Which hibachi grill is best?

Hibachi, literally translated from its Japanese origin, means “fire bowl.” Traditionally, it’s a round, heat-proof bowl that holds fuel to cook food. Today, hibachi grills usually refer to any type of small and portable grill, no matter the shape. It can also refer to a Japanese-inspired American restaurant where the chefs cook your food in front of you in an entertaining way.

However, some of the best hibachi grills are simple, straightforward cooking devices that are highly portable. The best hibachi grill is the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill, thanks to its portability and performance.

What to know before you buy a hibachi grill

Cooking surface area

The best way to find the right hibachi grill for your needs is to look at its cooking surface. Surface areas typically range between 125 and 250 square inches.

  • For one to two people, use a grill with a surface that is 125 to 150 square inches.
  • For three to four people, use a grill with a surface that is 150 to 200 square inches.
  • For five to six people, use a grill with a surface that is 200 to 250 square inches.

You may need to adjust this size depending on what foods you’re cooking and the typical portion sizes for your household.

Shape

Some hibachi grills have round or oval shapes, but most come in rectangular or square forms.

What to look for in a quality hibachi grill

Material

Manufacturers usually make hibachi grills out of aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron.

  • Aluminum grills are the lightest, making them ideal for those grilling away from home. They also distribute heat evenly and are quite affordable. However, they are also the least durable option.
  • Stainless steel grills are a perfect middle-ground option. They’re durable, affordable and moderately light. However, they don’t distribute heat as well as aluminum and cast iron.
  • Cast iron grills are heavy enough to make traveling with them difficult, so they’re best for at-home cooking. They distribute heat evenly and consistently, and they’re the most durable choice. However, they are the most expensive and require regular upkeep.

Grates

The best hibachi grills have adjustable grates that let you choose how far away the flames are from your food, offering more precise cooking. Most only have one or two heights to choose from, but some have up to four.

Vents

The best hibachi grills also have vents that help regulate how much heat your food is exposed to. Vents also make it easier for airflow to reach your fuel source, which keeps it burning.

How much you can expect to spend on a hibachi grill

Hibachi grills typically cost between $20-$120, mainly depending on the material. Most aluminum grills cost less than $40 with some costing as little as $10-$15. Steel grills usually cost $20-$70, while cast iron grills cost $40-$120.

Hibachi grill FAQ

Why should I use a hibachi grill instead of a standard charcoal grill?

A. There are three main reasons to use a hibachi grill over standard grills.

  • Size: Hibachi grills are tiny compared to standard grills, making them an excellent choice for those with limited outdoor space.
  • Portability: It’s hard to bring a standard grill to a tailgate or camping trip. However, you can easily bring a hibachi grill since they’re designed with portability in mind.
  • Cost: Standard grills can cost hundreds of dollars, but a hibachi grill can cost less than $100 and still cooks wonderful food.

Can I smoke foods with a charcoal grill?

A. It might be possible, but you won’t get anywhere near the same results as using a proper smoker. Stick to grilling smaller, thinner foods instead.

What safety precautions should I take when cooking with a hibachi grill?

A. There are several safety precautions one should take.

  • Placement: Always place your hibachi grill on a flat, level and heat-proof surface. Check that you have several feet of space on every side of the grill.
  • Equipment: Always cook with heat-resistant protection, such as oven mitts.
  • Extinguisher: Always keep a fire extinguisher or dousing water nearby in case something catches fire.

What’s the best hibachi grill to buy?

Top hibachi grill

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

What you need to know: This hibachi grill is easy to transport and cooks perfectly.

What you’ll love: It has a 160-inch cooking surface. The lid comes with vents so you can easily control the temperature. It also locks in place when closed and has a solid handle for easy portability. It’s made of porcelain-coated cast iron for durability and easy cleaning.

What you should consider: You need to put it all together when you first get it. Some consumers had issues with rusting.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top hibachi grill for the money

Fire Sense Notebook Charcoal Grill

Fire Sense Notebook Charcoal Grill

What you need to know: This is a good grill for the occasional outdoor trip.

What you’ll love: The grill can collapse and fold down flat for easy travel, and it’s made of painted alloy steel for durability and rust resistance. It comes with one charcoal and one grill rack, both of which are made of stainless steel for easy cleaning.

What you should consider: It’s thin and lightweight enough that it can feel flimsy. There’s no lid to control the temperature.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl’s and Wayfair

Worth checking out

Bruntmor Heavy-Duty Cast Iron Portable Grill

Bruntmor Heavy-Duty Cast Iron Portable Grill

What you need to know: This beastly grill is better suited to stationary cooking rather than traveling.

What you’ll love: The heavy-duty cast iron material is incredibly durable, and it comes pre-seasoned, so you can start cooking immediately. It has a 153-inch cooking surface that’s large enough to feed four people. You can use either charcoal or wood as fuel.

What you should consider: It’s heavy, making it impractical for traveling. The wire handles don’t make it easy to carry either.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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