If you visit a yakitori restaurant in Japan, odds are that you will be eating skewered chicken as your meat cooked on a specialized grill over charcoal. The grill is typically long a narrow with a width only large enough to accommodate the meat on the skewers. This allows a portion of the skewer to hang off the side of the grill so that the meat can be rotated as needed.
The chicken is typically flavored in tare (sweet soy sauce) or with a simple seasoning such as salt and pepper. Your options are often not with the flavoring but with the part of the chicken you want skewered and grilled to ordered. Many parts of the chicken are utilized in yakitori grilling such as the thighs, skin, liver and wings.
If you are here looking for a grill to cook yakitori on, you probably understand how delicious this food is and why it is so popular in Japan. Thankful there are several options of grills below that will allow you to create yakitori at home without having to catch a plane to Japan or find a quality local Japanese restaurant that serves this meal.
Most of these grills are inexpensive and remarkably portable to take along with you to places such as picnics, tailgating, parks, and the beach. Additionally, they make a great addition to your existing standard grill since they do not take up a lot of extra space that many of us do not have.
The Best Yakitori Grills
Party Griller 32″ Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill
The Party Grill is made from stainless steel on the interior and exterior, so rust is not a concern. The stainless steel also makes this grill simple to clean.
The grill is lightweight at 16.8 pounds making it extremely portable to move wherever you wish to grill. It measures 32″ L x 8″ W x 7″ for the grill and 32″ L x 8″ W x 34″ H with the stand. The legs are removable; therefore, many vehicles can accommodate transporting this grill to a location such as a park or picnic area.
Below each side handle there is a vent which allows the user to control the heat. This is an essential feature for producing quality meals through proper temperature regulation.
This yakitori grill comes assembled allowing you to be up and grilling in no time. It is a charcoal grill so charcoal will need to be purchased separately for operation.
- 2 stainless steel seasoning shakers (included)
- 12 inch scissor & BBQ tongs (included)
- Charcoal holding grid to allow the charcoal to be separated from the ashes
Fire Sense Yakatori Grill
The Fire Sense yakatori grill produces a 17″ x 10″ cooking surface and its assembled dimensions are 10.24″ L x 17.73″ W x 7.09″ H. This is an excellent grill if you are looking for portability or easy storage as a main feature. However, it is large enough to grill at least four hamburgers or 6 hot dogs at a time.
The ceramic construction of this grill helps with proper heat distribution for better grilling results.
This is a charcoal grill so it will need to be used outside. It comes equipped with adjustable ventilation to allow for ample heat control. The picture above shows the two ventilation areas on the front of the grill (black rectangles).
Keep in mind that the instructions for this grill state that this is not a tabletop grill. If you are seeking a tabletop grill, this is product is not an option for you.
The below video provides a solid overview of the features and functionality of the Fire Sense grill. The video provides a good visual on how much food this grill can surprisingly handle at once.
- Stand with handles (included)
- 1 year warranty
- Smaller version of this grill available here
Shuzhu Tabletop Grill
This Shuzhu is one of the best yakitori grills in terms of price. It is affordable, but effective for preparing your favorite yakitori-style meals.
The grill weighs only 2.3 pounds, therefore, it is great for taking on the road to picnics, tailgating, the park, camping, and more. The legs fold up to make the size a compact 18 inches by 9 inches for transporting.
Despite its size, the manufacturer states that the grill is recommended for 2 to 5. While it isn’t ideal for entertaining, it will likely meet the needs of most small families.
- Charcoal grill
- Comes with 1 portable grill & 1 barbecue rack
- Outdoor use only
- Tabletop use okay per the manufacturer
- Vented on both sides
Kinka BBQ Diatomite
The Kinka BQ-8WF 54 is the closest to authentic yakitori-style grill that you possibly may find outside of Japan. This is actual considered a barbecue stove and not an oven.
The exterior of the stove amazingly does not get hot enough to burn unlike many other grills. This is an excellent safety feature that may prevent kids or even adults from getting injured.
The stove is designed to radiate far infrared rays from the interior walls. These rays assist in supplying an even cook to meats and other foods.
The grill is 21.26 inches W x 9.06 inches D x 7.87 inches H. It weighs 24.3 pounds making it light enough to move where needed.
- Made of diatomite
- Exceedingly durable
- Charcoal grill
Uten Barbecue Charcoal Grill
The Uten grill is a durable but lightweight outdoor barbecue. It weighs only 10.1 pounds making moving it a breeze. The legs fold up underneath the bottom of the grill to allow for easy transportation or storage.
The grills dimensions are 28.7 x 13 x 26.8 inches when setup for barbecuing. It is able to accommodate approximately 5-10 people for a variety of events.
It is constructed of stainless steel throughout, which will deter rust and allow for a easy cleaning. Additionally, each end contains air vents to help provide even heat across the grill.
- Charcoal grill
- 1 tong (included)
- 1 year warranty
- Non-slip rubber feet
StyleMbro Japanese Yikiniku Grill
Barbecuing on this grill will give the users a feeling that they are in Japan cooking authentic yakitori. While this grill technically is portable enough to transport to a place such as a park or the beach, we would suspect that most people would keep it at home for parties or family dinners.
The makers of this grill do make a 5″ version (see it on Amazon) of this grill which is much more portable for transporting or using in small spaces.
This is a metal barbecue that is both durable and finely detailed. It will provide enough space to BBQ for at least two to three people. This is one of the best yakitori grills for both its elegant and genuine appearance of a Japanese-style grill.
The grill features stainless steel grill grates with an aluminum body and inner charcoal steel case. The manufacturer recommends charcoal briquettes for the fuel source
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 5.8 x 5.4 inches (assembled)
- Paulownia wood base
Books.And.More Folding Mangal
The dimensions of this grill are 13.4 x 17.7 x 20 inches, which makes this one of the largest on our list. While this grill is more designed for larger kebab cooking, many people looking to purchase a grill for yakitori might still consider this mangal.
This grill might look a bit bulky to some, but as you can see from the above picture, it folds down to an convenient compact size. You can essentially take this grill anywhere you wish to cook and it can be unfolded and ready to fire up within minutes.
- Stainless steel (0.06 inches thickness)
- 6 skewers (included)
Fired Burning (ABURIYA) CB-ABR-1
The Iwatani is a true made in Japan mini grill. It operates using only small cans of butane(sold separately), so it can almost effortlessly be taken to a variety of place where you want to grill. This is especially true since the grill weighs only 5.29 pounds. A canister of butane will last about 1.5 hours on high heat, which allows ample time to grill most yakitori meals.
It is recommended to use the grill outside because of the smoke it will create with certain foods and the chance of carbon dioxide poisoning.
Yakitori Grill Q&A
The beautiful thing about yakitori is its simplicity. In many cases, you only need skewers to rotate the meat over the flame. However, some people may be more comfortable moving the meat with tongs because of the heat. Additionally, a grill basting brush is good to have on hand if you plan on using sauces on your meat. Keep in mind that it may be more economical to buy a grill tool set than each tool individually.
You are not limited to just chicken with the above grills. Many of the grills above are suitable for general BBQ cooking for foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, and more.
Binchotan is an oak charcoal that is often used when making high-quality yakitori. This is the charcoal we recommended, however, it tends to be expensive.
We prefer either metal or 100% bamboo skewers. You can purchase quality bamboo skewers in bulk for super cheap here. Be sure that the size of your skewers are long enough to hang outside of your grill so that the yakitori can easily be rotated or moved off the grill.
You should use these grills outdoors because of the smoke and carbon dioxide that can be deadly. You should only use a grill indoors if the manufacturer states that indoor use is okay.