Smokers, BBQs & Catering
THE VAQUERO (Spanish pronunciation: {ba'kero}, is a horse-mounted livestock herder, known today as the North American Cowboy. 

Traditions  are what make this Vaquero  (pictured on left)  his family legacy.  Orlando Cepeda, BBQ Pit Master, with a 30+ year tradition of family wood fire grilling inherited from his late father, Gonzalo Cepeda and uncle Cayo Palomo.  Orlando's skills and love for grilling has earned him acclaimed recognition for his Tri-Tip and Ribs.  Other favorites are his bone-pullin' chicken, hot links and pinquinto beans.   
With a passion for grilling pit style and a heart for family tradition, this Vaquero decided it was time to do something different and design his own special pits that are COWBOY MADE - COWBOY STRONG.
EL VAQUERO SMOKERS AND GRILLS  are wood-burning pits that have been hand made and fabricated here in the NW out of DIAMOND PLATE and HAMMERED Steel.  Each pit is carefully designed and handcrafted to meet the needs of any skill level Pit Master or can be custom designed for your specific needs.  The El Vaquero pits are Cowboy Made, Cowboy Strong and will last your lifetime and the generations to come.  

Cowboy Made ~ Cowboy Strong
  1. Orlando Cepeda                           Director of Sales & Fabrication
    Orlando Cepeda Director of Sales & Fabrication
    My wife, Kelly and I really make a great team! We both share a love and appreciation for quality food, quality products, and family traditions. With the purchase of your El Vaquero Grill, I am happy to pass along these inherited skills to your family so you can have the same El Vaquero experience and pass along to your next generations.
  2. Kelly Cepeda
Office Manager
    Kelly Cepeda Office Manager
    I love the El Vaquero pits for their quality craftsmanship and the best BBQ I've ever tasted. It's like bringing the smells and tastes of camping to your back yard. These are heavy duty quality pits! I look forward to sharing with you my El Vaquero experience.
  3. The Next Generation
    The Next Generation
    Parker Cepeda (son) As our family grows, so does the love for family traditions and keeping the ol' west alive. This is the next generation ready to follow in his father's footsteps by learning the in's and out's of the family business and keeping the traditions and experience of the El Vaquero alive.
How it began....
My name is Orlando Cepeda. I was born in 1968 to Gonzalo & Lucy Cepeda in Portland, Oregon. My family moved to Guadalupe, California where I grew up in the Santa Maria Valley, on California's central coast - wine country. I am fortunate to be from a large family on my mother's side - the Garcia's.

I have two sisters and we have 12 cousins who lived on the same street that I grew up on. I can still remember back to 1973 - driving with my father down Broadway Avenue in Santa Maria and seeing all the smoke billowing from the BBQ Pits on every street corner. We BBQ'd Tri-Tip and chicken every weekend at our home or at their home.

Santa Maria BBQ has been a staple for me and my family all my life. I have been BBQing this way for more than 25 years on my own. I learned to BBQ from my father and my Uncle Cayo Palomo. They were both the best BBQ Pit Masters that I knew.  Now, they both watch over me from up above and make sure the coals are hot and meat is tender. I make my own rubs & BBQ sauces. I dry rub all of the meat I BBQ. I have been told that my sauces will make you smile. I love to see my friends and family smiling and enjoying my food.

With such a love for grilling, I decided it was time to take the next step and adventure with BBQ by designing and manufacturing smokers & grills so that others can have the best of Santa Maria style cooking in their own back yards.

In December, 2014, my wife Kelly and I were on our way home from visiting family and friends in the desert area.  With the desert sights still in mind, on our road trip home the name El Vaquero Smokers and Grills was born.  In honor of our old west and hard working cowboys, we knew "El Vaquero" was a name that would best represent our company.    

Our cowboys have always been known to be hard-working, dependable, rough & tough - just like our Vaquero grills. These grills are manufactured and handcrafted locally using USA made raw materials. It's time to introduce the NW to a new way of grilling - gather the family and friends around the grill, tell stories, laugh and joke around and bring back the memories that we can tell and share many years from now and pass along to our heritage, Cowboy Made ~ Cowboy Strong, the El Vaquero Way!