The best part of indulging in BBQ lies in that first succulent bite of fall-off-the-bone ribs, leaving you licking your fingers and wearing sauce all over your face. Backyard barbecues are a cherished tradition where good food and good company gather together. From hot dogs and wings to some of the best BBQ side dishes like pasta salad and collard greens, BBQ gatherings are a feast for the senses.
As grills sizzle this summer, we wanted to discover the most iconic BBQ dishes in every U.S. state. Prepare to tantalize your taste buds as we unveil the culinary delights that define BBQ culture across the nation.
The Most Popular BBQ Dishes in Every U.S. State
As spring rolls into summer, BBQ enthusiasts across the United States are firing up their smokers and getting ready for unforgettable BBQ cookouts. In six states, including Hawaii, New Jersey, Maryland, and Rhode Island, BBQ chicken has claimed the spotlight and captured the taste buds of many.
Meanwhile, Idaho and New Hampshire have developed a deep affection for pulled pork as their ultimate BBQ delight, while wings have soared to prominence in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Brisket has become a beloved favorite among residents of Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas, while West Virginia has maintained a long-standing devotion to the classic hot dog.
In a predictable turn of events, collard greens have asserted their dominance in southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, while the timeless baked potato has garnered significant adoration in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
The best BBQ side dishes according to other states included coleslaw, which won out in Maine, and biscuits which dominated in Kentucky.
When it comes to BBQ sauces, a sweet and tangy concoction like honey BBQ has triumphed in six states, including Utah, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Turning our attention to dessert, banana pudding has captured the hearts and palates of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee, while both D.C. and Florida have gravitated toward key lime pie.
America’s Backyard BBQ Plate
As you prepare to host a memorable gathering, impress your guests with the best BBQ essentials that have conquered the hearts and taste buds across the map. Get ready to elevate your backyard BBQ game and leave your guests craving for more.
Burgers were a clear crowd favorite and most beloved in 17 states, including Washington, New Mexico, Tennessee, and North Carolina, just to name a few. Coming in a close second is sausage, which delighted the taste buds of ten states, including Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Indiana.
Let’s talk about the sauce — because no one likes dry brisket. We examined different types of BBQ sauces to see which one was a fan favorite. Our findings reveal that buffalo sauce, featuring a tantalizing blend of cayenne pepper for a touch of tangy heat, emerged as the top choice in 16 states. From Alaska and Florida to New Jersey and North Dakota, the craving for this zesty sauce knows no bounds.
Surprisingly, in the second spot, we have St. Louis-style BBQ sauce, which failed to win over its home state of Missouri. Instead, it conquered in ten states, including Arkansas, Iowa, and Maine.
No picnic is complete without side dishes for your guests to gobble up — and we’re not talking about mojitos (okay, maybe we are)! Both french fries and watermelon were crowd favorites, dominating 19 and seven states, respectively. French fries captured the west coast in places like California, Arizona, and Nevada.
While you may be tempted to grab store-bought cookies and call it a day, there’s no better way to end a picnic than with fresh-out-of-the-oven brownies. Brownies are the best dessert according to 19 states and a classic, sweet treat everyone can agree on!
BBQ Essentials According to Every U.S. State
Curious if your taste buds align with your state? Review our map to see how your state builds the perfect backyard spread.
There you have it — the best BBQ in every U.S. state! From cheesecake to grilled lobster and baked mac n’ cheese, it’s clear that no matter where you live, BBQ food has a way of bringing people together.
Now picture this: the smell of burgers wafts through the air, bowls of chips are laid out, lemonade is being poured, and your guests are arriving, there’s just one tiny problem — your backyard is inhabited by mosquitoes. Don’t fret! To prevent this potential disaster from occurring, make sure you schedule Mosquito Joe event services so you can get back to enjoying good food and even better company.
To find out which BBQ dish was the most “essential” in each state, we compiled a list of typical BBQ meats, side dishes, desserts, and BBQ sauces that one would typically devour at a summertime backyard BBQ. We looked at a total of 53 keywords across the four categories on Google Trends for the summer of 2022 (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend).