How To Light A Hibachi Grill? (It’s Not As Easy As You Think!) 

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You can light a hibachi grill by following the given guides for smaller and larger grills:

  • Use a starter pan of Japanese charcoal for your binchotan.

  • Light up a small hibachi grill with propane or butane mix.

  • Use a chimney starter to make fire or braai.

How to light a hibachi grill Using a Starter Pan of Japanese Charcoal?

It is recommended to use a starter pan of Japanese charcoal for your binchotan (white charcoal – a type of charcoal widely used in Japanese cooking) for smaller grills. It is easy to light and saves you from inconsistent heat temperatures:

  • Simply place white charcoal into your pan and set the pieces to stand upright. Do not make the pieces long enough as they may fall out. 

  • Place the pan on the top and light the gas stove. Hold back till you see the coals turning red hot (rotate halfway through). This process will take between 8 to 10 minutes. 

  • Transfer your hot coals to the grill, and then cover the coals with an additional layer of binchotan if required. 

  • Let the binchotan light and wait for it to heat up before starting the cooking process. This way, the grill will insulate the heat, and it will keep burning at the same consistent temperature. This process will take you about five minutes.

How To Light A Hibachi Grill With Propane Or Butane Mixture?

Another method to light up a small hibachi grill is propane or butane mix. This is also widely used by the Japanese and is available at most cookware and hardware stores. 

  • Fill up the grill to about halfway with charcoal. 

  • Blowtorch light and waver over charcoal evenly. 

  • Add a few more pieces when you see the charcoal is fully lit. 

  • You can now start cooking. 

It is suggested that lighters are chemical-based if you are using firelighters. Build a pyramid shape with your African binchotan and light them up in your grill. Add more binchotan once they are lit, and then wait till they are glowing before proceeding with cooking.

How To Light A Hibachi Grill Using A Chimney Starter?

To light up a larger grill, you may use a chimney starter to make regular fire or braai. 

  • Place the binchotan on the chimney starter’s top and light it (it is better to use a natural firelighter) at the bottom. For a fire starter, you can use crumpled paper. This method is most suitable if you use it for outside lighting. 

  • Once you light the binchotan, you can transfer it to your Hibachi or Konro. Be careful while moving to prevent the binchotan from falling out. 

What Is a Hibachi? 

A Hibachi is a Japanese term used for a firebox that burns wood or charcoal in its spherical or cylindrical container and often seems like a box or like a barbecue. Its design is an open grate fueled by hot coals, producing temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius.

Today, new and upgraded models of hibachi are available in the market, but the traditional charcoal-fuelled grills are still the most loved ones. 

These grills have the fantastic feature of being a space-saving size, making them very practical for barbecues at the beach, small living quarters, or for travel. 

You can utilize them to make various dishes, from meats to vegetables. Being versatile, they are perfect for small gatherings. 

Here is a small guide to help you make delicious dishes with your hibachi grilling cooking techniques. 

What Preparatory Measures Should I Take For Hibachi Grill? 

Experts suggest the following recommendations for perfect  success in Hibachi grilling: 

IPPINKA Binchotan BBQ Charcoal from Kishu, Japan, 4 LB of Lump Charcoal

  • You should have a high-quality binchotan available. Binchotan is special white charcoal that stays alight for about three to five hours. You can reuse them several times. 

  • Binchotan burns your barbecue cleanly as it is an odorless fuel and also maintains steady and consistent heat that offers the best results for your dishes. 

  • Opt for other hot beads such as briquettes or lump charcoal if you cannot source binchotan anywhere. But be sure to steer clear of synthetic material or fire starters as they may contaminate your cooking with unpleasant odors, flavors, and sometimes, even toxic chemicals. 

To get the best flavors from your hibachi grills, give enough time to marinate your meat or vegetables in sauces such as sesame oil, soy, and chili paste. Your ingredients will develop more taste and flavor if you let the flavors infuse by giving enough time for marination.

What To Cook With Hibachi Grills? 

Wooden skewers threaded with meats and vegetables are commonly cooked in Hibachi grills. These are synonymous with yakitori (yaki – grill, tori – chicken) served on bamboo skewers. 

The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables [A Cookbook]

The most common dish cooked on a hibachi is skewering; however, you are not restricted by this. Like traditional barbecuing, you may find endless options for grilling several ingredients with a hibachi grill. 

To play it safe when it comes to Hbachi grilling, stick to skewers and select vegetables for meats that are easy and softer to thread, such as mushrooms, zucchini, thin meat cuts, and even onions. 

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