Hibachi grilling is an ancient Japanese method of cooking food on a portable barbeque grill. You may well have seen a professional chef cooking on a hibachi grill, and started to think about giving this technique a try at home.
So, if you want to buy a hibachi grill for your home, how do you choose the right one to meet your needs? The best hibachi grills are portable and durable, designed to have excellent heat retention and distribution. A traditional hibachi grill is heated with charcoal, although gas and electric options are also available.
Want to have a go at cooking on a hibachi grill for the family? Read on to learn what makes the best hibachi grills for home, and we’ll reveal our top 9 hibachi grills to help you choose!
What Is A Hibachi Grill?
Hibachi is an ancient Japanese cooking method, that dates back to the 8th century.
The word hibachi translates as “fire bowl”, and a traditional hibachi grill was a round stove that used charcoal as the heat source. These bowls would have been ceramic or wooden, and they were often highly ornate.
This technique involves cooking food, including meat, seafood, and vegetables, on a searing hot surface over burning charcoal.
Modern-day hibachi chefs pride themselves on this cooking style, with some even performing fire tricks to keep the customers amused while they watch their food being cooked.
You might be thinking that a hibachi grill sounds just like a charcoal barbeque, but there are some subtle differences between the two.
A hibachi grill is normally quite small in comparison to a barbeque, as it is designed to prepare smaller items of food for a group of people.
The cooking surface is a fine mesh or rack with small holes, preventing food from falling through the gaps. This cooking surface is close to the coals underneath, giving a piping hot area on which food is cooked very quickly.
You may also hear another type of grill referred to as a hibachi, as both types are common in Japanese restaurants. This is the teppanyaki grill, which has a solid flat cooking surface rather than a grill.
A true hibachi grill should always be portable and should have a mesh or rack as the cooking surface, not a flat sheet of metal. You will often see them positioned on top of a table or raised surface.
Traditionally, they are heated with charcoal, but in restaurants, electricity is often used to cook the food instead. You will sometimes see hibachi grills built into furniture stands to make them easier to use.
How To Choose The Best Hibachi Grill For Home
There is such a wide variety of hibachi grills available that sometimes it becomes overwhelming to choose one for your specific needs.
From a small portable charcoal grill, right up to a snazzy electric machine, there really is a huge range to choose from!
If you are on the hunt for a hibachi grill for your home, here is what you should take into consideration.
Type Of Hibachi Grill
Hibachi grills are available as traditional charcoal, gas, or electric versions. If you want the authentic hibachi experience, then charcoal is the one to buy.
However, there are some distinct advantages to a gas or electric grill that cannot be ignored!
An electric grill can be used both inside and outside, widening the range of opportunities to use your new grill.
There is no messy charcoal to deal with and no unpleasant smoke. It is also much easier to control the heat produced by an electric grill.
Gas also allows great heat control, as well as reaching the cooking temperature almost instantly. It gives the feel of cooking on a barbeque, without having to buy charcoal.
Having said that, nothing quite beats the fun of firing up a charcoal grill and cooking for your family! There is something about that smokey aroma that just makes the hibachi grill experience even more authentic.
It might sound obvious, but you need to buy the right size hibachi grill to suit you and your family! These little grills are all designed to be portable, but you need to be able to cook enough food for your family on them.
Hibachi grills come in many shapes and sizes, and which one you choose depends on how you plan on using it.
The best way to get the most out of these small grills is to cook food that is cut into thin strips or chunks. These will cook incredibly quickly on the searing hot grill, enabling you to prepare a lot of food in a short space of time.
Choosing the correct cooking surface is crucial when choosing a hibachi grill. You need a cooking surface that can reach high temperatures, and that will distribute the heat evenly through your food.
A grill that goes cold as soon as your meat hits the surface is not going to perform well!
It is also vital that your cooking surface does not let food fall through the gaps, and that it is easy to maneuver food around the grill.
We want to be able to pick up and flip food without any issues such as food getting wedged in the grill or stuck to the surface.
A traditional hibachi grill has a mesh grill or one with slim gaps between the grill bars. You may often see hibachi grills with a flat cooking surface, but technically this is a teppanyaki grill.
At its most basic, a hibachi grill is quite simply a mesh grill over a bed of hot charcoal. However, some models include some special functions which will greatly improve the adaptability and use of your new grill:
- Adjustable racks, enabling you to adjust the distance between the grill and the hot coals.
- Dual heat levels are provided by a double grill which can be filled with more charcoal on one side than the other. This gives you the flexibility to cook food rapidly on one side, whilst the other side cooks food slowly or keeps your cooked food warm.
- Venting system, to control airflow through the base of the grill. This gives you much more control over the speed at which the coals burn, allowing you to increase and reduce the heat easily.
Ease Of Cleaning
So, you’ve cooked up a delicious hibachi grill for all the family, yummy! But now for the part of grilling we all hate—cleaning the grill.
Ideally, the surface of your hibachi grill should just wipe clean in seconds. Some grill racks are suitable for washing in the dishwasher, while others are hand-wash only.
Watch out for fiddly bits on the grill where food could get trapped. The main problem areas are the gaps where bars join onto the sides.
Who doesn’t love a kitchen gadget which can do many things?! There is no point taking up storage space if you are only going to use your hibachi grill a few times a year.
Luckily, many hibachi grills can be used for other cooking techniques, such as making raclette, crepes, and even fried eggs.
So, if you are tight on space in your garage or home, it makes sense to opt for a multifunctional hibachi grill that can do more than one job.
Quality Of Product
There is no point splashing out on a new hibachi grill if it falls apart or starts rusting within a couple of months!
Buying a cheap, poor-quality product is a false economy, as you will inevitably end up replacing it after a short time. Look for a hibachi grill that is robust and well made, and avoid cheap and flimsy versions.
The best material for hibachi grills is cast iron. These grills are durable and have amazing heat retention, and do not rust.
The least durable type of hibachi grill tends to be types made from aluminum. They do not stand the test of time and may fall apart as soon as their warranty period has expired.
The 9 Best Hibachi Grills For Home
From a simple charcoal hibachi grill to the expensive electric versions, there are so many hibachi grills to choose from! Below are our top picks for the 9 best hibachi grills for home.
|1.||IronMaster Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Hibachi Charcoal Grill||Outdoor grilling|
|2.||Everdure CUBE Portable Charcoal Grill||The perfect take-anywhere portable grill for hibachi-style cooking|
|3.||Techwood Indoor Portable Electric Grill||Indoor cooking|
|4.||Fire Sense Notebook Charcoal Grill||Portability|
|5.||Lodge Sportsman Cast Iron Hibachi Outdoor Grill||Frequent outdoor grilling|
|6.||JJ JUJIN Portable Charcoal Grill Mini BBQ Grill for Outdoor Cooking||Multi-function outdoor cooking|
|7.||Noto Dia Table-Top Charcoal Grill||Stylish & authentic hibachi grilling|
|8.||Cuisinart Chef's Style Stainless Tabletop Grill||Instant heat|
|9.||Marsh Allen Cast Iron Hibachi Charcoal Grill||Low-budget functional grilling|
1. IronMaster Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Hibachi Charcoal Grill
- Best For: Outdoor grilling
- Grill Size: 15 x 13.5 x 7 inches
- Weight: 12.5kg
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- Features: Heavy-duty cast iron grill
This rugged and sturdy cast iron portable hibachi grill is small in size, but is packed full of features to make outdoor grilling a doddle!
It features a bottom vent for easy temperature control, and a fire door to add or remove coals as necessary. The circular grill plate may look small, but you’ll be amazed at how much more space you get when cooking on a round grill!
Cast iron is incredibly durable and has good heat retention and distribution. This construction makes the most from every lump of charcoal you burn, ensuring you can cook a full family dinner from just a small bed of coals.
The detachable cooking plates are easy to clean and can be removed in three separate pieces.
The IronMaster circular grill is relatively lightweight for a cast iron grill – you wouldn’t want to carry it up a mountain, but it can be transported with ease to a picnic site or outdoor gathering.
2. Everdure CUBE Portable Charcoal Grill
- Best For: The perfect take-anywhere portable grill for hibachi-style cooking
- Grill Size: 13.67 x 16.73 x 9.05 inches
- Weight: 19.55 Pounds
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- Features: A clever all-in-one system that can be taken anywhere
Want to do some hibachi grilling on the beach, or in the mood for a tailgate grill? This innovative cube system features an integrated heat protection shield on the base that allows the fire to be placed on any surface without causing any damage.
This grill isn’t the best in terms of heat control, as it does not have any adjustable vents. However, with a bit of practice, you’ll soon be searing strips of meat hibachi-style like a pro!
And you don’t need to worry about forgetting all the bits and bobs you need for a barbeque, as the cube also has space for accessories and food storage.
You even get a bamboo cutting board that doubles up as a lid during transportation! The cube is constructed of lightweight steel and has convenient handles for extra portability.
3. Techwood Indoor Portable Electric Grill
- Best For: Indoor cooking
- Grill Size: 19.5 x 10.6 x 4.7 inches
- Weight: 6.89 pounds
- Fuel Source: Electric
- Features: Fully adjustable temperature control, non-stick cooking surface
If you want to cook hibachi-style at the table, this electric grill is not only stylish but also very functional!
Small enough to sit in the middle of your dinner table, with this grill you can sear and sizzle to your heart’s content, wowing your guests with your Japanese grilling techniques.
The non-stick grill surface and adjustable temperature settings give you full control over the speed at which your food cooks.
The channels on the grill ensure that fat does not consolidate on the food, making for a healthier cooking experience. After use, the grill lifts out for easy cleaning.
When using this grill, we’d recommend that you keep metal utensils out of the way to avoid damaging the non-stick surface.
If your guests want to try their hand at grilling their own dinner at the table, give them a set of silicone tongs instead!
4. Fire Sense Notebook Charcoal Grill
- Best For: Portability
- Grill Size: 17.53 x 11.82 x 14.18 inches
- Weight: Not stated
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- Features: Folding design for easy transportation
With this folding portable grill, you can enjoy cooking hibachi-style, anytime, anywhere!
OK, so you’ll need to cook outside to avoid filling the house with smoke, but you get the idea!
The clever design of this grill means that it folds into a flat sheet, with convenient handles for carrying. This means you can stash it in your car or RV, and it is lightweight enough to carry to a picnic site without weighing you down.
Constructed from high heat-resistant steel, this barbeque grill is only suitable for use with charcoal.
The grilling rack is chrome plated and fits inside the grill for transportation. The cooking area is large enough to hold two large steaks or a hibachi-style grill for the whole family.
The only downside to this grill is that it does not feature any lower vents and the height of the grill rack is not adjustable, so you have very little control over the cooking heat and speed.
However, if you want a fun way to cook up some food on an outdoor adventure, this grill is great value for money!
5. Lodge Sportsman Cast Iron Hibachi Outdoor Grill
- Best For: Frequent outdoor grilling
- Grill Size: 19.38 x 9.69 x 7.56 inches
- Weight: 33.25 Pounds
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- Features: Heavy-duty cast iron construction
Now this grill is no lightweight, but it should last for years of heavy use! It is marketed as a portable grill, but it may need two people to move it comfortably.
The reason it is so heavy is that it is constructed almost entirely from cast iron, and this gives it some huge benefits.
Cast iron has excellent heat retention and distribution, so this grill will give you the perfect cooking surface for hibachi-style grilling.
It includes a bottom vent to control airflow, and a flip-down door below the grill to add more charcoal as required.
The grill can be set at two different heights, giving you greater control over the cooking temperature. The grill surface is large enough to cook a family meal or a couple of large steaks.
The only issue highlighted with this grill is that the handle is quite flimsy. This means you’ll need to allow the grill to cool down before you can move it safely.
Also, the weight means that realistically, you won’t be taking this grill with you on an outdoor adventure!
6. JJ JUJIN Portable Charcoal Grill Mini BBQ Grill for Outdoor Cooking
- Best For: Multi-function outdoor cooking
- Grill Size: 16.54 x 11.42 x 11.42 inches
- Weight: 3.6 kilograms
- Fuel Source: Charcoal, wood chips
- Features: Doubles up as a barbeque smoker
You know how a grill sometimes seems to take over your whole backyard?
Well, that’s not the case with this little portable grill! It is not only the perfect size for cooking food hibachi-style, but also doubles up as a smoker too.
With the lid open, you can quickly sear and sizzle strips of meat in seconds on the stainless steel grill. This is non-stick and conducts heat well, giving you those beautiful seared grill lines we all strive to achieve on our grilled food.
This grill does give you some control over the cooking temperature, thanks to the handy air vents on the base. However, the rack height is not adjustable, so you may need to rake the coals up closer to the food to compensate for this.
And when you’re in the mood for something different, scatter on some wood chips, add a water tray, and you’ve got a smoker! The lid incorporates a vertical pipe smokestack, complete with an integrated thermometer.
That’s a lot of features in one little tabletop grill!
7. Noto Dia Table-Top Charcoal Grill
- Best For: Stylish & authentic hibachi grilling
- Grill Size: 11.4 in × 6.3 in × 5.1 in
- Weight: 1.9 kilograms
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- Features: A stylish centerpiece to a Japanese-themed dinner party
Now, we’re going to start this review with a disclaimer – this hibachi grill does not win any points for durability or ease of use!
But if you want an authentic hibachi grill, as close as possible to the ones used for centuries in Japan, this is pretty close. In fact, you may well see this style of grill at your favorite Japanese restaurant!
The body of this hibachi grill is made from ceramic diatomaceous earth, covered with decorative paper. It is incredibly delicate, and must not be knocked or dropped or it may crack.
The grill and body are not washable; they can be wiped clean after use, but the cooking stains are thought to be part of the identity of the stove!
This grill will need special care and attention, as it is much more delicate than its metal counterparts. But you will be rewarded with the opportunity to cook on an object of beauty, that will last for many years if cared for properly.
8. Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill
- Best For: Instant heat
- Grill Size: Not stated
- Weight: Not stated
- Fuel Source: Gas
- Features: A portable gas barbeque that provides instant heat
As much as we love cooking on charcoal, sometimes the mess and time taken to set it up can put us off! If you want to cook in a hurry, then a gas grill gives you the option of cooking your food with minimal hassle.
This tabletop grill has two burners, with individual gas controls for each one. You can set one side on high heat to sear your meat, and the other on the lower setting to continue cooking.
It also features a twist-start automatic ignition, so you don’t need to panic about forgetting the matches!
If you’re looking for a versatile grill that will withstand many years of use, this is the one for you. It does also fold into a carry bag for ease of transport, but its larger size means it is not the most portable gas grill out there.
9. Marsh Allen Cast Iron Hibachi Charcoal Grill
- Best For: Low-budget functional grilling
- Grill Size: 3.4 x 18.75 x 10.62 inches
- Weight: 16.3 Pounds
- Fuel Source: Charcoal
- Features: A high-performing grill with adjustable vents, at a low budget price.
This might not be the perfect grill, but there are not many grills around that pack in so many features at such a great price!
This portable charcoal grill has three different cooking heights, enabling you to easily control the temperature of your food.
It also includes dual bottom vents, so with a bit of practice, you will be able to have different heat levels on each side of the grill. The wooden handles make this grill easy to move, and it is lighter than many other models of portable grills.
The only downside to this grill is that it might not be as durable as higher-quality versions, but with careful use, it should last for many years of outdoor grilling.