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Santa Maria BBQ Rub

Santa Maria BBQ Rub - Fine Grind

We recently wrote an article for Barbecue Mag Online that featured several Santa Maria BBQ recipes. This dry rub recipe is featured in that article.  We find that it brings out much of the natural flavors of meats and vegetables while maintaining simplicity.  This recipe can easily be made into a larger batch and stored in your pantry or spice cabinet.

Santa Maria Dry Rub:

5 Tsp. Kosher or Sea salt

2 Tsp. Black Pepper

2 Tsp. White Pepper

1 Tsp. Onion Powder

3 Tsp. Granulated Garlic

* To add more heat, add 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper flakes.

Suggestions: When making a dry rub, try to keep the ingredient “grinds” similar.  They will be much easier to apply in an even manner.  One more suggestion, smaller grind will melt into the meats faster and bond better during the cook. Rub a good olive oil onto the meat surface prior to seasoning, doing this will allow the dry rub to adhere better and dissolve even more quickly.

Check out the entire article in Barbecue Mag Online: www.bbqmagonline.com

So we all know that steaks like to be cooked HOT.  I’ve cooked plenty of steaks this way & as long as they have good marbling, they come out great.  This usually means steaks like a Rib Eye in the USDA Choice category at a minimum.

Carrie and I stoked the Egg one eve and whipped out this amazing steak cooked at over 700 degrees in the Egg.  Keep in mind that as long as the internal temps in a steak stay around 120 -125 degrees – the meat stays red and juicy inside.  When the temps get higher than that, the steak begins to cook through.  Your job as a BBQ master is to cook that steak in as little time as it takes to lightly char the exterior & leave a tender pink interior with as little grey around the edges of the pink as possible.  Of course if the preference is more of a medium or we done steak -LOWER the temps at which you cook it.

For what is’s worth, many steak afficionados love the Medium Rare steak & that is my taste as well…

We used some of the Rub Co. “Santa Maria” product as our base & added butter, garlic & rosemary near the end.   I like to add the herbal ingredients late in the cook so that the flame doesn’t just burn them off – you can see the coarse garlic & rosemary in the photos.

If you haven’t tried this style of steak cooking – it will probably take some practice – everything happens pretty fast.  Don’t give up, as the reward is all the equal of a Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris etc. type of steak -except the price!  So go fire that BBQ, get your self a great cut of meat and go to work!

“This sumptuous feast of barbecued sirloin, salsa, Pinquito beans, toasted French bread, and green salad has been called by Sunset Magazine, the “best barbecue in the world””

Simple aroma of the Red Oak burning in the bottom of an iron pit.  The hot smokey air surrounds everything, changing everything. The deep crackle of the big oak logs, the fire is preparing to give up its gift.  Men in jeans and boots, as authentic as the aroma itself prepare the 4″ thick Top sirloin “Block” steaks or tri-tips.  Preparation is simple – shaking on some coarse garlic, salt & pepper.  We have a few beers – waiting. We aren’t going to trim very much – the fire will need that.  Families are happy, women talk. The fire wisps and cracks as we lower the iron grate on the rotating shaft. We control heat with the movement of the grate.  This scene has been repeated thousands of times, more in this Central California region.  We know nothing else.  This is our lifestyle.  Every important event. Every sad event. Grill marks, weeping, dripping fat into the fire, reddened meat, swollen.  This is my BBQ.  This is Santa Maria Style.

Families grill everyday in “backyard” California.  Our weather is beautiful for 9 months of the year.  Some slow smoke, others charcoal grill, others gas grill.

This style, like other landmark BBQ styles,  is not the “only” way to BBQ, it is just the only true CALIFORNIA BBQ.  It is ours. As simple as the corner of Mill and Vine streets in Santa Maria where the first Tri-Tip roast was discovered.  Bob Shultz stumbled into the core of modern Santa Maria BBQ…only by accident.  This discovery put  Santa Maria BBQ on the map.

The fire lighting tips are simple:

Traditional Oak Pit: as pictured, load it with 5 or so logs and light it up.  When those logs burn down, to coals, put one log in the back of the pit at the edge of the fire.  This log will smolder and give you new coals slowly as the main fire burns down.  Continue to add logs to the rdge of the fire as needed to continue making coals.  Rake or drag the coals to the center as you BBQ. (If you have one of these pits, my information probably isn’t new or revolutionary.  Have patience for those that are new.)

Charcoal grill or any “Stick Burner”: make a fire with BBQ oak wood chunks/small logs make a large pile, light them up, add more until you get a nice bed of coals 3″ thick.  During this process, you probably won’t have seen your grill emit this much fire, so add sparingly to keep the fire manageable.  A person could add charcoal to the BBQ chunks, but that isn’t what we’re talking about here.  This is a process, enjoy it.  Have a glass of wine, enjoy friends around that huge pile of burning oak wood.

Gas Grill: I don’t know what to tell you.  Oak chips soaked in water don’t do it. Use this an excuse to buy another type of BBQ. After all, two or more isn’t bad.

Cooking Tips:

Let the coal bed rest until you can keep the back of your hand over the coals for about 2 1/2 seconds.  It’s gonna be hot…  On the charcoal grills, move the coal bed to one side, block the fire with foil covered bricks or something firm, creating a slightly indirect heat.

In this temp range,  the term “indirect” sorta goes out the window.  We could be looking at 600+ over the fire, and around 450+ on the “cold side” In a charcoal grill, where you don’t have much control of the heat/grill height. Wait until the heat is within the 350-400 degree range before even thinking about putting that $30 dollar 4″ Sirloin Block or tri-tip on the grate.  If you have an Oak Pit, lower the grate as the fire cools to maintain the 350 degree range.  Oh yeah, you probably aren’t going to need that lid on the charcoal grill or Big Green Egg, Weber etc.  Cook this on the grate, moving it around as needed to keep things in line.

Lets see, what else…yeah, your arm hairs may be singed, and you eyes may sting from that cookable clear smoke – that’s a sign that everything is normal.  Just keep that meat moving a bit, don’t burn it & make sure to serve it with a great salad (and strawberries if you can get them)

This BBQ Style will take practice, and will probably cause a newbie some degree of frustration at first.  Stick with it, and you will begin to unconsciously begin to “feel” your BBQ & it’s sumptuous rewards.

We’ll continue to have more on Santa Maria Style BBQ in the future…

I saw this video and thought I’d pass it along. In case you haven’t noticed, I like to focus on techniques that create sound fundamentals.  I’m aware that in order to get great BBQ, many additional techniques are advised that can only be applied when the fundamentals have been established.  We’ll be adding a few of those expert tricks along the way to truly make great Q.

Notice that this guy uses a Weber WSM to cook these ribs.  If a person is using a different style of BBQ, Like a Traeger, Big Green Egg, Horizon Offset or a Gasser etc…keep in mind that the attainable temps may be different and should be accounted for in overall cook time.

Oh yeah, don’t depend on your charcoals flavor – add wood chunks or chips to your BBQ to give it a unique flavor & use a fire starter chimney or paper to light that BBQ — Please no lighter fluid.

Here at Green Leaf BBQ, we’re always looking for someone doing something extraordinary.  We’ve found that in Blue Star Seasoning as they continue to surprise with their seasoning’s unwavering versatility. Our friends Julie Bussemer and Nanette Fisher who own Blue Star, carry on the tradition that began when the recipe was created in the 1950’s.  Made in Stockton California, Julie & Nanette’s operation produces high quality and fresh seasonings, that are truly “a great replacement for salt and pepper”, as Julie says.  If salt and pepper aren’t the hallmarks for culinary versatility, I don’t know what are.

“Everyone claims that their seasoning is all purpose, that isn’t just a claim, they actually do it”,  says Mark Brunello in Rocklin Ca. “We use it on potatoes, chicken, ribs…everything”, he says. We agree, and because of this versatility, Blue Star Seasoning is one that we continually recommend to our customers.  This seasoning combines the traditional garlic, salt, pepper base with some secret ingredients. “The difference between this rub and other similar rubs, is that the Blue Star ingredients are in nice balance…not too salty.

BBQ Rub

BBQ Rub

Mark is the guy who introduced us to Blue Star several years ago.  We just had to add it to the store after tasting Mark’s rib eye steak with Blue Star.

Consider Blue Star Seasonings next time you need something different. Visit our store or website for purchasing options: greenleafbbq.com

Cooking Tips: One of our favorite pairings with Blue Star is on a Tri-tip.  We season liberally, and let stand (covered) in the refrigerator prior to cooking for at least 30 min.  We like to smoke our Tri-Tip using a Traeger Pellet Grill w/mesquite pellets at about 25o Degrees for almost 2 hours then turn up the heat to finish. When internal temps reach 145 Degrees, pull it off the grill and rest the meat prior to slicing.  We make a consious effort to slice the roast AGAINST the grain – it makes a huge difference.

Visit us: www.greenleafbbq.com

Green Leaf BBQ strives to take a fresh approach to the old ways of backyard cooking. Barbecue has brought families and friends together for years and we believe that fresh air and great food will always be some of the best things in life. We are a unique retail store that carries specialty barbecues and smokers as well as a large selection of gourmet sauces, rubs and spices that come from award winning locals all over the country. At Green Leaf BBQ, you won’t find gas grills, disposable products or lighter fluid. Instead, you can find a lineup of efficient barbecues and smokers, high quality cookware and accessories, charcoals that come from companies with sustainable practices and gourmet food products that are all natural. We offer cooking classes, first fire techniques, new product demos and private instruction. Our goal is to fuel the creative spirit of cooking outdoors by providing the tools to make anyone feel like a gourmet chef.

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