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New Santa Maria Grill Phase 1: Unload And Set Up (W / Pics)

tx smoker

Master of the Pit
Joined Apr 14, 2013
Well Sunterra pulled out all the stops and got my new grill to Austin in record time. I went to the shipping company's terminal yesterday morning to pick it up. The size of the shipping container was a bit daunting but I know they tend to over-build the crates to protect the contents.

In my driveway. To put the size of the container into perspective, it's in the back of a full sized 3/4 ton Ram. This is a BIG box and so heavy there's no moving it by hand

Packing crate disassembled and here is the grill itself

I took every single piece out of it that could be removed trying to minimize weight

Loaded all the parts & pieces into the utility cart on the back of my wife's little tractor

Even with everything removed, this thing is insanely heavy.
PROBLEM: Getting it off the truck without potentially destroying it or killing myself
SOLUTION: Horsepower and hydraulics. Got the Kubota tractor out and positioned the loader bucket in such a way to slide the grill off the tailgate and into the bucket

Grill safely unloaded from the truck

Cart all assembled. This was SO easy to put together. Everything fit perfectly

Here's where things get dicey. Getting the grill out of the loader bucket and onto the cart. Wheels locked to hopefully stop the cart from rolling, fingers crossed, and let's hope for the best

Mission accomplished!! It went way easier than I thought it would. The worst of the battle is fought...or so I thought

Grill fully assembled and ready to roll through the house and onto the patio (2 pics)


Now I hit a major snag. This unit is just WAY too heavy to lift up over the step from the garage into the house. Got creative and built a set of steps with the 3/4" plywood strips used to build the shipping crate. It was still a difficult task but I got it

FINALLY!! Through the house and comfortably in place on the patio....it's final resting place. This grill will never leave the patio as long as I'm alive....at least not by me.

Here it is nestled next to my BGE. Don't they make such a nice couple??

In retrospect I should have just moved the empty grill on the cart through the house, hauled all the pieces around back with the little tractor, and done the final assembly on the patio. That would have made it much lighter and far easier to get into the house. Oh well....hindsight is always 20-20. Live and learn.

This is an absolutely amazing piece of equipment. The fit, finish, workmanship, and attention to detail are incredible. It's as much a work of art as it is a grill. Construction is VERY solid and heavy duty. It is a grill that's designed and built to last a lifetime.

I've spent my life turning over multi-million dollar projects to very discriminating customers and am well versed in what good customer service requires. Sunterra set the bar in that category. From my very first communication with them, it was as pleasant an experience as one could ever hope for. Gary was incredibly responsive, very informative, knowledgeable about the product and just fun to work with. Even after all of that, he pushed the folks at the distribution center in Eagle Pass HARD to get the grill packed and ready to ship in 1 day so it could get on the truck for this week. Through the entire process, I almost felt that I was his only customer and all he did was sit at his computer and wait for me to email him a question so he could provide an immediate response. I know this purchase didn't carry a 7-figure price tag but I sure was treated like it did.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with Sunterra except for being a VERY satisfied customer. Make no mistake about it, I'd recommend the product, the company, and Gary to anybody who's in the market for a new wood fired grill or oven. My only take-away is that they have a vast product line and it was difficult to decide what I wanted. I finally just decided to go with what I originally started out looking for which was a Santa Maria grill. I simply could not be happier with that decision.

Phase 2 will be forthcoming. Gonna start the mods on this baby that I've been thinking through for the past week. I'm sore, tired, and shed a lot of blood (as well as smashed a few knuckles) getting it this far but it's done. Hopefully the mods will be less painful :-)

Where's the Ibuprofen??
Last edited:

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 28, 2018
Wow, that is a beautiful rig. You have some great cooks ahead of you on that. Very nice. :emoji_cat::emoji_cat:


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Wow, I had no idea those were that well built!
Your going to have to put that in your will, cause it looks like it will last a couple of lifetimes!!


Smoke Blower
Joined Feb 18, 2012
I knew you ordered it but didn't see this post until now. I look forward to future post claiming it's the best one in your collection.

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