A Korean BBQ grill allows for fun cooking at home, and it’s one of our favorite things to do when gathering the closest relatives or best friends for dinner. The Korean BBQ grill is also a great option for picky eaters, as everyone can make their own favorite dishes and cook meats to their preferred doneness.
Normally, a Korean BBQ grill uses charcoal or gas, but for indoor use we recommend opting for an electric or gas powered grill that you can easily control during use. Fortunately these work very well, and there are lots of options to choose from.
Our top pick is the Korean-made TeChef BBQ Grill Pan With Portable Stove Burner because it’s authentic, easy to use, and very efficient. And if you don’t want the gas stove burner, the BBQ grill pan is of course sold separately as well.
Best overall: TeChef BBQ Grill Pan With Portable Stove Burner
TeChef BBQ Grill Pan With Portable Stove Burner
The Korean-made TeChef BBQ Grill Pan is an all-in-one unit that allows you for easy setup, use, and cleaning.
Pros: Made in South Korea – as authentic as it gets, great non-stick surface is easy to clean, drain hole ensures that fats and grease run off easily, portable stove burner fits a regular butane cylinder, extra grill pans can be purchased separately.
Cons: No grease collector included, not as durable as we wanted it to be, non-stick surface doesn’t go well with metal utensils.
If you want a proper, authentic, Korean BBQ grill, the TeChef brand is the way to go. This all-in-one set is all you need, with the exception of a butane cylinder, to get started. It is made in South Korea and performs very well for all your various needs, and you can easily set it up on your dining table.
You can cook all types of meat and vegetables without adding any oil to the surface, as the non-stick coating ensures that nothing gets stuck. After use you simply rinse the pan off under running water, add a bit of regular dishwashing liquid, scrub with a soft bristle brush, and that’s it – you’re done.
Kids and adults seem to love this Korean BBQ grill, and we strongly believe it’s the best option for families or a group of friends who want to gather around a table for a fun time of cooking.
One thing you may want to consider, is that it doesn’t come with a grease collector. So you’ll have to place a bowl near the grease drain, and it could get a little messy when you’re removing the grill pan.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the non-stick surface, like other non-stick surfaces, does NOT go well with any metal utensils. So you’ll have to get a pair of tongs that with a silicone or plastic design, if you want to keep the BBQ grill for years to come.
Best on a budget: Elite Gourmet EMG-980B Indoor Nonstick Grill
Elite Gourmet EMG-980B Indoor Nonstick Grill
The Elite Gourmet EMG-980B Electric Korean BBQ grill does a phenomenal job, and only costs a fraction of similar grills.
Pros: Safe and fun to use, most parts are dishwasher safe, non-stick surface means no oils necessary, 14-inch diameter is more than enough for most families, heats evenly across the surface, large drip pan included.
Cons: Build quality is not as great as we hoped for, takes a long time to heat up properly, not as hot as other electric grills.
The Elite Gourmet EMG-980B is an electric grill, and it’s perfect for Korean BBQ. With the detachable thermostat control that plugs into the actual heating unit, you have easy control over the entire process and can turn it off at any time with no issues. Electric heating also means that there’s no open flames, so if you worry about safety this type of indoor grill is the best choice.
With the way this grill has been designed, you can easily wash the grill, the lid, and the grease tray in a dishwasher. The only thing that can’t go in the dishwasher is the thermostat control, however it isn’t in direct contact with any food items so it won’t need a cleaning anyway.
We like that it has a non-stick surface because it prevents the food from sticking and burning, as you can easily move it around and turn it over once needed. It also comes with a glass lid that will aid the cooking process, and keep some of the moisture in.
One small issue is the heating time and the temperature. It does make a nice, mouthwatering sizzle once you add your meats and vegetables, but it takes a long time to heat up and if you’re impatient it might be a considerable disadvantage. Another thing worth noting is that is might lose heat faster than it regains heat, so if you’re cooking a lot of food with no breaks in-between, the grill might not have sufficient heat to give you the browning you desire.
Best electric: Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill
Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill
The Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill is a durable, reliable, and high-quality grill with a great little cooking surface – perfect for Korean BBQ.
Pros: High cooking temperature ensures that you can sear your meat, efficient non-stick surface means no need to add any oils, easy temperature adjustment with the dial button, easy to clean.
Cons: Grill unit is not dishwasher safe and must be washed by hand, separates into four items that you need to keep track of, size of cooking surface is only big enough for two persons.
If you’re looking for a cozy, safe grill that’s perfect for Korean BBQ, the Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill is worth considering. With the functional design and great performance you can sear your meats and achieve proper grill marks, which is actually quite rare in this type of grill.
The Zojirushi Korean BBQ grill is one of the best electric grills for home use, and it works indoors with no problems. Simply set it up, plug it in, and let it heat for a while. It will be ready for use in a short moment, and you’ll hear the meat sizzling as if it was your regular skillet heating over your stovetop.
With a grill surface measuring 12.5 x 9.25 inches, you’ll have plenty of surface area for two persons, or perhaps three persons if you don’t put too much food on at once. It does give your foods a good sear, which is a great advantage over other electric grills, and you can easily adjust the temperature to your liking.
One thing we felt a little disappointed about, is the fact that not all parts are dishwasher safe. The grill needs to be washed by hand, and unfortunately it goes without saying that this part is the one that gets most dirty. Other than that, we were actually pleasantly surprised by how well it works.
Best for stovetop: CookKing Korean Traditional BBQ Grill Pan
CookKing Korean Traditional BBQ Grill Pan
The CookKing Korean Traditional BBQ Grill Pan is a great, affordable choice for those who already have a portable gas stove.
Pros: Very easy to clean, small center pot works well for garlic and herbs, works well on a portable gas stove, great non-stick surface.
Cons: Doesn’t work well with other heat sources except gas, dome shaped surface makes food slide, grease tray can’t be emptied midway, non-stick surface doesn’t go well with metal utensils.
If you already have a portable gas stove or similar heat source, the Korean-made CookKing Traditional BBQ Grill Pan is a great choice. It’s dome shaped as it should be, and there’s a small area in the middle where you can roast your garlic in oil or cook up any delicious herbs and spices that you like to apply onto your meat as it cooks.
The non-stick surface works really well, and you don’t need to apply any oil prior to cooking. One thing worth noting though, is because of the non-stick surface being truly non-stick, meats could slide due to the dome-shaped design. We haven’t seen this issue with thin slices of meat, but we believe larger pieces of meat are likely to slide on this grill due to the design.
You cannot empty the grease tray midway because it’s located under the actual cooking surface, so you’ll have to wait for it to cool down if you want to empty it, which may be inconvenient if you’re in the middle of cooking with your family or friends. The grease tray is quite spacious though, so we don’t think this is an issue unless you’re planning on basting your meats with butter, oils, or similar.
Best cast iron: Korean Traditional Cast Iron BBQ Grill Pan
Korean Traditional Cast Iron BBQ Grill Pan
There are many reasons to love cast iron, and the Korean Traditional Cast Iron BBQ Grill Pan is of course no exception.
Pros: Can get very hot, retains heat very well, not as bulky as other options, lasts a lifetime if seasoned properly, easy to clean, no limits as to what type of utensils you can use.
Cons: Not as big as we thought, no grease-tray, very heavy, needs occasional seasoning with oil to prevent corrosion.
Cast iron has many advantages over non-stick coated metal, but the major advantage is of course the durable surface that withstands any abuse and lasts a lifetime as long as it’s seasoned properly.
Once it gets hot you can sear anything on it, and this is ideal for a Korean BBQ with family and friends. Regardless of how much food you load onto it, it stays hot due to the cast iron’s ability to retain heat for longer periods of time than aluminum and steel.
After you’re done cooking, simply rinse it off as you would normally do, and use any brush or sponge that you want. Cast iron doesn’t get damaged by scrubbing, and there’s no need to worry about compromised coatings either.
One thing worth noting about this Korean BBQ grill, is the size. Measuring only 10.25 inches in diameter, it might not suit more than two persons at a time. It doesn’t come with a grease tray either, so you’ll have to drain grease manually which is a bit of a daunting task when it’s hot.
It does need an occasional seasoning with oil if you don’t want it to rust, but as long as you take proper care of it you won’t have to buy a Korean BBQ grill ever again. Cast iron lasts longer than any other material used for cookware, as long as you season it once in a while.
Identifying the best Korean BBQ grill
First and foremost, there are four main types of Korean BBQ grills as described below:
1. Stovetop Korean BBQ grill pan
This is a great option for those who already own a portable gas stove, as it sits perfectly on top of a single burner. It doesn’t depend on electricity, and you can use it inside and outside as long as you make sure the room is properly ventilated. Some smoke might occur during use.
2. Gas-powered Korean BBQ grill
Not as common yet still a great option, the all-in-one gas-powered Koran BBQ grills are great options for those looking for a simple way to make their favorite BBQ meal with family and friends. It usually consists of a portable gas stove that uses a butane cylinder as well as a removable grill pan, which is usually coated with a non-stick layer for easy cooking and cleaning.
3. Electric Korean BBQ grill
This super-safe option works great for indoor use, but might not be as powerful as gas- or charcoal grills. Because it’s electric there’s no open flame, and it’s easy to turn off once you’re done. It isn’t as easy to clean and maintain as a grill pan though, but in return it won’t cost you a lot of money to buy.
4. Charcoal Korean BBQ grill
Along with gas-powered BBQ grills, the charcoal grills are commonly used in restaurants with proper ventilation. We don’t recommend using a charcoal grill inside due to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, but if you’re in an open patio in pleasant weather this is definitely a great choice.
How we picked the best BBQ grills
During our reviewing process of Korean BBQ grills we considered these factors:
- Ease of use
- Build quality
Performance is the most important criteria when it comes to picking the best Korean BBQ grill. Not only do you need a grill that gets hot enough to make proper sear marks on your meats and vegetables, but you also need it to stay hot for the duration of your BBQ dinner. Another important factor to consider is the economy: how much fuel does it consume during use? How much electricity?
Ease of use plays a role too. We would rather spend our time with family and friends instead of having to waste our time scrubbing and rinsing the cookware, so it’s of utmost importance that the BBQ grill is as easy to use as it is to clean afterwards. Fortunately, most BBQ grills have a non-stick coating which allows for super-easy cleaning, and some are even dishwasher safe as well.
Size matters if you’re more than 2-3 persons who want to grill your food at the same time. Korean BBQ grills vary in size between 10 inches and all the way up to 20 inches or more, so make sure you consider the size of the actual grill plate when choosing your new BBQ grill. A good 14-inch grill is suitable for 4-5 persons, while a small 10-inch grill suits 2-3 persons.
Build quality is a critical factor as well. There’s just nothing more annoying than having to deal with the hassle of returning a product or discovering that it broke after using it for just a few times. We assess build quality from long-term reviews and ratings, as well as evaluating the different elements of the grill and the overall choices of material.