on a long walk but it is totally portable and great for taking on a picnic or to the beach.
How easy is the Lotus Grill charcoal barbecue to use?
This took just six minutes in total to build, light and get up to temperature ready for cooking. It’s very easy to add the charcoal, lighting fluid and turn on the battery-powered fan. It then lights instantly and is ready to cook in about four minutes.
The dial on the front controls the air flow (and therefore the temperature), so it’s easy to regulate. However, there’s no temperature gauge, so a bit of trial and error is needed to learn what heat different foods need.
The grill is not huge at 40.5 cm but is big enough to feed a family of four. Although the barbecue sits low on the ground, it doesn’t get hot so you can easily stand it on the grass or a garden table with no damage.
It feels very solid and sturdy, particularly considering it has no legs, and is also very safe – the exterior stays completely cool, making it great for older kids and teens to use. It’s also very easy to clean – both the grill and the inner bowl can go in the dishwasher.
The solid centre, with the charcoals directly below, is the hottest spot of the barbecue. It’s cooler at the edges but there is still good heat distribution. Once you work these differences out it’s easy to gauge where certain foods need to go to cook through.
All the food cooked quickly during testing. Although the grill lines could have been more distinctive, nothing stuck, even un-oiled courgette slices.
This is a very well designed and stylish barbecue, with a range of colours to choose from. It has been specifically created with ease and simplicity in mind, and therefore feels sturdy and long lasting.
It comes with a carry case, 1kg of charcoal and bottle of lighting gel. Accessories such as a lid, pizza stone and stand are available at extra cost. For the size, it’s not the cheapest model we tested, but for the ease and simplicity it remains good value for money.
Lotus Grill G340 Specifications
Dimensions: 35 x 23.4 x 35cm. Grill 40.5cm
Warranty: two years
Materials: Stainless steel, powder-coated stainless steel and shock-resistant plastic
Words by Kay Maguire, BBC Gardeners’ World Reviews Editor. This review was last updated in April 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.