Grilling outdoors is a pastime just about everyone enjoys.
It’s relaxing to be outside, flipping burgers on your BBQ grill.
And while barbecuing on a gas grill is as popular as ever… You might be looking for something more.
If you have inquisitive culinary tastes, that search for something deeper may lead you to an Argentinian grill.
Their exotic look beckons you to explore in-depth… And let us tell you, there is plenty to explore!
But before we jump into the deep end… You need to know the foundations.
In this article, we’ll discuss all the basics you need to know about an Argentinian grill and review the most popular brands.
So, let’s begin!
What is an Argentinian Grill?
If you’re just dipping your toes into the water… You’ll first want to know what an Argentinian grill is, exactly.
In order to understand this, you’ll need a quick outline of its history.
As you could certainly guess… This grill originates in Argentina. And if you’re familiar with Argentinian culture, you’ll know they have a deep appreciation for meat.
In fact, Argentinians eat about 125.6 lbs of beef a year per capita! (They’re second only to Uruguay.)
This appreciation extends well beyond simply consuming meat. Cattle themselves are highly respected, bordering on religious reverence.
This reverence shines through in the way Argentinians cook their beef. Argentine grills are designed with meticulous precision in mind.
Every aspect of the cooking process is optimized… So you end up with the most tender, flavorful, juicy protein you could imagine.
So, how does this precision translate into the nuts and bolts of the grill?
One of the first things you’ll notice about an Argentine grill are the V-grates. These aren’t your standard grill grates!
The V groove channels all the juices from your protein into a drip pan. This allows you to repurpose the fats, re-basting the meat in its own juices.
The cooking surface is also easily raised or lowered. This allows you to make adjustments on the fly and cook your meat at the perfect pace.
All Argentine grills are fueled by either charcoal or wood, (no propane here!) which allows for a full-bodied flavor.
Now that you have an idea of what an Argentinian BBQ grill is… What are some of the benefits?
Want to bring your idea to life?
Benefits of an Argentine Grill
The concept of an Argentine BBQ might sound nice so far… But why should you consider it over a gas grill or smoker?
Let’s discuss some benefits for you to ponder.
Cooking Versatility & Control
If there’s one thing an Argentinian wood grill excels at… It’s cooking versatility.
To demonstrate the point, let’s compare it to a regular charcoal grill.
While there are some slight adjustments you can make to control the temperature… You actually don’t have that much control over your grill.
And if you need to adjust your temperatures quickly… That’s simply not possible with a charcoal grill. You’re at the mercy of your grill, time, and patience!
Not so with an Argentinian grill!
As mentioned earlier, the cooking surface can be easily raised or lowered as needed.
So if you need to make adjustments fast… It’s a simple fix. (You’ll never overcook your protein again!)
But it gets better, folks!
Fresher Flavors, Juicier Meat
Providing fresh flavors and juicy meat is a near-universal claim from grill manufacturers… But with an Argentine grill, they live up to the bold claims.
One of the reasons is the brasero fire basket.
The brasero basket is where your wood or lump charcoal is burned. It’s not located directly under the cooking surface, but rather, to the side.
Why is this important?
A couple reasons.
When you are first burning wood or charcoal… There’s an acrid flavor that comes off of it. By allowing the wood fire to get started in a separate location, this acrid flavor burns off and does not get absorbed into your food.
This also allows you to get the freshest hot coals under your grill.
The result is an optimized cooking experience… And yes, fresher flavors!
Now, not all Argentine grills come with this feature… So be sure the brand you choose has a brasero basket! (We’ll be discussing a few momentarily.)
So, what about an Argentinian outdoor grill makes for juicy meat?
It’s back to those lovely V-grates.
By funneling the juices from the meat into a drip pan… This allows you to re-baste the meat, without wasting a single drop.
Naturally, this results in a more delicious, steakhouse quality meal!
Additionally, by retaining all the juices… Flare-ups will be greatly reduced.
This keeps your safety at the forefront, and further protects the flavor of your proteins! (A nasty flare-up can ruin your meal.)
Sound good so far? It’s about to get even better.
If you want to be able to cook many types of food in your grill at once… An Argentine barbecue grill can get it done.
Rather than being limited to a single set of grill grates… An Argentinian adjustable grill offers you the potential for multi-zone grilling.
What does this look like?
While you’re cooking protein on the grill itself… There’s plenty of room under the grates to cook root vegetables directly on the embers. (Baked potato, anyone?)
So you can have your protein and starch going on the same appliance, at the same time!
Additionally, there’s some cooking real estate above the grates. Residual heat coming off the brasero basket allows you to hang and slow-roast proteins.
Tomahawk steaks, tenderloins, and link sausage are all excellent examples for this application.
Some Argentine grills even allow you the option for rotisserie roasting.
So you can have a full bird roasting over the fire, while you have steaks and vegetables cooking underneath. (Or cook other proteins on a skewer, known as asador.)
Not only does this offer fantastic functionality… Multi-zone cooking is a super-efficient use of fuel. Every corner of the grill is being utilized, which results in less wasted energy.
Now that you’re sold on the concept of an Argentine asado… What are some brands to consider?
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Best Argentinian Grill Brands
If you’ve done some cursory research… You’ve likely noticed there aren’t very many brand options out there.
But the tides are changing!
Argentine style grills have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years… With new manufacturers popping up regularly.
Let’s take a peek at some of the most prominent names in the industry.
First on our backyard Argentinian grill list, we have Gaucho Grills.
This American-made brand was one of the first to arrive on the scene… And for good reason!
Currently, Gaucho Grills offers 3 base offerings: the Clasico, the Basico, and the Supremo.
The Clasico is simply a drop-in grill insert. It will not come with a fire box, so you’ll need to have a hearth setup beforehand!
There are 4 sizes available with or without a brasero.
The Basico series is a freestanding option on casters, complete with firebricks. There are 3 sizes available with or without a brasero.
Finally, there’s the Supremo. Again, this is a freestanding option. However, this option will come with storage cabinets underneath, and steel walls up the side.
There’s 3 sizes to choose from… All with a brasero.
Across the board, these grills feature stainless steel grates, drip trays, and frames. Temperature control crank wheels are made with aluminum. (The grade of stainless is unspecified.)
Gaucho Grills also offers a few accessory options. You can get a flat bottom shovel, multi-tool, cleaning brush, griddle plate, brick replacements, Himalayan salt blocks, or rotisserie forks.
All Gaucho Grills will come with a 2 year “bumper to bumper” warranty.
As far as price goes… You’ll pay anywhere from $2,090.00 – $10,455.00, depending on the option you choose.
Another popular outdoor Argentinian grill you may encounter is Tagwood BBQ.
Like Gaucho Grills, Tagwood BBQ has three main grill series available. There’s the built-in series, freestanding, and “The Beast”.
Their freestanding Argentine Santa Maria grill is exactly what you’d expect. It’s a freestanding option with casters, and a small shelf on the side.
There are extra large options available with two grills built into one unit.
“The Beast” is where it gets really interesting. This giant Argentine grill has a bit of a flue system on top. S-shaped meat hooks hang from this fixture… Which is the perfect setup for slow-roasting meats.
Nearly all Tagwood BBQ’s grills feature complete 304 stainless steel construction. There are a few models with a black finish, which is painted steel. (The grade of this steel is unspecified.)
We should note that all of Tagwood BBQ’s grills will come with a brasero.
Depending on the option you choose, Tagwood BBQ offers a 1, 3, or 5 year limited warranty on their products.
Prices range widely as well. Built-in options cost $2,250.00 – $6,000.00. Their freestanding line will run you $3,995.00 – $12,500.00… And “The Beast” ranges from $7,500.00 – $25,000.00. (That’s an investment!)
Sunterra is another Argentine parrilla (grill) manufacturer! Although, they make far more than just Argentine grills.
They also offer BBQ smokers, fireside grills, and wood fired outdoor ovens. But we’re just sticking to the Argentinian grills, here!
And when it comes to these grills… Sunterra has no shortage of options.
They offer Argentinian asado grills with or without a brasero, and in different material options.
Some will come with heavy gauge, painted 3/16” stainless steel… While others will come with 3/16” gauge polished 304 stainless steel.
There’s even an option with an oven incorporated into it! There aren’t a ton of details on this option… But it appears the oven is fueled by the residual heat of the fire.
Many of Sunterra’s options also include tandem grill grates. Meaning, there are two independent grates that can be controlled separately.
Depending on the option you choose, sizes range from 36” – 96”.
For accessories, Sunterra does offer a rotisserie and paella kit.
Sunterra’s warranty only protects against firebox burnout of their grills. “Rust, firebox wood grates, cooking grates, and lack of pit maintenance are not covered by this limited warranty.”
As far as pricing goes… There is no pricing information listed online! You’ll have to reach out to Sunterra to get the details.
Norcal Ovenworks is another company offering handmade Argentine asados.
They offer a wide variety of niche grilling products (like Uruguayan grills and South African Braais)… But again, we’re focusing on the Argentinian grills!
They offer stainless steel Argentinian grill kits, and regular grills with or without braseros.
In all categories, Norcal Ovenworks offers both freestanding and drop-in options.
Materials will either be a 3/16” painted steel, or 3/16” stainless steel. (The grade is unspecified!)
Unfortunately, we were unable to locate warranty information on their website. So for details, you’ll have to reach out to Norcal Ovenworks!
When it comes to cost… Most offerings start at around $2,570.00, and top out at $8,500.00.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Urban Asado.
Featured in media such as the Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food, St. Augustine Record newspaper, St. Augustine Social magazine, and Edible Northeast Florida magazine… There’s quite a buzz about this brand!
It’s for good reason, too. Urban Asado isn’t your typical Argentine grill manufacturer. These handmade grills are meticulously manufactured with a showroom finish.
A unique feature of this product line is the fact that all of their grill frames are fully welded. This eliminates any weak points in the structure, and ensures your Argentine asado is built to last.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves! What does Urban Asado offer, exactly?
They have lines that include freestanding, drop-in, fireplace inserts, tandem (dual-grate), and custom options.
Across all options, grill sizes range from 36” to 60” wide. Many of the listings have a number in the title, which indicates how many square inches of cooking area the grill has.
Most Urban Asado grills come standard with a brasero… But the location of the brasero will vary across the models.
All Urban Asado grills will also feature complete 304 stainless steel construction. This is a heavy-duty material that’s well equipped to handle the elements. (We recommend this for all outdoor appliances!)
For a warranty, all grills will be covered for a period of 5 years.
What about the price?
Depending on the option you choose… Prices will range from $1,699.00 – $14,299.00.
At this point, you’ve seen quite a few Argentine grill brands!
But which one is best?
Best Overall Argentinian Grill
While there are plenty of great asado Argentinian grill brands out there… To us, there is a brand that stands above the rest.
That brand would be Urban Asado.
From the upscale Argentinian grill design, to the heavy duty material quality, to the superior manufacturing process… There’s no better contender for a spot in your backyard!
Their rigid construction ensures that your investment will last for many years to come. (Which is a big deal, considering most of these grills are at least a few grand!)
Urban Asado also offers one of the more comprehensive warranties… But you likely won’t have to take them up on it anyway!
To add further credence to this claim… The folks at Urban Asado have even opened a full-service restaurant using their grills! (If you’re curious, it’s called Asado Life in St. Augustine, FL.)
And if these grills can withstand the rigors of restaurant service, day in and day out… There’s no doubt in our minds an Urban Asado will perform swimmingly in your backyard.
Alright, enough gushing!
At this point, you’ve learned just about everything you need to know about Argentinian grills.
Now you might be wondering… How do you incorporate one into your outdoor living space?
The Most Convenient Way to Enjoy Your Argentinian Grill
While there are plenty of freestanding options out there… We’d argue that the best way to enjoy your new Argentine grill is with an outdoor kitchen.
Ponder this for a moment.
You’re outside cooking steaks on your Argentinian grill. Where are you going to put all your tools?
What about preparing side dishes, or complimentary sauces?
There’s simply nowhere for you to place these necessities. And you’re left to run in and out of the house for every little thing… Which is a frustration in and of itself!
Incorporating your Argentine grill into a BBQ island solves these problems entirely.
At minimum… You’ll have ample counter space to rest your tools and whip up a quick chimichurri sauce for your steak!
Beyond that, there’s a whole world of accessories you can include to make your life even easier.
And while an Argentine grill provides a plethora of cooking versatility… There’s other cooking accessories you might consider. A flat top griddle, outdoor pizza oven, and pellet smoker are all excellent options.
To top it all off… Adding an outdoor bar completes it all! You’ll have a built-in dining area for your family and friends.
So, curious about getting your own Argentinian barbecue grill in an outdoor kitchen?
If you are… Give us a shout! Our islands are highly customizable, and we’ll work tirelessly to ensure you’ve got the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.
Well, what are you waiting for?
We can’t wait to hear from you!
Need Help With Your Plans?
An Argentinian style grill is quite unique! These are wood fired grills where the cooking surface’s height can easily be adjusted. Additionally, they will come with V-shaped grates that capture the juices from your meat so you can re-baste.
While some brands don’t differentiate the two… Technically, a Santa Maria Grill is the same thing as an Argentine grill, but without a brasero. This means there is no separate location where the wood burns, everything is directly over the fire with a Santa Maria Grill.
When grilling on an Argentine grill… One of the most important things to keep in mind is grilling low and slow. Also ensure you are using the freshest, hottest coals! This will give you the most optimal result.
A Gaucho Grill is fueled by wood and will cook your food primarily by indirect heat. To adjust the temperatures on your protein, simply raise or lower the grates.
First, you’ll get the fire going in the brasero. Once you have some nice, hot coals going… You’ll move them underneath the cooking grates. Once you allow the grates to heat up a bit, now you’re ready to grill. Take your time, take it slow, and you really can’t go wrong here!