In the Santa Maria Valley, barbecue is never out of season. Nevertheless, we must celebrate the advent of National Barbecue Month this May, which always reminds us that the nation’s weather and barbecues are both beginning to heat up in earnest as we turn the corner toward summertime.

Naturally, this is also a perfect time of year to visit and experience the wondrous flavors of our bountiful valley. The temperatures are reaching a perfect pitch, the grapevines are bursting with fresh green growth, the strawberries are in season, and the Santa Maria Style Barbecue is, as always, sizzling.

And no visit to the valley is complete without a meal at one of our landmark Santa Maria BBQ restaurants. Click here for a list of restaurants that showcase this local culinary tradition.

Of course, if you can’t visit right now, you can still become a barbecue hero at home by adopting the methods and ingredients of Santa Maria barbecue. Click here for tips and recipes, and here for a how-to video. Enjoy!