An honest opinion about hibachi grills
I must say I stumbled upon the hibachi grill by accident, but I was hooked immediately. It’s a Japanese grill for quick and delicious meals.
I’ve been grilling with hibachi grills for these past two years, and I’ve seen how they’ve gained a lot of popularity, especially during the last couple of years. These grills are fantastic when you want to whip up a quick dinner in just 30 minutes.
Why listen to me? I’m not just someone who wants to make money by telling you things that aren’t true. I genuinely love grilling. I started noticing plenty of misinformation online, that’s why I started doing my own research. I’ve tried different grills and watched video reviews. I even used to have a business where I sold grills similar to hibachi grills. But now that I’m retired, I can spend more time sharing my knowledge with you, like which hibachi grills are the best to buy.
Table of Contents:
- What Is a Hibachi Grill?
- Benefits of Hibachi Grill
- Where to Buy Hibachi Grill?
- Best Hibachi Grill: Why Are The Best Hibachi Grills So Expensive?
- Which Hibachi Grill Should I Buy?
- What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Hibachi Grill?
- Black Friday Hibachi Grill Deals
- Hibachi Grill vs. Weber Charcoal Grill
- Why Are Hibachi Grills Cast Iron?
What Is a Hibachi Grill?
A hibachi grill is a traditional Japanese heating device. At its core, it’s a compact grill that uses charcoal to cook food. Think of it as a portable barbecue that you can set up just about anywhere.
I often use my hibachi for workday family dinners. Its size is suited for a small family meal. The design, with coals close to the food and good heat retention, allows for fast and even cooking. It has been ideal for quick 30-minute meals for me and my family.
If you haven’t seen one before, you might be thinking of other types of small grills or even teppanyaki grills, where chefs prepare food on a large metal plate. But hibachi grills are distinct and special in their own right.
What I love about them is their simplicity. It’s straightforward in its design, typically featuring an air circulation gate and a charcoal gate. This simplicity makes it fool-proof and effective for cooking various foods.
The truth is, even though it’s associated with Japanese cooking, they are not limited to it. Many classify the hibachi grill as a small grill with a design optimal for quick meals or throw-downs and, to be honest, I feel the same way.
Benefits of Hibachi Grill
- Heats up in 15-20 minutes
- Cooks food evenly
- Authentic charcoal flavor
- Very entertaining cooking process
- Provides high heat while keeping food moist
Where to Buy Hibachi Grill?
Hibachi grill has been around for decades, but only in the last couple of years has it gained more popularity.
Everyone is confused about where to buy a hibachi grill and what kind of hibachi grill to buy. I totally get it, I was there too.
I’ve done extensive research on the best hibachi grills out there. Most traditional ones are produced in Japan so no surprise here. However, there are some American producers that are quickly catching up, although the price-to-quality ratio can vary a lot (and lots of them on Amazon are actually just sold by Chinese sellers).
As I owned my own store I know exactly how much it costs to make everything. On top of that, after having done my research, I can tell you exactly which options are a good choice and which are not.
Best Hibachi Grill: Why Are The Best Hibachi Grills So Expensive?
To ensure a hibachi grill works properly and safely, it shouldn’t be too cheap. Also, most of the best ones are made from cast iron which only adds to the price.
That said, it’s hard to find one under $100. Considering what goes into making a good one, that price makes sense.
Raw materials cost money. Shipping is insanely expensive. Keep in mind that material quality varies, so quite often a cheaper grill might be made from cheaper and less durable materials which is the number one thing I look for when purchasing home improvement items (speaking from experience here after I got a cheaper lawnmower as I didn’t want to spend more and I have already paid more for servicing it than it cost in the first place).
Which Hibachi Grill Should I Buy?
- Uno Casa ($119.95) – got it immediately after Christmas since it went out of stock by late November – best price point and quality currently available. They kept the high quality of Lodge but at a lower price point. They also include a grill cover!
- Lodge ($149.90) – the original cast iron hibachi grill. They changed the design a bit from their original but kept the quality at the same high.
- Giantex ($84.99) – one of the Chinese sellers – mine broke after two weeks.
- Ironmaster ($125.99) – Did not actually buy one but my guess is this is another Chinese seller.
- Everdure ($81.99) – Although it seems like an exact replica of the Uno Casa grill, the price point does not seem like it will be a long-lasting grill. One of my friends bought one and said there were some cracks in the base.
- Bincho ($318.00) – If you’re looking for the full authentic experience check these out. They look really cool once set up on the full length of the table. Got this as more of an entertainment grill.
- Fire Sense ($62.68) – Very functional, small in size – had to cook in batches to prepare dinner for 4.
- Lovt ($44.99) – Another variation on the small hibachi grill and they have plenty of sizes and shapes. True Japanese experience – although again, fairly small in size.
*prices at September 10th, 2023
I get a lot of questions about hardware products available on Amazon and whether you should buy them (because we all know it can be cheaper with quick delivery). China basically took over many of the markets on Amazon. Many of the exact same products are being sold by different sellers there and new competitors keep popping up almost every single day.
Despite that, I still think that Amazon is the most convenient option for shopping but only if you can distinguish the good and the bad. Because from a buyers standpoint competition from Chinese sellers can actually be a good thing since it can drive the price down of more quality products.
I also did another review of the top 5 best hibachi grill based on five specific categories.
What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Hibachi Grill?
The main idea of the hibachi grill is that the design is supposed to be simple. If you see too many features bundled up – run the other way.
The price is (usually) another indicator of quality – any cast iron grill under $100 is either selling a poor product or selling it at a loss and since all Amazon sellers are in it for the profit, there is only one answer here. And I am saying this having had my own business selling similar products. Of course, it’s important not to go overboard on price as well.
Black Friday Hibachi Grill Deals
Many people are always asking whether they should wait for a Black Friday deal to purchase their hibachi grill. For the second year in a row I’m telling you that while there are some deals on hibachi grills out there, most companies sell out by late November as people rush with holiday shopping.
Hibachi Grill vs. Weber Charcoal Grill
Many people ask what is the difference between a hibachi grill and a Weber charcoal grill. Both grills offer unique tastes, largely due to their design. For instance, a steak grilled on a cast iron Hibachi grill has a distinct taste compared to one cooked on a Weber charcoal grill. My suggestion would be to try both of them. Here are some more differences:
- Made from cast iron, which heats up quickly and retains that heat for efficient cooking.
- Compact and portable, ideal for smaller spaces or for those on the go.
- Durable, especially if you take care of the cast iron. With time, it can last and even improve in performance.
Weber Charcoal Grills:
- Made from materials like porcelain-enameled steel. Sturdy, but might not retain heat as well as cast iron.
- Offers more cooking space, suitable for bigger gatherings or diverse meals.
- Reliable and durable, a go-to for many who enjoy traditional charcoal grilling.
In a separate post, I explored the potential health risks associated with the different grills (had to do a lot of research on this topic because I was dealing with a health issue at the time).
Why Are Hibachi Grills Cast Iron?
Many people choose cast iron for hibachi grills, and there are good reasons for that. Cast iron is very durable. With proper care, a cast iron grill can last for many years. When you heat cast iron, it retains that heat for a long time, ensuring that food cooks consistently.
This material also heats up very evenly, so you don’t get areas that are hotter or cooler than others.
Another advantage of cast iron is that, when seasoned correctly, it offers a natural non-stick surface. This makes both cooking and cleaning easier. Over time, as you use the grill, the oils and fats from cooking can add to the taste of the food. This is why cast iron is a popular choice for hibachi grills: it’s long-lasting, heats evenly, and can enhance the flavor of the food.
Hibachi Grill FAQs:
How is hibachi different from teppanyaki?
While both are Japanese cooking styles, hibachi involves cooking on a grate over an open flame, while teppanyaki is done on a solid iron griddle. Hibachi offers a more smoky flavor, whereas teppanyaki provides a seared finish.
Is hibachi grilling healthy?
Yes, it can be healthy as it requires minimal oil. The high heat ensures that the food retains most of its nutrients, making it a healthier alternative to some other cooking methods. We did research on this topic – you can find more information here.
How do I clean my hibachi grill?
After the grill cools down, remove the ash and scrub the grates with a grill brush. For a deeper clean, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water. Remember to season the grill after cleaning to maintain its non-stick surface.
Can I use a hibachi grill indoors?
It’s not recommended to use it indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Always ensure proper ventilation if grilling in enclosed spaces.
I always try to bring a bit of myself into what I write with handy tips and the joy I find in grilling. I’ll be experimenting with classic recipes or trying something completely out of the box – I’m all about the adventure of taste. I hope my articles spark a bit of inspiration for you.