Fairly compact, the Weber Lumin is easy to store and quick to set up and cook on. With its large cooking grills and the option to smoke or steam, this BBQ gives you the convenience and speed of electricity, but lets you cook in the same way as you would on a normal BBQ. If you want power and convenience, it’s a top choice.
- Easy to use
- Bundled smoker/steamer
- Large cooking space
- Stand is an optional extra
- Electric powerUses an electric heating element for fast warm-up times and even cooking.
- Temperature controlCan hit a maximum of 315°C, which is ideal for searing.
For its first foray into the electric BBQ world, Weber has decided to use a portable format. A grab-and-go device, the Weber Lumin can be set up and cooked on in minutes, and stored away when not in use.
It has rather more basic controls than its competition, but even cooking and a great set of accessories in the box make it a success.
Design and features
- Portable form with optional stand
- Clever accessories
- Simple controls
Rather than going for a full-size, gas-style BBQ, as with the Char-Broil Smart-E, the Weber Lumin looks and feels more like a portable grill. It’s got Weber’s usual build quality, with a tough-feeling lid finished in glossy black.
This style of BBQ has its advantages. First, there’s no lengthy build required: I just had to lift the BBQ out of the box and then plug in the power and control unit.
Secondly, this model isn’t too big and, at 16.5kg, is fairly easy to carry around and pack away for storage. There is a slightly smaller Weber Lumin Compact if you prefer an even smaller BBQ.
The downside of this model is that it doesn’t come with a stand. One’s available, although, at $149.99/£100, it’s quite an expensive addition. For this review, I just placed the BBQ on an outdoor metal table.
Using the Lumin is exceptionally easy. Flip open the lid, and there are two grill plates that take up half the internal space. As the grill goes edge-to-edge, there’s a surprising amount of room to cook on.
Through the grill is the exposed heating element. This arrangement means that heat goes straight up into the food, but it’s possible to lose smaller bits of food between the gaps. To that end, both the Smart-E and Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker OG701UK are slightly easier to cook on, as their cooking surfaces don’t have gaps in them.
Weber also provides a dual-purpose pan in the box, which can replace either grill plate, and has a reversible insert. Use the insert as a lid, and the tray can be filled with woodchips to add a smoky flavour to food. You can cook on the lid, too, so you don’t lose much space when cooking this way.
Flip the insert over, and the tray can have water added to it, letting you steam-cook food, such as fish and vegetables.
That’s a huge amount of versatility there, and it’s nice to see everything provided in the box. With the Smart-E, I had to use a separate cast iron smoker box for woodchips.
Using the Weber Lumin is simple: there’s a control dial on the power unit that can be turned between maximum and minimum power, with markings for low, medium, smoke, steam and high heat settings.
There’s no option to set a target temperature, as with the Smart-E or Ninja Woodfire. Instead, the simple analogue thermometer, which is mounted in the lid, has to be used to monitor temperatures. This makes the Weber Lumin more similar to a gas BBQ than other electric models.
Cleaning the grill is easy. To get the burnt-on mess off, the grill plates should be warmed and then brushed with a stainless steel bristle brush. It’s worth doing this before the BBQ is put away so it can cool. Grates can also be washed in the dishwasher, which is handy
There’s a grease tray at the front that slides out. Weber supplies a disposable aluminium drip pan that can be removed and thrown away; it feels slightly wasteful, so I wouldn’t bother and would just clean the pan.
Otherwise, the inside can be cleaned easily, and the heating element can even be removed to allow the bowl liner to be cleaned.
- Very easy to cook on
- Reaches a high heat
- Even results
The true advantage of electric cooking is that it offers fast warm-up times and is responsive to changes. These two combinations make the Weber Lumin exceptionally easy to cook on, and far less hassle than gas or coals. In fact, I BBQ a lot more with an electric model than I do otherwise, as it’s just so much easier to get going.
At its maximum, this BBQ can hit a high temperature of 315°C, which is enough for searing meat. It can also deliver a more gentle heat for slow cooking, more perfectly controlled than is possible with gas.
A lot of the BBQ flavour is caused by fats dripping down, igniting and causing smoke, which the Lumin is certainly capable of. But for that real smokey flavour, I recommend using woodchips. I found it easy to ignite these: a few minutes on the high setting was enough to light the wood, and have smoke pouring out of the side.
To begin with, I made Mexican food, starting by cooking pineapple on high heat, searing the outside, and infusing it with a smokey flavour. This made the pineapple perfect for blending into a salsa.
Next, I cooked marinated fish on the BBQ. I used foil over the grill plate, as I didn’t want the fish to fall through, and a lower temperature, as I wanted a slow cook to preserve the delicate fish without burning it. Results were impressive: perfectly cooked fish that maintained its shape without falling apart, with a nice wood-smoked flavour.
When used as a regular BBQ, there’s plenty of room on the Lumin. It handled my burgers, sausages and chicken skewers with ease, cooking thoroughly and evenly across the entire cooking surface.
Should you buy it?
You want the power of electric cooking combined with simplicity:
Quick to heat up and easy to cook on, this is a BBQ of convenience that also offers smoking and steaming.
You want more precise control:
An electric model with a digital thermostat gives more control over cooking temperatures.
Electric BBQs are brilliant. Once you’ve tried one, you’ll be impressed at just how easy they are to set up and use. Which model you want depends on what you want to achieve. I think that the Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill & Smoker is easier to set up and use, with its clever auto-ignition system for wood pellets. It also has more modes.
Those with the space will find the Char-Broil Smart-E a brilliant replacement for a gas BBQ, with a huge cooking surface, precise temperature control and an integrated stand.
The Weber Lumin is different: it’s simpler to use with basic temperature control, a bit easier to store and ideal for those that want the feel of traditional BBQ with the convenience of electric heating. Check out my Best BBQ list for even more options.
How we test
We test every BBQ we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main BBQ for the review period.
Cooked with a variety of food to see how well the BBQ copes with different ingredients.
Tested to see how evenly the BBQ heats.
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It’s an optional extra, costing $150/£100 more.
Size: the compact is smaller and more portable; the Weber Lumin is aimed at cooking larger amounts of food. Both have the same accessories and controls.