How to Use a Santa Maria Grill?
There are several methods on how to start a grill fire on a Santa Maria Argentine Style BBQ Grills. Some people use kindling, newspaper, and lighter fluid.
These methods are not as reliable. Unless your primary wood is very dry. Typically, the kindling or fluid ignites and burns up before igniting the primary fuel source. The lighter fluid will also add a bad petroleum taste to the food being cooked over it.
The 3 most effective ways to start a fire for cooking on a Santa Maria grill are propane torch, propane | natural gas log lighter, or a small amount of instant light charcoal in the middle of the stacked wood.
Two methods that I use to stack the wood. One is the log house method like Bob demonstrates in the video. This allows for air to enter the middle of the stack creating a hot fire. Another method is a tepee method that allows the fire to climb the wood stack and allows for air to enter from the bottom of the stack openings.
The best woods for a Santa Maria Argentine Style grill are hardwoods. They burn hotter and last longer than softwoods creating the ultimate coals for BBQing. Here on the central coast we use live red oak. It creates a nice sweet smoke and a hot bed of coals.
Other woods that are common are Hickory, Mesquite, and Almond. We recommend when buying hardwood to get a mixture of seasoned and partially wet wood. Use the seasoned wood to start the fire and add the wet wood while cooking.
If you’re trying to learn how to start a fire in a BBQ pit, here are some of the tips you can follow to ensure your fire burns hot.
Use the Right Supplies
You need tinder, kindling, and fuel to start any kind of fire. Tinder is a flammable material that will quickly ignite. Kindling is larger than tinder and is used once the tinder has ignited to keep the fire going.
After that, you need a fuel source to ensure the fire burns for a long period of time. This can be larger logs or wood.
I also recommend using natural fire starting sources whenever possible. Opt for natural fire starters like wood chips, chunks or sticks. They are much safer and won’t affect the flavor of your food.
Have the Right Fire Pit
While you can start a fire anywhere, having something like a Santa Maria grill fire pit helps make the process easier. Once you know how to use a Santa Maria grill, cooking anything is that much easier.
Keep the Lid Open
Keeping the lid open on your charcoal grill is a great way to get as much oxygen in as possible and to ensure the fire starts burning hot.
Total time: 5 minutes
- Wood – Coal
- Match – Lighter
With Propane Or Natural Gas:
- Stack the wood in a log house method.
- Two parallel to the burner and two opposite the first two keep building up like a cabin until your 2-3 stacks high.
- Light a match and place it on the burner.
- Slowly turn on the propane or natural gas.
- Wait for all the wood to ignite depending on how dry the wood is this can take 5-10 minutes.
Using Charcoal or Dry Small Kindle:
- Place Auto light charcoal in the middle of the grill – or – place small dry kindle (typically pine)
- Stack the wood in a log house method or Tepee.
- Cabin: Two parallel to the burner and two opposite the first two keep building up like a cabin.
- Tepee: Place wood pointing up in a triangle shape.
- Light a match and place it on the charcoal or dry kindle
- Wait for wood to ignite depending on how dry the wood is; this can take 10-15 minutes.
Starting A Fire In a Santa Maria BBQ Grill Pit
The video was uploaded on 4/15/2021.
You can view the video here.
The video lasts for 5 minutes.