More traditional methods of cooking food have been overshadowed in recent years due to impressive advances in cooking technology. There’s a lot of complicated hybrid multi-fuel cooking units out there, and that can make it difficult for people who prefer to cook their food in an older style to find the necessary equipment.
One of the most interesting traditional methods for cooking food is the Teppanyaki grill. You might not have even heard of them before, but that’s alright – a lot of people haven’t. The grill remains highly popular in Japan where it originated, but many folk in the western world haven’t ever seen one.
So what makes a Teppanyaki grill special?
Teppanyaki grills are fantastic cooking devices, especially for people who like their food to be cooked healthy. The word teppan mean ‘iron pan,’ and yaki means grilled. A teppanyaki is basically a cast iron grilling unit that allows you to make delicious, Japanese-styled grilled food in the comfort of your own home.
The grill is basically an iron griddle. It’s mostly used for cooking skewers, and because of that they’re usually quite long and thin. Just because they’re primarily designed for cooking skewers doesn’t mean that that’s all that you can make with them, though. You can cook steaks, burgers, vegetables, shrimp, you name it. (Though if a more traditional cook saw you cooking a burger on your Teppanyaki grill they might give you a weird look.)
But most grills can cook all these things. Why are Teppanyaki grills so special?
- First off, they can cook food quite quickly which is great for people who are in a rush, or who are cooking food to order for friends or at a party. This way you won’t have finished food sitting on the grill for long before somebody comes to claim it.
- These are ideal for people on camping trips or having cookouts. While you may have to serve people one-by-one, they won’t have to wait long for their food to be ready.
- These grills are typically made with very strong and durable materials. They’re also very easy to clean due to their shape and the way that they’re built; it’s easier to scrape burnt bits off these grills than it would be off a barbecue. They’re also so small that they’re easy to grease up.
- Because they’re so easy to clean, you don’t need to worry about cleaning it after every use like you would with a barbecue. On a barbecue, if you don’t clean it after each use, burnt residue will harden and be very difficult to scrape off. Fortunately with a Teppanyaki, any residue comes off quite easily. Some grills even have a drip tray to catch grease and make your experience even cleaner.
- Teppanyaki grills can also be easily used in the kitchen at home. They’re great for cooking skewers and prawns or seafood, and they’re also great for adding an extra course to a meal. Say you’re having friends over and the veggies are so good that they all get eaten right away. You’ll be able to easily cook up another batch before long and everyone will be happy.
- This makes them ideal for use at parties or at big social events. You won’t have to worry about making too much food and having to throw any out because you can just cook it up when people are hungry.
- Another cool thing about these grills is that they add a unique flavour to your meal. One of the things that cooking on a teppanyaki grill encourages is making ample use of spices and cooking ingredients, while using fresh produce to make your food. This, combined with the cooking style, helps to enhance the flavour of your food rather than drown it out with seasonings and spices.
Teppanyakis often use beef as their main source of meat, and dark leafy green vegetables as well as carrots and onions for their vegetables. Seasonings often include soy sauce and wine or vinegar, as well as ample use of garlic and ginger. If you like these ingredients, you’ll probably be interested in using a teppanyaki.
For how much flavour they add, it’s pretty impressive when you consider how affordable and readily available these grills are.
Using a teppanyaki
It’s most common to start using a teppanyaki by heating it up to 120 degrees Celsius before cooking anything. This helps to eliminate any factory included protective coatings that you won’t want to include in your food. Once the coatings melt, you’ll want to turn your grill off and wipe off the melted residue.
Any time you plan on cooking make sure that you grease the griddle with at least 30 mls of vegetable oil per square foot. This helps to prevent food from sticking and prevents you from having to clean up a big mess after you’re done cooking.
It’s always recommended to heat up your grill for ten minutes before cooking on it. In addition, you should prepare your food before, or during, heating it up. After it’s heated, it’s best to have food on it right away instead of keeping it hot for no reason.
Make sure that you continuously stir the food while you’re cooking it to keep it evenly heated. If anything starts to burn or crisp, make sure that you scrape it off before it adheres to the grill. It’s not as necessary to clean a teppanyaki grill after cooking as it is to clean a regular grill, but it’s still a good idea.
A lot of people haven’t heard of teppanyaki grills, but that doesn’t mean that they’re obsolete. They’re great for cooking food in a traditional way, and they’re still effective and produce wonderful meals. If you haven’t heard of a teppanyaki grill, you should consider trying one out.
They cook food quickly, they provide a unique flavour, and they don’t require a whole lot of cleanup. On top of all that they’re much cheaper than other modern grills, so you really can’t go wrong with a teppanyaki.