From samgyeopsal to bulgogi, Korean BBQ is mouthwatering! Thinly sliced meats mixed with a great selection of side dishes and dipping sauces will surely make an unforgettable meal. Unsurprisingly, restaurants serving these fired specialties are sprouting left and right. Luckily, even at home, you can recreate an authentic experience.
While the star of the show is the meat, there is one more thing that you will need to prepare a sumptuous Korean BBQ feast – an indoor grill. It can be butane gas or electric-powered. Some are more traditional and use charcoal. There are also some that exist in the form of stovetop grill pans. For your comfort, a lot of the indoor grills are smokeless.
If you are looking for the best indoor grill for Korean BBQ, we got you covered! Read on and we’ll explore some of the products worth considering!
- 1 America’s Test Kitchen Best Indoor Grill Consumer Reports – Review of Top 7 Picks
- 1.1 #1. TeChef Stovetop Korean BBQ Grill
- 1.2 #2. Iwatani Smokeless Korean BBQ Grill Yakimaru CB-SLG-1
- 1.3 #3. CookKing Master Grill Pan for Korean BBQ
- 1.4 #4. Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 4-quart Electric Grill
- 1.5 #5. Kitchen + Home Stovetop Korean BBQ Grill
- 1.6 #6. Hamilton Beach 25361 Electric Indoor Grill
- 1.7 #7. Cuisinart 300WSP1 Griddler Elite
- 2 How to Choose the Best Indoor Grill for Korean BBQ
- 3 FAQs About Best Indoor Grills
America’s Test Kitchen Best Indoor Grill Consumer Reports – Review of Top 7 Picks
Stop looking for other products! Below, we’ll round up some of the most exceptional indoor grills that will make it easy to enjoy Korean BBQ without leaving your home!
#1. TeChef Stovetop Korean BBQ Grill
This is the most affordable of all the products that are listed in this buying guide. However, there is a reason why it is the cheapest – it does not come with a power source. It is only a grill pan. You need to use it on the top of a stove, which will serve as the heat source.
One of the things that we love in this grill is the unique design of the cooking surface, making it more efficient. It has a swirl channel and dome shape, which will also move the grease away from the meat. It is also non-stick, so you will not have a hard time cleaning once you are done having a delicious meal.
It is also worth mentioning that it is made in Korea. This can give you an assurance of an authentic grilling experience at home! The manufacturer uses top-notch materials, which are also food safe, so you can have peace of mind. It does not contain PFOA, cadmium, and lead, among other toxic chemicals that can leach on your food.
There are a few problems we encountered in this grilling pan. The most serious is the lack of a drip tray. Nonetheless, take note that it comes with a grease hole, but you need to provide a container to catch oil.
- A great option for people on a budget
- Non-stick cooking surface
- Does not come with a heat source
- No drip tray
#2. Iwatani Smokeless Korean BBQ Grill Yakimaru CB-SLG-1
If you are looking for a more traditional option compared to the products above, it is hard to go wrong with this model. It is butane gas-powered, so you can use it almost anywhere. You don’t need to be limited by the length of the cord or supply of electricity.
The main material that is used in this indoor grill is powder-coated steel. The plate, on the other hand, is die-cast aluminum. The knob is ABS resin. They are pretty decent, but admittedly, there are durability issues. It is far from the solid construction that you can expect in its more expensive counterparts.
One thing that we like in this product is the piezo-electric ignition system. In a single turn of the knob, the flame starts, and you are ready to start grilling. The heat is derived from the gas canister. When it is full, the continuous burning time is up to 217 minutes, which is pretty much impressive.
- Produces minimal smoke
- Portable design
- Comes with a grease catcher
- Small grilling plate
- Durability can be an issue
#3. CookKing Master Grill Pan for Korean BBQ
Looking for an affordable option for the best indoor grill for Korean BBQ? It is hard to go wrong when you choose this product! The best thing is that it is made in Korea, so you can be confident that it can provide an authentic grilling experience.
Before buying this product, however, take note that it is only a pan. It does not come with a heat source. It is meant to be used as a stovetop, which is also perhaps one of the reasons why it is affordable.
The innovative design of the grilling pan is one of its best assets. It manages grease effectively, making sure that the meats will not be soaked in oil. Instead, it will drip to the strategically positioned holes. You need to have a catcher at the bottom of the pan. We also love how there are slots on the side, which can be used for eggs, cheese, or kimchi, among others that will fit in such a small space.
- Non-stick grilling surface
- Grease draining system for healthy grilling
- Only a pan
- Can be prone to rust
#4. Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 4-quart Electric Grill
Starting off our list is one product from a reputable brand, which is already a compelling reason to choose this model over its competitors. It is versatile as it functions beyond an electric grill. You can also use it for baking, roasting, air-frying, and dehydrating, making it a multipurpose addition to any kitchen.
Being made by a top-notch company, the durability is top-notch. We love how it has a solid construction, which is indicative of its long-term functionality. The stainless steel finish is also a plus, giving the electric grill a more sophisticated look.
If you are going to use it as a grill, it comes with a detachable hood. It has two large handles, making it easy to lift. The 10×10-inch grate has a high-density and non-stick construction. Best of all, it comes with a food-grade construction, so you can have peace of mind.
The grill comes with an adjustable temperature, so you can set the heat level depending on what is most suitable for what you are cooking. It also has cool zones, so no need to worry about smoke. Best of all, it has 1,760 watts, making it powerful enough for your grilling needs! You don’t need to wait a long time before you can finally devour your BBQ!
- Durable construction
- Powerful heating element
- Delivers multiple functions in a single product
- Bulky unit but small grilling space
#5. Kitchen + Home Stovetop Korean BBQ Grill
Enjoying a delicious Korean BBQ fest at home does not have to be expensive! Similar to the two other products previously mentioned, it is also a stovetop grill, so it does not come with any power source. The good thing is that it works on both electric and gas stoves, making it a versatile grill.
One of the best things about this grill is that it is perfect for healthy cooking. There are no toxic chemicals used in the coating of the cooking surface. It has an FDA-approved material for the coating, so you can be confident of its safety.
Speaking of the coating, it is non-stick. This means that even if you overcook the meat, there will be no charred surfaces. This will make the clean up a breeze.
Another thing that makes it great for healthy cooking is its built-in grease management system. Unlike most of the stovetop grills, this model comes with a pan that catches the oil from meats. You can also fill this pan with water, which will add moisture to your meat as you grill. You can also add marinade in the drip pan if you want your meats to be more flavorful.
- Wear-resistant grilling surface
- Food-grade construction
- Easy to clean
- No heat source
- Prone to sliding
#6. Hamilton Beach 25361 Electric Indoor Grill
This is far from what a traditional grill looks like in authentic Korean restaurants, but it is a great investment because of its versatility. You can grill almost anything and achieve the perfect results. There’s no need for guesswork!
Among others, one thing that we like the most in this product is the transparent window. If you want to close the lid to prevent smoke, then you don’t have to open it now and then. Instead, you can just look at the glass window and you can monitor the grilling process.
We also like the temperature dial. This way, you will have full control of how hot the grill is depending on what the meat needs. You can adjust the temperature from 200 to 450 degrees. There is also an indicator light, which will provide an immediate notification after reaching the pre-set temperature.
Cleaning the grill is effortless. Thanks to the non-stick surface, there is a minimal chance that there will be thick charred meats. There is also a drip tray to catch all the grease as you grill.
The large grilling surface is also a plus. It is 118 square inches, which will let you grill BBQ meats of up to eight servings!
- Comes with a convenient viewing window
- Has a temperature indicator dial
- Generous grilling area
- Pre-heating the grill takes quite a while
- Insulation can be better
#7. Cuisinart 300WSP1 Griddler Elite
This is another product that does not look like a traditional grill for Korean BBQ. Nonetheless, it is from Cuisinart, so that alone can already convince many people to include it on their list.
There are many things that will make this an innovative option for an indoor grill. One of our favorites is the digital display. Even in low-light environments, you can see what is on it. It makes it easy to monitor what you are grilling by showing the function, temperature, and time, among other things.
The generous size of the grill is also a plus. It has 240 square inches of cooking area. Despite this, it is housed in a compact body, which makes it space efficient.
We also love how it comes with a dual-zone temperature. This means that you can cook two different meats on each side of the plate and control them with different temperatures. This is unlike others wherein the temperature remains the same throughout the grill.
Lastly, this is also revered for its versatility. It is built not just for cooking Korean BBQ. There are other functions that you can enjoy, such as a panini press. This makes it a worthy addition to any kitchen!
- Easy to view digital display
- Dual-zone temperature control
- Durable construction
- A bit complicated to use
How to Choose the Best Indoor Grill for Korean BBQ
With too many brands and models available, making the right choice isn’t straightforward. From the price to features, you need to consider a lot of things. Here are some of the most important considerations as you try to narrow down the possibilities.
Type of Indoor Grill
Korean BBQ grills differ in terms of their source of power. Each will have its respective pros and cons, so we leave it to you to decide what you assume is best for your needs.
- Electric Indoor Grill: This is the most popular and also our favorite. As the name implies, it has a plug, so you need to connect it to an electrical plug, and this is what will power the grill. Many of them are also smokeless, making it a convenient way to grill.
- Butane Gas Indoor Grill: It is reminiscent of the type of stove that you use when you are camping. There is a container on the side to hold a gas canister. It is portable, so you can use it almost anywhere even without electrical supply.
- Stove-top Indoor Grill: This is more of an attachment than a grill. It is a metal plate that you will use on the top of the stove in lieu of a pan. There are raised edges, which is what makes it different from a traditional pan.
- Charcoal Indoor Grill: A lot of people prefer using charcoal because of the authentic smoked flavor. While this is mouthwatering, this is one thing we are not recommending for indoor applications. Smoke can be suffocating, and smell can linger on your clothes and inside the house.
When we talk about materials in an indoor grill, we are referring to what is used for the grilling plate. This is the part that touches the meat directly and is also highly-influential of its performance. Not to mention, it also impacts safety.
Most of the options available come with a metal exterior, which is known for heating quickly. Metal is great because of its high heat capacity without sustaining damages. Plastic and hard silicone are often combined with metal, which will protect against accidental burns. Nonetheless, the latter can be prone to cracks, posing significant durability issues.
The right size depends on your needs and preferences. First, think about how many people will be eating. If it is only one or two, then you are good with a small grill. However, when you expect a big group, then you should also invest in a large grill. Also, consider how much space is available in a table or stove to help you find an indoor grill with a suitable size.
If you are opting for an electric indoor grill, then you should consider the wattage of the unit, which is indicative of its overall power and performance. The higher the wattage, the hotter the grill gets. In most cases, this will range from 1,000 to 1,500 watts. It is frustrating to have an under-powered grill since you have to wait a long time before you can finally have a taste of delicious Korean BBQ!
Regardless of the type of the indoor grill that you will choose, there should be some kind of temperature control. This will let you set the heat to high as you start cooking and eventually make it lower as the meat cooks. In electric grills, some may have an automatic temperature control, allowing the unit to turn off in an instant once the meat is cooked. There are also manual knobs that you can turn left or right to tweak the temperature.
One of the must-haves in an indoor grill for Korean BBQ is a grease tray. As the meat cooks, it will excrete oils. The grill should be designed in such a way that the oils sill slide to the side and there must be a catch pan that collects the oil. Otherwise, it will stay on the surface, which looks gross. Or, it can spill all over the table, making the area messy.
Ease of Cleaning
While Korean BBQ is delicious, cleaning an indoor grill is frustrating. It is a dreaded task! Charred remnants in the surface of the grill can be stubborn and challenging to remove. So, choose one that is designed for ease of cleaning. Having a non-stick grill plate is good to prevent charring.
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FAQs About Best Indoor Grills
Got questions about indoor grills for Korean BBQ? We’ll try to answer some of them below.
What makes Korean BBQ different?
The neat used is one of the main differences with a traditional BBQ. It uses thin meats cut into small pieces. There is no need for a skewer. It is also generally sweeter, but you will have spicy dipping sauces, especially ssamjang. It is also different in terms of side dishes or banchan, which include kimchi, fish cakes, and assorted vegetables.
How do you prepare Korean BBQ at home?
To prepare Korean BBQ at home, make sure that you have a good grill and the basics – meat, side dishes, and dipping sauces. Head to your local supermarket to buy cut and marinated meats to save time. Grill the meat and serve with lettuce on the side as a wrap. Add different sauces and enjoy with side dishes.
Can I use a griddle for Korean BBQ?
If you have no indoor grill, then you can use a griddle as an alternative. However, make sure that it comes with a catch pan. Grilling Korean BBQ means that there will be oil, and it will make the table messy when there is no pan to catch the drippings.
How do you clean an indoor grill?
To clean an indoor grill, remove the plug or the butane gas depending on the source of heat. Use mild soap and warm water to clean the surface. Scrub with enough force to get rid of the charred meat deposits on the grill. Do not use a brush with hard bristles that can damage the surface. If it is electric, do not submerge the grill in water. Dry all the parts before storage.