11 best yakitori grills: from electric indoor to charcoal for home

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 11, 2021

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Yakitori is a delicious Japanese skewered dish that is not only popular in its country of origin, but also in other parts of the world.

In Japan, Yakitori is served at restaurants commonly known as Yakitori-Ya, but you can also find it at other restaurants.

The dish is usually made to order, and most restaurants typically use the Yakitori charcoal grill.

yakitori

If you’re hearing about Yakitori for the first time, and you are asking yourself what kind of a dish it is, here is a simple definition;

Yakitori is chicken skewers that are usually made from pieces of chicken meat. In some parts of the world, a similar dish is called Kebab.

The bite-size pieces of meat are generally cut from different parts such as the thighs, liver, breasts among others, and are usually grilled over charcoal.

Making and eating yakitori is a fantastic culinary experience. But did you know you can make your own Yakitori at home? 

What’s the overall best yakitori grill?

The best yakitori grill I’ve found you can buy over here is this Fire Sense grill for Yakitori, which has the perfect mix between traditional grills and modern features and it can withstand the high heats of binchotan charcoal.

Grilling traditional Japanese Yakitori is not only fun, but it’s also very very tasty. Just look at this video on how to make some delicious foods:

However, the art of recreating the Yakitori experience at home is not an easy one, and it requires both skills and the right equipment.

I’ve reviewed a few different grills for you that are best suited in different situations.

Let’s look at each of these in a table. I also have an in-depth review of each of these further down below:

Model Yakitori grill Images
Best tabletop ceramic Yakitori grill box: Fire Sense Fire-sense-large-bincho-grill(view more images)
Best gas Yakitori grill: Cuisinart CGG-750

Best gas Yakitori grill- Cuisinart CGG-750

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Best portable Yakitori grill for camping: Uten Barbecue Charcoal Grill Uten portable lightweight charcoal grill for binchotan(view more images)
Best standing Yakitori grill: C-Hopetree 22” C-Hopetree-22”-yakitori-grill(view more images)
Best large Yakitori charcoal grillKayso Home 32″  KAYSO HOME yakitori grill(view more images)
Best large Yakitori set: Scekackdv Portable BBQ  Scekackdv Yakitori Grill Set(view more images)
Best mini Grill for one person: StyleMbro Japanese Yakiniku Grill Best Small Grill for One Person: StyleMbro Japanese Yakiniku Grill(view more images)
Best cast iron yakitori grill: IAXSEE Cast iron grill

Iaxsee Cast iron grill

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Best infrared yakitori grill: Tenergy Redigrill Smoke-less Infrared Grill

Tenergy Infrared Grill

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Best electric indoor Yakitori grill: Zojirushi EB-CC15 Zojirushi-Japanese-indoor-tabletop-yakitori-grill(view more images)
Best electric plate yakitori grill: Yatai Yokotyo Electric  Yatai Yokotyo Yakitori
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In this post we'll cover:

What to look for in a Yakitori grill

First up, let’s check out some extra information about what to look for in a yakitori grill before making a purchase.

One of the most important questions to ask yourself is ‘what kind of grill do I need?’. Also, consider your budget. 

Then you have to consider the size, which mainly depends on where you intend to use it. But let’s get more into details.

What temperature do you need for yakitori?

Did you know that if you use binchotan charcoal it can get as hot as 1600 F? But, you definitely don’t need such high temperatures for cooking yakitori on the grill. 

At some restaurants, they slow cook yakitori at about 200 F and might go as high as 300 F. This is not the norm though and you need to cook the meat on high heat at approximately 450 degrees F.

Therefore, your grill must be made of materials like cast iron, steel, or diatomaceous earth which can withstand cooking at high temperatures. 

Type

The traditional yakitori grill is fuelled by charcoal.

So, when you search for this type of grill, you’ll most likely come across a charcoal grill. Honestly, these are the best grills because they give the food that tasty smoky aroma and char marks. 

An electric yakitori is the second most popular and it’s the easiest to use because you can control the temperature with the buttons. 

Finally, you can get gas yakitori grills which also offer great flavor and they are pretty easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. 

All these types are usually portable, small, and easy to set up and use. 

Material

You must consider the material that is used to make the grill. You will probably need a grill that is made of durable material and one that does not rust easily. The most common material is aluminum and stainless steel.

Heat is an integral part of any grill, and this is why you should consider the amount of heat created.

It is not just the heat produced by the burner but also how well the grill holds and also how the heat generated is distributed.

The interior should probably be made with ceramic coating since this will help radiate the heat and help you have a slow and consistent grill.

Traditionally, the Yakitori was made out of iron but that’s a heavy material, so most brands use aluminum, steel, and zinc-iron alloys. This way, the grills are lightweight and portable.

After all, customers want convenient grills. 

Size and cooking surface

When it comes to Yakitori grills, there are several things you should consider, the top among them being the size.

Since most Yakitori cuisines are mostly table-side dishes, and so you don’t need a huge grill. You should also consider grills that are rectangular and compact.

This will allow you to have more surface area that will be important in preparing the chicken skewers. The main thing to think about is the cooking surface.

If you regularly cook for a family, you need a larger grill than if you only cook for yourself. In that case, the 5-inch will suffice. 

Some grill models have a narrow cooking surface that works best for Yakitori and other kebab-style dishes.

Other models have a wide cooking surface, so you can cook all kinds of large meats and vegetables.

Portability & indoor/outdoor use

First, consider the portability of the grill. Does it have foldable legs? Can you take it camping with you? Is it compact enough to store easily?

Look for sturdy handles and easy carrying handles to ensure you can move the grill around safely.

Some grills are made for outdoor use only, while some are indoor grills.

Then, there are also indoor/outdoor Yakitori grills and these are the most convenient because you can cook anywhere with them.

Grate

Your grill grate is more important than you’d think.

The traditional yakitori grill has a mesh wire grate which is different than your regular griddle or a horizontal grate. The actual wire is thin and usually made of durable stainless steel. 

Hibachi and konro grills also have this type of mesh grates. Japanese grills are smaller and you can cook all kinds of foods on them, even small seafood, or mushrooms and therefore, the wire mesh prevents the food from falling through the grates. 

When choosing a yakitori grill, you can choose mesh or regular grates and they’ll both work well. But, many grills come with interchangeable grates or you can order different kinds separately on Amazon. 

Also read: Japanese grill grates | What materials and how are they different?

Can you use the Yakitori grill indoors?

Yes, you can use the grill inside as long as the package says so. Some types of grills are designed for outdoor use exclusively and they are safety hazards if you use them indoors. 

Make sure to check before you use the grill inside. 

Electric models are suitable for indoor use. It’s not the same as traditional yakitori, but it’s a lot safer than using charcoal indoors.

Read our full article on indoor charcoal use here

Best Yakitori grills reviewed

yakitori grills

The most important thing when cooking Yakitori is the Yakitori charcoal grill.

Don’t worry if you don’t know the grill to buy as I will give you several options and even give you a few tips on making the best Yakitori dish.

Let’s jump straight in shall we?

Best tabletop ceramic Yakitori grill box: Fire Sense

Up first on our list is the Large Yakitori Grill that comes from Fire Sense. It’s my absolute favorite because it combines traditional Yakitori charcoal cooking techniques with convenience.

When I use the grill, the food tastes delicious every time and my meat is cooked to perfection. I don’t need to worry about overcooking. 

This traditional Japanese grill is made of clay mold, and its interior is made of ceramic. The ceramic interior helps distribute the heat evenly when you grill. It can withstand high cooking temps 450 degrees F +.

Fire-sense-large-bincho-grill

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This fire sense grill comes with two ventilation doors that allow the user to control the heat. Since these are adjustable vents, you can ensure you don’t burn the meat. 

The grill is large, and it has a whole 157 inch of cooking space, which is excellently tailored at the top for easier cooking.

The large cooking surface fits right into the Yakitori cooking needs, and it gives users a chance to do many chicken skewers at a go.

Because of the mesh wire grates, your meat has those beautiful char marks you also get with other types of Japanese and Korean BBQ.

For safety purposes, the manufacturer has ensured that the grill will clip into place right on top of the heat source. 

Some of the downsides of this grill are the fact that it is very fragile since it is made of ceramic and is not exactly safe for indoor use. You should avoid using charcoal grills indoors because there’s always a minimal fire hazard. 

Users should also ensure that the grill does not get wet since it tends to break when wet. Thus, cleaning is a bit harder but all you need to do is wait for the grill to cool, then throw out the ashes and wash the grill grate separately. 

Besides the minor inconvenience of cleaning, this traditional Japanese Fire Sense is excellent for cooking not only Yakitori dishes but also many others.

The manufacturer is quite confident of this grill that they have given a one-year user satisfaction guarantee. I highly recommend this particular grill if you love to grill outdoors.

It’s easy to move around and it has a large enough cooking surface so you can cook for the whole family in one go when you’re strapped for time. Any outdoor gathering will be so much better when you can create an authentic Japanese yakitori for your guests. 

Check out the latest price on Amazon

Also read: these are the differences between Sushi and Sashimi

Best Gas Yakitori grill: Cuisinart CGG-750

It’s tough to find a high-quality gas yakitori grill. Most options out there are only charcoal-based, and the alternatives are mostly electric-powered.

However, sometimes you won’t have access to electricity and you don’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with charcoal. This is where gas yakitori grills come into play.

After a wonderful eating experience overseas, I wanted a Japanese grill to cook thinly sliced meat just like they do.

After a lot of research and comparisons, I finally found a gas yakitori grill that met my minimum requirements and was able to do the job: the Cuisinart CGG-750 Portable Grill.

I also purchased a couple of accessories for this grill in order to enjoy a more authentic experience.

My first purchase was a meat slicer so we could have thin slices of meat to put on the grill.

I got the Ostba meat slicer since it has a powerful 150 watt AC motor and a thick stainless steel blade. It has a dial that you can use to adjust the thickness of the cuts which is perfect for Yakitori as you probably want those thinly sliced beef strips.

The Cuisinart has proven to be so good that I already ordered a second one since we like to entertain and it’s nice to have enough at home so guests can cook with each other or as a couples activity. It’s an entire experience on its own.

It runs on small propane tanks and it has a flip-out propane tank for storage safety. Although it’s small, this grill is very powerful and has a coil 9000 BTU burner. Therefore, it cooks your bbq foods very quickly, and it’s a real time-saver in the kitchen. 

When you first see it, the grill looks like a metallic picnic basket but it’s a fully portable grill that opens up. It has a stack design with the propane tank at the bottom, the grill in the middle, and a wood top cover.

This works perfectly to take it to the beach and enjoy a nice grilled meal!

I’ve only included one gas yakitori grill in this “best” section since other options out there had serious problems and I wouldn’t be able to recommend them to anyone.

You’re safer choosing this yakitori grill and trying to tailor it to any specific needs you might have. It can heat up to a max of 550 F and it cooks the chicken skewers very fast so you don’t need to wait around when hungry. 

skewers on a grill

Let’s face it: gas is not the same as charcoal, so you won’t quite get the same flavors. Plus, you need to keep repurchasing the gas canisters but if you are comfortable with gas cooking devices, you’ll be fine to use this one.

We still classify it as a Yakitori grill to be used mainly outdoors, because it still generates quite a bit of smoke. But, the grill has a drip pan that you fill with water to decrease smoke.

This is why we recommend that you keep it close to a window if you plan to use it indoors. However, you can also use it indoors under your exhaust hood because it’s not too large.

Some people are disappointed with the grates because they are not the mesh type that traditional Japanese yakitori grills have so you can’t really char the meat. 

I also want to mention that you have to clean the grill by hand and it’s time-consuming.

But, the pros outweigh the cons…

The Cuisinart gas grill is perfect for use on the tabletop and is ideal for yakitori grilling. It’s pretty lightweight at 20 lbs considering that it’s a stack-n-go compact grill and has a lot of components. 

You can cook about 4-5 skewers at once and that’s pretty good for a group of up to 4-5 people too. It eliminates the need for other fancy cookers. 

This grill utilizes canisters that you can purchase for quite cheap and they’re pretty economical too. 

Although the grill smokes fairly well, you may want to set up a fan close to a window to keep from triggering your smoke alarm.

Check out the Cuisinart portable grill here

Fire sense charcoal grill vs Cuisinart gas grill

If you want the best authentic Japanese yakitori flavors, the Fire sense charcoal and the Cuisinart gas grill deliver on that. You can’t really compare the taste of charcoal and gas-grilled meats to electric so if flavor is what you want, these two are excellent options. 

The difference between the two is the fuel. You need charcoal to run the fire sense grill but that also means it’s convenient and you can go with it everywhere without worrying about propane tanks or power outlets.

It’s the ultimate outdoor cooking grill if you love Japanese yakiniku. But, if you’re not very good at controlling the grill temperature, you might want to use the gas grill.

It definitely makes cooking easier because you simply turn the knob and turn the heat up or down as needed. Thus, if you’re after simplicity, gas grills are easy to use. 

I also want to mention that the Iwatani is larger so you have a bigger cooking surface. If you have a larger family, it might be the better option. The Fire Sense is perfect for couples or small gatherings because the cooking area is a bit smaller. 

An important feature to think about is the grill grate. The Fire sense is a traditional mesh, while the Cuisinart has thick metal grates so you don’t get the same charring and searing effect. 

Best portable Yakitori grill for camping: Uten Barbecue Charcoal Grill

If you love camping and grilling, then this is your go-to grill. This grill is not only small and compatible, but it also folds quite easily making it ideal for frequent travelers and camping folks.

If you’re like me, you probably want to make your favorite skewers on the go. It’s an easy way to cook healthy food and it’s a fun process too!

The manufacturer used iron and chrome as the main materials, making the grill durable and robust. Therefore, the cold-rolled iron makes it both rust and scratch-resistant. 

You’ve got plenty of cooking space for up to 6 people or about 6-8 skewers at once. That’s why this grill is a great option for larger groups.

Plus, you can cook corn, Japanese cabbage, seafood, pork, beef, and even ribs alongside the famous chicken yakitori. 

Additionally, the grill can withstand both heat and moisture making it ideal for barbecuing. It’s resistant to high temps of up to 550 F. 

Also, the grill is lightweight and if you are probably wondering about the heat control, well, here is your answer, the manufacturer has crafted 12 different airway vents giving the user absolute heat control.

The size and structure of this grill make it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Weighing just over 3.5 pounds, this grill lets you enjoy tasty Yakitori cuisines while you are on the move.

The fact that it is easily foldable does not mean that it cannot be damaged and users are encouraged to take excellent care of the grill.

It is advisable that you cushion it while traveling to prevent denting. The legs aren’t super sturdy so they might rust and corrode or crumble if you put too much weight. 

The Uten BBQ Charcoal Grill lets you not miss out on Yakitori cuisines while on the move. However, it is not recommended for heavy-duty assignments.

I prefer to take this grill on camping trips or when I invite a couple of friends over in my backyard. 

Check out the latest prices here on Amazon

Best standing Yakitori grill: C-Hopetree 22”

One other grill to consider for Yakitori cuisines is the C-Hopetree Satay Grill. The grill is very portable, and it is very lightweight.

It’s another perfect outdoor cooker for your family or large groups. Just imagine that you can make up to 20 skewers at once!

Just like the Uten BBQ Charcoal Grill, this is also another great addition if you like outdoor events such as tailgating and camping because it’s tall so you don’t need a table or stand for it and you won’t hurt your back bending over the grill for long periods. 

You can set this up in minutes and get ready to grill. It’s large enough to make lots of food for a large group. Since the legs are removable and foldable you can set it up and take it down in minutes. 

So if you’re the kind of person who loves to BBQ outdoors, this will really help you cook better.

The charcoal-burning rack is raised and can accommodate up to 20 skewers. To ensure that the grill is durable, the manufacturer uses 304-grade stainless steel that gives users quality service.

For optimal heat and excellent heat control, this grill has a bottom venting mechanism. However, there’s not much to adjust and you can’t expect amazing temperature control capabilities. Overall, the venting system at the bottom is not so great.

Some customers complain that the design is lacking. But, if you just want a convenient Yakitori during your camping trip, then it is fine. 

The C-Hopetree 22” Stainless Steel Charcoal Satay Grill is easy to clean once you clear out the ashes but there’s going to be lots of ashes so let it cool completely. 

If you like to show off your excellent barbecuing skills, and you happen to love having an outdoor setting, then this one is tailored for you. Its large grilling surface makes it ideal for cooking Yakitori cuisines.

It is also suitable for other grilling requirements, and thus it’s guaranteed proper use of your money.

At such a low price, the material is not as sturdy as it can be but once you place it on a flat surface, it stays put. 

This is a cheap way to make Yakitori in the comfort of your backyard or outdoors in the park. It has great foldable legs which makes this product easy to move around.

That’s why we really love it because you can cook all kinds of food. The large cooking surface gives you the versatility to make meats, veggies, and side dishes in one go. Therefore, you can batch cook and reduce overall cooking time. 

Buy the C-Hopetree here

Uten barbecue vs C-Hopetree 22” tall grill

I am comparing these two grills because they’re both excellent camping grills. It depends on what you need and how many people you have to cook for.

The Uten is a smaller grill that you can use straight over a fire pit or campfire as the legs are quite short. You can also place it on a taller surface. But, if you want a sturdier grill with long legs, the C-Hopetree is a better option. It’s also better if you’re tall and don’t want back pain when you grill. 

I also want to mention that these grills are made of different materials. The C-Hopetree is made of stainless steel which is more durable in the long term and is pretty resistant to sun and rain exposure compared to iron which can rust and corrode faster. 

The Uten is more portable because it’s lighter and smaller and the legs fold up completely.

Hopetree’s tall grill has screwed in legs so you might need to disassemble it and it takes longer. Plus, you need more car space to carry this large-size cooker on the road. 

Best large Yakitori charcoal grillKayso Home 32″ 

If you like to entertain and have guests over, you need a large grill. The last thing you want to do is waste time grilling for ages.

Instead, you can enjoy time with your guests. That’s where this extra-large party-size grill comes in handy. Actually, it’s a commercial-grade yakitori and shish kebab grill, also suitable for small restaurants. 

The free tall-standing grill has a grilling area that measures 32.5″ x 8″ x 5.5 inches. The grill stand measures 30″ x 9″ x 27 inches. It weighs about 10 pounds, which is actually very light!

So, imagine all the Yakitori you can cook at once on this portable and easy-to-move cooker.

The grill is made of heavy-duty stainless steel and it’s quite well-built. The legs look and feel stable although you should be careful not to overload the grill rack.

It has a classic Japanese mesh wire grill grate and you’ll feel like you’re cooking in one of Tokyo’s food markets!

The manufacturer ensured that the user would have even temperature control and this is the reason why ventilation units on each side. These are small holes all around the grill but still, I think the heat control is rather limited even with these adjustable vents.

The height of this grill does not make it ideal for table-side cuisines, and it is probably not child-friendly. Be careful that people don’t knock the hot grill over and leave plenty of space around it. 

However, the grill has a decent heat control mechanism, and its multi-functional capabilities mean it is one of the best grills.

There’s no better way to cook for a large group than with this grill. It has enough cooking space for many skewers plus veggie sides.

You can make the skewers on one side of the grill and smoke some tasty mushrooms and corn as side dishes.

So, you can spend more time with your friends, and less time in the kitchen. 

Check the price on Amazon

Best large Yakitori set: Scekackdv Portable BBQ 

Scekackdv Yakitori Grill Set

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Here in the West, we really love our outdoor party barbeques. That’s why getting a large yakitori grill set with accessories is the best option for many people who love to entertain.

You can make food for up to 15 people so that means you can squeeze on over 20 chicken skewers or a combination of meat and vegetables like corn, peppers, mushrooms, and more. 

Not only do you get the large stainless steel legs, but you also get a frying pan, blower, a double-sided grill brush, scraper, and a carrying case. This means you no longer have to spend extra money to get these accessories which can be quite costly actually. 

Unlike the small indoor yakitori grills, you can use this multi-functional grill to cook all kinds of meats and vegetables to go with yakitori and other yakiniku. Plus, you can even make some french fries or fried tofu in the frying pan side of the grill. 

It’s one of the most compact large grills I’ve seen as the legs are completely foldable and it all fits in a pretty small carrying case. 

Of course, this is a charcoal grill but unlike some others, this one has some good temperature control features like carbon slot vents on both sides.

That ensures proper airflow inside and around the grill which means full combustion and well-cooked food.  You don’t need to worry about burning food so much as long as you keep an eye on the vents. 

Check the price on Amazon

Kayso Home vs Scekackdv Large Yakitori

The Kayso 32 inch and the Scekackdv 30″ grills are both the best options for large gatherings and outdoor grill parties. That’s because these two grills have tall, foldable legs and you can set them up almost anywhere and enjoy cooking outside. 

But, there’s a notable difference between the two and it comes from the design. The Kayso is a long narrow type of grill with a wire mesh grate, in a true Japanese style. It’s great for cooking many yakitori at once and even suitable as a restaurant charcoal grill. 

The second option though is more of an American-style grill with many features. It has a special frying pan on one side and mesh grill grates on the other so you can make more than just yakiniku and skewers.

So, if you like to combine Japanese food with American classics like fries and fried pickles, you might choose the Scekackdv grill which is also a bit cheaper. 

The Kayso grill is slightly better built and more durable but the other grill has really stable legs too and a larger cooking surface. It comes down to how much cooking you want to do at once and how versatile you need your grill to be.

If you’re a pitmaster you’ll be able to control the cooking temp with both grills but the second one is a bit easier to control because of the larger vents. 

Best mini Grill for One Person: StyleMbro Japanese Yakiniku Grill

Best Small Grill for One Person: StyleMbro Japanese Yakiniku Grill

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Who says you can’t enjoy Yakitory alone? It’s such a delicious way to cook meat, you can always cook it when you’re in the mood for some tasty Japanese cuisine.

This small grill is as small as it gets in terms of charcoal grills. The 5-inch is large enough to fit about 2 skewers, so it’s ideal for 1 or 2 people at most.

We recommend this charcoal grill for students or single adults who love Japanese dishes. It’s small enough to store even in the tightest of spaces, so you can always have the grill on hand.

This is a very traditional Japanese Yakitori grill. But, you can also cook Yakiniku, Robata, Takoyaki, and any type of BBQ.

It works easily and it’s made for use with charcoal briquettes. 

There is an inner charcoal holder where you place the briquettes. This is where all the smokiness comes from to infuse the chicken. Just because it’s small, doesn’t mean you don’t get enough aroma for your meat.

What I like is that you can place the grill on any countertop because it has a wooden base plate for protection. Therefore, you can cook on the kitchen countertop or patio on cold winter nights when you need comforting BBQ. 

The grill is constructed out of high-quality aluminum and has steel grates. There are holes in the base of the steel charcoal holder.

These allow ash to drip through to the bottom. So, you can be sure of continuous and effective charcoal burning to cook the food perfectly.

It heats up quite fast, so you can get cooking right away. After you’re finished, simply hand wash the grill and store it away for next time. 

It’s the perfect cooking device for individuals. It works indoors and outdoors, so you can take it on a camping adventure or you can make tasty skewers in your kitchen. 

There is one downside though. Due to its small size, the cooking surface is limited to a couple of skewers at a time. Since the charcoal bowl is also small, you can’t cook for long periods of time. 

But his is the perfect-sized grill for singles and students. Every time you crave chicken skewers, you can get this grill flaming hot with just a handful of charcoals. So, it’s a fun cooking experience and we recommend it for newbie yakitori grillers. 

Check the latest prices on Amazon

Best cast iron yakitori grill: Iaxsee Cast Iron Grill

Iaxsee Cast iron grill

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As far as portable cast iron yakitori grills are concerned, you don’t need to spend a lot of money because even this affordable one does a great job at cooking on high heat at around 450 F. 

While you have to control the temperature manually, it’s not really a challenge because the grill has some small holes that act as vents. Even though the vents are not adjustable, there are holes at the sides of the grill to ensure proper airflow. 

People like metallic and cast iron grills because they retain heat very well and if you want to cook lots of Japanese food, you want to maintain the constant heat and with this grill, you can.

Compared to the mini which is really only meant for 1 person, with this grill you can cook for two or three people comfortably. There’s enough room to make about 4 to 6 delicious yakitori chicken skewers. 

Another advantage is that this grill has a stainless steel interior tray on which you add your charcoal briquettes or binchotan and it’s easy to clean.

There is a lifting ring design handle which makes the steel tray easy to remove and you don’t risk burning yourself. Simply remove it while holding the handles, toss out the ashes and then wipe clean. 

As with other yakitori grills, this one is very good because it’s high-heat resistant and doesn’t warp under high temperatures. Therefore, it’s the kind of cooker that can last you many seasons of outdoor barbeques with family and friends. 

Check the latest prices here

StyleMbro grill for one vs Iaxsee cast iron grill

These two grills look similar and the StyleMbro is like the smaller brother grill. But, they are both excellent for singles, couples, or small gatherings.

If you like to have people over, the Iaxsee is much more spacious so you can cook more than just a couple of skewers at a time. With the small grill, you’re very tight with cooking space and limited with the time since the charcoal won’t burn for too long. 

For those of you, that really want to try Japanese binchotan charcoal, I recommend the cast iron grill because there’s sufficient space to use that type of coal.

With the tiny grill, you’d better use a briquette but with the bigger one, you can really benefit from the advantages of binchotan. Plus, it’s almost smokeless so it’s the better option when you want to cook indoors. 

But, if we compare the build the strength of the two grills, they’re both similar.

The one issue they both have is the wooden base which is actually a bit prone to breaking and could be an issue after extended use of your cooker. But, if you don’t mind replacing that once in a while these two grills are great choices. 

Best infrared & smokeless yakitori grill: Tenergy Redigrill Smoke-less Infrared Grill

Tenergy Infrared Grill

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This budget-friendly Tenergy Infrared grill has similar features to the Philips Smoke-less Indoor BBQ Grill but it’s half the price and just as good.

It’s an innovative yakitori grill, which uses infrared technology for heating rather than heating element—impressive, isn’t it?

One exciting thing about the infrared heating technology in this grill is that it has been designed not to heat the drip tray at the grill’s bottom, which means you won’t need water to cool these drippings.

This means up to 80% less smoke which makes this grill a great indoor cooker. 

This technology is paired with specialized reflectors, which distribute heat evenly to the cooking surface, and can reach temperatures of up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit which you need if you want to sear meat.

There are just two heat settings but they work well and you don’t need vents for electric cookers so this grill has all the basic features you’d want. 

Even though the grill is made of aluminum, it comes with a non-stick surface, which means you can easily clean it using wet towels, or just put it into your dishwasher. 

The Tenergy is a high-quality product, which can be used on a tabletop, and you can use it for grilling yakitori at your home. But, if you have a power outlet on the balcony or patio, you can use it there too and it can replace the classic charcoal grills.

One minor disadvantage is that the flavor is not smoky like when you cook with charcoal but it’s still delicious and succulent. 

The best advantage though is that the grill heats up very fast in about 6 minutes and will give you the temperature you need to grill your meat, giving you an end product that is tender and juicy on its inside. You can even seak steak or make seared Japanese wagyu beef. 

So, if you like the idea of an electric grill but want something that doesn’t smoke up your house, this Tenergy is a great cheap option. 

Check out prices and availability here

Best Electric Indoor Yakitori Grill: Zojirushi EB-CC15

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When it comes to indoor electric yakitori grills, nothing beats the original Zorijushi Japanese grill. It’s not made exclusively for Yakitori, but you can use it to make this dish and a whole array of others. Just know that Zorijushi is Japan’s favorite electric cooker manufacturer. 

For those of you like me who love to cook chicken, this is the best type of grill because you can cook at specific temperatures. The temperature is controlled automatically with the turning of the temp button. It means you don’t burn undercook or overcook food. 

As a result, you won’t burn your food! When you’re cooking skewers, it’s important to have a constant temperature to ensure even cooking on all sides.

This indoor grill makes meat taste tender and juicy and it’s also quite smokeless compared to other models so you don’t stink up your place. 

The grill is quite small and compact, so it fits on the countertop. Its nonstick grill surface measures 12-1/2 by 9-1/4 inches, so that’s enough to cook Yakitori for at least 4 people at once.

Since it’s such a versatile cooking device, you can simultaneously cook the skewers as well as some side dishes (like veggies).

If you prefer seafood to chicken, you can also cook shrimp Yakitori which is healthy and tasty!

The handles remain cool to the touch so you can maneuver this grill without burning yourself. Since you use electricity instead of charcoal with this grill, you can set the temperature and it also doesn’t consume a lot of energy so you don’t need to fret about the power bill. 

Note that this grill is made of plastic and aluminum components along with stainless steel. 

Since it is an indoor electric grill, so you don’t need to use charcoal. Also, the grill has low energy consumption because it heats up fast. 

Unfortunately, this grill is not dishwasher safe, only some parts of it are, like the drip tray. The grilling surface and drip tray are detachable, which makes cleaning easier so the fact that it’s hand-wash isn’t too much of an inconvenience.

The electric grill doesn’t impart the food with that classic charcoal flavor, so it does make the Yakitori taste slightly different.

Although this indoor tabletop yakitori grill is a bit costly, it’s the best yakitori grill you can find out there and will give you good value for your money.

The Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill is made of high-quality materials, which makes it look aesthetically pleasing, well built, and very stern. This grill is ideal for Japanese BBQ parties since its big non-stick grilling surface can allow you to grill for at least 4 people at once.

Another interesting thing about this grill is its 1300W heating element, which gives you easier temperature control, which ranges between 170 – 410 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures are ideal for yakitori grilling since it doesn’t need extremely hot temperatures.

The grilling surface and drip tray are detachable, which makes cleaning easier. One interesting thing about this grill is its amazing safety feature, which makes the grill not turn on when you forget to put the drip tray back in place or fix the grilling surface correctly.

Overall, this is a high-end product, made out of quality materials, and it’s easy and safe to use, and clean.

 Check the latest prices on Amazon 

Best electric plate yakitori grill: Kakuse Yatai Yokotyo Electric 

Yatai Yokotyo Yakitori

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If your favorite grilled foods are skewers, you’ll be pleased with this ultra-lightweight (3 lbs) electric plate specialty yakitori grill. It’s the authentic Japanese device for quickly making yakitori.

But, the best and most interesting aspect is that you can change up the grill grates and use a mesh grate if you want to make other yakiniku. 

The heating element is a classic metal coil that is in the middle of the grill. Then, you place the grate of your choice on top and then you can put the meat on. If you want to make skewers only you can just add the meat or fish on the special bars and they’ll be cooking right over the heat source. 

Therefore, this is the kind of grill that doesn’t need too many temperature control features because you can turn the skewers and see when they’re done.

A reason why I like this type of electric grill is that it’s perfect for turning the skewers while you cook and also you can make a lot of courses with it since it’s versatile. For example, once you’re done with yakitori, you can add the baking tray grates and cook some Japanese pancakes. 

Just a heads up, since this item is shipped from Japan, you need a transformer to use it at 120V. But, you’ll be surprised how such a small grill can make so much food at once in very little time. 

Check the price on Amazon here

Tenergy Infrared vs Zojirushi Electric Grill vs Kakuse

These three grills are for those of you who only like to do mainly indoor grilling. I agree with you that there’s something so convenient and comforting about turning on the electric cooker, placing the meat and veggies, and having a meal in about 30 minutes or so.

The electric grill is a great cooker for busy people who want tasty and convenient meals regardless of the weather. So, now you have to choose between the smokeless infrared grill of the classic electric with a powerful heating element or one with interchangeable grates and accessories.

If you want a classic Japanese electric grill that sears and cooks meat to perfection, the Zojirushi is the best bet. It can be used on any countertop and doesn’t really create too much smoke or bad smells.

But, the Tenergy doesn’t let the drippings pool down and smoke away so it’s even better if you hate the smoke associated with BBQ. 

The main advantage of infrared grills is that they get hot very fast and are more efficient so you can cook delicious bbq in record time compared to a regular electric like the Zojirushi. 

Both these electric cookers eliminate most of the fatty drippings and it makes the food healthier. 

Now, if you think you’re mostly going to cook skewers, then the Kakuse grill is ideal even without a mesh or other grate attachments.

I don’t blame you if you love yakitori so much that you want a specialty electric cooker just for that dish. Then, if you want to cook other Asian foods too, you can get more grill grates and expand your cooking skills. 

Best yakitori grill accessories

Tongs

Get a good set of tongs, not too big. I personally chose the Hiash Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs that are 9 inches long.

They’re a bit pricier but they’re not going to rust after a few uses like those cheap aluminum ones you find at the supermarket. 

You need tongs when manipulating food on the yakitori grill because the claw offers a good grip and makes turning the food around while cooking simple and safe. 

Hiash Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs

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The advantage of longer tongs is that you don’t have to put your hands close to the heat source and they’re safer to use. 

They’re just enough to have a good grip on the meat without getting too close to the heat. The tongs are made of heavy-duty stainless steel and won’t get scorched or damaged when exposed to the hot grill top. 

Check the price on Amazon

Hand fan 

Japanese chefs use a traditional hand fan for blowing the binchotan charcoal. It’s really the most simple way to get the fire going and heat the yakitori grill. 

I’ve found a great heat-resistant plastic fan that costs less than $10 dollars. This OFXDD Heat Resistant Flame Fan is quite thick so you can create airflow really quickly.

Also, even though it’s plastic it is heat-proof and safe for use near the grill. 

OFXDD Heat Resistant Plastic Barbecue Hand Fan

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With charcoal briquettes, you want to have good ventilation to start them up so a good hand fan is the cheapest alternative to those more pricey battery-powered fans. Honestly, you don’t need those for a small yakitori grill. 

Check the price on Amazon 

Binchotan charcoal

A real Japanese barbecue involves using binchotan charcoal. It’s a premium type of charcoal produced only in Japan. The best comes from the Kinshu region and it’s quite pricey, but the difference is very notable compared to regular charcoal. 

IPPINKA Binchotan is Japan’s famous binchotan producer. It’s known as white charcoal and burns very clean compared to regular charcoal. 

IPPINKA Binchotan

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This charcoal is made from burning Ubame Kashi or Ubame Oak at 1000 degrees. Each piece has a thin log shape as opposed to briquettes.

But, the real defining feature that makes it worth the price is the flavor it imparts. Since it’s such pure charcoal, it burns odorless and you get a true smoky wood taste on your meat.

It’s pretty hard to explain it but once you taste it you’ll realize there’s no bitter aftertaste of weird aroma. 

The good news is that this charcoal is also reusable if you take care of it so it’s got a pretty good value for money and if you love real tasty yakiniku, this is the charcoal to choose. 

Check the current price here

Also read: This is how you light Japanese Charcoal | 3 easy steps and some tips

Saibashi chopsticks

At Japanese restaurants, the chef uses special long wooden chopsticks called saibashi to turn the delicate ingredients on the grill.

Donxote Wooden Saibashi Chopsticks

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Very delicate fish, seafood, or veggies like tomatoes can disintegrate when handled with tongs. So, to avoid this issue, long chopsticks are used instead. 

The Donxote Wooden Saibashi Chopsticks are 16.5 inches long so they’re like tongs and you won’t burn yourself. 

These are made of natural wood and polishes which makes them moisture and heat-resistant. 

Check the price on Amazon

Seasoning shakers for Yakitori

If you want to add the seasoning evenly to your chicken, you need a good seasoning shaker. You can put salt, pepper, or the famous togarashi spice in it and coat the meat to give it amazing flavor.

You don’t need expensive seasoning shakers and the Winware Stainless Steel Dredges is perfect because it has a handle so it’s easy to hold and re-fill. Plus it’s made of stainless steel so it won’t rust in your pantry and spice rack. 

Winware Stainless Steel Dredges

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Don’t forget about liquid seasonings like soy sauce and tare when making yakitori. But, for solids, this durable shaker is a nice bargain buy.

Check out the latest prices

Also, check out our best spatulas for Hibachi and Teppanyaki grills. 

Best yakitori cookbook: The Japanese Grill

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For all things Japanese barbeque, Tadashi Ono has the knowledge and the recipes you need to know about. He is a renowned Japanese chef and his cookbook The Japanese Grill teaches you all about how to make the best bbq dishes. 

While the book isn’t completely about Yakitori only, it does have many yakitori recipes and that’s the main topic of the book. 

You’ll find a nice mix of traditional Japanese recipes and many modern contemporary ingredients, methods, and flavors, all with step-by-step instructions. 

Grilling has been a huge part of Japanese cuisine for many centuries and this book shows you how to use hibachi, yakitori, and konro grills to make succulent meats, seafood, and veggies. Basically, it’s got something for everyone. 

The Japanese grill is packed with easy recipes, versatile marinades, and many colorful images.

By following the recipes, you’ll be able to grill amazing steaks, salmon, chicken, whole chickens, and traditional favorites such as yakitori, onigiri, or whole salt-packed fish. 

Then, you can also learn how to make American BBQ favorites like Crispy Chicken Wings with a Japanese food twist.

There are options for sophisticated entertaining as well as quick-grilling options for healthy weekday meals. There are also a variety of delicious sides to complement the meals.

Grab your copy here

Brief history of the Yakitori grill

Yakitori is old Japanese street food. It originated sometime in the Meiji Era (1868 to 1912). At that time, skewered pork was very popular.

Yakiton (grilled pork) and kushikatsu (deep-fried pork on skewers) were two street food dishes.

So, the pork skewers are the real inspiration behind Yakitori. The reason chicken became available was because of changing meat preferences and scarcity. 

In this period, the Japanese started mass farming and breeding chicken. Since there was so much chicken available, people began to experiment with chicken dishes. 

The Yakitori skewer originated in large urban areas where busy people were looking for convenient and tasty street food to get on the go. Thus, the Yakitori was born as classic street food sold at many street stalls across Japan.

The same cooking method was used then as is today: charcoal. 

How does a yakitori grill work?

The yakitori grill works pretty much like other charcoal grills but since it’s a tabletop grill, you’ll have to use it a bit differently compared to a large outdoor Weber Smokey Mountain, for example. 

In most restaurants, the yakitori is a small rectangular grill that measures only a few inches in depth. Chefs often prepare their dishes at the table or at a central grill that is surrounded by bars.

Binchotan, which is Japanese white coal, is the best fuel source to prepare traditional yakitori. The heat source is very clean and doesn’t impart any flavor to the chicken (or other meats and veggies).

All that yummy charred flavor comes from the binchotan smoke and the contact with the hot grill grates. 

As opposed to cooking at home or outdoors, restaurant grills in Japan can be set to only 200 degrees Fahrenheit so meat takes time to cook. 

The grill will be manned by a chef who will rotate the meat and allow it to cook until the flames are just below. This chef will also monitor the meat’s moisture and adjust the sauce with tare. 

Since yakitori is a unique dining experience people aren’t necessarily in a rush so they can socialize and watch their food getting cooked.

Before being served, the skewers are dunked or brushed with the tare sauce again. The final dip leaves a lacquer-like surface on the chicken, which is sweet and salty yet subtle enough to let the chicken’s flavor shine through.

So, you see, it’s similar to other types of grilling methods. 

How do you make yakitori at home?

Yakitori chefs use sweet soy sauce or basic seasonings like pepper and salt to flavor the chicken. However, your choice won’t be with the flavor used, but the part of the chicken that you want to be grilled on the skewers.

Yakitori grilling uses different parts of a chicken, and this includes skin, thighs, wings, and liver.

Check out this video from Iccocook on Youtube on making Yakitori at home:

Therefore, if you are searching for an indoor tabletop yakitori grill, then you understand how delicious the yakitori is, and the reason why it is very popular in Japan.

The advancement in technology has made it possible to have tabletop yakitori grill options, which can allow you to enjoy this Japanese delicacy from the comfort of your home without having to visit Japan.

Most of these tabletop yakitori grills are not costly and are portable, which means you can move them around your home. In addition, they can be an amazing addition to your existing traditional grill since they won’t consume most of your space.

How do you make yakitori

Making delicious Yakitori requires both skill and the right equipment. Once you get your charcoal grill, the next step is making tasty Yakitori dishes.

About Yakitori charcoal

For an authentic Yakitori experience, you need to try to make it on a charcoal grill. The meat tastes amazing when cooked this way.

What kind of charcoal do you use for Yakitori?

There is traditional Japanese charcoal and it’s called Binchotan. It is a premium type of charcoal and it is quite costly.

If you want to try it, we recommend one you can find on Amazon, it’s called IPPINKA KISHU Pro-Grade Binchotan Charcoal. 

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This type of charcoal burns very well so you don’t need to use a lot at once. It is made from Japanese Oak from Kishu. This is known to produce the best grade of charcoal for the Yakitori grill. Also, it is completely natural and free of chemicals.

Check out the latest prices here

Can you re-use Binchotan charcoal?

If you are careful, then yes, you can reuse the charcoal. This is great news because this charcoal is very expensive compared to other BBQ woods and charcoals. 

How do you reuse the Binchotan charcoal?

You can reuse the charcoal a few times if you submerge the hot coals in cold water as soon as you take them out of the grill. Let them soak a bit then dry them for at least 24 hours, or until completely dry. Keep in mind that they burn well when reused. 

Yakitori meat

This requires the perfect cut of chicken. If you want to try the traditional way, the innards (liver) are the most ideal.

Here are all the chicken parts you can use for Yakitori:

Seasoning and sauce

Next, choose the right sauce for your skewers. Most restaurants offer two types of seasoning or sauce.

Shio is just salt. Many people prefer to season the meat with salt only because it allows the meat’s flavors to come through. This is especially tasty with innards, so you can taste them properly.

If you want a classic Yakitori sauce, try Tare.

Tare is a special sauce made from mirin, soy sauce, sake, and sugar. It has a sweet and savory flavor, perfect for dipping your meat. 

Skewers

The bamboo skewers are considered to be the best. These are called teppogushi in Japanese. To prevent the skewers from catching fire while grilling, you will need to soak them in water 20 or so minutes before grilling.

This type of skewer is different because it has a tapered end to make it easy to turn. 

Once this is done, you will need to cut the meat into small cube-like sizes and then pierce the flesh right through the middle using the skewers.

You can add scallions between the pieces of meat, but this is optional. Once you have done this, then the next question to ask is, how do you cook the Yakitori.

Also read about these delicious red mung bean paste buns

How to cook the meat

The best Yakitori cuisines are barbecued on a charcoal grill, charcoal being preferred because it gives a consistent moderate heat.

However, you will have to wait for the charcoal to burn until they are white so as they get the optimal temperature.

Once you are done with the grilling, you can serve the Yakitori with any other dish of your choice.

Check out this complete Yakitori cooking guide and find a tasty recipe.

Make-Yakitori-at-home-2

How do you eat Yakitori?

By now you probably know how to make the best Yakitori cuisines and the right grill to use when grilling.

So, it comes to the question of how best do you eat your Yakitori cuisines.

Since the Yakitori dishes are made to order, you can start by ordering small bits first rather than doing huge chunks all at once.

When the dishes finally land on your plate, you should start by eating the lightly seasoned meals first and then increase the flavors as you go by.

This way you will be able to have the best Yakitori experience.

It is always advisable to bite the meat while it is still on the skewer.

The amount of effort that has been put into making the Yakitori dish is enormous, and this is why the taste is even better while eating the meat while it’s still on the skewer.

Can I use chopsticks to eat Yakitori?

However, you can use chopsticks to remove the meat from the skewers if you are not comfortable eating on the skewer. So, yes, you can use chopsticks to avoid messy eating. 

Most restaurants usually place a small cup where the used skewers are placed, so there is no need to worry about where to place them after use.

In case you cannot find the cup, it is always nice to ask for one.

How to order Yakitori

It’s very easy to order Yakitori because it is just like ordering fast food or other street-foods. You want to order at least two types of skewers to really appreciate the taste of this dish.

Foodicles recommend ordering a few sticks with your drink and then ordering a few more with another drink.

If you want to order like a local, order chicken wings (tebasaki) in the first round.

This cut of meat takes at least 20-30 minutes to properly grill, so you need to wait around. In the meantime, order something that’s ready quickly.

The portions are relatively small so you want to order different sticks to satisfy your hunger. Each skewer has approximately 4 or 5 pieces of meat on it.

Yakitori is best served alongside Japanese draft beer or sake. That’s the way to enjoy this food like the locals.

How much does Yakitori cost in Japan?

In Japan, they sell Yakitori cuisines by the stick. So, there are many types of Yakitori skewers and you choose your favorites. Some food stalls and restaurants offer them in pairs. 

The price of one stick of Yakitori goes for about 100 Yens. But in some areas, the cost can be as high as 200 Yens, depending on the restaurant’s prestige.

In some eateries, they offer different combination plates that come with different kinds of Yakitori. This is the best option for you when you want to try many types. 

The Japanese have named the different types of Yakitori cuisines depending on which part of the meat is used.

Some of the most famous Yakitori cuisines are:

Momo and Negima are made with meat from the thighs with the latter having additional pieces of leek in between.

Those, among others, are just but a few types of famous Yakitori dishes. The flavor and texture of a different kind of meat usually make a difference.

Different types of sauces can be used to season the skewers with the most common ones being seasoned with Tare (Yakitori sauce) or Shio (salt).

What are traditional yakitori grills made of?

The first yakitori-like grills were made of clay. It’s a special type of clay called diatomaceous earth and it’s very heat-resistant but can be fragile and crack over time. 

But it’s believed that real yakitori grills were made of iron but those are too heavy to move around so these days the grills are made of lightweight steel and that makes them portable.

Yakitori vs Hibachi grill

Many people still don’t know that there’s a difference between the Yakitori and Hibachi grill. 

The main similarity between the two is that they’re both Japanese tabletop grills and use charcoal as the fuel source. 

In the past, the hibachi was a room heater, not a grill for cooking. 

Hibachi:

Although traditional hibachi was used for heating rather than cooking, the name hibachi was adopted to market traditional tabletop grills abroad.

The term “hibachi”, which is used to describe small Japanese charcoal grills or Japanese food, is frequently used outside Japan. 

Hibachi is available in a round porcelain form as well as a rectangular design made of cast iron, stainless steel, or aluminum.

Yakitori:

Yakitori is a grill as well as a cooking method, and food (skewers). 

Two popular Japanese grilled foods are yakiton and Yakitori. Yakitori is grilled chicken meat in the form of a skewer.

It’s grilled with different parts of the chicken and grilled on charcoal until it’s crisp on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. The thing is that you can make yakitori on hibachi grills too. 

Yakiton is the same method of cooking but for pork. Both cooking styles aim to use all parts of the animal. It’s not uncommon to see dishes like chicken hearts or pork intestines.

The Yakitori grill is used to cook all kinds of yakiniku (Japanese bbq). 

Bottom line

Most meat lovers will probably have tried the sweet and savory Yakitori cuisines that are every BBQ lover’s list.

Knowing how to prepare the cuisine and using the right grill will go a long way in ensuring that you can recreate the fantastic Yakitori experience at your home.

Japanese cuisines are one of the fastest-growing in the industry. This is why there are many grills in the market right now. Hopefully, with the information we have provided you, you can make the right choice.

The best part about Yakitori grills is that they are versatile. You can cook all kinds of food on them. And you can even make Yakitori on a classic smoker grill.

Choose a grill size suited for your family because this is an excellent way to get value for your money. Now, you can be on your way to making delicious Yakitori dishes in your kitchen or outdoors. 

Also read: can you use binchotan charcoal on a konro grill indoors?

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.