BBQ rage from the west 'Ranchers
Tri-tip Sandwich' makes debut at Atlanta Fall Festival
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[September 06, 2018]
Change is coming to the annual BBQ
chicken dinner at this year's Atlanta Fall Festival scheduled for
September 6, 7 & 8.
Since 1946, the Atlanta United Methodist Church has prepared a meal
at the Fall Festival and since 1958 the meal has been BBQ Chicken.
Mr. Dick Applegate, now 94, helped organized that original meal and
still helps supervise each year.
This year, the AUMC men will introduce a "Tri-Tip" sandwich meal to
the community, using a "Santa Maria" grill fabricated by Bill
Blankenship, another member of the Methodist Church who has a long
association with the annual BBQ Chicken Dinner.
Blankenship said they are trying to get the word out about the
change. He said, “We have been making BBQ chicken for 60 years and
it used to be popular, but interest is diminishing. We have used
55-gallon barrels welded together to make the chicken and it takes
many guys to prepare it. We have questioned whether to keep doing
Blankenship said at the church, they decided they want to improve
the meal by doing something new and different and get more people
there and involved. Several generations work together to prepare the
Blankenship said on a trip out west, he discovered that tri-tip
sandwiches were very popular. At one campground, Blankenship met
someone who makes them for a living.
Blankenship said the tri-tip is the beef off the tip of a sirloin
and it used to go in hamburger. He said if the tri-tip is cooked in
thin layered strips with the right seasonings over a wood fire, it
is very good.
Blankenship said tri-tip is popular for outdoor events, but you must
slice the meat thinly, know the correct spices to use, and know how
to cook it correctly over a wood fire.
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This custom made ‘Santa Maria’
grill fabricated by Bill Blankenship will to be used by the United Methodist
Church men to grill thinly sliced, perfectly seasoned sirloin. Tri-tip
sandwiches are extremely popular to the west. The UMC dinner is from 5 – 7 p.m.
on Saturday in the Atlanta Community Park. A different meal is featured each
night with family friendly activities throughout the park Friday evening to
Seeing how the tri-tip was cooked, Blankenship took photos of the
grill he saw out west to get ideas on how to make one and built one
of his own.
The grill is called a Santa Maria grill because years ago in the
Santa Maria Valley of California, ranchers did not have charcoal and
devised their own cooking methods. The ranchers had to find a way to
raise the meat up and down, so they devised a system using crank
wheels and adjustable grates that would raise the meat. Soon others
started making these grills.
Santa Maria grills are now popular with many pit masters according
to one website and top of the line ones can cost a few thousand
dollars. Blankenship said the one he put together will be used for
many upcoming meals.
Come on out to the Atlanta Fall Festival and enjoy the delicious
tri-tip sandwiches prepared by the men of the Atlanta United
The AUMC dinner is held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Atlanta
Community Park where all other activities take place. Different
meals and activities are featured each evening, all with a family