Santa Maria grill - question

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 14, 2014
I've been looking for a nice santa maria grill with a lid and every time I find one I like it takes more than 7 weeks to get it. I need one less than a month. I have a welder that's done a ton of work for me so I know I can make one. The only part I need help with is the part that raises it and lowers it. Does anyone have any pictures of a cool way for it to raise and lower. I was thinking about using a racing steering wheel to turn it to go up and down, I want a lid so it's got to work with a lid. Anyone have pictures of the track, crank , gears etc.

I'm sure my guy can come up with something but wanted to give him ideas on how other people have done it. Any help would be cool. I'm going to try and build one next week. I found one that was already made but it was a little too big.. So building one at this point is my only choice.
I had a buddy 30 years ago with only work-around-the-house type skills who just happened to be from Santa Maria.  He's where I learned about SM BBQ tri tip.  He built a SM grill pit in his backyard out of cinder blocks and fire bricks as I remember.  The crank mechanism was relatively simple.  Just a bar that extended through a frame.  The bar had a handle on it and chains attached to the grill at the point where the support guides slide the cooking grate up and down the frame.  You could easily replace the handles with a steering wheel!

This isn't a cinder pit but the mechanism is the closest I've seen to what I remember.  His was WAY more heavy duty though.  I don't remember if he had one grate or two. Two I believe.

The lid and all that other stuff you want, let the Leonardo Da Vinci in you go wild!  I've never seen a SM grill with a lid until I Googled it.

My wife just walked over, looked at all the Google images of SM grills, then said "why don't you include a Santa Maria grill in our backyard when you build our outdoor kitchen!"  I didn't know I was building an outdoor kitchen, and now I have to include a SM grill! 

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'm going to try and get one made next week. I was going to build my own smoker but ended up just buying a lang smoker. My next smoker Im going to make. I can get 1/4 steel rolled pretty cheap. But now I want a grill with fire so I can have the best of both worlds. Some stuff is good cook in a smoker and some stuff is better over a fire. 
Well i was going to add a Santa Maria grill to the front of my Lang 84 but decided just to put a grill with double wing doors just like the smoker. So Im adding 36 more inches of 1/4 inch rolled steel. I guess you can say Im turning my Lang 84 into a  Hybrid. Maybe next time Ill build a Santa Maria Grill. It just was not meant to be right now. I think its going to look pretty cool when done. Removed my wood basket. Adding more cooking space. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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