Despite limited capacity, a hibachi can be a surprisingly versatile grilling station, particularly if you love to grill meat and simple vegetables.
High heat and a simple open cooktop make hibachi grilling simple and intuitive.
If you’re considering a hibachi of any size, you’ve probably asked the question: what can I cook on a hibachi grill?
Here are the best ideas to help you get started.
The Benefits of a Hibachi
Hibachi charcoal grills are popular because they’re relatively compact and easy to use.
They’re ideal for smaller homes like town homes, apartments, condos, and even for camping and picnicking.
If you choose a hibachi as your next grill, you’ll enjoy benefits like:
- A compact footprint that’s good for smaller yards, patios, tabletops, and campsites.
- A hands-on cooking experience perfect for tabletop cooking at dinner parties.
- Authentic charcoal flavor for delicious cuts of meat and basic vegetables.
- A hoodless cooking experience that helps you to keep a close eye on all ingredients.
- Low cost for even a reliable and high-performance hibachi grill.
- You can add wood chips or pellets in a hibachi grill to get unique smoky flavors.
Hibachi grills may be small, but they are incredibly capable.
You’ll be limited in terms of cooking surface, but you can get amazing results, thanks to charcoal’s inherent ability to impart rich, smoky, and complex flavors.
Best Ingredients for Cooking on a Hibachi Grill
The ingredients you can cook on a hibachi grill are similar to what you would cook on a griddle pan on your stove-top.
Large cuts and bone-in poultry are usually out of the question, due to the long cooking times and large surface area that is needed.
Cooking with indirect heat is difficult on a hibachi, and you won’t be able to cook anything that needs the radiant heat produced when cooking with a hood.
Beyond these limitations, you have plenty of options.
We’ve got some family favorites for you to try at home.
- Steak: Steak is a classic ingredient for hibachi cooking. If you have an extremely compact hibachi, go for smaller and thinner cuts. A standard family-sized hibachi is good for steaks up to an inch thick. Steak benefits from the high direct heat produced by a hibachi grill. For a classic flavor, season with salt and pepper before cooking. The juices will drip down, vaporize, and create a delicious outer crust. For best results, aim for steak that is between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit at its center. Use a reliable meat thermometer for accurate cooking temperatures.
- Sausages and Hot Dogs: Both kids and adults love grilled hot dogs. For classic hot dogs or even flavored sausages, a hibachi is perfect. Score your hot dogs and sausages first to avoid bursting and ensure thorough cooking. Tabletop hibachi grilling is a fun way to teach kids how to grill with adult supervision.
- Burgers: Homemade or even store-bought beef burgers will come out great when cooked over a hibachi grill. The smallest models will only cook a single burger at a time, but you could cook for the whole family when using a larger model like this Kole Imports Hibachi.
- Skewered Vegetables: You can cook vegetables over high heat to lock in flavor over a hibachi grill. Skewered onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, corn, eggplant, zucchini, and even squash can all be combined for deliciously fresh meals.
- Mixed Grill Skewers: If you want to mix things up for a family cooking night or dinner party with friends, mix small cuts of steak with vegetables on skewers. Prepare these in advance and set them next to the tabletop hibachi for a fun and social cooking experience.
An Amazing Charcoal Cooking Experience with Hibachi Grilling
Hibachi grilling is a fantastic way to enjoy the flavors of charcoal cooking while creating a unique and entertaining dining experience.
Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or planning a special meal for family and friends, here’s how to have an amazing charcoal cooking experience with hibachi grilling:
1. Gather Your Equipment
- Hibachi grill: You can purchase a portable hibachi grill from a hardware store or online. These grills are typically small and easy to move around, making them perfect for outdoor gatherings.
- High-quality charcoal: Choose lump charcoal or hardwood charcoal for a cleaner and more authentic flavor.
- Firestarter or chimney starter: You’ll need a way to ignite the charcoal. A chimney starter is a great tool for this.
- Grilling utensils: Invest in a good set of grilling utensils, including tongs, a grill brush, and a spatula.
- Ingredients: Plan your menu and gather the ingredients for your chosen dishes. Hibachi grilling is ideal for cooking a variety of meats, vegetables, and even seafood.
2. Prepare the Grill
- Set up your hibachi grill in a safe and well-ventilated outdoor area away from flammable objects.
- Fill the grill with the desired amount of charcoal and light it using your chosen firestarter method. Wait for the charcoal to ash over and become hot before proceeding.
3. Prep Your Ingredients
- While the charcoal is heating up, prepare your ingredients by marinating, seasoning, and chopping as needed. Hibachi grilling is all about quick cooking, so having everything ready is crucial.
4. Create the Right Atmosphere
- Hibachi grilling is not just about the food; it’s also about the experience. Set up a comfortable seating area around the grill so your guests can enjoy the cooking process.
5. Start Grilling
- Place a cast iron grilling surface or a grate over the hot charcoal.
- Begin grilling your ingredients. Hibachi grilling is fast and intense, so keep a close eye on your food to avoid overcooking.
- Use long-handled tongs and a spatula to flip and move the food around as needed.
- You can create a variety of dishes, from hibachi-style steak and shrimp to grilled vegetables and fried rice.
6. Serve and Enjoy
- As each item finishes cooking, transfer it to serving platters or plates.
- Serve your grilled dishes hot and fresh right off the grill. Consider garnishing with fresh herbs, sauces, or sesame seeds for added flavor.
7. Clean Up
- Allow the grill to cool down completely before cleaning. Empty the ashes, scrub the grates, and store your hibachi grill in a dry place.
Hibachi grilling not only produces delicious food but also provides an interactive and memorable dining experience for your guests.
The sizzling sounds, the aroma of charcoal, and the skillful cooking make it a unique and enjoyable way to share a meal with friends and family.