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When we think of grills nowadays, often what comes to mind is an image of a gas fueled cooker that is quite modern and technical.
However, back in the day, it used to be a fire in the ground that heated and flavored meat which was hung above.
Gaucho grills - or Argentinian style grills - combine this timeless technique of open cooking over a wood fire with some modern features to produce some of the tastiest BBQ you can imagine.
Like many types of grills, some basic Gaucho grills can be inexpensive whereas more feature laden products will be more expensive. This guide will be covering exactly what a Gaucho grill is, how they work, and why these grills have become so popular in recent years.
This type of grill is loved by many because it draws on traditional methodology but also has some great features for easily cooking your food exactly how you want.
The general idea is to burn wood in a firebox to produce hot coals. These hot coals are then distributed underneath the cooking grate to heat your food. By design, coals in a Gaucho grill are very easy to move across the grill to switch up your heat zones on the fly.
A key feature of a Gaucho grill is also an adjustable height cooking grate that can be easily moved mid cook.
This means, if something needs to be cooked at a higher temperature, you are able to move the surfaces closer to the fire for an increased heat.
It works the other way too, if you want a slowly cooked meat, you can leave it further away from the heat for longer.
The name Gaucho literally means little cowboy - but it's a nod to the Argentenian heritage of the cooking style.
These grills are sometimes referred as Santa Maria grills as well.
There are many features that this grill is great for building your own fire and keep tending to it to make sure it is still at a good burning heat.
Most people reference how fire control is the most important part of these grills with cooking your meat to perfection.
They also have an adjustable cooking grate - some have a control wheel and others have a more manual lever to adjust grill grate height.
You need to learn how to use this grill because it needs to be mastered to be able to get that food to perfection.
It is all about the fire and the level you're cooking it at due to the adjustable levels. Some of these grills are able to cook whole animals that are that big.
If you are going to invest in a grill, you'd naturally want it to be durable to all types of weather and have a long shelf life.
This is why stainless steel is typically used for construction of key parts - because it is very durable and reliable.
In some places, there is also the option to have your grill built into your home which is a great idea if you're able to afford it.
The prices for these grills range massively depending on what model you would like to buy and whether you're looking for a built-in or freestanding grill.
However, you will definitely see the difference between the two because of the features, size and materials.
The less expensive ones tend to be smaller and not include many extra features.
Overall, these types of grills have been built on for a very long time, constantly being improved with added features, more durable material but they do come with a hefty price tag.
They come from a traditional background of cooking your food which is far more advanced than BBQ work.
These grills are known to be at a very high standard and are basically just food cooked over coal or wood the more traditional way.
However, they have been made for outdoor use, to be sturdy and waterproof so you do not have to worry about maintaining these products as much as others over the years.
Hopefully this article has outlined exactly what this type of grill is and why it is so high in price for some models.
This type of cooking has come a long way over history where they are now more suitable to have in your garden or on your patio in comparison to just cooking over a fire.
The specific features that have been put in place make them better than a lot of other grills because it is a way of cooking you have to learn how to do and how to perfect to get the best results.
“Asado” is a term used in Argentina and other South American countries that means “barbecue,” but it doesn't quite describe the way you do your standard outdoor grilling.
This is meat cooked over coals or wood embers, a system developed by Argentinian gauchos who needed to grill their food out on the grasslands.
A Santa Maria Grill is an Argentine Grill without a brasero.
Its usage is different. Instead of making embers in a brasero and pulling hot coals under the grill, Santa Maria Grills are designed to cook directly over the fire and resulting embers for a smokier product.