The Best Yakitori Grills – Ultimate Guide

Yakitori is a traditional Japanese cuisine that’s gaining so much popularity across the United States. It’s literally translated as “grilled chicken” and is a combination of two Japanese words “yaki” which means grill and “tori” meaning chicken. It’s basically chicken parts stacked in a skewer and grilled in the Japanese-style Yakitori grill.

What is a Yakitori Grill?

A Yakitori grill is a mini-version of the normal grills you find in kitchenware stores. They’re smaller, having a length of about two feet and a few inches in width. On top of them is a wire mesh where you place your food and grill it. Most brands use charcoal for heat and cook at lower temperatures varying between 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best Overall

Fire Sense Large Rectangle Yakatori Charcoal Grill


The best thing about this grill is that no assembly is required, which makes it super easy to get cooking! We recommend keeping this indoors when not in use, because of some complaints about how it disintegrates in rain, but for $40, it can’t be beaten. This product is also very easy to clean; just dump out the ashes when it’s time to replace them and wipe down the grate with a damp cloth.

This Yakitori grill is a high-quality outdoor cooker with amazing innovative features that make it easy to operate. It has a sufficiently large cooking area of 170 square inches, which is able to fit several skewers in one grilling session.

The grill is enhanced with safety clips to prevent the wire mesh from falling off. It also has grill lips that firmly hold the food in position, keeping it from tipping over.

The charcoal chamber is underlain with clay material and finished on the outside with ceramic which provides a perfect insulation system. It also gives the grill an attractive traditional look. The inner ceramic lining also enhances even heat distribution throughout the grill.

The adjustable ventilation system will give you an easy time controlling heat entering and leaving the cooker. In short, you’ll find it easier to control the cooking temperatures of the grill.

It’s a small portable product perfect for small families and outdoor activities like camping.

Second Best

Hibachi Grill Shish Kabob Portable Grill


The Hibachi portable grill doesn’t have a robust steel structure as other yakitori grills, but it meets the needs of any small party serving about 5 to 15 people. Its stainless steel build is corrosion-resistant and lightweight thus making it portable.

The height of its four stands can be adjusted to the user’s preference and can be removed and folded for proper storage.

It’s a perfect grill for camps, small families, backyard parties and gatherings serving a variety of meals such as barbecues, hot dogs, grilled fish, vegetables among many other foods.

It’s also a mega fuel saver. You don’t need a lot of charcoal to get the right amount of heat suitable for cooking your food.

The main feature of this grill that makes it stand out is its storage areas. Below the grill is an extended storage rack where you can place cooked food for cooling. One side has a basket laced with hooks for storing seasonings and hanging barbecue utensils. The other side has an extra storage tray which you can also use for storing food.

The cooking area is spacious enough to fit a couple of steaks, hamburgers, and other barbecues.

It also has air vents designed to allow free air circulation within the charcoal chamber for effective burning and uniform heat distribution on the cooking grates.

Get a hibachi charcoal kabob grill if you’re looking for a product suitable for picnics, small patios, and backyard parties.

Editor’s Choice

Party Griller Yakitori Grill 32” x 8″ w/Double Mesh Grill Grate


This yakitori grill is a good pick if you’re hosting barbecue parties or going out camping. Its cooking area is large enough to accommodate a variety of meat, kebabs, and choice vegetables. This is due to a combination of two cooking grates (a 20” by 8” and 12” by 8” grates) that can fit above the charcoal chamber. It also comes with a spare 20” by 8” steel mesh grate.

The edges are chamfered to keep your fingers safe from accidental cuts. The package always comes pre-assembled, making setting up the grill a straightforward process.

It also comes with additional accessories like salt and pepper shakers as well as grill tongs for sorting charcoal. The spring handles, and detachable steady feet make it easy to transport and store the grill after use.

Its body is made of stainless steel that is light, strong, and durable. It features an adjustable air ventilation system that aids in controlling the cooking temperatures of the grill.

Use this grill to make amazing yakitori recipes, traditional kebabs, skewed chicken, Thai Satay, and various kinds of steaks.

Budget Pick

Charcoal Grill Barbecue Portable BBQ


This portable table-top mini-grill is an affordable and excellent product for campers, tailgaters, picnics, and barbecue enthusiasts living in a small apartment. It’s an easy to assemble grill that cooks all your meat perfectly and chars them evenly, leaving a delicious golden crisp surface on your barbecues.

It comes with four detachable anti-slip legs that can adjust to a flat even level on your kitchen table. They also make carrying and storing it a hassle-free task. Its entire structure is made up of sturdy stainless steel that’s easy to clean, rust-resistant, and highly durable.

This product features two types of grids, one at the bottom for holding charcoal and the other at the top that holds the cooking barbecues. The grid on the bottom chamber enhances the air ventilation system consisting of combustion vents located below it. These vents allow for efficient circulation of oxygen throughout the charcoal chamber, which results in even heat distribution on the cooking grates.

The cooking grate is also made of stainless steel material that is strong, durable, and easy to clean. You can cook a variety of food from kebabs, sausages, steaks, etc on it.

The handles, also made of stainless steel, are strong and comfortable enough to hold when carrying the charcoal grill.

Go for this portable barbecue charcoal grill if you’re a big fan of patio barbecue parties.

What makes a Great Yakitori Grill?

What-makes-a-Great-Yakitori-Grill
Photo credit: yakinikugrill

Shape

Yakitori grills come in both rectangular and cylindrical shapes. The traditional Japanese-style Yakitori often turns out great in rectangular compact grills. Other foods, such as burgers, steaks, and kebabs, served in the United States do well in cylindrical yakitori grills.

Rectangular shapes, however, are considered better since they allow for indirect grilling and effective heat radiation on skewers placed on them.

Size

In Japanese culture, yakitoris are always served next to a table. This means a small tabletop grill will suit such a setting. Larger yakitori grills are widely used commercially in restaurants and big parties.

Interior Material

This is an important factor to look out for. An internal ceramic lining ensures even heat radiation throughout the grill. Being a good insulating material, it helps in maintaining consistent cooking temperatures.

Traditional Japanese yakitori grills have an additional layer of clay where charcoal normally sits. It may not improve the performance of the grill any further, but it gives it a more vintage look.

What’s the Best Charcoal for Yakitori Grills?

Best-Charcoal-for-Yakitori-Grills
Photo credit: oishii-desu

There is a wide variety of charcoal used for lighting Yakitori grills. These include the Japanese white charcoal (binchotan), normal lump charcoal, and briquettes.

Japanese White Charcoal

Also known as binchotan, the Japanese white charcoal is, so far, the best type of fuel suitable for yakitori grills. It’s an odorless fuel sourced from burning oak and has high carbon content. Its clean odorless nature allows the natural flavors embedded in your barbecues to remain intact. It is also good for distributing even heat throughout the cooking grates.

Lump Charcoal

This is the most common and widely used fuel in almost all kinds of grills. Good quality lump charcoal is made from wood partially burning at 500 degrees Fahrenheit under limited oxygen conditions. It’s then immediately extinguished before turning to ash. You can order charcoal logs online if you’re not able to access firewood or if you don’t have the time to make it.

Naturally, charcoal has a high carbon content (70 – 80%) which makes it burn away at a fast rate. It also comes in different sizes meaning the amount of heat produced on the grill varies. Hot and cool spots are a common characteristic of this product.

Due to its fast burning rate, it will produce a lot of heat in the early stages of burning then gradually lose heat as time progresses. It’s however a great fuel for cooking at high temperatures.

Briquettes

These are an alternative to the fast-rate burning lump charcoal. They have additional chemicals that ease the ignition process and help sustain longer periods of burning. They also have low carbon content, more impurities, and additional fillers.

As much as the chemicals enhance the efficiency of burning briquettes, they are not a good option considering the end result of your barbecues. The impurities embedded in them may alter their natural taste.

How to Dispose of Ashes

This is a step most people forego after using charcoal grills. It’s essential that you safely dispose of the ashes even while grilling so that they don’t accumulate on the charcoal and affect its burning efficiency.

Once you finish using your grill, remove any lingering burning charcoal to avoid unnecessary accidental burns. Pick them out one by one using tongs and wrap them safely in a foil for further cooling. You can immerse them in water for faster cooling.

Scoop out all the ash then wrap them also in a separate foil and dispose of them in an outdoor garbage container.

Conclusion

The Yakitori grill is an amazing Japanese-style product that is currently used worldwide to prepare a variety of delicious barbecues. With its unique design, compact size, and versatility, it can literally be used anywhere, from high-end restaurants to small patio backyards.

Consider getting one to enjoy the traditional Japanese Yakitori cuisine and various delicacies prepared in this cooker.

Last update on 2022-05-18 at 16:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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