4 Best Yakitori Charcoal Grills reviewed +some grilling tips

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 25, 2020

Yakitori is a delicious Japanese 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 pieces of chicken meat.

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.

It’s such a fantastic experience, that comes from eating Yakitori dishes, that most people are trying to recreate the whole experience in their homes.

The best 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 Charcoal Yakitori grill: Fire Sense Fire-sense-large-bincho-grill(view more images)
Best portable Yakitori grill: Uten Barbecue Charcoal Grill Uten portable lightweight charcoal grill for binchotan(view more images)
Best standing Yakitori grill: C-Hopetree 22” Stainless Steel Charcoal Satay Grill C-Hopetree-22”-yakitori-grill(view more images)
Largest Yakitori grill: Party Griller 32” PArty-griller-yakitori-grill(view more images)
Best Gas Yakitori grill: Iwatani Aburiya Best gas yakitori grill Iwatani Aburiya(view more images)

Best Yakitori Grills reviewed

Yakitori-grills-reviewed

The most important being the Yakitori charcoal grill. Don’t worry if you don’t know the grill to buy as we 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 Charcoal Yakitori grill: Fire Sense

Up first on our list is the Large Yakitori Grill that comes from Fire Sense.

This traditional Japanese grill is made of clay mold, and its interior is made of ceramic. The ceramic is tailored to help distribute the heat for even grilling.

Fire-sense-large-bincho-grill
(view more images)

 

This fire sense grill comes with two ventilation doors which allow the user to control the heat.

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.

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 it is not exactly safe for indoor use.

Users should also ensure that the grill does not get wet since it tends to break when wet.

Besides that, 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.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

Also read: these are the differences between Sushi and Sashimi

Best portable Yakitori grill: 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.

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

 

Additionally, the grill can withstand both heat and moisture making it ideal for barbecuing.

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

Check out the latest prices here on Amazon

Best standing Yakitori grill: C-Hopetree 22” Stainless Steel Charcoal Satay Grill

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

Just like the Uten BBQ Charcoal Grill, this is also another great addition if you like outdoor events such as tailgating and camping.

 

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

For optimal heat and excellent heat control, this grill has a bottom venting mechanism.

The C-Hopetree 22” Stainless Steel Charcoal Satay Grill is easy to clean, and it also has detachable legs.

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.

Buy the C-Hopetree here

Largest Yakitori grill: Party Griller 32”

The free tall-standing grill has a grilling area that measures 32 inches by 8 inches by 7 inches. It weighs about 16 pounds and stands at 34 inches high.

The grill is made of stainless steel and has multi-functional capabilities.

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools

 

The manufacturer ensured that the user would have even temperature control and this is the reason why ventilation units on each side.

Furthermore, the grill comes with two seasoning shakers that are made of stainless steel. The manufacturer also includes a cover and BBQ tongs.

Even though the grill is not your typical Yakitori grill, it is still tailored to fit when you are preparing your Yakitori dishes.

The height of this grill does not make it ideal for table sided cuisines, and it is probably not child-friendly. It is also not suitable for outdoor use, and it is a delicate piece of equipment.

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

Check it out here on Amazon

Best Gas Yakitori grill: Iwatani Aburiya

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 thin 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 Iwatani Fired Burning (ABURIYA) CB-ABR-1:

 

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 Chefman Electric since it has a powerful 180 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 Iwatani Yakitori Grill 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 couple activity. It’s an entire experience on its own.

I got about 6 grillings out of a $4 can of gas, and the best part is that you can find the cans at any sporting goods place.

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

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 just enough to have a good grip on the meat without getting too close to the heat.

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.

skewers on a grill

The Iwatani yakitori gas grill is perfect for use on the tabletop and is ideal for yakitori grilling. It has a surface of 15.8 x 9.7x 5.3 inches and is pretty light at 5.8 pounds.

There are 3 heat levels that can be adjusted and Iwatani is a Japanese quality brand. You can sear your skewers or steaks very quickly and this little grill does a pretty good job bringing the heat!

The instructions are entirely in Japanese, but the assembly is pretty intuitive so you don’t really need the instructions.

This grill utilizes canisters that you can purchase for quite cheap, we suggest that you stick to the Iwatani brand, but any canister works.

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

This grill is perfect for cooking for 1 person or for a couple.

I thought it would also be good to look at some gas Yakitori grill options, particularly the Iwatani. It’s just that not everyone wants the hassle of working with a charcoal grill.

The Iwatani is constructed to work with cassettes of butane gas to heat the grill. This makes setting up and grilling in minutes simple and quick, you’ll be up and running in no time.

We still classify it as a Yakitori grill to be used mainly outdoors, because it still generates quite a bit of smoke, even if 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.

It’s a Japanese built barbecue grill and you can easily cook for 2 to 4 people at the same time and as mentioned before, you can cook usually cook around 6 meals with a single canister.

This is a great grill to create and enjoy a cozy barbecue moment with a partner, loved ones or close friends.

It’s also a great alternative if you don’t want to deal with charcoal. Perfect Japanese grill to meet your Japanese barbecue requirements.

Check out the Iwatani gas yakitori grill here

What to Look For In a Grill

First up, let us see a few tips on having the right grill, not only for your Yakitori but also for other types of dishes.

One of the most important questions to ask yourself is what kind of grill do you need and what is your budget.

Then you have to consider the size, which mainly depends on where you intend to use it, and then there is 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.

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.

When it comes to Yakitori grills, there are several things you should consider, 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 interior should probably be made with ceramic coating since this will help radiate the heat and help you have a slow and consistent grill.

How Do You Make Yakitori?

a yakitori skewer

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

This will require you to get the correct type of chicken meat with the innards being the most ideal. You will also need to choose the right sauce for you and skewers.

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

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

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

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 on the while eating the meat while it’s still on the skewer.

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

Most of the 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 Much Does Yakitori Cost In Japan?

In Japan, Yakitori cuisines are usually sold by the stick with some places offering 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.

In some eateries, they will offer different combination plates that come with different kinds of Yakitori.

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; Tebasaki which is made of meat from the wings, Reba which is made with meat from the liver, Torikawa, which is also called tawa, uses meat from fatty chicken skin.

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 textile of a different kind of meat usually make the difference but all the same, a Yakitori cuisine is always one to savor.

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).

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, and this is why there are many grills in the market right now, but thankfully with the information we have provided you, you can make the right choice.

You can also consider a grill that can be used for other grilling needs on top of being Yakitori charcoal grills.

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools

This will be an excellent way to get value for your money. With that, you will go on your way to making delicious Yakitori dishes in your kitchen or even your background.

Also read: a recipe for every type of Japanese noodle

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.