Finding the Best Yakitori Grill in 2021

What do you like to do the most on hot summer evenings? If your answer is to host parties with grilled food and cold beer with your friends and family, we are totally with you. That is also one of our favorite activities. But do you know that there are different ways to grill food in various counties? The funny thing is that when thinking of BBQ, we have burgers and ribs in mind, even though, in reality, it is much more than that.

Several years ago, we backpacked through Asia, and, of course,  visited Japan. It is little to say that we loved what we saw there! But more than that we liked what we tasted. We knew already that Japanese food is delicious, especially ramen and sukiyaki. But have to admit we fell totally in love with yakitori.  FYI, yakitori is Japanese grilled meat. We are talking about chicken skewers grilled over a charcoal grill. It is a very popular Japanese grilled dish, and you can find it everywhere, from specialty restaurants to festival food stands.

So, upon our return to the States, one weekend, we organized a BBQ party.  Naturally, we wanted to prepare the favorite grill from Japan. Although everyone enjoyed it, we were pretty disappointed because the meat was too soft and tasteless. Simply put, it didn’t taste anything like the delicious yakitori we ate in Tokyo.

Determined to figure out what the problem was, we began to read about the Japanese yakitori grill.  We found out that we needed a specific yakitori charcoal grill if we want to get the best results. And after some research, we finally not only got a perfect grill ourselves but also decided to share all this information with our lovely readers. Thus, we present to you our yakitori grill reviews to help learn everything about this superb device.

Top 7 Best Yakitori Grills: Comparison Table

Brand Power Source Dimensions Weight
Fire Sense Charcoal 7 x 10 x 18 inches 18 pounds
Party Griller Charcoal 31.5 x 7.87 x 34.25 inches 16.8 pounds
NOTO DIA Charcoal 11.4 x 6.3 x 5.1 inches 4.8 pounds
ISUMER Charcoal 15.9 x 11 x 8.8 inches 3.8 pounds
Uten Charcoal 29.53 x 14.17 x 7.09 inches 13 pounds
Outsunny Charcoal 35 x 13 x 27.75 inches 8.8 pounds
Zojirushi Electric 20.75 x 14 x 3.63 inches 10 pounds

Yakitori Cooking: A Brief Overview

Yakitori cooking is a specific Japanese way of making skewers.  You can use two types of seasoning for the meat. If you choose salty seasoning, you don’t need anything except salt. If you want to make sweet-salty yakitori, you will use tare, a sauce made of Japanese rice wine, mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar. 

Japanese believe that it is best to cook yakitori on a charcoal grill because of the high heat. And while you can use an electric yakitori grill, the results will be quite different.

What is a Yakitori Grill

Yakitori grill is similar to Korean BBQ because it allows you to grill and eat at the same time. However, as we mention, in this case, the food is always grilled on skewers. Otherwise, it is not yakitori. 

And when looking for a yakitori charcoal grill, you should know that it is usually rectangular and narrow. Moreover, whether you use an outdoor or indoor yakitori grill, you can use different techniques such as indirect and two-zone grilling. In Japan, it is common to use white charcoal for this type of grilling. However, if you can’t find it in your country, you can use any other type of charcoal. For the best results, it is essential to cook yakitori slowly. The temperature should be like it when you are smoking meat which is about 200-250.

What Can You Cook on Yakitori Grill?

Pretty much anything you would cook on a charcoal grill. Generally, as we mentioned, yakitori refers to chicken skewers. However, you can make skewers with any other type of meat you prefer – lamb, pork, beef, and shrimp.  Apart from that, whether you are using a tabletop yakitori grill or any other, you can cook burgers, sausages, veggies, or whatever comes to mind.

Yakitori Grills: Overall Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Charcoal creates the best temperature
  • Ceramic construction contributes to even heat distribution
  • Ceramic coating is not durable
  • Shouldn’t be used when it’s raining

Things to Consider When Buying a Yakitori

Size

When thinking about the size, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, “What do I need this grill for?” If you need it for small gatherings with friends and family, then a small grill will be perfect. If you are a professional chef, then you need a bigger yakitori grill. In general Japanese yakitori charcoal grill is long and arrow.  If you are planning to cook things other than skewers, you need to look for a model with a wider cooking surface.

Shape

As we already mentioned, whether it is a gas yakitori grill or charcoal grill, they are almost always rectangular. The reason lies in the fact that this shape is the best for skewers. However, there are some round models as well. If you are cooking skewers, you should go for a narrow rectangular model.

Portability

If you enjoy camping, then you might want to consider this factor.  It is necessary to check whether it is lightweight. Apart from that, it must come with foldable legs so you can carry it around easily.

Which Kind of Charcoal Should I Use for Yakitori?

When creating our yakitori grill reviews we’ve also found out that The best charcoal to use for yakitori is white charcoal or binchotan. To understand why binchotan is better than anything else for chicken grilling, you have to know a bit about other types of charcoal as well.

The most common in the Western part of the world is lump charcoal. This type has high carbon content – about 70- 80 percent, and burns quickly.  It comes from wood that was burned at about 500 with a low amount of oxygen.

Briquettes are another standard charcoal variation.  They indeed overcome the problem of inconsistency in size that lump charcoal has. However, they are packed with fillers and contaminants. The carbon content is way lower than in lump charcoal. Lump charcoal burns hotter than briquettes ad produces less ash. However, it also burns faster.

According to many yakitori grill reviews from users, Binchotan is the most popular and best charcoal. Made from oak it comes with a high content of pure carbon, which makes it completely odorless. People like this aspect because it allows them to enjoy the natural flavor of food. It is made by burning oak at a low temperature for about four days. After that, it goes through a refining process at a very high temperature – approximately 950.  Then it is cooked in a container with ash, sand, and soil to get the white color.

When you use binchotan, it burns cleanly and produces steady heat.  Alkalized ash neutralizes different unwanted acids from the food.  As there are no odors, the food maintains the natural flavors. It is also slow-burning charcoal, so it is cost-effective. And if you wonder does charcoal go bad, then you’ll be glad to know that this type of charcoal has an unlimited lifespan.

Tips for Proper Use Yakitori Grills

  • The best is to use binchotan. However, if you can’t find it, you can use another type of charcoal.
  • Let the charcoal burn for about 10 minutes before shuffling it for even heat.
  • If you want to reuse charcoal, soak it in water and cover the pot with a lid.

Conclusion

If you are interested in making Japanese-style BBQ, now you have all information you need. Yakitori grills can be a bit expensive, but considering that you can make all kinds of delicacies on them, we believe that it’s totally worth it. 

With that said, we sincerely hope that our research helped you learn everything about the best yakitori grill 2021

So have you tried yakitori before? Did you like it?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *