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The Craftsmanship Behind Renowned Santa Maria Grills

These grills and the style of barbecue they’re known for originated in the Santa Maria Valley in California. It dates back to the mid-19th century and has become a mainstay in the state’s culinary legacy. These grills are unique in using wood instead of traditional charcoal to create the wonderful flavor of Santa Maria barbecue.

Built with Quality Materials and Workmanship

The investment in one of these grills is worthwhile. Santa Maria Grills often become heirloom pieces that are handed down through many generations due to their quality craftsmanship. Unlike cheaper charcoal grills, these don’t need to be replaced every few years. The materials are strong and durable. They won’t immediately begin to rust and will resist dents. This can save you money in the long run. These grills are typically made of iron and use red oak wood. 

This grill also cooks meat quicker than many other available options. They offer a simplistic alternative to a slow smoker when it comes to creating flavorful dishes. Instead of slow-cooking meats all day long, you can enjoy your food within 45 minutes without sacrificing flavor. Many homeowners appreciate how this makes it easy to entertain larger groups.

Best of all, they’re created for practical use in typical residential backyards. They include a deep metal firebox and have castor tires to make them portable. You’ll be able to pull it out for your cookout and still be able to put it out of the way when it’s not in use.

Some versions are designed to allow them to be built into your outdoor kitchen as a permanent feature. Due to its size and flexibility, catering companies and restaurants prefer this grill when it comes to serving large groups.

Height Adjustment

Rotisserie components are available for this grill and come with height adjustments. Meats can be skewered and slowly turned over an open flame to get the best flavor. An electric motor is used to turn the spit. As the meat turns, the fat bastes it. The result is a tender piece of meat that’s evenly cooked all the way through.

These grills work for fish, pork, poultry, and beef. When adding a rotisserie, the motor easily slides on and off the bracket on the grate. You won’t need any special tools or bolts. Because all of these components are so simple to remove, they’re easily stored away when not in use.

Cooking Grates

Unlike an Argentine grill, these allow you to cook directly over the fire on a grate. When purchasing one of these grills, look for a steel extruded grate with a flat perforated surface similar to cast iron. The grate may include free-floating rods that spin independently of one another. These are rust-resistant and easy to clean. The rods also create those beautiful sear marks everyone looks for in grilled meats.

The adjustable height feature makes this grill perfect for beginners. As the meat continues to cook, you can raise it in order to avoid burning. This height adjustment also means that you don’t need a huge fire to cook your meat to your desired temperature. As long as the coals are burning nicely, the proximity of the meat to the flames provides the right amount of heat. 

You’ll begin by keeping the meat closer to the coals until a nice sear appears on the entire surface. This locks in the flavor and juices. Next, you’ll be able to raise the meat higher so that it can continue cooking. Whether you want your beef rare or well-done, the craftsmanship means that you’re in complete control.

Look for grates that also include a front drip pan. These drip pans catch all of the fat, which can be used for basting poultry.


The quality craftsmanship that goes into these grills makes them an excellent option for many settings. You’ll find them in backyards throughout the country and in restaurants. They can be easily fitted into any outdoor kitchen, or you can find convenient portable versions, all of which stand up to the test of time.