Hibachi Mania

I was out and about and stopped at ONE flea market that was closing up for the day….I went to one table and bought ONE thing. Something that had been on my shopping list for a couple of years now. I couldn’t pay her my $20 fast enough.

Americans went crazy for these cast iron Hibachis in the 60s and 70s. It was another trendy way to entertain and cook hot appetizers right in front of guests instead of being in the kitchen, like a fondue pot or a chafing dish. They evolved from the Japanese indoor heating braziers, which were also used to heat up tea and small tidbits, like Yakitori.. And like all things Asian, Americans took the idea and twisted it around into something apart from the original. This little square design wasn’t enough, and the double-sided became the more common form, giving a lot more room to cook the large hunks of meat Americans prefer to the original tidbits.

After breaking it down as far as possible, I figured I would destroy the vent slider and left it alone. I scrubbed everything as clean as I could, and just threw on a coat of high temp silver paint on the brackets. The handles I have replaced but I’m not happy with the pine doweling, and I may clean up the originals and put them back on.

I intend to set up an electrolysis vat in the basement, but until then for derusting I soak everything in Evaporust which uses chelation to convince the rust that it is water soluble. It still needed a good wire brushing, and then a coat of high temp grill paint over everything.

The vent slider got its own coat of Rustoleum High Temp paint which is good to 500° , and the brazier got a gloss coat of Rustoleum Ultra High Temp which is good to 1200°. I tried living with the flat black and I just hated it. The grill surface is nickle plated, except where it has worn away as long as it it gets cleaned and seasoned, it should serve quite well. At least the Yakitori didn’t mind.