Oak Wood

Oak Wood

Oak is a hardwood, and is the second most popular type of wood for smoking. Oak has a medium to heavy smoke flavor. Since the smoke isn’t overpowering, and depending on the type of oak, it makes an excellent choice for long-smoked meats, such as brisket. Oak is commonly mixed with other woods for nuanced flavors, such as mixing oak with different fruit woods like apple or cherry. Oak wood is long-burning making it a preferred ‘base’ wood, too. Type of foods that go well with oak: Beef – in whole roasts or steaks Fish and seafood Game meats (lamb does well with oak) Poultry Any foods with a spicy sauce or flavorful rubs – oak for ribs is classic Oak Classifications and Types Oak can be classified into two basic types: red or white. White Oak White oak is harder than red oak in general, giving it a longer burn than red, making the coals long-burning. It is also milder than red oak. Because it doesn’t give off as much smoke as red oak, it is great for longer BBQ cooking or smoking times. Popular varieties of white oak include the Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana), Post Oak (Quercus stellate), and Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa). Red Oak Red oak gives off a sweeter smoke than white oak. Although still a hardwood, red oak isn’t as hard as white oak in general, giving it a shorter burn time. Red oak makes a fine grilling wood, and the smoke is especially suited to ribs and beef. Popular varieties of red oak include the Coast Live Oak or California Red Oak (Quercus agrifolia), Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica), Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata),...

Santa Maria Style Barbecue

Santa Maria-style barbecue is about as California as barbecue can get, making it a uniquely California regional BBQ style. Its pure barbecue taste shines through with the relatively short list of things needed, all having some tie to the Santa Maria Valley: tri tip, red oak wood, and pinquito beans. The history of Santa Maria-style barbecue dates back to the 1800s when ranchers would feed their vaqueros at the end of a long cattle drive every spring. To prevent bastardization of the ‘true’ Santa Maria BBQ, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce copyrighted the basic recipe and menu concept, which is an important community tourist draw to the area. Menu and California Indigenous Ingredients A Santa Maria Style BBQ isn’t the same without these key elements: the basic rub (salt, pepper, and garlic salt), sirloin beef (tri tip for home bbq), Santa Maria Valley red oak wood, and  of course, pinquito beans. Three of the elements are indigenous to California, specifically the Santa Maria Valley region. The history of the tri tip goes like this: a butcher in the Santa Maria Valley decided to cook up a cut of meat previously used for ground beef, and gave it the name ‘tri tip’ due to its triangular shape. It is lean, but cooks up tender on the grill. While it took awhile for word to spread, tri tip now has a IMPS/NAMP classification. The red oak wood that is used in this style of barbecue is actually the Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia, native to the Western California region which ranges from Southern Oregon all the way to the Northern portion of Baja, California (the California Floristic Province). It is classified as a red...