Takoyaki pan - Buying guide
Takoyaki are small baked batter balls with an octopus filling in it. It might sound distasteful to those who are not used to octopus, but if you just give them a try you will find they are surprisingly good! The literal translation of takoyaki comes down to octopus (tako) fried (yaki). These delicious snacks can be made in a cast iron takoyaki pan, which are especially molded to make preparing takoyaki easier.
[caption id="attachment_154" align="alignleft" width="880"] A simple takoyaki pan for sale in Japan.[/caption]
If you ever walked the streets of Osaka you could not have missed them, takoyaki. Considered one of the two signature dishes of Osaka (together with okinomiyaki), and available on every street corner in sight. But also in the rest of Japan they can be found everywhere, and takoyaki remains a popular dish in restaurants, izakaya’s but also for street festivals (matsuri). Though the basic recipe is simple, there are a lot of variations and flavours. For the real takoyaki experience you must go to Osaka, but having fun making them yourself might give you more satisfaction. Here you can read what must be considered when purchasing a takoyaki pan.
[caption id="attachment_151" align="alignleft" width="880"] Takoyaki for sale at a street vendor in Japan.[/caption]
Standalone or for use on your regular stove
The first consideration when buying a takoyki pan is wether you want a standalone device or if you want a normal pan that can be used on your stove. A cast iron pan that can be used as a regular pan on your stove will be cheaper than a stand-alone device, but limits your usage to stoves. Also it might be more difficult to regulate and reproduce certain temperatures when baking your snacks.
Stand-alone devices might be worth the extra cost when you not want to limit your baking to certain locations. Do you have a street party, or do you want a nice addition when doing gourmet? Then a standalone takoyaki pan is definitely the way to go!
If you decided you want a standalone pan, then you must consider if an electric or gas powered takoyaki pan is best for you. Usually the gas powered pans are bigger than the electrical pans. The location on which you want to use the takoyaki pan might also be decisive when deciding to use an electrical or gas pan.
You might be reluctant to buy a takoyaki pan because you see no use for it other than making takoyaki. But actually takoyaki pans can be used for other dishes than just the good ol’ octopus balls. You can use pancake though to make small round pancakes with filling, or you can use the pan to fry eggs with a rice (or other) filling inside.
Iwatani takoyaki pan - This is a very nice takoyaki pan that comes with its own butane burner stove. After making delicious takoyaki you can simple take of the top part and wash it. It is made from an aluminium alloy, and the upper part of the pan is covered with a special anti-stick coating. The dimensions of this grill are width 10.2"/260mm x depth 8.2"/210mm , height 1.5"/39mm , and the product weighs approximately 1.6lbs/730g.
CucinaPro Multi Baker Deluxe - This takiyaki pan can be used as a standalone device and can be easily placed on any tabletop. It is very easy to use, and because of the anti-stick layer it is also very easy to clean. This device has 3 interchangeable skillets, and can therefore also be used for other things than making takoyaki, such as sandwiches or cake pops!
Iwatani Takoyaki Pan Gas Stove - This standalone takoyaki pan is ideal to take with you to friends or when you go camping. It runs on one cylinder of gas, and it is of great quality. It can be placed on a tabletop and you do not need to worry about burns on your table.