Best Yattoko Handleless Japanese pots: Cooking Pan & Pincers reviewed

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Pincers pan “Yattoko Nabe” is a Japanese cooking pot that has no handle.

You hold the top of the pot with the pincers called “Yattoko” when handling the pot since they don’t have a handle.

They’re easy to keep in storage and you can save a lot of space since they can be stacked. But they’re not that easy to find so let me help with that.

Yattoko pots and pincers

They’re also a great way to cook more efficiently if you cook using many pots at the same time since they take up less space!

I’ll start by discussing what makes yattoko cooking pots special, and share some tips on how to get the most out of them.

Yattoko pots have gained popularity as a lightweight inexpensive option that can be stacked effortlessly. The hammered aluminum makes the metal stronger and enables it to conduct heat very well.

For kitchens with very restricted space, these handle-less pots are fantastic. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need Yattoko Cooking Pot Pincers in order to move the hot Yattoko pots due to their handle-less nature.

Most Yattoko pots have a 20 cm to 22 cm diameter (roughly 8.5 inches on average) and can handle up to 2.8 liters of liquid or 740 grams.

Their lids are sold separately.

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Best Yattoko Cooking Pots reviewed

Best yattoko pot: Akao Aluminum

It’s 21 cm in diameter and has 8.5 cm of depth. With an aluminum base alloy and being made in Japan, it doesn’t get more authentic than this.

This handleless Japanese pot is excellent for individuals who have a very tiny kitchen and need a lot of pots. The beauty of this container is that they have no handles, so you can have a whole variety of dimensions nesting in each other completely.

The downside is also that they don’t have handles, soto move/pick up the pot you will need to get a couple of heavy-duty pliers /pincers.

These are thick aluminum pots that won’t readily warp, bend or dent. The unique exterior design is not only ornamental, but it also helps to heat up the pot more quickly. The dents make the metal denser and warm up more quickly.

Check out current prices and availability here

Best handle-less pot set: Tefal Ingenio

Best handle-less pot set: Tefal Ingenio

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Of course, there’s nothing traditional Japanese about this handle-less pan set, but if you want the same advantages as the yattoko gives you in a modern look, these Tefal Ingenio is your answer.

The Tefel ingenio handle-less pan set is a chef’s dream. With patented technology and quality materials you can cook all types of dishes without worrying about metalware odor or rusting effect.

The extra thick hard base ensures durability with fantastic heat distribution while the Tefal thermo spot knows when to turn on each burner, preventing overheating.

It even has oven safe up to 260 degrees celcius so there are no limits for this versatile kitchen tool!

It’s much more versatile than the yattoko from Akao, plus it has the “pinchers” included. But it doesn’t have that same hammered aluminum heat distribution you’d get with a traditional one.

Check prices and availability here

Traditional Yukihira pots

Here’s one of the traditional Japanese cookware’s finest examples: the YukiHira Nabe. Japanese Yukihira pots can even be used on induction hobs and these too have hammered aluminum surfaces.

YukiHira Nabe is a lightweight aluminum hammered pot. It’s very simple to maneuver with the use of yattoko pincers.

Basically, Yukihira pots can be spotted in every Japanese kitchen. However, these have a single wooden handle so while they’re convenient, they’re not really the best option to store.

The aluminum and hammered surface perform heat rapidly and effectively, making it ideal for Japanese noodles or bouillon (dashi)! For every chef or home cook, it could quickly become an excellent all-purpose cookware product.

The pots do not come with lids, but they traditionally use dense Japanese cedar drop caps, keeping food under the liquid and helping to boil more quickly.

I recommend that you get at least two or three of these boxes, along with the pincers. I understand they’re costly to some, but they’re going to last a lifetime because they’re done very well and even the most abusive kitchen can’t stop them.

View more Yukihira pots here

As an alternative, you can also get the Yattoko Aluminum Cooking Pot by Akaoarumi which is slightly smaller. Eventually, you’ll be filling up your kitchen with multiple sizes.

Best Yattoko Cooking Pot Pincers

When it comes to Yattoko pots, your pincers are just as important in order to securely grasp and move your pot, even when hot. There are many expensive options on Amazon, but the price doesn’t determine quality.

The best ones we’ve tried are the TKG Yattoko Cooking Pot Pincers. We’ve used them daily in the kitchen with no issues so far and they’re reasonably priced.

Just keep in mind that they might still get a bit hot (still manageable) since they transfer heat a bit quickly so you’ll still need you handy mittens or gloves to stay safe.

How to care for your Yattoko Nabe

  • Fill it with water before first use and add 1/2 cup of vegetable peelings. Boil about 15 minutes on high heat. This will stop the discoloration of your bowl.
  • If after several uses the pot gets discolored inside, don’t worry, it’s still okay and secure for you.
  • Fill the pot with water and 1/2 lemon thinly chopped if you want to take it back to its initial finish. Boil for approximately 15 minutes. Then use a sponge to clean it up.

Is Aluminum Cookware Safe?

Cooking in aluminum pans and pots is dangerous based on the thought that aluminum can dissolve into the food. Should cookware made out of aluminum be discouraged?

Lightweight aluminum is an outstanding thermal driver, but with acidic ingredients such as vegetables, vinegar, and lemon it is also extremely reactive. Cooking these in an aluminum can change the flavor and texture of the food and leave a stained surface in the pan. In our experiments, we’ve found an unpleasant metallic taste in aluminum pots in tomato sauce and citrus curd.

However, the quantity of aluminum leaching into meat is minimal. Tomato sauce that we baked for two hours in an aluminum pot and then placed overnight in the same jar was discovered to contain only 0.0024 milligrams of aluminum per cup in laboratory experiments. (There may be more than 200 milligrams of aluminum in a single antacid tablet.) So technically the opinion in the medical society is that using aluminum cookware does not pose a health risk.

In brief: Although untreated aluminum is not hazardous, it should not be used with acidic ingredients that can destroy both the cookware and the food in them. Note also that anodized aluminum cookware (hardened by a method that makes it non-reactive) or covered in a non-reactive product, such as stainless steel or non-stick coating, does not dissolve into or react with food.

How can you enjoy the traditional yattoko cooking pot experience?

The head cook — the oyakata, literally the manager— wields the knife in a traditional Japanese restaurant kitchen and controls the cutting board. He observes and oversees every stage of food preparation, starting with fish procurement early in the morning. His No. 2 person, the ni-kata, stands close to the chef and plays an extremely important part in the kitchen.

The main tasks of the ni-kata are to make all the stocks and cook all the vegetables, as well as to supervise the cooking of anything in the kitchen during the service hours of the restaurant. The title of the ni-kata stems primarily from what he or she does. Ni is the verb niru’s root, to cool down. The significance of this cooking method becomes apparent when you recognize that the individual with perhaps the most knowledge in the kitchen, second only to the chef, handles everything cooked in a Japanese kitchen with care.

At home, many Japanese are increasingly distancing themselves from many of these initial techniques of simmering. They miss the chance to appreciate the unadulterated aroma of cooked ingredients by using fast, immediate dashi when preparing regular food.

There are many distinct methods falling into the category of cooking — more than 20 have been mentioned in the latest cooking terms dictionary. While some fancy techniques are reserved for fish and other meats, we will start by searching at the easiest techniques of cooking with just dashi, soy, mirin, sake and sometimes a pinch of sugar.

I recommend purchasing at least one of the traditional pounded-aluminum steaming pans or pots for best results. I use one that has no grip, called a yattoko-nabe, which has a unique pair of pincers called yattoko. These ribbed aluminum pots are rounded at the bottom to uniformly spread heat and are nearly impossible to ruin or burn your food in.

Also helpful is a drop lid, otoshi-buta, somewhat bigger than the container. It allows cooking at reduced temperatures — preserving thermal — and also guarantees that the components are totally immersed and do not move around and fall apart in the simmering pan.

A two-step method is the fundamental cooking method for vegetables. The first stage is to parboil the vegetables or blanch them. Before cooking in flavored dashi, vegetables sliced into chopstick-manageable dimensions are boiled shortly. To add any flavor, guarantee even boiling and set the color, foods are parboiled in this way.

Very small-cut green beans and herbs should be put shortly in already boiling salted water before being transferred to freezing water to stop cooking and set color. Cooking bigger, sliced vegetables— like root plants— should start over a nice fire in cold water to boil the parts uniformly. Carefully drain the baked products into a colander and cool them with a handheld fan. Now they’re prepared to cook the parboiled vegetables.

The vegetables should be shortly cooked in dashi in a pan so that any scum floating to the top can be ladled out. Seasoning is to be presented at this stage. There are a lot of methods, and every chef has his or her own style of when and how much to add to what.

For instance, various cooks have shared with us that the mirin should definitely be added first, or always added last. More essential than incorporating this and that, I think, is cooking consistency. When a chef claims he’s always adding something first, it’s often because that chef’s only used to that, and it’s comfortable for him.

Seasoning quantities also differ by choice and opportunity. The objective is often how plates are presented in fine restaurants as well as taste, and very small amounts of light soy sauce are used to preserve the color of the vegetables carefully prepared. At home, the preference is for taste, not appearance, and some house cooks use big quantities of dark soy and sugar, which restaurant chefs call inaka-ni— or simmering country style — because it reminds them of the dark soy-heavy cooking of their grandmothers or mothers.

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Ebisu-nankin no nimono

This is the fundamental dashi simmering method that retains the pumpkin’s subtle flavor. Nankin is Kansai’s favored word for kabocha squash, and the use of this word on a menu may suggest the chef will prepare it in the heavier Kansai fashion. Nankin is now commonly accessible abroad and is often referred to as kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin.

Often served in the nimono course— in southern Japan, it’s called takiawase— nankin is combined with a piece of taro stem, a chicken or crab sauce, and something green like snow peas. Others might prefer to present it alone, similarly delightful served warm or cooled with some of the cooling liquid, garnished with a seven-spice shake (shichimi-togarashi).

Everything You Need to Know about “Nabe”!

a dish in a traditional pot next to a small bowl of rice

“Nabe” in Japanese signifies pot, which traditionally relates to a home-cooking style that is made in a pot. Usually consumed in Japan during the cold season. Nabe pots and meals are available in many shapes and forms. Nabe meals packed with vegetables have been the common choices for health-conscious eaters in latest years.

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Secrets to Crafting a Delicious Nabe

The ease of simply cutting and adding ingredients is one of the great features of nabe. However, there’s more to it than just combining your favorite foods. The following tips will give you delicious results.

Tip #1: The importance of timing

You will need to change up and vary your cooking times depending on the ingredient.

Parts that don’t boil readily should be introduced as quickly as the heat is switched on to supply them with flavor, such as root vegetables. Only after the broth is hot, mushrooms should be introduced since they can lose their texture from too much cooking.

Thinly chopped meat should be introduced after the broth starts boiling. (Nevertheless, the chicken should be introduced simultaneously with root vegetables.) Leafy vegetables, which are preferred when they still have a smooth texture, should be introduced last before heat reduction
and cooking.

Tip #2: Boost flavors

By combining all the ingredients you can boost the flavors and get better and delicious results. For example, meat with the bone, shellfish, and crustaceans combined with kelp, tomatoes and mushrooms can not only have great aroma but also taste even more delicious than if you were to cook them separately.

Also read: the best Teppanyaki hot plate for easier Japanese cooking

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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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.