Cal Poly industrial technology and packaging seniors Sydney Goodbody, Reid Fuhr and Sean Wolfe, alongside nine others, have been tirelessly working to make their BBQ dreams become a reality.
This 12-person team came together for their senior capstone course to create the Pitmaster, a portable Santa Maria-style grill. Think of it as a mini version of the grill outside of Campus Market.
A traditional Santa Maria-style grill has a grate that allows the user to maneuver the food up and down, in or out of the fire.
“It’s traditionally used for tri-tip, because that’s kind of what you want,” Goodbody said. “You want that sear and then you want to bake it, so as the fire dies down you lower the grate down with it and you get that cook.”
However, these grills are typically “ginormous” and either permanent or feature wheels.
“Santa Maria grills can be pretty expensive, and there is such a draw within this area to have the Santa Maria-style grill because that’s such a big kind of cultural point around this area,” Goodbody said.
The Pitmaster is a smaller, portable version of the traditional grill weighing about 30 to 35 pounds.
“You can take out the tray and put it over an open fire, so that’s kind of what separates it from other Santa Maria style grills,” Wolfe said.
The team must complete 140 units of the grills by June 6, when they will showcase all of the grills on Dexter Lawn at 10 a.m. to be picked up by buyers.
From start to finish, the team has done every step of the process on campus.
“We’re doing everything there, basically,” Wolfe said. “No outsourcing.”
Sometimes, it comes in handy that their project is a grill.
“I mean, sometimes we’re putting in ten-hour days, so it’s nice to be able to flip some burgers when need be,” Goodbody said.
The project is completely self-funded within the group. Each member contributed $150 to kickstart the process. Now, the group is looking to local businesses such as Old San Luis BBQ Company and Guys Being Dudes to sponsor their endeavors.
Currently, the grills can be purchased on their website Pitmaster for $199.99, or for $249.99 to customize it.