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who has used mini hibachis
old band alum
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Joined: Jan 21, 2011
Posts: 37
Posted: 2011-02-12 1:00 pm   Permalink

I have several recepies for Cosmo Tid Bits, and other oriental appetizers, but what is the best way to serve them at a table and keep them warm. I have seen ads for mini hibachis and pupu platters, but has anyone ever used them? Please be specific with decriptions of products and where I could order them. Also what is the best fuel: Sterno canned heat, fondue liquid gell or something else?

 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4310
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-02-12 1:16 pm   Permalink

Here is a photo of Tarita, Marlon Brando's wife, dinning at what looks to be the Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood using one of the table top mini-hibachis to cook some appetizers. Not sure what the heating source would have been.



I use the sterno for chafing dishes, works pretty good.
DC


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7318
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-02-13 3:47 pm   Permalink

I made a Zombie Village ceramic pupu platter for a friend. It was designed to fit a can of Sterno (the blue flame in the center of the pic) She said it took forever to cook anything over that flame



 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4310
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-02-13 4:07 pm   Permalink

Here is some advice from the master, Beachbum Berry out of Taboo Table.




The secret is to pre-cook the meat and finish it off over the mini hibachi with the sterno flame.

DC


 
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WaikikianMoeKele
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Joined: Jun 25, 2008
Posts: 474
From: West Leroy, Pennsylvania
Posted: 2011-02-13 5:09 pm   Permalink

I have a bit of experience with this. In the 70's-80's when I was regularly camping with my family (i.e, me as the middle one of 5 children) I remember my parents trying to 'cook' with sterno. I think that they used 2 full cans & had yet to get water to boil. Sterno is for keeping warm, NOT for cooking!
~kele


 
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TorchGuy
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Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 204
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2011-02-14 04:01 am   Permalink

At Trader Vic's today, the pupu platters come with a little hibachi containing an aluminum tray filled with Sterno gel (pink jelly). The food is already cooked and warm, with sauce on it - you spear a piece on a pick, hold it in the flame for a bit and get it hotter and a bit toasted on the outside.

The vintage hibachis, whether big or small, have an adjustable air vent(s) in the base, a grill for coals above that, and a cooking grill on top (adjustable in height on the full size models). If you're using the mini types outdoors, I see two ways to do it: either put in a Sterno can, or put in two or three lumps of already-hot charcoal. Bring the food already cooked, and let guests finish it at their table using picks. If you have charcoal in there, you can use things that need only light cooking (like marinated vegetables) and guests can fully cook them. Some of the mini hibachis have a wooden base with a row of tiny holes; these are for inserting cocktail picks with tidbits already on them. They're also good for warming - bring the cooked food and, if it gets cold, the Sterno or charcoal will warm the bits right up as they're picked.

The mini hibachis can be found on eBay, just keep searching "hibachi" until one pops up. Sometimes, if you're lucky, they may have the box with them. If they're missing the top grill, don't bother, finding replacements is impossible. If they're missing the internal bottom grill (charcoal support) you can still put in a Sterno can.

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2011-02-14 04:02 ]


 
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Queen Kamehameha
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Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 1410
From: So Cal
Posted: 2011-02-26 5:59 pm   Permalink

I have a pupu set up and I use the small charcoal in there they heat great, cook well, not too much smoke

Amy


 
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 689
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2011-02-27 7:32 pm   Permalink

FWIW, you can get these little hibachis from Dynasty Wholesale:


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4310
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-03-03 10:36 pm   Permalink

Here is an antique flaming pupu tray from the 60's that I saw for sale. It came on a wood Lazy Lei Lani.

Luau Livin! Amazing how the Poly Pop craze permeated into everything.









DC


 
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Tonga Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 149
From: The Tonga Lounge in Safety Harbor, FL
Posted: 2011-04-12 04:43 am   Permalink

I recently bought a mini-hibachi and pupu platter for a party this summer. I'll try it out soon and let you know how it goes. I have seen both sterno and a blue gel in a bottle. I will try both.

 
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old band alum
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 21, 2011
Posts: 37
Posted: 2012-01-30 7:52 pm   Permalink

I ordered a mini hibachi and 14" inch Pu Pu platter from Retro Planet and it came in on Friday. I used liquid swiss fire gel which is sold by Swissmar or Trudeau. It is similar to liquid Sterno. I made ribs, beef satay, Kahiki eggs rolls and shrimp. i can not wait for next weekend to fix some more. I recently made Trader Vic's rumaki but I replaced chicken livers ( which I never liked) with chicken breasts, water chestnuts, bacon and a marinade.These homemade ones were quite good. Also has anyone tried using 1 or 2 charcoal lumps instead of the fuel gel and can charcoal be used inside. Let me know your thoughts.

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7318
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2012-01-30 8:07 pm   Permalink

Remember that the alcohol gel cans only get hot at the top, coals would be hot on the bottom also. If the hibachi sits on a wooden platter it could scorch it or even catch it on fire.
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old band alum
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 21, 2011
Posts: 37
Posted: 2012-01-30 8:28 pm   Permalink

Good point maddog. I was also wondering if it would be safe to pour some of the gel on a charcoal to get it started quicker since I would not like to use lighter fluid. I also wonder if it is safe to use even 1 charcoal indoors.

 
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old band alum
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 21, 2011
Posts: 37
Posted: 2012-01-30 8:28 pm   Permalink

Good point maddog. I was also wondering if it would be safe to pour some of the gel on a charcoal to get it started quicker since I would not like to use lighter fluid. I also wonder if it is safe to use even 1 charcoal indoors.

 
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dcman
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2009
Posts: 116
From: Upstate New York
Posted: 2012-01-31 05:03 am   Permalink


I recently got one of the pu-pu platters with the mini-hibachi. I tried it with some charcoal, and the results were disappointing. The grill did heat up, but it took forever to warm a piece of food and watn't user-friendly because it was small. Sterno would be the same experience because it isn't very hot.I looked at larger hibachis but face it, they aren't particularly safe inside and could scorch the table they're sitting on. In short, the hibachi was fun but wouldn't work well for a group except as a novelty item rather than something to depend on for warming appetizers.

My plan is to use an electric griddle at my next party. It is safe, I can control the heat, and it is large enough for several people to warm (or cook) whatever food they want on it.

dcman


 
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