The History of Brazilian BBQ


Brazilian BBQ is one of the juiciest and tastiest meal you will ever come across (that's why it is our most popular catering service!). At present, you can head on over to a churrascaria, which is a restaurant serving BBQ done the Brazilian way to get a taste of authentic meat cooked using traditional methods. As tasty as the BBQ is, it is great to have an idea how everything started.  

The Gauchos

The history of Brazilian BBQ dates back to the early 1880’s where the Rio Grande do Sul welcomed strong and skillful European immigrants. These people, later on, nurtured the land they occupied and became skilled in herding and in raising cattle which came all the way from Cabo Verde. These cowboys and ranchers were later referred to as the Gauchos.


This is Portuguese meaning thick cuts or slabs of meat. This was how the Gaucho cut their meat in the past. As they would all gather around during meal time over an open wood fire, they would skewer meat from their cattle and cook it over the fire. Using the knives they carry and use out in the field, they would slice the meat putting it on each person’s plate all around. This is how a churrascaria would do it at present where staff would go around putting different types of BBQ meat on customer’s plates. As the Gauchos practised this style of cooking and sharing, Churrasco was already all over Brazil by the 1940s as the Gauchos went all over the nation.

Cooking Brazilian BBQ

The traditional way of cooking Brazilian BBQ is to cut slices of meat. You then rub coarse salt all over it. Many believe that the taste of the BBQ comes from the salt, meat, and smoke from the fire. After letting the meat sit for about 30 minutes soaking in the salt and the flavour, it is then skewered and put over a fire. Depending on the thickness of the meat and how far it is from the fire, you need to rotate it every now and then to cook it evenly.

The skewers mimic how a sword looks like without the sharp edges. You can even put more than one meat on one skewer. One tip in cooking the meat is to have fattier cuts on top so their juices and flavour drip down to the bottom cuts.

A way of life

At present, Churrasco is more than just a way of cooking Brazilian BBQ, it is already a way of life and a brand of identity. Nova Brescia, being the barbecue capital of Brazil as shared by NBC News, even has a statue of a man in the square with a cooking grill.

History of Brazilian BBQ