Korean foods are both nutritious and delicious. And with the best Korean BBQ grills on the market, you?ll be ready to replicate the authentic Asian cuisines in the comfort of your home.
Whether hosting friends for an indoor dinner party, enjoying a family meal, or looking for a quick and easy solution for weeknight cooking, a Korean BBQ grill is an ultimate addition to your kitchen arsenal.
A Guide To Buying Korean BBQ Grills For Home Cooking
Did you know that the Korean method of grilling meats is a tradition that can be dated back over 2000 years to the Goguryeo era?
While it has evolved over the centuries, the fundamental features of the indoor grills have largely remained untouched. The grilling experience is designed to cook meats quickly and efficiently. It is to produce healthy and tasty foods. Meanwhile, the idea of barbecuing meats at the dining table is conducive to bringing people closer together.
Why Buy A Korean BBQ Grill?
Korean BBQ grills have enjoyed a huge spike in popularity over the last decade or so, particularly among non-Koreans. And it?s not hard to see why!
For starters, the Korean restaurant industry has seen an annual growth of nearly 5% between the years of 2013 and 2018. This shows that more and more Americans have introduced themselves to the delights of Eastern cuisine.
An indoor BBQ grill can bring many benefits to your home cooking too. The list of incentives includes but is not limited to:
- It brings friends and family closer together by cooking at the dining table. The act of cooking becomes an integral part of the mealtime experience.
- Each member of the family or party can choose how they want their meat cooked. Whether it?s rare, medium, or well done, everyone is happy.
- The grilling process promotes healthier cooking due to the lack of unnecessary oils and hidden calories.
- It lets you enjoy barbecues throughout the year without worrying about the weather or other problems that ruin traditional BBQ parties.
- The grill offers a sense of versatility to mix up your home cooking practices. Why go to the restaurant when you can bring it to you?
Most people only use the Korean BBQ grill once every week or two. But, it truly opens the door to a wealth of magical culinary experiences. Now is the time to embrace it.
What Features Should You Look For In A BBQ Grill?
If you want to enjoy the full benefits of Korean cuisine, the right equipment is essential. There are many options on the market in a range of styles, but the best Korean BBQ grills share various key features.
Over 3 in 4 of all American adults own a BBQ grill of some kind. But, the ability to enjoy the benefits of outdoor cooking indoors makes Korean grills more popular than ever. Sadly, many new buyers rush and regret their decision.
Whether it?s the first purchase or a replacement for a faulty product, the following checklist covers the key points of interest:
- The brand name ? Inferior products can cause safety risks. A reputable name in the world of BBQ grill manufacturing and/or Korean cuisine is essential.
- Temperature range ? The authentic Korean cooking style relies heavily on high temperature. BBQ grills that reach a high maximum temperature are best.
- Cooking surface ? Bigger cooking space offers even cooking and allows for greater quantities. This is particularly useful when hosting dinner parties.
- Safe handles ? The portable unit should boast safe touch features. Nobody enjoys an unplanned trip to the local E.R.
- Cleaning ? A grill that sits in the box unused is no good. That?s exactly what happens when easy cleaning attributes aren’t there.
Personal preferences and tastes influence the decision-making processes too. However, the above elements are essential for all.
Stove Top, Electric, Or Charcoal?
One of the biggest questions revolves around the type of BBQ grill. Stovetop, electric, and charcoal are the three main choices.
Charcoal isn?t suited to indoor cooking due to the smoke. Meanwhile, they require lots of preparation.
Stovetop and electric are both suited to indoor cooking. The electric variant uses a heating element rather than a flame. This creates safe cooking but often loses the high-temperature cooking. Stovetop Korean BBQ pans work on gas and electric stovetops. This makes them perfect for high heat cooking with quick results.
The stovetop Korean BBQ grills produce the crisp outsides without losing flavor or juiciness too. For authentic meals like those enjoyed in the restaurant, this is a crucial attribute.
Different users have contrasting requirements, but most prefer the stovetop solution.
The Best Korean BBQ Grills 2019
Thanks to the popularity of Korean cuisine and barbecues in general. The marketplace now boasts a number of fantastic units. While this is obviously great news for the consumer, it does create a minefield.
I?ve spent many weeks testing the best Korean BBQ grills available (to the delight of my tastebuds but may be not to my waistline). And, I have compiled this shortlist of five brilliant solutions.
My rating –
The light but sturdy smokeless Korean barbecue grill by Japanese brand IWATANI has established itself as one of the most popular on the U.S market. Not least, because the heating plate is big enough to handle at least six portion sizes with ease. This is something I wish my first ever Korean BBQ could have done when I held my first Asian inspired dinner party.
It doesn?t require much water (? a cup on medium heat) while the smokeless function is ideal for indoor cooking. Minimal amounts of oil spillage promote easy cleaning too as the plate can be wiped clean. The tray and grill are hand washable.
The compact design is ideal for family cooking. Cooking the Korean way is fun without causing distractions. While the instructions are in Japanese, the setup is effortless. The hardwearing material can handle long cooking times and frequent usage.
Ideal for meats and vegetables, the IWATANI grill adds a crisp BBQ flavor to the foods. The esthetic is also great too. The authentic Korean tastes are best enjoyed when the ingredients are of a high quality too. Either way, the affordable price of the unit is less than even one trip to their favorite Korean restaurant.
The high-quality units work best in conjunction with IWATANI gas canisters and cassettes. However, a selection of other options are compatible.
My rating –
The simple Tayama Electric Grill offers a compact design. It promotes low-fat healthy cooking of meats, vegetables, and side dishes. The electric grill doesn?t heat as quickly as some and is best left for 15 minutes to preheat. But, it is one of the most convenient solutions on the market.
Cool-touch safety handles and an equally safe base make the portable unit ideal for families with kids. Or clumsy big kids. Crucially, the simple temperature dial lets you control the desired temperature. Control throughout the cooking process is in your hands.
The non-stick electric grill?s die-cast aluminum grill plate extends the lifespan. It reduces maintenance while an auto shut-off feature is convenient. Falling asleep or taking the party outside needn?t be a concern any longer. A 15″ x 10″ grill surface area also allows for family cooking as multiple portions can fit snugly.
Add water to the drip tray and cleaning becomes easy too as the small amounts of oil and cooking fumes won?t stick. Once disassembled, most of the parts are dishwasher safe ? although cleaning by hand is a quick and painless task.
The use of a separate heater and grill plate also overcomes the problems relating to even cooking. For an electric heater at an affordable price, this is one of the obvious choices.
My rating –
IWATANI?s Large BBQ Plate is a lightweight die-cast aluminum plate. The fluorine processing saucer weighs just 2.15lbs. However, it?s not flimsy. It measures 13.5? for a large surface area capable of handling several portions of meat and fish at once.
The attachment handle isn?t as safe to touch as some, but still promotes the portability and control of cooking. The Korean barbecue plate itself is placed on top of a portable stove to make East Asian cooking a treat. The design of the unit also drains the fat and oil away for healthy foods that do not lose their juiciness.
Butane stoves set the tone for cooking temperatures. However, the responsive metal allows for the full benefits of stove cooking while still gaining the rewards of Korean barbecuing. The portable unit is great for outdoor cooking while the smokeless processes make indoor barbecuing lots of fun.
Available in black or gray, the unit is fairly easy to clean. The ring holds half a cup of water, so you can cook on medium heat for a fair amount of time. The easy-clean surface is crucial too ? I know I?ve abandoned good products in the past due to poor cleaning attributes.
The stove hotplate is an accessory that makes indoor barbecuing quick, easy, and safe. It?s not complex, but it works.
My rating –
The Korean-made traditional BBQ grill pan by CookKing incorporates a highly effective fat draining system for healthy cooking. The true smokeless attributes of this grill pan are conducive to indoor cooking. Ideally used with portable gas stoves, it is the simplest way to transform a boring grill into an authentic East Asian powerhouse.
At just 3.85lbs, the portable unit has a 13.5? diameter. It offers even cooking and responsive temperature control. The quality of the gas stove is important for the temperatures, but the CookKing Grill Pan plate can be trusted time and time again.
The durable unit is ideal for cooking pork belly and other meats commonly associated with Korean cuisine. The black color won?t become disfigured by cooking either. I personally hate it when the plate looks dirty and damaged prior to future usage.
Some users may need one or two attempts to use it properly, but the powerful device makes indoor BBQs very fun. Again, the 13.5? surface area and even cooking attributes are great for family gatherings and parties. Thanks to the easy cleaning, though, individual usage is equally popular.
There?s no need for the Korean barbecue grill to overhaul the kitchen setup, and the CookKing pan plate proves it. It?s a small product but offers big possibilities.
My rating –
The Techef Stovetop Grill Pans for indoor or outdoor smokeless cooking are very useful. However, the choice between standard design and dome design is a little confusing for newbies. As a rule of thumb, the dome plate is best.
A safe no PFOA coating offers safe cooking in conjunction with most gas stovetops. Meanwhile, the Korean-made product is authentic. It guarantees the level of quality synonymous with the Techef brand.
Fast, responsive results are high on the agenda for any Korean BBQ lover. The Techef true grill pan ticks the boxes. Add water to the drip tray for infusion and the grill plate heats up very fast. The 5mm thickness provides heavy-gauge properties while the drip tray catches fat and spills. The plate is dishwasher safe once you?ve finished cooking and let it cool.
The dome shape uses fast draining and is ideal for fattier meats, but is capable of cooking leaner meats too. Conversely, the flat option struggles with the inverse. The 3-layer coating ensures that the product performs as expected for the long haul.
A surface area of 12? is a little smaller than some, but it still allows for cooking multiple portions. The social element of indoor BBQs remain.
All the Korean BBQ grills mentioned above provide a solid platform for enjoying Asian cuisine at home whether you?re with friends, family or alone. However, the CookKing Traditional BBQ Grill Pan is true royalty.
The multi-layer non-stick surface and true smokeless cooking are key features. On the other hand, the premium quality authentic Korean product ensures that cooking is a joy. Of course, the best equipment requires top-quality ingredients too. Nonetheless, the portable unit is the perfect addition for frequent or infrequent users.
It?s everything you could need at an affordable price. Asian cuisine at home never looked so good.