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If there’s something that has taken the entire world by storm it’s takoyaki—Japan’s takoyaki.
If you’ve ever visited Osaka, Japan, then you’d agree with me that takoyaki is the best street food there.
Today, this Japanese street food is enjoyed and sampled by many people from all corners of the world.
Even though many people eat delicious takoyaki, they don’t that they can make a batch in their homes!
But there’s something you need to know first: Making takoyaki requires you to have the right tools, including the ingredients and pan.
So this article will highlight the best takoyaki pans, and recommend the best one for you!
If you’re wondering “what is a takoyaki pan,” let me explain. It’s a pan or griddle with half-spherical or round molds where you place the dough and cook it. The pan heats up evenly and cooks the takoyaki balls until golden brown. You need to flip the balls while cooking because the pan only browns the bottom of the dough.
My advice would be to go for this cast iron takoyaki pan because of its durability and ease of use on your stovetop. Not only is it more durable, but it’s also more authentic.
Also, look for a pan with a larger size like this one to be able to fit a few more takoyaki balls at a time. Making a few snacks for more than two people would be a nightmare otherwise, or you’d have to get two smaller ones and use them simultaneously.
Below, I’ve reviewed a few types, from stovetop pans to electric takoyaki makers and takoyaki machines.
|Best cast iron takoyaki pan: Happy Sales HSTBT1||(view more images)|
|Best stovetop takoyaki pan: Norpro Nonstick Stuffed-Pancake Pan||(view more images)|
|Best electric takoyaki pan: Yamazen Suzanne Lefebvre||(view more images)|
|Best multi-purpose takoyaki baking machine: Joydeem Compact Hot Plate||
|Best takoyaki maker: Iwatani Takoyaki Grill Pan||(view more images)|
|Best budget takoyaki pan: Difcuy Nonstick Aluminum||(view more images)|
|Best automatic takoyaki machine: Sugiyama Metal||
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 The best takoyaki pans reviewed
- 1.1 1. Best cast iron takoyaki pan: Happy Sales HSTBT1
- 1.2 2. Best stovetop takoyaki pan: Norpro Nonstick Stuffed-Pancake Pan
- 1.3 3. Best electric takoyaki pan: Yamazen Suzanne Lefebvre
- 1.4 4. Best multi-purpose takoyaki baking machine: Joydeem Compact Hot Plate
- 1.5 5. Best takoyaki maker: Iwatani Takoyaki Grill Pan
- 1.6 6. Best budget takoyaki pan: Difcuy Nonstick Aluminum
- 1.7 7. Best automatic takoyaki machine: Sugiyama Metal
- 2 Important things to note when choosing a takoyaki pan
- 3 Additional Takoyaki Accessories
- 4 FAQs
- 4.1 What is takoyaki?
- 4.2 What does takoyaki taste like?
- 4.3 What’s the origin of takoyaki?
- 4.4 What makes takoyaki so popular?
- 4.5 What are the popular ingredients in takoyaki?
- 4.6 How do you make takoyaki without a pan?
- 4.7 Can you use a cake pop maker for takoyaki?
- 4.8 How do you clean a takoyaki pan?
- 4.9 Can you use store-bought takoyaki mix?
- 5 Easy Takoyaki Recipe
- 6 Bottom Line
The best takoyaki pans reviewed
1. Best cast iron takoyaki pan: Happy Sales HSTBT1
Preparing delicious takoyaki in your kitchen is a fun affair, regardless of whether you’re alone or with your family.
The Happy Sales HSTBT1 is a good choice if you don’t have a dedicated pan yet and you’re interested in cooking your favorite Japanese delicacy.
One notable feature about this pan is its wooden handle, which ensures that your grip is cool while handling the pan. Other cast iron takoyaki pans don’t have a grip, which makes things a bit challenging as you cook takoyaki.
Although this pan will produce small batches of takoyaki balls, all yours will cook evenly since the pan has a smaller surface area to heat.
However, the pan has only one downside—it doesn’t come with a non-stick surface. Therefore, it’s recommendable that you use extra oil, as this keeps the pan smooth and also prevents the delicious takoyaki from sticking.
- Comes with a single wooden handle
- You can use it to prepare round pancakes and takoyaki
- You can heat the pan directly using a gas burner
You can’t go wrong with this cast iron takoyaki pan and it’s still really affordable. You should check it out here on Amazon.
2. Best stovetop takoyaki pan: Norpro Nonstick Stuffed-Pancake Pan
This takoyaki pan is ideal for someone who lives alone and loves this amazing Japanese snack. With the Norpro Nonstick Stuffed-Pancake/Munk/Aebleskiver /Ebelskiver Pan, you can prepare delicious takoyaki easily from the comfort of your home.
The pan is made of cast aluminum and can cook up to 7 mouthwatering takoyaki balls at a time.
Many people love this product because of its 7.5” ergonomic plastic handle. It remains cool as you cook your takoyaki, which means you don’t have to worry about getting burned.
Since this is a lightweight cast iron takoyaki pan, it heats up quickly, saving you energy. In addition to this, the pan also comes with some recipe books.
Generally, the Norpro Nonstick Stuffed-Pancake/Munk/Aebleskiver /Ebelskiver Pan is an excellent product, especially for someone who wants to prepare smaller amounts of this delicacy or to get a snack quickly.
- Versatility — You can easily prepare the aebleskiver, a popular Danish snack, filled pancakes, and takoyaki using this pan.
- Comes with a non-stick cast iron aluminum surface, which heats up quickly
- Ergonomic 7.5” plastic handle
- Instructions and recipes included
3. Best electric takoyaki pan: Yamazen Suzanne Lefebvre
Many people love this product since it’s an electric pan, it takes away all the stress involved in cooking delicious takoyaki. It’s large enough, and is recommended for family use.
This pan can make an average of 24 takoyaki balls per batch. One notable feature is its lifted exterior design, which prevents the batter from overflowing.
In addition, it comes with a non-stick surface, which means the pan doesn’t hold the takoyaki as you prepare it. It also makes cleaning easier.
Since this is a Japanese model, its voltage slightly varies in different parts of the world.
The major challenge of this pan is that it doesn’t have temperature control settings. This means you cannot regulate the temperature and the only way to do it is to shut it off whenever it becomes extremely hot. So be careful not to burn the takoyaki and flip them regularly.
- Power consumption – 800 W
- Weight – 1.45 kg
- Dimensions – 72 H x 245 x 365 mm
- Plate – fluorine-resin coated plate – it’s removable, 100% safe, and can be cleaned easily
- Holes – 24
And it’s really not that expensive when buying it here from Amazon.
4. Best multi-purpose takoyaki baking machine: Joydeem Compact Hot Plate
Even though this is considered to be a multi-baker pan, it’s one of the best ones when it comes to making takoyaki. It relies on electricity and has an energy consumption of 650 watts.
Therefore, you can consider this to be a small yet effective takoyaki pan that you can rely on whenever you crave this Japanese delicacy.
Interestingly, you can use this takoyaki pan when making meatballs. The Joydeem multi-baker comes equipped with a skillet, which you can use to make other interesting dishes like pizza (you HAVE to try this Japanese tofu pizza!).
In addition, the pan has a pie maker, which comes in handy for those who like making brownies and pies.
The takoyaki pan has a non-stick surface, which is made out of safe Teflon. In addition to this, the pan is portable and easy to clean, store, and use.
- This pan comes with 3 interchangeable skillets
- You can use it for cake pops, meatballs, and other interesting dishes
- This pan is suitable for baking, grilling, making desserts—it’s such a wonderful and versatile home appliance
- Makes a wonderful gift
This is our cheapest option yet if you get it here from Amazon.
Also read: delicious takoyaki recipes
5. Best takoyaki maker: Iwatani Takoyaki Grill Pan
The takoyaki grill pan from Iwatani is the perfect product for those who like to prepare this delicious Japanese snack on moveable butane stoves.
This pan’s base has grooves, which lock the pan into place. As a result, the takoyaki cooks evenly and also prevents the snack from developing bumps.
This pan is aluminum coated and has a non-stick surface. So you don’t need to worry when cooking takoyaki since it can’t produce misshaped or broken takoyaki balls.
The pan is so easy to use and the entire family can participate in the cooking process. One notable thing about this pan is that it’s easy to clean and is also dishwasher safe.
Overall, this is an excellent takoyaki pan for people with gas or butane stoves.
- This pan presents different styles of cooking
- Comes with a non-stick surface, which makes it easier to clean the pan
- It has a thick material, which is ideal for retaining heat
- Weight – 730 g
- Dimension – 39 H x 210 D x 260 W mm
- Main material – aluminum alloy, with a non-stick coated upper surface.
6. Best budget takoyaki pan: Difcuy Nonstick Aluminum
As highlighted earlier, takoyaki is one of the most popular snacks in Japan. However, since takoyaki is fried to perfection, it tastes even better if cooked fresh!
So you have the opportunity to enjoy this popular Japanese snack in the comfort of your home, thanks to the Difcuy Nonstick Cast Aluminum Alloy Baking Tray.
This Takoyaki pan is made of cast aluminum, which makes it durable, lightweight, and a good conductor of heat.
In addition to this, the pan is coated with Teflon, which makes it non-stick. You can easily remove your takoyaki once they’re ready!
Moreover, the pan comes with a plastic-coated handle, making the pan safe and comfortable to use.
The Keeper Nonstick Cast Aluminum Alloy Baking Tray can prepare up to 12 takoyaki balls in one go. So you can prepare snacks for two easily.
The pan is also dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning it even easier. This versatile takoyaki pan is easy and simple to use.
- Comes with a single plastic-coated handle
- You can use the pan to prepare round pancakes and takoyaki
- Has a cast aluminum body and non-stick cooking surface
- Can prepare up to 12 takoyaki
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
7. Best automatic takoyaki machine: Sugiyama Metal
Just look at this automatic Takoyaki machine at a street food vendor:
Now that’s a very large industrial grade takoyaki machine and you probably aren’t going to put that in your house. But there’s a smaller-scale machine out there that does the job perfectly.
It’s the Sugiyama Metal Takoyaki Machine and you can see it in action here:
Important things to note when choosing a takoyaki pan
Making takoyaki at home isn’t hard, so long as you have the right pan and ingredients. In addition to this, you’ll also need other accessories to assist you in preparing this snack.
Therefore, you’ll need to buy a quality pan to make things easier for you. Here are some important things to consider when buying one.
How does the pan work?
Different takoyaki pans have different functionalities. For instance, there are pans that come with their own heat sources (electric ones). Other designs require you to place them on stoves.
So you need to consider the source of heat you use for cooking before getting a pan.
How big is the pan?
You don’t want to get a pan that’ll cause you lots of problems when it comes to storage. Therefore, you need to choose a pan that’ll fit well in your already existing kitchen cabinet.
Besides, you need to consider the size, as the pan you select should prepare enough takoyaki balls for the entire family.
Is the pan for home or commercial use?
The number of takoyaki balls you need to prepare in one batch should determine this. Different pans have different outputs.
However, this all depends on where you are planning to use the pan. If you want to use the pan at your home, then you should consider buying a normal-sized pan. However, if you want a pan for commercial purposes, then consider getting a larger product.
What’s the material used?
Common takoyaki pans are made out of steel or cast iron. But some of these pans come with non-stick properties.
When buying a pan with non-stick properties, you need to make sure that it doesn’t have any toxic chemicals. But non-stick takoyaki pans are preferable since they’re easy to clean.
What’s your budget?
How much are you planning to spend on your takoyaki pan? The price of a good one ranges from $15 to $100.
However, if you’re buying a larger pan, then you should expect to spend more.
Additional Takoyaki Accessories
If you want to make perfect takoyaki, you should invest in some accessories that’ll make the cooking process quick and easy. Here are the must-have takoyaki accessories.
Aburabiki – Japanese oil brush
An aburabiki or oil brush is essential for making takoyaki. The brush has a thick wooden handle and a cotton brush with many fibers and you use it to oil the pan.
For optimal results, oil the pan evenly with this brush. It helps the takoyaki get brown and crispy.
A sturdy steel takoyaki batter dispenser makes cooking this dish easy. It’s a funnel on a stand with a small handle that releases small amounts of batter into the pan.
This dispenser is multifunctional and can be used for sauces, all kinds of batters, and even biscuits. Simply fill the funnel with the batter mix and press the handle to release the batter into the pan.
This tool is excellent because it dispenses the exact amount of batter you need for one ball so you don’t waste any.
Takoyaki picks are used to handle takoyaki balls as you flip them while cooking and take them out of the pan.
If you use picks to flip and handle the takoyaki, it saves the pan from scratches. Plus, it’s so easy to maneuver the food with these long and thin picks.
Got more questions? Then read on!
I’ll explain more about takoyaki, which I highly recommend you try.
What is takoyaki?
Takoyaki is a Japanese snack, resembling a ball. It’s made from wheat flour batter and is cooked using a takoyaki pan. This delicacy is mostly filled with diced or cooked octopus, green onion, garlic, ginger, and tempura.
In addition to this, takoyaki specialists use a savory sauce with different toppings to cover the delicacy.
When you visit Japan, it’s not strange to see people queuing, just waiting to buy and enjoy this richly flavored and delicious street food.
What does takoyaki taste like?
The flavor of this dish is considered “umami” or savory. The taste is salty and rich, due to the seafood flavors of the octopus. While this dish is considered a snack, it can be enjoyed as a meal because it’s very filling.
What’s the origin of takoyaki?
This famous Japanese delicacy has humble beginnings. It originates from Kansai, located in western Japan.
The early versions of this dish can be traced back to the early 1930s. It quickly spread to become famous in the streets of Osaka, as well as other neighboring cities.
Today, you can easily find takoyaki shops in almost every town in Japan, with different regional variations of this dish.
What makes takoyaki so popular?
Taste is one of the major reasons why food becomes famous. However, it goes beyond taste in the case of takoyaki.
Many consider takoyaki to be soul food. They claim that once eaten, it can stimulate a person’s taste buds to the extent that it touches the deepest part of a person’s heart. You’ll crave more after taking your first bite!
Also, takoyaki is full of “umami,” a popular Japanese flavor. Many say that this flavor has majorly contributed to takoyaki as a soul food, so long as you like eating tentacles, as well as other flavors derived from the sea.
Besides the numerous flavors that can be added to this dish, it can make someone cry because of the scale of its deliciousness.
What are the popular ingredients in takoyaki?
As we’ve seen earlier, takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack consisting of wheat batter, octopus, ginger, garlic, green onion, and tempura.
In addition to this, the dish is covered with a sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.
It’s important to note that various Japanese shops in different cities have various toppings for this dish, ranging from mentaiko, bonito flakes, and soy sauce, amongst others.
How do you make takoyaki without a pan?
It’s possible to make takoyaki without a pan but it isn’t recommended. The balls won’t keep their round shape and they won’t look exactly like true takoyaki.
If you don’t have a mold, make the takoyaki dough and mix with the ingredients until the dough is malleable.
Next, extend your dough to a thickness of about 2 cm. Cut it into pieces that are approximately 3×3 cm.
Take each piece and add a piece of octopus in the middle. Wrap it with the dough. Mold it into a round ball and use flour on your hands so it doesn’t stick.
Fry the balls a few at a time in a pot of hot oil.
Can you use a cake pop maker for takoyaki?
Yes, you can use a cake pop maker to make takoyaki but the balls will be smaller, so not quite like traditional takoyaki. Also, you won’t be able to add as much filling so your takoyaki will be bite-sized.
A problem you’ll encounter is when you try to flip the takoyaki. An electric cake pop maker cooks batter at the top and bottom, so you don’t need to flip the balls. However, the middles won’t be as crunchy and crispy. You’ll have to take the dough out and try to flip it in the cake pop maker.
How do you clean a takoyaki pan?
How you clean your pan depends on the type it is. For most takoyaki makers, you simply scrub with a nonabrasive sponge or towel.
Use a small non-abrasive sponge to clean this type of takoyaki maker. Add a bit of dishwashing liquid detergent to your sponge and scrub lightly. Then, rinse with water.
Never use detergent or an abrasive sponge to clean cast iron pans. Simply use a towel or paper towel to wipe off the oil and batter remnants. You can gently scrape off burnt batter with a small plastic knife. You want to avoid scratching the pan’s coating.
Note that many takoyaki cooking pans are not dishwasher safe since they’re electrical devices. But nonetheless, they’re very easy to clean, so they’re a good investment if you make takoyaki regularly. Our two stovetop recommendations are dishwasher safe so it makes clean up easy!
Can you use store-bought takoyaki mix?
If you don’t feel like making your own dough and batter from scratch, you can buy ready-made mixes on Amazon.
Otherwise, you can use the recipe below!
Easy Takoyaki Recipe
- 200 grams flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 pinch dashi stock powder
- 450 ml water
- 120 grams octopus boiled
- 1 bunch spring onions chopped
- pickled ginger
- tempura flakes
- takoyaki sauce
- powdered seaweed
- bonito flakes
- Mix the flour, eggs, water, and dashi stock in a bowl. This makes the batter.
- Heat up your pan and add a small amount of vegetable oil in each mold.
- Cut up the boiled octopus into small bite-sized pieces and place one in each hole, into the batter.
- Add a pinch of spring onion, ginger, and the tempura flakes to each hole.
- Cook each ball for about 2 minutes then flip over and cook for another 2.
- Now remove and garnish with sauce and bonito flakes.
Today, takoyaki has turned out to be one of the most popular Japanese snacks.
Many people love this amazing delicacy, and you’ll definitely fall in love with it the moment you give it a try.
As a result, many takoyaki lovers have decided to try preparing their own takoyaki, either for their own enjoyment or for parties.
This, in turn, has increased the demand for takoyaki pans. That’s the reason we have a wide variety of these products, which range from normal iron cast pans to complete sets with oil brushes and other accessories.
With that said, your ideal pan would depend on a number of things. This includes:
- Your budget – as we highlighted earlier, the prices vary depending on a number of things. This means you’ll still get a pan within the budget you’ve set.
- Features – each pan has its unique set of features, including handles, non-stick surfaces, main material, and additional accessories.
- Portability – are you looking for a pan to use in your own home or while on the go?
- The number of takoyaki balls – takoyaki pans have different outputs in terms of takoyaki balls, and this depends on the size. So the size and number of takoyaki balls you want to prepare will greatly affect your choice.
After taking all these things into consideration, you can visit different online stores and get your favorite takoyaki pan!
Read more: How do I clean my takoyaki maker?
Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?
We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.