How to Choose a Charcoal Yakitori Grill: Konro v.s. Green Life v.s. Shichirin
November 29, 20234 min read
So you think you want a new grill?
Well, you’re right. You’re damn right! So you go ahead and hop on your handy cargo bike/e-scooter/Velociraptor/Motorcycle* or even get into one of those old-fashioned “auto-mobiles” and head on down to Knifewear. When you arrive, you suddenly realize there are not just a few grills to choose from, but different makers, styles, and even materials. Fear not; we’re here to help you find the right one.
When helping someone choose a grill, we start by asking if they plan to “grill on the go” or aim to be the envy of the neighbourhood, meaning the grill is likely to live stationary in the yard. With this in mind, let’s dive into the options.
Portable Charcoal Grills
Technically speaking, ANY grill is portable with the right amount of muscle and gusto. But we’re being practical here! These will give you the best mix of functionality and portability.
Fun to say and even more fun to use; the Shichirin Konro is a grill in a bucket! Well, not literally, but it is bucket-shaped with space to store accessories and a handle for easy carrying. The layered (Shichirin means seven layers) ceramic fire bricks act as a fantastic insulator but won’t conduct heat, meaning you can pack up and go at a moment's notice when that tailgate party gets the old “heave-ho” from the folks in the loud truck. Perfect for veggies and smaller meat stuff, this is how you show up and show off at your next family picnic.
This ultralight grill is the future of charcoal grilling. It works the same way as the konro, just made from steel. The outer and inner layers are separated by airspace, and the grill's many exterior holes create airflow to shoot hot air upwards, so the outside doesn't heat up! Capacity-wise, this guy can handle enough food to comfortably feed 2-4 people over an hour or two.
Like its little sibling, the Shichirin, these ceramic fire brick grills petite Yakitori grills are juuust small enough to be easily transported, but juuust big enough that you can comfortably cook two burgers at once or grill up to 6 skewers. I’ve personally met many a person who've snagged 2 or 3 of these grills. When not out-and-about, having a little fleet of these makes your next backyard gathering a smorgasbord of grilling possibilities! You get a grill! You get a grill! YOU GET A GRILL! Who doesn’t want to be the Oprah of charcoal?
The Best Backyard Charcoal & Yakitori Grills
The sun is out, and you’ve got a cold frothy beverage, so clearly, culinary shenanigans are inevitable. These are the grills that are best suited to the backyard! While all of the grills listed above work brilliantly in the backyard, these are some larger options you may want to consider.
Straddling the line between portable and backyard, the large Green Life is the best grill for almost everyone. The price is right, it's very lightweight, and has enough grilling space for most occaisions! You can pop several steaks on this bad boy, a dozen skewers worth of yakitori, or a whole lot of veggies. If you're looking for a lifetime grill to use all summer, this is the one.
While still something you could pack around in the trunk of your vehicle, this miniature beast of a Konro is best suited for the backyard BBQ enthusiast. With a larger cook surface, this is the classic westernized ceramic BBQ. Perfect for those enormous slabs o’ beef and giant piles of veggies, set one of these up in the backyard, kick back and show off your charcoal cooking prowess! With a cooking surface of 33cm x 21cm, the medium BBQ is perfect for a two-person feast or entertaining a couple of friends!
The most popular size of konro grill we sell is the medium yakitori. It is the correct length for western meals like ribs or a side of salmon but still narrow enough for easy grilling of skewers without the grates. Overall it’s fairly light, and features handles, making it easier to pack from the yard to the house or wherever you store your grill. The cooking surface is large enough to accommodate food for 6 or 7 people at once!
This is the end-all-be-all grill. Skewers. Steaks. Veggies. Fish. All of it, at the same time, if you wanted! Suitable for feeding up to 10-15 people, the Large Yakitori grill is a shop favourite. Heck, you could even have a section of the grill dedicated to just veggies and never worry about cross-contamination! If you like to host parties, this is a must-have for this upcoming grilling season.
Whether packable or stationary, the backcountry or the backyard, we’ve got a grill for everyone. But don’t forget the inspiration! Check out the incredible selection of cookbooks in-store; Anything in the Franklin BBQ series is sure to educate and motivate, and when in doubt, Chicken & Charcoal will make sure your next grill session has your friends and family raving about the food!
After a decade of being chained to the stove, Adam enrolled in the Knifewear Chef Rehab Program, meaning he's almost a normal person! Our resident axe nerd and outdoor enthusiast, he's also a Kiritsuke connoisseur. Stop by with any axe questions or ask him about that time he won third best Donair in Edmonton!
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