Little Hibachi grills offer a great grilling solution for people who love the taste of charcoal grilled foods but either don't have a lot of space or like to take their grill on the road. A good cast iron Hibachi can do almost anything a full-size grill can do except grill a lot of food. The advantage of a real fire, portable size, and hot direct cooking make them a popular type of grill.
Hibachi grills come in different sizes, shapes, and configurations.
The cheaper hibachis can be a problem because they tend to rust and fall apart. If you want to get a good hibachi I suggest paying a little more and getting a good solid cast iron one. Cheaper cast aluminum hibachis aren't worth it. Some hibachis have racks that can be adjusted in height. This gives you versatility when it comes to grilling, by allowing you to adjust how close the food is to the heat. The problem is that many of these style hibachis are also poorly made. Particularly if you intend to take you hibachi traveling you will want one that is sturdy and able to handle being transported a lot. Look for good construction in a hibachi.
Charcoal fired hibachis really do give you a lot of grilling options. Even though they don't have lids you can do a lot with one of these units. While charcoal grilling can be a little more challenging, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to grill most anything that will fit on the cooking surface.
Most hibachis are large enough to let you make a two level fire, meaning you put more coals to one side that the other. This gives you a hot side and a not so hot side. This kind of fire is great for getting foods seared while providing the space to grill or keep foods warm while you do something else.
Some hibachi models have bottom vents which help you adjust your fire a bit. However, the open design of a hibachi makes sure that there is always plenty of air to keep your fire going. Still, the vents allow air to rise through the grill and increase the heat of the fire. When you first start out with your hibachi play with the vents a little to get a hang for how you can cool off, or heat up your hibachi.
Like any portable grill, you need to make sure you are safe when using a hibachi. Always place it on a sturdy surface and make sure that nothing is going to fall onto the hibachi or possibly knock it over. Keep a bucket of water close by or better yet a fire extinguisher just in case. Also, while it's pretty cool to have your hibachi out for a late night cookout, make sure you have plenty of light on your hibachi while you are using it and never leave a hot hibachi unwatched.
Because of the direct and close heat that a hibachi creates it is best to grill small items. Kebabs and thin strips of meat are perfect for a hibachi.
Also, a hibachi is a fantastic hamburger cooker. If you are considering getting a small, portable hibachi, I fully recommend it. If you already have one, then get out there and play with it, experiment. These little units are great grills that can grill up some great meals.
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