Do you enjoy barbecue feasts?
If you do, chances are that when you try the Korean style of barbecue you will forever be hooked. I recently visited a Korean friend who not only enjoys this meat but is also a champ when it comes to making the Korean barbecue grill.
I’m glad that globalization has brought a variety of delicacies at our doorsteps. You can eat Chinese today, Italian tomorrow and Mexican the next day. It’s all about choices. This is also the reason for the Korean barbecue popularity.
Therefore, if you already know about the Korean delicacy and are just looking for a guide into the best Korean barbecue grill, read on as we journey together, you will find the best grill for you.
But before we delve into the real topic,
What Is Korean Barbecue?
In simple terms, this is basically the Korean style of roast meats. This meat could be chicken, beef, pork or lamb. The common thing is that this meal is prepared on the table gas grills or charcoal grills.
The barbecue varieties
- The bulgogi
This is the most famous form of the Korean style barbecue that you make using the beef tenderloin or sirloin. This beef is first thinly sliced then marinated traditionally. The marination is a blend of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil and pepper.
Bulgogi is mostly pan-fried today although you can also grill it.
- The galbi
This is another popular Korean grilled beef ribs that like the bulgogi above is marinated. The marination here is mostly a blend of soy sauce, garlic, onions, water and sugar. It’s best grilled using a charcoal grill. Here the wood chips give the ribs an authentic smoky flavor.
The two methods of grill allow you to use any meats aside from the beef listed.
- Other alternatives
Chadolbegi: this is an unmarinated version of the Korean grill. You make it using the fine slices of beef brisket. It takes a short time to cook and you can cook it in your pan.
Samgyeopsal: the features the thick unsalted pork belly. This part of the pork is fatty, tender and delicious.
Deungshim: You make it using the loins and boneless ribs. Here don’t even bother to marinate.
With that said, you should also prepare a side dish that you will use alongside the barbecues. This can be anything from pajeori (green onion salad). In additions, you can roll the barbecues in lettuce and use other side dishes like scallions as well as sauces.
Choosing the barbecue grill
Here we summarise what you should look for when you intend to buy a barbecue grill.
- The heat sources
What heat source are you interested in? you can buy one that uses the charcoal heat source, gas or electric heat source. If you like, you can buy the one that comes with a portable stove to use for camping and other outdoor activities.
- What size?
When it comes to size you have quite a selection. The question you should ask is where you intend to place the barbecue grill. The grill you buy should fit into the space you have.
- Do you need it to have a grease system?
Generally, the grilling process is messy with juices dropping all over. If you can get a grill that gives you a tray that collects these juices the better for you.
- The material used
Of course, this is a vital question to ask. The Korean barbecue comes in different materials. Some even have a mix of materials for the various parts of the grill. Ceramic, Teflon, Mable top, steel and aluminum are just a few of the popular materials used to make the grill.
Electric barbecue grill
Of all the electric barbecue grills we have in the market, I think this is among the best. I like that I can use you can use it to make your barbecues indoors. Mind you, it’s a smaller grill which makes it perfect for your smaller condos and apartments.
You can make your Korean barbecue for 2-3 people. The grill has a drip tray and cooking grill separated. It makes cleaning easy as you can throw the tray in the dishwasher. The cooking surface is further non-stick with cool handles to touch as its cooking.
It’s further safe to use since it won’t light up unless the cooking grill and drip tray are in place. This item is easy to store and one of the most convenient to use. What puts me off with it is that it will never get hot enough. It can only reach a temperature of between 176-410˚F.
This for me only gives you a lukewarm grill which is something you don’t need when you are psyched up to make the Korean style barbecue. Controlling this grill isn’t easy either since it’s an electric grill.
What I love the most about it though is that I can use it both within my house and outdoors. It’s just not for all meat styles though.
Asian indoor and outdoor table-top grill
Here is one of the perfect design of barbecue grill. If you will keep your fire alarm off, this barbecue grill will work both outdoors and indoors. TeChef features a durable yet 5 layered non-stick option.
Made with a heavy aluminum metal then coated with the safer Teflon, the 5 layers make your barbecuing fun and delicious. This pan offers a unique yet great swirled channel design with a domed bottom.
To enhance healthy cooking, it has the draining hole on the side of the pan where the grease and fat from the meat run into. Here you should buy the heat resistant bowl that will collect the fat that’s draining from the pan.
This feature in return makes cleaning the pan easy. You can use the paper towels to perfectly clean them. Remember, for you to use this grill in the house, you need to properly position your bowl outside your gas burner.
Now the innovative design will be used to grill any meats, fish and veggies. Are you having a home party and would love to throw the Korean barbecue in the mix? Consider this choice.
Korean BBQ grill for home
This offers you the premium yet smaller version of your Korean BBQ grill. It’s ideal for those with small spaces yet like to enjoy the meats. What I like most about it is that you may use it in almost every stovetop design.
It features a stainless steel material that is double coated and wear-resistant. It’s best used within the house. The Teflon nonstick coating is FDA approved. It makes it easy to heat up and provide even heating as well.
As usual, the non-stick coating makes it easy to clean although it’s recommended that you put some water on the drip tray as your meat is cooking. This prevents the sticking, smoke formation and splatter.
You may also fill the drip tray with marinades if you don’t want to use the water. This is to make your meats moist as you continue barbecuing. You can use it on the electric or gas stoves which brings the same concern I had with Zojirushi.
Such grills won’t get so hot and controlling them is hard. For me, that’s the only issue with this grill. When it comes to cleaning, it’s advisable to handwash this one though you can throw it in the dishwasher.
Asian tabletop gas grill
This Korean product offers you the traditional barbecue design. Made from cast aluminum and the hard titanium coating, the grill is easy to use. It allows you to use low fat in cooking and cleaning it is a breeze too.
It will grill any type of meat, fish or veggies then give you a fun party day with your friends. The design is strong and durable which means it’s an ideal investment. Unlike other pans, it remains stable when you are cooking.
It’s best used on a gas stove grill. Although it will cook anything, the sections where to cook veggies and meats are clearly separated.
The veggies are cooked on the outer sections of the pan. The outer section doesn’t get as hot as the part where you place your meats thus you can’t burn the veggies as you are cooking meat.
It, like most other grill pans, has the grooves where your fat can run off from.
On the downside, unlike the structure of TeChef, this one has a shallow groove and small dome. You will most likely have trouble with the draining fat if you are grilling a large piece of meat.
Are looking for an indoor grill?
Delonghi features a perfect grilling option with an extra space to grill all your family food. Its surface is 12 by 6 inches which give you room to grill your vegetable and meats. It weighs less than 11 pounds making it a portable option.
What I like about it is its technology that distributes heat evenly. The heat coves the entire cooking plate for the best results.
Moreover, it has a thermostat that you set the temperature you desire to use in cooking your food. This thermostat is removable and it has up to 5 temperature levels.
This grill has its cooking surface made of die-cast aluminum for the sturdy construction and the drip pan is also nonstick which makes it easy to clean. It’s even safe to wash in the dishwasher, unlike most other grills.
This American made grill suits you when you are holding those parties. The best part of it is that its handles remain cool to touch when you are cooking. It also has an on and off light indicator.
With its glass tempered lid, you retain the moisture of food within while keeping it warm. The meat from this grill is delicious and of high quality.
This is specifically designed to grill your samgyeopsal but it will also make your steamed eggs, veggies, and kimchi. Aside from the pork belly, you may also use it for other kinds of meat. It also has segregated layers on where to place the veggies and the meats.
It further features an aluminum diecasting material with a great thermal efficiency. This product is nonstick which delivers healthy food yet it’s easy to clean.
It allows you to consume less fat with its grease drainage technology. The grill will tilt to about 15 degrees angle to drain off the excess fat and other juices. Additionally, the item offers ideal heat to grill your barbecue.
It further has a track record of offering quality to the Asians who love the Korean barbecue.
For a tabletop that offers the perfect and all in one barbecue solution choose Iwatani. This grill top comes with its butane gas heat source ready and waiting to be used.
It allows you to insert your butane canister, place your marinade or water on the drip tray then place your meats on the grill top and begin to cook. It features a sturdy construction with its steel powder coating body and die-casting cooking plate.
You can use it within the house because it produces no smoke when you place the water or marinade on the drip tray. The non-stick plate coating allows for easy and even cooking and its drip tray is made using aluminum.
This is a high-quality product where the burner will grill for about 217 minutes and at a temperature of 20 – 25 degrees. This gives you time to socialize with your friends as you continue cooking.
Consider the brand name, which is ideally from Japan yet it’s popular for high-quality construction. It features a lightweight design for portability and an easy to use the grill that will make a great addition to your kitchen.
Butane gas grill
For all those who love cast iron item with a twist here is your ideal gas grill. Talk of a superior inoble coating for the nonstick surface. This is an assurance that the item is free of the toxic chemicals that come with using non-stick surfaces.
Cast iron is known to conduct heat fast but the coating also helps in even distribution of the heat for effective cooking. Since it will drip the excess fat from the barbecue, you need a heat-resistant bowl to collect the fat.
On the downside, it doesn’t retain heat which means your meats will cool off very fast. Nevertheless, if you have a good burner, this should be a non-issue. Just make sure you carry your gas canister when you want to use it in the night.
The item is lightweight making it ideal for use as a skillet when you cover the drip hole with the screw that comes in the package. The item is further safe to use and easy to clean.
Portable Korean barbecue grill
Whenever you are thinking of party grilling, stir-fries and other barbecue-style meats, bring the excelvan home. This is a quality product that is utterly convenient for indoor use. You can also carry it for your camping and other outdoor activities.
It offers a large ribbed grilled cooking surface that has holes to keep your food free of fat. It further has a drip tray that will keep the meats from forming smokes especially when you add water into the tray.
Both the surfaces are non-stick which means you won’t have the food sticking on those surfaces. Also, since the excess fat is drained, you will have a healthy meal while retaining the flavors. The handles of the grill remain cool to touch for your safe use.
Made using cast aluminum then coated with Teflon the gadget is designed to last longer and it will retain the heat for longer.
Lodge Korean samgyupsal grill
Since the grill has a large surface area for grilling it allows you to cook more items at once. It features a non-stick coated aluminum alloy for enhanced durability and easy cooking.
It has a dome-like raised center that allows for excess drainage of fat through the outlet edge hole. This means that you need to put a bowl that will capture the excess fat at the edge. The nonstick grill offers the even heat distribution.
Worry not as this item will fit on your portable table-top burner. For all your healthy samgyuspal, consider using this easy to clean item. It’s only used on a gas stove and the concave center is ideal for fried garlic.
The charcoal grill design has become popular in the market compared to the traditional design. I had to end this list with this item because I’m a fan of charcoal flavor. This native rock agalmatolite plate locks the flavors of the meat while adding the charcoal smoke.
But it will never produce the obstructive smoke which means you can use it indoors. It further releases the excess oil through the side holes. Its dome or slightly raised center lets the excess fat drain off. Whenever you are looking to eat a delicious Korean barbecue, consider this grill.
Its stainless steel ring will let you store your cooked meat thus leaving them moist and never charred.
Making the Korean Barbecue at Home
For me, barbecuing Korean style is a blend of fire or high heat, lots of meats and spices.
Prepare your grill
When making the barbecue with my family I prefer the charcoal grill. So, this means you should get your white charcoal ready as well as the wood chips to enhance the smoke flavor of your food. Make sure the temperature goes to anything between 250-300˚F.
Mind you, traditionally you don’t have to add the wood chips for a smoky flavor but I love the smoky flavor.
The meats of choice
Remember, the Korean barbecue is made using anything from the pork belly, beef tongue, brisket squid and more. You could also use chicken or fish.
This is the part where you use your blender to make a smooth paste of garlic, onion, Asian pear and ginger.
Add into the mixture some scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper then stir. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl that has the capacity to carry your meats and marinades. Mix them and then let them rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Make the banchan
Korean barbecue is eaten in the company of small side dishes. This you can buy in the Asian stores. However, if you have no access to the large Asian stores, just make it yourself.
You only need to take the kimchi, toss blanched beans sprouts but you may also use spinach or broccoli. Toss this in your sesame oil. You then place the potato salad on the side.
Begin the grilling process
Now its time to grill our meats. Lay the meats carefully on the grill and make sure to live out some space between each piece of meat. Keep checking the meat and when its half way cooked, flip the other side.
Next serve it hot for your family to enjoy.
You can also check this recipe for more info. How to make the best Korean barbecue in your backyard.
Cleaning your grill
Like any other cookware, you need to clean the grill after use. This will ensure you maintain its nice outlook thus enhancing durability.
Use some warm water to clean the barbecue bits that may have remained on the grill. It’s best to clean it immediately after it cools down to reduce the sticking. Never scrub the surfaces as they are mostly coated and the coating will come out if you scrub it.
You may use the steel wire scrubbers on the wire grates if you have soaked the grates in water and still the meat pieces won’t come out.
How to Eat Korean BBQ
We mostly eat it wrong so why not learn from the experts on the video below.
Now that you have come to the end of this, I hope you find yourself a Korean grill and even learn how to eat it right. So, until next time have a fun grilling. The best grill here is TeChef – Stovetop Korean BBQ. It features a high-quality design.