Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: February 23, 2021
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Hibachi grills are a portable option for anyone who likes grilled meats and veggies. These charcoal-fired grills can do just about anything a standard charcoal grill can. Since hibachi grills tend to be small, they’re perfect for a two-person picnic or camping trip.
In order to help you find the best hibachi grill, we looked at 18 different models that are popular among grillers. Our Editor’s Choice, the Marsh Allen grill, stood out thanks to its cast-iron yet lightweight construction which is great for both home and travel, all at a very affordable price. Of course, we couldn’t just pick one hibachi grill – we also reviewed five runners-up that are good alternatives to the Lodge grill.
In choosing the best hibachi grill, we had a couple of important features to consider. First, we looked at the cooking area, since this will determine whether you can cook for one, two, or even more people. Second, we considered what the grill is made from. Cast iron is longer lasting and won’t rust, but it’s also heavier than materials like aluminum. Of course, since hibachi grills are intended to be portable, we also looked at the size and weight of each grill. You’ll find all of our top six picks highlighted in the table below. Continue reading for detailed reviews and our buying guide, which explains everything you need to know about choosing the best hibachi grill for your needs.
This lightweight, yet large hibachi grill from Marsh Allen is one of the best hibachi grills for home use and travel alike. The grill is made of cast iron, but the construction is thin enough that it weighs just under 19 pounds. Despite that, users found that the material is extremely durable. The wood handles are also an appreciated touch, as they look good and don’t get nearly as hot as the cast iron parts of the hibachi grill.
The main attraction to this grill is that the grilling surface is separated into two halves, each of which can be separately height-adjusted. The adjustment bracket allows you to move the grilling surface anywhere from just above the charcoals to well above them in three intervals. That’s ideal if you want to take advantage of the large 157-square inch cooking area to cook two different types of food with two different temperature requirements.
Users also liked that the air vents on this grill can be adjusted, making it easier to control the heat. However, it can be almost impossible to adjust the charcoals themselves unless you have a second person helping hold the grilling surfaces up.
The price of this grill is both a selling point and a red flag. This hibachi grill is unbelievably cheap, but users point out that that’s reflected in the manufacturing quality. Users found sloppy paint jobs and issues with the notches in the height adjustment system. However, most grillers were more than okay with these flaws given the quality of the overall design and the low price.
This outdoor hibachi grill from Cajun Classic was built with campsite dinners in mind. The grill is built entirely from thick cast iron that will last for decades if treated properly. While that adds some serious heft to the grill – it weighs in at 42 pounds – that’s not a huge issue if you’re car camping and cooking close to your car.
The grill is quite large, with a 15-inch diameter round cooking surface. That’s enough to hold nine burgers or a handful of steaks, which is more than enough food for four people. Better yet, you’ll get great tasting food from this grill thanks to the fact that the surface comes pre-seasoned. Just beware that some users found that the grill’s surface is bumpy, which can create some temperature imbalances when cooking finicky foods like steaks.
Beyond that, there’s not much to this grill. You can’t adjust the height of the cooking surface over the charcoals or change the ventilation for the charcoal. While it does come with a tool to help you lift the grilling surface so you can move the charcoals around, users don’t recommend trying this while you have food on the grill. On the plus side, this means that you can effectively set the grill and forget about, rather than poke and prod at it like some other hibachi grills require.
For your cookouts, camping or picnic grill, the Hibachi Grill Ginatex is the best barbecue tool you can get your hands on. The grill boasts a solid construction that is easily portable o allow you to enjoy the outdoors.
Most importantly, the grill is designed to maintain the original flavor of meat, fish and other grill delicacies. It has a double-sided grilling net that you can use on both sides to adjust the grill’s height according to your needs.
Also, there is an air regulating door at the bottom of the grill that you can slide left or right to adjust the firepower of the grill.
The grill has a cooking area large enough to cook food that can serve your family and friends. You can also slide in some chicken drumsticks, vegetables or beef steaks in the grill net. The grill net can also act as convenient storage for charcoal for a greater firepower.
The grills durability is a sure bet as it is made of high heat resistant cast-iron. Besides being robust, cast iron has excellent heat preservation and thermal conductivity for maintaining food’s original taste.
What we liked:
The grill’s compact build is its main selling point. You can easily carry it from place to place, plus, it assembles easily. Cleaning it is also a breeze as you can simply detach the grilling net and charcoal net.
What could be better:
There are some complaints about the grill’s dimensions not being true as advertised.
This small hibachi grill from NOTO DIA is made in Japan and built in the traditional Japanese style. It features a wooden base and a diatomaceous earth construction, which is similar to clay. That means that the grill is very fragile, and you’ll probably want to limit your use to indoor tabletops. Even then, some users found that the beautiful Japanese characters on the sides of the grill burned off, as they are printed on paper rather than permanently inked into the diatomaceous earth material.
The grill is small, with a cooking area of just 63 square inches. That makes it best for a single person or an intimate dinner for two – ideally, you’d pull out this grill to make an appetizer or a small meal. In any case, this shouldn’t be your go-to hibachi grill for cooking dinner every night. That will quickly destroy the fragile material, and in any case, there is little control over the charcoal, ventilation, or cooking surface height.
That said, users were overall impressed with the grill. It is authentic in construction and design, and does work well for occasionally cooking. Given that it is made in Japan, the price is also relatively modest.
This large hibachi grill from Fire Sense is perfect if you’re cooking for four people or more. The grill offers 170 square inches of cooking area, which is easily enough for eight burger patties.
Despite the large cooking surface, this grill is actually quite small. It’s only about seven inches tall, with wire frame legs that allow it to sit easily on the ground or on a tabletop.
The hibachi grill is made primarily of clay, a traditional material that holds heat extremely well and allows the grill to get quite hot. However, that construction means that you’ll need to handle the grill carefully during transport. Users described it as being about as breakable as a clay flowerpot – which is to say, it will fall to pieces if you drop it. Other users noted that the clay material will actually start to disintegrate if it gets wet, so you need to be extra careful when cleaning the grill and bring it inside between uses so it doesn’t get rained on. In addition, they noted that the adjustable air vents are poorly made and will break if you adjust them too frequently.
Despite that, users loved how inexpensive this grill is. The sticker price is modest, and it requires just a handful of charcoals to heat up the entire grill to searing temperature. Another nice touch that users appreciated is the wire railing around the cooking surface, which ensures that you won’t lose a burger over the edge when trying to get a spatula under it.
If you’re looking for a charcoal hibachi grill you can take anywhere, this model from Mr. Flame is it. The grill is made from a combination of cast iron and carbon steel, which together make it very lightweight – the grill weighs just 16.5 pounds. On top of that, the Mr. Flame hibachi grill folds in half and the legs are designed to pack down. So, this grill is extremely compact and fits in just about any space in your car.
The folding design is interesting. On the one hand, it allows this grill to pack in a whopping 170 square inches of cooking space, which is a ton in the world of hibachi grills.
On the other hand, that cooking space is divided between two grills – each half is essentially an entirely separate grill, with charcoal that needs to be separately lit and ashed. Mr. Flame seems to have gotten around this problem by designing the grill so that you can light the charcoal while the grill is folded up. However, users report back that this mechanism is unreliable. So, you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time creating two charcoal piles and lighting them independently for good results.
The other issue that users found with this grill is that the carbon steel, which makes it so lightweight, isn’t all that durable. Users complained of rust after just a few months of use.
What we liked:
Very large cooking area
Lightweight and folds up for travel
Easy to use
Converts to an oven
What could be better:
Lighting mechanism is unreliable
Charcoals are in two separate grill beds
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve learned more about our six favorite hibachi grills, how do you decide which one is right for your grilling needs? In our buying guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about choosing the best hibachi grill: from why you need one to what features to watch out for.
What is a hibachi grill, and how can it be used?
Hibachi grills are a type of Japanese charcoal grill that dates back centuries. Like standard charcoal grills, they involve placing charcoals underneath a metal cooking surface to grill meats, vegetables, and other food items.
There are some important differences between hibachi grills and American-style charcoal grills though. First, hibachi grills don’t have a lid. That’s because the traditional Japanese style of cooking involves searing food with heat, rather than smoking it. As a result, hibachi grills are best for quick-cooking foods like hamburgers, kebabs, and thin cuts of meat or fish.
Second, hibachi grills tend to be much smaller than traditional American charcoal grills. That’s a huge advantage for apartment dwellers with small balcony spaces, since a hibachi grill will easily fit in those small spaces. Hibachi grills are also compact and lightweight enough for travel, making them the perfect choice to take with you for a picnic or camping trip.
Another plus to hibachi grills is that they often allow you to create two cooking zones by rearranging charcoal. This allows you to sear food on one side of the grill, while keeping already cooked food warm on the other side.
However, keep in mind that the small size of hibachi grills does mean that you’ll be limited in cooking area.
Most hibachi grills are intended to cook for only one or two people at a time, although some larger grills like the Fire Sense and Mr. Flame models may accommodate enough food for four people.
Features to consider while choosing a hibachi grill
It’s hard to go all that wrong when choosing a hibachi grill, as just about any model will do a good job of travelling anywhere and searing your food. But, in order to get a hibachi grill that you’ll be excited to cook on, there are a few important features to consider.
The cooking area of your hibachi grill is perhaps its most important feature. Hibachi grills are typically designed to be small – after all, that’s part of why they’re so portable. However, you need to make sure you have enough grilling space to cook enough food for at least yourself, and possible two people if you plan to bring out the grill when you have a dinner partner.
There’s no set relationship between cooking area and number of people fed. But, in general, small grills like the NOTO DIA model are definitely only designed to cook for one. Larger grills like the Giantex Charcoal Grill and the Cajun Classic model will comfortably serve two. The biggest hibachi grills, like the Mr. Flame and Fire Sense grills, have enough cooking area that they could feed three or four people.
Size and shape
The size of a hibachi grill will largely be determined by its cooking area, but shape matters too. This is important because it affects the portability and ease of use of your grill. Grills that fold up small, like the Mr. Flame grill, or that are flat, like the Marsh Allen grill, will be easier to use on a tabletop or to take on a trip.
Taller grills like the one from Giantex allow you to access the charcoals, which gives you much more control over your cooking.
What it’s made of
The best hibachi grills are made of cast iron. This material is heavy, which isn’t ideal for portability, but it also won’t rust after extended use. Cast iron also won’t fall apart on you if you travel with your hibachi grill frequently. Many cast-iron hibachi grills incorporate other materials, like wood or steel, to add to the grill’s appearance.
That said, you can also find grills made of creative materials – for example, the NOTO DIA grill is made of diatomaceous earth and wood in addition to iron. This grill is designed to mimic traditional Japanese hibachi grills, but it needs to be handled with greater care and is not the best choice for a travel grill.
Adjustable grates are a terrific feature on a hibachi grill. When you can move the grate up or down, like on the Giantex and Marsh Allen grills, you control how close your food is to the charcoals. That allows you to finely tune the cooking process, so nothing is overcooked or underdone.
However, adjustable grates do present something of a problem for durability. Many adjustable setups fall apart relatively easily if you bang up the grills. So, be careful about choosing a hibachi grill with a height adjustment system if you plan to use it primarily for travel.
Ease of use
The easier your hibachi grill is to use, the more likely you are to cook with it. Ease of use starts with setting the charcoals, but this is fairly straightforward in all of the grills we looked at.
Consider a grill with adjustable ventilation, like the Fire Sense and Marsh Allen grills, since this lets you stoke the charcoals as needed without having a small fire prod on hand.
Cleaning is also important to consider. Some grills, like the Mr. Flame model, are designed to be self-cleaning, which makes the post-grilling process a little bit easier. Ideally, it should be easy to reach into the bottom of your grill to remove the charcoal ash and any grease.
How to use a hibachi grill
The process of grilling with a hibachi grill is much like that of grilling on a standard charcoal grill. You first need to get the charcoals burning, which requires lighter fluid and plenty of patience. Once the charcoals are ashed, spread them out over the base of the grill. Ideally, you can push more charcoals on one side of the container than the other, since that will give you a cooking side and a warming side of the grill surface. Once you put your food out on the grill, you’ll need to keep a close eye on it – food can cook through very quickly in close proximity to the charcoals!
All of the hibachi grills that we reviewed are designed to be used with charcoal. However, there’s no reason you couldn’t use an alternative fuel source for a low flame, such as wood pellets or even tinder.
Hibachi grills can get quite hot. Depending on how much charcoal you’ve added to the grill, the center of the grill can heat up to around 450°F. The edges of the grill surface may be a little bit cooler, around 250°F.
Since hibachi grills burn charcoal, it’s generally recommended that you use them outdoors. The charcoal can create a lot of smoke and ash, which you probably don’t want inside. However, in a pinch, you could use a hibachi grill inside as long as you’re cooking in a well-ventilated area.
Our three overall favorite hibachi grills on the market today are the Giantex Charcoal Grill, the Marsh Allen Cast Iron Hibachi Grill, and the Cajun Classic Round Seasoned Cast Iron Hibachi Grill.
The Cajun Classic grill sports a massive cooking surface that can easily cook dinner for four people or more. The fully cast-iron construction is also sturdy enough to last for decades, even if the cooking surface is somewhat uneven.
The cast-iron construction of the Giantex Charcoal Grill is undoubtedly one the best of any grill we looked at, and the bathtub design allows for a front door so that you can adjust the charcoals while cooking. This grill even lets you adjust the height of the cooking surface, which offers enough space to cook dinner for three or four people.
Still, we felt that the Marsh Allen grill is the overall best hibachi grill. It is surprisingly cheap and sports an ingenious two-surface, height-adjustable design that makes cooking multiple types of food at once a breeze.