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In North America, a Hibachi grill refers to a compact cooking stove that you can fire up with charcoal. If you’ve been to teppanyaki stalls, it can also mean those iron plate that they use. Hibachi grills are excellent at providing efficient grilling in a small space. Being small and easy-to-use makes them great for camping. Here are three of the best Hibachi grills available.
History of the Hibachi Grill
A Hibachi is a small cooking grill fueled with charcoal. No one is quite sure when this type of grill was invented. Early records mention the Hibachi in Japan during the Heian Period between 794 to 1185 A.D. The first Hibachis were made of Cyprus wood and clay. Later models were more ornate and made by fine craftsmen. These stoves were often adorned with gold leaf and painted lacquer. Today, they are sold as antiques and can fetch a good price.
The first Hibachis were stoves made for heating. This type of Hibachi could be seen all over Japan just prior to WWII. They could even be seen in train stations and other public buildings. It was not uncommon for Japanese troops to use a Hibachi as a portable stove. The Hibachi as a cooking device was slowly introduced to the West, mainly through immigration and the opening of Japanese, Teppanyaki restaurants.
Today, Hibachi grills are commonly made of aluminum or cast iron. They are often small and portable, making them ideal for camping or impromptu barbecues. For more information on the rise in popularity of the Hibachi in America, you can visit this (website).
Why Choose a Hibachi Grill?
There are a lot of advantages to using a Hibachi grill. The small size and light weight are one of the main reasons they work so well for campers. Portability makes them a good choice for picnics and tailgating as well. Hibachi grills are usually very budget friendly. You do not need to spend a lot to purchase one of high quality. They can also be easily stored in a house, shed or car trunk.
Another advantage of the Hibachi is their efficiency. Charcoal isn’t expensive and the Hibachi grill does a good job of using that fuel efficiently. The only drawbacks with this type of grill are the small size and limited cooking types. The small size is an advantage for some, but it’s not as good when you need to cook for a larger amount of people. Hibachis also cannot be used for smoking or indirect grilling. Here’s a video on how to get your Hibachi grill going.
Cooking Tips for the Hibachi
Hibachi grills are best suited for small, easy-to-cook foods. They are best for foods that can be grilled quickly. Some foods that are perfect for the Hibachi include hamburgers, hotdogs, fish, kebabs, steak, and vegetables. For the camper who likes to fish and catch their own dinner, the Hibachi grill is a great way to prepare your meal.
A Hibachi grill should be placed on a flat, even surface. Bricks and heatproof tiles are two good choices for creating a surface. Never spray or pour water on a hot grill. This can potentially cause it to crack. Iron grills are prone to rust. Coating an iron grill with vegetable oil after each use is a good way to prevent this. It is also a good idea to store iron grills in a dry place.
Regulating the heat can be tricky with a Hibachi grill. To achieve a higher temperature, fan the hot coals to aerate them. Coals should be spread out evenly for best results. For more tips on using the Hibachi and for grilling ideas, you can visit (this website).
Selecting the Right Hibachi Grill
When selecting a Hibachi grill, the first decision to make is usually aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum will be much lighter. This could come in handy for campers where every pound counts. If you plan on hiking any distance while carrying a grill, the lighter the better.
Cast iron, on the other hand, is more durable and seems to distribute heat better. While cast iron is stronger, it does have the potential of rusting. This can be avoided, however, with proper care of your grill. Cast iron is usually more expensive, but it may last longer as well. Stainless steel is a good in-between option. It is lighter than iron and more durable than aluminum.
Once you decide on which material to go with, the next thing to think about is size. Assess how much space you will have to set up the grill in. Also, assess the number of people you will be cooking for on a regular basis. Last, of all, figure out what your budget is for the purchase. Thinking of these things in advance will help you to choose the best model for your needs.
The Quick Grill is a budget-friendly model made of stainless steel. The steel is good for campers, as it is durable and resistant to rust. It should stand up to years of use in most climates. The grill folds down for easy carrying and storage. Setting up the grill or folding it down is fast and easy. This is another feature that makes it a good choice for camping.
The grilling area is 1 ft. by 1 ft. The entire size of the grill is 13″ x 13″ x 8.5″, with a packed size of 13.5″ x 7.25″ x 2.25″. The grill even comes with a handy carrying bag, making it one of the most portable models on our list. The Quick Grill can be used with charcoal or wood. This is another great feature for campers just in case the charcoal runs out.
- Great portability
- Durable and rust resistant
- Budget-friendly price
- Some prefer the results of cooking on cast iron over stainless steel
This Hibachi grill by Marsh Allen represents great value for the money. This is the least-expensive model on the list. In spite of the price, it is a very rugged, cast-iron grill with a number of nice features. Curved edges on the cooking surface prevent any food from accidentally sliding off of the grill. Three adjustable cooking grids allow you to regulate the amount of heat applied to your food.
The three grids also allow for cooking multiple items at once. This is a nice, convenience feature to have as it cuts down on overall prep time. There are also two separate vents for controlling airflow to the charcoal. Wooden handles allow you to easily adjust the grids while cooking with some protection from the heat. The grill has 157 square inches of cooking surface.
- Rugged cast-iron construction
- Heat-control features allow for more complex cooking
- Great price
- Heavier weight than some models
Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill
The L410 has adjustable heights for the cooking surface. This allows you to apply the right amount of heat for cooking different types of food. A draft door helps to regulate the heat and the coals are accessible via a flip-down door. This provides easy access that allows you to aerate or stoke the coals to get the right temperature.
The cooking area is 17.25″ by 9″. The overall size of the grill is small and portable, but it still provides a good amount of cooking surface. It is the heaviest model in this list. The grill is rugged and made to last for a lifetime of use.
Even though this grill is very high quality. The heavy weight makes it less portable which might not be ideal for some campers. This grill would better fit in a car camping trip.
- Rugged build
- Easy to adjust temperature
- Good amount of cooking area
- Heaviest as compared to the rest
- Higher cost than some other options
All three grills are quality products. You can’t go wrong by choosing any of them. Picking a winner is difficult, as it depends a lot on what features you prioritize. In our opinion, the Fox Outfitters Quick Grill Medium is the winner. It attracts a lot of positive feedbacks from users. The price is good and it is lightweight, compact and can be folded which makes it a great choice for camping.