How to Prepare the Best Argentine BBQ?

If you’ve tasted authentic Argentine BBQ, you know it’s an irresistible dish, both for its aroma and the flavor of the meat.

Don’t even think about calling it just a barbecue unless you want to make a few enemies in Argentina.

Locals will tell you there’s no comparison between the culinary techniques used for its preparation.

And they’re right, as BBQ cooking has its own art. It’s cooked over an open flame on a grill and in ample portions.

To prepare it well, you need to know its secrets. We invite you to discover them so that yours turns out like that of an expert.

Below, we list the steps to follow to make this gastronomic classic. Take a look.

1.Select the cuts

Without a doubt, the first step is to buy the best assorted cuts of meat. They should have a good color, texture, and shine.

Among the most commonly used are the rib strips obtained by cutting beef ribs crosswise.

Also, flank steak, vacío (flank), skirt steak, sirloin, ribeye steak, sweetbreads, and various offal.

Ask your butcher to prepare these tender and juicy cuts to get the richest grilled meat flavor.

2.Light the fire

Before placing the meat on the grill, make sure the coals are hot enough. To light the fire, use charcoal and wood.

Make a pile with pieces of firewood and place charcoal on it, which goes on the bottom part of the grill, on the left.

Once the cast iron device is heated, clean the charred remains from the previous time with newspaper.

When it’s smoking, lower the grill a bit and place the cuts, starting with the largest ones like rib strips.

3.Slow-cook the Argentine BBQ

Argentinians like to eat meat medium-rare or well-done. That’s why the cooking process is slow.

Depending on the cuts, it takes between one and two hours to be ready to ensure it’s not raw in the middle.

It gives you time to enjoy some Malbec wine with a cold cuts platter, to make the wait enjoyable with good company.

The duration depends on the intensity of the fire, so it’s necessary to regulate the flames to get the desired result.

4.Set aside the hot coals

Another secret for your Argentine BBQ to cook properly is to keep the pieces of charcoal lit on one side.

This way, you prevent the fat from dripping and the smoke flames from ruining the flavor of the meat ingredients.

Otherwise, they’ll be overcooked, and you risk losing juiciness. Constantly flipping helps maintain moisture.

Lower the grill height by 10 to 15 centimeters at most, so the meat isn’t too close to the flame and doesn’t burn.

5.Add the offal

In Argentina, no part of the cow goes to waste. That’s why they use the animal’s offal as additional ingredients.

These offal or “achuras,” as they’re also called, include sweetbreads, kidneys, thick intestines, testicles, and chitterlings.

They cook faster. That’s why they’re placed last on the grill until they acquire a smoked and crispy texture. This is one of the things Argentinians love to try, served with a squeeze of lemon.

6.Don’t forget the sausages

Blood sausages and chorizos are other important components of the BBQ, which give it a special touch.

Pork sausages, seasoned with spices, are always present in this traditional preparation.

In fact, they’re the first to arrive on the plate. They’re usually cut into small pieces, interspersed, or spread.

They’re also served as slices of the popular baguette bread. They’re a delicious appetizer you shouldn’t miss.

7.Prepare a chimichurri

If you want to add more flavor to your Argentine BBQ, accompany it with a delicious chimichurri sauce.

This classic of gastronomy enhances it with its spicy and acidic touch. Therefore, it shouldn’t be missing from your table.

It’s made with dried oregano, parsley, chopped garlic, ground chili, salt, pepper, wine vinegar, and olive oil. If you prefer, you can use other sauces like “criolla” or “provenzal.”

They elevate your experience to the fullest when you take a bite.

8.Serve with a tasty salad

Although Argentinians don’t require anything else to eat meat, a salad is always a good addition. It’s an excellent accompaniment.

While you’re focused on the BBQ, appoint someone to prepare a criolla garnish.

For example, a mixture of tomatoes with lettuce and onion, seasoned with olive oil, vinegar, or white wine.

You can also grill vegetables like peppers, eggplants, zucchinis, carrots, and onions. They’re a perfect complement.

9.Serve the meat hot

Once the BBQ is ready, it’s time to bring it to the table to eat. It’s served hot, cut into individual pieces.

This is done at the end of the process since the meat cuts are cooked whole. They’re tasted in the order they’re ready.

That’s why sausages, blood sausages, and offal are always tasted before the other BBQ ingredients. The usual way to serve the meat is on a wooden tray or board, along with a couple of utensils for cutting to taste.

Argentine BBQ Recipe

If you’re craving this typical dish, you should try making it. Following the steps we’ve taught you, you won’t have any problems. Gather your family and friends at home to enjoy a pleasant time while you prepare the recipe. Here it is.


  • 2 ½ kg of assorted meat cuts
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 6 chorizos
  • 3 blood sausages
  • 1 kidney
  • 1 kg of chitterlings
  • 2 lemons
  • Coarse salt
  • Marinade
  • Charcoal

Step by Step:

After thoroughly washing the offal and removing the fat, cut them transversely. Let them soak in vinegar for 45 minutes.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and lemon. Meanwhile, place the chorizos in water so they don’t dry out after cooking.

Light the charcoal in advance. That way, the fire will be ready when you’re ready to incorporate the meat into the grill.

The key to preventing the ashes from rising too much is to sprinkle some coarse salt over the coals.

The meat pieces are placed on the bone side and salted there, while the chicken is inserted from the side with fat.

Incorporate them based on how long each one takes to cook. The larger cuts go first, followed by the thinner ones.

When they start to release juice, flip them to cook evenly. Remember to regulate the fire intensity so they don’t get too hot.

The cooking time depends on taste. Some like the meat almost raw. In that case, it doesn’t take long on the grill.

Medium and well-done are the favorites of the locals. That’s the true flavor of Argentine BBQ. Of course, you can cook it to your preferred level.

Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

This dressing gives a delicious taste to grilled meat. So you don’t miss out on making it, here’s the recipe.


  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of ground chili
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 bay leaves

Step by Step:

Have all the ingredients ready for your chimichurri sauce. In a bowl, place the oregano with the salt and a splash of hot water.

Let it sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley, dice the red onion into small cubes, and cut the garlic into medium pieces.

Place in a separate container with the sweet paprika, thyme, lemon juice, and mix well.

Add the oregano mixture with the salt that you let sit. The result is a tasty seasoning for your food.

Place in a glass jar, cover, and refrigerate for a week before using it to enhance the flavors.

If you want a different consistency, blend the ingredients to get a smoother sauce and not feel the bits of seasoning in your mouth.

You can also add more spice if you like, by adding more ground chili and red onion. Either way, it’s an ideal dressing to enjoy with Argentine BBQ. This typical dish is worthy of bringing to the table.

When you prepare it, your family and friends will give you many compliments.

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