Making Takoyaki without using any pan is like trying to climb a mountain with one hand tied. Sure, it is entirely doable but it is going to hard! Why not make your job easier by getting one of these Takoyaki pans, otherwise known as Takoyaki maker or Takoyaki grill. Regardless of their names, they are essential appliances that makes it easy to create the spherical shape that is need for a good Takoyaki.
There are a couple of different Takoyaki pans in the market today. I will recommend the best Takoyaki grill from each category to make it easier for you to select the model you want.
Electric Takoyaki pan
One of the difference in Takoyaki pans is whether they are electric. I personally prefer an electric one because it takes a lot of effort out of cooking Takoyakai as it saves you the trouble of having to turn on the stove as it runs everything on electricity.
My favorite model is the one from TK that is large enough to make 24 Takoyaki balls at once. It has a non sticky surface which makes it super easy to clean. The design is such that it is difficult to over pour the Takoyaki batter over the appliance. Using this, it is not difficult to churn out perfect Takoyaki balls after a couple of tries.
However, there are downside to the TK large Takoyaki maker that you should be aware.
Firstly, there is no temperature control. If you feel that the thing is getting too hot, the only way to prevent over heating is to shut off the power. It is not a big deal breaker but a temperature control function will be nice.
Second, this is a Japan Product so the voltage is slightly different (Japan 100 vs US 120). As a result, some part of the mound gets hotter than the rest. You need to mindful of this when cooking your Takoyaki so that you know which side should be turn first. To remedy this, you can either buy a voltage convector and you can adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Cast iron Takoyaki pan
For the folks who want the traditional cast iron Takoyaki pan, here is one that I think is nearly perfect. It has a great built quality and looks very sturdy. Just make sure you oil it properly before you pour in the batter or it will be cleaning hell later on.
The handling is also good but you must tighten the wooden handle or else it will feel loose and flimsy. Once you get a good grip, making the Takoyaki is pretty straight forward.
One common question when buying this is whether it can be used on an electric stove, rather than a gas stove. The answer is yes but there are points to note. If you have an electric stove with a glass covering then everything will be fine. However, if you have those that have coils instead, that the heating might be a bit and you need to water the temperature closely as certain parts of the pan will be hotter than others.
Takoyaki accessories you might need
The Takoyaki pans recommended above do not come with 2 important accessories that I feel are necessities
When turning the Takoyaki, it is better to use these picks or some wooden sticks instead of spatula to prevent scratching on the non sticky surface of the pans. I personally recommend using the picks rather than wooden sticks as it makes the turning much faster and efficiently. They cost less than USD10 so it is not an expensive accessory to get.
To share my personal experience, I was using bamboo sticks prior to getting this. I found the handling to be clumsy and had to use the sticks in a chopstick like manner. This wasn’t ideal either as it will cause more batter to stick to the bamboo sticks.
After getting this, I found rotating the Takoyaki to be much faster and smoother. More importantly, they do not stick to the batter as much as my bamboo sticks.
Best Takoyaki oil brush
Another important accessory to have is this Takoyaki oil brush. You will use this to oil the Takoyaki pan before pouring the batter in. This ensures the balls will not stick to the pan surface, which makes them hard to rotate.
This brush comes with an adjustable metal ring that lets you decide how much rope you want to release. The more rope you have, the more oil you can use at any one time. I personally find this to be easy to use and very useful in oiling the Takoyaki pan.
Having said that, there are some things I wish can be improved.
For one, it is not so easy to clean. What I do is to soak this overnight and the oil will come out easily. Secondly, I wish the quality of the brush is higher as I foresee I will need to replace this within 2 years of use.
Some reviewers also complaint that it is too small. However, I feel that that is necessary to have more precision control over the oil spreading within the Takoyaki pan. This is definitely not suited for a big grill and is never meant to be use that way
Secret in making delicious Takoyaki in your home
Most of us will use Takoyaki flour that is commonly found in US sueprmarkets. However, you will be hard pressed to cook Takoyaki balls that taste as good as those found in Japan if you used only this. The secret to making top quality Takoyaki is to make the Takoyaki flour yourself. It sounds insane but the difference in taste is instantly rewarding.
Lucky for you, I have found the perfect recipe to making your own Takoyaki floor. The link is below.
Learning how to make your own Takoyaki at home is satisfying. You are feel to add any amount of ingredients as well as experiment with more unusual favors. All these however is only easy if you buy the best Takoyaki pan for the money.