LotusGrill – The health Braaidue
Braaing is without question the most popular social activity in South Africa. Rain or shine, South African’s never need an excuse to light the fire, crack out a few cold ones and gooi a lekker steak, boerie or tjoppie on the grill.
We were skeptical when the LotusGrill came along. An indoor / outdoor table-top CHARCOAL smokeless braai? Really?
*80’s flashback* sitting around a pot with an array of goodies that you could pick and choose from to put on a skewer and cook whilst spending quality time with kin and countrymen. Yup, you know it – Fondue! No denying it was fun.
One of the coolest things about the LotusGrill is that it offers the same, a Braaidue. At the dining room table, but, with the flavour of Charcoal Braaing / Cooking.
What really makes the LotusGrill stand out though, is the claim of carcinogenic-free braaing. The word carcinogenic gets thrown around so much these days, and there’s a reasonable argument that the fat dripping onto coals from a traditional braai is converted into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and benzopyrene that in vapour form cling to the meat being braai’d, which is then ingested. Using natural hardwood charcoal is recommended as briquettes may contain unhealthy bonding agents.
The clever design of the LotusGrill ensures that no fat or juices from the meat come into contact with the coals – without compromising the braai flavour in any way.
So far so good- in theory. Still not convinced, we put our LotusGrill to the test. Those in the know, will attest to our amazing Saturday boerie rolls. We braai anywhere up to 200 boeries on a Saturday. Good boerewors contains a fair amount of fat, but the LotusGrill does and excellent job of cooking that fat out and storing it cleanly in the stainless steel bowl – away from your arteries and your hips :).
The LotusGrill is started with a little fire gel which is placed under the mesh container that the charcoal is placed into and lit. Cartridge in place, fan switched on and in 5 minutes, the LotusGrill is ready for action. The only criticism we hear is that with a traditional braai, at least 4 beers can be enjoyed whilst waiting for optimal cooking conditions. With the LotusGrill, the fire is ready before the first soldier falls.
The innovative design of the Stainless grid and reflective bowl is where the magic happens. Heat is evenly distributed and radiated to the entire cooking surface, fat and juices are guided away from the coals and into the bowl. Best part, both get put into the dishwasher after braaing.
We’ve been doing our boeries on our LotusGrill for 4 Saturdays already, no mess, no fuss. Our little LotusGrill is still going strong, and after a clean, looks good as new. The fan allows the heat to be adjusted at any time during the cooking process which allows us to get the most out of the charcoal. During the 5 hours that we braai, the charcoal is topped up once only – we don’t use more than two cups during the day.
Our verdict: The little LotusGrill is a mighty force to be reckoned with.
If you’re not convinced, we urge you to visit the shop and test our Demo unit. The product speaks for itself.
Sadly, nothing is sacred anymore, not even patents. Ensure that you are buying the one and only original, patented LotusGrill, and not a cheap knock-off (Bastille Turbo Braai is one such knock-off). By spending a little more on the real thing, you are assured that you are buying a quality braai system that delivers all it promises and more. Your investment is safe as houses with the LotusGrill – after-sales service and spare parts readily available through Braaishop.com! The LotusGrill is backed by a 2 year warranty.
Frequently asked questions
What makes this braai different to other charcoal braai’s?
This braai has so many features but one of the most important is its speed, most charcoal braai’s take up to 40mins to begin cooking, with the LotusGrill® it only takes 3-4mins. It is easy to assemble and dismantle and the charcoal lights easily and quickly. It is portable and weights just 4kgs. It doesn’t require electricity or gas. You have total control over the temperature by adjusting its inbuilt fan, and it is extremely safe to use with its double walled construction. The outer bowl will never become hot, eliminating potential for hand burns. The ‘bellows’ airflow system allows the charcoal to burn very quickly at high heat, thus preventing smoke.
Why would I buy charcoal over a gas braai?
Flavour, it is natural product and no annoying gas bottle to carry around. Affordability, charcoal used in the LotusGrill® costs around .60c per hour.
Why is the LotusGrill® a healthy option?
Braaing with the LotusGrill® ensures a low fat and therefore calorie-conscious cooking of food. Because of its design excess fat cannot reach the charcoal and burn,substances such as polycyclic aromatic hrydrocarbons, benzopyrene are produced with conventional charcoal braais and not the Lotus Grill.
What is the dial on the side for?
This is a battery-operated fan, so that it can draw air in as in a bellows system, forcing air into it allowing precise temperature control, eliminating food burning associated with conventional braai’s.
How long do the batteries last for?
The batteries supplied will last approximately 40-60 hours of run time. Replacement battery run time will vary depending on the quality of the batteries used. You can also use rechargeable batteries.
How long do the mesh containers last?
Depending on the usage, but over time you may need to replace the mesh container as it is put under considerable stress of high heat. Generally speaking, it should last a long time.
Can I get spare parts?
Yes, the mesh container is available for replacement or as a convenient second container to store and alternate between. Replacement bowls and grids are also available, just in case you damage or lose them.
Can you use it inside?
Only in a well ventilated space with windows or doors open. We recommend you light it outside firstly, because some charcoal dust can create smoke initially. Be aware to position the LotusGrill® away from smoke detectors and alarms.
Where else can I use it?
Being portable and lightweight, it can be taken to the beach, park, camping, fishing, boating and hunting or for general use at home.
The LotusGrill® comes preassembled and ready to braai. However you will need to remove the protective plastic packaging before braaing. 4 x AA batteries are supplied, remove these from their packaging and insert into the battery compartment underneath the base of the LotusGrill®. Take care to insert the batteries the correct way up. When fastening the grill to the body, ensure the two loops are lined up with the clips. Damage can occur if you try to fasten the grill anywhere other than on the Loops.
What fuel does it use?
It is best to use natural hardwood quality charcoal. The higher the quality charcoal, the better the result with even less smoke. The LotusGrill® was designed for charcoal.
How do I light it?
We recommend LK’s Red Gel. Turn the battery operated fan on using the dial on the side of the LotusGrill®. Pour around 2-3 capfulls of gel onto the lighting plate under the mesh container, light it and place the filled charcoal container with lid attached on top.
I get some smoke at the start is that normal?
Sometimes when the LotusGrill® is first lit you will get a little bit of smoke, often this is inferior pieces or dust in the charcoal. This will quickly settle down to virtually no smoke, hence the smokeless braai. Fatty foods may cause the odd puff of smoke, to avoid this keep fatty meat off the flat metal grill plate. Ensuring you clean your braai each time significantly to reduce the risk of fat flare-ups.
Can I top up the charcoal internal container while it is cooking?
Yes, turn the fan down and use tongs to lift off the top of the mesh container add some charcoal pieces into it and give it 3 minutes, you will lengthen the duration of cooking time.
How long does the charcoal last for?
You can cook for up to an hour on the LotusGrill®, or just add some more charcoal inside to extend this cooking time.
What do I do with the charcoal after I have finished cooking?
You can either leave the fan off until the charcoal has burnt itself out (leaving the fan on speeds this process up) or by using tongs to remove the grill, pour water over them. Another less preferred alternative is to bury them into a deep hole in the ground and pour water on them. Take extreme caution and observe fire bans.
Small pieces (50 cent piece size) of charcoal work better than large chunks.
We suggest you start cooking as soon as it is underway, after about 3-5 mins. You don’t have to wait for the charcoal to burn down.
What is the dial on the side for?
This is a battery-operated fan, so that it can draw air in as ‘bellows system’, forcing air into the burning charcoal allowing you to regulate its intensity. You now have better control with cooking temperature.
How do you clean it?
Both the grill plate and inner bowl can be placed in the dishwasher (remove excess fat first), or be hand washed. Avoid using general scouring harsh abrasive scourers as they will scratch the stainless steel bowl, a kitchen dish brush with detergent should be sufficient. If there are stubborn stains, soak overnight or use metal polish product.
How often do I need to clean it?
We strongly recommend cleaning it every time after you cook otherwise fat and fluids will bake on and be harder to take off. Part of the heating process requires that you have a clean bowl so there is reflective heat.
Can I clean it while in use?
No, a cloth can burn and you are near the heat source, which means you can also burn yourself. Allow it to cool first before de-assembling and cleaning.
What sort of food can I braai on the lotus grill?
Just like any good braai, the options are endless, steaks, kebabs, chops, sausages, patties, fish, mussels, clams, prawns, calamari, chicken, pork and vegetables.
How long does it take to cook meat on the lotus grill?
It varies depending on the type of food and thickness, but generally it is a consistent slower heat as with any charcoal braai, but this allows superior cooking results.
What is the hotplate in the middle for, can I cook on it?
It is there purely to stop the fat dripping onto the coals, which in turn eliminates fat burning and smoking. Yes, it is ideal to use for any food, bearing in mind that you will get fat on it, and this may cause smoke.
What about cooking roasts?
Not really, the cooking time for a roast is too long and it would require a lid.