Where do you go when you're ready to get your teppanyaki on but don't know where to start? To the 2018 Umami Insider Teppanyaki Grill Buying Guide, of course. With specs, prices and buying info, the guide has everything you need to get started.

Slide, chop, flip! Onion volcanoesbeating 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.

Best Overall

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.

Best Electric

Zojirushi EA-DCC10 Gourmet Sizzler Electric Griddle (by Zojirushi)

Type: Electric griddle/flat-top

Price: $127

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.

Honorable Mention

BLACK+DECKER Family-Sized Electric Griddle with Drip Tray (by Black+Decker)

Type: Electric griddle/flat-top

Price: $39.99

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.

Bottom Line

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.