Appeal of woodfired cooking is growing in popularity, not just in restaurants, but in backyards too! One kind of live fire cooking that is gaining popularity, not only in restaurants all around the US, but at home is Brazilian-style/Argentine-style, or gaucho grilling. Why? Because when you cook over a live flame, interaction throughout the cooking process is a requirement. There is no “button” or knob to turn, you have to fully engage in the cooking process, channeling the ancient need to control fire.
The Birth of Gaucho Barbeque
After cattle was introduced in the Rio Grande do Sol region of Brazil around 400 years ago, so too was the woodfired method of cooking known as Brazilian barbeque or churrasco. Also known as “gaucho-style”, named after the Brazilian cowboy, this method of cooking beef became a way of life.
Initially salt was the only seasoning for the beef. Brazilian gauchos would apply the salt and let it rest on the meat for 30 minutes, allowing the salt to be completely absorbed into the beef. Once the beef was “seasoned”, the gauchos would cook over a wood burning fire, deepening the flavor with smoke. To keep the beef moist, a salt-water baste was used throughout cooking.
It wasn’t long until the gaucho grilling method spread to other parts of South America. In Argentina, gauchos incorporated other methods for seasoning meat. One way was to immerse the meat in a chimichurri marinade the night before cooking to add depth of flavor and regional pizzazz for chicken and lamb. The meats were then placed on long skewers on racks over the fire, with fattier meats at the top so the juices drip down to flavor leaner meats below.
Today people all over the world enjoy not only beef, but chicken, lamb and even seafood prepared the gaucho way.
From Swords to Backyard Skewers
Popular South American steakhouses such as Fogo de Chao, Churrascaria Plataforma, and Texas de Brazil really make a show out of the gaucho dining experience. Some restaurants use flamboyantly dressed “gauchos” as servers who carve large pieces of meat off sword-like skewers right at the table. Patrons are encouraged to eat as much as they can, sometimes utilizing tokens or cards indicating whether or not they would like the next available “gaucho” to automatically come to their table to serve them another portion or two.
The best part about gaucho style grilling is not only the taste, but how readily available gaucho grills are for purchase or as a DIY project for the backyard. No matter the style chosen for your gaucho grill, make sure to use the best cook wood that has been properly season and preferably kiln dried for 35% more heat output than naturally dried firewood.
Premier Firewood Has the Wood for Your Gaucho Grill
Restaurants serving gaucho-style dining, as well as the at home gaucho grill enthusiast can enjoy the highest quality cooking wood for sale with convenient delivery to your home or business. Call Premier Firewood Company 203-866-4252 for more information on our firewood and delivery options or order online today!