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Primal Grill With Steven Raichlen: Gaucho Grill

Airs Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 12 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: American Public Television

Above: During this season of the public television series "Primal Grill With Steven Raichlen," the grilling guru goes global, with 40 new recipes inspired by his travels around the world. Recipes include Balinese lemongrass prawns and Brazilian fogo de chao (campfire barbecue), South Africa's fiery piri piri chicken wings, Spain’s salt-grilled chuleton (rib-steak) and Thai-inspired grilled bananas for dessert.

Wood Grilling Tips

If you prefer grilling and smoking with actual logs, it is advisable to cultivate a local source as wood is expensive to ship. Use dry, well-cured woods only, and store them away from the house.

Always use hardwoods, such as alder, maple, pecan, locust, oak, hickory, apple, cherry, or mesquite. Avoid resinous softwoods like pine and fir as they produce too much soot and unpleasant—even dangerous—residues.

Wood chunks are more readily available, and are a cinch to light in a chimney starter: Simply ball up three or four sheets of newspapers in the bottom (or use a paraffin starter), fill the chimney with wood chunks, and light the papers. You should have blazing wood chunks in 15 to 20 minutes. Dump them in your charcoal grill and spread them out evenly over the bottom, adding fresh chunks as needed.

Keep in mind that wood can produce a hotter fire (and a lot more creosote) than charcoal, so always keep the grill uncovered. And as always, never desert your post. More tips

Grilling guru Steven Raichlen returns to offer viewers more easy-to-follow instruction, step-by-step techniques and mouth-watering barbecue dishes. This year, Steven goes global, with a sizzling exploration of grilling around the world — from Balinese lemongrass prawns and Brazilian fogo de chao (campfire barbecue) to South Africa's fiery piri piri chicken wings, Spain’s salt-grilled chuleton (rib-steak) and Thai-inspired grilled bananas for dessert.

The series features more than 40 new recipes inspired by Steven's diverse travels and his new book, "Planet Barbecue." In field segments, Steven covers both the basics and finer points of spices, produce, seafood, meat-cutting and more to help viewers take their grilling to the next level — and beyond. This season also brings back Steven's cozy fireside chats about his personal grilling experiences and philosophy.

"Gaucho Grill:" Gaucho describes the cowboys of northern Argentina and southern Brazil. These rustic cattle herders developed a simple yet powerful style of grilling over an open wood fire, a tradition still celebrated around Planet Barbecue today. Here are three indispensable gaucho favorites: Chicken roasted in a salt crust, from Uruguay’s celebrity grill master, Francis Mallmann; the monster beef ribs that made the reputation of Brazil’s famous grill house, Fogo de Chao; and a dessert from Brazil’s cattle country, a pineapple you roast on the rotisserie.

Recipes from this episode:

Chicken in a Salt Crust

Gaucho Beef Ribs

Brazilian Rotisserie Pineapple

Salsa Verde (Garlic- Parsley Sauce)

Steven Raichlen demonstrates wood grilling

Steven shows how to use a large wood grill to cook a traditional Argentine filet mignon, peppers and eggplant over oak. Visit for more tips and recipes.

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