The shichirin is a lightweight, compact, and easy-to-move cooking stove. Charcoal is chiefly used for the fuel. Shichirin are said to be made in roughly the same way today as in the Edo period. Old shichirin are mainly ceramic and many can be found in old houses. Most modern shichirin are made by heating diatomaceous earth, but the raw materials are not uniform. Some shichirin are made with a double inside and outside ceramic structure. The shape is mainly cylindrical, square, or rectangular, and the size also varies. Many varieties of shichirin are made for different uses. In the Kansai region, they are also known as kanteki.
North American "hibachi"
In North America, small BBQ cooking stoves resembling shichirin are referred to as "hibachi" or "hibachi-style", which in Japanese refers to a small heating device which is not usually used for cooking. It has been suggested that these grills were confusingly marketed as "hibachi" when they were introduced to North America. The word "hibachi" is also (incorrectly) used in some parts of the United States to refer to Japanese steak houses or teppanyaki "iron hot plate" restaurants.
Fuel often uses charcoal. Black charcoal in the outdoors, use Binchōtan which has less smell and keeps high fire power for a long time with less explosion in the room. Relatively cheap sawdust charcoal similar to Binchōtan is useful.
- 「大野城市歴史資料展示室解説シート民俗No.14 民具１（食生活にかかわる民具）」大野城市教育委員会 Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine
- 英語の「Hibachi」は火鉢じゃなかった exciteニュース 2005年6月2日
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