If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian Churrascaria, you’ve experienced first hand that mouth-watering BBQ delight that only comes from endless caravans of delicious meat. Okay, maybe I’m the only one who feels that dramatic about the full Churrasco experience. Either way, that was what gave me the desire to learn how to make Brazilian BBQ from home. When I first started I didn’t have the slightest idea how to get started
Yes, I lived several years in southern Brazil, but most of my Churrasco experience was obtained eating the food someone else had prepared. Now, years later I’ve developed a system that allows the home cook to be able to enjoy Brazilian BBQ no matter your experience.
When considering making Brazilian BBQ at home there are some factors you want to take into account.
- First, you’re going to want to select the meats you want to grill,
- Next, you need to decide how you want to cook the meat.
- How you season the meat is a personal preference, but it’s important to choose which methods you’ll want to deploy.
- Then plan for a list of the sides you’d like to have with the meal
No Brazilian meal would be complete without some sides. Brazilian sides can range anywhere from pickled veggies to pasta and lots of salads. Be sure to select 2-4 sides and of course be sure to down it all with your favorite Brazilian beverage.
Select The Brazilian Meat Cuts You Want To Grill
You can technically grill any meat in the churrasco style but there are several Brazilian meat favorites we’re going to cover right now.
Garlic Sirloin Churrasco – is a great meat to choose because this can be cooked on 28” skewers or simple bamboo skewers depending on your cooking method. When cut to 1-2 inch cubes, once seasoned and cooked you simply slide off the skewer and serve.
Bacon-Wrapped Sirloin – Is always a winner! The Sirloin doesn’t require any salt because in the cooking process it takes the flavor of the salty bacon and self seasons. I love using smoked bacon because it only adds to the flavor profile and makes this Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Churrasco one of my personal favorites.
Churrasco Chicken Thigh – These little thighs are perfect because they’re a dark meat part of the chicken. They are full of juices that mix well with whatever BBQ rub you choose. I’ve always made my own personal chicken rub that gives the poultry a deep and delicious flavor. You can add your favorite rub.
Picanha – is the crown jewel of Brazilian BBQ. If you were to ask any Brazilian what their favorite meat for Churrasco is, they would most likely tell you Picanha bar none. It is the juiciest, sweetest, and most tender part of the top sirloin roast and I believe this is my personal favorite!
Select The Grilling Method
Grill top: Even though the skewer methods is the most popular method of making Brazilian Churrasco it’s important to note that Grill top is also a popular favorite in Brazil. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard from some close friends that between grill top and Skewer methods, they feel grill top tastes better. I feel someday I should conduct a side by side comparison test, but for now, just know that grill top works about the same way as the American method of Grill top.
Skewers: The skewer method of cooking churrasco is one of the most popular thanks to the gaining momentum of the Churrascaria Rodizio style of serving meat. Smaller cuts of meat should be skewered on to the small size skewers and the larger and heavier cuts of meat should be skewed to the large skewers.
Between the two methods we’ve discussed so far, this one is a little more complicated in regards to how to make churrasco from home, but I believe it is totally worth the extra effort. You will just need to get some extra tools and equipment.
Sous Vide: Cooking in the sou vide method is a fantastic way of ensuring you cook the perfect steak every time! Simply cut the meat into steaks, and seal into a vacuum pack bag or reliable zip-top bag. Cook at 129° for about 4 hours then apply a char to create a delicious crust of the meat.
Decide how you’d like to season the meat
Season Your Garlic Sirloin Churrasco – Melt butter and mix in minced garlic, and garlic powder. Cut top a top sirloin roast into 1-2 inch cubes. Mix the butter and sirloin together in a bowl and let sit for longer than 20 minutes.
Season Your Bacon-Wrapped Sirloin – Take regular slice bacon, (brand and flavoring based on preference) and cut the long slices in half. Cut the Top Sirloin Roast into 1-2 inch cubes and wrap them individually. No need to add any salt because the bacon is salty enough to season the Top sirloin.
Season Your Chicken Thigh – Apply your favorite rub to the chicken thighs. My personal preference for Chicken thighs are bone-in and skin on. This allows me to fold the Chicken thing in two using the bone in the middle as a fulcrum ( I love using the skewer methods with these). I usually let them sit in the rub for about 20 minutes. Now it’s ready for your preferred cooking method whether grill top or skewer.
Season Your Picanha – Take a full Picanha Roast and cut into three even strips along the grain (Skewer Method) Or you can cut the Picanha into steaks. Simply season with Sal Grosso (thick salt – or kosher works great) or making a chimichurri sauce works as a great marinade/serving sauce.
Pick 2-4 Brazilian Sides
Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pão de Queijo
This little cheesy celebrity has been gaining quite a bit of popularity recently and has become a staple in not only Brazilian Cuisine, but even in the world of Churrasco. Many people get their first experience to Brazilian Cheese Bread from going to a Churrascaria, but now you can learn to make Pao de Queijo from home with our very own Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) Recipe.
Brazilian Cucumber Salad
Okay so when you think of Cucumber Salad, many people might scoff at the idea of making quick pickles and using them as aside. I mean let’s face it. Everyone knows that pickles are a condiment, right? Alright, I’m with you, but hear me out on these.
Brazilian Cucumber salad might resemble a recipe for quick pickles but they add a dynamic to the meal if you use them properly. This salad is delicious enough to eat as a stand-alone salad, but imagine pairing a bit of the amazing Churrasco meat with a little bit of the acidic flavors of the cucumber salad! It tantalizes the taste buds! It’s really not that weird I promise, I mean, we use Pickles on hamburgers right?!
Are a super popular street vendor food that makes a quick meal when you’re on the go. I remember going up the street food vendor carts and ordering Coxinhas then covering them with packets of Mayo and Ketchup. I don’t know if these condiments are popular to use all throughout Brazil but many of my Brazilian friends in Santa Caterina ate them this way.
A coxinha is very much the Brazilian version of a chicken croquette, Shredded chicken center, wrapped in a Chicken Flavored Dough, then breaded and deep-fried.
More than just beans, Feijoada might be described as a Brazilian bean stew. Beans at the base but filled with pork, sausage, or beef, both dried or smoked, bacon, onions, peppers, garlic, etc… Each person makes it a different way, but this is a traditional Brazilian cuisine to the max!
Polenta Frita (po-lent-ah Free-ta)
It is a dish that is often served as an appetizer at high-end Churrascarias. Originating from Italian immigrants to Brazil, they would often have leftover polenta (Cornmeal Mush) from a previous meal. They would take it and cut it into strips, dredge them in flour, then deep fry to reheat.
Arroz (Brazilian Rice) Brazilian
Brazil is a country that makes Beans and Rice a primary dietary staple. I wasn’t too excited to learn this when I first went there. But I was wildly surprised to learn that for a country that makes it a staple, they Surely know how to make it! Brazilian Arroz pairs fantastically with Feijoada!
Check out our Growing List of Brazilian Recipes (Coming Soon!)