Hibachi Grilling | Cookeryaki - Beginner's Guide

Hibachi is a Japanese name for fire bowls. After seeing these compact, box-shaped barbecues, you will understand why. The grill itself has an open grate design, but it is fueled by hot coal, which means it can generate temperatures as high as 200 degrees Celsius. Nowadays, the design has been modernized, so you can find electric models on the market, but we will focus on traditional charcoal fuel grills.

The biggest advantage of these grills is that they save space and are very suitable for small living areas, beach barbecues or travel. You can use them to cook anything, from vegetables to meat, so they are versatile and perfect for small gatherings. Now, when it comes to grilling, there are several factors to consider for a successful grill. Please follow the beginner's guide below to pass your first hibachi grilling course.


Preparing For Success

Although this is not 100% necessary, experts (ie Japanese aquaculture chefs) strongly recommend that you use Japanese dense white charcoal binchotan. This charcoal burns for 3-5 hours and can be reused many times. As an odorless fuel for barbecue, it burns cleanly, can maintain a constant and stable heat, and provide the best effect for your chef.

If you can't find binchotan, you can use lump charcoal or coal, otherwise called hot beads. Just make sure to stay away from fire sources or other synthetic materials, these materials will contaminate your skewers with unpleasant taste and, in some cases, toxic chemicals.


What to Cook

Hibachi grill is synonymous with yakitori, so the usual cooking ingredients include meat and vegetables, which are twisted on wooden skewers. Although kebabs are the most common type of dish, you are not bound by this on the hibachi grill to be cooked. The options are endless, just like a traditional barbecue you can use a hibachi grill to cook all kinds of ingredients. If you insist on using skewers, choose meat or vegetables that are softer and easier to thread, such as zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and thin cuts of meat.

In order to get the best taste, be sure to allow time to soak the ingredients in soy sauce, such as soybeans, sesame oil, chili sauce, etc. The longer you leave the fragrance, the more delicious the final product. Finally, when preparing the kebabs, soak them in water for ten minutes so they don’t catch fire on the grill.


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Ignite Your Grill

To light your barbecue, you need to heat your coals, there are two methods you can follow to do so. Like most chefs, we recommend using a chimney starter. The chimney starter is essentially an open metal cylinder, filled with paper at the bottom and ignited. The coals are stacked above the paper chamber and then heated for 20 minutes, or until they start to glow and flames develop.

Once the coals are ready, put them in your hibachi grill and arrange them in a layer so that the heat distribution is even. As mentioned earlier, the average temperature of the hibachi grill in the center is 200 degrees Celsius, but if you need higher heat, just use a fan or blower to ventilate the coal.


Post Cook

Once you have finished the grilling, it's time to pack your hibachi. Use a pair of long tongs to pick up each piece of coal, soak it in water, and then place it on a tray to dry completely so that they can be used for your next barbecue. Be very careful when handling these hot coals!