Yakitori recipe snack is what you would have in your favorite bar watching your favorite sport and catching up with friends while you gulp down a pint of beer or two if you were in Japan. When the evening is bright, you are in a good mood, and the drinks are flowing, nothing makes it better than something to nibble on that goes well with beer and is satisfyingly delicious.

In Japan, the most popular appetizer in any bar features a Yakitori. It is easy to make, hard to make a mess of, and, when made right, has a heavenly taste that you will crave every time. While Yakitori would be at home on your dinner table, it is more suitable for social gatherings as an appetizer. 

What Is Yakitori?

Yakitori is a favorite and popular bar snack in Japan. In the simplest of forms, the Yakitori features skewered chicken dipped in a source that is similar to Teriyaki sauce. Japan even boasts specialty Yakitori recipe oven bars. A lot of Japanese bars that serve a Yakitori grill their chicken on a skewer over a charcoal grill.

It is the flavorful smell of the meat grilling on a charcoal grill that summons customers to walk in and try the delicacy. The Japanese are popular for their after-work drinking culture and have made Yakitori bars their favorite drinking dens.

In most Yakitori bars, the chicken on a skewer is basic. However, there are different Yakitori bars that add a twist to their chicken skewers. Every Yakitori recipe follows the same basic direction. In Japan, anything from the chicken is game including – cartilage, hearts, skin, and more commonly, chicken breast and thighs.

Often, Yakitori recipes also include a sauce for seasoning or plain old Shio (salt). Other than Shio, you can eat Yakitori with Tare sauce. Tare sauce is a blend of soy sauce, mirin, sake, dark brown sugar, and vinegar. Given, each chef has their own variation of Tare with some adding vinegar, garlic, scallions, ginger, and even peppercorns.

In Japan, you can get Yakitori at nearly every corner of the street. You can also make your own Yakitori at home and enjoy with your family and friends. If you prefer ready-made Yakitori, there are numerous stores across the US that sells Yakitori to-go.

For those who live outside Japan but with a knack for Asian delicacies, Yakitori recipes are easy to pull off and tasty when done. In this post, we look at the different Yakitori recipe ovens you can use to make Yakitori at home. 

The Best Yakitori Oven Grills

In this section, we will review the best Yakitori grills you can buy. The best place to buy these grills is on Amazon as there is a wider variety and they are competitively priced. Yakitori grills are compact and rectangular.

Unlike traditional Yakitori recipe ovens, this mini-grills use white charcoal although you can still use black charcoal. The biggest difference is that they cook your meat on lower temperatures for a perfect sear.

Fire Sense Yakitori Grill

The fire sense is a highly efficient clay Yakitori recipe oven grill to use at home. If you live in an apartment or a condo, you know how hard it is to get a grill that fits your space. 

The fire sense yakitori grill is akin to what the Japanese have used for ages thanks to its clay construction. The build radiates heat to thanks to a ceramic lined interior to help sear your meats without any heat loss. The fuel-efficient grill is affordable and saves charcoal costs as it requires a few bricks to heat up and retain the heat.

It comes with adjustable ventilation and a chrome cooking grill that is easy to clean. Regular grills made out of cast iron need copious amounts of charcoal to heat the iron. With the clay-built fire sense, the heat insulation helps your grill your meats efficiently.

Pros:

• Excellent heat retention

• Needs little charcoal to heat up to the right temperature

• Adds a unique clay, smoky flavor to the meat

• Easy-to-clean grill

Cons:

• Cheap construction 

• Unfired clay that crumbles on getting wet

Fire Sense Large Yakatori Charcoal Grill

Features 17 x 10 inches cooking surface area


Uten Yakitori Travel Grill

Yakitori is a dish best enjoyed in a social setting. If you and your family or friends fancy picnics, camping, outdoor barbeques, or you visit the park or the wild often, you want a portable grill. If you love fishing and want to enjoy your catch at the source, the Uten Yakitori grill is a perfect choice.

The compact grill is foldable to ease storage and portability. It is made of heat and scratch-resistant cold-rolled iron and high-quality chrome wire mesh. With its 12 airway vent system, starting a fire is a breeze. 

For tender and juicy grilling, the grill is crafted for the perfect height between the coals and your meat. When the coals are evenly spread, the heat distribution is even and everything cooks at the same temperature and speed on every square inch of the grilling space.

Pros:

• Compact and foldable build for easy portability

• Heat, scratch, and rust resistant with 12 airway vents for easy lighting

Cons:

• Light materials are fragile

Barbecue Grill Uten Portable Lightweight Simple Charcoal Grill

GO ANYWHERE:This tiny portable charcoal grill can go with you


Weber 741001 22-Inch Charcoal Yakitori Grill – Original Kettle

If you are looking for a premium and versatile Yakitori grill that does not require a lot of space, the Weber 741001 is the best bet. Weber is famous for its high-quality grills with nifty designs that make grilling a fun experience. The grill is straight forward to use and comes with a 10-year guarantee.

The bowl and lid of the Weber grill are porcelain-enameled which enables the grill to retain heat for efficiency and durability. To control the heat, the lid features an adjustable vent while the nylon handles to protect you from burns. When grilling, you can remove the lid and hang it by the top handle rather than out it down, therefore maintain the hygiene of your food.

It has wheels to ease portability and on the bottom half is an aluminum ash catcher for easy cleaning. Whether you are looking to barbecue Japanese Yakitori or are looking to grill burgers at home, the Weber is versatile for either.

Pros:

• Heat control function

• Easy-clean system

• Bowl and lid are porcelain enameled for efficiency and durability

• Has wheel for portability

Cons:

• More expensive than other grills

Weber 741001 Original Kettle

Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press.


How To Make Yakitori

The first thing you need to make Yakitori is your choice of meat. Secondly, depending on the meat you choose, you need to make a choice between Shio (salt) and Tare sauce. Some meats such as the heart and gizzards taste better with salt while others like the breast and thighs are better when you season them with Tare sauce.

A popular Yakitori features chicken and scallions. The name for this Yakitori in Japan is Negima which literally means scallions in between the chicken. To make Negima, you skewer two to three-inch chicken cutlets and alternate them with thick cut scallion pieces.

After skewering your Yakitori, grill it as you would barbeque and use the Tare sauce to brush over the meat and give it a burst of flavor and color. Ideally, the chicken cutlets should be evenly cut so they cook evenly.

The skewers used in Yakitori grilling are made from bamboo and soaked in water for approximately 20 minutes before skewering. The soaking prevents the skewers from burning. While skewering the chicken, don’t leave spaces in between.

Let your Yakitori cook through and start brushing with your sauce once your chicken is approximately 80% cooked. Because of the sugar in Tare sauce, brushing the chicken earlier will make the sauce burn. Let the chicken cook and brown on one side and turn on the other side. Do not move the skewers around in between cooking.

You can make your own variation of Yakitori by changing up the ingredients. At our home, we like to add carrots on the skewers as well as beets. You can also substitute the chicken for turkey, rabbit, duck, or any meat you want.

As long as you have your favorite meats and vegetables on hand, you don’t have to restrict yourself to chicken and scallions only.

John Hashimoto
Born in Chiba, Japan, but raised in Austin, Texas, John is a very active promoter of Asian culture in the United States, particularly the rich Japanese culture, which he is very passionate about. He is here to guide you about the best products in the market and provide honest-to-goodness reviews and information about commercially available products in the market today. John is a Computer Science graduate from the University of Texas in Austin, but his passion for Japanese culture, particularly its food and unique culture that has taken over the international scene, is one of the things that excites him the most.

John will help you to assess Japanese products, especially when it comes to commercial Japanese food and how to find the authentic ones. His father once told him that he seems to have been born out of ramen, and as an adult, it really shows because John knows this dish like the back of his hand.