They say that any professional is only as good as the tools he or she uses and that is very true with the Japanese hibachi chefs.
In order to bring about the best hibachi recipes, hibachi chefs require the sharpest, the most well balanced, most ergonomic, and most efficient cooking/kitchen tools to work with.
So remember each time you eat at a hibachi restaurant or a hibachi recipe prepared in a styrofoam container, it was meticulously made with over a dozen ingredients for your amusement and appetite.
The Chef’s Favourite Hibachi Tools
There are dozens of tools needed to make hibachi-style recipes; however, the ones that hibachi chefs often use on the grill include the hibachi knife, fork, spatulas, scraper, and tongs.
Cutting and chopping meat, vegetables and other ingredients are the first things that chefs do in preparing sumptuous hibachi meals. This is where the hibachi knife is most useful.
Mixing the ingredients on the hibachi iron griddle is another type of work that chefs do throughout the preparation and cooking time. Again the hibachi spatulas are what the chef works with when he does this.
Find out what other tools the hibachi chef uses below:
The gyuto knife is what Japanese hibachi chefs commonly use in hibachi restaurants because its versatility is unmatched.
Generally, the gyuto has a lot in common with the Western-style chef’s knife, particularly in its characteristics. You can equate it as being a hybrid between a traditional Japanese nakiri and a Western cook’s knife, yet is better than both evolving to being able to perform a multitude of tasks including slicing fish meat and vegetables.
It has been designed to have a long and thin blade that makes it nimble in the kitchen.
The blade’s profile is somewhat similar to the Sabatier knife from France, except for the curve of the belly of the cutting edge is not as pronounced as those of the sabatiers.
Gyotos are mostly designed for push chopping, but some with more pronounced blade profiles you can use to rock chop anything in the recipe.
- DALSTRONG Phantom Series
- Imarku Pro Kitchen 8 Inch Chef’s Knife High Carbon Stainless Steel Sharp Gyutou Knives Ergonomic Equipment
- Imarku Pro Kitchen 8 Inch Chef’s Knife High Carbon Stainless Steel Sharp Gyutou Knives Ergonomic Equipment
- ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch – Alpha-Royal Series
Also read: these are the best Hibachi BBQ grills
Since grilling is involved in just about every hibachi recipe, one cannot work without the hibachi fork in a hibachi grill.
This funny-looking kitchen tool is reminiscent of Poseidon’s Trident, although it is more likely a bi-dent for having only 2 sharp protrusions, is good for picking up large chunks of meat and relocating them across the grill.
Hibachi chefs use the fork and knife in tandem when the meat requires chopping or cutting in any shape to fit what the recipe requires.
The hibachi fork can also be used for entrée course in dinner, especially when one of the recipes in the menu is a grilled or roasted meat.
- Lamson 33400 Granny Fork 7 inch Walnut
- New Star Foodservice 38224 BBQ Fork 13inch
- Sunrise 10 inch Carving Meat Fork with Wood Handle
- OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Fork
A spatula is a broad, flat, flexible blade used to mix, spread and lift material including foods, drugs, plaster, and paints. The hibachi spatula, on the other hand, is exclusively designed for culinary use, but it does retain its original purpose which is to mix things, in this case, it’s the hibachi recipe.
The chef uses the spatulas when he’ll start cooking the recipes on the cooktop that he previously prepared. You may see the chef mix the ingredients on the grill surface several dozen times before setting aside for serving. The chef also uses them for doing his hibachi cooking tricks for the customers’ amusement just like how teppanyaki chefs please theirs.
The hibachi spatula can be a pair of solid stainless steel construction, or one having a solid surface while the other has a perforated surface.
- Zenware 3 Piece Stainless Steel Utensil Set with Spatula and Scraper for Teppanyaki Grills and Griddle
- Jordigamo – Deluxe Griddle Spatula Set
- ROMANTICIST 8Pc Professional BBQ Griddle Accessories Kit in Gift Box
- Blackstone Signature Griddle Accessories
The grill scraper is used to scrape out oil, grease and in some cases when the chef is cleaning the grill; it is used to scrape out burnt food debris too!
At times the chef uses the hibachi scraper to help in mixing the ingredients or remove stubborn fried chunks of food that needed to be set aside for later use or for serving. The grill scraper can also be used for other grills like the regular commercial cooktop, or the teppanyaki grill.
It is usually made of stainless steel with a riveted wooden or polyethylene handle designed to withstand the temperatures of the grill, so you can use it for a long time before replacing it.
*See hibachi spatula recommended brands as the spatula and the grill scraper are often sold as a set-piece.
Tongs are a type of tool created to serve as hand “extensions” in order to pick up, grip and lift objects so as to avoid getting the hand in contact with the otherwise delicate or harmful objects being worked on.
There are many forms of tongs adapted to their specific use.
The tongs that are designed to have long arms which have flat circular/oblong or any variety of similar shape that is also pivoted at the joint near the hand are tongs used to handle delicate objects.
Those fire-tongs that you see in advertisements that are used for handling charcoal pieces are examples of this kind of tongs.
The hibachi and BBQ tongs also belong in this category of tongs (they are also used for serving salad or spaghetti).
Made of commercial-grade stainless steel with sometimes polyethylene plastic cover along the arms to protect your hand further from heat conduction.
- Maitys Set of 6 Cooking Tongs 9 12 and 14-Inch Stainless Steel Locking Kitchen Tongs Heavy Duty
- GRILLHOGS Barbecue Grill Tongs
- DRAGONN Premium Set of 12-inch and 9-inch Stainless-Steel Locking Kitchen Tongs
- GrillPro 40240 16-Inch Stainless Steel Tong Turner Combination
You will need to use BBQ or heat-resistant gloves if you’re operating a gas, charcoal or wood pellets grill (electric grills no longer requires such level of protection). Most BBQ gloves are just sewn with thick layers of clothing and insulating material, but for the high-quality heat-resistant gloves, they are made with 2-3 layers of different materials that offer more protection.
For example, the Homemaxs BBQ Gloves 147F Extreme Heat Resistant Grill Gloves is built with 3 unique layers that not only insulates heat but also makes the gloves skid, cut, acid and alkali resistant. The inner layer is made of polyester-cotton for double protection and comfort when you work your way around the kitchen.
This glove is measured and tested to be 4 times stronger than leather. It is ideal not just for grilling, but cutting, cooking, baking, woodworking, welding, and some other industrial work.
The ideal BBQ gloves should have non-slip qualities, is breathable even under extreme conditions. It must also be easy to clean and maintain and most of all it must have a reasonable price.
- Heatsistance Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves
- Jolly Green Products Ekogrips BBQ Oven Gloves
- YUXIER BBQ Grill Gloves 1472F Extreme Heat Resistant Oven Mitts Kitchen Gloves
- great 147g Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves Food Grade Kitchen Oven Mitts
A brush is a common tool with bristles, wire or other filaments. The grill brush is a type of brush that’s designed to clean the hibachi grill.
The grill brush is not used during cooking times, but after all the cooking is done, so it may not be considered as a primary tool used by hibachi chefs. However, they do use it at the end of each day as hibachi grills need to be clean and sanitized before the chef prepares any recipe on it.
Most modern grill brushes are made with chainmail and not steel wires bristles, this not only makes them efficient in removing stubborn stains deeply and quickly but also safe for the grill surface as it will leave no scratches on it.
The grill brush is safe for gas grill, charcoal, smoker, porcelain, char-broil, infrared grill or other types like Weber grill or Foreman grill, etc.
- Cook Time Safe Grill Brush
- GRILLART Grill Brush and Scraper Best BBQ Brush for Grill
- Weber 6494 12-Inch 3-Sided Grill Brush
- Char-Broil Cool Clean Nylon Bristle Grill Brush
8 Reasons Why You Should Dine in a Hibachi Restaurant
- Everything kind of tastes the same – go to any Western restaurant and you’ll get the usual on the menu such as pasta, beef enchiladas, barbecued oysters with chipotle glaze, etc. In an authentic Japanese hibachi restaurant, you’ll be in a surprise of your life!
- There are no courses, it’s just freestyle cooking – ever heard of the okonomiyaki? Well, it literally means “whatever you want.” Does Western restaurant make a similar offer? No? Then here’s one more reason why you should try hibachi restaurants.
- The chef can play with you by literally throwing food into your mouth from a distance – it’s like being in a magic show and you get called from the crowd to assist the magician. It’s a wonderful feeling!
- Every meal is prepared and cooked right in front of your eyes – more and more people want transparency these days from politics to companies selling them products or services they want to know the process involved in making those things. Hibachi restaurants though did it before it became the trend.
- The chef’s knife skills are quite entertaining – hibachi chefs can do with the knife what magicians can do with their cards.
- Hibachi chefs are not snobs unlike those Western aristocratic entitled celebrity kitchen people – Western chefs are kind of obnoxious people who despite doing their very best to please their guests also dislikes mingling with them. It’s understandable as they covet the Michelin star on their name/restaurant, so they could care less about their guests. Hibachi chefs, on the other hand, are like your next-door neighbor, Bill, who greets you each time he sees you and will not mind sitting on the couch in your living room, drinking beer while watching football.
- Hibachi chefs will excite you putting you right next to a fiery grill – if you’ve ever been to a bonfire or a campfire, then you know that it can be somewhat dangerous and/or sometimes exciting to get close to it. Well, in hibachi restaurants the griddle is mostly on fire, so you’ll really feel the heat sitting 2 feet from it. In some cases, you might get small burns but chefs are quite cautious when handling the grill, knife, spatula and other things while operating the grill.
- It’s like watching a circus show while enjoying very delicious meals – while it may not be as grand as magic or circus shows, it can make you drop your jaw sometimes and applaud the hibachi chef for the tricks he performs. Plus you will always enjoy the food no matter how many times you come back, so it’s going to fun and you’re definitely coming back for more!
Check out this post as well: the best Japanese Sushi knives that’ll make your life easier
Brief Hibachi History
The word hibachi is a fusion of two Japanese words which are hi which means “fire” and Hachi which also means “pot” or “bowl.” If literally translated to English, then hibachi means “fire bowl” and there is some truth to this as once upon a time they were exactly used for that purpose – to heat ancient Japanese homes.
Soon some Japanese commoners tried to place a grill on top of the hibachi heater and started cooking BBQ foods, until later on in the Meiji era it became a tool used for cooking grilled foods. Their small size meant they could be carried to any convenient location within the household.
The rounded shaped hibachis were probably made with cast iron or bronze, but the hibachis of square or rectangular shapes were made of ceramic porcelain materials.
Other construction methods included gouging out the lower portion of a large tree that has been cut down and filling the inside with a copper lining.
Box-shaped hibachis are typically made of wood and some of them exhibit an oblong shape also.
There were some instances where ornate wooden boxes with visible wood-grain have been used to hold the metal strips around the hibachi. The purpose of these metal strips is to reinforce the hibachi’s construction.
Some hibachis were built with cabinets, drawers, lids, and receptacles. These added features are for storing hibachi tools and for putting out the fires from the charcoal. Sometimes a tool that allows for the tea-kettles to stand on is also created as an accessory of the hibachi.
Also read: how is Teppanyaki different from HIbachi?