Convert Weber Smokey Mountain into Santa Maria grill to burn wood logs | tri-tip over real wood fire

How to easily convert a Weber Smokey Mountain into Santa Maria grill so that the WSM can burn wood logs & grill incredible Santa Maria style tri-tip over real wood fire…without using tools.

This is such an easy modification to make to the Weber Smokey Mountain (*affiliate link to a smoker like mine if you want to pick one up: that I’m surprised more people aren’t doing it. The key thing to remember is the WSM isn’t designed to burn logs like a actually Santa Maria style open style pit. So if you put the lid back on, the fire will go out and smolder the whole time and you will absolutely hate the results you get. However, if you keep the lid (and the WSM drip pan) off the Weber the entire time, the logs will burn similar to a chimenea.

I usually keep the door for the Weber Smokey Mountain shut after the logs are burning but you could crack it open if you need to in order to keep the logs lit. I haven’t had that issue but it could be helpful for people in higher elevations.

I used the Weber Chimney starter to light some charcoal to get an instant bed of coals in order to get the logs going faster.

If you like this, you might consider upgrading to the Gabby’s Grills attachment I mentioned: Here are some of my friends videos on that (and another creative DIY solution).

T-roy Cooks Tri-tip on Santa Maria Grill for Weber Kettle | Gabby’s Grills

Andy Olsen (now “Provo Grill Mod”) shows Gabby’s Grill SM mod:

Phil in Florence’s Santa Maria grill accessory on the WSM 22

Heavy Metal Bar-B-Que’s “Poor Man’s” Santa Maria Grill/Wood Fired Open Pit Style BBQ on Weber:

Check out my Amazon store (aka “The Toilet Paper Store”) for the BBQ (& video) products I used in this video:

Here’s a direct link to Weber Smokey Mountain 22 like I used.

Interested in a Slow ‘N Sear (*affiliate links):
26” Slow ’N Sear XL-
Slow ’N Sear Plus (22 inch kettles)-

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*Disclosure and Attribution:
I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program which allows youtubers to earn a fee by linking to I have a similar arrangement with Adrenaline Barbecue company. If you use the affiliate link, I will get a small commission with no extra cost to you. This helps offset some of my costs related to making videos. Thank you!

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David Fuertes says:

Great Idea I will definitely try this. Check out Allen’s Welding channel he makes custom Santa Maria grills and Smokers.

Calzadafamily6 says:

Tri Tip isn’t an expensive cut. However it is several notches above brisket. In order to cook Santa Maria Style you need red Oak logs, sea salt garlic, parsley dry rub. Tri Tip is Cooked over semi reduced Red Oak logs with a flame. The Tri Tip should be blacked. Oh don’t remove the fat or trim it off before you cook. Watch sideways at check out the Hitching Post scene. Remember you need to cook over a flame just like a cowboy.

No Hippie BBQ & Cooking says:

Nice experiment. You definitly get the most out of your wsm

Jose says:

Been watching a few more of your videos, i noticed your grills are all usually in the background, this got me thinking do i need to keep my webber in the garage or can leave it on the back patio?

Provo Pit Barbecue says:

Justin you be a stud for sure!!!….Great video man!! -Andy Olsen


“his hair looks weird” how did you know I was thinking that… Lol

Rusty KC says:

Hey Justin, that’s a really cool idea. I’m curious, the little rubber grommet that you feed the temp probes through, had that melted or been damaged? It would be simple enough to remove prior but I am curious. Great video as always buddy! Cheers to ya

Greg Lamatrice says:

This is the same style of cooking they used at the late, great All-American Steakhouse at the Rio in Las Vegas. They cooked over mesquite and it was fantastic. Great video!!

whoyoukidding1 says:

What a great idea!

Steven Leeming, Yeah We’ll See Mate says:

I really want to move to Texas lol

DaBomb Smokes says:

Really enjoyed that Justin!
I have the SMaria attachment but you really showed the versatility of the wsm without it.
That Tri tip looked awesome and I thought your lighting held up well.
I subbed
Cheers bro!

Ray Mack's Kitchen and Grill says:

Great tip about the weber…that beef does look good.

Jason Davies says:

Awesome, thanks for the idea, I am so going to try this out with steak

Justin Jones says:

Nice out of the box thinking bro!

Go Outside And Cook says:

Justin, this is a great video on Santa Maria BBQ. I always tell folks to improvise and you did it perfectly. I’ve been Santa Maria cooking for over three decades now and it’s awesome to see it moving east like it is. Hats off to you and a big thumbs up my friend! Love your videos, wish I had the presence in front of the camera that you do, You described the Santa Maria flavor perfectly.

coachkb23 says:

Great video! What kind of wood did you use?

BBQ Crasher says:

That is the best way to use a WSM when your hungry. Loved it!!!! Log wood all the way! Great edits by the way 10++

Sewal 805 says:

Awesome video! Where I live you have to be careful of wind blowing sparks around. Does the WSM keep that contained or do sparks still fly out the top? Also, can you tell me the distance the two grates are to the top of the charcoal housing? It would be nice to compare with the WSM 14″ and 18″ (that info is not listed in the manuals.) Thanks!

Charlie's Smokin' BBQ says:

That’s cool, great cooked

Gary White says:

Excellent idea…just tried a simlar method on my H-E-B purchased horizontal pipe grill. Worked perfectly but now I need a WSM. Thanks for the videos…subscribed!

Food For Men says:

Here I am Justin, building the channel now. Just having an issue with the profile photo.

lucky1dawg1 says:

what wood did you use??

Wicked Juan says:

Hi Justin! Loved the video – hilarious and informative as always.

What’s that pole you’re using to stoke the fire? Is it available in your toilet paper store?

Thank you! Really enjoy your channel!

Jonathan Hamilton says:

Would love to see a video reviewing several of the top rubs. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on one of my trusted BBQ channels. Thanks for great content!

Baby Back Maniac says:

This is so stupid easy and it works so well that I think it’s a great way to try a new style of cooking before you take the plunge into a SM grill or accessory.

In fact, go check out Troy’s video on the Gabby Grill accessory.

I don’t have any affiliation. They just seem like a great product…and T-roy is the bomb!

Stephanie Yeminez says:

We use ours for everything. Besides tri-tip. Hamburger and hot dogs, steaks. Yummy

Four Vanks says:

GREAT video as always!!!! How tender is a tri-tip typically?? I need to get one on the smoker!!

A M says:

I’d be afraid of getting it too hot and popping the finish off.

William Smith says:

Suzie Qs is literally the best Santa Maria seasoning Ive ever had and Ive tried ALOT of them. Its found at Costco.

mmichlind says:

Check this guy out. He makes all those grills.

loadpin says:

Justin, good job on the Tri Tip. I’ve been cooking Tri Tip for 50+ years, I live on the central coast of California, 10 miles north of Santa Maria, check out Allan’s Welding/Woodworking Channel, he welds up the Santa Maria style grills for Weber’s to. If you want to try another Santa Maria style cook, get a pit going then rod a whole top block (Whole Top Sirloin), then place it over the pit. You just rotate the sirloin every so often till it’s done. I’ve been on crews that bar b que’d like this with 20 to 30 top blocks over a huge pit, really great bar b Que. look up Santa Maria style beans, they are Paquito beans, like really small pinto beans, but these are a must have with Tri Tip and cooked over the grill sourdough bread, then dipped in garlic butter.

William Lohnes says:

Hey Justin nice looking tri tip. That Susie q seasoning is awesome stuff. I know what you mean about the taste of the meat and smell of the fire . To me it smells like a fireplace.

G W says:

I just love your videos and you’ve really inspired me to experiment and learn to BBQ better. I’ve got a Weber Kettle and a Smoke thermometer now and with your help,… well wow. On a different note, is this what it sounds like at your table every night? (Except your name isn’t Fay):

Jim Lee says:

Thank you for doing a WSM video!!! I am so looking forward to trying this.

avega2792 says:

Is there a reason you didn’t reverse sear the tri tip?

Brad Brooks says:

i use this method for wings. works great

BEER-N-BBQ by Larry says:

Great video as usual. I’m seeing these things all over YouTube recently. I don’t get the renewed interest/appeal of those Santa Maria type accessories. They look just like those adjustable camp cooking tripods that you put over a camp fire. They were terrible for cooking as the food took forever to cook food on them. As a person that has a gazillion different grills at home, do you see advantages of Santa Maria style over other cooking methods that use different heat zones?

Calzadafamily6 says:

I love these videos. I lived in Dallas and spent a lot of time at UNT Denton. Happy to see use SusieQ. It is best to do the night before with a 50 50 mixture of vinegar and olive oil (light) I also add strawberry juice (via blended) very light. Strawberries are a major crop in the Santa Maria central coast. Some people use a little Navel Juice. You have lots of skills and smoking is in your wheel house. There is something. D
different about the red oak burn. Keep up the good work. Please past your Amazon store.

Ruben Alvarez says:

What kind of logs are you using?

Kirby's Fishngrill & Cooking Recipes says:

That Weber smoker cooked it pretty well, i was surprised that Medium rare cook for that long. Nice Tri Tip man!!

francisco diaz says:

I don’t understand why one can’t use logs for smoking in a WSM.. can’t tell u the times I look at mine and want to try.. I’d like to here your philosophy on wether you should or shouldn’t..nothing beats the taste of wood but just don’t have the time for a stick burner..keep up the great vids..

Joakim Asplund says:

What was the name on the thermometer ?

Deals Fields says:

watched the whole ad. hope it helps ya my man

Ballistic BBQ says:

I would argue with the need to use the word “nay”.  That tri tip look great!  Nay!  It looked perfect!  Great idea on how to convert that WSM into a Santa Maria.  Great video Justin!

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