We love BBQs of all shapes and sizes, especially the charcoal powered versions. 

But once we’d tasted our first meal from a shichirin (japanese charcoal grill) our BBQ habits changed for good.

We now BBQ more often and with more variety because shichirin (sometimes called hibachi) are quick to start cooking, fun to use, very efficient and deliver a full, authentic BBQ flavour.

And you can literally bring the kitchen to the outdoor table. Everyone can have a go with the tongs or basting brush and sharing a range of smaller portions over a longer time span is a relaxing way to enjoy a tasty meal together.


We visited the home of shichirin, Japan, to meet people who produced these little wonders and to carefully choose a range of BBQs to meet the needs of Australasia and the Pacific Islands.

Roaming down the back alley ways of Niigata or Shinjuku in the afternoons you can smell restaurants and bars heating up their shichirin in readiness for opening time. This unmistakable aroma of hot diatomaceous* earth, along with the expectation of excellent food, gets the mouth watering regardless of where in the world you experience it.

* Naturally occurring porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It has natural insulation properties reflecting heat back inside the cooker, meaning less heat to the touch on the outside and greater efficiency of charcoal used.


Shichirin use very little charcoal, partly because of their size and partly because of their design. Whilst charcoal is arguably considered a renewable resource, using less if we possibly can still makes good sense in the overall scheme of things.


The Little BBQ interaction is tactile and offline, which makes a pleasant change. Cooking together and sharing food is important to all cultures. The shichirin is a cooking tool that includes the whole group and can become an active centrepiece to any great meal or little banquet. 

Because the heat can be easily controlled the shichirin can cook a range of tapas, skewers or similar foods over a long time span. This provides the opportunity to sit, talk, cook, eat and celebrate together for longer.


To BBQ with friends and family is to enjoy something truly global in its appeal. But sometimes you might feel like a BBQ and a beverage for just one or two. For smaller groups the shichirin is perfect, for larger groups we recommend you get two shichirin on the go.


You can experience it on your back deck, your front deck or even the side deck. Perhaps a sunny or shady part of the garden, or even your favourite spot at a local park. The Little BBQ will go anywhere you do. Their portability means the world becomes your BBQ oyster and you can share your good taste with other deserving folk. Plus, our little yet comprehensive range also includes very durable coated steel and hybrid options.


Are they the same thing? 

Well, not really. But hibachi has become a common name for charcoal grill. 

Hibachi actually means a central heating source in the house whereas shichirin is a charcoal cooking stove, and sometimes they did look very similar. It was thought the word shichirin was too difficult for English speakers to say so hibachi was adopted as a pronounceable replacement. But in the spirit of respectfully acknowledging correct language usage, we’d like to call it like it is, shichirin. 

Listen how to say it 

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