Slide, chop, flip! Onion volcanoes, beating rice hearts and flying shrimp! If you’ve ever been to a Japanese steakhouse such as Benihana, you know a teppanyaki grill when you see one. For the uninitiated, a teppanyaki grill is simply a flat-top griddle used for cooking thinly sliced meats and vegetables — nothing more, nothing less.
In utility, only size differentiates a sauté pan from a teppanyaki grill; both have a flat surface that can reach searing temperatures. Japanese steakhouses and Benihana-style restaurants use flat-top stainless-steel grills set over one high-output gas burner in the center. Burner placement is key in the teppanyaki style of cooking; as you cook the food, you move it from the hot-spot to the cooler areas of the cooking surface to keep the food warm.
When you’re in the market for a teppanyaki grill, go for high quality and moderate size, somewhere between what you see at teppanyaki restaurants and the small electric griddles made for indoor use. A teppanyaki about as half as big as your stovetop or larger and a surface that can reach between 400 and 425F works for most home cooks.
Whether you go big or small, low-end or high-end, ask yourself these questions before buying:
- Will I use the grill inside, outside or both?
- Will I use the grill for more than teppanyaki-style cooking?
- How often will I use the grill?
With those answers in mind, take a look at our choices for 2018.
Heavy-Duty Stainless-Steel Non-Electric Flat-Top Griddle (various manufacturers)
Type: Griddle/flat-top cooking surface
Price: $50 to $100 (for 18″ x 11″ and 32″ x 17″ sizes)
Teppanyaki translates to “grilling on an iron plate,” which is what you get with this simple stainless-steel, flat-top cooking surface that fits on home stoves. A basic heavy-duty stainless-steel flat-top is relatively low cost, durable and easy to use. When you use it with a gas stove or grill, you get the same functionality as that of a commercial teppanyaki grill. Also, since it’s little more than a sheet of heavy-duty stainless-steel, it will last a lifetime of use.
If you need a smaller size, or if you have an electric stove, go with a medium-duty 18″ x 11″ model. Large flat-tops (32″ x 17″) weigh around 30 pounds, whereas medium-duty (around 18″ x 11″) weigh around 5 to 6 pounds.
Both sizes perform the same function, but induction stove capability varies with model. If you prefer a standalone unit, go the electric route.
Zojirushi EA-DCC10 Gourmet Sizzler Electric Griddle (by Zojirushi)
Type: Electric griddle/flat-top
Zojirushi’s EA-DCC10 Gourmet Sizzler Electric Griddle exemplifies economy of space. With a 19″ x 12.5″ cooking surface, a top temperature of 425F and simple disassembly for simple cleaning. It has everything you want in a portable electric teppanyaki grill — and something extra.
The Gourmet Sizzler comes out ahead of the pack for its ceramic cooking surface. Unlike most portable electrics, Zojirushi has a ceramic-topped cooking surface instead of a polytetrafluoroethylene nonstick surface (such as Teflon). This allows you to use metal turners — a must for teppanyaki techniques like chopping, slicing and dicing on the fly.
BLACK+DECKER Family-Sized Electric Griddle with Drip Tray (by Black+Decker)
Type: Electric griddle/flat-top
With a generous 20″ x 10″ cooking surface, drip pan, a top temperature of 400F and a low price, the Black+Decker Family-Sized Electric Griddle fits the needs of teppanyaki cooks who want the most for their teppanyaki dollar. Not only do you get the basics of what you’re looking for in a portable electric teppanyaki grill, but you get it inexpensively and can use it as a secondary sauté pan when your stovetop is full.
Consider cost, durability and size when buying any teppanyaki grill.
- For frequent or occasional teppanyaki cooking with a gas stove or gas grill, go with a Heavy-Duty Stainless-Steel Non-Electric Flat-Top Griddle.
- Frequent or occasional teppanyaki cooks in the market for a standalone unit should check out the Zojirushi EA-DCC10 Gourmet Sizzler Electric Griddle.
- Budget-conscious, occasional teppanyaki cooks should go with the BLACK+DECKER Family-Sized Electric Griddle with Drip Tray.
Umami Insider has no relationship with any of the brands or products reviewed in this guide. We receive no compensation for their mention.