You might not have heard about the Yakatori Charcoal Grill before but it is something big in Japan. In fact, it is considered a traditional item for cooking kebabs and skewered meats in addition to regular grilling. Yakatori is actually a street food dish that is found near train stations and high-quality restaurants. It is something different from katsu, tempura ramen, and sushi, etc. In addition to that Yakatori is becoming popular in America as well.
The chefs using their cooking skills try to make different combinations and become creative with foods and proteins. Since it has become a hit in the U.S as well, let us discuss what Yakatori is and how is it made along with the Yakatori Charcoal Grill, which isn’t like most grills. Let’s begin.
The History of Yakatori
Back in the day, grilled pork (Yakiton) and deep-fried pork on skewers (Kushikatsu) were produced that paved the way for the creation of Yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers), especially during the 1900s. At the time, chicken, as compared to beef, was more expensive and there was even a time when Japanese chickens had become extinct. For nearly a hundred years, the chicken remained more expensive than beef. As a result, during World War II, yakitori stalls used to sell mostly pork and beef products due to being cheap.
Then in the 1950s, the Japanese farmers started to breed chickens that were disease-resistant and at a lower cost. However, the Americans occupied Japan and brought boilers with them. As a result, the Yakatori gained even more popularity and spread like wildfire. Today, it is produced and available at most high-quality restaurants at an affordable price. It has become a delicacy over the years thanks to the creativity and improvement in taste, brought to the table. The tourists while visiting Japan make sure that they do give Yakatori a try as well.
How is Yakitori prepared?
A yakitori grill is identified by a small rectangular grill installed in the middle. In most Japanese restaurants, chefs prepare dishes on a grill while customers surround it by sitting on bar seats. When it comes to preparing Yakitori, it is always prepared on white charcoal called binchotan in Japanese. This coal burns without its smoke adding nothing to the flavor.
Therefore the flavor remains unchanged. The flavor you taste once the dish is prepared is from the contact with the hot grill. In addition to that, the meat is grilled slowly at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The chef will constantly monitor the meat while turning sides, allowing it to slightly touch the flames. The chef is also responsible for controlling moisture on the meat and adjusting it accordingly with a sauce known as Tare.
Each restaurant prepares its own tare, therefore, the taste will be different. As a result, each Yakitori you try at a restaurant will be different from the other. There is no standard taste set. Before serving the dish to the customers, the skewers will either be dunked in the tare or the tare will be slightly brushed over the skewer.
How Did Yakitori Get So Popular?
The credit for Yakitori becoming popular in the United States goes to food personalities like David Chang and Anthony Bourdain. Both personalities regularly featured Yakitori dishes on their television programs ‘Ugly Delicious’ and ‘No Reservations’. Furthermore, both individuals shared great details regarding how Yakitori is prepared and what goes into making the perfect Yakitori dish.
In addition to that, over the years several famous chefs like YoshiteruIkegwa have opened and are still opening restaurants in the United States, giving people of different nationalities a chance to get familiar with Japanese meals. Slowly but gradually, Yakitori has made its presence permanent in the food world with a popularity that does not show any signs of decreasing anytime soon.
Things to consider when buying a Yakitori Grill
The first thing you need to consider when buying a Yakitori Grill is the shape. While you are out there searching for the perfect one, you will discover that each grill is shaped differently. The shape of the grill has a direct relationship with the way food is cooked. If a grill is narrow, it is better suited for kebabs and the likes. However, if you opt for bigger grills, it will be more than sufficient for cooking larger foods and pieces of meat.
The next thing you need to consider is portability. Since grills are meant to be carried to different places, the Yakitori grill you choose needs to be aportable grill. With that being said, consider a portable grill with foldable legs. In addition to that, you can also choose amongst grills that come with handles, making it much simpler to carry. If you intend to use the grill at more than one location then, you need the one that is the easiest to carry.
To know more about portable grills, click here.
A Yakitori grill should feature a construction that lasts for years to come. While some are made from stainless steel, others are made from clay and zinc-iron. Most traditional Japanese Yakitori grills are made from Iron but since it is quite heavy. Therefore, today people mostly prefer to purchase stainless steel Yakitori grill due to being portable and lightweight.
The Uten Barbecue Grill is the first option on the list. This barbecue grill is made for countertop and tabletop grilling. With a compact cooking surface, you can easily cook most meat related dishes. In addition to that, it is a portable item with foldable legs making it easy to carry. And lastly, since it is made of 430 rust-resistant stainless steel, it will last for years to come.
- Scratch and heat resistant
- Foldable design
If you intend to do indoor grilling then this Yakatori Charcoal Grill by Fire Sense is going to be the perfect option. In addition to that, it also runs on charcoal briquettes. The Fire Sense Large Yakatori Charcoal Grill is made from clay and features two air vents that are adjustable, encouraging circulation.
- Clay construction
- Adjustable air vents
This tabletop stove by StyleMbro is designed for cooking multiple types of food such as Yakitori, Robata, Yakiniku, and Takoyaki. It is a portable charcoal grill with each part constructed for easy carrying. The manufacturer recommends using charcoal briquettes and the wooden base prevents the high flames from reaching the table. Lastly, it is easy to hand wash as well due to its inner charcoal case and upper grill made from steel.
- Designed for both outdoors and indoors
- Aluminum construction material
- Wooden base plate
Livart introduces its Deluxe Electric Barbecue Drill that is designed for Yakitori style grilling. It is easy to use and does not require special instruction or setup. Instead, it is a simple one-touch operation. Furthermore, it features a stainless steel grill that is adjustable with a drip tray that is removable to catch both oil and fat. Moreover, the Livart Orange BBQ Deluxe Electric Barbecue Grill is easy to clean due to its detachable stainless steel grill.
- Flame Grilling Method
- Electric powered
- Adjustable stainless steel grill
Although the Yakitori Charcoal grill isn’t like most grills but it is known to add splendid flavor to the food prepared. Finding the most suitable Yakitori Charcoal grill depends on what type of food you intend to cook and portability. Make sure that it features a sufficient cooking surface and is easy to carry. With so many Yakitori charcoal grills mentioned above, you can hardly go wrong.