How to Choose a Charcoal Yakitori Grill: Konro v.s. Akachan v.s. Una

May 03, 2022 4 min read

How to Choose a Charcoal Yakitori Grill: Konro v.s. Akachan v.s. Una

So you think you want a new grill?

Well, you’re right. You’redamn right! You do want a new grill, nay, you demand a new grill! You’re doing it. You’re getting an amazing new grill! 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 colours! Well, now what?! How the heck are you going to choose! Fear not; we’re here to help.

*Please do not carry your new grill on your Motorcycle/E-scooter/Velociraptor unless you went with the Una Grill. The others might be a wee bit unruly at high speeds.

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 four grill options will give you the best mix of functionality and portability. 

UNA Portable Grill

A personal favourite, this compact little grill is DISHWASHER FRIENDLY?! You read that right; you can chuck the stainless steel grill grate right into the old dishwasher! Wipe out the debris, pop it in the ol’ Maytag and voila! On top of that, it folds into itself for convenient carrying, has two different grilling heights AND has dedicated slots for skewers. For the price, this may be the best portable tabletop grill out there right now.

Knifewear Akachan

Our very own grill! That’s right: we designed it, and we know you’ll love it. This hefty little guy is the right size for a couple of burgers with some veggies on the side. I’m thinking Portobello caps and bison burgers. It’s also got “compartments,” so you can easily use half the grill if you’re on a solo picnic. The price also makes this a very accessible option for the konro-curious folks. Just make sure that the picnic table isn’t plastic; this bad boy gets toasty on the bottom.

In general, always use a sturdy, heat-resistant surface when grilling.  Avoid Glass tops. Heat + Weight + Glass = You’re going to have a bad time.

Shichirin Konro

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.

Small Konro Yakitori Grill

Like its little sibling, the Shichirin, these ceramic fire brick grills petite Yakitori grills arejuuust small enough to be easily transported, butjuuust 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.

Konro Medium BBQ

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!

Konro Medium Yakitori

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!

Konro Large Yakitori

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 for sure. Easily the best for entertaining any size group of people, you have enough cooking surface to show off while never feeling like you’re short on space. 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!

Adam Zarycki
Adam Zarycki

Adam has been in the culinary industry for ten years now. He’s a vegan, a husband, and he’s heavily invested in animal rescuing. Adam is also our resident axe nerd. If you ever have questions about axes or a good recipe without meat, he's the man to talk to!