One of the street foods that are highly popular in Japan is the Takoyaki balls. Most even refer to them as octopus balls. And if you have had one of these before, you will likely crave them after a couple of days.
Well, if you are craving one at the moment, we have got good news for you! You no longer have to go out or order for deliveries anymore. Those days of relying on the restaurants are over, thanks to the specialized pans being readily available in the market.
With the best Takoyaki pan in your kitchen, you should be able to easily make these octopus balls. All you need to do is source out the required ingredients and follow the recipe correctly.
Top 5 Best Takoyaki Pan – Comparison Table:
Top 10 Best Takoyaki Pan Review
There are plenty of pans out there that will claim to be perfect for making octopus balls. However, when it comes to offering the claimed performance, most will fall behind. For making sure that you do not get one of those, we have picked the worthy ones and created this list for you. Have a look:
1. Iwatani Takoyaki Grill
Having non-stick coating on the surface is pretty much essential for a unit to become the best electric Takoyaki pan. Well, Iwatani had factored that in.
As we have mentioned, this one has a non-stick coating on the surface. That means the food is not going to stick on it. It will not only make it easier for you to take them off the slots but also will make it easier for you to keep them clean.
Other than the non-stick coating, the unit is pretty thick. For that reason, it should be able to retain heat exceptionally well. The dish will not take that much time to cook on the slots.
Aside from that, the material that this unit is of is aluminum alloy. This material makes it achieve a reasonably high level of durability. So you can expect it to get extended use out of it.
Lastly, it has handles on both sides. They are reasonably large in size as well. Because of that, moving it around and popping it in and out of the cooker will be hassle-free.
- Has a non-stick coating on the surface
- Made of sturdy aluminum alloy
- Boats handle on both sides
- Can retain heat reasonably well
- Easy to maintain
- The slots are a bit too small
- The non-stick coating tends to scratch pretty easily
2. Norpro Nonstick Japanese Grill Pan
Another thing that the best Takoyaki maker must have is a good heat retention capability. And that is what Norpro has managed to deliver with this one.
To start with, it has a non-stick coating on the surface, just like most of the other octopus ball makers. That coating will ensure that the food is easy to take off the slots and it does not leave any residue when you take them off.
Apart from that, the material that Norpro has opted for manufacturing this with is cast-aluminum. As a result, the heat retention capability that it achieves is reasonably higher than some of the other units. It can cook Takoyaki reasonably fast.
The material also makes it highly durable. It can withstand heavy-duty usage easily. Also, as it has an ergonomic handle, it should be pretty easy for you to maneuver it around.
Other than that, the handle has a rubber coating on the top. The coating will keep it cool when you are cooking on the pan.
- Capable of retaining heat exceptionally well
- Cooks octopus balls reasonably fast
- Made of durable cast-aluminum
- Features an ergonomic handle
- The handles stay cool to the touch
- The slots are not that big
- Some of the units have an uneven underside
3. StarBlue Takoyaki Cooker
If you do not want to dedicate an extra cooker for making octopus balls, then what you are looking for is the best Takoyaki machine. And this one is a good pick in that regard.
First of all, the unit is reasonably small. For how compact it is, you can store this on your kitchen top without any issues at all. It is also pretty lightweight, making it easier for you to move it around.
Other than that, the body is of sturdy aluminum. The upper portion is thicker than most of the other units, enabling it to achieve a long-lasting lifespan. And the outer part is heat-resistant.
The upper portion has a non-stick layer. There will be no need to go through the hassle of using special tools to get the octopus balls out of the slots. Also, there are 18 slots on it, letting you cook for a large number of people.
Lastly, it is pretty easy to clean as well, thanks to the non-stick layer that it has on the surface.
- Compact in size
- Lightweight yet reasonably durable
- The outer body can resist heat
- Has a non-stick layer on the surface
- Flaunts 18 slots
- Does not heat all of the slots evenly
- Can not retain heat that well
4. Health and Home Multifunction Takoyaki Cooker
It is not that easy to maintain an adequate temperature when you are cooking the Japanese octopus balls on something. However, this cooker has a unique thing that will make the process easier for you.
To start with, it has a powerful heater. The heater has a power rating of 800 watts. Because of how powerful the heater is, you should be able to make these balls reasonably quickly.
Aside from the heat rating, it has a built-in thermostat. That will enable you to monitor the temperature of the heater closely. So the chances of the balls overcooking or burning will be pretty low.
You will find three different baking sheets with the package. The ball maker sheet that you will receive will have twenty-four slots. And as they have a non-stick coating on the top, you will not have to worry about food sticking on them.
Lastly, it will be pretty easy for you to wash the plates. They can be easily washed using water and dishwashing soap. Also, you can make loads of other things on the baking sheets that comes with the pan.
- Has an 800 watts rating
- Comes with a built-in thermostat
- Includes three different sheets
- The pan has twenty-four slots
- Features non-stick coating on the surface
- Does not have any temperature controller
- The power button feels a bit flimsy
5. Happy Sales Takoyaki Cast Iron Pan
Being able to heat the pan up in any burner is something that most of the pans are not capable of. But this one that is from Happy Sales can surely heat evenly.
As the label states, the pan is made of cast iron. This material makes it capable of retaining the heat exceptionally well. So you will not have to use that much gas for cooking the balls on it.
Alongside that, you can use any gas burner for cooking on it. And there are twelve slots on it. That means you can cook a good amount of ingredient at the same time. Also, the unit is exceptionally durable as well.
The handle that it comes with has an ergonomic shape as well. It is quite large in size, which means you will not find it difficult to maneuver it around. Also, as it is of wood, it should be able to resist heat reasonably well.
Lastly, the shape of the slots is consistent. So each of the balls that you will make on it will have a uniform shape.
- Cast iron surface
- Very durable
- Can retain heat reasonably well
- The handle is heat resistant
- Has twelve slots
- The slots are a comparatively small
- Does not have a good non-stick coating
6. CucinaPro Takoyaki Griddle
Not all of the units that you will find in the market will be able to evenly distribute the heat to the slots. However, this one from CucinaPro is capable of doing that.
To start with, it has seven reasonably large-sized slots. So even though the number of slots is not that many, you should be able to make large-sized octopus balls on it.
Aside from the slots, the surface has a non-stick coating. The coating is going to make sure that food does not stick on the slots when you are lifting them up. It will also make it easier for you to clean the surface.
The heating element that it utilizes is capable of distributing the heat evenly. For that reason, you will not have to worry about the balls being undercooked when you are serving them to your guests.
Alongside that, the heating element is fully electric. You will not need any gas for cooking octopus balls on it. And the power switch is placed at a convenient spot, which will make it easier for you to operate it.
- Has seven large slots
- The heating element distributes the heat evenly
- All electric
- Flaunts non-stick coating on the surface
- Easy to operate
- The housing is not that durable
- Coating is not long-lasting
7. Happy Sales HSTKP20
Even though most of the Japanese cooking pans are going to have a non-stick coating on the surface, not all of them can evenly distribute the heat. However, this one excels on both those fields.
First of all, the unit has an aluminum alloy construction. This material does not only make the product highly sturdy but also keeps the weight minimal. So handling it around will not be an issue for you.
Aside from the construction, the upper surface has a high-quality non-stick coating on it. For that reason, the chances of food sticking on it will be pretty slim. And as there are 20 slots on it, you can make plenty of balls in a single cooking session.
The unit is reasonably thick as well. Because of how thick it is, it would be able to retain heat considerably well. You will not have to use too much gas to prepare octopus balls on it.
Alongside that, the unit distributes heat evenly to all of the slots to ensure that the balls cook perfectly.
- Flaunts high-quality non-stick coating
- Capable of distributing the heat evenly
- Has twenty slots
- Can retain heat reasonably well
- Durable and lightweight
- The handle on the side is a bit too thin
- The coating does not last that long
8. UPIT 16-Holes Takoyaki Griddle
Ergonomic handles are one of the things that most of the brands are going to skimp on. However, that is not the case when it comes to products from UPIT.
To begin with, it has 16 holes on the top. The holes are reasonably large in size as well. And as there are plenty of slots, you should be able to make a fair number of balls at one go.
Aside from the number of slots, aluminum alloy is the primary material in its construction. This specific material keeps the weight low without sacrificing that much on the sturdiness. So it will last for a good amount of time.
Like the other units, this one also has a non-stick coating on the surface. That will make sure that you get a hassle-free lift off every time you pick a ball up. It will also make the cleaning a mess-free chore.
Other than that, the overall thickness of the unit is reasonably high. So it should be able to retain heat properly. You will not have to use that much gas for cooking octopus balls on it.
- Has ergonomic handles on sides
- Contains 16 large-sized slots
- The slots have a non-stick coating on them
- Lightweight but durable
- Reasonably thick
- The non-stick coating scrapes away pretty easily
- The handle can not resist heat
9. Gifts & Decors Cast Iron Japanese Pan
Are you looking for a Japanese pan that has large-sized holes on the top? Well, look no more because Gifts & Decors has got the thing that you were looking for!
To start with, the overall construction of the unit is of cast iron. This material helps the pan to retain high heat. That means there will be no need to use too much gas for cooking on top of it.
Other than the construction, the unit is quite durable. It even has a large-sized handle on the side. It has an ergonomic design, and as the handle is made of wood, it will be able to resist heat exceptionally well.
The slots on the top are comparatively large in size as well. They are 7.5 inches wide and 1.25 inches tall. That means you would be able to make large-sized balls on it.
Lastly, there are twelve holes on the top. And as they can distribute the heat evenly throughout the surface, the balls will cook throughout. You will not have to worry about them being undercooked.
- Constructed of cast iron
- Has a high capability of retaining heat
- Exceptionally durable
- Contains large-sized slots on the top
- Can distribute the heat evenly
- The non-stick coating is not that praiseworthy
- Some of the units might have a flimsy handle
10. Maxmartt Takoyaki Pan
If you were searching for something with a premium build quality and is durable, you should take a look at what Maxmartt has to offer here.
First of all, the manufacturer has opted for high-quality cast aluminum. As a result, the build quality is comparatively higher than some of the units that are out there.
Aside from the build quality, the unit achieves a considerably high level of durability as well. It is sturdier than some of the average pans that you will find in the market.
Moreover, the upper surface has a special non-stick coating. This coating is going to ensure that the food does not stick on the top when you are taking them off. Also, it will make it easier for you to keep the slots clean.
Other than that, the handle that it flaunts has an ergonomic design. It can offer a good amount of comfort, and you can move it around without facing any issues. The lightweight nature is going to make it easier for you to carry it around.
- Has a premium build quality
- Sturdy and reasonably durable
- Features an ergonomic handle
- Lightweight and easy to control
- Easy to clean and easy to take foods off the slots
- The handle is a bit flimsy
- Contains considerably small-sized holes
What to Look for Before Buying Takoyaki Pan
There are a couple of factors that you need to consider before making a purchase decision. By keeping them in your mind, you will be able to efficiently scrutinize the units and make a proper buying decision. That being said, the points that you have to consider are as follows:
First and foremost, you should consider the overall build quality. For this, you need to consider the construction material. The higher the quality of the material, the better the build quality is going to be. And the better the build quality, the more usage you will get.
Not all of the pans are going to feature a handle on the side. But this is important if you want to work with them without facing any issues. For that reason, you need to make sure that the one that you are planning to purchase has ergonomic handles on the side.
Heat Distribution Capability
Another thing that you need to consider when you are purchasing one of these is the heat distribution capability. Make sure that the surface can distribute the heat evenly. Without this capability, the balls are going to be either undercooked or overcooked, which will leave a rubbery texture. And no one wants to taste that!
Last but not least, you should check whether there is any non-stick coating on the surface or not. This coating is going to make it easier for you to take the food off the slots. It will also make the cleaning process feel like a piece of cake as there will be no food residues on the surface.
How to Cook Takoyaki?
If you are fairly new to cooking Takoyaki, you might not really know how to prepare the dish. Well, in that case, here is a step-by-step guide for you that will enable you to make simple yet delicious Japanese octopus balls:
- First of all, you need to gather all of the necessary ingredients and mix them inside a bowl. Do make sure that there are no lumps.
- Then you need to clean the pan that you are planning to cook them on.
- Place the pan on the heating source or turn the power on if you have a dedicated cooker.
- Gently place the batter on top of the slots. Try to form a ball-shape, which will make it easier for you to cook and eat them.
- While the heat is on, make sure that you poke some holes on the balls using a bamboo skewer.
- When the underside of the ball is cooked, flip it and cook the upper side.
- Once the balls are cooked properly, you will notice steam flowing from the holes that you have poked.
- Take them off the slots and serve them hot.
What Does Takoyaki Taste Like?
As they are mainly cooked on heat, they are very moist on the inside. The inside has a soft texture, almost like a cake pop. It will melt as you chew on it. However, instead of being sweet, it will be savory, and it will have a salty oceanic flavor to it. And the octopus inside will deliver a scrumptious seafood flavor.
How to Make Takoyaki Balls?
If you are shooting for the authentic flavor, then you will need five key ingredients. They are Dashi-flavored batter, octopus, Benin Shoga (known as pickled red ginger), some green onion, and finally Tenkasu or Agendama ( otherwise known as tempura scraps).
Once you have all of the ingredients, you will need a bowl in which you need to mix all of the ingredients. Ensure that the final batter does not have any lumps in it. After mixing them, all you need to do is cook them on a Takoyaki pan.
Takoyaki Pan vs Aebleskiver Pan
There are not many differences between both of these pans. You can use one to prepare both Takoyaki and Aebleskiver. Both of these will have round slots on the top, and there will be a non-stick coating on the surface to make it easier for you to take the foods off and keep it clean.
However, the one obvious difference is the shape of the pans. While the pans labeled as Aebleskiver pans will have a rounded edge, the Takoyaki ones will have a square shape.
How To Cook Frozen Takoyaki
Takoyaki is one of my favorite foods. Unlike most people who eat it as a snack, I eat it as a main meal, especially on busy days. Furthermore, I prefer to buy frozen Takoyaki so that I don’t have to prepare the batter and buy the octopus to stuff in my batter.
You have three options for cooking them.
Deep frying them will give them a nice crusty exterior. However, this will require a significant amount of time and effort, which you do not desire.
Microwaving is the most convenient method. This is what I do when I’m too hungry but too busy to cook. Simply remove them from the paper and place them in a dish before placing them in the microwave.
Baked in the oven
- To get that nice crusty exterior with a soft interior, bake them in the oven. To avoid sticking, place the balls on a baking sheet that is not too close together. Preheat your oven to 425°F and cook as you turn for an even crusty texture.
- For added flavor, I like to sprinkle the spring onion over the balls before placing them in the oven.
- Remove from the oven and place on a plate when done. Pour the Takoyaki sauce over the octopus balls, followed by the Japanese mayo and bonito flakes. You’re all set to tuck into your sumptuous meal.
How To Clean Takoyaki Pan?
Most of the pans that different brands are offering in the market will have a non-stick coating on the surface. This coating is going to make the cleaning process feel like a piece of cake.
All you need to do is use a non-abrasive sponge. Soak the sponge with some dishwashing detergent and gently scrub the surface. Take special care to not rub vigorously. Finally, clean the slots with water.
Now that you have a proper idea regarding the best Takoyaki pan that different brands are offering in the market, hopefully, choosing one of them will be an easy task for you.
So much has been said, but have I persuaded you? If you’re still hesitant to purchase this item, go to a Japanese restaurant near you and order Takoyaki. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it.
Meanwhile, for those of us who enjoy these delicacies, consider purchasing Norpro Nonstick Japanese Grill Pan. Because it is an automatic setting, it will make your life easier.