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Konro Grill are insulated Japanese grill designed for intense heat grilling. It is commonly used in Japan for BBQ. Perhaps one of the most popular dish cooked is Yakitori. Some might wonder what makes it so different? Unlike traditional grills, Konro Grill are insulated and burn clean with Binchotan, a Japanese charcoal. They concentrate the heat and smoke upward and develop a flavor that is different from your traditional BBQ.
Best Konro Grill List
Below, you will find a list of some of the best Konro Grill on the market. They come in various size and shape, you should get one that best suits your need.
Kinka BBQ Diatomite Charcoal Grill (Best Overall)
Kinka Konro Grill is the perfect example of a traditional Konro grill. The exterior is made of Diatomite so that it insulates the heat. It will also prevent the exterior from getting too hot. At the sides, there are vents to control the intensity of the heat. However, the price is not for the faint of heart. I recommend that you only buy this if you intend on getting serious with Japanese BBQ. The size is also quite large, make sure that it fits your need.
Shichirin Hida Konro Grill (Best Buy)
For a smaller more affordable option, consider the model by Shichirin Hida. It is made of the same Diatomite as the other model. While it is a bit smaller, its perfect for a family of 3 or 4. One downside is the outside decoration are not that durable. Just dont expect it to look the same forever. With that being said, it does its job. I recommend getting a manual fan so that you can adjust the flame. There are not adjustable vent holes. They also come is square shape if that is what you need.
The Bincho Grill GR610S Yakitori (Best Metal Option)
If you are looking for a all metal version check out The Bincho Grill. This grill is beautifully made with adjustable air vents on the side. While it does not insulate as well as the other models, the stainless steel should be a lot more durable. There are wooden handles on the sides to help when moving it around.
How to Use a Konro Grill
Using it is pretty simple, all you need to do is light up charcoal and pour it in. Place a grate on top of it then grill. You can adjust the intensity of the heat with a fan or just opening some air vent.
It is usually recommended that you use Binchotan charcoal. Then burn at a higher temperature and last hours longer than your traditional charcoal. Lighting it can be a bit of a challenge. But if you have the right tools, its a cinch.
How to Light a Konro Grill
I recommend that you get a Chimney Starter. All you have to do is load it up and put newspaper on the bottom. Light up the newspaper and the charcoal will eventually start lighting up. It is ready when you start to see it glow red. I recommend that you load up the charcoal evenly and let it settle for a bit, this way the heat can distribute. If you want a cool and hot spot, put a little less charcoal on one side.
Grilling the Food
You can grill both meat and vegetables on this grill. For Yakitori, its recommended that you get the sticks. They make for easy finger food and you can use it to rest it on top of the Konro Grill. However, I still recommend that you use the metal grate. They will prevent the food from falling down. It also makes it easier to turn.
Can you use a Konro Grill Indoor?
I highly advise against doing so. Even though Binchotan burns cleaner than traditional Charcoal, they still produce carbon monoxide. This can possibly kill you if you are not in a well ventilated area. There is also a factor of it being a fire hazard. These Konro Grill gets blazing hot, you can either burn down your house or yourself. For the safety of yourself and family, I recommend that you do it outdoors. Restaurant can get away with it because they have very well ventilated hood duck to suck out all the fumes. Their set up is designed to be grilled indoor. Please just enjoy grilling outdoor.
Binchotan and other Charcoal
Binchotan is charcoal that is usually made of Japanese Oak. Most of the production comes from Wakayama Prefecture. They have a distinct ring tone similar to that of noise. What seperates them apart from other charcoal is its higher burning temperature and long duration. You can even reuse it. All you need to do is either soak in water or smother the flame with a lid. Just reheat when you want to reuse it.
Some of you might wonder if you can use other Charcoal. The answer is Yes! Just be aware that they dont burn as long or as hot as Binchotan. The upside is that they are generally a lot more affordable. Flavor might be slightly different due to the temperature of the heat.
If you are looking for authentic Yakitori Grilling, then getting a Konro Grill is a must. They concentrate heat and smoke food like no other bbq. While it is a simple device, the flavor that you get is unrivaled. While Binchotan is expensive, I recommend that you get at least one batch to try it. Other charcoals just arent the same. Good luck grilling, I know you will have fun!
Looking for a Hibachi Style grill, why not check out Lodge Sportsman Grill. It is a cast iron hibachi style grill!