In a nutshell

A fan assisted grill that takes around four minutes to reach cooking temperature, this is a dream to light and use. It’s smoke free so it’s ideal for small gardens and balconies and the outside doesn’t get hot making it safe and ideal for cooking on a table or the grass on a picnic. Food cooks quickly and well with a choice of direct or indirect heat. For simplicity and ease we awarded it a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy.

What we tested

  • Assembly
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Value for money
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Ease of cooking
    A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
  • Cooking results
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
Overall Rating
A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.


  • Very easy to use
  • Super quick to light and reach cooking temperature
  • Smoke free
  • Parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher
  • Simple design that stays cool to touch


  • Needs batteries, lighting gel and chips
  • Size limited, although larger models are available

Buy accessories for the LotusGrill on Amazon

Is the LotusGrill charcoal barbecue easy to assemble?

This came in simple packaging, in a cardboard box bulked out with paper rather than polystyrene, and only the three main components were wrapped in plastic. No assembly is needed at all with this barbecue, you just take it out of the packaging, put it back together, slot in the batteries and it’s ready to go.

What is the LotusGrill charcoal barbecue like to use?

A glossy booklet with very clear instructions and pictures tells you how to get cooking. It takes no time at all to add the lighting fluid, charcoal 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 although there’s no gauge and a bit of trial and error is needed to learn what heat, quick-to-cook food, like vegetables and halloumi, need.
At 35 cm the grill is not huge but is big enough to feed a family of 4 and although it sits low on the ground, it doesn’t get hot so you can simply stand it on the grass or on a table with no damage at all. It feels very solid and sturdy, particularly as it has no legs and is very safe – the exterior stays completely cool making it great for the table top and for older kids and teens to use. It’s also very easy to clean. Only the grill and the inner bowl get dirty and they can go in the dishwasher. With no legs or lid it weighs just 3.7kg and takes up hardly any space, easily fitting on a shelf or in a cupboard..

How does the LotusGrill charcoal barbecue cook?

The dial on the front controls the temperature of the grill and therefore, unlike other charcoal barbecues, helps you prevent burning. There's good heat distribution across the grill, although the solid centre, with the charcoals directly below it is the hottest spot and it's cooler at the edges. However, once you work this out it’s easy to gauge where certain foods need to go to cook. Food cooks quickly and well and although grill lines could be more distinctive, nothing sticks, even unoiled courgettes. There's no lid, although one is available at extra cost, but it's ideal for the quick, simple grilling of barbecue staples and veg

Is the LotusGrill charcoal barbecue good value for money?

Well designed and chic looking, this barbecue has been created with ease and simplicity in mind. There’s a choice of colours and it feels sturdy and long lasting. It comes with a carry case, 1kg of charcoal and bottle of lighting gel. It's available in a range of sizes, and accessories – a lid, pizza stone, stand etc are all available at extra cost. For the grill size it’s not cheap but for the ease and simplicity of this, we think it's good value for money.

Who is the LotusGrill charcoal barbecue useful for?

The Lotus weighs just 3.7kg, 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, even a balcony. The carry bag and size also make it ideal for taking on picnics or to the beach. It’s simple to lift and carry and although I wouldn’t want to take it on a long walk it's totally portable and can just be sat on the grass and quickly cooked on. This probably isn't for barbecue aficionados but is ideal for anyone nervous about charcoal grilling, who wants to get barbecuing quickly and on the move. Safe, cool sides also make it great for introducing teens and older kids to barbecuing.


If you're in the market for a grill, check out our tests of the best gas BBQs, the best charcoal BBQs, and our guides to barbecue accessories.

Product Specifications

NameLotusGrill Standard Charcoal Barbecue
Barbecue typeCharcoal
Fuel typeCharcoal
Grill area40.5cm
Adjustable grill heightNo
PortabilityComes with a carry bag
AssemblySelf assembly