Santa Maria Style Grilling

Discussion in 'Grilling Beef' started by 90beater, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. My wife and I had our four year anniversary this week. We were working so we had the family over to celebrate today with a BBQ. While the smoker was working on more jerky today (see my thread in the jerky forum) I started up the Charcoal/Red Oak combo for some Santa Maria style grilling. I put in a lot of chunks of Red Oak in and let some burn down before putting on the chicken. Both the chicken and rib eyes just got a light coating on Jockos mix (Salt, Pepper and Garlic powder).
    I moved the coals to the back of the bbq and added some more chunks as I went along.


    Once the chicken was at 170* I moved it to the top rack and started the Rib eyes.

    The Rib Eyes


    The Chicken


    The Salmon


    The whole table


    If you could only taste that over the internet.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That looks like a feast fit for a king! Nice job!
  3. I got a lot of great compliments on my smoking/grilling over the last couple of days. My dad who is a love it or hate it kind of guy said about the Red Oak grilling “ I’m not one to usually choose chicken over steak but that chicken is damn good son”.  Everyone gave good comments on the grilling. My 12 YO niece couldn’t stop eating the wine jerky.

    Today I took a bag of the jerky to one of the offices I work in and passed it out. The first guy I offered some to took a bite and said  “Wow, that’s good.” He took another and said” WOW, That’s really good.” He took about 6 more pieces.

    I got similar responses from everyone I handed some out too. I also got comments like you should sell this, it’s way better than anything you can buy in the store.  

    I know I like what I have been smoking/grilling but it is great to hear from others that like it as much as I do.
  4. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It look like a great meal .just a dumb Question what is Santa Maria style.
  5. Looks awesome and congrats on the Anniversary!
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'll just hang around at the table!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey Ahron... That's another name for..." California Hippy Q! "...[​IMG]...JJ

    /jumpto bodycontent

    Santa Maria Style Barbecue is a regional culinary tradition rooted in the Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County on the Central Coast of California. This method of barbecuing dates back to the mid-19th century and is today regarded as a “mainstay of California’s culinary heritage.” [1] The traditional Santa Maria Style Barbecue menu was copyrighted by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce in 1978.[2]

    Santa Maria Style Barbecue centers around a beef tri-tip, seasoned with black pepper, salt, and garlic salt before grilling over coals of native red oak wood. The traditional accompaniments are pinquito beans, fresh salsa, tossed green salad, and grilled French bread dipped in sweet melted butter.[3]

    Other items popular in Santa Maria cuisine are chicken, other steaks, and ribs. Western-style baby back Pork ribs are favored over the spare ribs preferred in the Southern United States. When used, barbecue sauce is tomato-based, as with other western states.

    That looks awesome! Congrats on the 4 year mark!...I will hit 24 in June...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pretty close?

    Some say the "Santa Maria" was done with different cuts of meat before they made the Tri Tip famous:

    "The original cut was top-block sirloin. Then, as today, the meat was rolled in a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic salt before being barbecued (actually grilled over medium high heat) over the red oak coals, which contribute a smoky, hearty flavor. In the 1950s, a local butcher named Bob Schutz perfected the tri-tip, a triangular bottom sirloin cut that quickly joined top-block sirloin as a staple of Santa Maria Style Barbecue."

    Also, someone pointed out to me that the coastal oaks around Santa Maria are a different variety from the Red Oaks found in other parts of the country?

    Whatever it is, it is pretty good stuff!

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  9. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks guys for the info
  10. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Red Oak is the local name for Coast Live Oak, used in Santa Maria style BBQ. It doesn't grow on this side of the Rockies and is not to be confused with either Northern or Southern Red Oak, neither of which is native anywhere west of the rockies.
  11. Thanks for adding the information on Santa Maria Style guys. I knew most of the info but I learned more from what was posted. I like this forum more and more each day. It is nice to go to a place where everyone likes to help and not put down those with less knowledge about a particular subject.

    The Red Oak adds a flavor to the meat that can't be described unless you taste it. It make what you cook more bold. The beef was great but the chicken was absolutely more flavorful by coking it over the Red Oak chunks I had. brought home with me.

    I want to do a tri-tip or two next, my question to myself is should I grill it or smoke it.
  12. zoe tipsword

    zoe tipsword Fire Starter Group Lead

    One this I didn't see here mentioned is the type of grill and fire used.

     Santa Maria-style barbecue centers around a beef tri-tip, seasoned with black pepper, salt, and garlic salt  before grilling over coals of native coast live oak, often referred to as 'red oak' wood. The grill is made of iron and usually has a hand crank that lifts or lowers the grill over the coals to the desired distance from the heat. The Santa Maria Valley is often rather windy, so the style of cooking is over an oxidative fire as opposed to a reductive fire that many covered BBQs use.

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