Best Hibachi Charcoal Grills ( Cast Iron ) – A Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

What are Hibachi Grills ? In America, they are small, portable, simple grills that are perfect for cooking small amounts of sausages, hamburgers, chicken wings, vegetables or even steaks. Each Hibachi grill is powered with charcoal, which has a great impact on the flavor of food.

In United States it is not a very popular type of grill which is why there is a much smaller selection at stores than when it comes to full-size charcoal grills, for instance. Still, I made effort to prepare few models for you that are really worth checking out before purchasing.

Based on my experience and other hibachi grill reviews I made few tests that allowed me to choose only best of the best.

More on the upsides and downsides below, meanwhile let me invite you to check out my reviews that will help you choose the best hibachi grill for yourself.

Like I said, it’s not a very popular type of grill in United States which actually made choosing the best hibachi grills easier. The competition isn’t big and I quickly chose decent models that are worth your money. Of course, you will find lower tier hibachi grills here as well as ones for those with thicker wallets.

Best Hibachi Grills of 2018 - Comparison Table

MODEL

PRICE

Lodge L410

Best Overall

Lodge L410

Marsh Allen Hibachi Grill

Budget Pick

Marsh Allen Hibachi

Bruntmor Hibachi-Style Grill

Mid-Range

Bruntmor Hibachi-Style

How did I choose ?

Just like with all my other reviews that you can find on this website, I simply started with analyzing the stores’ offers. That way I came into a conclusion that there’s a small selection of this type of grills. Still, after a more thorough analysis I was able to select the few most promising models. Of course as always I made effort to select something out of every price range so that everyone can find something for themselves.

When it comes to the prices, I think they aren’t high. I do realize that a better made hibachi grill that is actually not very big will cost you about 100 dollars. For many people it might be a little too much for a grill this small, but remember that every hibachi grill you will find here is made of cast iron. It means that it is likely a grill to last forever provided that you take proper care of it.

When choosing, I paid attention to the quality of workmanship, price and features. That’s right, this little grill can have useful features. I’m talking about things like a handle to carry the grill around, an adjustable height of the grates or, in certain types of hibachi, opening side doors to add more charcoal when cooking.

How did I test ?

cooking on hibachi grill tests

The best possible way, which means I spent few days cooking food on each grill. That way I could evaluate what cooking is like as well as the functioning of each model. Such tests bring out most of upsides or downsides and it is easy to analyze which hibachi grill is truly worth your money.

What did I cook? Everything that could fit on the grates, which means hamburgers, different kinds of sausages, chicken wings, or even vegetables. I have to admit that the flavor of food from every grill was great, but the reason behind that is the fuel that burns when cooking, by which I mean charcoal, which produces smoke when burning, thus enriching the food’s flavor.

I also paid attention to everything related to each grill before and after cooking. I’m talking about assembly, functionality of the entire structure or its option, cleaning and, what’s very important when it comes to cast-iron grills, which is seasoning ( if you have cast-iron kitchenware like pans or pots, you know what I’m talking about, the rule of seasoning in both cases looks pretty much the same ).

1. Best Overall Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned

It is undoubtedly number one among Hibachi Charcoal Grills in every regard. Some people might be discouraged by the price as one has to admit that it’s not really a big grill, but you have to remember about few things when looking at this model.

First of all, it is currently the best made hibachi grill ( cast iron one ) that with adequate maintenance should certainly stay with you forever.  The cast iron makes the grill warm up evenly.

Secondly, Lodge L410 has adjustable height of grates, which is important since in grills of this size hot charcoal is very close to the grates.

It only takes a moment of losing attention for your food to get burned instantly by high temperature, so if it’s your first time cooking on a hibachi grill I especially suggest to control the food at first until you learn to properly control the temperature.

Thirdly, Lodge L410 comes with several useful solutions that significantly improve the convenience of cooking. Such options include, among others, draft door located on the bottom of the grill, which successfully allows to regulate temperature through air flow control.

Another useful thing is the lowering door that gives an easy access to the charcoal. That way you open the door when cooking and move the hot charcoal around or add more without having to take off the grates with food.

A great grill for cooking outside, cast iron is known for being heavy but Lodge L410 is lightweight enough for you to bring it along anywhere you want. A very good grill for camping, beaches or parks. The small area is big enough to prepare food for 2-4 people without much effort.

A very good competition for portable gas grills, hibachi grills are characterized by simplicity, great flavor of the food and very rare malfunctioning. It certainly makes it a grill for a long time for someone who cleans and maintains it regularly.

PROS

  • High Quality Durable Grill
  • Draft Door for regulating heat
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    Made in USA
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    Adjustable height of grates
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    Decent support and quality of shipping

CONS

  • Price

One very important thing you need to remember about when it comes to every hibachi grill ( cast iron one ) is regular cleaning and maintenance. If you don’t season the grill with oil, then sooner or later the entire structure’s area will get covered with rust. I suggest cleaning the grill after each cooking and preserving it with oil. Regular seasoning not only protects from rust but also prevents food from sticking and makes future cleaning easier.

Cooking on Lodge L410 feels like cooking on a high quality cast iron skillet.

Therefore Lodge L410 is number one among Hibachi Charcoal Grills. The price might be a little too high for many, but you have to know that the quality of workmanship in this grill is worth this money.

Great for cooking small pieces of food such as steaks, chicken wings, hamburgers, sausages or vegetables. Easy to clean, comes with useful solutions such as draft doors or adjustable grate height. Good for a patio, picnic, car camping or tailgating.

2. Budget Pick Marsh Allen Hibachi Grill

A choice for those who really want to save money when buying a hibachi grill. You have to understand that such choice comes with many upsides and downsides. Marsh Allen is one of the cheapest hibachi grills, if you don’t want to spend too much on a new hibachi then it’s the right choice for you.

As always, I will show my objective review by comparing it with competitive models. I won’t lie here by saying that it’s the best hibachi grill on the market because it isn’t, but in this price range it’s a really decent offer.

What do you get for this kind of price? A hibachi grill that has 157 square inches of the main cooking area, enough for 1-4 people. It was obviously made of thick and durable cast iron.

There’s a three level adjustable height of the grates, you can change the distance between the grates and burning charcoal quickly and easily.

There are to adjustable air intakes on the bottom of the grill, the quality is sadly poor, but more on that below.

What is wrong with this grill, on the other hand? Well, for this kind of price it is impossible to have everything in high quality, if you’re looking for a high quality hibachi charcoal grill then check out Lodge L410, which is of a similar size and you can be sure that all elements are high-quality. Sadly, it costs three times as much as Marsh Allen, but you know what you’re paying for.

Hibachi grills are relatively cheap which is why I believe that it is better to invest once in a better model and enjoy it for the rest of your life instead of complaining about a much cheaper model.

PROS

  • Inexpensive budget pick

CONS

  • Poor Elements Quality ( handles, air vents, screws etc )
  • Not a heavy-duty model

What one could complain about in this grill is poor quality of elements, including the handles, the air vents, the screws and any other tiny elements. It is most certainly understandable to me considering the price of this grill.

When it comes to the construction as a whole, it is made of good quality cast iron. It is certainly not the kind of grill you remember from 1960s and 1970s by which I mean very high quality, but for this kind of price you can’t complain. It’s a regular budget version for those who want to buy a cheap hibachi charcoal grill.

So in conclusion, it’s not the best hibachi grill, but for this kind of money it does do its job and I guess that’s what it’s all about. If you’re someone more demanding, you should definitely consider buying something like Lodge L410 where you are guaranteed high quality for big money.

3. Mid-Range Bruntmor Hibachi-Style Grill

It is very clear that it’s a hibachi grill based on Lodge L410, it looks almost the same. There are some differences between them, though, what makes Bruntmor cost half as much as Lodge L410 ?

At the first glance, the structure doesn’t differ from Lodge L410 which means it offers 153 square inches of the main cooking area.

Bruntmor also has bottom draft doors to control air access as well as lowering door that makes it possible to add charcoal when cooking.

So what makes this hibachi grill different from the competition?

Bruntmor is made in China, the structure is made of cast iron that differs in quality from Lodge L410, which is made in USA from top-quality materials.

Another significant difference is support and delivery. Those who have bought Bruntmor complain about poor delivery, missing elements, no manual or overall poor quality of the elements. These are the main differences arising from the price of Bruntmor being half as high as that of Lodge L410.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Draft Door for regulating heat

CONS

  • Made in China
  • Not a heavy-duty model
  • Low quality support and shipping

Now think about what you really need. If you want a decent high-quality Hibachi grill from a manufacturer who stands by their product, choose Lodge L410, you will certainly not be disappointed ( just look at the hundreds of positive comments and very few negative ones ).

On the other hand, if you want to save some money and have a decent hibachi grill made of decent quality materials, choose Bruntmor, I doubt it’s a grill to last forever, but it’s certainly a better choice than Marsh Allen for few dollars more.

About Hibachi Grills

hibachi charcoal grill

Hibachi charcoal grills are usually made of cast iron which makes them very durable, but also quite heavy. Still, hibachi grills are great for cooking small amounts of food outside, like when camping or at a park, but that’s not all.

They’re also great in the backyard if you’re only cooking for 1-3 people. Why? They allow to quickly cook very tasty food on charcoal without having to start a big grill. Why would you need a huge charcoal grill that uses a lot of charcoal if you don’t cook much food? Hibachi really don’t need much charcoal to generate high temperatures which makes them efficient in terms of fuel consumption.

Of course, it’s not a smoker or a big charcoal grill kettle. Hibachi don’t have a lid or special systems or mechanisms. It’s a simple grill the structure of which is like a hot charcoal container that you can cook food over. Their advantages are relatively low prices, durability, mobility and most of all, they always work.

What are the downsides of a Hibachi grill ? Due to the structure, it’s a pretty limited type of grill if we look at other big full-size grills with lids. The small surface won’t allow to cook big slabs of meat or to use different methods of cooking ( like the indirect method ).

What to pay attention to ?

That depends on what you expect but remember that even the cheapest hibachi grill will work for some time. The difference between the cheapest and a decent hibachi grill is that a high quality decent hibachi grill should serve you forever if you take proper care of it and maintain it regularly. The cheapest hibachi, on the other hand, is characterized by poor quality of many elements, it won’t take long before the handles or tiny elements like screws get broken.

If you want to have the best hibachi grill then pay attention to:

Cast iron – The structure of a hibachi grill has to be made of cast iron, that’s the only guarantee of durability. Cast iron is nearly indestructible and if you want a grill that will last forever then it has to be a cast iron hibachi grill.

Who are Hibachi Grills for ?

hibachi grill for picnic

The seemingly small and simple hibachi charcoal grill is actually a versatile grill that can be used as a portable one when traveling or a small stationary grill in the backyard.

A typical hibachi grill has enough area to prepare food for 1-3 people which makes it great for those with a small backyard who want to save a lot of space. Full-size grills are simply too big plenty of times and many people don’t use their potential and they occupy a lot of space in the backyard. Which is why it makes more sense to buy a hibachi grill that will not take much space and allows to easily prepare enough food for 1-3 people.

Do you travel a lot ? Do you spend your time camping, on a picnic or any other place outside the house ? Hibachi Charcoal grill is just what you need, it works great as a grill for travelers ( especially if you love the flavor of food from a charcoal grill ). It is made of cast iron which makes it significantly heavier so I don’t recommend it for hiking, but packing it in the car is most certainly convenient.

Remember! Cast iron holds temperature for a long time, so if you want to bring a hibachi cast iron grill along into your car soon after you’re done cooking, you need to know that it might not be the best idea. A hot grill might cause damage if you put it on a temperature-sensitive surface. Which is why I suggest buying patio stones that you can easily put a hot cast iron grill on.  

How to cook on a hibachi grill ?

At the first glance, it’s a simple grill and that really is the case as long as you follow few rules.

First and foremost, it is a good idea to get your grill preserved before the first use ( most manufacturers sell their grills already seasoned ) you can read how to do it and why below.

Find the right place to put your grill, you need to know that cast iron holds temperature like no other material. Which makes it important to place the grill on a thing like a stone or a metal stand, never place it on a sensitive surface.

Next I sincerely recommend buying a charcoal chimney starter, it is the best and most convenient way to quickly and easily get the charcoal burning plus it’s not expensive. How does it work ? It’s a regular chimney with a grate at the bottom that keeps charcoal inside the chimney. Under the grate there is a place for paper, all you have to do is put few sheets inside and light them, and in just few minutes the charcoal will be hot, then you can move it into your hibachi grill. And it doesn’t require any methods that contain a lot of chemicals.

Once the charcoal is hot, you can place the food on the grates. How to control the temperature ? In hibachi style grills, temperature can be controlled several different ways. If your grill has air vents then you can use them to control the air intake. Remember, the more air the faster the charcoal burns and the higher temperatures you get, so if you wish to reduce the temperature, just close the air vents.

Another method is simply a sensible amount of charcoal in the grill, with enough experience you will know exactly how much charcoal is enough in the grill to reach the desired temperature.

And the last, fastest way to regulate temperature is simply to regulate the height of the grates. If your grill makes it possible, then simply lift or lower your grates depending on your needs.

How to preserve a hibachi grill ?

All cast iron items, be it a pot, a pan or a grill, require proper seasoning and cleaning in order to prevent it from rusting and from food sticking to it. For that reason, you need to regularly clean and season your grill. Just clean your grill of food remains and ash, use a brush for that ( like a nylon one ). Then rinse the grill with hot water and dry it ( never use soap or other cleaning agents for cleaning cast iron items. After you’re done and the grill is dry there’s only one thing left, the most important one – seasoning. All you have to do is cover the entire area of the grill with cooking oil, them store it in a dry place ( a grill cover will be useful, too ).

That way you can significantly extend the durability of your hibachi grill and prevent rust from appearing or food from sticking to the surface.

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