Portable BBQ Review - Lotus Grill vs. Everdure Cube vs. Weber Go Anywhere

There are a limited number of quality portable charcoal BBQs on the market - it still seems to be a novel concept. We've found a couple of products that might compare to the LotusGrill Portable Charcoal BBQ that we sell.

But do they stack up? Well, in our opinion, not really. As you will see, the Lotus Grill is lighter, safer, easier to use, and easier to clean than the competition.

Yes, you can buy a cheaper portable BBQ than the Lotus Grill. You can even buy a disposable charcoal BBQ from Barbeques Galore if you really want to save money! But that's not what this review is about.

The information in this portable BBQ review has been taken directly from the manufacturer's spec sheets, and user manuals. Sometimes it's not what the manufacturers say, but what they don't say (or leave in small print) that makes a difference. We really had to hunt around for some of this info! 

For a portable BBQ to make this list, it had to be:

  1. Marketed as portable
  2. Fuelled by charcoal*
  3. From a reputable brand (not a cheap knock off)

*Note: charcoal is made from wood. It's not the same thing as coal (an organic sedimentary rock) which runs power stations.

The Portable Charcoal BBQ Contenders:

LotusGrill Portable BBQ

The award-winning, German designed, efficient LotusGrill.

The Everdure CUBE, marketed by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.

Weber's range of portable charcoal BBQs. With the variants being mostly the same, only differing in size and shape, we've grouped them together.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Park BBQ. 2019 Update: no longer available in Australia - removed from the review.

Portable BBQ Weight

Name Weight
LotusGrill 3.7kg
Everdure Cube by Heston Blumenthal 8.1kg
Weber Smokey Joe / Weber Go Anywhere / Weber Jumbo Joe 4.3kg / 6.7kg / 8kg

When carrying a BBQ to your favourite picnic or camping spot, those extra kilos make all the difference. The Lotus Grill is mostly made of stainless steel, whereas the other designs are made of porcelain enamel, which could explain their extra weight. 

Portable Charcoal Barbecue Start-Up Time

Name Start-Up Time
LotusGrill 3-5 minutes.
CUBE - Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Not mentioned, likely slow as not fan-assisted.
Weber Go-Anywhere / Smokey & Jumbo Joe 15-30 mins, plus 10 mins preheating recommended (according to user manual).

Other than the LotusGrill, all of these designs are simply smaller versions of a normal-size charcoal grill. This means they take just as long to light up. The Lotus Grill, however, with its innovative design and built-in electric fan, means that coals will be glowing hot within a few minutes.

Easy to Light?

Name Easy to Light?
LotusGrill Yes
Everdure Cube No
Weber Go Anywhere / Smokey Joe / Jumbo Joe No 

If you research the FAQs and user manuals of these products, some of them recommend a "charcoal chimney". A charcoal chimney is a way of bunching up the coal pieces together so they light quickly. Weber even has an in-depth blog post on how to use one. But does it come included with the BBQ? No. And it still takes 10-15 minutes to light the charcoal, and then you have to pour the hot coals into the BBQ. Sounds safe guys ;)

Weber's Rapidfire Chimney Starter (compared to the Lotus Grill Portable Charcoal BBQ, it's anything but "rapid").

LotusGrill, on the other hand, has their version of a charcoal chimney. It's the charcoal canister - which is built into the design.

Diagram of the LotusGrill design which includes the charcoal canister. 

Portable BBQ Exterior Cool to Touch?

Name Exterior cool to touch?
Lotus Grill Yes
Everdure Cube by Heston Blumenthal Handles only. Heat resistant gloves recommended via special order from Bunnings.
Weber Smokey Joe / Weber Go Anywhere / Weber Jumbo Joe No

As you can see from the diagram above, the outside of the Lotus Grill stays cool to touch thanks to its double-layered design. Additionally, the charcoal burns inside a closed mesh container so nothing can fall out - even if you turn it upside down (or kick it over). Want to move the BBQ while the charcoal is still burning? This is no problem with the Lotus Grill - but with the other BBQs, it is discouraged.

A 'Smokeless' Portable BBQ Grill?

Name 'Smokeless'
Lotus Grill Yes
CUBE - Everdure by Heston Blumenthal No
Weber Go Anywhere & the Joes No

Normal portable charcoal BBQs have the capacity to create massive clouds of smoke. When the wind is blowing in the wrong direction (i.e. in your face), it's not pleasant. Smoke occurs when the melting fat from food drips down onto the coals. This also causes flame flare-ups. 

With the Lotus Grill, the charcoal canister is covered. Fat drips down and is caught in the inner bowl, so there is little to no smoke created. Yet there's still enough charcoal aroma to add that smokey flavour that fans of charcoal grilling love. 

With the other designs, the BBQ grill is placed right on top of open coals. This equates to smoke. Lots of it. 

Ability to Adjust BBQ Heat Level?

Name Heat Control?
Lotus Grill Yes - variable speed dial for the electric fan.
Everdure Cube by Heston Blumenthal No
Weber Smokey Joe / Weber Go-Anywhere / Weber Jumbo Joe® Basic - vent in lid controls airflow.

The heat control on the Lotus Grill is fantastic. The premium lump charcoal is very responsive to the flow of air. With just a small turn of the electric fan speed dial, you can see the coals glowing and dimming before your eyes, just like dimming a light switch.

The others... well... the lids have vents. But what if you're not using the lid?

Dishwasher Safe?

Name Dishwasher Safe?
Lotus Grill Yes
CUBE - Everdure by Heston Blumenthal No
Weber Smokey Joe / Weber Go Anywhere / Weber Jumbo Joe No

Who has ever heard of a dishwasher safe BBQ before?  Well, Lotus Grill has now made one!

BBQ Carry Bag Included?

Name Carry Bag Included?
Lotus Grill Yes
Everdure Cube from Bunnings No (travel bag extra cost from Bunnings)
Weber Go Anywhere & Others No

Yep, the Lotus Grill is the only portable BBQ with a neat carry bag included. This is also great for storing the BBQ away in the back of a kitchen cupboard when not in use. Heston Blumenthal's CUBE has a bag which you can buy separately (via Special order from Bunnings). As far as we can work out, the others don't have one at all.

LotusGrill Carry Bag

The LotusGrill's convenient carry case included with purchase.

Portable BBQ Materials

Name Materials
Lotus Grill Stainless steel and powdered coated steel.
Everdure Cube BBQ Porcelain enamel firebox.
Weber Go-Anywhere & Co. Porcelain enamelled bowl and lid, Chrome-plated steel cooking grill.

The quality stainless steel components of the LotusGrill makes it lighter and dishwasher safe.  The others are made of enamel, which is vulnerable to chips. The metal underneath is mostly likely steel, which is heavier and could rust when exposed.

Chipped enamel on an old Weber BBQ.

Recommended Retail Price (RRP)

Name RRP
LotusGrill Portable Charcoal BBQ $299.95 for complete starter kit including the BBQ, premium charcoal, carry bag, ethanol starter gel, and batteries.
Everdure CUBE by Heston Blumenthal $197, no extras included (travel bag and gloves via Bunnings special order for extra $)
Weber Smokey Joe / Weber Go-Anywhere / Weber Jumbo Joe $109.95 / $129.95 / $169.00, no extras.

So yes - the Lotus Grill is the most expensive on face value. But, it actually comes with everything you need including enough charcoal for your first 15 barbeques!

Interested? Click here to see the LotusGrill starter pack. Happy grilling!

By Ryan McCarthy |

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