The Ultimate Handmade Konro Grill

Adored by top Michelin-starred restaurants and as seen on Masterchef Australia, Konro grills are the most sought-after of all Japanese grills. In fact, they’re in such high demand that our stock usually gets sold out through pre-orders before it even lands in South Africa. 

The exciting news is that we have just received a shipment of Konro grills in various sizes, which means you can now finally get your hands on your own. More on that later, but first, let’s delve into the magic that makes these Konro grills so exceptionally popular and cherished amongst chefs and home cooks alike.


About Konro grills 

Originating in Japan, Konro grills are portable tabletop charcoal barbecues that come in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs. While they are famous for cooking the best yakitori, the Konro grill is superb for grilling any meat, seafood or veg. Its convenient, portable nature means you have the added bonus of taking it with you wherever you go. 

Not only do these grills add exquisite flavour to meals, but they also bring cooking fun and live food theatre to the heart of your own home. A real showstopper centrepiece that will be the talk of the table all night long. 


Braai vs Hibachi 

The pleasure of cooking over a hot grill is something that South Africans can truly appreciate. In case you’re wondering why you should invest in a Konro if you already have your trusty old braai at home, The Sunday Times did an interesting taste test between the two. Spoiler: the Konro hibachi came out tops by a longshot. “Few grills can beat the direct, concentrated heat of the compact Japanese-style griller. Prepared over the hibachi, the meat was melt-in-the-mouth tender and juicy.” (Read the full article here.) 


What makes a Konro so special? 


Konro grills are prized for their ability to reach incredibly hot temperatures and stay hotter for longer than other types of grills

Their secret lies in the fact that they’re made from diatomaceous earth (diatomite), a powder that is composed of fossilised remains of diatoms, ancient sea-dwelling algae and plankton, and mined traditionally by hand in Suzu Japan. 

Now, diatomaceous earth is no ordinary powder. It’s part of the magic that makes a Konro truly phenomenal and a cut above the rest. 

It’s a story that goes back some 20 million years or more, to the Miocene Epoch. Back then, the Sea of Japan was a landlocked body of water. 

Its thermal springs were a result of volcanic activity, causing the environment to be in perfect conditions for the growth of diatoms, a major group of single-celled planktonic algae. 

The diatoms started to die off (as a result of an explosive bloom) causing them to sink to the seabed. These deposits created a new generation and the cycle repeated itself. 

The theory is that this cycle is what formed the massive strata of diatomaceous earth now found in the area.


An ancient legacy

What’s really fascinating is that Diatomite strata are not found by scientific methods, but by information passed along by local elders who have long been in the business. 

Until the 1960s, hundreds of people were involved in diatomite mining in Suzu, but today only a few remain. Because the quarries are so narrow, workers dig alone, carving their way through tunnels that can eventually stretch to as long as 500 metres.

Piles of diatomite bricks move along a conveyor belt before workmen hit each fired piece with a hammer to determine whether there are any cracks inside. 

Instead of joining bricks with mortar to create the grills, the workmen use carpentry skills to fit each unit together meticulously by hand which makes it stronger, tighter and more fire-resistant. Because diatomite grills have superior heat-insulation properties, charcoal used in them starts easily and burns longer than in conventional cookers.



Types of Konro Grills


KON-4 (Back in stock in March)

Having your favourite friends over for dinner? This is your go-to Konro. Ideal for larger gatherings or services where both sides of the grill can be utilised. 

  • 4-8 people 
  • Dimensions:  47cm x 35cm x 21cm
  • Weight: 14kg

Perfect for if you have decent size tabletop space. It can easily cook a meal for up to 8 people. Great option for skewered foods too.

  • 4-8 people 
  • Dimensions:  54cm x 23cm x 20cm
  • Weight: 10kg

A long design that is equally as convenient as the smaller designs with the added benefit of more grilling space. 

  • 8-12 people
  • Dimensions:  77cm x 23cm x 20cm
  • Weight: 17kg

A must-have Konro for restaurants or private events.  

  • 8-12 people 
  • Dimensions:  70cm x 35cm x 21cm
  • Weight: 22kg

Go big or go home! This is the largest of our Konros and easily caters for very large events. 

  • 10-12 people
  • Dimensions:  92cm x 35cm x 20cm
  • Weight: 25kg


What else will you need? 

Konros pair particularly well with:

A very useful tool enabling you to light your binchotan charcoal ready to be transferred to your Konro.


The perfect charcoal for your Konro that is smell and smoke-free, burns for longer than regular charcoal and creates even heat distribution.
Easily and conveniently light and extinguish your binchotan with this clever 2-in-1 tool.
Quickly cuts off the oxygen, causing the binchotan to cool down within 10/15 minutes.


Set on a ring making it easy to feed through a whole fish or fan them out to easily slide through fish fillets and grill directly over coals at the table.
Similar to the 36cm, just longer in length.


1kg (Split large pieces)
1kg (Large pieces)



For more handy tips and things to keep in mind when using your binchotan, check out this useful article on How to use your Konro Grill

Ready to fire up

Visit our website to order your Konro grill today, but be quick – these will go fast! It’s an incredible investment piece that is not only steeped in history and heritage, but is also one that will bring immense joy through extraordinary meals with loved ones in a way that is truly unique.