HomeFood10 Most Popular American Barbecues

    10 Most Popular American Barbecues

    American barbecue is more than just food; it’s a tradition, a way of life, and a beloved pastime that brings people together. Whether it’s a family gathering, a neighborhood cookout, or a competitive barbecue event, these iconic dishes hold a special place in the hearts and stomachs of many. Let’s dive into the 10 most popular American barbecues that you simply must try.

    Mac and Cheese

    Mac and Cheese

    Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and it’s a staple at any barbecue. This dish, made from scratch, can be cooked on the stovetop or baked with a buttery breadcrumb topping for added crunch.

    Cooking Methods: Stovetop vs. Baked

    The stovetop version is creamy and rich, perfect for those who love a smooth cheese sauce. Baking adds a delightful crust that contrasts nicely with the creamy interior. Both methods are delicious, so it really comes down to personal preference.

    Ingredients and Preparation

    You’ll need macaroni, a mix of cheeses (cheddar is a must), milk, butter, and flour for the sauce. Cook the pasta, make a roux with butter and flour, then add milk and cheese. Combine with the macaroni and either serve immediately or bake with breadcrumbs until golden brown.

    BBQ Chicken Wings

    BBQ Chicken Wings

    No barbecue is complete without a platter of BBQ chicken wings. These crispy, baked wings are drenched in a sweet and tangy homemade barbecue sauce that will have everyone reaching for more.

    Recipe for Crispy Baked Wings

    To achieve the perfect crispiness, bake the wings in the oven until golden brown. Toss them in a mixture of your favorite BBQ sauce ingredients like ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices.

    Homemade BBQ Sauce

    Making BBQ sauce at home is simple and rewarding. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and a dash of hot sauce. Simmer until thick and glossy, then toss the wings to coat.

    Classic BBQ Sauce

    A good barbecue sauce is essential for any BBQ spread. It’s versatile, easy to make, and probably something you already have the ingredients for.

    Simple Recipe with Minimal Ingredients

    Mix ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and spices like paprika and garlic powder. Simmer until the flavors meld together into a thick, flavorful sauce.

    Versatility and Uses

    This sauce can be used on chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and even as a dipping sauce. It’s a must-have in your BBQ arsenal.

    Pulled Pork Sandwich

    Pulled Pork Sandwich

    Pulled pork sandwiches are a BBQ favorite, and they couldn’t be easier to make. With just three ingredients, you can feed a crowd effortlessly.

    Root Beer Pulled Pork Recipe

    Use pork shoulder, root beer, and your favorite BBQ sauce. Slow cook the pork with root beer until tender, then shred and mix with BBQ sauce. Serve on buns for a delicious sandwich.

    Cooking Methods: Crockpot, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot

    Whether you use a crockpot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot, the method is straightforward and yields tender, flavorful pork every time.

    Burnt Ends

    Burnt ends are a Kansas City BBQ specialty that has gained popularity nationwide. These tender brisket cubes are coated in BBQ sauce and cooked until caramelized and delicious.

    Recipe for Tender Brisket Cubes

    Start with a smoked brisket, cut into cubes, then toss in BBQ sauce and return to the smoker or oven until the edges are crispy and caramelized.

    Serving Suggestions

    Serve burnt ends as an appetizer, main course, or even in sandwiches. They’re versatile and always a hit.


    Brisket is the king of BBQ meats. It’s time-consuming but worth every minute for its tender, flavorful result.

    Time and Effort Required

    Brisket requires a low and slow cooking process. Rub it with a BBQ paste of spices and let it smoke for hours until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender.

    BBQ Paste Rub and Sauce Recipe

    Combine paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper for the rub. For the sauce, mix ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and spices.

    Baked Beans

    Baked Beans

    Baked beans are a BBQ essential, offering a sweet, smoky, and savory side that complements any main dish.

    Recipe for Sweet, Smoky, and Bacony Beans

    Use navy beans, bacon, brown sugar, molasses, ketchup, and mustard. Cook until thick and flavorful, with the bacon adding a delicious smoky note.

    Cooking Time and Preparation

    Baked beans take about 90 minutes to prepare, but the result is a rich and hearty side dish that’s worth the effort.

    Creamy Potato Salad

    A cool, tangy potato salad is the perfect counterpoint to rich, smoky BBQ meats. This creamy dill version adds a fresh twist to a classic.

    Creamy Dill Version Recipe

    Combine boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, mustard, and chopped pickles. Mix well and chill before serving for the best flavor.

    Quick and Easy Preparation

    This potato salad comes together quickly and can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for BBQs and potlucks.



    Cornbread is a quintessential BBQ side, perfect for soaking up the juices and sauces from your main dishes.

    Recipe for Moist, Flavorful Cornbread

    Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and butter. Bake until golden brown and enjoy with a pat of butter.

    Pairing with BBQ Dishes

    Cornbread pairs well with brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and more, making it a versatile addition to any BBQ spread.

    Red Cabbage Slaw

    This wholesome Red Cabbage Apple Slaw is a refreshing side that pairs wonderfully with BBQ chicken or pork.

    Recipe for Red Cabbage Apple Slaw

    Combine shredded red cabbage, julienned apples, carrots, and a dressing made of apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and olive oil. Mix well and chill before serving.

    Complementing BBQ Chicken or Pork

    The tangy and sweet flavors of the slaw balance the rich, smoky flavors of BBQ meats, adding a refreshing crunch to your meal.


    American barbecue is a delicious tradition that brings people together over hearty, flavorful food. From tender brisket and pulled pork sandwiches to classic sides like mac and cheese and cornbread, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. These dishes not only showcase the diversity and richness of American barbecue but also highlight the importance of variety in creating the perfect BBQ spread. So, fire up the grill, gather your ingredients, and enjoy these mouth-watering recipes with friends and family.

    Elsie Bernier
    Elsie Bernier
    Elsie Bernier brings her passion for authentic Italian flavors to every slice at Fratello Pizzeria. With years of culinary expertise and a love for crafting the perfect pizza, Elsie has made Fratello's a haven for pizza enthusiasts seeking a taste of Italy right in their neighborhood.


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