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 Sunday.
BBQ rage from the west 'Ranchers
Tri-tip Sandwich' makes debut at Atlanta Fall Festival
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[September 07, 2018]
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
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.
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.
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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