Hibachi

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The hibachi is the traditional grill in Japan and variations are found throughout Asia. It consists of a small metal firebox with grates positioned over the coals. Hibachis are made of thick, heavy metal to hold in the heat. Their small size makes them highly portable and allows you to place one on a table outside, so you can grill in front of your guests (if you do so, be sure to have insulation underneath). You control the heat by means of vents at the bottom. Many hibachis come with grates you can position closer to or farther away from the coals for additional heat control. (A split or double grate enables you to cook some foods at a higher temperature, some at a lower one.) Hibachis are designed for the direct grilling of small cuts of meats—teriyaki, yakitori, satés, kebabs, chicken breasts, and small steaks. This makes sense, because Asians love tiny kebabs and pieces of meat they can pair with rice noodles or wrap in lettuce leaves.

What to look for when buying a hibachi: Sturdy construction; a thick heavy firebox with adjustable vents at the bottom; and split or double grates you can raise and lower.

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