Remember the hibachi?
It’s still a great little Japanese-style grill. Relatively inexpensive, easy to store, and easy to use, and it’s not for everything. The hibachi’s strength is quick high-heat charcoal cooking. It’s not for big parties, but small dinners. It doesn’t need much charcoal and the heavy cast iron grates char meat and vegetables nicely. The skirt steak above was sliced and stuffed in hot tortillas in about 10 minutes.
WHAT A HIBACHI IS GOOD FOR:
— grilling tender steaks and chops, burgers, fish, kebobs and skewered thin cuts of meat, vegetables, grilled breads and tortillas. Anything that cooks quickly over hot coals.
WHAT A HIBACHI IS NOT GOOD FOR:
— grilling any large cuts of meat like whole chickens or big bone-in pieces, turkey, brisket, pork butt, or pork ribs that need indirect or medium heat and benefit from being covered while cooking slowly.
WHERE TO GET A GOOD HIBACHI:
Lodge Logic L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill is what I have and I love it. At the rate we’re both going, it will outlast me several times over. Less expensive models are available, and some let you adjust the grill height, but a sturdy cast iron model with a single cast iron grate like the Lodge Sportsman’s is a much better investment. It’s solid as a rock, too, which is important when you’ve got a hot fire in a little grill.
A few hibachi moments to inspire you.
Pounded pork chops grill in a few minutes on a hot hibachi.
Skewers of ground beef, ground lamb, on flat skewers are a home run on the hibachi. Keep them in the fridge until cooking so they hold their shape until the crust forms and gives them structure.
Little meat-on-a-stick kebobs keep kids entertained and excited. Let them cook their own while the adults relax with drinks.
Grilled onions are a must no matter what you’re grilling. They go with everything and you’ve already got the fire going. Toss the rings with a little oil and Kosher salt and keep them moving in the grill basket while they cook down.
No reason not to have a little fun while you’re at it. The hibachi brings out the theatrical in a griller. Pork tenderloin is another great cut for the searing high heat of a hibachi.