How to start a fire on a Santa Maria Grill?

There are several methods on how to start a 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 is 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 stacking 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 this 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. The burn hotter and last longer than soft woods 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. 

Total time: 5 minutes

Supplies

  • Propane
  • Wood – Coal
  • Match – Lighter

With Propane Or Natural Gas:

  1. Stack the wood in a log house method.
    1. Two parallel to the burner and two opposite the first two keep building up like a cabin until your 2-3 stacks high.
  2. Light a match and place it on the burner. 
  3. Slowly turn on the propane or natural gas. 
    1. 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:

  1. Place Auto light charcoal in the middle of the grill – or – place small dry kindle (typically pine) 
  2. Stack the wood in a log house method or Tepee. 
    1. Cabin: Two parallel to the burner and two opposite the first two keep building up like a cabin.
    2. Tepee: Place wood pointing up in a triangle shape. 
  3. Light a match and place it on the charcoal or dry kindle
  4. 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

Many of our customers are curious on how to start a fire in a Santa Maria Argentine Style Grill that doesn’t have a door or have air flow vents. In this vide…
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.