April 24, 2023

How To Prepare and Maintain Your Argentine Asado Grill

To achieve a great Asado, you must take care of your grill and keep it in perfect condition. Achieving great Argentine Asados consistently doesn’t come by chance. One of the biggest contributions to a great Argentine Asado is preparation. Like any craft, preparing your Argentine Asado correctly will set you up and put you on […]

Jason Pittock

April 24, 2023

To achieve a great Asado, you must take care of your grill and keep it in perfect condition.

Achieving great Argentine Asados consistently doesn’t come by chance. One of the biggest contributions to a great Argentine Asado is preparation.

Like any craft, preparing your Argentine Asado correctly will set you up and put you on the path to grilling success!

So, how and why should you prepare the grill for the perfect Argentine experience?

Why is preparation important for an Argentine Parilla?

The true Argentine Asado as an authentic luxurious event that traditionally wouldn’t happen often. This gathering of friends family and loved ones for this special cuisine was an important highlight of the week month or even year. 

Argentineans have suffered under the burden of bad economic conditions for more than 2 centuries. This has meant that Asados are not taken lighlyt, and due to this many, a generation has passed down the ritual of preparing the grill and taking extra care in the preparation of the Argentine Asado. 

Grilling doesn’t come cheaply, it takes time, effort, and resources to put on a true Argentine Asado experience, therefore understanding the basics of preparation will make your grilling session a spectacle that many will not forget. 

Taking care of the grill

Will start by taking care of the grill and making sure it is always impecable! 

Spending a few minutes cleaning your grill will make a world of difference to the end result of the Asado. A dirty grill can ruin the flavor of the Argentine “parilla” and also add extra grease to whatever you are grilling. Not to mention that it can smear the meat and give it not so nice appearance!

Top tip alert: Make sure to clean the grill before removing the ash and coals from your Asado. 

If you have a traditional brick-and-mortar fixed grill, ideally you can clean it while it is hot so it will be easier to get the grease out of the steel. While the grill is still hot you can use a wire brush (see picture below) dipped in hot whatever or cold white vinegar. Thoroughly go over the entire grill to remove any grease that remains. You will notice that the grease will drop through to the ash and coals, this will help soak it up making it easier to remove. 

Do not use any chemicals or detergents. Only water or vinegar. 

If you have a loose rack you can put the rack onto the flames and let the flames burn off all the excess fat or grease. This step will completely eliminate any remaining bacteria.

Once you have brushed down the grill you can wipe it down with some old newspaper, cardboard, or paper towels. Make sure the grill isn’t too hot when you wipe it down!

Asado cleaning wire brush:

asado wire brush

Removing excess ash and coals 

Now that you have cleaned your grill it's important to remove the ash and coals from the Asado. 

Once the coals are completely cold (this can take up to 12 hours if you are using Piquillin firewood), you can carefully remove them with a brush and coal shovel. 

Top tip alert: To avoid the ash creating too much dust you can lightly sprinkle some water onto the bed of ash and coals to consolidate it and avoid it from stirring up to much!

Remove the ash and coals into a bucket or cardboard box and make sure to brush down the corners of your grill to get it completely clean! 

What to do with coals and ash after your Argentine Asado?

I often get asked by my guest and community “What do you do with the excess coals and ash after your Asados?”

There are a few ways you can dispose of your coals and ashes after your Asados:

  1. Use it as an organic fertilizer for your flower beds and vegetable-growing patches 
  2. Use it to fend off spiders, ants, and other creepy crawlers! Ash works as a great natural deterrent without actually harming them. 
  3. Use it to help with your compost! 

Ash from hard firewood is packed with natural minerals for your garden and plants, make good use of it, before throwing it in the trash!

Argentine Asado Grilling Team

Tongs, Coal Shovel, and Forks

Your Asado Tongs, Coal Shovels, and Long Forks are most likely your weapons of choice when it comes to maneuvering your Parilla and keeping your Asado under control. These tools should be looked after and maintained. 

Here on the Argentine Asado channel, I take good care of my tools so they can take good care of me when I am in front of the grill and fire!

When you have finished using them, rub them down with warm water and an old rag or paper towel. I then take good care to dry them after, removing excess grease or fat from the handles or steel. 

Every 6 months I make sure to sand down the wood handles of my tools and re-stain them so they are always looking fresh and sharp!

Chopping boards and knives 

Your knives and chopping boards are crucial elements in your Asado therefore I highly recommend looking after them accordingly.

Depending on the brand of your Knives and Chopping board these preparation maintenance techniques may not be necessary.

Once you have finished your Asado it is important to clean your boards and knives so you can pack them away in optimum conditions until next time.

How to clean your main grilling cutting knife

  1. Rinse any superficial material from the blade using a rag or cloth
  2. Rinse off the blade with warm water and a small amount of soap or detergent 
  3. Remove all grease from the blade and handle 
  4. Rinse the blade and handle in warm water 
  5. Dry with a rag or towel

A few important points to remember when cleaning your grilling knives:

  • do not use boiling water as this will heat up the blade and lead to the contraction and expansion of the material, potentially disrupting the blade and wood.
  • do not put your knives in the dishwater.
  • make sure to handle the blade with gloves or maximum precaution as it can easily slip and cut. 
  • do not put your knife away if it is still damp.

Top tip alert: If you want to take your knife care to the next level there are special knife oils and greases to keep your knives in top condition, especially the blade.

How to clean your cutting board

  1. Rinse any superficial material from the board (wood or plastic) using a rag or cloth
  2. Rinse off the board with hot water and a small amount of soap or detergent.
  3. Using a rag or brush clean off all grease and excess material
  4. Rinse the board in hot water 
  5. Dry with a rag or towel 
  6. Stand the board on its size and let it dry

Top tip alert: Always check both sides of the board as they can get both get dirty during your asado! Check underneath while cleaning! 

Other important considerations for preparing and maintaining your grill

As we have discussed in this article care, preparation, and preventive maintenance are important. 

It is also vital to take care of the exterior of your grill. Whatever your grill is made of, make sure to look after the structure and exterior of your grill.

Make a quick check every few months that the exterior paint is in good condition and that the walls have no cracks. If you notice small areas of rust, you can catch it before it spreads! And the same goes for cracks in the walls or the internal walls. 

Also, if you have a gas grill, try to cover it with a tarp to protect it from weather conditions. If your grill is brick, try putting up some doors or cover so it stays protected all year around!

Don't forget to always wear protective gear like gloves and even goggles, as some particles from the embers and ash can fly around and irritate your eyes.


Like any art, preparation is the main ingredient for success. Having clean tools and an impecable grill elevates your grilling experience, directly impacting the results of your Argentine Asado! Go ahead and make sure you prepare for your next Asado, maintain your tools, and notice how your grilling goes from good to great!

Happy grilling. 

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