Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: September 23, 2021
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If you like to socialize and prepare great meals for your guests, you may be interested to try Yakitori. This grilling style may be fairly new to the USA, but it has actually been around for hundreds of years.
In our quest to find the best Yakitori grills, we have assessed the features that make these grills a good option for the Yakitori skewers. We’ve looked at the size of the cook area, the overall weight and portability of the unit and the heat conductivity. However, we’ve also looked at what we liked about the grills and what could be better to help you to make an informed purchase decision.
The Fire Sense yakitori charcoal grill is a great option if you like to cook for a group or entertain. The 17 x 10 inch cook space allows you to cook multiple skewers in one cooking session. It also features clips to improve overall safety, since everything can remain firmly in place without any risk of spills
While it does offer great performance, this Yakitori also has superb aesthetics that ensure that it not only looks attractive, but enhances the functionality. The clay mode construction provides an authentic look, while the ceramic interior lining provides even food cooking without risk of cold spots. However, the Fire Sense is also remarkably easy to use. There are four ventilation doors in the base that allow you to control the heat of your grill. These vents allow this grill to stand out from the crowd. It also provides an impressive 170 square inches of grill space, which is one of the largest on the market. The clips keep the grill bowl secure, so there is no worry about flipping or wobbling as you use it.
What do we love it for?
The main thing we like about this grill is it seems to marry style and functionality. While there are a number of Yakitori grills on the market that look the part, this one both looks great and performs very well. There are adjustable vents to allow you to easily tweak the temperature, while the ceramic lining provides even heat distribution. Even the safety clips are unobtrusive and do not compromise the aesthetics.
What were we disappointed with?
The main downside is that the unit has minimal weather protection. There are a number of review complaints from buyers who have left their grill outdoors overnight and it has suffered severe water damage. Of course, any grill can be vulnerable to the weather, but the clay exterior is vulnerable to crumbling if it is exposed to the rain.
The Bincho grill is an attractive Yakitori grill made with a stainless steel body and wooden base. This creates a small, yet elegant grill that is ideal for serving your family. This can be a great way to cook traditional Yakitori. You can cook skewered meat on the grill or purchase a compatible stainless steel grate that allows you to cook other items.
This grill is a great option for those who are new to Yakitori grilling. There is an additional aluminum insert to provide extra heat insulation and there are two adjustable airflow vents to help you to control the heat. The wooden leg handles remain cool to the touch, making the grill easier to work with while retaining a contemporary aesthetic. The stainless steel body can accommodate lump charcoal or other fuels, additionally, the steel is of good quality that is not prone to rust.
What are our favorite features?
The main thing we like about this grill is that it is easy to use. There is minimal assembly and the ventilation windows make it easy to control the burn rate and heat. However, the stainless steel and wood materials should not be overlooked. The high grade steel looks like it belongs in an upscale commercial restaurant, so you can enjoy a contemporary aesthetic.
What could be better?
The potential downsides are that the stainless steel can get a little hot to the touch, so you do need to take care. Additionally, the narrow design will limit how food can be arranged. The grill is designed to be used with 4.5 inch skewer sticks and you need to purchase a grill grate if you want to extend the functionality.
The Party Griller is a fun to use Yakitori grill that eases the transition from traditional North American grills to the Yakitori style. It has a sturdy stainless steel body to ensure that it will stand up to regular, heavy use, making it a sound investment for those who enjoy grilling. There are adjustable vents to increase or decrease the air circulation and the heat of the grill.
As the name suggests, the Party Griller is ideal for those who want to grill larger quantities of food. It is a stand up grill that you can use in your backyard and it has a durable build. If you’re comfortable using an outdoor gas or charcoal grill, moving over to the Party Griller should not feel like much of a change. This is an affordable model that is easy to use, yet the stainless steel body makes it easier to clean after you’ve been entertaining.
What are our favorite features?
The most attractive thing about this grill is its simplicity. The stainless steel body feels sturdy and durable enough to withstand regular, heavy grilling sessions. There is minimal assembly and the stainless steel is easy to clean after each grill session. There is also the reassurance that the stainless steel is not prone to rust.
What could be better?
The biggest potential downside is that it is a stand up grill. There is no tabletop option, so you can’t simply set it up on a table and grill as you sit with your friends. It is more like an American style grill, where you’ll need to set up in your yard and cook for everyone.
The Uten may be lightweight and portable, but this has not compromised on its reliability and performance. It is made with chrome mesh wiring and iron that are premium grade to ensure safety and heat resistance. Since it does have a relatively small footprint, it is both quick and easy to light up, so you can be grilling within minutes. However, this does create the potential for damage, if you don’t handle it with care.
The Uten grill is a great option for those who want to give Yakitori grilling a try without breaking the bank or you simply need a grill that is easy to store and tuck out of sight if you have minimal space. The grill has a great deal of flexibility, with 12 airway vents along the sides, making it ideal for getting great grilling on a camping trip.
What are our favorite features?
The positives we found with this grill are its portability. While the grill is lightweight and designed to be taken with you on camping trips or other on the road occasions, Uten has not compromised on quality. Unlike many other portable style grills, the materials used for this grill retain the heat well and the vents ensure optimal temperature.
What could be better?
The potential downsides relate to this unit’s durability. The lightweight materials are vulnerable to dents and damage if you don’t take proper care with it. This means that while it is easy to take on a trip, you can’t simply throw it in your car trunk and expect it to not get dented. So, if you are looking for something that can stand up to more rigorous use, this is not the model for you.
If you want to try your hand at traditional Yakitori grilling, you may appreciate the simplicity of the IAXSEE cast iron grill. This grill has been manufactured with cast iron and stainless steel to ensure superb heat retention. The grill grates are not simply a mesh, so you can get perfect sear marks and not have to worry about a flimsy mesh wearing out.
This grill has a nice rectangular shape, making it ideal for Yakitori, but the grill is quite small, so it is more suited to couples or those who like to cook solo. However, the grill is portable, lightweight and easy to carry. This makes it a great option if you like to travel and cook from anywhere. The design is simple, but there is an even flame system to ensure an even temperature across the whole cook surface. Additionally, the grill is easy to clean, making it a budget friendly, no fuss device to try your hand at Yakitori.
Why is it special?
The main advantage of this grill is its flexibility. While you can use it for Yakitori, this cast iron grill can also be used for American style grilling. So, you can pick and choose how you use it. The grill has grates rather than a mesh that you typically find on cheaper, portable style grills, so you don’t need to worry about the mesh losing its shape or being otherwise compromised.
What are the flaws?
The only negatives we’ve discovered with this grill is that it is very small. The overall dimensions for the grill are just 10 inches by six inches, so the actual cook surface is only sufficient for one or two people. So, if you do meet up with friends on a camping trip or other outdoor adventure, you will need to be prepared for cooking in batches.
Things to Consider
According to a Forbes report, 75 percent of adults in America own a smoker or grill, but Yakitori grilling is a little different from standard U.S grilling. So, it is important to know what to look for in a Yakitori charcoal grill. In this buying guide, we’ll look at the features to consider and answers to some frequently asked questions to help you make your purchase decision.
What is a Yakitori Grill?
Yakitori dates back to the Japanese Edo era
Trusted SourceHow yakitori went from taboo to salaryman snack | The Japan TimesThe grilled chicken skewers known as yakitori are good at any time of the year, but they go especially well with ice-cold beer. They also have an excellent
, which means that it has been in use for hundreds of years. Yakitori grilling is often considered reminiscent of Korean barbecue, as it has a similar social aspect of cooking, allowing you to grill where you’re eating. However, where it differs is that the cooking is done using skewers.
The narrow, rectangular Yakitori grills are specially designed to accommodate traditional Yakitori skewers
Yakitori grills tend to be more compact compared to a traditional outdoor grill. They are typically narrow and have a rectangular shape. This is so the ends of the skewers can rest on the edges of the grill.
While Yakitori takes its name from the Japanese words for “grilled chicken”, you can use this grilling style to cook a variety of meats and vegetables.
Yakitori typically involves grilling low and slow, using temperatures of 200 to 250ºf. The fuel is beneath the food, but since the grill surface is long, it may be possible to use techniques such as indirect grilling or two zone cooking.
Features to consider when choosing the best Yakitori grill?
There are lots of models on the market, so if you’re looking for the best indoor Yakitori grill, there are a number of features you should consider. This will help you to find the right grill for your requirements.
If you want an authentic Yakitori grill experience, you should opt for a charcoal fuel source.
However, if you’re using a tabletop grill, it is a good idea to look for Binchotan charcoal. This burns cleanly with minimal amounts of smoke. If you plan on cooking outdoors, you should be able to use lump charcoal or briquettes with no problems. So, look for a grill that can accommodate multiple types of charcoal.
The other fuel source options are gas and electric. Just like with a conventional outdoor grill, gas or electric are more convenient and cleaner, but you won’t get that authentic charcoal flavor.
Size and shape
The ideal size of grill will depend on your specific requirements. If you tend to entertain a lot, you’ll need a larger cooking surface, then Bincho grill will be your best bet. But if it is usually just you and your partner, a smaller grill like Uten UB-1 might be more practical.
In terms of shape, the best Yakitori grills have the traditional rectangular shape. This provides enough space for your food, but you should be able to rest the skewers on the edge of the grill.
The best Japanese Yakitori BBQ grill can provide a food prep surface, so they are made with food safe and easy to clean materials. Stainless steel is a good choice as you can avoid rust corrosion, but you also need to consider heat distribution and retention. For this reason, many people like ceramic and cast iron components.
Ensure your grill’s wire mesh is durable enough to last you for years
Some cheaper Yakitori grills have a wire mesh grill surface rather than a cooking grate. This does cut down on the overall weight of the unit, but you need to take care that the mesh is sturdy enough that it will resist warping and can last for years.
Other models may be equipped with a cast iron or ceramic grate. These do provide excellent heat distribution to avoid cold spots. However, these materials typically need to be hand washed. This means that you will need to clean the grates with a cloth and warm water to wipe away any grease or food residue, rather than just throwing them into the dishwasher.
As we touched on above, the optimum cooking temperature for Yakitori grilling is 200 to 250ºf, so it is important that your grill offers decent temperature control. This is primarily accomplished with vents in the body of the grill that you can open or close to adjust the heat. This can take a little getting used to, but once you gain experience Yakitori grilling, you should be able to find the optimum temperature range.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable with this you could opt for an electric or gas grill that will allow you to adjust the temperature more precisely.
Indoor vs outdoor use
Yakitori grilling is typically done at the table, so the grills are often designed to be small enough to sit on a tabletop. Since you are only using a small amount of charcoal, there should be minimal amounts of smoke. These smaller grills are designed to be fireproof, so they can be used safely indoors.
Of course, electric and gas models are even safer indoors, as there is no risk of smoke, making them perfectly safe for use inside.
Yakitori grills can easily fit on a tabletop and are safe to use indoors
However, if you want to cook for larger groups, you may prefer an outdoor style grill like the Party Griller, which you use standing up as you would with a conventional grill.
The principle behind tabletop grills is that they should be lightweight and portable. The average Yakitori grill is fairly lightweight, so it can be moved around easily. However, some models are heavier and can be vulnerable to damage if you’re not careful when you’re moving them.
However, there is a fine balance. You don’t want a grill that is so lightweight that it is prone to damage.
A warranty is an indication of a manufacturer’s confidence in its products. If a problem develops during the warranty period, you can expect a hassle-free repair or replacement. The best Yakitori grills are supplied with a warranty, so you can enjoy at least a year or two of problem free use.
How to make Yakitori?
Yakitori involves using skewers to cook on the grill. A good Yakitori recipe keeps things simple, with chicken or other meats, a basic mix of salt and pepper as seasoning and sweet soy sauce. However, you can also create your own blend of sauces and herbs to create a marinade or dipping sauce.
You can use different cuts of meat and skewer them on metal or bamboo skewers. Just be sure to choose skewers that are the right size for your grill.
The traditional charcoal for Yakitori is white charcoal or Binchotan
Trusted SourceBinchōtan - WikipediaBinchō-tan, also called white charcoal or binchō-zumi, is a type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking. Its use dates to the Edo period, when, during the Genroku era, a craftsman named Bichū-ya Chōzaemon began to produce it in Tanabe, Wakayama.
. This is made from hardwood, specifically oak, which can burn at high temperatures for approximately four to five hours.
However, while it may not taste as authentic, you can use briquettes or lump charcoal in a Yakitori grill.
Yakitori literally translates as “grilled chicken” from the Japanese, but it doesn’t mean that you can only cook chicken. In restaurants in Japan, you’ll find pork Yakitori and other meats on the menu.
The most common cuts used for Yakitori are chicken thighs, pieces of chicken breast, and chicken livers.
There is a learning curve to master Yakitori grilling, but once you do, you can wow your dinner party guests. It is a great way to serve delicious food without being stuck in the kitchen. But, it is important to look for the right grill. The best Yakitori grills are lightweight enough to sit on a tabletop, without being too flimsy to provide decent heat distribution. In our list of Yakitori grills, we have found entries that meet this criteria. From the larger Party Griller that is heavier and designed to be used outdoors standing up to the sleek Bincho grill that is perfectly suited for 4.5 inch skewers and has an impressive aesthetic.
However, the stand out pick as the best Yakitori grill has to be our editor’s choice, the Fire Sense. This offers an impressive 170 square inches of grill space, allowing you to cook multiple skewers at once. The model also has lovely aesthetics that also enhance the functionality, yet it is remarkably easy to use, even for newbies to Yakitori.
How yakitori went from taboo to salaryman snack | The Japan Times
The grilled chicken skewers known as yakitori are good at any time of the year, but they go especially well with ice-cold beer. They also have an excellent
Binchō-tan, also called white charcoal or binchō-zumi, is a type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking. Its use dates to the Edo period, when, during the Genroku era, a craftsman named Bichū-ya Chōzaemon began to produce it in Tanabe, Wakayama.