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Korean BBQ is one of the most loved BBQ in the world. From the All you can eat buffet, to the high end grills, we simply cant get enough. Luckily, with a Korean BBQ Grill, you can bring that same flavor to your home. However, there are some limitation that we must face. Namely we cant enjoy the same wood for charcoal fire indoor. To get around this, manufacturer have made smokeless grill that uses propane. There are also other variation in the type of material used for the grill. There are pros and cons to each one, ultimately you should choose one that best suits your need.
Best Korean BBQ Grill List
The list will be categorized by the different type of grill. I personally prefer the gas powered model, but other one like Electric is a good choice as well.
Iwatani Smokeless Korean Barbecue Grill (Best Overall)
Iwatani is one the most well known manufacturer of Japanese Cookware. Their Korean BBQ Grill is designed to fit korean bbq plates. Per one canister of gas, you can expect around 217 minutes of cooking. The plate uses a nonstick coating for easy cleaning. In the sides, there are slits for easy removal and switch of the plate. They even give you a lifting tool so you wont burn your hand. If you need additional grilling plate (Recommended), you can purchase them separately.
TeChef – Stovetop Korean BBQ Non-Stick Grill Pan (Best Buy)
If you already have a gas stove top, then you can buy the grill pan from TeChef. This model uses a nonstick coating as well for easy cleaning/cooking. The base has a little drain hole to remove excess grease. If you don’t have a portable stove, you can purchase one on Amazon. Dont forget the Gas Canister.
Zojirushi EA-DCC10 Gourmet Sizzler Electric Griddle (Best Electric model)
For a electric model, look no further than Zojirushi. Their griddle is perfect both of Korean BBQ and breakfast food like pancake and bacon. This model also uses a nonstick coating for easy cleaning. However, separate grill pans are expensive and difficult to swap out when hot. But in terms of versatility and ease of use, its hard to beat.
Korean BBQ Grill Indoor vs Outdoor
The traditional Korean BBQ Grill uses charcoal or wood to grill meat. However, the downside to these is that there is a lot of smoke generated. Due to Carbon Monoxide poisoning, it is generally not recommended when it is done at home. The reason why Korean BBQ restaurant can get away with this is because they have proper ventilation to suck up all the smoke out. You will usually see that each seat will have a duct right over the grill. Unless you have one or are willing to pay the money for the duct, its not recommended to do it indoor.
For a more safe option, you can use electric or gas powered stove. These models will not generate as much smoke. In essence, it will be the same type of grill that you get on your stove top. Some might wonder why get a grill in the first place. The main reason is because of the family style of cooking. Korean BBQ is meant to be eaten at the table and with family. With a portable gas or electric stove, you can do this.
Gas vs Electric Korean BBQ Grill
In general, gas performs better than electric. It can output a higher heat and its generally easier to control the heat. However, they are also more costly. You need to buy a new gas canister everytime it runs out. It can also stop cooking half way if you dont have enough gas.
For Electric grill, they perform well, but do not cook as well. Some manufacturer will make their grill cycle on and off. Which makes it difficult to get a proper sear on the food. The good thing is that it will keep on working as long as you have power. It really is a toss up between these two.
The traditional cast iron grill is usually the best. They develop a nonstick coating and will hold heat well. This lets food cook quickly and evenly. The issue is that for home grilling, these options are usually not available. What you are left with is the nonstick version. While they are not bad, they do have a limited shelf life. After a while, the nonstick coating will wear down and needs to be replaced.
The good thing about these nonstick grill is that they are relatively affordable. Plus, you will typically need a few different grill per meal. It is common for Korean BBQ house to swap out new grill once its done cooking. You want one that is easy to remove and can be replaced easily. Most manufacturer will let you buy separate grills.
How to Use and Clean
Korean BBQ Grills are pretty easy to use. If you get the gas model, just press the ignite switch and grill on the plate. Some models needs water to temper the heat of the grill. The electric models do not need that.
To cook on the grill, let the meat rest on top and it should cook by itself. If you must cook it faster, you can swirl it around. Eventually, residue will start to build up. When that happens, its best that you replace the grill for another one. It will keep it clean and make it easier to cook.
Korean BBQ is one of the most loved bbq around. However, cooking traditional bbq is a little difficult. The smoke from charcoal or wood will cause too much problem. Luckily, you can get around this with a smokeless electric or gas grill. Both work well and have their pros and cons. I personally prefer gas but it does have its cost. The electric models are a great alternative but they can cycle the heat, which causes issue when cooking. Choose one that best suits your needs.
Like Korean Grilling? Then you will like Japanese Grilling for the outdoor. Check out our article on the Best Konro Grill the Yakitori Grill