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Hibachi Grill For Outdoor Kitchen: What It Is, Plus Your 5 Best Options For A Hibachi Grill Station At Home

By Daniel Cdebaca

July 10, 2023

If you’re passionate about backyard grilling… There will inevitably come a day when you’re ready to test the limits of your culinary creativity.

For many, this means stepping beyond the bounds of cooking on a traditional gas grill… And finding an appliance that can do more.

And while there are plenty of innovative outdoor cooking appliances out there… Your quest to diversify may have you face to face with hibachi grills.

A centuries-old staple for Japanese cooking… Will a hibachi grill satisfy your outdoor cooking dreams?

In this article, that’s exactly what we’ll help you answer!

steak and scallops on hibachi grill

We’ll clear the air on hibachi grills… Lay out the different hibachi grill for outdoor kitchen options… And by the end, you should have a better feel for whether or not a hibachi is the right fit for you.

Ready to dive in?

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What Is A Hibachi Grill?

Before you can decide if a hibachi grill is a worthy addition to your outdoor kitchen… It’d help to understand exactly what a hibachi is.

So, let’s start with a quick history lesson!

The first hibachis can be traced back to Japan’s Heian period (794 – 1185 AD).

These early hibachi grills were heat resistant containers designed to hold hot charcoal.

Interestingly enough… The hibachis of way back when weren’t actually used for grilling food.

Rather, these charcoal-filled fire bowls were originally intended for heating rooms or boiling water… And they weren’t used for cooking until around the 20th century.

Though authentic Japanese hibachi grills were small, charcoal-fueled bowls… The definition became much more ambiguous upon their introduction to the United States.

Today, the term is used to describe everything from small, portable charcoal grills… To flat top gas grills, griddles, and teppanyaki grills.

What’s the reason for this ambiguity?

Well, it’s simple, really.

It all boils down to incorrect translation and years of misinterpretationAnd voila! The word hibachi is now used as an umbrella term to refer to different styles of Japanese cooking.

Because the term is so broad… That means you have a few options to pick from when it comes to your hibachi grill for outdoor kitchen.

So, let’s break down those options.

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Hibachi vs. Teppanyaki vs. Flat Top Grills: What’s The Difference?

Today, the term hibachi is used to describe a variety of Japanese cooking styles… From charcoal grilling to flat top grilling.

Let’s see which type of “hibachi” grill is best for you!

Charcoal Hibachi Grills

corn on a hibachi grill

If you’re big into smoky, char-grilled flavors… A charcoal hibachi grill may be a top contender for your BBQ island.

These open-top grills feature removable metal cooking grids over a charcoal-filled container, with air vents to control the burn rate and overall temp of your coals.

All in all… They’re great options for quickly cooking food right over a heat source!

But before you commit to a charcoal hibachi grill for outdoor kitchen… There’s a catch.

Modern charcoal-fueled hibachis are often small, portable grills for tailgating or tabletop use… And there are no true “built-in” options for your kitchen island.

But, couldn’t you simply place a portable hibachi grill on your kitchen’s countertops?

Well… Yes. But it’s not something we’d recommend!

First and foremost, we wouldn’t suggest placing a hibachi grill on a countertop that can’t withstand super high heats… Which means a wood or plastic surface would be out of the question! 

And what’s more… Most modern hibachi charcoal grills aren’t built to withstand the harsh outdoor elements.

Generally, you’ll find hibachis made with aluminum, cast iron, or other metals that are easily susceptible to rust and corrosion… Which means leaving them outside at your grill station isn’t the smartest idea.

If you don’t mind using a portable hibachi charcoal grill… Just be sure to bring it indoors after each use!

But if you’d prefer a more streamlined hibachi outdoor kitchen look… Stay tuned for some great built-in alternatives to fulfill your hibachi grill fix.

Teppanyaki & Flat Top Grills

tamara day cooking breakfast for her daughter on coyote flat top grill in moks outdoor kitchen

Along with portable charcoal grills… Many also bunch teppanyaki-style grilling under the “hibachi” label.

But aside from both cooking styles originating in Japan… There aren’t many other similarities between charcoal hibachi grills and teppanyaki grills.

While hibachi grills are small, charcoal-powered cookers with a grated cooktop… Teppanyaki grills feature larger, flat, and solid cooking surfaces, and are usually fueled by propane or natural gas burners.

Though you’ll miss out on authentic, charcoal-smoked flavors with a teppanyaki grill… You’ll gain some outstanding outdoor cooking versatility!

You’ll be able to cook anything you could whip up on a traditional gas grill… Plus smaller foods (like rice) or meals that would fall through grill grates (like eggs).

At this point, you may be wondering how teppanyaki griddles differ from flat top grills.

Well, many consider teppanyaki grilling to be more of a restaurant-like cooking style… With a little extra flair and visual performance thrown into the mix.

But others say the difference lies in the configuration.

Namely, teppanyaki grills are usually freestanding appliances… While flat top grills can be either freestanding or built into an outdoor kitchen.

Generally, built-in flat top grills will be constructed with higher quality materials… Making them a great fit for long term use in a grill island. (304 stainless steel is the best material for built-in flat top grills!)

On the other hand, teppanyaki or freestanding griddles, (such as Blackstone griddles or Backyard Hibachi Grills… Aren’t always the best quality for outdoor use.

These are typically made with rust-prone materials like cast iron or carbon steel… Which means they may not be the most permanent addition to your grill station. (In this case, you’ll want to invest in a heavy duty grill cover.)

But… Those are the different types of “hibachi” grills!

We must admit, all this ambiguity can be a bit mind-boggling.

And if you’re still unsure which type of hibachi is best for you… It makes sense.

There’s a lot to love about both cooking styles!

To help guide you towards that final decision… Perhaps some outdoor kitchen hibachi grill ideas will clear things up.

Hibachi Grill For Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Still on the fence about whether a hibachi-style grill is right for you?

These outdoor kitchen with hibachi grill ideas will delve into further detail on your different options.

Hibachi Charcoal Grill For Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

While there may be no such thing as a true built-in hibachi charcoal grill… There are plenty of alternatives to introduce that authentic cooking style to your summer kitchen.

Let’s run through your best charcoal-fueled hibachi BBQ kitchen options… So you won’t miss out on that traditional smoky flair!

Built-In Charcoal Grill Cooking Station

outdoor kitchen kit with built in charcoal grill

If you’re after the charcoal-kissed flavors of authentic hibachi-style grilling… Why not keep things classic with a traditional charcoal grill?

Unlike portable hibachi grills… There are plenty of built-in charcoal grills that are specially designed for outdoor kitchens.

Built-in charcoal grills will perfectly fit in a cutout on your kitchen island… And high quality models will be made with top-notch materials to hold up to the outdoor elements (like 304 stainless steel).

So, not only will your charcoal grill BBQ island have an integrated and intentional appearance… You also won’t have to worry about bringing your grill inside after you’re done using it.

Now, most built-in charcoal grills may be bigger than your average hibachi… But let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a bit more grilling surface in their BBQ island?

And though sizing may differ, overall functionality is much the same.

Built-in charcoal grills have a chamber or tray to hold your burning hot coals… Air vents for temp control… And many may also have adjustable or removable cooking grates.

Unlike hibachi grills… Built-in charcoal barbecue grills will also feature a full hood.

But, this is actually an added benefit!

All that delicious smoke flavor you crave will be trapped under your grill’s lid… And transferred directly back into your dishes.

Along with the hood, a charcoal grill insert might also bring other fancy features to the table.

Rotisserie kits are one such grill accessory… For juicy, smoky, slow-cooked meats.

Honestly, if you want an outdoor kitchen hibachi grill for home… You really can’t go wrong with a built-in charcoal grill.

To name some specific brands… Blaze, Fire Magic, Cal Flame, and Coyote offer some of the top built-in charcoal grills on the market!

But that said, a built-in charcoal grill isn’t your only option…

Kamado Grill Island

men sitting at outdoor kitchen with kamado grill on patio

Adding a kamado to your outdoor kitchen is another great alternative for hibachi grilling at home.

Like charcoal hibachi grills… Kamado grills have significant roots in Japanese cooking history.

Today, these egg-shaped ceramic cookers are both ultra-durable and undeniably powerful.

But at their core.. Kamado grills aren’t a far cry from authentic hibachi grills!

They have a chamber in which lump charcoal is burned…

Food is cooked on circular cooking grates atop the charcoal (many kamado models feature adjustable grates)

And top and bottom vents are used to adjust airflow.

Like built-in charcoal grills… Kamado grills also have a hood.

And this heavily insulated hood truly excels at trapping in heat!

So, hot air circulates around your kamado grill… Allowing for evenly cooked food with a rich charcoal flavor.

Again, kamado grills will be on the larger side… Most models are substantially bigger than portable hibachi grills!

But the good news is… You won’t have to haul a kamado indoors every time you’re done cooking.

Now, we can’t bring up kamado smokers without hyping up their versatility!

With a wide temperature range, they can be used for low and slow smokes, as well as for high temp sears…

A plethora of kamado accessories allows you to use these smokers for rotisserie or as pseudo-pizza ovens…

And if you truly want the best of both hibachi grill-styles… You can also pair your kamado grill with a griddle plate for teppanyaki cooking!

If you want to take a deeper look at specific kamado grill brands… Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Primo, and Coyote offer top quality kamado smokers.

Built-In Argentinian Charcoal Grill Kitchen

Built-in charcoal grills and kamado grills are great and all… But what if you want a grill with that rustic, open-air design of authentic hibachi-style cooking?

If you’re on the lookout for a built-in charcoal grill without the hood… An Argentinian grill is a great alternative!

These unique grillers are easy to build into an outdoor kitchen island… Without losing the charm of open-air hibachi grilling.

In fact, these grills are even more “open concept” than outdoor hibachi grills themselves!

Adjustable-height V-groove grates rest over piping hot charcoal… For cooking foods over a completely open flame. (Plus, those one-of-a-kind grates allow you to repurpose fat drippings!)

And additionally, Argentinian grills can be coupled with rotisserie spits or overhead hooks, for more versatile outdoor cooking.

So you’ll get that authentic, hibachi-like grilling experience… Without sacrificing charcoal-cooked flavors.

Urban Asado, Tagwood BBQ, and Gaucho Grills have some fantastic Argentinian grills in stock, if you want to dig deeper.

But truthfully, charcoal hibachi BBQs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

And if you’d prefer a teppanyaki-style hibachi outdoor kitchen… It’s time to take a look at some flat top options!

Flat Top BBQ Grill Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

If flat top grilling is more your speed… You’re in luck!

There are plenty of ways to factor a flat top grill into your BBQ island… For your ideal hibachi outdoor kitchen.

To give you a better idea of your options… Let’s have a look at a few ideas.

Built-in Flat Top Grill BBQ Island

breakfast cooking on a coyote flat top grill built in moks outdoor kitchen

When you picture a hibachi grill for outdoor kitchens… A flat-topped cooking appliance may come to mind!

And if you’re looking to bring that cooking power to your own outdoor living space… There’s no better choice than a built-in flat top grill.

The wide, flat cooking surface is completely open, for full accessibility as you cook…

Many built-in flat top gas griddles boast multiple cooking zones, for whipping up two or more dishes at a time…

A built-in configuration allows you to seamlessly incorporate a flat top into your kitchen design, for the utmost cooking convenience…

Your family can gather around the kitchen bar as you showcase your skills as a flat top grill chef…

And the best part is, there’s truly no limit to what foods you can make on a flat top grill!

While Coyote’s built-in flat top model is our number one pick… Blaze, Turbo Grills, Evo, and Lynx also offer some quality options.

But even so… A built-in model may not be exactly what you were envisioning.

Teppanyaki Griddle Attachment For Outdoor Kitchen

drop in griddle insert on coyote flat top grill

Perhaps you want a teppanyaki-style grill in your outdoor kitchen area… But are hesitant to commit all that precious counter space to a built-in flat top grill.

In this case… What are your options?

Well, you have quite a few!

And that’s because many other types of built-in appliances work with a griddle accessory.

So, when you have the urge to cook on a flat top… You could use a built-in gas, charcoal, or pellet grill with a griddle attachment…

Or, many built-in power burners can be paired with removable teppanyaki-style cooktops…

And as we mentioned earlier, you can even use a kamado charcoal smoker with a griddle accessory!

As you can see… If you don’t have the space for a full built-in flat top, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on teppanyaki grilling.

But whether you’re toying with the idea of a teppanyaki kitchen…

Or still prefer the tastes of charcoal…

What’s next?

The Best Outdoor Kitchen Hibachi Solution

mike pyle modern large u shaped outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and bar seating

Whether you’re tempted by the traditional flavors of charcoal hibachi grills…

Looking to perfect your craft as a flat top teppanyaki griller…

Or you want to go all out with an outdoor kitchen that showcases both cooking styles…

The next step is bringing your hibachi grill for outdoor kitchen vision to life.

Whichever way you choose to go… There’s one great place to start.

And that’s with RTA Outdoor Living!

We provide a beginning to end DIY outdoor kitchen solution, with a particular emphasis on convenience and customization.

Of course, that customization is what’ll allow your hibachi outdoor kitchen to take shape.

Using our free online design tool… You can select whatever you need to round out your custom design.

That includes your ideal shape, layout, and configuration…

As well as your choice of appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living!

You can opt for a built-in charcoal grill, kamado grill, or flat top grill for your perfect hibachi-style setup…

But don’t draw the line there!

You’ll also have access to side burners, refrigeration, storage drawers, sinks, and other cooking conveniences.

No matter what ideas you have in mind, we’re happy to help you whip up a design that can be enjoyed for a lifetime Literally. (That’s how long our concrete kitchen islands will last!)

So, are you ready to get started?

If so, we’re here for you… And we look forward to talking!

Need Help With Your Plans?

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FAQ

A hibachi grill allows you to bring more cooking functionality to your backyard kitchen.

Whether you go for a charcoal-powered hibachi BBQ or a flat top teppanyaki… You can perfect your culinary craft, impress your guests, and whip up delicious and authentic meals in your own space.

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