Korean BBQ Grills: We Test the Top 7

Korean barbecues are cool - there’s a table with a hole in it with fire coming through, and we throw meat on it - Son Heung-min

Someone once told us that the only food rules that you should never break are don’t feed the bears and never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. As good as that advice is, the person who decided to share that sage wisdom with us was wrong.

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There’s also a third irrefutable food law. Never ever think about Korean barbecue on any day of the week that ends in a Y. 

If you do, you may as well give in to fate and abandon any other plans that you’ve already made, because the only way you’ll ever be able to stop thinking about Korean barbecue, is by giving in to the demands of your taste buds and eating it. 

The thought of all of those succulent meats and vegetables being slowly grilled and barbecued in front of and the delicious aromas subsuming you in a tsunami of feverish expectation and delight is almost too much to bear.

Just thinking about it can drive you to distraction, and the urge to satiate that overwhelming desire for that delicious slow-cooked food is almost impossible to overcome and ignore.

And if you can't find a Korean BBQ restaurant or diner that serves good Korean barbecue, knowing that you won't be able to scratch that culinary itch can make you go all kinds of crazy.

Believe us, we know how you feel. We know how Korean barbecue can get under your skin and how, when you start daydreaming about it, nothing else will do.

That's why we're here, to help you finally scratch that itch and eat all the spicy Korean barbecue you want, whenever you want. And how can we make that impossible dream come true?

We've made all your barbecue dreams come true by searching high and low for the best Korean BBQ grill that you can use in the comfort of your own home to cook up a barbecue storm.

We love pork belly in a nice marinade of soy sauce. Marinated meat or grilled meat is better served as Korean barbeque than the typical American charcoal grill. My family loves marinated beef short rib on our Korean grill. The cast iron cooking surface is fun to watch. It's almost as much fun as going to a Korean restaurantWe love our Korean BBQ at home grill.

So without further ado, it’s time for you to meet seven of your newest best friends…

OUR TOP PICK

Nonstick Electric Indoor Smokeless Grill - Portable BBQ Grills with Recipes, Fast Heating, Adjustable Thermostat, Easy to Clean, 16' x 11' Tabletop Square Grill with Oil Drip Pan

The ideal grill for Korean barbecue needs to be portable so that you can cook wherever you are, large enough to grill a wide variety of different food on, and it needs to be simple, straightforward, and easy to use.

And Tectake’s nonstick, smokeless electric grill ticks every single one of the Korean barbecue boxes and makes cooking your favorite food almost as enjoyable as eating it.

Its smart temperature control will let you know when it’s reached the perfect heat and once it does reach that temperature, it’ll maintain it to ensure that everything you add to this grill is evenly and properly cooked.

You can even adjust the temperature manually or let the grill do it automatically with the five-mode control setup that’s been designed to make sure that barbecuing is everything that you’ll want it to be; fun and simple.

Its large grilling surface area was made to cook as much or as little as you want to, and you can mix and match and grill as much meat and fish and as many vegetables as you can fit on the plate.

As it’s a split-level grill, it’s also incredibly easy to clean. The drip pan is removable and completely dishwasher safe, and you can also take out and wash the grill pan in your kitchen sink.

Safe, efficient, and portable it’s an incredibly easy way to prepare all of the delicious barbecue that you’ve been dreaming about.

Pros

  • Plug And Play - It’s simple and easy to use. Just plug the Tectake in, set the temperature, and you’ll be ready to start grilling and barbecuing in minutes. 
  • Split Level - The Tectake is a split-level grill that’s been designed to be simple to take apart, clean, and reassemble in minutes. 
  • Size Matters - It’s also portable, so wherever you want to cook your barbecue, you can. As long as you have food, a socket, and some table space, you’ll be able to prepare all of the Korean barbecue that you want to with this Tectake grill.
  • Smokeless - Did we mention that this grill is also smokeless and has been engineered with your family’s safety in mind? We did? That’s alright then, as we just wanted to make sure that we had.

Cons

  • Managing Your Expectations - It’ll take a while to get used to using this grill, so if your heart is set on it, be prepared to devote time and energy to mastering the Tectake and perfecting your barbecue. And remember, achieving excellence can take a lifetime.

EDITORS CHOICE

CUSIMAX Raclette Grill Electric Grill Table, Portable 2 in 1 Korean BBQ Grill Indoor & Cheese Ractlette, Reversible Non-stick plate, Crepe Maker with Adjustable temperature control and 8 Paddles

If you’re asking yourself what a raclette grill is, don’t worry it isn’t exactly a commonplace kitchen item, so it’s understandable that you might not have stumbled across one before now.

Invented in Sweden and perfected in Korea, a raclette grill is designed to let you barbecue all of the food that you want to while grilling and cooking cheese, desserts, and anything else that your imagination can dream up in a number of small, purpose-built raclette trays.

And while we’re on the subject of the trays, Cusimax’s grill comes with eight of them, so while you’re grilling all of the meat, fish, and vegetables that you want to on the Cusimax’s surprisingly large grilling surface, you and your guests can also use the trays to prepare an accompanying cheese dish or dessert.

And if you fancy something a little different, that’s slightly outside the Korean barbecue wheelhouse, you can reverse the grill plate and use the nonstick flat side to whip up some pancakes, burgers, or whatever else it is that you feel like cooking.

With an adjustable temperature range that’ll let you barbecue between three hundred and seventy-five and four hundred and fifty degrees, the Cusimax has been made to make your life easy by providing you all of the cooking space that you’ll ever need to enjoy all of the Korean barbecue that you, your friends and family will ever be able to eat.

Pros

  • Reversible Grill Plate - The grill plate is fully reversible, so you’ll be able to enjoy Korean barbecue one minute and pancakes and crêpes the next. Just flip it over and cook up a storm. And as it’s nineteen inches long and nine inches wide, the plate has all the room you’ll ever need to grill whatever you want, whenever you want to. 
  • Raclette Trays - Cuismax has included eight raclette trays, so you can also cook up and prepare all sorts of delicious side dishes while the main grill is working on barbecuing meat, fish, vegetables, a combination of all three, or whatever else you’ve added to the menu. 
  • Temperature Control - The Cuismax also has an easy to use and simple to conquer temperature control that’ll make you the master of this grill and transform you into barbecuing royalty.

Cons

  • Quality Not Quantity - Some budding barbecuers have complained that it isn’t as big as they thought, or hoped it would be. Before you pin your barbecue hopes on Cusimax, it might be worth measuring out, and drawing on a piece of paper what nineteen by nine inches actually looks like, and making a decision when you know how much grilling room that’ll give you. 

BEST VALUE

Techwood Indoor Smokeless Grill, 1500W Electric BBQ Grill and Non-Stick Grill Plates with Temperature Control, Removable Drip Tray, Tempered Glass Lid, Red

Techwood’s smokeless grill could have been purpose built to cook Korean barbecue.

With an easy to use temperature control that'll let you cook between two hundred and twenty-five and four hundred and fifty degrees, a grill plate that disperses the heat evenly, and an LED display that’ll let you know when you’ve reached your desired temperature, it’s an intuitive barbecuing machine that’s also fully portable and completely smokeless.

And as the grill plate and drip tray have nonstick surfaces and are both easily removable and dishwasher friendly, the Techwood is also devastatingly simple and quick to clean.

You can grill, clean, and be ready to barbecue again in less time than it will take you to finish your first course of Korean cuisine. All you need to do is plug it in, turn it on and put whatever you want to cook on the grill pan, and the Techwood will do the rest.

Pros

  • Easy To Use - The fully adjustable and easy to use temperature control that governs the completely uniform heat (so everything you grill will be cooked evenly) is simple to use and even easier to master. 
  • Cleaning Up - Straightforward to disassemble, clean, and reassemble, this Techwood grill is made to make it easy to enjoy all the Korean barbecue your heart desires. 
  • Have Plug Will Travel - As long as there’s a socket nearby, you can plug this smokeless, completely portable grill in, and cook with it wherever you want to.

Cons

  • Smoked Out By The Instructions - A few barbecue devotees have claimed that the grill isn’t quite as smoke-free as Techwood says it is and that the instructions, even though it’s devastatingly easy to use, aren’t quite as clear as they could, or should, be

RUNNER UP

Maxi-Matic Elite Gourmet EMG-980B Indoor Electric Grill, 14' Round, Black

Making the most of its fourteen-inch cooking area, this circular eclectic grill has enough space to barbecue whatever you want, and need it to.

It also comes equipped with a fully removable, five-stage thermostat that will also enable you to conquer the art of barbecue and grill at temperatures of up to four hundred and fifty degrees.

And as it uses a circular heating element, every single degree that it uses to grill your food is spread uniformly across the source of the grill pan, so at the touch of a button, all of your delicious barbecues will be cooked to perfection.

When you’ve finished grilling and barbecuing, it’s easy to break down, clean, and put back together again, so you’ll always be prepared to grill and barbecue with a spotless Elite Gourmet machine whenever the mood takes you.

Pros

  • Simple And Straightforward - Made to be easy to use, you just plug the Elite Gourmet in, use the five-stage thermostat to set the temperature, and you’ll be ready to start barbecuing to your heart’s content. 
  • Cleaning Can Be Fun - Well, it might not be fun, but it is easy with the Elite Gourmet. Just remove the grill plate, clean it, slide it back in, and you’ll be ready to grill again. 
  • Twelve-Month Warranty - It even comes with a full month twelve-month warranty, so you’ll be able to enjoy a worry-free year filled with Korean barbecue. And that’s a lot of stress-free barbecue.

Cons

  • Splatter And Splash - Even though the circular grill plate allows you to make the most of its fourteen inches of cooking space, it also makes it prone to spitting, so if you sit too close, you might end up on the receiving end. But if you’re careful, pay attention to what you’re grilling, and stay out of harm’s way you’ll be absolutely fine. 

RUNNER UP

Iwatani Smokeless Korean Barbecue Grill YAKIMARU CB-SLG-1

Iwatani made this grill to do one thing and one thing alone, and that was to cook Korean barbecue. Attached to its own burner, this grill is simple to use thanks to the thermostat that lets you set the temperature and will run continuously for nearly four hours before shutting itself off.

So, if you do become a little preoccupied with all of the delicious barbecue that you’ve just cooked, even if you do forget to switch the Iwatani off, you’ll be in safe hands when you’re cooking with this grill.

It’s also easy to strip down and clean and simple to put back together and is compact enough to find a space in anyone’s kitchen.

So even if you don’t have a lot of room, thanks to Iwatani, you’ll still be able to enjoy Korean barbecue whenever you want to.

Good food and even better barbecue are all about simplicity and being easy to cook, control and master and with this grill, Iwatani has taken those three factors to heart and created a nearly flawless barbecuing machine.

Pros

  • Smokeless - When Iwatani says that this grill is smokeless, they mean it. It won’t make smoke, it’ll just grill as much barbecue as you want it to. 
  • Efficient And Simple - With a single heat control, it’s easy to learn how to cook great Korean barbecue with this grill. And when you’ve finished cooking, it’s even easier to break it down, clean it, and put it back together again.

Cons

  • Size Is An Issue - It isn’t exactly the biggest barbecue in the world and only has enough cooking space to realistically prepare enough barbecue for two people. 
  • The Language Barrier - It might be simple to use, but as the instructions are in Korean, if you weren’t raised in Seoul, you’ll have to figure out how to grill with it by yourself.

RUNNER UP

Liven Electric Grill With Hot Pot SK-J6860 Multifunctional, Indoor Teppanyaki Grill/Korean BBQ/Shabu Shabu Hot Pot, 3.6L Capacity for 2-10 People

If you really want to experience everything that the world of Korean barbecue has to offer, then you’re going to fall head over heels in love with the Liven.

As well as featuring a large, cast aluminum grill plate that evenly transfers every last morsel of heat to the food that it’s cooking, this grill also has a built-in Shabu Shabu hot pot, which means that you can prepare delicious soups and broths at the same time.

And don’t worry, the Liven uses dual, easy to master controls, so you can cook with the grill and the pot simultaneously.

Liven’s grill plate is also completely nonstick and easy to remove, which makes it simple and straightforward to clean, and even though you can’t remove the Shabu Shabu pot, as it’s nonstick too, it’s also easy to clean.

There’s no easier or more versatile and adaptable way to perfect the art of Korean barbecue than with a Liven, and if one does exist, we haven’t found, or discovered it, yet.

Pros

  • Easy And Adaptable - A grill and a Shabu Shabu pot in one? What could be better? Liven has made perfecting the art of Korean barbecue easy. 
  • Portability And Power - It even has its own carry handles, so all you need to do is find a socket and a table to set it up on, and you’ll be ready to start barbecuing.

Cons

  • Almost Perfect - It’s true, this grill is nearly perfect, and if it wasn’t for the fact that the Shabu Shabu pot isn’t removable, it’d be an almost flawless way to prepare barbecue. 

RUNNER UP

TECHEF - Stovetop Korean BBQ Non-Stick Grill Pan with Agni Portable Gas Stove Burner, Made in Korea

If you’re looking to find the best grill to cook Korean barbecue, then the ideal place to look for it is in Korea. And that’s what the Techef is, it’s a grill that was made in Korea that was designed to cook perfect Korean barbecue.

Fueled by propane, it has a single thermostat control and piezo electric ignition, so you just push the button, turn up the heat, and you’re ready to go.

The grill pan, as well as being engineered to deliver heat evenly, has a swirled pattern that allows oil, fat, and grease to slowly drain away from whatever it is your cooking and collect on the patented drainage system, which means that the food you prepare, as well as being delicious, will also be healthy.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, the grill plate is nonstick and easy to remove, so it’s also simple to clean. It’s practically perfect in every way.

Pros

  • Made In Korea - If you’re looking for a grill to cook perfect Korean barbecue with, then look no further. The Techef was made by Koreans to cook the Korean way. 
  • Simplicity Itself - Easy to use and simple to clean. Honestly, we don’t think that there is anything else that we could or need to say about the Techef.

Cons

  • Nonstick Coating - Techef uses Teflon in their nonstick coating, and even though it’s perfectly safe, there are people who, and rightly so, get a little scared when they hear that name. Trust us though, the Techef is perfectly safe.

Best Grills for Korean BBQ Buying Guide

Which Is The Best Grill That I Can Use To Cook Perfect Korean Barbecue?

While we’d usually advise you to set a budget and make your decision based solely on that, there really is only one choice of grill on our list if you’re looking to cook perfect Korean barbecue.

That grill is the one that was designed and engineered in Korea, by Koreans to make incredible Korean barbecue. And that’s the Techef. 

FAQ's

What Is Korean Barbecue?

Korean barbecue is the popular catch-all phrase used to describe the Korean method of grilling meat, fish, and vegetables that uses propane or electric grills that are built into a table to cook with.

A lot of Korean restaurants don’t actually have grills built into their tables, so the chefs bring portable grills to the diners’ tables and use them to cook whatever their customers request in front of them.

The portable grill idea is the one that has taken America by storm, and when amateur barbecue enthusiasts and home cooks refer to Korean barbecue, nine times out of ten, they’re talking about grilling and cooking with small, portable grills.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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