Last Updated on January 20, 2023 by Shari Mason
Hibachi chefs are expert chefs who specialize in the art of Japanese cuisine. Their craft involves using a hibachi grill for cooking delicious dishes such as steak, chicken, and seafood.
A hibachi grill is a traditional Japanese grill that uses an open flame to cook food. However, the open flame is not simply created out of thin air.
Instead, hibachi chefs use various methods to create the fire necessary to cook their dishes.
So what do hibachi chefs use to make a fire? Find out below.
What Are Hibachi Chefs Using To Make Fire?
Hibachi chefs often create fire for exhibition cooking by pouring cooking oil into the center of a sliced onion before igniting it or dousing sliced onions with alcohol like sake or vodka.
“If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music. “– Will.I.Am, Musician
They typically use a small amount of cooking oil, such as vegetable or canola oil, to create the “volcano” effect. 
Some chefs also use pepper to stir up the fire.
How To Make Fire On Hibachi Grill
To make fire on a hibachi grill, first, ensure that the grill is placed on a flat surface and connected to a heat source.
The next step is to place charcoal briquettes in the center of the grill and light them. Once the briquettes are lit, they should be spread evenly across the grill.
Finally, adjust the heat source to the desired temperature, and the fire should be ready.
What Oil Do They Use On A Hibachi Grill?
The type of oil used depends on the Hibachi grill type and the food being cooked. For flat-top Hibachi grills, light vegetable oil is usually used.
For charcoal Hibachi grills, olive oil  is typically the best choice. For cast iron Hibachi grills, a combination of vegetable oil and butter is recommended to add flavor and prevent sticking.
How Do You Ignite Japanese Charcoal?
To ignite Japanese charcoal, you’ll need a charcoal starter or chimney starter. Place the charcoal in the starter and light the newspaper at the bottom.
Once the charcoal is lit and glowing, you can spread it on the grill. Use a hand fan to fan the charcoal, which will help to spread the heat.
Allow the charcoal to burn for at least 15 minutes before adding food to the grill.
Pros & Cons Of Hibachi Cooking
- Hibachi cooking is a fun and interactive way to enjoy a meal. The chef often puts on a show, and the guests can watch and participate.
- Hibachi cooking is healthier than many other cooking methods because the food is cooked quickly over high heat, which helps retain more nutrients and flavor.
- Hibachi cooking is very versatile; you can cook various foods such as vegetables, seafood, and meats.
- The food cooked on a hibachi tastes great because it has natural flavors and aromas.
- Hibachi cooking is a great way to entertain guests and creates a festive atmosphere.
- Hibachi cooking can be dangerous if not done properly, as it involves open flames and hot surfaces.
- Hibachi cooking can be expensive, as the equipment and ingredients can be costly.
- The food cooked on a hibachi can be greasy and high in calories.
- Hibachi cooking can be time-consuming, requiring the chef to be attentive to the food constantly.
- The smoke generated by cooking can be unpleasant and set off smoke alarms.
Tips & Tricks From Hibachi Chefs
- Preheat your Hibachi Grill before you start to cook. This will ensure that your food cooks evenly and quickly.
- Use a wet towel to clean your Hibachi Grill after each use. This will help prevent food from sticking and make cleaning up easier.
- Have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. This will help you cook quickly and efficiently.
- Use a spoon to move vegetables around the Hibachi Grill instead of tongs. The spoon will help keep the vegetables from sticking to the grill and will help create a nice sear.
- If you’re using a lot of oil while cooking, it’s best to use a spray bottle to apply it. This will help keep the oil from splattering and will also help create a nice, even coating.
- When cooking proteins like steak or chicken, use a high heat setting. This will help create a nicely seared exterior and a juicy, tender interior.
- Don’t forget to season your food. Adding salt and pepper to your proteins and vegetables will bring out the flavors and make your Hibachi meal even more delicious.
What do Japanese restaurants use for fire?
Japanese restaurants use gas burners to create fire. They may also use charcoal or wood-burning grills for some dishes.
What do hibachi chefs squirt on food?
Hibachi chefs typically squirt soy sauce and sesame oil onto food when cooking.
The “volcano” trick performed by hibachi chefs is a popular and impressive way to add excitement to the hibachi dining experience.
The key ingredient to creating this effect is a small amount of cooking oil, such as vegetable or canola oil, which is poured into the center of a sliced onion before being ignited.
The next time you’re at a hibachi restaurant and see the onion volcano trick, now you know the secret behind it.
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