Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where did 40 years go?

In the 1970s, we use to have these really cool bar-B-que grills from Japan called "HIBACHI" GRILLS. They were cheap, convenient, durable and got the job done. I'm sure most beaches in America have at least one battleship's worth of cast Iron burried from Hibachis.

What made Hibachi's so different from a Weber or Coleman grill was that the grill itself had wooden handles. So when your protein was medium well; you picked up the whole grill by the handle and took it inside the house sort of like a serving tray. They are perfect for front porch grilling. Sometimes you don't want to get out the big battleship barbeque just to grill a couple of New Yorks. What's really cool is that, since it's so small, you can cook on your porch in the rain or snow. So it seems like summer all year long.

The grills were adjustable from the top. If you wanted less heat, just mount the grill a notch higher. The entire grill was 10" X 18" by maybe 10" tall. Perfect for the apartment patio.

The other great thing about Hibachi's were that in the 70's, they sold for about 6.95 and were available EVERYWHERE. I MEAN EVERYWHERE. You buy them where ever charcoal was sold. The grocery store, the Liquor store, Drugstore chains use to have 8 ft. stacks of card board boxes filled with Hibachis.

Try and find one now. I dare you. (without going on-line)

They are no longer to be be found in the non-asian community like in the 70's. In the 70's, picking up a new Hibachi was as easy as grabbing a quart of milk.

Now they're rare.

My theory behind the vanishing Hibachi is the price of cast Iron. In the 70's the Hibachi sold between 5 and 10 dollars. Then they quit making them out of cast iron. Then the price went up to 15 - 20 dollars. Well for another 10 dollars you could buy a Weber grill with a lid.

Today I went looking for the elusive Hibachi. I went to Home Depot, Target, OSH,CVS,Rite Aide, Safeway,I even went to an old school department store that hasnt changed much in 40 years, (except they quit carrying hibachis) I tried everywhere but with no success.

I finally found one for 26 bucks on . The great news? It was over 25 bucks so I got free shipping and didn't have to pay tax.


BTW, Hibachi's are perfect for the "Tailgate party". And I say TAIL GATE Literally. They use to fit perfectly on the tail gate of your truck.

Mine was delivered in about 4 days. It was sturdier than the liquer store hibachis from 1977. One thing that was comically the same, It came with extra long screws and shorted 2 short screws. (this was common in the 70s) The design was a little different. This hibachi is less tapered than the old school hibackis. But it's easier to clean. It looks like it will last a couople of years. (most hibachis broke by the end of summer)

Overall; it's not the same, but it's close enough. The things that differ are actually better and easy to get use to. They say you can never go home. This was close. It was like going home and finding that your parents moved into the more expesive house next door.


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