The topic of Santa Maria BBQ was red hot here on the 4th of July, with our blog traffic spiking for obvious reasons. Indeed, Independence Day is one of the year’s biggest days for barbecue, and folks were logging on to learn how to do it with true Santa Maria style.

Meanwhile, in the neighborhoods of Santa Maria, the red oak smoke wasn’t hard to find on July 4th. For example, check out this story in the Santa Maria Times about one group of neighbors shutting out traffic to throw a barbecue block party: “A safe place for children to play, an easy way to get to know neighbors and a time to celebrate with fellow countrymen and women. That’s how Santa Maria residents validated blocking off sections of streets Wednesday in anticipation of the fireworks extravaganza that concludes every Fourth of July…”

Now, in most towns, a neighborhood barbecue simply means rolling out the typical round Weber grills. But not so in Santa Maria. Indeed, check out the photo accompanying the story, showing a big ‘ol classic Santa Maria-style grill with the adjustable screens.

This is what we mean when we say that Santa Maria Style BBQ is woven into the fabric of the community. It’s not a fad or a foodie trend. It’s just a way of life, as it has been for generations, rooted in local ingredients and methods, and always served with a hearty sense of hospitality. Now that’s Santa Maria style!