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Weber Lumin Compact Electric Barbecue review: A fast, easy-to-use electric BBQ

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £399
(inc. VAT)

Weber’s mains-powered Lumin Compact barbeque is quick to heat up, powerful and well worth the investment


  • Speedy heat up times
  • Versatile cooking functions
  • Easy to clean


  • Heavy grill plates
  • Expensive

Weber has long been a go-to brand for barbecue grills, but while it’s better known for its gas-fired and charcoal models, the Lumin Compact Electric Barbecue swaps the hot coals and fossil fuels for mains power.

It isn’t Weber’s first electric BBQ, but the Lumin Compact looks to be the best yet, with impressive heat-up times and improved versatility. As well as classic barbecuing on its cast-iron grills, the Lumin can be used to steam, boil and even smoke, simply by switching out one of the plates. What’s more, with a maximum temperature of 315ºC, this electric grill gives you impressive control over what and how you cook.

Designed with balconies in mind, this mains-powered BBQ is a grill for city dwellers and garden owners alike.

Check price at John Lewis

Weber Lumin Compact Electric Barbecue review: What do you get for the money?

At £399, the Weber Lumin Compact is a pricey option, but the overall build quality is seriously impressive. The exterior main body is made from porcelain enamel, and the base is made from a sturdy, heat-resistant plastic, meaning it can be used on any heat-resistant outdoor surface. There’s a temperature gauge on the front, too, so you’re able to tell if the grill is hot, or cool, enough to cook on. Near the bottom, you’ll find a dial with five settings for low, medium and high cooking heat, as well as options for steaming, smoking and food warming. 

Despite measuring just 58.6 x 41.2 x 27.9cm (WDH) with the lid closed, the Lumin Compact has a fairly generous grill space of 43.07 x 28.43cm (WD). This allows you to comfortably cook six large burgers at a time using both grill plates.

While this is an electric BBQ, it comes with traditional cast iron grill plates for that classic barbecue flavour, as well as accessories to steam, smoke and defrost. There’s also a drip tray underneath that’s easy to remove and one tray liner included in the box for easy clean up. Multipacks of drip trays can be bought online, as can an accessory expansion pack to improve the versatility of the Lumin further, turning it into a full electric smoker or full-sized steamer. 

The Lumin Compact is an ideal size for two to four people but if you’re looking to barbecue for more, the standard Lumin (£579) has a larger grill area of 49.25 x 33.2cm (WD) and total size of 64.8 x 47.6 x 29.8cm (WDH).

If price is more of an issue than space, the electric Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ Grill and Smoker is another alternative to consider. It comes in at a slightly less eye-watering £350 and offers many of the same features, with the exception of a steam/defrost feature. The grill space is also slightly smaller at 37 x 28cm (WD) but measures a fairly similar size overall at 46 x 46 x 34cm (WDH).

READ NEXT: Ninja Woodfire Electric BBQ and Smoker review

Weber Lumin Compact Electric Barbecue review: What is it like to cook on?

One of the biggest selling points of the Lumin Compact is that it’s incredibly easy to set up: simply slot the removable power box into the side of the BBQ and plug it into a power source. There are quite a few options on the settings dial that don’t necessarily make sense at first glance. However, I found it easy to navigate once I found a breakdown of them in the instructions. It’s also worth noting that if you are also considering the Ninja Woodfire Grill due to its similar capacity, I found the Lumin to be much more straightforward to use. Heat up times are consistently quick, too, with the grill taking around 12 minutes to reach 250ºC and 18 minutes to reach 315ºC using the highest power setting. 

The Lumin can cook much more than your classic burger, steak and kebabs. For veggie lovers, there’s the option to remove a grill plate and replace it with the steaming/smoking reservoir and reversible steam pan, turning one side of your barbecue into a steamer. Alternatively, you can add wood chips to the reservoir for smoked meat and vegetables – though it’s worth noting that wood pellets aren’t suitable, so you’ll need to use small chips. You can also use the Lumin to quickly defrost ingredients. In testing, I found it worked best on smaller items like king prawns, as my sausages steam-cooked a little while defrosting, though this can be fixed on the grill to ensure you still get a crispy exterior without drying the meat out. 

There’s little to criticise in terms of the Lumin’s cooking abilities. Reasonably sized grill slats mean you aren’t constantly dealing with food falling through, and the cast iron plates ensure the grill retains heat during cooking, which is only made better by the fact you’re getting that constant heat from using electricity rather than charcoal. The grill also provides a consistent heat across the cooking area, with only a little heat drop-off around the edges

It’s also worth noting how easy the Lumin is to clean, despite not having any dishwasher-safe parts. Cleaning up after a barbeque is rarely an enjoyable experience, but the grill plates and the area underneath are quick and easy to clean with a little soap and water. A little elbow grease is required to scrub away any caramelised bits on the grill but the Lumin is still far easier to clean than a standard charcoal barbecue.

Check price at John Lewis

Weber Lumin Compact Electric Barbecue review: Where can I use it?

The Lumin can be used on any outdoor flat surface with, or without, the additional stand Weber sells. I tested mine on both a solid treated wood table and on flat concrete slabs with no issues but you can use it on any heatproof table or surface. The 1.8m (5.9ft) cable is just about long enough for balconies or smaller gardens with outdoor plugs, but for larger gardens you’ll need a suitable extension cable. 

This compact electric model has clearly been designed with city living in mind. It’s ideal for use on a balcony, as generally you can’t use gas or charcoal in flats – you should check with your building to see if using the smoker function is allowed. What’s more, it can easily be stored indoors when not in use. Though if you do want to leave it on the balcony, you can. 

The only thing hindering the Lumin’s portability is its weight. Just the grill plates alone are fairly heavy and I struggled to carry the Barbecue to and from my garden with the grill inside. While the total weight of the Lumin is only 12kg, the shape of both the barbecue and the grill plates make it difficult to get a good grip if you’re a bit weaker in the wrists.

Check price at John Lewis

Weber Lumin Compact Electric Barbecue review: Should you buy it?

The Lumin is pricey, but when you break down the build quality, features and performance of this electric grill, it’s hard to beat. Small garden owners should also consider the Ninja Woodfire Electric Grill as a cheaper alternative, as it offers some of the same functions, and more, at a keener price.

However, the Lumin Compact feels much more like a traditional barbecue in both the way it looks and the way it cooks due to its functional simplicity and robust cooking plates. If you’ve got a small outdoor space or simply want a more compact grill for your garden, the Lumin Compact more than justifies its premium price.

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