Shocking Grill Facts: 5 Best Choices That Will Make You Healthy

A MUST-READ for all BBQ chefs thinking about their health

You might be a seasoned grill master, but have you ever stopped to consider the impact of your grill’s material on your health? Many of us use grills made from a variety of materials, not knowing that some of them might be leaching harmful substances into our food. Our team and I at Grill Master’s Magazine have done extensive research to give you the best information regarding your grill choices. We’ll discuss potential health issues linked to non-cast iron grills and highlight the health benefits of cast iron, which doesn’t leach harmful substances as well as give you a comprehensive list of our Top 5 Grill Choices!

Out of the grills we analyzed, there seems to be one clear winner! Keep reading to find out more!

The Dark Side of Non-Cast Iron Grills

Grills made from materials other than cast iron can present a range of health risks. For instance, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to nickel, stainless steel grills might aggravate your allergy. Ceramic grills, though often touted as a healthy alternative, are not necessarily better. The glaze used to seal the ceramic can leach unwanted material, including heavy metals, into your food.

The process of heating the grill can cause chemical reactions in the materials used to make the grill. As the research paper discusses, heating can cause the release of substances like carbon dioxide and the hydroxide group from aluminum hydroxide to alumina. If similar reactions occur in the materials used in a ceramic grill, it could potentially lead to unwanted substances being released.

Putri, S., Pratapa, S., & Sari, P. (2023). The Renewable of Low Toxicity Gelcasting Porous Ceramic as Fe2O3 Catalyst Support on Phenol Photodegradation. International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics

Copper grills, too, can be problematic. Copper can leach into your food in amounts that aren’t safe to consume, and the common coatings for copper cookware such as tin and nickel often aren’t much better.

Non-stick coatings such as Teflon are particularly alarming. Teflon is part of a class of chemicals called perfluoroalkylated and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS in short, because the full term is quite a mouthful), that are known for their environmentally damaging effects. They can contaminate the air and water, and over time they can build up in people, animals, and the environment. In humans, exposure to PFAS chemicals has been associated with cancer and other health issues. Furthermore, cooking food at extremely hot temperatures can cause the nonstick coating to break down and get into your food.

The presence of some PFAS has been reported in the blood, milk, urine tissues and organs of different human populations living in developed countries and has been associated to a number of adverse health effects.

Brase, R. A., DeWitt, J. C., & Shea, D. (2021). Legacy and Emerging Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Analytical Techniques, Environmental Fate, and Health Effects. International Journal of Molecular Sciences

The Health Benefits of Cast Iron Grills

While the health risks associated with non-cast iron grills seem alarming, there’s a safer alternative at your disposal: cast iron.

We’ve made a concentrated list of all the benefits that Cast Iron Grills bring to your grilling:

  • Cast iron is held in high regard because it’s nearly indestructible. Even if neglected and left to rust, cast iron cookware can often be restored to a condition almost like new.
  • Cast iron holds heat well. Once it has warmed up, it stays warm, which helps keep food hot.
  • Cleaning cast iron is also straightforward, once you understand the fundamentals of cleaning cast iron.
  • Cast iron cookware is often sold at affordable prices, making it a one-time investment that lasts nearly forever. You can find cast iron in many shapes and sizes, suitable for a range of cooking needs.
  • BONUS BENEFIT: An added health benefit is that cooking with cast iron might add some iron to your meals. While the research on this topic is still very limited, and the amount of iron added to your diet by cooking with cast iron is likely negligible, it may still provide some benefit, especially when used alongside other therapies like supplements and dietary changes.

What’s Important When Choosing Your Grill: 3 Simple Categories

We tried to make it as simple as possible, giving you an evaluation based on 3 main product factors. Here’s what’s going to be included:

  1. Health Concerns: We’ve prioritized grills that uphold the highest standards of health and safety. This includes mitigating potential carcinogenic risks associated with grilling and maintaining the nutritional value of the food cooked on each grill.
  2. Price to Value: We’ve focused on grills that offer excellent quality, advanced features, and outstanding performance, all for a reasonable price. Our aim is to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  3. Longevity: Lastly, we have looked for grills known for their durability and long-term performance. This way, your investment not only offers great value up front but continues to pay off over the many years of use to come.

SPOILER ALERT: Considering all of the above, we chose the winner – Uno Casa Hibachi Grill!

1. The Champion: Cast Iron Japanese Hibachi Grill from Uno Casa

LIMITED DEAL: First 50 customers get their grill $55 OFF ($175.95 —> $119.95)

Japanese Hibachi Grills are compact, transportable cooking grills constructed from sturdy cast iron. The grills feature an open-grate construction and typically utilize charcoal to generate heat – even though they heat up super quickly. However, to adapt to indoor cooking regulations in U.S. eateries, contemporary versions of these hibachi grills are often electrically powered. Let’s take a look at how the Uno Casa Cast Iron Hibachi Grill performed:

  1. Health Concerns: 10/10
    Up-to-date research undisputedly indicates that cast iron grills are the safest choice in terms of health. Grills made from other materials (ceramic, copper/Teflon coated) tend to have unwanted and possible side effects that, while not immediately visible – might affect your health in one way or another.
  2. Price to Value: 9.5/10
    Honestly, the price-to-value ratio is incredible. While a great grill costs north of $500, this one achieves the same level of utility at a much lower price point. With its two adjustable heights (flip the grill grate upside down!), a grill hook, and a grill cover – you get a considerable package of functionality. We estimate that this grill will be useful for at least 25 years so it is like paying around $4.00 a year for an incredible grilling experience.
  3. Longevity: 10/10
    While cast iron products usually break easily, due to producers making them more and more thin – with this grill we have seen quite the opposite. We have been using it pretty much every day for the past month and it truly seems indestructible and it looks like it will last a lifetime!

Want to learn more about what makes hibachi grills so special? You can find our Top 5 Analysis on Hibachi Grills right here!

Life expectancy is a critical measure of a nation’s health and wellness. The infographic eloquently brings to light the differences between Japan and the USA, two countries that are often compared in various domains but show a stark contrast in terms of life expectancy. We believe their choice of grills is at least one of the reasons why they live longer.

It surely cannot get much better than this, get your Hibachi Grill + Grill Hook + Grill Cover HERE!

2. The Runner-up: Kamado Grill from Akorn

Kamado Grills are sizeable, stationary outdoor cookers made from ceramics or refractory materials. These grills are designed with a heat-retaining, egg-like construction and most commonly use lump charcoal to produce heat – due to their insulation, they maintain temperature for extended periods. Despite their traditional use of charcoal, modern interpretations of these Kamado grills are sometimes equipped with gas or electric heating elements to offer increased convenience and adaptability. Here’s how the Kamado grill scored for our 3 analysis factors:

  1. Health Concerns: 5.5/10
    Based on our research, we believe there to be potential risks involved with ceramic grills due to the glaze used to seal these grills which could potentially leach particles of unwanted substances into your food. We believe it is best to mitigate any and all dangers to your health – there are always safer options to choose from.
  2. Price to Value: 8/10
    Despite our previous point, it still is a grill of fairly good value. It is relatively large in size, and could probably serve a small family dinner in a few rounds of grilling. Compared to the Uno Casa Hibachi Grill, it still is at least 3 times the price point which makes it a more hefty investment.
  3. Longevity: 9/10
    It will surely last you more than a few years, it does seem sturdy enough. However, compared to the Hibachi Grill, this Kamado Grill still has a ways to go.

Uno Casa Hibachi Grill exceeds Akorn’s Kamado Grill, its more expensive rival, in most categories, especially regarding health concerns, making it the undisputed 1st choice.

3. The Classic: Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill from Weber

Weber Grills are freestanding outdoor appliances constructed from materials such as porcelain-enameled steel and stainless steel. These grills feature a heat-efficient, kettle-like design and predominantly use charcoal or propane gas to generate heat – due to their heat distribution, they sustain consistent cooking temperatures for a longer duration. Although traditionally associated with charcoal or gas, current versions of these Weber grills sometimes incorporate electric heating systems or pellet fuel. Let’s see how this grill performed:

  1. Health Concerns: 6/10
    Based on our analysis, Weber grills are safer than ceramic ones. However, while the porcelain-enameled coating on most Weber grills is generally safe, if the coating chips, chips of enamel could possibly find their way into your food. Additionally, stainless steel grates are generally safe, but they can sometimes leach small amounts of chromium and nickel when heated, which could be even more dangerous if you are allergic to such metals.
  2. Price to Value: 6/10
    The grill seems sturdy enough, however, for this price point, there are much better options to choose from. It seems that Weber grills have a higher price compared to others due to their long-standing name in the grill market. We were not convinced that this grill is as “premium” as it claims to be.
  3. Longevity: 8/10
    Given its build, it appears to be quite robust. Yet, judging solely by the material it’s made from, there’s potential for it to warp or fracture readily, posing a health risk as a result of potential chipping.

Weber Grills seem to be a tad bit overrated, hence why we chose the Cast Iron Hibachi Grill from Uno Casa over it.

4. The Budget Grill: Cast Iron Hibachi Grill by Giantex

Just like the Uno Casa Hibachi Grill, the Giantex Hibachi Grill is also made from cast iron. This common material offers the grills a sturdy build and the ability to retain and evenly distribute heat effectively, which is a key feature for any hibachi-style grill. Despite the shared material base, the quality of construction and performance may vary between the two brands. Let’s delve deeper into the similarities and differences:

  1. Health Concerns: 10/10
    In terms of health concerns, we do not see any immediate or possible risks posed by this grill. The cast iron seems to be treated up to the necessary standards.
  2. Price to Value: 7/10
    The grill falls short in terms of value for its price. The package does not include any add-ons such as a grill cover and a grate hook as for the Uno Casa Hibachi Grill. Also, the heat retention seems to be slightly worse compared to other grills.
  3. Longevity: 5/10
    You know what they say, “Buy cheaper – buy twice” and we really take it to heart regarding this product. Unfortunately, the build of this grill is questionable due to the standard the Uno Casa Hibachi Grill has set. It should work for some time, but the grill seems to be made from lesser-quality cast iron.

Cast Iron Hibachi Grill from Uno Casa due to its superior build and additional add-ons included in the package.

5. The Basics: Notebook BBQ Charcoal Grill by Fire Sense

The last product on our list is where you get the basics of a grill and nothing more. We thought this is an important addition to the list for people looking for the bare minimum in their grill. This Fire Sense BBQ Grill is made of alloy steel and for its price seems like a solid choice. Let’s see how it fares in terms of our criteria:

  1. Health Concerns: 6/10
    Due to it being made of alloy steel, we gave it the same score as the Weber Charcoal grill. Again, based on our research we believe being on the safe side is always the right choice. Also, there were reports of paint smells when cooking which is slightly alarming.
  2. Price to Value: 9/10
    For its price, you get a nice, small grill that can be used wherever you go, so in terms of price to value this is definitely one of the winners.
  3. Longevity: 3/10
    However, when buying cheaper products longevity is always in question. One of our team members has used it for only a few weeks and the grill does seem to bend quite easily.

All 3 categories suggest that the Cast Iron Hibachi Grill from Uno Casa is a clear winner.

The Uno Casa Cast Iron Hibachi Grill: A Longer Future in Every Way

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We strive for greatness here at Grill Master’s Magazine both in our research and in our evaluation. That is why we have full confidence in selecting the Uno Casa Hibachi Grill as the clear winner in Health, Price to Value, and Longevity categories.

Quality Cast Iron Grills are one-time purchases that last a lifetime.

The Hibachi Grill itself

At the heart of the Uno Casa range, this magnificently constructed Cast Iron Hibachi Grill offers a solid base for searing, grilling and roasting, enhancing crucial culinary skills while promoting precise heat control and even distribution.

Timeless Japanese Design

Drawing influence from classic aesthetics, the Uno Casa Cast Iron Charcoal Grill offers enhanced convenience, superior temperature management, and steadiness from 4 legs instead of 3. It’s a fresh interpretation of the traditional cast iron hibachi grills.

Nylon Cover and Grill Hook – Included

The water-resistant nylon cover is an excellent addition for protecting your grill from the elements as well as the grill hook for adjusting the features of the grill.

Take The Grill Anywhere

Designed with portability in mind, the Uno Casa Cast Iron Hibachi Grill is lightweight yet robust, making it a breeze to carry. Whether you’re heading to a beach party, a picnic, or a camping trip, its compact design fits perfectly into your travel plans.

Built to Last Ages

The grill embodies the epitome of durability and longevity. Engineered with high-quality cast iron, it is structurally sound and robust, designed to withstand the rigors of high-heat grilling and outdoor elements. This grill is not just an appliance, but an investment – one that promises to serve up unforgettable meals for countless seasons.

LIMITED DEAL: ONLY NOW get Your grill $55 OFF ($175.95 —> $119.95)

The material of your grill is undeniably significant. While other materials may potentially pose health risks, the Uno Casa Cast Iron Hibachi Grill emerges as a healthier and more valuable alternative. The grill is not only sturdy and multifunctional but also easy to maintain, and it even contributes a beneficial trace of iron to your meals. The combination of these attributes alongside its exceptional price-to-value ratio and proven longevity makes it a leading choice. So, when planning your next grilling event, consider reaching for this trustworthy grill. Your health, and your wallet, will be grateful. Remember, preserving your health is preserving your wealth. Invest your time in identifying and choosing cookware that is not only long-lasting and cost-effective, but also promotes your wellbeing. Here’s to healthier, tastier, and happier grilling experiences with the Uno Casa Cast Iron Hibachi Grill!

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  • Fred Alvarez

    Not often can you get such a good deal on hibachi grills. I love it

    Reply 1 26m
    • avatar

      Carla Morrison

      Great for weekday nights, amazing for the weekend.

      Reply 1 26m
    • avatar

      Sam Newell

      Received as a gift. Now I use it all the time.

      Reply 3 30m

      Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice.

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