BBQ It Yourself

The beauty of Santa Maria Style Barbecue is that it delivers big flavors while being relatively easy to prepare. You can even take some flavorful shortcuts with Santa Maria Style Barbecue products by the Hitching Post, Susie Q’s Brand and Cowboy Flavor, among others. So fire up the grill and let’s get started!

The Main Course

Create your Santa Maria Style Barbecue rub by mixing one tablespoon of salt with ½ teaspoon of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of garlic salt (for larger cuts and portions, increase ingredients proportionately).

Purchase premium top-block sirloin or tri-tip. Do not trim fat before putting the meat on the grill!

Sprinkle rub evenly across meat. For larger cuts, roll meat in rub, covering the entire surface.

Fill your grill with red oak or other high-quality fuel, avoiding cheap paraffin charcoal. Wait until the coals are red hot with very little flame; spread them out evenly.

Quickly sear meat to seal in flavorful juices, starting with the fat side, then raise barbecue pit screen to prevent burning. When juice appears at the top of the meat, it is time to turn it over. Cook until desired doneness. Medium rare is recommended—which typically takes 20 minutes per inch of cut thickness. (For the original classic Santa Maria Style Barbecue, you can string the cuts of top-block sirloin on rods and cook over red oak coals).

You may trim the fat after cooking. For tri-tip, slice against the grain the long way, not across the triangle. It won’t be a uniform cut, but it will be more tender.

Serve with Santa Maria Style salsa, pinquito beans, tossed green salad and fine local red wine. Finish with Santa Maria-grown strawberry dessert.

Santa Maria Style Sarsa

  • 3 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup finely chopped California green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons snipped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of garlic salt
  • Pinch of dried oregano, crushed
  • Few drops of hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and let stand for one hour to blend flavors.

Pinquito Beans

  • 1 pound pinquito beans
  • 1 strip bacon, diced
  • ½ cup ham, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup tomato puree
  • ¼ cup red chile sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Place the dry beans in a strainer and remove any stones. Then rinse beans and place them in a pot, fill with water and allow beans to soak overnight. Drain beans and put fresh water back in pot with beans. Simmer for 2 hours or until tender.
  2. Saute bacon and ham until lightly browned. Add garlic, sauté 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add tomato puree, chile sauce, sugar, mustard and salt.
  3. Drain most of liquid off beans and stir in sauce. Simmer for half hour more. Keep warm until ready to serve.