The 6 Best Shabu Shabu Pots

We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you’re in the mood for whipping up some shabu shabu at home, you’re not going to get very far without a quality pot. We’ve included options in a variety of materials and with various capacities, so you can find the one to suit your heat source and your family size. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

6. Sukiyaki Nabe

Whether you’re cooking for one or the whole family, the Sukiyaki Nabe has you covered. Available in four different sizes, choose the option that aligns best with your lifestyle. It consistently produces a delicious meal, and its enamel interior is ideal for cleaning.

  • Strong stainless steel
  • Beautiful rustic look
  • Issues with weak lid

Brand JapanBargain
Model 1806
Weight 8.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. TRMC Multi-Cooker

The TRMC Multi-Cooker comes with an attached barbecue grill, so why not heat up some tasty sides to go with your shabu shabu? With its easy-to-use temperature control dial and multiple removable accessories, you’ll have no problem preparing restaurant-quality dishes.

  • Switch control for bbq and pot
  • Constructed for lasting use
  • May not heat very quickly

Brand City ST
Model CH-8802
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. SPT Multi-Cooker

The SPT Multi-Cooker is the ultimate utility player. It’s not only a great steel pot for cooking shabu shabu, it also serves as a grill pan, steam rack and mesh strainer – which means you can grill, steam and simmer to your heart’s content.

  • Temperature control dial
  • Cool-touch handles
  • Some durability concerns

Brand SPT
Model SS-301
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Sonya Hot Pot

If you like the combination of speed and power, you may want to go with the Sonya Hot Pot. With 1,500 watts of power and a 5-liter capacity, you’ll be able to satisfy the hunger of large groups, and the divider is highly effective in separating flavors.

  • Includes anti-skid feet
  • Convenient removable cooking pots
  • Potential leaking issues

Brand Sonya
Model SYHS-30
Weight 8.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. HCX 30 Pot

Straightforward and efficient in style and effectiveness, the HCX 30 Pot has everything you need and nothing you don’t. This lightweight, nimble model also features a handy center divider, making it easy to isolate flavors within the pot.

  • Excellent value at this price
  • Venting tempered glass lid
  • Consistent quality results

Brand HCX
Model FP013
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. M.V. Trading Hot Pot

Preparing an intimate dinner? Hosting a party with family and friends? With the M.V. Trading Hot Pot, you’re all set either way. Grill some meat and vegetables on the barbecue plate while your shabu shabu heats up in the steam pot, then sit back and enjoy.

  • Professional in appearance
  • Very easily cleaned
  • Plenty of power and capacity

Brand M.V. Trading
Model MV8802
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

What Exactly Is Shabu Shabu?

Maybe you’ve heard the name before, or walked by a restaurant advertising this strange-sounding dish, and wondered what exactly this mystery food is. Simply put it’s a hot pot, which is somewhat similar to fondue for those not overly familiar with Asian food. It falls into what the Japanese classify as nabemono. Nabemono refers to a variety of different one-pot dishes that are kept hot at the dining table, usually by the use of portable electric or gas stoves.

Shabu Shabu consists of a variety of thinly-sliced meat, seafood, and fresh vegetables, which are all cooked together in a large pot of broth. Differentiating it from many other forms of nabemono, in which all of the ingredients are cooked together before serving, is the fact that the diner cooks each ingredient themselves at the table, so don’t be surprised if you go to a Japanese shabu shabu restaurant and are served a plate of raw meats and veggies. Shabu shabu is always accompanied by dipping sauces of some kind, most often ponzu and sesame. In many places, you will also be given a variety of other condiments to flavor the sauce to your liking, including green onions, grated daikon, and shichi-mi togarashi chili powder.

While nabemono has been popular in Japan for thousands of years, shabu shabu is a more recent addition to their cuisine. It is believed the popular Suehiro restaurant in the Kita-ku ward of Osaka first introduced it in the 1950s. It is still serving the dish to this day too, so if you are a shabu shabu lover and ever happen to find yourself in Osaka, we strongly recommend you check it out.

How To Eat Shabu Shabu

So, now that you know what shabu shabu is, let’s discuss the proper way to eat it. After all, you’d hate to be that gaijin who sits down at a shabu shabu restaurant on your first trip to Japan and starts eating the broth with a spoon, making all of the other patrons nearby cringe.

After the pot of broth is brought to your table and placed on the stove, cover it until it comes to a boil. While you are waiting for this to happen is the perfect time to customize your sauce. We recommend adding the green onions to the sesame sauce, and the togarashi and grated daikon to the ponzu sauce, though this is entirely up to you. Once the broth reaches a roiling boil, reduce the heat to a slight simmer. Shabu shabu broth is meant to be kept gently simmering, rather than violently boiling as with Chinese and Mongolian hot pots.

Start by adding some of the harder vegetables, like carrots and radishes, as well as the tofu, as these ingredients will take longer to cook. Once the broth comes back up to a simmer, you can begin to add the other ingredients. Since the leafy greens, seafood, and meat will cook rapidly, you should add those one by one as you plan on eating them. Don’t cook more than one or two pieces of meat at a time. Not only do you wind up risking overcooking the meat, but it will lower the temperature of the broth, too. As you cook the meat and seafood, you should gently swish it around in the cooking liquid with your chopsticks.

After you remove an ingredient from the broth, whether it be meat, seafood, or vegetable, dip it into the sauce. Generally the ponzu is used for the vegetables and seafood, and the sesame is used for the meat. This isn’t a hard and fast rule however, so feel free to experiment. After dipping your meat, seafood, or vegetable in the sauce, you should rest it on top of the rice for a couple of seconds before eating it. This gives it a chance to cool down, as well as allowing the rice a chance to absorb some of the flavor, turning that into a wonderful delicacy in its own right.

Choosing The Right Shabu Shabu Pot

Shabu shabu pots come in a few different materials and styles, each of which offers certain benefits. For example, you can choose to buy one made from ceramic, cast iron, steel, or aluminum. Both ceramic and cast iron models take a long time to heat up, but on the flip side, they retain their heat for longer. This means you generally won’t have to keep your stove turned up as high during the cooking process as you would with a steel or aluminum pot. Ceramic and cast iron differ in their care and durability, however. Ceramic is easier to care for. There is also no chance of it leaking any metals into the food or altering its flavor in any way. The downside to ceramic is that it is significantly less durable than cast iron. If you are clumsy and tend to drop your dishware when you wash it, you may want to skip a ceramic shabu shabu pot.

On the other hand, cast iron pots are extremely durable — practically indestructible, in fact. Unfortunately, they are prone to rusting if not properly seasoned and cared for. You may be able to find an enameled cast iron model that won’t suffer from rusting issues, but they are often very expensive. Cast iron is also quite heavy, and considering how large shabu shabu pots are, this can make them difficult to handle. Both cast iron and ceramic pots usually require hand washing.

Steel and aluminum pots are lightweight, durable, and some can even be thrown in the dishwasher. The downside is they don’t retain heat very well, meaning you’ll probably run through a bit more gas during dinner time. Of course, if you choose an electric stove, this won’t be an issue. One of the greatest benefits of aluminum and steel shabu shabu pots is that they come in some unique styles, such as in a split-pot design that allows you to serve your guests two broths in one meal, or with a grill surface, both of which can bring shabu shabu night to a whole new level.


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