Fire Up The Grill: What Maryland Loves Eating Most at Cookouts

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

With warmer weather approaching in much of the country, the weekend outdoor chefs will be firing up their grills.

Regardless of whether the grilling is done with charcoal, gas or even wood, the most important choice is what to put on top of the grill.

Overall, the most popular cookout meals are ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, wings and grilled chicken – but exactly which of the above is a favorite varies by location., your home for the latest sports betting Maryland coverage, used Google Trends to determine the most searched main meal for cookouts in each state of the United States.

Five Most Popular Meats on Grill

The following meats were included to determine the top five most popular cookout foods based on search history during the summer: Wings, hamburgers, hot dog, ribs and grilled chicken.

After reviewing the trends over the past five years (from April 1 to Sept. 1 each year), averaged out the results to determine the top cookout foods for each state.

The state with numerous retail wagering options and Maryland betting apps fell in a group along with five other states that favored wings.

Favorite Cookout Meat 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

Don’t Forget Maryland Pit Beef

Now, we certainly know some Maryland traditionalists will argue strenuously that the favorite cookout meal for Marylanders is that hearty, savory favorite known as “pit beef”. And there is no question that around Baltimore pit beef feasts are a huge favorite for family-and-friends backyard gatherings as well as for community fundraisers.

For the uninitiated, pit beef starts with thick cuts of beef (top round, bottom round, sirloin) that are grilled quickly over a charcoal fire. The meat is prepared rare to medium, depending on taste. Then it’s sliced thin and served with the sauce of one’s choice (horseradish is popular) and whatever else feels right, often stacked inside a Kaiser roll.

However, the data and the analytics also have wings as a favorite in the Old Line State, where operators offer Maryland sports betting promos whatever the season.

The other “wings” states were Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania.

Among the five cookout foods that were part of the survey, ribs ranked No. 1, earning bragging rights as the favorite cookout food in 19 states.

The rest of the favorite cookout foods featured a tie for No. 2 between the old standards, hamburgers and hot dogs (10 states each); No. 4 were the wings (six states) and No. 5 was grilled chicken (five states).


A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the World Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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