Korean BBQ or K-BBQ has become increasingly popular worldwide because of its unique taste, the fast cooking, and the fact that you can cook it right on the dining table and eat it directly from the grill.
While American BBQ usually involves long, low, and slow cooking of large meat cuts outdoors, the Korean barbecue is fast, includes the use of thin strips of meat, and can be done indoors, usually directly in front of or by the guests on the table themselves.
If you want to enjoy making your own Korean barbecue at home, and entertain your guests or feed your family with delicious and healthy Korean barbecue dishes, then you will need a suitable Korean BBQ grill.
There are different types of K-BBQ grills on the market, including stovetop grills and standalone grills, which have their own heat sources such as electricity or gas.
These grills are usually quite affordable, easy to use. They can be used for indoor cooking safely, which is a huge plus if you don’t have a backyard or other suitable outdoor space or if you want to enjoy grilling food even when the weather is cold and wet outside.
We have carefully reviewed the most popular and top-rated Korean BBQ grills on the market for 2021 and have come up with the best ones you can buy.
Read on to find out more about our top picks, their pros and cons, and the features they offer.
Greatest Korean BBQ Grills in 2021
The Techef Korean BBQ Grill Pan and the included gas-powered burner is the bestselling Korean barbecue grill for 2021.
It is portable and can be used as a standalone cooking unit without the need for a stovetop or a connection to a power outlet.
This means that you can take it anywhere with you or place it on the table directly, even if you are off the grid.
The plate itself has a 12-inch diameter and is made of heavy-duty, durable aluminum with a safe nonstick coating. The safe Teflon nonstick coating consists of 5-layers which will ensure that the meat and other food doesn’t stick to it and that it will last for years of use.
It also features a Teflon print swirled design on the domed base, which is not only pretty but acts as a slow grease drainer for delicious and healthy food. The excess fat and other juices are drained through the draining hole of the unit.
The stove burner works with butane cylinders and has a powerful 11,500 BTU burner and a quick and easy-to-use piezo-electric ignition, so you can start the grill instantly and get it to the desired temperature quickly and without hassle.
Thanks to its smokeless design, this unit can be used both outdoors and inside.
Plus, the plate is very easy to clean and maintain thanks to the grease drainage system and the nonstick coating, so clean-up after dinner will be easy and quick.
It is 14 x 6 x 14 inches in size and weighs 7.6 lbs.
The K-BBQ plate and stove burner is very reasonably priced for the value offered and is our top recommendation if you want to buy a portable grill and enjoy Korean cuisine at home or when camping or outdoors.
- The appliance includes the grill plate and the stove all in one
- It is completely portable and can be used off-grid anywhere
- Very sturdily built with a 5-layer nonstick coating
- It provides even heat distribution for avoiding hot and cold spots
- The cooking system is smokeless and safe for use indoors
- It is powered by an easy to set 8-oz butane cylinder, which has an automatic shut off for added safety
- The grill plate is easy to clean and can be washed in a dishwasher
- The special Tefal spiraling pattern helps move the grease and other juices slowly under the food to add taste and to drain any excess fat from the drainage hole
- The stove has a powerful 11,500 BTU
- Thanks to the piezo-electric ignition system, you can start the grill with a press of a button
- You can use the plate in the oven as well, at temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- All materials used are safe
- It is made in Korea
- You need to purchase a draining bowl or tray to place under the grease drainage hole when using the grill
If you already have a portable butane stove or are planning on using your kitchen stove and only need the K-BBQ plate itself, then we suggest that you check out this grill by Iwatani.
It is inexpensive and has a diameter of 12 inches.
The grill plate is made of die-cast aluminum which has excellent heat retention and provides even grilling. It has added fluorine processing and nonstick coating.
The size of this BBQ plate is 13.6 x 13.5 x 2.2 inches, and it weighs 2.16 lbs. so it is portable and easy to store when not in use.
It has a base that needs to be filled with water during the grilling and comes with a handle.
The grill plate has grooves and slots that help move and divert the grease and juices for a better flavor and a healthier meal and the prevention of flare-ups and excessive smoke.
This Korean BBQ grill is among the best budget-friendly options we found on the market in 2021.
- Made of sturdy and heat-retaining die-cast iron
- A nonstick surface for easy cleaning and better grilling results
- It offers smokeless operation and is safe to use indoors
- The grease collection system will keep your food healthy and will make clean-up a breeze
- You will receive a handle along with the grill
- You can use it on any gas stovetop
- It is portable
- You will need to clean the grill’s surface carefully to avoid scratching the nonstick surface
If you want a K-BBQ style electric powered indoor grill that you can use to prepare delicious Korean and other food inside but without breaking the bank, then the Maxi-Matic BBQ Grill could be the most suitable option for you.
The affordable electric grill has a generous 14-inch diameter but is also available in a smaller 12-inch size and a 13 x 9 inch rectangular option.
The grilling surface is nonstick coated for healthy cooking and easy clean-up.
There is a 1,400-watt thermostat control with five temperature settings from 250 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use it for searing steaks and for grilling all types of food, even the most delicate fish and veggies right on your table or the kitchen counter.
Its overall size is 17.2 x 17 x 4.1 inches, and it weighs 6 lbs.
The set includes a removable drip pan, and you will also receive a nifty glass lid in the package.
Its base and the handles will remain cool during use for added safety and comfort when cooking the food, even if the grill is on the dinner table.
The grill’s plate, base, and lid are dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
Its heating element is designed to disperse the heat evenly during the cooking for the most delicious and consistent results every time.
Overall, if you want an affordable, easy to use and clean, and versatile indoor electric powered grill, then this one is among the top-recommended options you can find in 2021.
- Offered at a very reasonable price
- The plate is large-sized with a cooking area suitable for large groups of people
- It has a removable grease collection base and glass lid, and all non-electric parts are dishwasher safe
- The temperature can be adjusted to 5 settings from 250 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Its safe PFOA-free nonstick surface makes it perfect for healthy cooking and for easy maintenance
- There is a tempered glass lid included in the set
- The unit is backed by a 1-year warranty
- You will receive a helpful recipe guide with the grill
- The power cord is relatively short
If you want a high-quality Korean BBQ grill that will last for years and which will allow you to cook indoors or outside without the need for electrical power or a stovetop, then this smokeless grill by Iwatani is among the leading options for you.
This is a standalone portable gas-powered grill that works with a butane canister, so you can take it camping or anywhere with you.
The all-in-one K-BBQ grill has a grill plate with a diameter of 9.2 inches, and a total size of 11.93 x 10.94 x 5.87 inches, and a weight of just 2.2 lbs.
It has a powder-coated steel body, a die-cast aluminum nonstick coated plate, an aluminum die-cast burner, and ABS resin controls and plugs, making it very durable.
The grill offers a long continuous burning time of up to 217 minutes, and thanks to the easy-to-use piezo-electric ignition system, you can get it going and preheat it in a matter of minutes.
Thanks to its smokeless design, this BBQ grill is safe for use both indoors and outside. The grill’s auto-shut-off safety feature will keep you and your family safe if any excessive gas pressure is detected during use.
This unit is of high quality and is made in Japan by the reputable Iwatani Company.
It is among the best portable Korean-style grills you can buy this year.
- Made of high quality, sturdy materials
- It is a complete standalone portable grill that does not require to be plugged in or a stovetop
- It is very lightweight and easy to transport and store
- The grill is powered by butane canisters
- There is a built-in pressure-sensitive auto shut-off feature
- You can adjust the temperature via the variable heat control
- The piezo-electric ignition is fast and easy to use for starting the grill
- You can use it for cooking continuously for up to 217 minutes
- The diameter of the grill plate is smaller than most of the other BBQ grills on our list
Although it may not look like the other more traditional round-shaped Korean BBQ grills on our list, this indoor electric grill by Zojirushi is an excellent option if you want a safe, easy to use and reliable electric-powered indoor grill.
It has a rectangular form and a nonstick grilling surface which is 12.5 x 9.25 inches.
The entire unit is 20.5 x 14.1 x 6.1 inches in size and weighs 7 lbs.
The grill includes a nonstick coated aluminum grilling plate with stay-cool handles, a dishwasher-safe grease drip tray, and a stable and stay-cool cooking base.
The 1,300-watt electric heating element can be adjusted from 176 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use the indoor grill for preparing all types of food inside.
Thanks to the dishwasher-safe drip tray, the food you prepare on this grill will be healthier, and the clean-up after cooking will be way easier.
You can safely lift the grill plate during use thanks to the stay-cool handles and can prepare the food directly on the table thanks to the stay-cool base of the unit.
- A generous cooking space of 12.5 x 9.25 inches
- Removable drip tray which can be washed in a dishwasher
- Stay cool handles of the grill plate and a stay-cool cooking base
- It has adjustable temperature control with a range of 176-410 degrees Fahrenheit
- Very easy to clean
- Automatic shut-off safety mechanism
- It does not have the traditional K-BBQ grill round design
WaxonWare’s grilling pan is a Korean BBQ grill that you can use directly on the stovetop to prepare mouthwatering Asian barbecue at home easily and inexpensively.
The diameter of the die-cast aluminum grill plate is 12.6 inches. The PFOE-free and PTFE-free nonstick surface will allow you to grill any type of veggie, meat, or fish indoors, without the need of an outdoor space or an expensive charcoal or gas grill, and with minimal fat to stay lean and healthy.
The size of this grilling skillet is 12.6 x 11.25 x 2.26 inches, and it weighs 2.78 lbs. so you can easily store it away even with limited kitchen space.
You can wash it by hand, but it can be taken apart and be washed in a dishwasher as well.
The pan has a drip pan to capture the excess fat and juices and prevent the mess on your gas or electric stovetop. When washed properly, and when you add some water to the drip pan, using this pan will not cause flare-ups or excessive smoke, so it is perfect for apartment dwellers.
You can use it for grilling and cooking all types of food, including traditional US barbecue as well as Korean barbecue.
This affordable griddle is one of the best alternatives for an outdoor grill and will allow you to prepare restaurant-quality BBQ even without an outdoor grill or cooking station.
- It is made of durable die-cast aluminum
- The nonstick coating is 100% PTFE and PFOA free
- It has a built-in drip tray to capture the grease and juices
- By adding water to the tray, you will eliminate flare-ups and the smoke emitted during the use
- You can use the grilling skillet on gas or electric stovetops indoors and outside
- It does require the use of a gas or electric stovetop burner, so it is not a standalone grill
What makes Korean BBQ grills so popular?
Following the steps of Japanese and Thai cuisine, which have become extremely popular around the world, today, Korean cuisine, including K-BBQ, is also gaining popularity outside of Asia.
Korean BBQ comes in different styles but mainly consists of grilled thin strips of varying meat on the table by the guests themselves or by chefs in front of them. This makes it more of a collective experience than traditional barbecue.
The two most popular Korean barbecue dishes are Bulgogi and Galbi. Bulgogi is made of very thin slices of pork or beef, marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and garlic, and grilled very quickly on the Korean BBQ grill.
Galbi is a meal that is similar to Bulgogi, but it consists of pork or beef ribs that have been marinated and then grilled.
There are other very popular Korean BBQ dishes which you can try making at home, such as the pork belly Samgyupsal Gui, the Dwaeji Bulgogi, Dwaeji galbi, Dak Bulgogi, Jeyuk Bokkeum, and others.
Of course, for an authentic experience, you will need to add some of the typical side dishes called bon-chon to complement the meat you will be preparing, which include ssamjang dipping sauces, ssam perilla and lettuce leaves used for wrappers for the food, ssam garnishes, rice and other banchan side dishes.
The Korean BBQ is becoming a preferred type of barbecue for people who like the exotic taste of Korean cuisine and want to prepare the meat and other ingredients directly before eating them quickly and easily.
You can cook all types of meat and poultry, as well as veggies on such a grill.
Also, most recipes utilize cheaper meat cuts that are thinly sliced, and given the fact that the thinly sliced meat is grilled very quickly, there is little risk of overcooking or undercooking it on a Korean-style BBQ grill.
Korean BBQ grills are usually round-shaped and can be placed and used directly on the table where people will be eating. This allows for the people to cook their own food right there on the table, making it a unique culinary experience.
These grills are usually inexpensive, easy to use, and most importantly, can be used indoors.
These are just some of the reasons why more people in the USA and around the world are looking for grills of this type.
What to consider when choosing a Korean BBQ grill
If you are still uncertain about the essential features to keep in mind when choosing the most suitable Korean barbecue grill for your needs, then read on to find out what to look for before buying one.
The plate diameter defines the cooking space which you will have available. So, pick a grill that has sufficient space for preparing enough meat and food for your family or for the number of guests you usually entertain. This will allow everyone on the table to grill their meat and then eat the dish at the same time, making the meal much more fun for all included.
Most of the Korean BBQ grills are 12 inches in diameter, but there are smaller and larger options, and some of them are even rectangular in form, which allows for cooking more food at the same time.
A grill that has a grilling area of 12-14 inches should be sufficient for preparing a meal for a standard family of 3-4 people.
It is advisable to choose a grill that is made of a sturdy material that is durable and will allow for even heat dispersion and better heat retention. Also, make sure you check what the cooking surface is made of and coated with if you want to cook healthier food with less fat, and if you want the clean-up to be as easy as possible.
Some of the grills on our list are dishwasher safe which makes their maintenance hassle-free and simple.
If you have been using any type of grill, you know how messy the process can be once the juices and grease from the protein and other products start rendering and dripping. Now imagine having to deal with this kind of mess in your home and even on your table!
It is recommended that you pick a Korean BBQ grill that has an efficient grease collecting system, such as a drain hole, slots or grooves, and a drip tray. This will help capture the mess, reduce the fat content in your food, improve the taste of the food, and limit the emission of smoke or flare-ups, which can be dangerous, especially during use indoors.
There are different Korean-style grills available on the market. Some come with their own gas burner or are electric, and others require that you use a separate stovetop.
If you want a more portable option that you can take camping or everywhere with you, you may want to opt for a grill that has its own propane burner.
If you are going to be using it at home, you can opt for an electric-powered one. The electric grills do not require that you buy replaceable or refillable propane tanks and only need to be plugged into a power outlet to be used.
The simplest one to choose and the most compact option is a separate grilling pan which you can use on your own electric or gas stovetop.
Most modern grills have a nonstick coating on their cooking surfaces. Apart from being much easier to clean, these grills also allow you to use less oil or fat without the meat or other ingredients getting stuck on the grill.
The nonstick coating will also protect the actual pan from corroding over time and will prolong its longevity.
But check what kind of nonstick coating is used for making the grill to make sure that it is safe for you and your family to prepare your food at home.
The heat range of the burner
Most gas-powered Korean BBQ grills have large temperature ranges, thanks to their powerful burners.
The electric-powered ones also usually have an adjustable temperature.
The grilling pans which utilize stovetops will depend on the adjustable temperature range of your stovetop.
So, pick the best option for you depending on what types of foods you will be preparing.
Our recommendation is to opt for a grill with a larger temperature range because it will be a more versatile appliance you can use for different types of meals and food products.
The size and the weight of the K-BBQ grill are important, especially if you have a limited countertop, tabletop, or storage space indoors. They are also essential if you are planning on taking the grill with you when traveling, camping, fishing, or on other outdoor adventures.
If you have unlimited storage and cooking space at home, you can opt for a larger sized grill, but for a more portable and easy-to-store one, choose one which is lighter and takes up less space.
Some of the Korean BBQ grills we reviewed have some extra features which some of you may find particularly useful. There are grills that have stay-cool bases and handles and even lids. Others come with easy and quick electric ignition systems and other attractive and nifty extras.
One feature that many users find essential is the manufacturer’s warranty for the grill—the more extended the warranty – the better when it comes to making a long-term investment.
How to clean a Korean BBQ grill
Just like with a traditional charcoal or gas grill, or like any other kitchen pan or other utensils you use, you will need to clean your Korean BBQ grill after every use.
By keeping the pan and drip tray clean, you will ensure that you eat delicious and safe food every time, and you will also help prevent flare-ups, smoke. Plus, with proper maintenance, a good quality grill or grilling pan can last for years of use.
To clean the Korean barbecue grill, you should clean it right after it has cooled down enough to be washed.
Avoid using metal scrubs or other abrasives to scrub the nonstick grilling surface in order to prevent damaging the coating.
Make sure that you clean the drip tray thoroughly too.
Many of the units on this list have drip trays and pans which can safely be washed in a dishwasher which will save you a lot of time and hassle.
Are Korean BBQ grills safe to use indoor?
If you have been to a Korean restaurant, you may have noticed that there are powerful exhaust fans above the tables.
Since it is very unlikely that you have such an exhaust directly over your table, we recommend that you ensure that the room is adequately ventilated when using a grill indoors.
Even if they are designed to be used inside, and are considered smokeless, many of these BBQ grills will produce smoke which can be quite unpleasant and in some cases unhealthy.
To ensure that you are safe when using a Korean BBQ grill, make sure that the ventilation is on, or the windows are opened, the grate is clean, and that the meat is properly thawed.
What food to cook on Korean BBQ grills?
You can use the traditional Korean BBQ dishes such as Bulgogi or Galbi on such a grill, but you can also use most of these indoor grills to prepare all kinds of Western and other foods.
Just keep in mind that in most of these grills, the cooking space and the heat range are more limited than that of a traditional charcoal or gas outdoor grill, so grilling very large cuts of meat may not be possible.
Can a Korean BBQ plate be used as a stovetop?
Most of the Korean BBQ plates can be used on electric or gas stovetops and even in ovens. If your grill plate is of this type, you can place it directly on the stovetop and preheat it at a higher temperature, and then lower the temperature to medium for the actual grilling process.
As you can see, a Korean BBQ grill is an excellent grill for foodies who like Korean cuisine and also for people who like grilled food but lack outdoor space or want to enjoy it even when the weather is bad.
Korean barbecue grills are simple, easy to set up and use, and less expensive than most traditional outdoor grills used for American barbecue.
They are compact, portable, lightweight, and allow for grilling food quickly and right on the table as you eat.
Even if you are unsure about Korean food, having one of these portable indoor grills is a good idea if you like to have an affordable grill that you can use all year round inside your home.
We have chosen the best, most durable, efficient, and safest of all Korean BBQ grills money can buy in 2021, so hopefully, we have helped you select the perfect one for your needs.