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How To: Korean BBQ at Home

We love Korean BBQ. Those of you who have read some of our Beard and Brunch posts already know that and for the rest of you, you just learned the way to our hearts. But as much as we love it, it gets to be pretty pricey here in the city. A meal for 2 in New York at a decent place will end up costing around $100 all in, not to mention parking and toll. So we went out searching for a way to bring KBBQ home, we figured it can’t be too complicated. Most restaurants have a small stove sized fire and a little grill on top of it. And we were right, it’s so easy. We needed 3 very simple things to get started and then some simple ingredients:

1. Portable gas stove

We went to our local grocery store (Super H-Mart). You can definitely get these online or even at your local farmer’s market or grocery stores as well. H-mart has diverse variety of portable gas stoves and they’re pretty easy to use. It’s essentially just a portable camp stove. The one we have is listed below:

2. Fuel for the stove

In addition to the stove , you need an actual portable fuel source. The above stove runs on butane. Again, we got this from our local grocery store and grabbed a pack of 5. We’re not sure how long one can will last, but we cooked the first night for over an hour and it felt like we still have more than half a can remaining. This is the pack we got:

3. KBBQ grill top

We got this grill top for the holidays. That’s how you know our love for BBQ is real. It’s such great quality! After the BBQ last night, it was super easy to clean as well. You can also use it on your gas stove top if you don’t want to commit to getting a separate stove just yet. Get creative! The possibilities are endless. We highly recommend it!

4. Getting the Meat and the Sides

Once we had the full setup, we needed to break it in. We needed some good quality meats, some banchan (sides), and some dipping sauces. For us, we just needed a few basic items:

  • Meats
    • Thinly sliced ribeye
    • Thinly sliced beef brisket
    • Spare ribs
  • Banchan
    • Spicy cabbage kimchi
    • Jalapeno and garlic kimchi
    • Scallions
    • Thinly sliced garlic and jalapenos
  • Sauces
    • Gochujang (spicy chili paste)
    • Spicy ssamjang (seasoned soybean paste)

The only thing we seasoned were the spare ribs with some salt and pepper, and then we enjoyed. A lot. And in many ways, this was probably one of our favorite KBBQ experiences. Obviously we will still go to restaurants on occassion, when we’re craving some quality banchan that we can’t seem to find ourselves, but that frequency is going to decrease so drastically. Some of the best things about doing KBBQ at home:

  • Save a ton of money if you do it more than a few times (to get past the original setup cost)
  • Choose the quality and quantity of the meats you are eating
  • You can have Halal/Kosher!
  • Control the entire experience, start to finish. Cook it yourself, eat at your own pace, no table full of banchan you don’t want

One very important word of caution! Butane relases carbon monoxide. So if you do this, do it in a well ventilated space and make sure your smoke detectors are working (most have a CO sensor in them). We opened several windows and turned our exhaust fan on.

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I’m Maryam, your new guide. Welcome to my Blog!

Maryam Ishtiaq is a content creator and social media strategist who currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

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