April 2016

Hibachi Grill

The Ever Handy Hibachi

Everyone starts their grilling career on this convenient, inexpensive, small piece of equipment.  But do we do it correctly?  Let’s review the basics.

First, this is for grilling over an open fire; it needs high heat to cook.  It has a low (height) fire pan and generally no hood or lid.  Great high heat cooker/grill – not a smoker.

Lesson #1: plan what you cook properly!

Now, let’s review how to set up the fire. The region that gave the hibachi its popularity is the Far East which have access to a type of charcoal called “bichiton”.  This is a very dense, heavy charcoal made from oak that is direct fired to a high carbonization level.  This charcoal produces an extremely high heat; 3-4 times the heat level of an American charcoal!

Can’t locate “bichiton” charcoal or don’t want the expense if you find it?  Well, you can use SmokinLious® products to get close to the results.  Let’s begin with charcoal – North America produces lump charcoal pieces that are too large for the small Hibachi. So take 2-3 pieces(depending on size), put them in a small paper bag (lunch bag size) and press with your hands to break them into smaller “thumb” size pieces (or you can use a meat mallet).  Then pour into the fire box.   If the fire box is not full –repeat until you fill it.  If you don’t have a small torch available, put some paper under the charcoal, then ignite.  Or, you can place the original charcoal pieces in a small paper bags, then break the pieces apart, and place the bag in the firebox for lighting.

Once the charcoal burns down (gray in color), start adding Grande Sapore® wood chips as this will provide for immediate heat and eventually, some flavouring to the food.  Once the charcoal/chip combo’s flames settle down, you can begin cooking!  Remember, hibachis are traditionally used for thin meats so adjust your cook time to what you’re cooking.

What I like about hibachi cooking is the ease in adding more wood chips when more fuel is needed!

Once you master the fire set up, you will enjoy some wonderful food and some real fun cooking the Hibachi way.  Think Korean BBQ!  Yum!


Bon-Bar-B-Q! (be sure to check our Pinterest feature on the Hibachi cleaning before you discard one that is rusty!)



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We introduced you first to the details on the ever popular Sugar Maple hardwood but now let’s talk fruit wood, specifically, cherry hardwood.

Cherry hardwood is part of the Rosaceae family of wood.   The scientific names for the varieties we manufacture are Prunus pensylvanica L.f. but the common names for the varieties found in the Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania regions include: Pin Cherry, Fire Cherry, Bird Cherry, Northing Pin Cherry,  Wild Red Cherry, Pigeon Cherry, and Black Cherry.

Now let’s be clear.  I’m not referring to orchard cherry woods that you see in rows grown for the fruit production.  That tree not only has the high likelihood of pesticide residue but it tends to have a bitter undertone likely in part, a result of the chemical toxicity.  Forest or wild cherry trees have a much more mild profile with a slight sweet/tart hint.

Feel free to use the wood with poultry, beef, pork, lamb and fruits/vegetables, although it really can be used with most anything.  You may have to mix it with a stronger hardwood when used with gamey items.

Be sure to use a meat probe when cooking with Cherry wood as this wood provides a reddish-pink hue to the meat that can easily be mistaken for under-cooked.

 Heat Level: High – 18.5 MBTU

Fuel Efficiency: Medium

Ease of Lighting: Good

Ideal Uses: Baking/Grilling/Roasting/Braising/Pit Roasting/Hot Smoking/Cold Smoking


Another super popular hardwood species and in my opinion, safest fruit wood for wood-fired cooking techniques!  Enjoy!


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