We all love DIY projects, and being the grilling lovers we are, we were delighted once this question came through our channel “How can I build my own Argentine grill”?
What a question! Argentine grills are very simple and unsophisticated. So we went ahead and created this article covering exactly how to build your own Argentine asado grill.
Building an Argentine Asado grill is a unique opportunity to understand the fundamentals of Argentine grilling. With less than $500 you can build your own Argentine grill that will produce experiences that will stand the test of time.
The Argentine Asado is a unique way of grilling meat and vegetables that have a very distinct cooking method that separates it from any other grilling technique.
The “Argentine Parilla” (grill) is a unique way of grilling meat over coals that are produced from a fire (predominantly wood).
This grill consists of a small space on the side of the grill (to contain the wood fire), stainless steel grilling grate, and a coal box under the grill to hold the coals. All of this is inside a small rectangular C-shaped space usually made of brick and mortar. Although these are now readily available in steel and other materials.
The traditional Argentine Grill is a unique way of cooking meat since they add an intense smoky flavor and very consistent dry heat as it is grilled over coals that are produced by an ongoing fire that is sited alongside your grill.
One of the most important things is that you have to find the right location. The location needs to be determined based on a few factors that will condition your cooking experience.
And for that, we must take into account 4 key elements:
The good range of grill sizes is as follows (all measurements are in centimeters)
Here is a simple table that shows the ideal grill size along with the number of servings.
*All measurements are approximate and should be based on the actual context of where you will locate your Asado Grill
*All measurements are in cm (centimeters)
Once we find the ideal location, we must clear and level the ground.
Locate your grill in a position that is accessible to your facilities and is far enough from any combustive materials.
Prepare the foundations for a slab of concrete which will be the width and length of your grill.
The first step is to prepare the ground by lowering the land by about 10 cm. for the base.
Once the soil is compacted and leveled, a steel mesh and a light layer of small rubble are placed. Then we cover it with cement.
For the construction part of building your Argentine asado grill, you need to start building the walls of the grill with brick and mortar. They are laid with a mixture of cement, lime, and sand. These walls will reach 70cm. As shown in the graphic below the H section of the walls divides where the fire will be with the grill section.
Now it is time to prepare the base of the countertop. For this, you will need to prepare to shutter and lay a metal mesh in the 2 sections of your countertop.
The countertop should be 8cm-10cm thick
Prepare your concrete and fill the countertop.
Now you have let your countertop cure you are ready for the final walls.
For the second phase of the construction of building your Argentine asado grill, you need to finish building the last line of walls of the grill with brick and mortar. They are laid with a mixture of cement, lime, and sand. These walls will reach 40cm. above the countertop. As shown in the graphic below the H section of the walls divides where the fire will be with the grill section.
Now your final walls are up it's ready to lay your refractory bricks on all internal facing walls.
Refractory bricks are installed to help contain the heat and not damage the brick-and-mortar structure.
The steel grill grate is ideally 60 centimeters wide by 90 long again this will depend on the final measurements of your Argentine Asado grill. With these measurements defined, you will be able to calculate your grill. Ideally bearing in mind your grill is 130 x 60 we can comfortably cook for 8 or 10 people. Tip: the deeper you make your grill the harder it is to reach the coals at the back.
You can make your one grill by welding a rectangular frame in steel and then welding individual 5-6mm rebars from side to side, with a distance of 30mm between each bar.
The grill will need to have its self-standing legs, these can be one on each corner.
The steel grill should be 10cm -12cm high from the countertop.
Installing a fire cradle is optional, but will help you manage your coals and fire better.
Now you need to build a cradle for the firewood logs to sit for your fire. Keep in mind that they will drop hot charcoal into the cooking pit. A simple V-shape design should be enough to hold the wood and allow the coals to fall so you can access them.
Optional you can install a chimney on top of the asado: it is crucial to remember that the smoke must leave the grill through a good draft. For that, it is necessary that it should be long enough to pull the oxygen through, it has a bell with a flue, and the crown isn’t too big.
Now you have finished building your Argentine asado grill you can start enjoying your grill and cooking the most delicious meats the true Argentine way.