Texan Tips Hat to Santa Maria BBQ

According to Texas Monthly, the magazine possesses “the only barbecue editor in the country, and the only full-time barbecue editor in American history.”

In other words, there’s a lot of barbecue stories to cover within the borders of the Lone Star state, which makes it all the more awesome that Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn chose to feature Santa Maria in an in-depth article this summer called, “California’s Native Barbecue: What they’re cooking in Santa Maria is unlike anything else.”

In the piece, Vaughn touches on the origins of Santa Maria Style Barbecue and then describes his visit to the Santa Maria Elks Lodge where he was lucky enough to be a guest at one of their member events.

“Santa Maria, a coastal town off of Highway 1, between the beaches of Los Angeles and the San Francisco fog, has a homegrown variation that few outside of its border (and fewer still outside of California) have tried or even heard of,” writes Vaughn. “Santa Maria-style barbecue has a rich, local history, one not too dissimilar from our own history of brisket and how it clambered to the top of Texas’s barbecue heap.”

He goes on to explain that the red oak used for barbecue in Santa Maria Valley is not the red oak that grows in Texas. Writes Vaughn: “There are a variety of species in the oak family, and one native to the Santa Maria area is coast live oak. It’s an evergreen with small leaves, and burns clean without creating too hot of a fire.”

The article does an impeccable job of accurately explaining what Santa Maria Style Barbecue is and is not. We thank you, Daniel Vaughn and Texas Monthly!