6 Legit “Japanese Style” Yakitori Grills (Konro) and This Is the Best One I Am Buying. Along With the Best Chicken To Buy

I miss my weekly yakitori (grilled chicken) at Shin-Sen-Gumi yakitori in Los Angeles, and since I can not get it, I researched which yakitori konro/grill to buy. From that research, I realized all the other yakitori lists are just trying to sell you a bunch of BBQ grills.

Originally posted on March 12th, ’21. Updated on Aug 2nd, ’22, Sept 23rd, ’22, Nov 23rd, ’22, more changes on Aug 2nd, ’23

It is becoming too commonplace for all these best yakitori grill lists to be as credible as Dr. Nick’s credentials on the Simpsons because his tagline is “If I kill you, you don’t pay.” Since I love yakitori, and living, these are the five legitimate grills ideal for yakitori to great for grilling.

This list is the only one that does not tout every cheap Amazon product made for Bubba’s American backyard BBQ as a “yakitori grill” because those lists are out to cash in as an Amazon Affiliate, shiesty focks. 

Oh, and I am also listing the best chicken to buy too, yea, bruh.

Yaki (Grilled) tori (Chicken) is “grilled chicken,” not barbecue/BBQ

First things first. Barbecue is low and slow (low temps and cooking times of a couple hours to over 24 hours) versus grilling, which is high temperatures with shorter cooking times (seconds to several minutes).

Photo Description: two of the grill guys at Shin Sen Gumi yakitori in Fountain Valley, California. One is seasoning the yakitori on the grill (real Japanese yakitori grill), while the other is flipping and rotating the skewers on the grill. In the foreground, is a cooler with several skewers in it.
Like I said in my Shin Sen Gumi post, they operate in pairs, like Mormons.

Too many media outlets and bloggers creating content are solely out to make a buck from hustling every product on Amazon, which comprises every generic barbecue grill they can throw at you all from China on Amazon. Yea, I know some may see no issue with that, but I started this blog to support the American, Japanese, and anybody else with skin in the game beyond the goal of boats and ho’s (a worthy goal, but not my primary goal, a close first place).

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain Amazon and other affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

The TL;DR (“Too Long Didn’t Read”) aka the summary

Scroll no more because I have listed the five most dedicated American and Japanese yakitori grill brands, and this is the short list for all of you with little to no attention span:

1. Kaginushi is a popular yakitori konro for commercial to home use, 2. Teruhime is commercial/restaurant grade konro used by Japanese yakitori restaurants, 3. Bincho Grill is an American company with a lot of the characteristics and looks of a Japanese yakitori grill, and 4. Yak Grill is another American company that offers up a versatile stainless steel grill.

For 22 and ’23, I added 5. Iwatani a gas grill and 6. bankoware charcoal table top grill all for around $100 for comparison sake and ease of use.

The best Japanese yakitori/kushiyaki konro

These are all earthen insulated grills that have been traditionally used in Japanese grilling. That influence has trickled on over to the Big Green Egg and other kamado’s in the US. Unlike a Weber, they use a ceramic or an insulated outer jacket and on the flip side, a YETI cooler has a thick jacket of insulation to keep things cool (BTW, I researched it a while back, a YETI is the same as most other coolers, just a bigger price tag).

Highly recommended: the Japanese products with an earthen insulation intended for yakitori, which use either a diatomite bricks or igneous rock (rhyolitic). Great for insulating and directing the heat to where it counts, the grill surface.

This is just a summary and all the details on why the product is recommended are listed below.


Japanese charcoal grills have been poppping up in restaurants throughout the US. Even in backyard BBQ’s, the Big Green Egg has been gaining popularity, which is a Japanese inspired product.

Photo Description: the Kaginushi kogyyo product icon, recommended product.

Kaginushi Kogyo
Probably the most popular Japanese yakitori konro/grill used in commercial and home use (outdoor). This konro utilizes diatomite bricks to insulate and direct the heat of bincho charcoal internal temps upwards of 1,800ºF and according to, 1400 – 1800F for lump charcoal (most people grill at 400-450°F).

Comparing Kaginushi Kogyo and Teruhime Koukaseki to its competition outside of Japan, is like comparing the original steel Weber kettle grill to a stainless steel and ceramic Big Green Egg, which is Japanese-inspired.

Iron grates are used at the base for the Teruhime Koukasaki grill which is ideal for grilling/managing heat.
Photo Description: the Teruhime Koukaseki product icon, recommended product.

Teruhime Koukaseki
A Japanese commercial yakitori konro/grill with rhyolite insulation iron grates to lay charcoal on (superior to stainless steel grates) and my favorite although this product is only sold through a restaurant distributor/retailer (MTC/MTC Kitchen).


These brands have all the looks or imply they are yakitori-specific grills like the Japanese products, but they contain no earthen insulation, yet Bincho Grill charges just as much or more (poor on value and ). They are like the live-action adaptations of anime, close, but off the mark.

Sturdy stainless steel construction with no specialized material for thermal insulation. Unfortunately, not ideal for grilling (the Yak Grill cannot withstand heat above 750ºF), which makes it poor on value compared to the above grills because Bincho Grill charges upwards of $120+ more.

Unlike the grills above, these two provide a slight edge in portability.
Photo Description: the Bincho Grill vs. Yak Grill icon: product not recommended, and the Bincho Grill is way overpriced compared to its Japanese competitors which offer insulation although compared to the Yak grill, it includes vents to control charcoal temps.

Bincho Grill
An American iteration with all the looks/utility of a Japanese yakitori grill, but it has no earthen insulation, and is just a metal shell and unfortunately the worst due to the pricing. The pricing is only for the base grill and does not include all the additional accessories.

Regardless if these brands are not the ideal for yakitori, these two American companies are still worth supporting over the countless and nameless knock-off brands on Amazon.

It’s good to see leading American brands like the Big Green Egg out of Atlanta, GA, not selling on Amazon, and you will need to support a local business.
Photo Description: the Bincho Grill vs. Yak Grill icon: product not recommended, but the Yak grill is slightly more affordable although with less features than the Bincho Grill (vents).

Yak Grills 
Is also an American company with a yakitori-inspired grill with no insulation although costs the same price as the 18″ Bincho Grill and Kaginushi Kogyo. Also if you care, like Batman’s preference, it also comes in black. Perfect for when you are grilling with your hockey pads on.


Banko-ware is a type of pottery from the Mie prefecture of Japan known for their teapots, tea cups, and flower vases. The heat-resistant properties make it ideal for the lower half (dark colored outer) of this 12.6″ x 5.5″ konro, which is you can use to do yakiniku, yakitori, or because Murica, burgers. 

What do I get for $100? Not anything you want, but you will have a charcoal and gas grill option.

Both options can be used for yakitori or generically for grilling in general.

MTC Kitchen, NYC
This is the newest product aded to the list as of August of ’23, and I added them because of the crew over at MTC which tends to not suck. Their service, along with their competitor, Korin has been outstanding to me, and I am sometimes shocked on what they come through with (setting the bar high).


A portable Japanese gas grill designed for yakitori/kushiyaki and is not intended to be a comparable product to charcoal or Japanese-specific grills.

A gas grill iteration not comparable at all to earthen or charcoal grills. Gas does not get as hot (500-550°F) as charcoal (1200 °F) and does not emit guaiacol for that smokey taste.

This is just a summary, all the details on why the product is only recommended for convenience.
Photo Description: the Iwatani Gas grill which is not comparable to any of the other products because it is a gas grill although it is like both Bincho Grill and the Yak Grill with no insulation.

Iwatani Portable Gas grill
This is the newest addition to the list and it was only added as a convenience option since it is a portable gas grill.

All the grills typically range in price from $100 to $484, and if you want to know why I say “yakitori-like,” keep reading because you will want to know before you buy. The above sums it up, but for the rest of the details, like price comparisons and where to buy, keep reading.

Photo Description: quarrying of diatomite in Japan for Kaginushi Kogyo products.
The quarrying of diatomite in Japan for Kaginushi Kogyo products (the missing component from all the “yakitori-like” products).
Typically most posts on the internet across industries get an average time on page of 2-3 mins. For the last 90-days, the average for this article is 8m 19s.

A word to all my BOH line cook brethren

If you work back-of-the-house (BOH), and you need to come up with a menu, and you have never had yakitori before, please do not add yakitori to your menu without reading through this or following the individual listed at the bottom of this post (it does not matter you have tatted sleeves).

Outside of Los Angeles, I have had the worst interpretations and attempts at yakitori. They range from the ridiculously plated (so foo-foo, it just needed a sprig of parsley), the moronic chicken teriyaki on a stick (we Muricans love the sauce), to the only legit version which I had, except it has not been available since the pandemic.

Photo Description: my first meal in Japan after landing. This was at 1:45am (thanks to time and geo stamping on the image). In this pic are a number of black plates, one rectangular one with a number of yakitori skewers on it, the others have grilled yamaimo, edamame, and what looks like shirako.
My first meal back in Japan (Gotanda) at about 1:45am, eating and drinking prior to checking into my love motel.

What is and what does yakitori mean in Japanese (most of you already know this)

Yakitori is various small cuts of a chicken (thigh, gizzard, heart, liver, cartilage, to skin) grilled at high heat. The seasonings are minimal, usually either a salt (shio) or a soy sauce basting sauce (tare). 

In the US, we are all about the boobs and wings of a chicken, but Japan goes all in.
  • Yaki (grilled) tori (chicken). Yup, it just means grilled chicken and that is almost as exciting as mount midoriyama simply meaning green (midori) mountain (yama), for you American Ninja Warrior fans.
  • Aburu means “to grill,” so you will often see a restaurant or business with “ya” in it such as “aburiya” which means grill shop/restaurant (along with ramenya or sushiya).
  • Konro: is a small portable gas or charcoal grill, and they range from a shichirin (circular), hibachi (small rectangle), to yakitori specific (long rectangle).
  • Kushiyaki: skewered grilled meat and vegetables although another variation is kushiage wich is skewered deep-fried foods (some of which are DYI at your table, but in Murica, we call that legal liability).
  • For the yakitori noobs: If you are new to yakitori, give this video a watch by Eater of “The Only Michelin-Starred Yakitori Restaurant in America.”

Going in, this is what I want to know about yakitori:

  • What type of yakitori grills (brands) are available in the United States?
  • What makes a great yakitori grill?
  • What other equipment will I need aside from just the charcoal (also what is the best yakitori charcoal)?
  • Does the quality of chicken vary/matter much?
  • What are the types of yakitori, along with a few of my favorites.
  • How hard is it to break down a chicken?

The top 5 yakitori grill brands and the only legit “Best Yakitori Grill” list (updated on Aug 2nd, 2023)

I will also point out that this list is not motivated by selling you on Amazon products, and I am listing ALL vendors and products that are “authentic” or yakitori-specific products.

Why is it specifically a “yakitori” grill? Well, it does not have to be, but it is ideal for skewered foods (kushiyaki) from shish kabobs to satay, basically anything that will fit on a narrow grill such as fish to veggies.

If you want to know all the Japanese grills, I have a blog post listing all the types of Japanese grills here.

If you want a good laugh, go look at the other lists with any and every grill (konro/hibachi/shichirin) to BBQ grills listed.

5-five icon

A little about the five yakitori konro/grill brands

Image Description: Bincho Grill logo

The Bincho Grill
American company

“The Bincho Grill™ was created from my passion for outdoor grilling.  Japanese-style grilling always interested me as a homemade chef and a master griller. So I basically combined my profession experience in steel fabrication and design with my passion and love for cooking and grilling which made me invent The Bincho Grill.”

Japanese company

As an integral part of one of the leading global Japanese conglomerates, Iwatani Corporation of America has been steadily broadening its’ horizons to new markets throughout The Americas in the fields of cooking products, industrial gases, ceramics, electronics, plastics, chemicals, metals, and agri-bio for the past 30 years.

Kaginushi Kogyo

Japanese company
sold through dealers:
Knifewear/Canada, Korin/New York, Nishikidori/France, MTCkitchen/New York

The Kaginushi family is made up of fishermen, from generation to generation. During the winter – off-season for fishing – members of this family make barbecues made from diatomaceous earth.  When it was created in 1932, the winter season was used in the manufacture of traditional bricks and tiles. In 1953, in collaboration with the company Insolite Industry Co., Ltd., the company created its first workshop specializing in the manufacture of diatomaceous earth bricks in the city of Suzu. In 1961, the company evolved into Kaginushi Industry Co., LTD, specializing in the manufacture of refractory insulation bricks, diatomaceous earth products, Noto tiles. Led by Mr. Sunao Kaginushi, chaired by Mr. Tetsu Kaginushi, the company has 25 employees nowadays.

Teruhime Koukaseki
Japanese company

Teruhime (Japanese language only) is a kitchen equipment manufacturer and designer of Teppanyaki, pottery, utensils, and other kitchen miscellany used for Okonomiyaki, Teppanyaki, Yakitori and various other styles of Japanese restaurants. Japanese Mokutan Konro (Charcoal Stove) has been gaining traction in Western kitchens in a big way in recent years, being used as a neat, portable, and affordable option for charcoal cookery in some of the top restaurants in the US and elsewhere. We’re excited to bring you this fully stainless option alongside our standard-fired clay grills.

Yak Grill
American company

Extremely pleasantly surprised to have chatted with David, the founder of Yak Grills, and I am impressed on so many levels. I will go as far as to say, he is one of the easiest people I have worked with in decades. The reason that is, this product is not David’s first rodeo, and he has been a leading innovator in the athletic footwear industry.

If you are wondering where Kinka, Co., Ltd is at? I left them off because they primarily specialize in shichirin grills, and I have a separate article on Japanese grills and “barbecues.”

Bincho Grill is also the only company not reachable, so product information or additional insight is not available (only the information provided online).

If you are wondering “should this list not be longer?” I left off several products and brands that you would find on AliExpress, Amazon, to eBay. The products I have listed above have a focused and vested interest in producing a yakitori/grill-specific product (not a grill sold under the guise of being a yakitori grill). These companies also have an established and extensive distributor network or are US-based companies.

What Makes a Good Yakitori Grill

From all the research I have done, and from being a grill cook at a Japanese restaurant, I would say:

  1. Got to get it hot because it’s not barbecuing where it is slow and low and you want a hot grill when grilling upwards of 1200c (2,192). BTW, you do not be grilling at these temps, but since when do you need 797 hp or CNC’d calipers with carbon ceramic brake rotors, they’re just great to have.
  2. The basic design, a lot of products will say they are a “yakitori” grill, but many are just basic generic grills (the Yak and Bincho Grill all have indentations for the skewers to not roll around, but they do not have the build quality of their competitors from Japan).
  3. You need to be able to control that heat and several of them do that through insulated walls (Kaginushi Kogyo and Teruhime Koukaseki) which direct heat upwards to the cooking areas because without it, you are creating a lot of ambient heat (“However, it doesn’t mean it insulates 100% of the inside temps since bincho charcoal temp easily goes up to 1800F or higher – via MTC). The other aspect is just controlling the overall temperature which I see three of them allowing you to do, except Yak Grills. Although you can control that with a fan or manually blocking the vents.
  4. Durability, weight, and clean-up round out the last third of what I would deem to be factors, and from a very superficial perspective, the Japanese brands all seem to embody that.

How the yakitori grill brands stack up from one another on construction/price

This is the part that separates a Japanese yakitori grill from an “inspired by” (has the looks of a yakitori grill like Bincho Grill and Yak Grills).

From the outside, the American grills (Bincho and Yak) may look the same as the Japanese products, but they fall way short. Basically you are only getting an empty shell, whereas the Japanese grills come insulated with diatomite bricks or igneous rock (rhyolite).

Yet, these “look-a-like” products sometimes charge you just as much or more which makes these grills the worst value.

Insulated to focus the heat to the grilling area

Teruhime Koukaseki (Japanese) and Kaginushi Kogyo (Japanese). Also, BBQ grills by American brands like the Big Green Egg are also insulated.

Photo Description: the illustration represents two Japanese konro brands for yakitori. In it, it shows the cross section of the grill with an insulated jacket of either diatomaceous earth or igneous rock.
All of the Japanese yakitori konro (Kaginushi Kogyo and Teruhime Koukaseki) maximize and focus the heat to where it matters, on what you are grilling, not all over the place because all of them are insulated.

Non-insulated, inefficiently radiates the heat everywhere, consumes more charcoal

Bincho Grill (American) and Yak Grills (American)

Photo Description: this illustration is the two American brands Yak and Binchotan grills. Both products are not insulated and have only a insulated jacket/outer lining. So all the heat generated by the coals radiates out everywhere.
Both the Yak and Bincho grill may imply they are like the Japanese yakitori grills, but they both fall short (they also have no problem charging the same price or more to take advantage of people interested in doing yakitori).
BrandProduct Construction
The Bincho Grill“Made from heavy gauge stainless steel with double wall construction with additional 3/16” thick aluminum insert for heat deflection and easy cleaning. The wood handles and wood base- legs will stay cool to the touch so it can be moved around and can be set on a table. The adjustable vent widows will help with air flow to keep the coals vented for optimum performance.” Pricing does not include grates and bars (sold separately).
IwataniBody: Steel plate (powder coating), Grill net: stainless steel, skewer stays: steel (plating processing), U burner: steel (plating processing), tray receiving tray (water tray): steel (Enameling processing), Instrument sewing knob: ABS resin
Kaginushi Kogyo“Stacked piles of diatomite bricks move along a conveyor belt on their slow journey through the factory’s long kiln. Afterwards, a workman hits each fired piece with a hammer to judge by its sound whether there are any cracks within. Whereas some makers join bricks with mortar to form their cooking grills, at Kaginushi the workmen use carpentry skills to fit each unit together meticulously by hand, for a stronger, tighter, more fire-resistant product. Because diatomite grills have superior heat-insulation properties, charcoal used in them starts easily and burns longer than in conventional cookers.”
Teruhime KoukasekiFully stainless steel with a koukaseki (meaning anti-fire stone) refers to igneous rock (rhyolitic), and an iron grate insert in the middle of the grill to lay charcoal on providing superior air flow, providing a more efficient and clean grilling experience.
Yak Grill100% stainless steel and grills up to 750ºF. It’s simple to use, easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, and grills at up to 750ºF. The 15”x7” stainless grilling grate serves up 105 sq. inches of cooking area, enough 4 burgers, 12 hot dogs, 2 steaks, or 9 large skewers. Outdoor use only.”
If you are considering Yak vs Bincho grills, they are both empty shells.

The Japanese grill brands are very competitively priced, but the two American brands, Yak and Bincho are similarly priced for a far lesser product. Although the most competitively priced and best value is the large (30″) Kaginushi Kogyo grill.

You will also have to pay more for a Bincho Grill for all their added accessories.
Yea, I’m now trying to pitch why you should consider a BBQ grill. No hypocrisy here, I am adding it because if you are going to go big with the greenbacks, why not go green.

Yakitori product comparison to Weber and Big Green Egg

Here is a direct comparison on the pricing of the four grills as close to an 18.0″ grill/$200 as the baseline (it would be like comparing a Weber Grill ($140/22″) vs. a Big Green Egg ($430/10″).

PLEASE NOTE: For comparison’s sake, I came up with my own size parameters (S, M, L, XL) which will make product comparisons slightly easier although keep in mind you are paying for a base grille. Many of the products below will come with or without accessories or components necessary for your intended use such as with the Bincho Grill. The base price does not include their grates ($22) and bars ($32) because it is not necessarily required for yakitori. So the total price per inch is just a rough metric, depending on the previous details.

Big Green Egg10.0 inches (Mini)
Insulated with a ceramic composite.
13 inches/33 cm in diameter (Mini Max)
Mini Max
$609 to $824
The Bincho Grill24.0″
Not insulated, stainless steel and aluminum.
Kaginushi Kogyo18.0″-21.3″
Insulated with diatomite bricks.
Teruhime Koukaseki17.7″
Insulated with igneous rock (rhyolitic).
Weber Grill22.0″
Not insulated, steel with porcelain enamel.
Yak Grill18.0″
Not insulated, stainless steel.
$250 ($220)
It looks like Yak Grill is wising up that they have an overpriced product and Bincho uses aluminum, one of the worst materials for high heat.

If you do not buy a Japanese specific yakitori grill, I would compare the Bincho Grill and Yak Grill to a mini Big Green Egg starting at around $430 with a ceramic composite and a porcelain glaze.

Ed Fisher, the founder of the Big Green Egg out of Atlanta, GA was inspired by the Japanese kamado (earthen insulated cooker).
This is a highly distorted and merely a self-serving marketing piece by Yak Grills. Image by Yak Grills,

Yakitori grill price comparison by size

This is the entire product line-up and price comparison.

BrandSize in Inches
S(12-17), M(18-24), L(25-31), XL(32+)PricePrice Per Inch
The Bincho Grill24.0″M$319$13.29
The Bincho Grill36.0″XL$399$11.00
Iwatani Gas Grill16.0″S$122$7.63
Kaginushi Kogyo12.25″S$150$12.24
Kaginushi Kogyo21.3″M$220$10.32
Kaginushi Kogyo18.0″M
Kaginushi Kogyo26.77″LAmazon seller
air shipment from Japan
Kaginushi Kogyo30.25″L$300$9.91
Kaginushi Kogyo36.5″XL$470$12.87
Teruhime Koukaseki17.7″S$200$11.29
Teruhime Koukaseki23.6″M$294$12.45
Teruhime Koukaseki35.4″XL$484$13.67
Yak Grill18.0″M$250 ($220)$12.22
Prices are subjective to change and provided for comparison sake.

Why no links to the Kaginushi Kogyo products? Well, for one I do not make a single cent directly from supporting these vendors, which means I leave it up to you to select from the top 3 vendors of (Knifewear/Canada, Korin/New York, Nishikidori/France) Kaginushi Kogyo.

How the five yakitori grill brands (from the BEST’EST’ESS’SESS to the GOOD’EST) stack up from one another

Kaginushi Kogyo

Kaginushi Kogyo (a yakitori grill by Japanese craftsman and fisherman). There is a reason why this is sold out by so many different vendors, and if you want an experience as close to what they would use in Japan, this is the one to go with.

This product is one of the most popular for commercial and home use.
Photo Description: the Kaginushi Kogyo grill is set out on picnic style table. The unit is has an outer black frame around the diatomite bricks.
This little pig decided to build his grill out of bricks. Image courtesy of

Teruhime Koukaseki

Teruhime Koukaseki (the Obvious Choice for a Japanese Commercial and Home Use Yakitori Grill). This is the one that restaurants in Japan (yakitori-ya) and throughout the globe would use because of the sturdy frame and the stainless steel cladding which make any necessary clean up easier.

This is the grill the next two are copying and wish they could be.
Photo Description: Teruhim Koukaseki yakitori grill (konro) is silver (stainless steel) with some ports below to help you to control the heat.
Don’t expect lifestyle product shots from Japanese producers unless their importer/distributor or the retailer produces them. Image courtesy of Teruhime.

If you want to know which one I am going to go with, this is the best yakitori grill for me. After all, I have commercial meat slicer, sous vide, noodle cooker, and several induction stove tops, so I thought this will round out all my excessive amount of equipment.

Bincho Grill

If you want to buy from an American-based company that has the looks of yakitori grill, the individual behind this product is the person you want producing this product, a person with a skillset in metal work.

A design that is not ambiguously generic.
Photo Description: The Bincho Grill with a number of chicken and possibly beef skewers. It does not show all the optional equipment because it is not necessarily needed.
Murica, eff yea. Image by Bincho Grill (like both Japanese products, you can control the heat through the adjustable vents below).

Yak Grills

If you love grilling, and you want the versatility to do more (like grilling a yak), this is the grill for you. Not to mention, it is built sturdy with 100% stainless steel which does not make clean-up a hellish nightmare.

A brand to support over the countless generic products listed on Amazon.
Photo Description: a nicely done lifestyle shot of the Yak Grills. The unit is on top of a outdoor table with several skewers on plates surrounding the grill.
Aside from the token Asian, I just can not help but get caught up with the very nicely done photography. Image courtesy of Yak Grills.


Unlike the other four products, this is the only one I have listed that is gas powered. I added it for comparison sake on how the range of products stack up from one another (I also added it for ease of use and convenience).

If you do not want to deal with charcoal, now you have an option.
Photo Description: the Iwatani gas powered portable grill. Pictured is the gas grill with the skewer rests down and the grill grid is placed atop with several types of seafood on it.
When it comes to butane torches in the BOH, this is the brand that I have. Iwatani is Japan’s only LPG operator holding an integrated LPG supply system covering all processes from import to retail to serve the entire country.

The core yakitori brand product attributes

BrandOverall MaterialInsulation MaterialWeight
Bincho Grill100% stainless steel (16 gauge), 3/16″ (1.5mm) aluminum, and poplar hardwood.No, just the space between the inner charcoal box and outer box.N/A
Kaginushi KogyoDiatomite is dug out from Suzu city in Ishikawa prefecture.Yes,  diatomite bricks provide high thermal insulation.S: 6.5kg/14lbs
M: 11kg/24lbs
L: 15kg/33lbs
Teruhime KoukasekiStainless steel, koukaseki (rhyolitic), iron bars, iron grate, and white thermal insulating plates.Yes, rhyolite mined from Nii-jima which helps reflect the infrared heat of the charcoal directly up into the food being cooked.S: 9.2kg/20.3lbs
M: 15.3kg/33.7lbs
L: 20.9kg/46lbs
Yak Grill304 Stainless Steel (4mm wire), 430 Stainless Steel (body material)No, just the space between the burn box and housing bodyM: 6.89 kg/15.2 lbs
Imagine buying a cooler with no insulation. Also, FYI, I looked into the cross section of an IGLOO vs. a YETI, and they are almost identical except for the pricing.

Like with most things Japanese, they do not do social media and most do not have websites, so I am only comparing the traffic of the companies with their own website. I also added Nomad Grills for comparison sake, and I also like the industrial design of their portable grill design.

BrandApproximate Site TrafficRank
Bincho Grill ( (almost non-existent)3
Nomad Grills ( (21k)1
Yak Grill ( (3.44k)2
The traffic Bincho Grill gets from will account for the vast majority of their traffic.
Photo Description: the breakdown of the Yak Grill. It depicts the handle to life the grill, 4mm wire grill grate, charcoal grid, burn box with pull-out handles, and a housiing body with 9 skewer notches and the copy "100% stainless steel" at the bottom.
You got to love these breakdowns. Image courtesy of Yak Grills.

The tools of the trade to the best charcoal for yakitori

If you are going to do something, you have to do it right with the tools that will help take your experience over the top.

  • Binchotan charcoal (I find this mandatory, sumibiyaki FTW).
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Charcoal chimney or fancy collapsible charcoal chimney fire starter.
  • Japanese fan (uchiwa)
  • Scrubbing brush

UPDATE: JULY 31, ’22: Once you settle on the best yakitori grill for your needs, I have every charcoal option for your next yakiniku or yakitori cookout (several hours of research went into this piece).

From my research and seeing my article, you will probably buy my recommendation and it might not be what you thought it would be.
Photo Description of Aramaru Binchotan Charcoal
Aramaru Binchotan Charcoal

Binchotan charcoal is full of surprises. It has a metallic sheen that belies its wood origins, and yields powerful heat despite burning cleanly and silently, without smoke. Though it doesn’t start easily, once ignited it burns steadily with a beautiful flame, giving those who master its use new control over the flavor of grilled foods. The lack of chemical additives and the incredibly high heat preserves the flavorful juices, adds a beautiful sear, and makes anything barbecued on it absolutely delectable. These wonderful charcoal are not limited to kitchen usages, they also have health benefits if used properly, such as air filtration and the ability to absorb humidity and bad odors.”

–, New York, NY

Yakitori seasonings and sauces (we Americans love the sauce)

Yes, I know, you want sauce, dressing (ranch), or salsa, so here you go although you might want to try the natural chicken flavor:

  • Tare (a soy sauce-based basting sauce).
  • Shio (salt).
  • Yuzu kosho (chiles and yuzu zest).
  • Shichimi togarashi (7-spice powder with hemp seed).
  • Sansho (a citrusy Sichuan peppercorn like powder).

Find a chicken that does not do drugs and knows how to chill

The chicken I have had in Japan is noticeably and distinctively better than what I have had here in the states although, in Wisconsin, I have had some phenomenal chicken. I just do not know why and where to track down that type of chicken, so I am going to have to do some major digging. I will cite the biggest tell was when I to cut into the breast, it has almost no grain. It looks like tofu, and something oozed out when I sliced through it, pure golden juicy chicken goodness (my friend’s mom tired of me talking about the chicken).

Photo Description: a bunch of chickens hanging out on a green lawn area.
That is some posh chicken living . Image courtesy of D’artagnan.

When asked about deciphering labels (natural, free-range, hormone free, etc.): “However, the range of possibilities is broad, and the various distinctions can be “bastardized,” says Ariane Daguin, founder of D’Artagnan, a high-end meat company.”

Ariane Daguin, via Reuters “Is Organic Woth the Price”

The free range and organic chicken brands

The Reuters article by Mitch Lipka and crew is so worth the read, and if you do not read it, you are missing out because it just elevated my image of D’Artagnan – Who by the way has their own article “Why Free Range & Organic Chicken.” It also sums up the differences between organic and conventional factory chickens.

Surprisingly, I can not find one reputable source that will say that there is a substantial difference from organic and factory farming chicken in regards to taste/quality. Although, it does matter for your conscience.

The most credible from my research is D’Artagnan.
  • D’Artagnan ( – “Organic free-range chicken, raised humanely, with no antibiotics, hormones, or arsenicals. Our farmers give the chickens non-GMO, organic feed, spring water, access to the outdoors and plenty of indoor space to express natural behaviors. Savor the buttery taste and texture of our delicious, award-winning chicken — the first chicken on the market ever to be certified by the USDA as free-range organic.”
  • DeBragga ( – “New York’s Butcher. Amish country chickens. These excellent chickens are raised in Pennsylvania without antibiotics or animal by-products. Perfect, to roast, rotisserie, or smoke.”
  • Gerber’s Amish Farm ( – “Our chickens are raised in large, spacious houses. They can roam freely and eat and drink as they wish. Gerber goes to great lengths to raise healthy chickens using improved nutrition, animal husbandry and selective breeding. Our strict standards mean the difference between our chicken and ordinary chicken products. Animal Welfare Humane Certified and Where Food Comes from source verified.
  • Mary’s Chicken ( – “Mary’s Free Range Chickens is proud to be family owned and operated since 1954.  Mary’s sons, David and Ben Pitman, are third-generation Pitman farmers who lead the company today. David and Ben have been taught by their father, Rick, who learned from his father, Don, about the importance of animal husbandry and our responsibility to ensure the welfare of animals.”
  • Red Bird Farms ( – “Red Bird Farms has been providing fresh chicken since the 1940s. As we’ve grown and expanded to more territories, Red Bird Farms has maintained a commitment to quality and integrity. Red Bird Farms chicken is fed an all vegetarian diet. In addition, the chicken is never given any antibiotics, ever. Red Bird chicken is hand cut. Gourmet chicken isn’t run down an assembly line of robots, but rather a talented team of cutters.  The chicken is truly fresh and incredibly juicy.”
  • Shelton’s Premium Poultry ( – “Shelton’s Poultry, Inc. has been a family owned and operated business since 1924.  Our goal is to provide the finest poultry and poultry products that are truly All Natural, without the use of Antibiotics, Artificial Growth Stimulants, Chemical ingredients and additives, or cheap fillers.  Take a look at the ingredients in our products, the lists are short, simple and don’t look like a high school chemistry experiment.  We like making wholesome products that you will enjoy every single day and that will make you feel good about buying for your friends and family.” 
BrandDescriptionPricePricing Details
D’artagnanQty (6), 2.5-3.5lb avg., fresh whole organic chicken, humanly-raised, USDA certified, free range, 100% non-GMO, organic feed of corn and soy.$105.99$17.66 per chicken
D’artagnanQty (2), 2.5-3.5lb avg., frozen whole organic chicken, humanly-raised, USDA certified, free range, 100% non-GMO, organic feed of corn and soy.$34.99$17.49
per chicken
D’artagnanQty (1), 3.5lb avg., frozen whole Heritage breed, free-range, certified humane by Humane farm animal care, Recognized by ASPCA, no antibiotics or hormones.$21.99Roughly $8.79lb
DeBraggaQty (1), 3.0lb avg., Amish country chickens raised in Pennsylvania without antibiotics or animal by-products.$12.95Roughly $4.31lb
Gerber’s Qty (1), 4 to 4.5lbs, Gerber’s Amish Farm Whole Fryer Chicken, all vegetarian diet, no antibiotics.$8.99$1.80lb
Mary’s ChickenQty (1), whole chicken, air chilled whole chicken fryer.N/AN/A
Red Bird FarmsQty (1), whole young chicken, all natural, no antibiotics, fed vegetarian diet (corn, milo, and soy), no animal by-product.About $10.59 each$2.99lb
Shelton’s N/AN/AN/A
Finding a chicken between 3-4lbs is ideal. Also price is for comparison sake and price and availability are subject to change.

So does buying organic chicken matter?

Based upon the articles, there is not much to support buying organic over your large industrial farmed chicken other than your conscience. Although if organic and free-range chicken might not be discernible, what does matter is that you will support humane, sustainable farming and eating a chicken that is not doped up and roided out like the dudes on muscle beach with large moobs (man boobs).

Photo Description: 5 negima or chicken skewers with green onions/leeks grilled. This is an above, top down shot that lets you see the burn box with pull out handles.
You know why I am using this shot? Because Yak Grills is gaaaaaaangsta when it comes down to how they operate as a business.

Tongue, gizzards, hearts, liver, and a nice thick juicy thigh is what makes a great horror flick and yakitori (a delicious one)

If you did well on your SAT, you will most likely be able to pick up on the list below is not strictly chicken, and it is a mix of chicken, beef, veggies, to fish cake (I have added an asterisk next to all the cuts that I love to eat rare to medium-rare).

Being able to appreciate a chicken piece or part by part seems to be a respectful way to appreciate chicken (I also never thought I would enjoy heart and liver so much).

If you are only into breasts, you are missing out.
  • Atsuage, deep-fried tofu
  • Bonjiri, chicken tail
  • Butabara, pork belly
  • Chikuwa, fish cake and cheese
  • Enoki maki, mushrooms wrapped in pork
  • Ginnan, ginkgo
  • Gyutan*, beef tongue
  • Hāto/hatsu*, chicken heart
  • Momo, chicken thigh
  • Nankotsu, chicken cartilage
  • Negima, chicken and spring onion
  • Rebā*, liver
  • Sasami, breast meat
  • Shiro, chicken small intestines
  • Shiitake, mushroom
  • Shishito, a real mild pepper
  • Sunagimo, chicken gizzard
  • Tsukune, chicken meatballs
  • Torikawa, chicken skin, grilled until crispy
  • Tebasaki, chicken wing
  • Toriniku, all white meat on a skewer
  • Wagyu*, highly marbled beef 
  • Yotsumi, pieces of chicken breast
Photo Description: that is how they do it in Japan at an outdoor festival of some sort. Two guys are operating a small booth with several types of yakitori and a number of people gathered around.
In Japan, you can find yakitori everywhere for good reason, it is delicious (also great if you are on a ketosis or meat only diet). Image courtesy of the Takoyaki King, George.

I grill and eat yakitori, but I am no authority which is why you need to seek out the Yakitori Guy to learn how to break down/butcher a chicken

We are lucky to have such a great resource in the U.S., and that resource is the Yakitori Guy. I say that because I will not be able to run you through this critical step, but he will get into every and all the details regarding yakitori preparation. You can follow him not only on YouTube, but be sure to give him a follow on his Instagram page.

sharing is caring
Some people share chlamydia conjunctivitis, but I share legit yakitori information, so help me spread my love for yakitori which doesn’t require antibiotics like tetracycline.

Poultry icons created by dDara – Flaticon and Yakitori icons created by Freepik – Flaticon.

%d bloggers like this: