Santa Maria Style Barbeque – Best BBQ in the West!

Santa Maria Style Barbecue Chicken


Santa Maria is famous for its’ Santa Maria Style Barbecue, and for good reason!  It tastes great!

Barbecue Chicken Santa Maria Style

 The recipe for Santa Maria Style BBQ is simple, Santa Maria Tri Tip and Santa Maria BBQ Chicken can’t be beat!  Drive down Broadway any Saturday from spring to fall, and you’ll be enticed by the incredibly good barbecue aroma!  For a lazy Saturday afternoon, here’s a suggested route to see what’s cooking!  From the 101, exit Clark and head west into Orcutt, stopping first at the intersection of Clark and Bradley.  There’s usually a fund raising barbecue in the Longs parking lot.  Next, continue down Clark to highway 135 – Broadway, and head north on Broadway.  The next likely spot for a fundraiser BBQ is at the intersection of Betteravia and Broadway, again in the Longs parking lot.  This is where I found the worlds best barbecued chicken today, a fundraiser for the Coastal Xtreme Girls 14U trip to the World Series in Park City, Utah.  (Check the photos and recipe tips from the master bbq chef!)  If you don’t find Santa Maria style barbecue at this intersection here, just continue north on Broadway, and enjoy your tour through Santa Maria in search of the worlds best barbecue!  As you drive down Broadway, on a nice Saturday, anytime from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, you’re sure to find the worlds best barbecue tritip and chicken! (If you have barbecue envy and need a new BBQ – check out

Worlds best BBQ Chicken - No kiddin!

 Here’s the happy crew I found out and about on May 17, 2008 at the corner of Betteravia and Broadway in Santa Maria!  Darrell Cosand (smiling gent second from left) was kind enough to allow me to interview him and his fantastic Santa Maria style BBQ team, and shared ALL of their secrets for the best flavored BBQ in the entire world!!!  (In my humble opinion!!!)  

I guarantee you, it’s the best barbecue chicken in the entire world!!! (IMHO  ; – )

8 responses to “Santa Maria Style Barbeque – Best BBQ in the West!

  1. I am trying to organize a charity fundraiser. Any helpful hints?

  2. Hi Toni – Good luck with your charity fundraiser! Are you going to have a public BBQ? If you click the links above you can get the recipe for the huge fundraiser I wrote about. One thing that’s helpful is to pre-sell your tickets – you’ll get an idea of the quantity you want to sell. Check with the public health dept. in the city or county where you want to have your BBQ. The health dept will give you all the info you need on how to obtain a permit, and what you need to do to pass the inspection. You might also try to ask your local grocery stores if they would be willing to donate any supplies, or sell the meat or chicken at cost. Most large grocery stores have a budget for charity donations. (Be sure to write them a thank-you note if they donate!) You’ll want to write a press release to get the word out about your event!

  3. Do you remember what spices the chicken was seasoned with?

    • Hi Steve,
      Thanks for asking for the recipe! Please keep in mind this is a recipe for a BBQ Chicken Fundraiser, so the amounts of seasonings are enormous! I’ll list them here, and then suggest how you can cut them down. (Use the 1 part this to 2 parts that method… meaning, the smallest ingredient is the pepper, so that’ll be the 1 part. So say 1 tablespoon pepper, 2 tablespoons Lawry’s, 4 tablespoons garlic salt…)

      Recipe for Santa Maria Style BBQ Chicken for a Fundraiser
      Courtesy of Darrell Cosand and the Girls Coastal Xtreme 14 U BBQ Fundraiser Team

      800 Chicken Halves
      20 OZ Garlic Salt
      10 OZ Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
      5 OZ Ground Pepper
      (Optional Onion Salt)
      Peanut Oil (Or any vegetable oil)

      Use red oak for your fire. Mix the seasonings. This bbq crew emptied the contents from the big shaker jars the condiments came in, mixed them up and returned them to the jars so they could use the shaker lids. This bbq crew also used a new clean spray bottle with a fine mist, filled it with the oil, and sprayed the chicken when they put it on the grill, after they sprinkled the seasonings on. (So, season first, then spray…) (I’ve seen other crews sprinkle the seasoning on before putting it on the fire, and using a big pan to catch the excess seasings. Your choice here, doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference.) The chicken is cooked slowly, with the grill pretty high, and the crew said it took about an hour and 10 minutes for the chickens to cook most of the way through. That was the secret to this incredibly good chicken – take it off BEFORE it’s done. You’re aiming for a golden color, not brown…. Then comes the interesting part – On a different bbq grill you’ve got a HUGE kettle going with a steamer rack on the bottom, into which you’ve poured a couple of beers, to steam. Place the chickens on the steamer rack and close the lid to steam the rest of the way done. The bbq crew said you could leave it in the steamers anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours. So you get the great flavor from the seasonings and red oak, the beautiful color from bbqing, and the wonderful juicy tender texture from steaming the chicken. This really was the very best chicken I have ever had anywhere at any time!!!

      Hope that helps! So now the interesting question – are you planning a bbq fundraiser – when – where – and can we come????

      Penny – the blog moderator and Santa Maria Style BBQ fan

  4. I use to live in Santa Maria and would regularly enjoy the tri tip as a child. There’s a bbq joint in San Francisco that makes “Santa Maria tri tip” but it isn’t the same. I need to plan a day trip just to each the food. Don’t forget the delicious baked beans! 🙂

    • Hey Stephen – I hear ya – there’s nothing like the food back home! Funny, I used to live in San Francisco, and I can still smell the Henry’s Hunan spicy foods, still crave the burritos at La Taqueria at 25th and Mission. I wish I could still eat a simple meal at Dipti Nivas on Church, am I dating myself? Please tell me that the Scandinavian Delicatessan is still there on Market Street near the Castro. I wish I could get a ham dinner right now! Maybe we should trade Santa Maria for San Francisco for the weekend!
      Penny – the blog webmaster

  5. were would i buy the graet Santa Maria tri tip season salt i would love to get a hold of some can you please help me

    • Hi Linda,
      The Far Western Tavern in Guadalupe sells the Susie Q Brand of seasonings on their website. They not only have Santa Maria Style Seasoning, they have bean seasonings, a Santa Maria Style Salsa, Citrus Rib Glaze, Beef Jerky, and Santa Maria Strawberry Pie Glaze. You can purchase gift packs, aprons, and grilling tools for your own backyard get together. Here’s the website: A word of caution if you’re allergic to MSG. They have two types of Santa Maria Style BBQ seasonings, which they sell locally. One HAS MSG, the other DOESN’T have MSG. The both taste great. Since I’m allergic to MSG I always check first!
      Thanks for asking, have a yummy BBQ!
      Penny – the blog moderator

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