|Gary Knackstedt, NorCal Ovenworks Inc.|
Santa Maria BBQ originated when farmers in the Santa Ynez Valley dug a pit, built a fire using a local hardwood, and threaded pieces of top sirloin onto willow saplings. It turns out that the hardwood native to the Santa Ynez Valley, commonly called red oak, is actually , Quercus agrifolia, Coast Live Oak, which is an evergreen oak that produces smoke with a lovely and intense taste and aroma. This is the true key to Santa Maria Style BBQ, although other oak species can produce excellent results.
When designing a grill for Santa Maria Style BBQ, there are a number of things to consider, the first of which is that the most smoke is produced over a relatively immature fire of red oak if you are lucky enough to have it, or some other species of oak if you live outside of California. The second is that an immature fire burns hot,
|NorCal Ovenworks' Santa Maria Grill|
One of the key differences between Latin American and American cooking is the attitude about beef flavor. Americans often like a heavy smoke flavor, and steak or BBQ sauces on their beef. The Latin American palate is geared toward a beef with a slight smokiness, and contrary to popular belief,
|NorCal Ovenworks' Uruguayan Grill|
Cooking oven embers significantly reduces the severity, intensity, and frequency of flareups, but fat
|NorCal Ovenworks' "Baby Bear" Model Argentine Grill|
That's all for now. I wish all of you might have a great week, filled with at least a little sizzle and the scent of burning wood and grilled meat!