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Balcony BBQ? The LotusGrill heats up fast but produces very little smoke

Why it matters to you

If you're worried your frequent barbecues are annoying your neighbors, the LotusGrill can keep things from getting too smoky.

Whether or not you can put a grill on your balcony depends on a lot of factors. Your state and city may be fine with it, but your condo or homeowners association might have restrictions. If you are allowed, you could soon hear your neighbors knocking, thanks to the meaty, smoky smells wafting into their places. If you don’t want to smoke your neighbors out, you could try the LotusGrill.

The battery-operated (it takes four AAs) charcoal grill was on display at the 2017 International Home and Housewares Show. It comes in a variety of sizes, but they all work on the same basic principle. Using lighter gel, similar to the kind that fuels sterno candles, you can get the grill going in about three minutes, Mischa Ohler, the company’s technical developer, told Digital Trends.

More: Char-Broil wants to bring your BBQ into the 21st century with its new smart grill

The grill is comprised of a double-walled bowl, stainless steel inner bowl, ignition plate, charcoal container and lid, and the grill top. The charcoal chamber’s lid prevents the juices from dripping onto the charcoal, which causes smoke. The outer bowl doesn’t get hot, so you can put the grill on virtually any surface. To control the temperature of the grill, you turn the knob, which speeds up or slows down the fan. The grill can get up to about 660 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Celsius), Ohler says. The grill has an optional lid, which can make it a bit more versatile. Ohler says that with the lid, he’s made things such as pizza, bread, and muffins using the grill.

The company has been making the grills for the German market for the past few years and the device is now for sale in the U.S. at Sur La Table for $200.  Right now, the only model available is the smallest size, which weighs about eight pounds and has a grill diameter of nearly 14 inches. Because it uses charcoal, you definitely don’t want to use the LotusGrill indoors, but its light weight and compact size make it a pretty good beach or camping option.

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