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We know that to make Santa Maria BBQ there are very few “must haves”. Tri-Tip, Salt, Pepper…and nicely seasoned Red Oak. Even thought these requirements are few, true Santa Maria BBQ cannot be accomplished without these basics.
To those of us on California’s Central Coast, the Red Oak and many of it’s cousins are plentiful. However, to my friends around the country, Oaks are either of a less flavorful variety or nonexistent. These Oaks of California are not “furniture grade”, they have many twists, turns, knots and kinks…not to mention bark that can approach an inch thick on older trees. These Oaks are meant for Sublime Beauty and BBQ. We don’t take the bark off like other BBQ cultures practice; we treat it the precious maker of fine BBQ coals – the wood and bark give a coal bed of unique texture, burn and smoke rates.
In order to find the wood – several commercial wood companies contract to “prune” in the case of the California Live Oak – and cut the Red & White Oaks…It’s illegal to cut down a California Live Oak without a permit….so ask before you buy, exactly what kind of Oak you’ll be getting.
Visiting local newspaper websites will generally provide contact for people that are selling the Oak wood by the cord – these guys typically are for the local customer, and don’t have the ability to box & ship to a customer…this will however be a great way to get lots of wood much cheaper than “by the box” retailers.
I’ve found a great website for locating Oak BBQ woods near you – many will ship directly to you in boxes or bags.
This is a very complete list and incorporates the major regions of California.
After you get your Oak BBQ wood coming, try this BBQ seasoning…
The Rub Co. - “Santa Maria Style” – purchase it at www.greenleafbbq.com – AWESOME rub for this genre of BBQ – and others – The Rub Co. and their BBQ team just won Reserve Grand Champion (2nd place) over all at the Wild West BBQ Bash…using this line of BBQ rubs!
Best of luck to you in obtaining the BBQ woods that made the Santa Maria Style, the equal of every other BBQ culture in the world.
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!
Green Leaf BBQ is excited to present a new online store – we’re even MORE excited to add more unique product. We’ve tried hard to locate quality spices and sauces. We carry complete lines of Weber, Traeger & Big Green Egg.
Visit us when you’re looking for an addition to your BBQ repertoire. We’re adding products every week so check to see what’s new. Store: http://stores.greenleafbbq.com/StoreFront.bok or website: www.greenleafbbq.com
Remember that our store is client driven — if you’d like to see something here, make a suggestion & we’ll try to make it happen.