What Food Is No. 1 at Ohio Cookouts?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With the arrival of spring ushering in warmer temperatures, the anticipation for outdoor activities quickly growing, and the yearning for longer days only indicates one promise — summer is right around the corner.

And for the majority of us, especially in the Buckeye State, it is time to begin organizing those patios and dusting off the grills to prepare for the summer BBQing season.

Soon, it will be time to hear the loud sizzling on the grill and smell the smoky-flavored aroma through the air of America’s best meats. But, of course, each state has its own preference for its favorite meals ready to be cooked. 

With the support of Google Trends, BetOhio.com — your source for Ohio sportsbooks — determined the most searched main meal for cookouts in each of the 50 states.

Based on search history, the following meals — “Wings,” “Hamburgers,” “Hot Dogs,” “Ribs,” and “Grilled Chicken” — were the top five most popular cookout foods in the country. After completing the trends over the past five years (from April 1 to Sept. 1 each year), we were able to average out the results to get the top cookout foods for each state.

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Favorite Cookout Meal by State

  • Ribs (19 states): Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
  • Hamburger (10 states): Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma
  • Hot Dog (10 states): Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia
  • Wings (6 states): Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania
  • Grilled Chicken (5 states): Hawaii, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont
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Ohio a ‘Hot Dog’ State

With so many great selections, it turns out when many state residents are perusing Ohio betting apps at cookouts, they prefer to do so with a hot dog.

Ohio eaters made the hot dog No. 1, along with folks from Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia.

Hot dogs are an American classic. They are cheap, easy to cook, and satisfy a large crowd during your BBQ sessions. It also does not hurt that a variety of condiments can be served with it. Although it is not America’s favorite meat for cookouts, it almost feels like families are obligated to have hot dogs cooking up on the grill, and the Buckeye State can certainly agree.

Grilled chicken was the loneliest list with five states. Without a deep-rooted BBQ culture, grilled chicken is not a popular choice for summer cookouts in America. On the bright side, it is the healthiest choice on this list.

Six states preferred wings, including New York, which introduced buffalo-styled wings. The ease of seasoning them with a variety of flavors, and its rich tender meat, make it the best cookout meal for much of the East Coast.

Hamburgers are tied in second with hot dogs. Affordability and versatility to prep a tasty hamburger are the most important factors behind this response. Like hot dogs, this meal is engrained in American culture and is a “must-have” in BBQs.

That brings us to No. 1 in the BetOhio.com research: ribs.

Ribs came in first in 19 states. With rich, traditional smoking and slow-cooking methods originating in the south, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are often recognized as states that offer the best BBQ nationwide. Those and 14 other states, including the majority of the southwest, have a strong BBQ culture that claim ribs as their preferred choice during a cookout. When the appetizing smell of smoked pork ribs fills the air, it becomes difficult to resist tasting the rich and tendered meat, making it America’s favorite cookout meal.

Stay tuned to BetOhio.com for stories of interest such as this, as well as for Ohio sportsbook promos.

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Felix Veletanga is an experienced reporter who has covered local news, politics, and sports in Northern New Jersey, and now lends his expertise to the Ohio sports betting market. He previously covered the Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team’s 2022 NCAA Cinderella run for HudPost. Felix specializes in combat fighting and soccer betting analysis with a focus on the Premier League.

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