Barbecue, also known as barbeque or BBQ, is both a way to prepare food and a style of food. The traditional purist definition of barbecue is meat that is smoked and cooked slowly over wood or charcoal. Some may mistakenly refer to barbecue as foods also cooked on a grill, but those who know their barbecue understand the differences between barbecue and grilling.

According to The Daily Meal, a culinary and entertaining site, barbecue is believed to have originated in ancient times. The term may have been derived from the native Haitian Arawakan word “barbakoa,” meaning a framework of sticks on which meat was traditionally cooked. Eventually, Spanish settlers used the term barbacoa and spread this method of cooking to other regions of the world.

Enjoyed across the globe, barbecue is a tasty method of cooking that lends itself well to many different types of foods. The smoky, slow-cooked delights many people instantly associate with classic barbecue are perhaps most associated with the southern United States – with various states boasting that they are the true masters of barbecue. Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Missouri are often heralded as some of the top states for barbecue. Dry rubs, certain cooking methods, and sauce are just some of the things that help people differentiate regional BBQ styles.

According to Estately, a site devoted to showcasing the profiles of various cities and towns, as well as their respective real estate markets, certain areas of the U.S. have higher levels of barbecue enthusiasm. Based on a metric involving the number of BBQ restaurants per capita, social media interest, web searches for barbecue, and stores catering to barbecue gear, Estately helped paint a picture of the states most into barbecue.

Here is their list of the top 20:

1. Alabama
2. Oklahoma
3. Tennessee
4. Texas
5. Missouri
6. Arkansas
7. South Carolina
8. Georgia
9. Kansas
10. North Carolina
11. Kentucky
12. Mississippi
13. Louisiana
14. Florida
15. Illinois
16. Colorado
17. Hawaii
18. California
19. Montana
20. Nevada

The data revealed that the state least interested in barbecue is Connecticut. Many other northeastern states were equally less fanatical about their barbecue, perhaps owning to the cooler temperatures that make year-round barbecue less convenient. However, cold temperatures don’t have to be a deterrent, as there has been a rise in BBQ joints in Canada as residents have learned to better distinguish between grilling and barbecuing, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.


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