Teriyaki vs. Hibachi: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

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While studying about traditional Japanese cooking, you will definitely come across several words; hibachi and teriyaki are two of the most popular when discussing regional food. Both names denote certain cooking processes, and they are also used to refer to the foods prepared using these methods. What are the distinctions between teriyaki and hibachi, and which is superior?

Teriyaki is a cooking method that involves coating food with teriyaki sauce, while hibachi is a traditional Japanese heating appliance that may also be used to grill food. The sauce is the main ingredient in teriyaki foods, while hibachi cooking uses an open-top grill that burns charcoal.

In this essay, we will look more closely at each of these cooking techniques. We’ll talk about their history, how they’re utilized in various regions of the globe, what components they normally include, and so on.

Teriyaki vs. Hibachi: Differences



While researching the hibachi, you may be shocked to learn that it has little to do with cooking. Hibachi () is Japanese for “fire bowl.” It is a cylindrical or spherical pot with an open top that holds charcoal and ash. It may also refer to a box lined with fire-resistant material.

The major objective in both situations was to utilize it as a heating appliance for a room. These may be anything from vase-shaped flower pots to furniture with a central hibachi pot. This gadget may be traced back to the Heian era in Japan.

Nonetheless, centuries after its invention, the hibachi pot was utilized as a culinary equipment, although mostly to heat tea or water. It was also used as a grill to prepare traditional Japanese delicacies that were commonly served with the tea.

Of course, in current parlance, the name hibachi refers to any open-topped grilled utilized in a Japanese-style restaurant. Shichirin and teppan grills are sometimes mistaken with hibachi. This is not a serious error, but it may create some misunderstanding in a Japanese setting.

Those who talk about going to a hibachi grill house are most likely referring to a Japanese teppanyaki or shichirin home.


In the west, the name teriyaki has been much more accurately applied. It is made from of the Japanese terms Teri (which means luster) and Yaki (meaning grilled or broiled). This refers to the fact that teriyaki meals, which sometimes need grilling, have a gleaming appearance.

Although teriyaki is a cooking method in its own right, the sauces are the main attraction here. This sauce is appropriately named teriyaki sauce. This approach became widespread in Japan during the Tokugawa or Edo era. This sauce and its related cooking technique spread when Japanese immigrants settled in many regions of the contemporary globe.


The sauce is what distinguishes a teriyaki meal. This sauce is usually made with three basic ingredients: sugar, soy sauce, and mirin. Mirin is a sort of rice wine that is popular in Japanese cuisine. It is comparable to sake, except mirin contains less alcohol (about 14%) and more sugar.

The real dish may have a wide range of components. There are several sorts of vegetables, which are commonly served with a type of meat.

Since the hibachi was never intended to be used for cooking, there is no list of items that you can point to. When they were near such a place, though, most folks prepared tea and grilled different Japanese foods.

Hibachi grills at modern Japanese hotels enable you to prepare Japanese hot pots for supper. Normally, these hot pots include a variety of vegetables, as well as some type of meat. They are often prepared as a form of stew or soup at the dinner table. As a result, the food remains warm while you continue to consume it.

Hibachi grills are often connected with yakitori, which is skewered chicken. With a hibachi grill, you may also skewer shrimp, steak, and other meats. You may serve these meats with skewered veggies like onion, zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplants.

Taste and Flavors

Teriyaki is more than simply a shiny sauce. It has a taste profile that is both sweet and savory. The caramelized sugar and mirin sugar contribute to the sweetness. Yet, owing to the soy sauce, it also has an umami taste with a hint of salinity.

Moreover, since this sauce is so important in each teriyaki meal, these tastes take center stage as well. All of these tastes pair very well with animal flesh. As a result, most teriyaki recipes call for some form of beef or stock.

Hibachi or a similar Japanese grilling method, on the other hand, imparts a natural smokiness to the meal. This is to be anticipated given that the heat source is burning charcoal.


As a result, distinguishing between teriyaki and hibachi dishes is rather simple. Teriyaki foods will have a distinctive gloss or sheen due to their characteristic sauce. The luster is comparable to that of honey-glazed ribs or pork. A teriyaki meal, whether made with chicken, pork, or vegetables, will have a glossy, sticky appearance.

Hibachi meals are often served near the grill. Hence, even if the method isn’t typical hibachi, the environment may quickly identify a hibachi meal. These meals are often served on a skewer or in a hot pot.


Generally, teriyaki sauce is used to combine fish and beef, giving the meal a glossy appearance and excellent taste. The sauce is usually served with stir fried and grilled chicken. Nonetheless, the sauce may be used in the oven or on the stovetop.

Before cooking, marinade the meat in this sauce for a few minutes. In the case of stir fry, you may also use it at a certain stage of the cooking process. There’s another way to eat teriyaki sauce. Just sprinkle some of it as a glaze towards the conclusion of the cooking process.

The traditional hibachi setting has become more of a tourist attraction than a normal practice. Several villages, notably in Japan, have a more traditional hibachi pot in the middle of a huge table as a form of fireplace.

Customers may cluster around the hibachi to stay warm. Meanwhile, their meal, such as Dango or hot pot and tea, simmers quietly in the hibachi’s heat.

When used more broadly, hibachi may refer to any open-topped barbecue that uses charcoal. These grills are often used for grilling skewered meat and vegetables, as well as numerous traditional Japanese treats.


Teriyaki sauce may be high in sugar, salt, and carbohydrates. [1] These components may be problematic for those on a restricted diet. Bottled versions of this sauce often include artificial coloring and tastes.

But, you may reduce the calorie content of the sauce by simply adding less sugar. Generally, teriyaki sauce isn’t the most dangerous condiment you can eat. Yet, it does not have much nutritious benefit. Healthy teriyaki dishes may be created by including extremely nutritious components.

The ingredients, rather than the cooking technique, may determine how nutritious a hibachi meal is. Certainly, you are cooking with charcoal, but there is minimal likelihood that the coal will enter the meal.


Teriyaki meals became a mainstay of Japanese-style restaurants and street food sellers as Japanese cuisine extended worldwide. Several home cooks eventually embraced the style. Since creating teriyaki sauce is not difficult, anybody wishing for a taste of Japanese food might try it at home.

Several sauces comparable to classic teriyaki sauce have acquired popularity in the United States, despite the fact that these sauces employ different ingredients. For example, they replace mirin with white wine or add other ingredients like garlic paste and sesame seeds to the mix.

Teriyaki-style foods grew so popular in the Seattle area that they were dubbed the city’s hallmark cuisine, despite the fact that they are a foreign product. As of 2010, there were around 83 restaurants in the city that used the phrase teriyaki in their name. Of course, this sample excludes other Japanese-style eateries that do not have this name.

The usage of hibachi grills or similar cooking gadgets is a relatively new development. And the technique demands the use of a very special sort of grill. Unlike teriyaki sauce, this cannot be easily made at home. As a result, hibachi and hibachi-inspired foods are not as popular in other regions of the globe as teriyaki.

In Japan, traditional hibachi grills have become more of a tourist attraction than an everyday sight. Some places, however, provide a hibachi setting, usually in the common area. It is a gathering space for residents to interact while the meal is being prepared in the center.

Other Japanese grilling styles, such as shichirin and teppanyaki, are becoming more popular, particularly outside of Asia. These grills are often mistaken with hibachi, to the point that the term hibachi has come to refer to any grilling equipment used to prepare Japanese cuisine.

One of the most appealing aspects of such restaurants is the natural entertainment value of seeing the chef prepare the cuisine right in front of you. These establishments often have a central space where one or more chefs prepare the cuisine and deliver it directly to their customers.

Teriyaki vs. Hibachi: Which Is Better?

There are many aspects to consider here. First and foremost, teriyaki always wins in terms of availability and price. The sauce is a basic three-ingredient dish that requires no fancy method or gadget. You may also purchase the sauce ready-made at any supermarket.

Hibachi, on the other hand, is far more difficult to get. Even if you do manage to get one, you will still have to deal with the trouble of setting it up. And hibachi-style restaurants are unusual.

Traditional hibachi, of all the grilling methods to emerge from Japan, is not well adapted to cooking. The varieties of foods you can make with it are restricted.

Hibachi has numerous benefits. You don’t have to be concerned about the meal becoming cold. You may consume one of the foods while the others cook. You can keep your beverages warm.

Since hibachi does not list any ingredients, you may consider it to be the healthier option. As a result, you may prepare a meal that precisely matches your diet without consuming excessive amounts of sugar or calories. Teriyaki sauce, on the other hand, may be acceptable for all dietary programs.

Ultimately, making teriyaki sauce is a basic and easy process that you may do at home. It is less expensive and may be used with a variety of recipes.

Yet, if you want to create a nice and warm atmosphere where a large group of people can congregate around a fire and enjoy a meal, a hibachi setup might suit those needs.

Can You Substitute Hibachi with Teriyaki?

Although hibachi refers to a particular equipment, teriyaki more specifically refers to a component in a meal. As a result, there is no direct comparison here. But, you may prepare the items traditionally associated with a hibachi grill in alternative ways including by combining teriyaki sauce.

Can You Substitute Teriyaki with Hibachi?

Similarly, teriyaki foods may be prepared on a hibachi grill. Of course, this is not possible with every teriyaki meal. Dishes that must be fried or baked in an oven will not work well with a hibachi grill.

Nonetheless, many meals call for teriyaki sauce to be drizzled over the food as a glaze. You can even make it on a hibachi grill. Teriyaki works well with grilled meat, which is another meal that can be made on a hibachi grill.

Hibachi vs. Teriyaki: Which Is Healthier?

The nutritional value of a teriyaki meal or a hibachi dish is mostly determined by the dish’s other components. Yet, in general, the hibachi grill provides a little more freedom in this area. You may prepare a hot pot with largely healthful meals and no dangerous ingredients.

Yet, the sauce in most teriyaki recipes stays consistent. Also, the sugar and soy sauce in this sauce may not be suitable for everyone.

Hibachi vs. Teriyaki: Which Has More Vegetables?

Remember, it is very dependent on the exact food you will prepare. You can prepare a largely veggie teriyaki meal. Similarly, you may prepare a dinner on a hibachi that is primarily made up of healthful vegetables. While cooking over a hibachi, you have complete control over the items you use.

Can You Use Hibachi and Teriyaki Together?

You may cook a meal using a hibachi grill and teriyaki sauce. As previously stated, some meals call for the sauce to be used as a glaze. And it’s simple to replicate on top of a hibachi grill.

Conversely, you may drizzle teriyaki sauce over a food cooking on a hibachi grill if you believe the tastes would complement each other, regardless of whether the recipe originally called for it.

To summarize, if you are in the mood for Japanese food or want to broaden your palette, both teriyaki and hibachi meals are excellent choices.


What is the difference between teriyaki chicken and hibachi chicken?

The biggest difference between the two is the kind of sauce utilized. Hibachi chicken is prepared using soy sauce, but teriyaki chicken is prepared with a sweet glaze comprised of soy sauce and other seasonings. Hibachi chicken is not normally marinated before cooking, unlike teriyaki chicken is.

Why does hibachi taste better?

Hibachi cuisine takes a little longer to cook than most other varieties of food since it is cooked over an open flame. This implies that the meal retains more of its nutrients and taste, making it healthier and more fulfilling.

What’s so special about hibachi?

The taste of Hibachi cuisine is one of its outstanding features. The cooks make a meal that is both tasty and intriguing by combining spices and sauces. You never know what you’re going to receive, which adds to the excitement! Hibachi cuisine is also a terrific opportunity to experiment with different tastes.

What is teriyaki best for?

This sauce is as adaptable as it is tasty, and it is quick and simple to create. It may be used as a sauce or a marinade (simply omit the cornstarch). It may be used as a glaze for beef, poultry, fish, and shellfish, as well as in Asian salad dressings, noodle dishes, stir-fries, and other meals.

What is the healthiest thing to order at hibachi?

Chicken, fish, and shrimp are all quite healthy alternatives. Beef is not as lean as chicken or fish, but lean beef might be a better alternative.

Why is teriyaki chicken so popular?

Although shouyu is the predominant seasoning used in real Japanese cuisine, teriyaki first gained popularity in the United States in the 1960s, when Japanese immigrants moved in Hawaii. This one-of-a-kind marinade was made using local ingredients including pineapple juice and brown sugar, which were combined with soy sauce.

What are the best sauces for hibachi cooking?

The most popular Japanese restaurant hibachi sauces are Ginger Sauce and Yum Yum Sauce. If you’ve ever visited the famed Japanese steakhouse chain Benihana, you’ll know that their ginger sauce is their most popular dish.

What is best to cook on hibachi?

A hibachi may be used to prepare a variety of foods, including meat, fish, vegetables, and rice. Chicken, steak, and shrimp are the most popular foods to cook over a hibachi.

Is a hibachi grill worth it?

Overall, performance is exceptional; everything of the meat and fish cooked by our testers was extremely soft and moist. Although the charcoal fire on the hibachi is powerful, the food is nonetheless cooked gradually, keeping it moist and delicious. Cooking times were likewise comparable to those of a standard grill.

Is hibachi always cooked in front of you?

The chefs cook the meal requested in front of the visitors, impressing them with their culinary expertise and knife skills. Teppanyaki and hibachi grilling both provide customers with the opportunity to sample wonderful Japanese food.

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