Santa Maria Style BBQ is world-renowned. What makes this style of BBQ so good? It starts with the type of wood you use.
So what is red oak? Wikipedia calls it “the only California native oak that actually thrives in the coastal environment…it enjoys the mild winter and summer climate afforded by ocean proximity, and it is somewhat tolerant of aerosol-borne sea salt. The coastal fog supplies relief from the rainless California summer heat. Normally the tree is found on well-drained soils of coastal hills and plains, often near year-round or perennial streams.”
Any Santa Maria native will tell you that it does not qualify as Santa Maria Style BBQ if you are not using Red Oak. The red oak adds a mellow smokiness that is distinctive to Santa Maria BBQ.