From blast chillers to ice cream machines, every season of MasterChef seems to bring a kitchen gadget into the limelight.
This season, it’s the hibachi grill.
Fans of the cooking competition have become well accustomed to seeing at least one, if not multiple contestants cooking on these portable Japanese grills every episode.
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Just this week, Simon Toohey won the judges over with his burnt cucumber dish on Monday, while Sarah Clare lost a charred duck oesophagus to the grill during Wednesday night’s Mystery Box. Then on Thursday night’s hibachi-related cook, Sarah Tiong unfortunately seared her coral trout a few shades too dark, and lost her chance at immunity. It instead went to Jess Liemantara, who won with her non-hibatchied 65-degree egg with turmeric noodles and chilli oil.
Humble home cooks can also get in on the hibachi action. According to 10Daily, the ones from the show are the regular konro models from the Chef’s Armoury and were first used by season two contestant Adam Liaw. While they’ll cost you $269 and have since sold out, Kogan.com stocks a similar model, the Cookmaster Hibachi Grill, which comes in at budget-friendly price of $69.99.
Speaking to news.com.au, Kogan.com’s director of exclusive brands Sergiy Bobrovnychyy confirmed the ‘MasterChef effect’ is well and truly a thing with the site reporting a “significant spike” in sales over the last two weeks.
“Month on month from March to April, Kogan.com has seen a whopping 1600 per cent increase in sales for the Hibachi Grill, with a significant spike over the last fortnight since MasterChef Australia kicked off.
“We currently have the Cookmaster Hibachi Grill available at a special pre-sale price of $69.99 so MasterChef fans looking to recreate their favourite dishes at home better get in quick.”
The grill has also become quite the talking point on Twitter, with many viewers expressing their ire at its regular appearance.
“Every year on #MasterChefAU some kind of cooking fad rears its head, and it would seem that this year it is cooking on a hibachi grill,” wrote one viewer.
“We need a hibachi grill-free challenge, the panna cotta of 2020,” wrote another.
“Enough with the hibachis!”
“Stop using hibachi grills – there is beauty in a frying pan.”
However, it’s got other fans questioning whether they too, need the kitchen gadget.
“My housemate has threatened to evict me if I buy a hibachi grill after watching,” joked one viewer.
“Now trying to convince the husband I need a hibachi grill,” tweeted another.
“My dad is looking at hibachis on Gumtree.”
“Am I being brainwashed into considering a hibachi grill as a good Mother’s Day present?”
Whether you love it, or would rather see it disappear in flames of its own making, one thing is for certain. This will not be the last we’ve seen of the hibachi grill.
MasterChef continues 7.30pm Sunday on Ten.