I’ve put together a list of my top picks,any of which will seriously transform your outdoor cooking experience from a necessity to a recreational activity. I’ll break down the top features AND nitpick any cons that you should know about before buying.
There are some great contenders here and an option for every griller.
- Update International (HG-35/CI) Cast Iron Hibachi Set
- Mr. Flame Son of Hibachi Grill/Griddle Combo with Snuff-Out Pouch and Rotisserie
- George Foreman GFO201RX Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill, Red
- Marsh Allen 724HH 24-Inch Folding Charcoal Grill
- Char-Griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro 40,800-BTU Gas Grill
- Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
- Hibachi Tailgate BBQ Grill
- Little Griddle SQ180 Universal Griddle for BBQ Grills, Stainless (Formerly the Sizzle-Q)
- Marsh Allen 30052AMZ Kay Home Product’s Cast Iron Hibachi Charcoal Grill, 10 by 18-Inch
- Livart LV-982 Electric Barbecue Grill, Orange
- Flamen 14″ Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill
- Backyard Hibachi Flattop Propane Gas Grill – Torched Cypress
- Blackstone 36 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station – 4-burner – Propane Fueled – Restaurant Grade – Professional Quality
- Premium Bbq Grill for Cooking Charcoal Portable Flat Top for Outdoor Patio Camping or Backyard in Cast Iron Small Tabletop Design
- Fire Sense Large Yakatori Charcoal Grill
- Blackstone 28 inch Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill Griddle Station – 2-burner – Propane Fueled – Restaurant Grade – Professional Quality
- Quick Grill Medium: Original Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill Made from Stainless Steel
Using hibachis is one of the easiest things you will ever do. Before using a cast-iron hibachi for the first time, you will need to season the grill. Just clean it well with water and scrubbies (never use soap on a seasoned cast iron grill, pot, or skillet), then give it a light coat of vegetable, olive, or food-grade mineral oil.
Never use lard, bacon or meat grease, because they contain salts that will corrode the metal. Some people use Crisco, but I prefer not to. It contains other things besides just oil. Now, just place your grill in a 350ºF oven for around one hour, let it cool, and you are good to go.
To use your hibachi, find a safe place for it to set while cooking. Once you have decided on a place, start your coals. You can start them in the hibachi, if you want, but I have always have better results using a charcoal starter, which is just a large metal can with holes in the bottom, and a place underneath to stuff with paper.
You put your coals in the can, put paper in the bottom, light it, and your coals will be started in minutes, and will be red-ready to cook on in a few more minutes…all without using any smelly and dangerous charcoal starter fluid, When the coals are red-hot, just pour them into the bottom of the hibachi, and using tongs, arrange them to your liking.
Set the grill over the coals at the height you want, and you’re all set. Just add food. It will help a lot with clean-up afterwards if you spray the inside and grill with a non-stick cooking spray before adding coals and cooking. Some people line the bottom with foil. If you do, keep in mind that it will reflect even more heat to your food, so adjust the cooking time accordingly. You’ll still need to scrub the cooker afterwards.
Most food on the hibachi cooks in minutes per side. You can adjust the cooking temperature by raising or lowering the grill, or using adjustable vents if the unit has them. For less heat, you can also spread the coals out more, or stack them tighter for more heat.
Sometimes, melted fat from the meat will drip onto the coals and ignite into flame. You want to put these flames out as quickly as possible, because they will char and burn your food. Use a spray bottle to spray the flaming area of the coals until the flame goes out. If it becomes a problem, you can periodically drain the fat from the meat into a coffee can, and return it to the grill. Chicken and pork are notorious for flaming up, so be prepared.
How To Keep it Clean: My Recommendations
If you want your hibachi to last, you need to keep it clean and store it properly. You should clean your hibachi thoroughly as soon as possible after each use. Even cheap hibachis last a long time if properly cared for. I have one that I bought from Dollar General for $12.00 about 10 years ago. It still works like new, and other than some scratches, doesn’t look all that bad.
When you clean the hibachi, scrub the inside well with scrubbies (Scotch Brite pads, SOS pads, etc…), or even a nylon or copper wire brush, until there is no residue left on the metal. I clean mine the same way I do my other grills and smokers.
I go to the local car wash, give my vehicle a nice soak, and then use the remaining time to spray the hibachi with hot, high pressure water, (I never use soap on any of my cooking vessels). Then, I dry it off completely, give the whole thing a light coat of food-grade mineral oil, place it in a plastic bag and tie is shut, then store it in a dry place until the next use.
Photo Gallery of the How To Use a Hibachi Grill