Do you want to level up your grilling game and make your summer meals that much more delicious? We have the answer for you! Konro grills have been exploding in popularity lately and you may be wondering what all the buzz is about, what exactly are they and why are they so popular? Read on to find out!
What is a Konro grill?
Originating in Japan, Konro grills are portable tabletop charcoal barbecues that come in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs. The konro grills we carry at The Cook's Edge are made by the company Kaginushi Kogyo in Okunoto, Japan.
What are they made of?
They are made from diatomaceous earth (diatomite), a powder that is comprised of fossilized remains of diatoms, ancient sea-dwelling algae and plankton. Diatomaceous earth has many uses, one of which is to make porous ceramics, such as konro grills.
Why diatomaceous earth?
Grills made from this material distribute the heat very evenly and are well insulated, keeping the charcoal burning for a long time. When you cook on a konro grill made from diatomaceous earth, the earthy umami flavour that is imparted to the food is incredible.
What can you use them for?
While they are best known for cooking yakitori (bite-sized pieces of meat on skewers), the konro grill is excellent for grilling any kind of meat, seafood or veg.
Can they be used indoors?
Because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, they should only be used indoors if you have an industry standard air exchange system, such as in a commercial or restaurant kitchen, otherwise use outdoors only.
What you will need to get started:
- Konro grill. We have small, medium and large grills to suit your needs.
- Charcoal. The gold standard is binchotan charcoal from Japan. It is made from the dense hardwood white oak, creating a purer form of charcoal with a very high carbon content and long burning characteristics. When you use binchotan charcoal for your konro grill, it increases the unique umami flavour that the konro naturally imparts to the food you are cooking. That being said, any type of charcoal may be used.
- A sturdy and level surface to place the konro grill on. A stainless steel bbq table is a good choice, or if using on a wood surface, it is good practice to place a metal tray under the bbq.
- Charcoal chimney.
- Butane camp stove or other fire source such as a campfire.
- Metal tongs for moving the charcoal.
How do you use a konro grill?
- Load your charcoal into a charcoal chimney, you will only need enough charcoal to cover the bottom of the grill.
- Place the chimney on the fire source, either the butane burner or campfire. It will need to heat up for about 25-30 minutes, or until the charcoal is glowing.
- When the charcoal is ready, add it to the grill and use tongs to spread it out evenly over the bottom.
- Start grilling and have fun!
- Use the vents to adjust the heat, the wider the vents, the more oxygen gets in and the higher the temperature.
- Since the binchotan has such a long burning time, you will likely be done grilling before it is used up. You can snuff it out in water or sand and reuse it.
How do you clean a konro grill?
To clean your grill, let it cool naturally and then use a brush to clean away any ashes. Never pour water on the hot grill as this can cause it to break. The grilling rack can be removed and cleaned with hot soapy water.
Honestly, we have been having so much fun using our new konro grill at the shop. If you are hoping to snag one for this summer, don't hesitate because they have been flying out the door since they arrived!
If you have any questions about konro grills, please contact us and we would be happy to help you.