How to Use an Outdoor Teppanyaki Fire Pit

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 23, 2020

And you thought you’ve seen the best that a teppanyaki iron griddle can do, now didn’t you? Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

It seems that the Japanese have no limits to their creativity and ingenuity, because while the teppanyaki grill is impressive by all measure there is another device that rivals its magnificence in the cooking department – and that is the outdoor teppanyaki fire pit.

Much like its progenitor (the teppanyaki grill) the teppanyaki outdoor fire pit came about decades after the grill first appeared a few years just after WWII.

It’s a very handy cooking device as it can be used as a coffee/tea table during the day, a barbecue grill in the afternoon or at night if you remove the cover plate and replace it with the cooking grill on top, and an open fire pit to counterbalance the cold evening where you and your family and friends can gather ‘round for some warm and cozy chat.

The base of the teppanyaki firepit is akin to that of a hibachi, but a basin and a large flat toroid shape cover table is added on top of it.

So one can argue that it is a combination of the hibachi design plus an assortment of other useful designs that made it a great cooking tool and a fire pit all in one.

Look at all the accesories Teppanyaki cooking has to offer in this post

What is a Teppanyaki Outdoor Fire Pit and Why was it Invented?

A teppanyaki outdoor fire pit is a multipurpose outdoor heating device, barbecue grill, and a coffee table.

While the hibachi (the basis for its design) also served a similar purpose this new device, however, can do a lot more as it appears.

There is no definitive date as to when it was exactly invented and it cannot also be attributed to ancient Japanese designs, or be remotely related to the regular teppanyaki iron griddle which appeared after the Second World War.

Therefore it can only be assumed that it evolved from normal outdoor fire pits which have already been in circulation since ancient times.

The reason for its creation is that manufacturers wanted to sell something new and an alternative to the teppanyaki iron griddle where light cooking outdoors would make it fun and exciting.

It also allows the user to grill foods such as steak, shrimp, chicken barbecue and other meats and vegetables. The cover plate which also serves as the coffee/tea table when you’re not burning coals in can also be used as toroid-shaped teppanyaki grill as opposed to the standard rectangular grill.

And, of course, you can also use it as an outdoor fire pit for all your evening leisure time.

In this post here I’ve reviewed some more outdoor Teppanyaki grills so you’ll have a few more options to choose from when it comes to cooking outdoors.

Why Would You Need One Anyway?

That’s a good question! Why would you need an outdoor teppanyaki fire pit when you already have a stove, freestanding oven and maybe even a decent charcoal grill?

Well, for one thing, there is no substituting a portable fire pit. The teppanyaki outdoor fire pit can help you transform your patio into a cozy place at night in minutes even when temperatures drop to less than 10° Celsius.

Of course, you can also build an open fire pit in your backyard or patio, but that would be too costly to consider versus the alternative, which is the teppanyaki portable outdoor fire pit, which is like the opposite of a built-in grill in our kitchen.

You could reminisce the old times with your family and friends as you talk by the fire pit, tell jokes to entertain yourselves or plan your strategy for your next volleyball game or something.

Keeping the air in your vicinity warm enough will help you enjoy the night even more, and don’t even get me started on staring at the beautiful night sky because that takes things on a whole new level!

You could cook dozens of teppanyaki cuisines too if you’ll put the cover plate on and enjoy various kinds of Japanese and Western foods; or even other recipes that are not from either region.

Grill all sorts of food just by placing the barbecue grill on top and diversify your food selection further.

The teppanyaki portable outdoor fire pit has just too many advantages and uses to not own one and that is all the reason you need to put this baby in your inventory.

Teppanyaki BBQ Vegetables Recipe


• 1 quarter white cabbage
• 2 carrots
• 1 zucchini
• 4 spring onions
• 1 small red capsicum
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar or 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons mirin or 2 teaspoons dry sherry

Cooking Directions:

  1. Peel the carrots
  2. Peel the onions too, but remove only the outer later and its ends
  3. Cut the capsicum and remove its seed
  4. Cut off both ends of the zucchini too
  5. French cut the vegetables
  6. Turn on the teppanyaki griddle, set to high heat and spread some vegetable oil on it
  7. Stirfry vegetables for one minute./ Stir-fry the vegetables first and cook it for 60 seconds
  8. Pour in the sauces at this time
  9. Keep cooking and stirring them for another 2 minutes
  10. Take a quick taste test to see if you’ve achieved the desired taste. If not, then add more sauces until you do.

More info on the vegetable recipe here

Teppanyaki (Mixed Barbecue) Recipe


• 4 large uncooked prawns (200g)
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 60 ml Japanese soy sauce
• 1 small red chile, seeded, chopped finely
• 350 g chicken breast fillets, skin on, cut into 5cm pieces
• 500 g beef, eye fillet sliced thinly
• 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
• 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly (150g)
• 50 g snow peas, trimmed
• 1 medium red capsicum, seeded, chopped coarsely (200g)
• 4 green onions, chopped finely

For the Dipping Sauce:

• 125 ml Japanese soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon mirin
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
• 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil

Cooking Directions:

  1. Peel the prawns and remove their veins using a deveiner. Get a medium-size bowl and combine the sauce and chilli, garlic and then add the beef, chicken and prawns afterward. Mix thoroughly and set it aside for later use.
  2. Cut off the stems of the mushrooms and then place each head on the chopping board and cut a cross pattern on top dividing them into 4 pieces.
  3. Turn on teppanyaki grill, set temperature to high heat and spread sesame oil over it. Start cooking the ingredients (but not the onions as they are served fresh) by batches between 3 – 5 minutes each until the vegetables are soft and tender. Cook the chicken through (may take about 10 minutes or more) and then cook the beef and prawns later on (around the same amount of time).
  4. Serve with green onion and individual bowls of dipping sauce.
  5. In order to make the dipping sauce just mix the dipping sauce ingredients in a small skillet and cook-stirring them until the sugar has melted.

Beef Teppanyaki


• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons sweet cooking wine (mirin)
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 pound beef chunks, very thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon sweet cooking wine (mirin)

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine the ground ginger, black pepper, garlic powder, mirin and soy sauce. Toss in the sliced beef and mix thoroughly, then leave for 1 hour to marinate.
  2. Pour the vegetable oil over the teppanyaki grill and set heat to medium-high. This time start frying the beef slices for 8 – 10 minutes, and then transfer them onto a large plate once cooked.
  3. Take the leftover marinade and cook them in a small skillet over low heat. Add more mirin and saute’ until the sauce gets thicker (this should take about 1 – 2 minutes) Use this as the sauce for the beef and pour it on top of them and serve.

More info on the teppanyaki beef recipe here

Nutritional Information

Beef Teppanyaki

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 411

Daily Value (%)
Total Fat: 32.1g 49 %
Saturated Fat: 10.0g
Cholesterol: 76mg 25 %
Sodium: 740mg 30 %
Potassium: 380mg 11 %
Total Carbohydrates: 5.4g 2 %
Dietary Fiber: 0.3g 1 %
Protein: 21.7g 43 %
Sugars: 4g
Vitamin A: 2IU
Vitamin C: 0mg
Calcium: 14mg
Iron: 3mg
Thiamin: 0mg
Niacin: 8mg
Vitamin B6: 0mg
Magnesium: 29mg
Folate: 9mcg

Outdoor Fire Pits and Fire Pit Safety

The teppanyaki outdoor portable fire pit is indeed something else than a pit and the value that it adds to your cooking experience is worth more than the price tag that the manufacturers have placed on it.

Having said that, you may want to look into fire pit safety and fire prevention tips as the portable fire pit is potentially hazardous. First, we’ll discuss maintenance of the teppanyaki portable outdoor fire pit.

Since it will be placed outdoors for the remainder of its lifespan, then it is best that you clean it regularly after use and put a cover over it when not in use.

Being left out in the open your portable fire pit is at the mercy of the elements and the wind and rain can quickly wither it away.

For fire safety precautions always remember to put out the charcoal fire when you’re done using the teppanyaki portable outdoor fire pit.

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

You can either just pour the burning coals on the ground in your backyard away from your house and pour water over it, or you can buy the Son of Hibachi specially-made Snuff Out Pouch and extinguish the coals in this handy bag.

Also when you’re using the fire pit do not put flammable stuff close to it (i.e. paper, dry leaves, aerosol sprays, alcohol, kerosene, etc.).

Check out our teppanyaki buying guide for home grill plates and accessories.

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.