This nifty table-top accessory keeps the grilled goods warm-plain and simple. Drop a few hot coals from the parrilla into the base, place the cooked meats on the top platter, and you’re good to go.
The brasero de mesa is more often found in certain parrilla restaurants than in the confines of one’s home or quincho. Why? Well at home one is probably cooking much more meat than this dinky little tray can handle. Also, the asador takes pride in his/her continued management of the grill and serving while everyone else carves into a chunk of goodness. Not to mention the parrilla is probably in somewhat close proximity to the table. However, it’s nice to have one on hand for small gatherings to give the asador a chance to be part of the fun instead of sweating away at the grill.
In a restaurant it is a totally different matter. If you order a mixed grill, or parrillada, you won’t find the server running back and forth to the parrilla every time someone wants a cut of meat fresh off the rack. Nor does anyone want their meat cooling off before the belly fills up. Nothing is worse than eating a sausage with surrounding congealed fat. Therefore, this cool little thingy allows all of the meat to be served at once while keeping that meat steaming hot so that you and your fellow diners can pick and chose if the next item to scarf down will be a juicy chorizo, crispy offal, or a succulent short rib.
Use common sense when there are hot coals within the brasero. Don’t put it directly on top of or around any highly-inflammable surfaces. Be careful when using outdoors where it is windy. You get the point, I hope, there are hot coals inside!