This Japanese Tabletop Grill Brings the Outdoors In
Summer may have passed, but after the year we’ve had, and the months of isolation yet ahead, maintaining a sense of warm-weather fun seems particularly important. One way to bring a July afternoon indoors: the Kaginushi charcoal BBQ konro grill. Designed in a variety of sizes, including some large enough to cook a whole fish on, the pared-down appliance sits on top of the kitchen counter or dining table, filling the air with the deliciously smoky scent of picnics in the park. Each one is made from diatomaceous earth, a sedimentary rock found near the Japanese city of Suzu that’s been used as insulation in stoves since the early 17th century. The porous material is also fire-resistant, making the grill safe to use indoors or out. Simply stack the binchō-tan charcoal around the ignition device inside, and switch it on to get grilling. It’s not quite the great outdoors, but the umami-rich dishes and dinnertime spectacle made by this apparatus are enough to tide us over until the spring.