Buyer's Guides Product Reviews

The Best Takoyaki Makers, Books & Mixes Reviewed & Explained

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If you are a fan of Japanese food, gadgets and snacks, you have probably heard of Takoyaki. It is an extremely popular snack among Japanese people and travelers all over the world. It is a little ball type snack that consists of batter and can contain all different kinds of toppings and fillings. Not all Takoyaki tastes the same due to the almost unlimited amount of ingredients that could be used!

Not only is it a popular and tasty snack to eat, but it is also incredibly fun to cook. You can be as creative as you want and experiment with all the different styles and flavors that are available to you as the chef.

It could be difficult to make the batter into perfect little balls every time! Luckily for you, Takoyaki makers are a cooking gadget that is widely available at many different price points and specialties.

In this fun roundup of all things Takoyaki we will explore some of the best Takoyaki makers and some other related items you will wonder how you lived without!

#1 Top Choice Best Electric Takoyaki Maker- Health and Home Multifunction Non-Stick Baking Maker

Our Rating: (5/5)

The Health and Home maker is our favorite choice mainly due to the wide range of features that many other makers do not include. It is a bit more expensive than our second choice, but we think it is worth the extra cash.

  • Built-in thermostat
  • 3 interchangeable baking plates with different uses
  • Detachable baking plates
  • Healthier
  • 2-year warranty

Built in Thermostat

This Health and Home maker controls the cooking temperature automatically. It has a built-in ring heating tube as well as an intelligent temperature control non-stick pan. This makes cooking your treats much easier and is an added benefit for spending a little extra money.

3 Interchangeable Baking Plates

It comes with a 6-hole plate which can be used for honey cake, pie, frying eggs, shrimp, chicken wings, and more. The 6-hole plate has six rounded areas that can fit medium to large size ingredients and cook them evenly. This is especially useful because many styles of Takoyaki have chicken or shrimp and other ingredients you would normally have to break out a skillet for!

A flat plate is also included which can be used as a skillet where you could Sautee onions or steak or any other type of food. This plate is very versatile and would actually replace a normal skillet.

The Health and Home unit also comes with a 24-hole plate for your Takoyaki batter balls. This is a lot of snacks you can make with one unit. Our second choice comes with an 18 hole plate which is a lot, but this unit has the capacity to cook a full 2 dozen all at once!

Healthier?

The manufacturer claims it is healthier to use their machine because the cooking speed is faster which maintains more of the food’s nutrients. This may be true, but it seems like a negligible amount to us. Either way, if you are making Takoyaki with sweet batter and yummy treats inside you are not doing it for health reasons, let’s be real!

2 Year Warranty

This gadget comes with a 2-year warranty which is always a good thing. Instead of asking you at checkout if you would like to purchase one, it is just included. This is nice because it shows us the manufacturer stands behind their product.

Summary

Our Rating: (5/5)

This is our favorite because of the versatility and great features it comes with. Compared to other makers it is a little more expensive, but in this instance, you get what you pay for. The 2 Year warranty could easily cost 20 bucks more and the interchangeable plates could have been optional upgrades, but they are all included for the one-time price. This is not the least expensive unit but, in our opinion, it is the one that is the best bang for the buck, by far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Second Best Electric Maker Overall- Star Blue Electric Takoyaki Maker

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This Takoyaki maker is all the way up at #2 on the list for some important reasons.

  • Compact and very lightweight
  • Sturdy & durable to last a long time
  • Makes 18 pieces
  • Non-stick cooking surface
  • Comes with recipe E-Book

Compact & Lightweight

It measures only 9x9x3.5 inches and only weighs only 24 ounces which is just about a pound and a half. That is not a heavy gadget considering what it can accomplish in a short amount of time. The fact that it is under 10 inches squared and weighs less than 2 pounds makes it very convenient to have in the kitchen and easy to store away when you are done.

Sturdy & Durable

The body is thick aluminum with HPDE which makes it last for an exceptionally long time. Other users of this Takoyaki maker had many good things to say about the build quality of this unit. The outer body is also heat resistant and will not break or bend under normal circumstances that would come up in the kitchen.

18 Rounded Molds

You can make 18 balls at once with this maker, which is a good thing because once you eat one you could easily lose track of yourself and end up shoving 3 or 4 in your mouth at once! This is nice because you could enjoy the balls with your family (even a large family) or group of friends all at the same time without having to constantly make more batches. Of course, you will most likely be making more batches as you start to crave more Takoyaki!

Non-Stick Cooking Surface

The surface is coated with a non-stick material which is key in avoiding the annoying problem of batter sticking to the little rounded molds. This also helps with clean up, which can be a hassle with other cooking surfaces that are not non-stick like stainless steel. You will not need to waste a lot of oil priming the surface either, so it saves you that step as well.

Recipe E-Book

The Star Blue Takoyaki maker comes with an E-Book as well as some of the tastiest Takoyaki recipes. This is a nice bonus for them to include with this maker!

Summary

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

At a fairly low price point, this is a solid choice for your arsenal of fun cooking gadgets to add to your kitchen. It makes cooking convenient with easy cleaning up and it does not take up much space or weigh too much to handle and move around. The outer lining is heat resistant and will not burn you if you bump up against it. It has many positive reviews and happy home chefs have shared many positive experiences. At #2 in our list of the best Takoyaki makers it a good choice that should suit just about anyone looking to get into the Takoyaki game!

 

 

#3 Takoyaki Pan- Hinomaru Collection Non-Stick Aluminum Casting Pan

Our Rating: (4/5)

The Hinomaru pan is a basic 20-piece pan with handles that you can place directly in the oven or over an open flame (camping for example). It is rectangular shaped and made of durable aluminum. It is a no-frills pan with 20 holes that comes with no extra fancy pieces and the price is right for a high-quality cooking pan for your Takoyaki fun night.

  • Durable
  • Direct flame use
  • Restaurant grade material
  • 20-piece capacity
  • Simple

Durable

It is made of heavy aluminum which is fairly strong and should last a long time because there are no moving parts or electrical issues to go wrong. What you see is what you get.

Direct Flame Use

You can use this pan with an open flame or bake in an oven. It has comfort handles but watch your hands and make sure you use potholders because the material is aluminum and will be extremely hot and burn you easily.

Restaurant Grade Material

The material is like the metal used in many professional kitchens, easy to clean and suitable for heavy use. It is a heavy-duty pan you will not have to be too careful with.

Capacity

The Hinomaru pan can cook 20 pieces of Takoyaki at once which is more than our #2 pick but less than our #1 choice. It is enough where you and a group of friends or family can hang out and have some snacks at the same time.

Simple

The thing we like the best about this pan is that it is so simple. It is exactly what it looks like. You can place it in the oven and ding it up in the kitchen and it will last a long time. Nothing on it will snap off or go bad, it is just a durable pan with 20 concave holes that are perfect for cooking Takoyaki.

Summary

Our Rating: (4/5)

This is our #3 choice out of the 3 pans we tested out. It is very inexpensive, durable, simple, and has a decent capacity which is more than some but less than others. For a low entry-level price point we don’t think you can do much better if you don’t have to get an electric model and you have an oven or open flame you can use to heat up your snacks. A great choice for a low budget that will not break easily!

 

 

#1 Best Takoyaki Kit by Otafuku Makes 32 Pieces

Our Rating: (5/5)

This is a great little kit that can save you all the hassle of making the batter yourself. It is a powdery mixture that comes in a bag and can make approximately 32 balls which should be enough for about 4 people to get their fill of Takoyaki. It is inexpensive and loved by many people who have left lots of glowing reviews. It is also made in Japan which will give the Takoyaki purest in your group something to be proud of!

  • Contains potentially allergic substances
  • Made in Hiroshima, Japan
  • Authentic Japanese packaging
  • Inexpensive
  • Very tasty

Contains potentially allergic substances

The Otafuku kit contains egg, milk, squid, and soy which may be dangerous to some people with allergies to those ingredients. Please make sure you know this before eating this yummy mix!

Made in Japan

This kit is made in Japan so it has the authentic Japanese flavor that is lacking in many other kits you can buy. For the true experience, you would need to go to Japan and have some Takoyaki in a Japanese kitchen but since you probably don’t have 3 grand laying around for a round trip, this is the next best thing.

Authentic Japanese Packaging

As you can see in the picture the packaging is all in Japanese. We think this is a very nice touch and gives the experience of cooking with this kit a nice Asian vibe. We especially like the smiling face in the upper corner, it gave us a good chuckle.

Inexpensive

If you had to buy all the ingredients yourself and put them all together, the time and money spent would far exceed the cost of this convenient little kit. It is ridiculously cheap considering all the work and ingredients that you avoid by getting this kit. Compared to other kits it is not the cheapest, but it is not far from it.

Very Tasty

We saved the best for last. People absolutely love this little kit. It is very yummy and makes cooking Takoyaki so much easier. The reviews are almost all glowing reviews with only a few people complaining about the taste. There always must be a few whiners in every party, right? We thought it was a great tasting mix that gave the balls an authentic Japanese flavor that was lacking in homemade batter or other premade mixes we tried.

Summary

Our Rating: (5/5)

We honestly love this little Takoyaki kit. It makes a lot of balls for the size of the package and it looks and tastes like authentic Japanese Takoyaki batter. It is cheap and well made and tastes amazing. The only downside we saw was that it contains some ingredients that could cause harm to some allergic people, but that is to be expected of almost any food that contains multiple ingredients. This kit is a great deal for the money and by far our favorite kit we tried. Give it a try (unless you are allergic to squid!)

 

 

 

#1 Best Takoyaki Book- “The Little Book of Takoyaki” Paperback

Our Rating: (5/5)

This is a small book you can keep in your kitchen that has dozens of Japanese recipes including traditional classics to more experimental choices. It is a fun read and a good book to have on hand when you are in the mood for some yummy snacks you can cook at home.

  • Illustrated
  • 128 pages
  • Contains lots of recipes
  • Small

Illustrated

This little book has gorgeous images along with the recipes which give you a much better idea of how your finished plate should look. Not only do the images serve a functional purpose but we thought they were beautiful to look at. There are a lot of pretty dishes in here that you will want to make as soon as you see the pictures. There are other recipe books that contain more recipes than this one, but the images are worth the space they take up, you will see!

128 Pages

Not the most extensive Takoyaki recipe book we have ever seen, but it does contain a wide variety of dishes in a very compact space. This is a very impressive use of the 128 pages which consists of beautiful photos and of course, recipes along with some Takoyaki facts and fun tidbits.

Contains Lots of Recipes

There are dozens of recipes and pictures in this little book! We were impressed with the variety and the wonderful pictures too. You could find books with more dishes but there is a great deal of them in this book, and as we said before, the addition of all the pictures is worth the lack of more recipes. There are more than enough recipes here to keep you busy for a long time. If you can actually cook each one in this book, you are doing better than us! You really will not need another Takoyaki recipe book for a long time.

Small

This is a small book you can keep just about anywhere. It is only 8×5 inches and should easily fit in a drawer or a small nook in your kitchen or living room. It is lightweight and easy to grab and share whenever you want to.

Summary

Our Rating: (5/5)

By looking at the cover you may think it is a kid’s book but do not be fooled! This is a recipe packed little book filled with awesome photos and dozens of recipes from traditional to more, well… a little crazy!

It is very inexpensive and will fit anywhere in your house or car. The recipes themselves are well laid out with simple instructions and pictures so you can see where you went wrong (ok that was mean!). For the price we do not think you can do much better than this cute little book.

 

 

A Little More About Takoyaki

If you have made it this far you probably already know the basics of Takoyaki, however, let’s take a deeper look at one of Japan’s most popular and well-loved snacks.

History

Takoyaki is an old dish that has been around for a long time. The name “Takoyaki” is derived from Tako which means octopus, which is traditionally the main filling. Of course, there are hundreds of recipes that do not include octopus as this snack has evolved and changed over the years.

What is Takoyaki Made Of?

Traditional Takoyaki is made of octopus and batter which is cooked into a little ball and eaten as a snack. Tempura. Green onion and pickled ginger are also typically included.

Takoyaki Toppings?

Typical toppings include Takoyaki sauce which many people say is much like Worcester sauce. Japanese mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and dried laver are also typical toppings used for these tasty snack balls. There are as many variations in toppings as there are Takoyaki eaters. Think of how in America we love our French fries. For every person that loves fries, there is a strange topping that goes on the fries such as ketchup, vinegar, gravy, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, and even peanut butter (I know, but it’s true). The same variety of toppings we love on our fries, Japanese people love on their Takoyaki, so it would be nearly impossible to list all the toppings here!

How Is It Made?

The batter is mixed with water and eggs or dashi and put in the Takoyaki plate like the ones we have reviewed here on this guide. Then the fillings are added to the batter once the batter is in the little holes on the hot plate. Usually, the meat goes in first (traditionally octopus) followed by the onions and ginger on top.

The balls are cooked until they are a nice golden brown color all around. Of course, you should let it cool for a few minutes or you could burn your mouth, which is a high price to pay for impatience!

Once cooled the balls are placed on a plate (preferably a cool-looking Japanese plate) then the sauce is added with the final toppings being the bonito flakes or dried laver or other sprinkles (somebody probably uses ice cream sprinkles).

That is it! That is how this legendary Japanese ball of yummy-ness snack is created.

Why Takoyaki Rules

It is easy to see why Takoyaki is so popular all around the world. It is not too difficult to make, it is not awfully expensive to cook, and the materials needed are readily available and easy to obtain. For years and years people across the globe have been gorging themselves on this yummy traditional Japanese snack and telling all their friends about it.

Hopefully, you have learned a bit about Takoyaki and have a better idea of what gadgets, books, and mixes to get in order to start cooking some for yourself.

If you want some tea to go with your Takoyaki, make sure you check out our guide on the best ceremonial tea sets!

Well, what are you waiting for? Save some for us (but we know you won’t, that’s just rude!)