Gourmet Grilling

23 Dec 2019
6 min read
Argentine tradition meets Swiss precision in azado’s range of superior grills. Using high quality materials and innovative designs, azado makes grilling a truly pleasurable and flavor-filled experience. FOUR speaks to Andreas Nöckl, the maker and visionary behind the asado brand, to find out more…

Tell us a little bit about azado – when, how and why was it founded?

azado was founded in 2010, when we were about to start an Argentinian catering company. Back then, our first challenge was the fact that we couldn’t find an Argentinian BBQ on the European market. So the solution was to just built one ourselves – which we did in my neighbor’s garage, as we had no tools and machinery ourselves. The grill was all about the original Argentinian tradition, but built with the Swiss quality and precision that we were used to from the machine engineering here in Switzerland. That is my professional passion, so I knew all about that.

Can you briefly describe the brand, its philosophy and the products it offers?

azado is a Premium Grill brand which combines the over hundred-year-old Argentinian tradition with the Swiss quality and innovation of tomorrow. Our philosophy is to create a grill with extraordinary functional capacities, high quality materials and a unique design that is fun to use, that you’re proud of and that you will use for a long time – something sustainable. An azado will leave a long-lasting impression like the experience of people sharing happiness and food with their friends. With this vision, we have reinvented the ordinary grill, so that people look at the azado as if it were a piece of furniture belonging in your garden, more than just a grill.

How did you get into this industry?

In 2010, we attended Manuel’s sister’s wedding, who married Guido – the asador (Spanish for barbecue chef) from Buenos Aires. As is the rule in Argentinian tradition, there was an asado (Spanish for extensive barbecue party) on a self-made grill from leftover metal. The asado was and is a special celebration, where a fire is made with wood logs, Chimichurri (Argentinian herb sauce) is prepared, where grill surface is moved up and down with that special “clak-clak-clak” noise and as much meat is thrown on the BBQ as possible. People are having a beer and a laugh and are enjoying the smell of the smoke and the sizzling of the meat. The atmosphere was just awesome and we will always remember this. Afterwards, we really wanted to repeat this experience and share it with other friends and family.

That’s when the idea was born to start an Argentinian catering business, which failed, but the grill we built for that purpose and we developed over years became our main business.

What is the design process behind creating one of azado’s grill products – i.e. are the designs based on continuous research and development or is it a design that has been passed down over generations?

It is a bit of both. There are traditional elements, which have been passed down over at least three generations. Additionally, there are a lot of modern details that we developed over the first seven years of research and continuous tests. Overall, we have held over 150 BBQs and built four prototypes until we felt comfortable enough to enter the market with our azado grill.

What are the key design elements of the azado grills, and how are these incorporated into the overall design?

The axle on top of the grill is a unique design element, which is as much stylish and functional as it is useful. Furthermore, the massive brushed stainless-steel legs with the big wheels on one side as well as the overall timeless design and its striking view make the azado unique and recognizable.

The products have an authentic Argentinian design– what does this mean and how is this superior to other designs?

These are mainly two elements. First is the axle on top, which allows the grill chef to perfectly adjust the height of the grilling surface and, hereby, meticulously control the heat. Second is the v-shaped grilling surface, which catches 85% of the grease from the meat und collects it in a small cup.

In addition to the above, what else does azado do differently that makes its products stand out against other similar manufactures?

This is in fact our absolute USP. On our grill you can make a fire traditionally on firebricks. Or if you like it quick, you can use our gas element, which transforms the grill into a gas grill within 30 seconds. However, the azado’s ultimate show-stopper is the possibility to light charcoal with gas within 6 minutes. After that you turn of the gas and use the burning charcoal to grill. This is how you combine the advantages of both worlds.

A quick and easy lighting by gas – and an authentic and tasteful grilling experience with charcoal.

Herewith we are answering the Nr. 1 question in the grill business worldwide: gas or charcoal? azado is the answer!

The materials used to create the products are premium – can you give us details on these materials?

The whole azado grill is made from high-quality brushed stainless steel, inclusive every last screw that is used. Furthermore, we use rare woods from the regional area to make all the parts the user has to touch: all the handles, the storage board under the grill as well as the cutti ng board and even the gas knobs. In addition, our grilling surface is made from a special ceramic enameling.

These materials are obviously used for aesthetic purposes, but how do they additionally aid in maintaining a top-class grilling experience?

The main frame, the legs and the wind cover in stainless steel is beautiful, strong and built forever, without any corrosion. Moreover, with this material you can always re-do the nice abrasive image with a little brush-over by hand. So it will look as good as new for a very long time. The black and glossy enameling makes the grilling surface very easy to clean in addition to conducting the heat much faster than stainless steel, which is an obvious advantage for a better grilling result. The wood complements the look perfectly by giving the azado the necessary warm touch.

Is there customization available for the grills? I.e selection of a desired wood type for the handles or knobs, etc?

Yes, indeed there are three different sizes to choose from. You can order all of them with or without gas element. Concerning the wooden details, you have the choice between ash tree, walnut tree or swamp oak (limited edition). Furthermore, you can get a variety of options like stainless-steel cover for the gas bottle cover with the same type of wooden lid on top for the perfect look.

Can you tell us about the different types of grills you have on offer?

There is the “el Maestro” 60×40 cm, the master of every situation, compact and suitable for every balcony. The “el Rey” 80×50 cm, like a king-size big enough for the whole family, and “el Original” 100×60 cm for real men or even for gastronomy. These sizes are also available as built-in versions for outdoor kitchens. Last but not least we offer a fully equipped azado outdoor kitchen, these are individually made for all customer needs.

azado’s grills have some carefully thought out, unique features that contribute to the cooked meat’s distinctly flavorsome taste. Tell us about some of these features that make azado’s grills superior?

The V-shape grill surface will catch 85% of the grease, which prevents the juice and fat from dropping into the charcoal in order that no flames will ruin your meat. As any tiny bit of burned, black piece of meat tastes not only bitter but is also very unhealthy. On top of that the grill surface is tilted 5° degrees to the front so the grease will run down and be collected in a small can. In addition, this will save you time when cleaning your grill.

Furthermore, there is a cutting board underneath the grill which you can use as a side table on the left, if you lock it in just above the handles. Later you will be able to put your ready cooked meat on the board and serve it at the dining table. In the right leg, there is a built-in magnet, which allows you to stick every grilling tool to it – they will elegantly stick to the leg. Evidently, there are a lot of thought-through details, which make life easier for every user.

What is your favorite azado product and why?

My favorite product is the Dubai Grill. This is a unique luxury grill made with 24-carat gold and Lalique crystal. Originally it was made for an exhibition in Dubai. It is worth $250’000, and it is so stunning and exclusive that I can still not believe that we made this unique luxury piece of art. It really is unbelievable how crazy it looks and how the different materials suit together.

We have raised the joy of barbecuing to a whole new level with this 140-kilogram colossus. We teamed up with the French crystal manufacturer Lalique – and hereby clearly express their vision of luxury. The details such as handles, glass tray and gas regulators have been crafted with colorless crystal exclusively by esteemed designers and gaffers. Lalique’s floral forms exemplify prestige and fondness for details.

The chromium steel pieces were treated with the Black-Inox procedure, which creates a brilliant matte satin finish. Screws, chains and split pins as well as further small parts are made from 24-carat gold. The powerful color effect hailing from the Black Inox harmonises beautifully with the grill’s golden details – and thus represents the interaction between coal and fire. Correspondingly, the wind shield is made from lightweight and heat resistant titan, better known from aviation.

500 hours of planning, developing and manufacturing went into this grill. It has been a long adventure and an enormous challenge, but we are proud of having built the most expensive barbecue in the world: the azado Dubai Grill.

To find out more, visit azado.ch.