What is the Favorite Cookout Food in California?

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

With more than 500 miles of land spread out from the Mexican border to the Oregon state line, there’s no shortage of culinary fares for Californians to choose from when it comes to cookout choices.

In the Golden State, the go-to cookout meat is the nation’s most popular choice (ribs), showing how tantalizing a slab of meat scorched over an open flame is to Americans from coast to coast.

BetCalifornia.com, the source for information on California sports betting, utilized Google Trends to determine the most searched main meal for cookouts in each state.  

The following meals were included once the top 5 most popular cookout foods were determined, based on search history in the summer — wings, hamburger, hot dog, ribs and grilled chicken.

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.

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 and Wyoming
  • Hamburgers (10 states): Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico and Oklahoma
  • Hot Dogs (10 states): Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia
  • Wings (6 states): Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania
  • Grilled Chicken (5 states): Hawaii, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota and Vermont

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Why Ribs Are Californians Go-To Cookout Fare

Californians, like so many others, went with ribs as their go-to cookout meat, knocking off a quintet of other Americana culinary delicacies.

Overall, ribs beat out hamburgers, hot dogs, wings and grilled chicken. In total, California joined 18 other states, including neighboring locales like Arizona, Nevada and Oregon, in choosing ribs over the other meat options.

Other regional states, such as Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, sided with California’s choice, going with ribs over the other options.

The only Rocky Mountain or West Coast states to choose another meat were New Mexico (hamburgers), Hawaii and Montana (wings).

In total, ribs were the most popular choice by total state count, at 19, followed by hamburgers and hot dogs (10 apiece).


Christopher Boan
Christopher Boan
Reporter / Journalist

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetCalifornia.com, specializing in sports betting issues in the western United States. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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