8 reasons why Santa Maria BBQ is next-level


4. 3. Open pits

“What makes Santa Maria so unique is not so much what you cook, but how you’re cooking it,” Stahl says. The barbecue here is out in the open: iron grates suspended by chains over hot red oak logs. Since the 1800s, this style of open-flame grilling has been a hallmark of Santa Maria barbecue. Some say this can be traced back to Spain’s vaqueros (cowboys during colonial times).

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