- Abundant 547 square inches of height-adjustable cooking space
- Argentinian cooking style: move around the embers, not the food
- Excellent heat retention and dispersal through refractory bricks
- Perfect for the hands-on griller eager to feel completely in control
- Includes rain cover, fire poker, and coal shovel
Do you love playing with fire? Then the Ñuke Delta is the perfect grill for you.
Necessity is so often the mother of invention, and the parilla (“pah-REE-ja”) is no exception. Think back to the 18th century, to the downward tip of South America. Famous throughout Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and their Argentinian homelands were the gauchos — horse-mounted cattlemen not unlike American cowboys. Rustling cattle across South America is hungry work; the gauchos avoided eating too much of the merchandise by using every cut of their beef. To make the tough cuts tender, did they have large pots and endless water? No. But they had wood, and plenty of open space. Thus, the parilla was born: a simple, versatile cooking surface little more than a metal grill grate over a heat source of embers.
That’s exactly what makes this grill shine. Since Argentinian cuisine and grill designs are all about wood-fire cooking, the Ñuke Delta focuses on that experience with excellent results. From fuel stash to powered ash, you build a bed of embers — and this grill hands you the literal lever to the fire. Vent control and wireless apps are for other BBQ experiences; this one is about merging rustic satisfaction with modern sensibility. If a traditional parilla was simply an iron grate over a few bricks, why not raise or lower that grate to switch heat intensities? So long as the flames wind up under the grate, why not simply load your fuel in a firebox at the side and reposition the embers with an ash tool? With the Delta, you get direct coal access and maneuverability and a whole lot of fun.
Built with 265 lbs of medium-gauge painted steel, the Ñuke Delta stands 37 inches tall (or, a little higher than counter-height) on heavy-duty casters made for maneuverability. Refractory bricks measuring 8 ¾ inches by 4 ½ inches (⅝ inches thick) line the entire cooking chamber, which is partly occupied by an 8-inch by 15-inch ribbed firebox. The ribbed firebox holds enough wood splits to create a full cook's worth of embers or detaches easily if you prefer to use charcoal.
Of course, the real star here is the height adjustment lever. Parked on the left-hand side, the lever shifts between 5 locked positions; starting at roughly 3 ¾ inches above the firepit floor, the grill grates peak at 7 inches. While it’s easy to underestimate that range, this is a grill designed to excel at everything heat. In such a refractory environment, even a single inch can make a tide of difference.
Cooking on the Ñuke Delta almost flips the script on typical grilling. Instead of rearranging and repurposing the cooking environment, you’re adjusting the coal bed beneath. In fact, that’s one of the top things we hear from customers: how easy it is to get spectacular results when you can adjust the height or shift the heat source with a single hand. Not that you’ll have to, of course, unless you feel like really piloting this grill. With an interior lined with refractory brick and complete control over where those embers sit, the Ñuke Delta boasts great heat dispersal and control — and it never asks you to touch a cooking grate.
That’s what this grill is really all about: producing great heat, knowing what to do with it, and equipping you to steer the process however you see fit. (Hey, just like a gaucho!) If you’ve ever burned wood splits before, you’re already familiar with how the Ñuke Delta works. Every log-stacking method we threw at this grill gave us reasonable results, so it’s effectively your choice. Getting fully preheated might take between 30–45 minutes and half a dozen splits, but the real joy here is in the spectacle.
Speaking of, this grill loves attention. While it can take a while to start grill-worthy embers, it can do a remarkable impersonation of a fire pit. All the while, those refractory bricks will soak up heat and prepare to get to work. However, bear in mind that ambient temperature is a factor here; this grill will certainly cook in cold climates, but it’ll chew through wood to get there. Gaucho-style grills can only do so much against physics. But once you get that wood crackling, those grill grates will power through whatever you throw on them — we found it delicate enough to brown spiral sausage nicely without cracking the casing, and a tomahawk steak 3 inches thick cooked like a dream.
This grill forgoes complications to excel at its intended target. While the grill might be lighter on features, they’re really not the point. But it does come packed with a few surprises.
Underneath the main cooking area, the Delta supplies a convenient warming drawer. No longer will your breads and side dishes shiver while the steaks sizzle. When you need to work the embers, which will be often, the included 30-inch fire poker and 30-inch ash shovel are ample tools that are satisfying to wield.
At the end of the day, our favorite perk is Ñuke’s commitment to customer satisfaction. The warranty comes standard — that receipt protects you for one year from purchase for manufacturing defects — but what about that hefty transit from South America? Starting with the well-packed box, they slip in several spare bricks as a precaution; if the grill arrives damaged, they’ll outright replace components at no cost. We’ve even heard of some customers getting paint shipped for small scratches. That’s a level of support we don’t often see, and we’re pleased they stand so strongly behind their product.