Like a barbecue on the balcony? I check whether the Lidl smokeless grill is suitable for such a task

The online offer of the Lidl supermarket chain includes a battery-powered FLG 34 C1 grill. The seller does not indicate that it is a smoke-free device, but advertises it with an active ventilation system. I checked how the equipment for PLN 222 is doing during a picnic and on the balcony.

Lidl's battery grill was priced at PLN 222. This is a price three times lower than the price we have to pay for smokeless devices from popular companies. This does not mean, however, that the product offered by Lidl is three times worse. Although in terms of strength and quality it is lower, the FLG 34 C1 model performed better than I initially assumed.

You set fire to the kindling, put in a container of coal and it's ready.

Using the grill is child's play. First, we use a bit of kindling placed on a steel tray. The manufacturer recommends gel kindling, but I use much less chemical natural kindling, which also works well. Then we put a steel container on such a tray, into which we previously poured some charcoal. Finally, we turn on the active ventilation system, which works like a heat dryer.

Washing and maintaining the grill is also simple. All the fat drips into the metal bowl. If we fill it with a little water, washing is even easier because the grease does not stick to the edges. Best of all, even at full speed, the grill does not heat up so that it cannot be moved from place to place. The insulating layer works fine, but not perfect. More expensive grills can be downright cool on their outer casing. This one is warm.

Key question: what about this smoke?

After burning the grill and a dozen friendly field tests, I can determine the specifics of the FLG 34 C1 model. The device is smokeless, but only for a certain point. Visible clouds of smoke emerge from the firelighter. It is true that the ventilation system is blowing a little gray clouds, making the effect much less visible than in the case of a traditional grill, but this does not change the fundamental fact: smoke is produced. It is visible and, if someone is within a few meters of us, it may disturb him.

The good news is that the smoke disappears forever after several minutes of ignition. Regardless of what we throw on the grate and with what intensity the ventilation system works, gray clouds do not come back. Meat, vegetables and other delicacies are nicely grilled, and nothing but the smell of the food is hovering above the device.

Is such a grill suitable for a balcony? If you do not have closely adjacent balconies characteristic of a new building, you can use such a grill without any problems, and the neighbors will not even notice. The smell itself is not more intense than, for example, frying something in the kitchen with the window open. However, if the balconies and windows of separate apartments are in close proximity, the matter is more complicated here.

If you see, for example, cigarette smoke from a smoker standing on the neighboring balcony, you will definitely see gray clouds on the grill as well. Therefore, I do not recommend using such a device without consulting your immediate neighbors. I talked to my own people and they don't mind at all. However, there are people and folks, and living in blocks of flats, you can never think only about your own convenience.

What does food from a battery operated grill taste like?

We pass to the greatest advantage of the grill in question. It is the taste of the dishes. Many critics of this type of equipment believe that without the gigantic smoke and a ton of coal thrown in, the taste of meats, cheeses or vegetables has nothing to do with a traditional grate. Complete crap. When I invite my friends to the balcony sausages and skewers, a regular part of such weekend visits is the ritual of promoting the taste "exactly like grilled".

This is not frying. This is not baking. This is grilling without any fake, with all the tasty consequences. If I want grilled halloumi, I make it in no time. I have everything I need in the fridge and on the balcony. I do not need to pack a classic grill on legs anywhere. I do not have to go to the plot. I don't even have to go out to the garden. Fire kindling, coal and for battle.

Unfortunately, the classic grill has one undeniable advantage over the invention of the battery: the power of grilling. The modest size of the device can easily handle sausage, vegetables, cheese, bacon or pork neck. It is much worse when grilling large, solid pieces of meat with marinade. The battery-operated grill does not have the power to cook this type of meat quickly and well. Part of the solution is to wipe some of the marinade on kitchen paper, but the problem is definitely there. During larger social gatherings, the size of the grate may also be a disadvantage. You cannot feed several families at the same time.

Grill from Lidl for PLN 222 - is it worth it or not?

From the point of view of my editorial colleague's purchases, who has a model that is three times more expensive , the Lidl grill is a good deal. The price-performance ratio is most favorable. The FLG 34 C1 works great during trips to the water, during Sundays in the garden, during trips to the plot, and even on the balcony in the block (under certain conditions described above). Unfortunately, it is not a perfectly smokeless grill. You have to get over the first dozen or so minutes. You also have to take into account the limited power of grilling such a device.

In terms of handiness, ease of use, ease of cleaning and - most importantly - the taste of the dishes, I am extremely pleased with it. The affordability of battery-operated grilling makes us test a lot of new delicacies. The equipment is in use on average every other weekend and we know that it will serve us for a few more months. Then it will land in the cover that comes with the set and will go to the basement. Of course, only until April 2021.

Like a barbecue on the balcony? I check if the Lidl smokeless grill is suitable for such a task


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