Argentine Grilling Marinades: Chicken, Steak & Seafood


In our last blog post, we talked about the mystery of where chimichurri got its name, as well as some of the misconceptions about this sauce.

(For example, it’s not “Argentinian ketchup.”)

There seems to be some debate online about whether chimichurri should only be used as a condiment, or can also function as an Argentine grilling marinade.

“While some recipes for chimichurri use it as a sauce, using it as a marinade opens up new flavors and tenderizes less tender cuts of meat,” writes Kathie Smith of The Blade. “In order to tenderize, a marinade must contain acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, yogurt, wine, or vinegar, or a natural tenderizing enzyme found in fresh papaya, ginger, pineapple, and figs, according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.”

So today we’re going to talk about marinades, by offering two different recipes for a marinade you can make the next time you’re ready to grill.

Argentine Grilling Marinade Recipes

First up, here’s an Argentine grilling marinade for seafood or chicken dishes that comes from The Food Network program Melting Pot:


½ tsp of saffon threads
1 tbs. of lemon juice
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup of white wine vinegar
1 Spanish onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup of Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp of freshy thyme
Salt and pepper

Steep the saffron in lemon juice for five minutes, then combine all the other ingredients, and keep covered. It should yield about 1 and ½ cups.

Our second marinade is for steaks. More to the point, churrasco cut steak, otherwise known as skirt steak. These cuts are typically marinated to add flavor and tenderness. Here’s what you’ll need:


3 heads of garlic (30-40 cloves)
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black peppercorn
1 cup of orange juice
¼ cup of fresh lime juice
¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of minced onion
2 tsp of oregano
1 cup of Spanish olive oil

Mash the garlic, peppercorns and salt into a paste, then stir in the fruit juices, oregano and onion. Let this mixture rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Whisk the garlic/juice mixture with olive oil until it’s well blended.

Place your meat in a large pan or bowl, and add enough marinade to coat it. Cover the bowl/pan and refrigerate it. The meat should stay in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours, but should ideally marinate overnight before grilling.

To get the true Argentinian grilling experience, you need an Argentine-style grill. Gaucho Grills can help. Our grills are modeled after traditional South American designs, creating a dining experience that will impress your guests as much as the meal you’re serving.

And if you don’t have time to put together a marinade, remember that we sell our own Argentinian sauces. Visit our website today to learn more about our grills and accessories. Enjoy!