If you are looking for An Argentinian Grill, the Nuke Delta could be for you. After many years of looking for an Argentinian grill, I discovered the Nuke Delta and this review will give you an overview of my experience.
I’ve been a fan of Argentinian Style Grilling since 2010, the year I got married.
I was introduced to the concept of Argentinian style grilling when I was given the book Seven Fires by Francis Mallmann as a wedding gift. You see, my husband and I were going to Argentina for our honeymoon so my blogger friend gave me this cookbook, all about Argentine Style Grilling. After reading the cookbook, I was hooked. If you are thinking of getting an Argentinian Grill, the book 7 Fires is a must have!
As a side note, you may have seen Francis Mallmann on the show Chef’s Table on Netflix. It gives you a good idea of the whole Gaucho Style Patagonian Grilling Experience.
You can find some of my Argentinian Style Grilling Recipes inspired by Francis Mallman in my Skillet Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Grilled Pumpkin Salad Recipe where you roast the pumpkin directly in the coals!
What is Argentinian Style Grilling?
It is hard to summarize the beauty of Argentine Style grilling in one post, yet alone a paragraph, but I will try. Argentina is a super big, geographically diverse country, ranging from Rainforest to Patagonian Ice Caps, with a lot of cattle that originally came from Spain that graze on the fertile planes. Asado/Asador, meaning grill in Spanish, is a noun and a verb just like here in the USA. You can grill (verb), own a grill, and host a grilling event. So ASADO to Argentina is to BBQ in the US- the art of slow cooked meat.
In Argentine Grilling they grill a lot more different cuts of beef than you would typically see in the US. You can get things like Blood Sausage and Sweet Breads, and also less known cuts like Picanha.
Argentina has a huge Italian Influence, and also Gaucho (Cowboy) influence, with the Mendoza Wine country producing great Malbecs, so you really have an amazing eating and drinking experience when you dive into the world of Argentine style grilling.
Chimichurri is the staple condiment served with any steak or beef order when you go to Argentina. When you go out to restaurants, they often just keep it on the table like American Restaurants might put ketchup or salt and pepper on the table.
I’m a big fan of Chimichurri so if you want to give my recipe a try, my Smoked Tri Tip with Chimichurri recipe is great to have on hand for any beef you throw on your Parilla or Asado (ie, GRILL!)
The Argentinian Grill: Parilla or Santa Maria Style
There are two core styles of Grills in Argentina: The Santa Maria Style or The Parilla. The Santa Maria style has a wheel that acts as a pulley to raise the grill grates up and down, Nuke BBQ also makes one of these called The Puma at a price point of $2999. On the Parilla, which is what the Nuke Delta is, you have a lever that lifts the grates up and down. These style grills give you an open grilling experience where you can actually control the coals. See more about that below.
Nuke Delta Argentinian Grill Review
When the Nuke Team asked me if I was interested in trying out their Nuke Delta and giving it a review, I said Heck Yeah! As someone who has been enamored of Argentinian Style Grilling, I couldn’t wait to actually cook over a grill that was set up to cook on actual wood, not just charcoal, and had a Plancha for searing (this is what Francis Mallmann refers to as “The Chapa” in his book. As with any review, I always give my honest opinion, so this is exactly how I feel. I was not compensated for this review but did receive the grill to cook on so I could give a review.
I had learned about cooking on a plancha, which he calls a “Chapa” from Francis Mallman’s book. I had been replicating his Plancha style grilling with a cast iron skillet but this was going to be the real thing! The plancha is very common in Argentine Grilling, where you have a piece of metal over a wood fire, like a griddle where you can sear steaks and veggies or even bake bread, while grilling meat over the open fire flame at the same time.
Nuke Delta Review: Shipping and First Impressions
The Nuke Delta arrived in safe condition and was REALLY well packed arriving in a large box with the grill being shipped on a pallet. It took me quite a while to unbox everything to put it together because almost all the parts were individually wrapped. The main fire box with the refractory bricks were packaged separately from the stand it comes on and it was quite heavy. It was so heavy in fact that we had to use our tractor to lift the box grill to put on the stand for the grill. If you are considering buying this grill, I highly recommend you have two very strong men, possibly three, to lift the grill box onto the grill stand.
Once we got the grill box situated on the grill base, everything else was smooth sailing and pretty much ready to go since the tiles from the inside of the grill were already installed into the main grill/fire box area.
Nuke Delta Review: What’s Included
The Nuke Delta comes with a large cooking surface, enough to definitely full it up with all kinds of food. As far as grilling surface goes, It would be safe to say you could fit two medium sized spatchcocked chickens on or one large spatchcockced turkey at a time to give you an idea of grilling surface area. You can move the grill grates up and down with the lever on the left to put the grates as close to the coals or as far away as the grill will allow. The website says that with 547 square inches, you can cook up to 25 burgers at once. And this is not including the additional square 188 square inches of the griddle.
On the right side is where the wood goes and as it cooks down, it creates charcoal that you can then move under the cooking grates to cook over the coals with the included poker.
There is an included griddle/plancha for cooking directly over the wood- this is perfect for searing veggies or making those griddled smashed sweet potato medallions I was telling you about that were inspired by Francis Mallman!
I love that you have TOTAL control of the fire and where you want to place your coals. Unlike traditional American style charcoal grills where once you have put your grill grates down you no longer have access to moving the coals, with this grill you are in total control!
You are standing in front of the grill with full access to the coals so you can create direct/indirect zones and add more wood and or charcoal as you see fit. It is an great experience to be able to full manage the coals and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love fiddling with the fire? Isn’t that the joy of campfire cooking? And yet now you have it in a grill environment where you get true wood flavor!
Unlike many Argentine Style Grills that are a fully open fire (ie, no lid) grilling experience, the Nuke Plancha does have a lid so you can trap the heat in your grill and do grill-roasting / low and slow on indirect heat trapping the hot air letting the meat roast without being directly over the flame.
The Grill Grates
These grates have a coated surface so the meat does not stick and you also get nice char marks. I reached out their rep to identify what they are made of but have not heard back. All the same, I like coating on these grates- they make for a good grilling experience.
there is a drawer on the grill underneath the fire/grill box area where some of the parts of the grill live to lift the grates. This can be used to warm side dishes and bread. I like this idea and would love to use an infrared thermometer to test the temp to see if it actually got hot enough to bake bread. I see this as a great spot for keeping things hot until you are ready to serve everything to your guests.
The grill came with the plancha (griddle) a fire poker, and a pan for scooping ash.
The current offering on the Nuke Website as I write this in April of 2022 offers the “Master Griller Package” where it includes a skillet, cutting board and a $100 beef package from Wyoming Foods for the price of $1739 which includes shipping.
Nuke Delta: First Cooking Experience
The first time I went to use the Nuke, I didn’t have any firewood and I was anxious to use it, and I figured out that the pallet that it came on was untreated wood so I used that as my fuel. I first fired up a chimney full of charcoal and got that going and then added the wood to the fire so the already lit charcoal could get the firewood going. For the first cook, I had to go prep some food so my Husband happily took ownership of playing with the grill and I could tell he was enjoying it. For this cook, I tried grilling Wagyu Chuckeye Steaks and they turned out excellent. The grill was easy to use and we had people over that night and everyone got a kick out of giving it a try.
Nuke Delta: Second Cooking Experience
The second time I cooked on the Nuke Delta I had some nice Click Akaushi Wagyu Steaks. I loved the experience and I only wish I had more stuff to cook on the plancha but it was a school night and we did steak and a quick salad. The next time I’m going to do smashed red potatoes with rosemary on the plancha.
I LOVE this grill. If you have been wanting to have a true WOOD FIRE Cooking experience, this grill is for you.
What I really love about this grill is that it gives you the ability to really be one with the fire. The plancha is a big deal- while people are going out and buying grills like the blackstone to have a griddle experience, they could have the REAL wood fired grilling AND griddle experience with the Nuke Delta. For the same time investment of starting a charcoal grill like a Weber Kettle, you can cook with real wood and get the Gaucho Grilling experience.
I also love the aspect of being able to control how close your meat and other ingredients get to the fire by being able to move the grates up or down. You do not have this level of control with other grills.
Cost Investment $1739
If you want to have a lot of flexibility with what you cook and how you cook it, the Nuke Delta Argentinian Grill offers a lot of options. Unlike traditional American Grills that don’t give access to the coals, you have full control of the fire and can cook on REAL WOOD without having to invest in a stick burner smoker. And, compared to the price point of other Argentinian Grills I've seen on the market, this is a good deal. I had a friend who is a Professional Welder who builds high end commercial kitchens for a living and he said this grill, in his opinion, was very well made. They use heavy duty crafted steel on this baby and I fully expect it to go the distance, even in the humid climate of South Florida.
This grill gets the GRILLGIRL stamp of approval, I would definitely invest in this grill with my own hard earned money.
If you have purchased the grill and need some tips to get started, I think the BBQ Guys did a good video to give an overview. I linked to it below.
Note, affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a purchase my site makes a small commission and it helps me pay my mortgage. Thanks for supporting my small business!
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