The Best Japanese Yakitori Grills (Konro) From Japan/Made in Japa and the US and How They Rank

I miss my weekly yakitori (grilled chicken) at Shin-Sen-Gumi yakitori in Los Angeles/Fountain Valley, and since I can not get it, I researched a dozen yakitori konro/grills 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 Mar 12th, ’21. Updated on Aug 2nd, ’22, Sept 23rd, ’22, Nov 23rd, ’22, more changes on Aug 2nd, ’23, Nov 28, ’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.”

I got you if you are looking to grill some chicken (yakitori) Japanese-style

Since I love yakitori, I sorted through a dozen marketing brands that are riding on the popularity of yakitori and grilling to these select brands/products that will put a smile on yo grill.

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 only out to cash in as an Amazon Affiliate, shiesty focks. 

Oh, and once you decide on a grill, I also have an article coming on the best chicken to buy.

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 of 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. Yeah, I know some may see no issue with that, but I started this blog to support the Americans, 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 shortlist for all of you with little to no attention span:

As of September 15th, 2023

Google is prioritizing vendors, which in some cases is a plus, but in the case of yakitori grills, it perpetuates and promotes a lot of brands merely marketed under the guise of being Japanese or a yakitori grill.

This blog was solely created to provide and promote Japanese food and culture, so thank you for clicking on it.
  • Kaginushi the most popular and widely available Japanese yakitori konro brand for commercial to home use,
  • Teruhime is a commercial/restaurant-grade konro used by Japanese yakitori restaurants with a stainless steel outer finish.
  • Bincho Grill is an American company with a lot of the characteristics and looks of a Japanese yakitori grill.
  • Yak Grill is another American company that offers a versatile and portable stainless steel grill.
  • Iwatani is the only Japanese gas option because it is a portable and for its ease of operation over a charcoal grill.

The best Japanese yakitori grills/kushiyaki konro

The two Japanese grills are all earthen insulated grills used traditionally in Japanese grilling (Japanese don’t BBQ, and Flintstone size brontosaurus ribs are not typical in Japan or Asia) and influenced brands in the US, like the Big Green Egg and other kamado’s in the US.

The other two American yakitori-like brands are on par with Weber, because they do not use a ceramic or an insulated outer jacket.

Highly recommended yakitori grills

Japanese products with an earthen insulation intended for yakitori. Both products use eiher a diatomite bricks or igneous rock (rhyolitic). Great for insulating and directing the heat to where it counts, the grilling surface.

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

Yakitori grills (Japanese brands from Japan)

Japanese charcoal grills have been popping up in restaurants throughout the US and even in backyard BBQ’S.

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, but it is like a Toyota Land Cruiser that you can go off-road or safari with, but is perfectly capable in mall or supermarket parking lot).

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

Iron grates are used at the base for the Teruhime Koukasaki grill which is ideal for grilling/managing heat because iron is better at retaining 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 (far superior to stainless steel grates) and my favorite although this product is only sold through a restaurant distributor/retailer (MTC/MTC Kitchen).

American yakitori grills (yakitori-like)

These brands have all the looks or imply they are like the yakitori-specific Japanese grills, but they do not contain earthen insulation, yet Bincho Grill charges as much or more (poor on value). So both products remind me of live-action adaptations of anime, close, but off the mark, although compared with other products on the market, they are worth your consideration.

Recommended American yakitori brands

Sturdy stainless steel construction with no specialized material for thermal insulation

Unfortunately, these two grills are not as efficient with heat retention/control (and 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 you may need or require.

Regardless if these brands are not as good as the Japanese products above, these two American companies are still worth supporting over the countless and nameless/generic 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 they only support local businesses to service their customers.
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.

Well Ventilated In-door Grill for Table Top Use (Konro)

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 added to the list as of August of ’23, and I added them because of the crew over at MTC tends to not suck. Their service, along with their competitor, Korin has been outstanding to me, and I am shocked at how many times they have come through for me (setting the bar high).

Japanese Gas Grill Brand (Yakitori Specific)

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

Gas yakitori grill

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

This is just a summary, and 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.

Is Mill Scale out of Lockhart, Texas a yakitori grill?

If you Google’d recently, Mill Scale Yakitori II grills now pop-up, and if you wonder if it is good for yakitori, well in the words of Mill Scale:

Our yakitori grill is a central-Texas take on a traditional Japanese grilling style.” So, no, it is not, but it does grill, just like a Weber BBQ grill does, but it does not cost $1,995 (glad it is under $2k). I suspect Mill Scale will also do their take on a KBBQ grill.

Yet in mid-September, Google now deems this product and company as a legitimate Japanese yakitori grill (their pic is of grilled carrots).

What Mill Works does not get about yakitori, Japan, or all of Asia is that grilling in Asia and in Japan are with tiny cuts of meat. That allows diners to prepare tabletop bites that you can eat right off the grill (like Korean BBQ, which influenced Japanese yakiniku) while downing several beers and eating throughout the night.

The Murican central-Texas take is not knowing what yakitori (grilled chicken), yakiniku (grilled meat), or kushiyaki (grilled skewers) is, or the food culture that surrounds it, which would be like an Asian company marketing their indoor electric grill as a backyard American grill outing.

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 homie).

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.

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.

What is yakitori (most of you already know this)

Well, Mill Scale wouild not know, but I do not think they ever Googled what yakitori means.

Yakitori is various small cuts of a chicken (thigh, gizzard, heart, liver, cartilage, to skin) grilled at high heat aka grilling. The seasonings are minimal, usually either a salt (shio) or a soy sauce basting sauce (tare, not to be confused with American teriyaki sauce). 

In the US, we are all about the boobs and wings of a chicken, but Japan goes all in to appreciate all the parts.

Common Japanese grilling and yakitori words

  • 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 you will want to know about yakitori:

  • What type of yakitori grills (brands) are available in the United States?
  • The differences between Japanese and American yakitori grills.
  • What makes a great yakitori grill?
  • What other equipment will I need aside from just the charcoal (also what is the best yakitori charcoal)?

The top 5 yakitori grill brands and the only legit “Best Yakitori Grill” list

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 only yakitori, but it is ideal for skewered foods (kushiyaki) from shish kabobs to satay, or basically anything that will fit on a narrow grill, such as fish to veggies.

If you want to know all the Japanese grills beyond yakitori, 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

A quote: “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 Japanese American as a grill cook at a Japanese restaurant, I would say:

Asian grilling vs American grilling

I should also out, that there is also a lost in translation between grilling and BBQ in Asia.

The Japanese and many Asian countries do not grill the same way people in the States do, because of the way the food is prepared and eaten. In Asia, grilled food is often prepared tabletop and eaten directly off the grill, so meats, seafood, and vegetables are in bite size pieces.

No large cuts or slabs of meat but copious amounts of alcohol go along with these bite sized pieces.
  1. Got to get it hot (a controllable and stable heat) 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 have to be grilling at these temps, but since when do you need 797 hp sports car or CNC’d calipers with carbon ceramic brake rotors? You don’t, but they’re great to have the capability to do so.
  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.
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).

How the yakitori grill brands stack up 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).

Earthen Insulation

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 getting an empty shell, whereas the Japanese grills come insulated with diatomite bricks or igneous rock (rhyolite) to optimize your grilling area.

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

Insulated to focus the heat to the grilling area due to the indulated/jacketed body which keeps the heat directed at the grilling area.

RECOMMENDED BRANDS: Teruhime Koukaseki (Japanese) and Kaginushi Kogyo (Japanese).
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, and is priced as much as the Japanese brands which makes these a poor value.

NOT IDEAL: 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 best value for a yakitori grill

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, and I am calling attention to it because if you are going to go big with the greenbacks, why not go green.

I do not get anything for promoting the majority of these brands/products.

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.

Bincho Grill vs Yak Grill

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 which is also great for barbecuing.

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 a self-serving marketing piece by Yak Grills.

Is that grilled yak I see on the left.

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 rank

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, and I have included how yaki meat is gaining in popularity in this DCist article.
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 because I 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
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

The best type of charcoal to use for yakitori

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 will come to the same conclusion, 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
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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.


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