Gourmet Recipes

Key Steps to Achieve the Perfect Argentine Barbecue

The art of making an Argentine barbecue goes far beyond simply cooking meat over a fire. It is a culinary tradition that connects us with our senses, with our friends and family, and, of course, with a long gastronomic history that spans generations. In this essay, we will take a journey to the heart of this celebrated culinary tradition, learning from how to select the best cut of meat and prepare it properly to understanding the secrets behind the cooking techniques that give your barbecue that unmistakable Argentine flavor. We will also explore the recipes for classic chimichurri and other sauces that enhance the flavors of a barbecue.

Let’s prepare to delight our palates with this true feast for the senses!

Preparing the Meat for the Barbecue

Secrets for preparing and marinating authentic Argentine barbecue meat!

The true gem of Argentine cuisine may not be so much a specific dish as it is a culinary ritual—the Argentine barbecue. Over generations, Argentinians have mastered the art of barbecue, making it one of their greatest gastronomic and cultural expressions. To create exquisite barbecue worthy of your taste buds, special techniques are needed to prepare and marinate the meat.

The most crucial aspect of preparing an Argentine barbecue is the selection of the type of meat. Choosing cuts of meat for grilling is a true art. A ribeye, pork chops, ribs, sirloin, or even kidneys and sweetbreads—everything depends on personal preference.

First, the meat needs to be seasoned. It is recommended to use coarse salt and generously sprinkle it over the meat. The salt should be applied about 30 minutes before placing the meat on the grill, allowing it to penetrate the meat, imparting excellent flavor.

Regarding spices for marinating, Argentinians prefer to use chili, pepper, dried oregano, bay leaves, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and mainly white wine. On this foundation, you can experiment by adding your own ingredients to give your recipe a personal touch.

The marinade is prepared by mixing the aforementioned ingredients in a container, with the wine poured as the final step. Next, the mixture is brushed onto the meat, and it is left to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours before taking it to the grill. Allow the meat to marinate for at least three hours, although ideally, it should marinate overnight to allow the flavors to fully develop.

Finally, the most exciting step: placing the meat on the grill. Remember that slow cooking makes the meat juicier and more flavorful. Exercise patience while slow-cooking; everything turns out better with love and time!

Argentine barbecue is an art that combines high-quality ingredients, time, and dedication for these factors to come together and offer a spectacular result.

Let yourself be carried away by the smoke and the aroma of grilling, the conversations during the process, and, finally, the delight when that meat melts in your mouth. Because that is, essentially, the beauty of Argentine barbecue. Whether it’s for a family gathering, a dinner with friends, or just to enjoy a pleasant afternoon, there’s nothing like a perfectly prepared and marinated barbecue to unite and connect people. We hope this guide inspires you to venture into the glorious world of Argentine barbecue. Enjoy!

photography of an argentine barbecue.

Cooking Techniques for the Barbecue

How to Control the Grill Temperature for Even Cooking?

As we’ve mentioned before, barbecue is an art, and like all art forms, it comes with certain challenges. One of the biggest challenges is achieving perfect cooking, which is often directly related to controlling the grill’s temperature.

First and foremost, the placement of the meat on the grill is crucial. For quality barbecue, the meat should not be directly over the coals. Remember our golden rule: we always cook on low heat. Therefore, we must keep the meat to one side, allowing indirect heat to do its job. This method helps prevent flames from directly touching the meat and causing it to burn on the outside while remaining raw on the inside. Paying attention to this detail can make the difference between a good barbecue and an unforgettable one.

Secondly, it’s important to control the heat from the coals. It’s a mistake to think that the more coals there are, the better the cooking will be. To achieve even cooking, the coals should be evenly distributed. Additionally, we must have the patience to maintain the grill at a constant temperature, ideally between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the preferred cooking point for experts.

One way to ensure that the grill maintains the correct temperature is by visually assessing the coals. They should have an intense red color but not emit flames. This is the point where the heat is most uniform.

Another technique is to use a grill thermometer. It’s a simple tool that can be very helpful in maintaining the ideal temperature. If you don’t have one, a homemade trick is to try to hold your hand above the grill and count the seconds until the heat becomes too intense. If you can withstand between 5 and 7 seconds, the temperature is ideal.

Finally, remember that each piece of meat has its own cooking time. We should not rush or despair. Barbecue is a social act, a moment to share and enjoy in the company of others. We can use this time to converse, share stories, or even learn more about the art of barbecue, all while patiently waiting for our feast to reach its ideal cooking point.

In conclusion, the key to uniform and delicious cooking in barbecue lies in patience, the placement of the meat, controlling the coals and temperature. Pay attention to these details, and you’ll ensure that your guests are dazzled by your mastery of the art of barbecue. Enjoy!

argentine barbecue 2

Chimichurri and Sauces for Barbecue

Once we’ve covered the essentials of how to grill meat to perfection, it’s time to dive into the wonderful world of sauces to accompany our barbecue. The importance of a good sauce cannot be underestimated. Not only does it add an extra layer of flavor, but it can also enhance and complement the delicious grilled meat.

The three sauces for barbecue that cannot be missing from any Argentine table are chimichurri, criolla, and provenzal.


Chimichurri sauce is an undisputed classic in Argentine gastronomy. It’s spicy, acidic, and full of flavor. To prepare it, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of ground chili pepper
  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, adjust the seasonings to taste, and let it rest for at least an hour before serving. This sauce will harmoniously accompany the intensity of the barbecue.


Criolla sauce is a burst of freshness and color. It’s ideal for accompanying heavier cuts of meat like ribs. The ingredients are:

  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it rest for at least half an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.


The European influence on Argentine cuisine is evident with this garlic and parsley sauce. This is an excellent complement for milder cuts like tenderloin. You’ll need:

  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

The preparation involves mixing the ingredients in a bowl and letting them rest for at least an hour before serving.

So there you have it, three sauces to elevate your barbecue experience to the next level. Each one brings its own personality and character to the table, allowing for endless tasty combinations. We hope these recipes inspire and enrich your next barbecue. After all, there’s nothing more rewarding than sharing a good meal with friends and loved ones. Enjoy!

Tacos of an argentine barbecue.

We hope that with this essay, you have been able to delve into the secrets of Argentine barbecue, which is more than just a meal; it is an integral part of our culture. From selecting the meat to its preparation and cooking, every detail matters to achieve a perfect barbecue. And of course, chimichurri and sauces, those essential complements that make each bite a unique culinary experience. Remember that making a barbecue is an act of celebration and sharing, an art best enjoyed in excellent company. So, light the coals, put what you’ve learned into practice, and enjoy the moment.

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